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Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...

 
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Seamus
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Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« on: April 13, 2008, 07:48:48 AM »

..and Alzheimer's?

I think I'm in the beginning stages with Ma, she's 70. She gets so mad at me when I show her times when she's forgetting things. Now I'm talking really important things not just your average senior moments, heck I have senior moments and I'm 45. I'm not sure how to pursue this. I'm heading to Alzheimer's web page now.

Thanks.
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Aske
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 08:13:27 AM »

my mom took care of her dad through a lot of his around mid70's on.  i don't really remember a lot about it though.   my dad will probably not live long enough to get there.  sometimes i think my mom is showing early signs, but it could just be from her almost never sleeping taking care of my dad
  Sad
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 08:17:14 AM »

..and Alzheimer's?

I think I'm in the beginning stages with Ma, she's 70. She gets so mad at me when I show her times when she's forgetting things. Now I'm talking really important things not just your average senior moments, **** I have senior moments and I'm 45. I'm not sure how to pursue this. I'm heading to Alzheimer's web page now.

Thanks.

Yes, our family left our home (without packing or anything) to come move in and take care of our Grandma 7 years ago after our Grandpa died to give her 24/7 care so she wouldn't have to go into a nursing home. She is in the more advanced stages of it, and can't recognize my Dad (her son) sometimes even, but probably 90% of the time. Everything is just "for the moment" as her short time memory is mostly all gone, I could introduce one of my friends to her, and we could walk out of the room, and come back under a minute later and she wouldn't know she was ever introduced. It's a very sad disease.
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Seamus
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 08:23:52 AM »

Torp, it is a very sad disease. It takes away quite possibly the most precious commodity any of us have, our memories.

Ask your Dad, if and when he first started to notice it. Did he do anything? If he did is there anything he would have done differently?

I'm just trying to figure out how to go about this, there are medicines now that can help but you have to admit there's a problem and Mom just doesn't see it, which is the irony of the disease.

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I could introduce one of my friends to her, and we could walk out of the room, and come back under a minute later and she wouldn't know she was ever introduced.

I know the feeling Torp, I went through this with my wife's grandmother, she really never knew who I was.
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1puttpar
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 04:33:00 PM »

Seamus,

My Dad contracted early onset Alzheimer's when he was about 58 years old.  Within 2 years he had it full on.  He lasted about 8 years after that in a nursing home.  He was too much too handle for my Mom.  Quality of life the last 8 years was non-existant.  It is an insidious disease that I don't wish on anyone.  There were some experimental drugs, but nothing we tried worked.  Try to enjoy the lucid moments now.  Sadly, they will be few and far between.  Prayers are with you and your family.
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Seamus
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 05:08:39 PM »

I'll give you a for instance.

Recently she had some medical tests performed, cat scan, ekg, doplar something, brain MRI. She called me to tell how afraid she was of the results. So I met her at the Dr's office, and talked and joked with her, and tried to ease her mind, we were there a good 30 minutes.

Tests came back normal. I was hoping they would show me something, but.

She called me a week later to tell me the results of her tests.

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Sadly, they will be few and far between.  Prayers are with you and your family.

She's still quite lucid but it's getting worse. Thanks!

Same question I gave Torp though, in the beginning did any really notice (what did you do?), did your Dad finally come to the realization of the problem, or is that just one aspect of the disease, they don't know until it's too late, or they never know?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 05:15:23 PM by Seamus » Logged Return to Top
1puttpar
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2008, 05:27:18 PM »

I'll give you a for instance.

Recently she had some medical tests performed, cat scan, ekg, doplar something, brain MRI. She called me to tell how afraid she was of the results. So I met her at the Dr's office, and talked and joked with her, and tried to ease her mind, we were there a good 30 minutes.

Tests came back normal. I was hoping they would show me something, but.

She called me a week later to tell me the results of her tests.

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Sadly, they will be few and far between.  Prayers are with you and your family.

She's still quite lucid but it's getting worse. Thanks!

Same question I gave Torp though, in the beginning did any really notice (what did you do?), did your Dad finally come to the realization of the problem, or is that just one aspect of the disease, they don't know until it's too late, or they never know?

First noticed it when I went to visit him.  We went to play golf together.  It was just the 2 of us.  We were behind a foursome and I noticed he was getting very agitated with waiting, completely atypical behavior.  About the 15th hole, he was about 140 yards out from the green and I watched as he pulled out a 5 wood and launch it 60 yards over the green.  He had no idea where he was going or what he was doing.  I talked to my Mom when we returned and that's when she told me she had been observing some odd behavior as well.  We scheduled a visit to the doctor while I was there and that's when it was confirmed.  My Dad never really knew, it jut "happened".  The next week , he disappeared from his community while riding his bike (he used to do this every morning for exercise).  He was found 4 miles from home with no idea where he lived or how to get back.  Within 6 months he was completely consumed by the disease and never recognized any of us again.  Very sad.  I miss him a lot.
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Seamus
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 06:21:07 PM »

Six months? Oh my.

I am sorry.  Sad
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 06:28:22 PM »

My grandfather on my mom's side had it, we suspect. He was very senile and back then Alzheimer's wasn't really diagnosed. It was difficult for us because we tended to take care of both Grandma and Grandpa. When Grandma was in the hospital for several weeks Grandpa was at the house, he really didn't know any of us. We didn't let him out of the house. And I agree it is a very cruel disease that affects everyone.
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2008, 06:35:11 PM »

Just to add, this is my worst fear, that either my mom will get it or I will when I am older. I also had an uncle that had ALS, my mom's brother. Not sure which is worse.
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2008, 07:24:49 PM »

Man, this is some tough reading.  My thoughts and prayers go to all of you dealing with this and hoping things go as best they possibly can.
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2008, 10:46:29 PM »

First, I'd like to say that I'll be praying for you.  Such sad news to hear. Sad

Torp, it is a very sad disease. It takes away quite possibly the most precious commodity any of us have, our memories.

Ask your Dad, if and when he first started to notice it. Did he do anything? If he did is there anything he would have done differently?

I'm just trying to figure out how to go about this, there are medicines now that can help but you have to admit there's a problem and Mom just doesn't see it, which is the irony of the disease.

Quote
I could introduce one of my friends to her, and we could walk out of the room, and come back under a minute later and she wouldn't know she was ever introduced.

I know the feeling Torp, I went through this with my wife's grandmother, she really never knew who I was.

I quite agree, Seamus.  Our memory is one of our most precious things.  My grandma has a saying - and actually, she still says it - she doesn't mind getting older so long as her health holds out.  I don't mean this in a disrespectful way, but I know she thinks she's in her 60s.  She's 88.  Anyway, as nice as good health is, if I had the choice between health or memory, I'd probably be leaning towards having my memory.

I haven't asked my dad when he first noticed it, and I don't think Kev has done so yet either, but from what I can recall observing, by the time I was 10 (12 years ago), it was becoming more noticeable.  I know for sure that my grandfather knew years before he actually told us that Grandma had been diagnosed with Alzheimers.  (The first time I recall hearing the diagnosis I was ~14.)  I'll ask my Dad (and my mom) if there are things they'd have done differently, and get back to you.

Yes, there are medications, the leading being Aricept.  The thing about them is that studies can't really determine just how effective they are.  Alzheimers is different for every person and the stages also progress at different speeds, and since you can't determine how fast those stages will come for each individual, you also can't determine whether or not it's actually slowing the process.  Oh, and just to be clear, Alzheimer meds do not claim to help "cure" nor do they claim they can help gain back the memory lost, just "slow down the progress" (hopefully, that is).  Also, it's only an "effective treatment" for 4 years.  (At least, I think it's 4 years.  Now, I'm second-guessing myself.  Less than 7, that's for sure.)  We do have Grandma on Aricept because my dad's sister wanted her on it, but especially since the "effective" time period has more than passed, well, it seems like a good time to reevaluate.

Alzheimers is different with every person, but I'll share a couple things that have helped us. 

Don't use phrases like "do/don't you remember..." or "remember when..." or such things because it's intimidating when they can't remember it, and that's hard thing for them to admit.  (Actually, I'd say it's hard for most people to admit a weakness.)  Instead, introduce whatever you were talking about, give it a little background, something that's not in-your-face you-were-there type of stuff.

Also for Grandma, we give honest answers, but not always as specific as we could be or even as specific as she might want.  For example, we do not tell it's time for her memory pill, rather just that we brought her pills to her.  There are also times we'll answer the "need" of her question rather than the direct answer.  Sometimes, it's a bit of a side-step answer, but it's the truth, and it's the real answer that she needs, whereas, the answer she was seeking might be only a subpoint in the overall picture.  Her question may be "What's for supper?", and we could say "Oh, steak, mashed potatoes and gravy (or butter Cheesy), cucumbers and onion slices, and pie for dessert". But a better answer  could be such as "Oh, it's Mom's turn to make supper tonight; I'm sure she has everything. Smiley" is the best reply.  Her desire is to see her family fed, and as a wife and mother for 60 years, she's concerned about what she should be making us.  Where a direct answer very well has had her on the verge of trying to prepare such meals, the latter reply has told her everything is taken care of and she can relax about it.


I know I've said a lot already, and it might seem overwhelming.  Since we have experienced this on a daily basis for the past 7 years, there is also more that could be said, but it certainly isn't something for just one post.  So one last thing I would say for now is to just keep loving her.  Keep showing her you care, take time for her, and talk to her as if the conversation is the first time you've spoke of it, even if it's the 10 thousandth time.  It's not always the easiest, but I'm glad that we're here for my grandma, to give her the quality of care she deserves.  It's also a blessing that she's still here with us, and while times are mixed with sadness over the disease, it's still a time we have with her and there are many good memories that we wouldn't have had if we hadn't moved in. 
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2008, 05:34:35 AM »

Man, this is some tough reading.  My thoughts and prayers go to all of you dealing with this and hoping things go as best they possibly can.

I can type it no better than this. 




My very best wishes for all of you.
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Seamus
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2008, 07:06:12 AM »

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I can type it no better than this.

I can't type at all now, Eagle made me cry, such an old soul she is.

Thanks all my Ho's.  Smiley
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Re: Any of my ho's dealing with aging parents...
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2008, 07:23:04 AM »

Nice post EAGLE.

Sorry to hear Seamus.  Best wishes.


My wife and I both have a grandfather with Bipolar disorder which can be pretty hard on everyone at times.  Lots of irrational behavior, highs and lows, but thankfully they have their faculties for the most part. 

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