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Source: (consider it) Thread: Aging Parents
sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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Thanks for the helpful ideas. I will look into these. She is just in a regular apartment, but the super seems really nice and helpful and she lives on the same floor. I will call her and see what she can do or who she knows who can help.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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lily pad
Shipmate
# 11456

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Sharkshooter, just one more thought...when you broach the topic with your mother, maybe try selling it as a three month or six month experiment. That way, it might be easier to work out what is actually needed and you can reassess at a fixed date in the future.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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I'm also looking into a monitored alarm she could wear. On that has automatic fall notification would be a good idea for her. She has recently not refused when the idea was raised, so perhaps we can talk her into it.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Polly Plummer
Shipmate
# 13354

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An alarm doesn't solve everything: last week Mr. Plummer called (very fortunately) on his mother to fetch her for lunch, and found her in a heap on the bedroom floor, with the alarm placed neatly out of reach on the bedside table.
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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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When they fit you out with these alarms they rehearse you carefully on how to use it, how to hit the button, etc. This may or may not sink in. My mother-in-law had the kind you wear around your neck on a lanyard. She went out into the front yard to put seed into the bird feeder, and fell. She lay there for four hours until her daughter came home and found her, and called for the ambulance. The alarm was around her neck all that while; she simply forgot it.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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You can get some that detect a fall, and they automatically call and if you don't respond to them either dials your contact's number or 911. I wonder if that is the way to go.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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quote:
Originally posted by Polly Plummer:
An alarm doesn't solve everything: last week Mr. Plummer called (very fortunately) on his mother to fetch her for lunch, and found her in a heap on the bedroom floor, with the alarm placed neatly out of reach on the bedside table.

I was under the impression such pendants need to be worn all the time. My pendant with notification of penicillin allergy is totally waterproof and can be worn in the shower. Is this not so or had she taken off? Just curious because taking it off negates its use..

[ 14. July 2017, 00:30: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

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M.
Ship's Spare Part
# 3291

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My mother sometimes took hers off and put it on the table 'so she didn't lose it'.

M.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
Shipmate
# 17002

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I'm feeling hurt, and feeling childish for feeling that way, so forgive me please.

I posted on the Roses, foxgloves etc thread that I created a photobook for the Intrepid Grandson, which he adored, because it had pictures of him and his family. His parents have to ration his access to it, or he would look at nothing else [Killing me]

After the Dowager's 93rd birthday celebrations, organised by yours truly, she said to me that it had all gone too fast (for her maybe - not for me!) and she had meant to take lots of pictures so she could remember the occasion. Aha, I thought, you haven't taken a photo in 3 years at least - but I did, and I'm making Littlest a book, and you shall have a copy - 'The Intrepid Grandson goes to Great-grandma's birthday party'.

I felt sure she'd be thrilled and delighted - as I'm sure he will be - but she quite liked it, no more. She looked at it, agreed that the pictures were nice, commented on the size of my SiL's bosom (!), thanked me for it - and that was it. She hasn't mentioned it since - the slightly broken fence panel has come to the top of the 'Things I am Worrying About' list, and seems to have swamped any distraction her book might have offered.

Now you see why I feel childishly hurt. I'm also sorry that it wasn't the treat for her that I'd imagined. I'm sorry, all, just needed to dump this on someone! [Disappointed]

Mrs. S, trying to move on

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
Shipmate
# 12271

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Totally sympathise Mrs S. Phone calls with my mother are all about her latest worry (yesterday it was her microwave). She felt she needed to tell me in very long detail how she cooked her dinner when she couldn't get said microwave to work. She appears to have zero interest in anything we've been up to, even though I try to tell her our latest news.
Do you think the Dowager's lack of interest in the photos might be because her eyesight is worse than she's letting ona nd she doesn't want to say anything about the pictures in case that makes it obvious?

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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Sorry to barge in, but I find myself reminded of my grandmother's decline, and I suspect that you have passed a significant and very sad milestone. There came a point, and the same point is starting to come with her daughter, my aunt, where nothing that is beyond her own immediate experience registered with her, and it was increasingly hard for any new event to compete with her history. She would tell tales of her own past at length, but I remember vividly the celebrations for her 90th birthday. Everyone else was very excited, but the whole occasion barely registered with her. As her confusion deepened, she started to construct narratives out of memories and isolated impressions, which would go round in circles and head off in entirely unpredictable directions, and bear increasingly little resemblance to any kind of observable sustained reality.

Whatever it may feel like, it feels to me like none of this is aimed at you; it's just an expression of where she is. Tragically, little of it is reversible or resolvable either. It's a process with a single end.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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Addendum: sorry, that wasn't my most coherent utterance ever, and I think it suffered from having part of it abruptly cut out by the touchpad on my laptop, but hopefully it gets my point across.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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I see this in my friend with dementia. He is nowhere at the stage of the last few posts here, but definitely headed that way. It is all about him what he3 might eat or buy or do or read etc. Nothing ever happens unless he "gets his head around it." which means of course that banking is now beyond him,that family tales are of no interest and so on.. He will listen but at first opportunity he starts on something about him, usually with no reference to anything else.

I have known him for many yeaars, have seen what he did in career and in side paths. His main concern now is if he has enough packs of TimTams to supply what he wants.

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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TimTams (Google tells me) being a variety of chocolate biscuits, similar to what we call KitKats over here?

My father, toward the end, was concerned about little else other than did he have enough Depends (disposable undies) to last him out the day.

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"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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More like Penguins, if you have those. Two oblong biscuits, sandwiched together with a cream, and covered with chocolate. Apparently, if you bite off two diagonally opposite corners, you can suck up your tea or coffee through the biscuit as if through a straw. I never succeeded.
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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
More like Penguins, if you have those. Two oblong biscuits, sandwiched together with a cream, and covered with chocolate. Apparently, if you bite off two diagonally opposite corners, you can suck up your tea or coffee through the biscuit as if through a straw. I never succeeded.

Weren't there pictures at one time of this activity at a Shipmeet?

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
I see this in my friend with dementia...He will listen but at first opportunity he starts on something about him, usually with no reference to anything else.
Gosh, it's going to be hard to know if a certain, older, close relative of mine is going downhill with dementia [Smile]

On the subject of incontinence products - in mid-middle age I already note my dodgy memory changes the way I get through the day. I can imagine that not being able to remember whether I have enough nappies being a really pressing concern, up to the merciful release point of not being able to remember (and hopefully, not to care) that I need to wear them.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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Lots of flavours in TimTams. Info here. They are far too sweet for me and if I am going to eat chocolate, I have the superdark ones.

Many different flavours of cream inside and various types of chocolate, including I see, white stuff.

Friend has been known to admit to lunching on TimTams with a follow up for afternoon tea. Then a cheap frozen meal overheated in microwave for dinner. I know he used to be a good cook, but no longer.

He buys food, fills fridge with it and forgets all about it. However a woman from Benevolent Society comes in once a week for cleaning etc and she now checks contents of fridge.

A year ago when group of us saw the path he was heading down, his fridge was checked. There were eggs with a useby date of a year previously. Nothing left inside them..Multiple packs of partly used scripts from doctor etc.

[ 14. July 2017, 23:20: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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This isn't the thread I recalled, but a reference to it: Remembering Miss_Molly...a Decade in Heaven

[Votive]

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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Mrs. S. - the Dowager not being interested in photographs rings a bell with me; when my sister and I visited Dad a few weeks ago, she took an old* family photograph album in to see if it would pique his interest, but with the few words he could manage at a stretch, he was able to convey that it really didn't.

* very old - it was before my time, and I'm 55. [Eek!]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Young thing, [Roll Eyes]

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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The Intrepid Mrs S
Shipmate
# 17002

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Thank you all - I feel better about that now, after all it was still a nice idea.

However, she really threw me yesterday afternoon - when I called her, she was watching Wimbledon 'I don't know why I'm watching this, but you've got to watch something'. She left the telly on, which is unusual, and difficult, given how deaf she is.

'I didn't feel like playing tennis today, so I had to get someone else to do my stint on court'

[Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]

Mrs. S, seriously concerned

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
Shipmate
# 12271

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Has anyone done any research into the early stages of dementia and personality? This is assuming that both my mother and mother-in-law are in the early stages, they are certainly not the same women they were a few years ago.
My mum has never has had a sense of direction was always pretty clueless about practical things and it was always tricky to get her to stop talking so you can get a word in. All these traits now seem exaggerated. My mother-inlaw always told fantastic stories. I remember her once talking about a visit to a friend with an old house. It seemed at first to be just about the architecture, then suddenly she mentioned someone walking through a wall and it turned into a full blown ghost story about doors that were no longer there. She now tells strange stories such as being woken up on election night by people yelling 'Jeremy Corbyn' outside. She lives in a semi-rural location, has a large front garden and is very deaf. I can't imagine her neighbours gathering together to do that on her property, and I don't think she'd hear them if she did. On the plus side she did rememebr to use her alarm when she had her latest fall, but her claim that as well as her son answering it (as he usually does) an elderly woman she doesn't know also appeared seems a bit odd.
Mrs S, that does sound a bit worrying of the Dowager.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Jane R
Shipmate
# 331

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Haven't time this morning to look up research, but here is the page from the NHS website about dementia symptoms. The Alzheimer's Society website has a section on research and a lot of other useful information.

There are several different types of dementia; Alzheimer's is just the most well-known. My mother-in-law has vascular dementia.

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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Mrs S, has she ever made that sort of remark as a joke?
I don't want to diminish the range of problems you are meeting, but that tennis comment has joke structure.

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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And Jane, thanks for the links. The NHS one is suggestive of vascular and fronto-temporal versions in a few symptoms D shows. Difficulties with planning in particular. Long ago, aged 10, she had a head injury in the frontal lobe area and it is still visible in skull shape.
But, positively, she repeatedly passed the dementia test administered by her doctor and in hospital. (The one with knowing the prime minister and remembering the address 42 West Street.) The only question she missed, in hospital, was the year, and with that she had gone back to the last admission she had. And she wasn't very alert at the time because of her infection.

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Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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quote:
Mrs S, has she ever made that sort of remark as a joke?
I don't want to diminish the range of problems you are meeting, but that tennis comment has joke structure.

That was my reaction- a joke? And not a bad one.

[ 15. July 2017, 10:15: Message edited by: Lyda*Rose ]

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Mrs S, has she ever made that sort of remark as a joke?
I don't want to diminish the range of problems you are meeting, but that tennis comment has joke structure.

And thinking on from that idea, maybe jokes use a different part of the brain, like swearing, and can be a way of getting round the problems of normal speech and thinking.
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Nenya
Shipmate
# 16427

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
quote:
Mrs S, has she ever made that sort of remark as a joke?
I don't want to diminish the range of problems you are meeting, but that tennis comment has joke structure.

That was my reaction- a joke? And not a bad one.
Mine too - would it be a typical example of her humour?

In my limited experience the forgetfulness/dementia doesn't always follow the proscribed pattern of good recall of events long past but inability to remember the more recent. My mum at the end of her life never forgot that my brother had predeceased her by months but several times asked after my father, who had been dead for over 20 years.

My heartfelt sympathies to all here for everything you're dealing with.

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They told me I was delusional. I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
Shipmate
# 17002

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Well, maybe, but it just reminded me very much of an earlier incident in which she told me that she'd had to go to town one day to get her bus pass renewed (she can hardly get to the bus stop, let alone any further, and hasn't used her bus pass for at least a year).

What had really happened was that she'd been taken by the carer to the doctor's, for a blood test [Confused]

I knew that, so I was able to translate the words into the actual happening, but in this case I was concerned that she might be telling me about something she had actually had to do, or rearrange, but that I was not aware of IYSWIM.

Thanks for the links, too - she was diagnosed a year ago, provisionally, with both Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, the latter exacerbated by the fall where she broke her wrist(s) and hit her head. I suppose none of it is important while she stays at home in her 'normality', but if we are ever to get a holiday I need to find respite care that will take her, and for that I really need to know how bad she is [Ultra confused]

Mrs. S, afraid to ask [Eek!]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Jane R
Shipmate
# 331

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Some care homes will do respite care. Check out the ones near you, and look for a place with experience of dealing with people with dementia. Could you sell it to her as a holiday (or at least a change) for her, as well? Or (exercising cunning here) is there any work needed on her house that would be easier to do if she moved out for a week or so? Perhaps, if she got used to going somewhere for short visits, permanently moving into a care home wouldn't seem so daunting.

The place my mother-in-law is in is very good - apart from the small detail of everyone there having dementia, it's like a really nice hotel, with social activities laid on as well if you want them. We agonised for years about putting her in there (because before her dementia got really bad she was dead against it) but she settled down immediately and she seems happier than she has been for a long time. YMMV, of course.

Posts: 3958 | From: Jorvik | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jane R
Shipmate
# 331

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BTW the care home wasn't able to do a proper assessment of Mother before she moved in - they talked to her (previous) carer over the phone. They need to know things like:

How mobile is she - does she need help to walk, sit up/down, go to the loo, have a bath, etc.?

What medication is she on?

Is she allergic to anything?

Is she violent? (some people with dementia are)

Can she feed herself?

They can cope with randomness; they don't need to know whether she can remember the name of the Prime Minister. I didn't realise until I filled in the care home questionnaires how much Mother could still do for herself...

Posts: 3958 | From: Jorvik | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by Sarasa:
suddenly she mentioned someone walking through a wall and it turned into a full blown ghost story about doors that were no longer there. She now tells strange stories such as being woken up on election night by people yelling 'Jeremy Corbyn' outside.

Hallucinations may be an early sign of Lewey body dementia, which is what my mother had. A neighbor also.

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"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

Posts: 10542 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Intrepid Mrs S
Shipmate
# 17002

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Jane, in principle she's okay with having a 'holiday' herself - it's more a question of finding a suitable home for her. She would hate to be somewhere where everyone else has dementia!

The Dowager is, to all appearances, quite competent and can dress herself, use the loo, get a microwave meal, make a sandwich. It's just that away from her own home, where she's lived for upwards of 50 years, she becomes very anxious indeed and I fear she may wander, get into the wrong room, etc etc (she put her nightie on Mr S's bed last time she was here, giving him conniptions [Killing me] )

Returning to her 'stint on court', I agree it has a jokey flavour to it - but it isn't the sort of thing she's likely to come out with, so either way it's a concern [Roll Eyes]

But it reminded me of a true story - a friend L visited an old lady, P, bedbound, with dementia.

L, finds P reading the print on a biscuit packet: Oh, do you enjoy reading, P?
P: Yes, but I've read all the books in here.
L: If you tell me your favourite authors, I could bring you books. Do you like Agatha Christie?
P: Does she write novels too, or is it just biscuits?

...and we never could find out if it was a joke or a serious question!

Mrs. S, still chuckling

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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I think anything that is different to routine is very difficult for older people. certainly my mother is usually much better in her own environment. I went to look at another care home this week. It was very pleasant but all the residents looked about ten to twenty eyars older than mum. As she is eighty-nine that is unlikely, but it made me realise how well she is doing. Mum certainly doesn't need that level of care yet, but I do wish she'd accept having a bit of help about the home.
Thanks for the links Jane R. Looking at those makes me realise that both my mother and mother-in-law have some cognative impairment. I think my mother-in-law is rapidly getting to the stage where it is unsafe for her to live alone, even with people dropping in several times a day.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Jane R
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Intrepid Mrs S:
quote:
Jane, in principle she's okay with having a 'holiday' herself - it's more a question of finding a suitable home for her. She would hate to be somewhere where everyone else has dementia!
She might not need to be in a specialist unit - the place my mother-in-law's in did consider putting her in the "ordinary" unit (until they talked to her previous carer). Could you get a shortlist of places and then get her to choose between them, or is that not feasible?
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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Well, I had it all arranged to take her (on Monday) to visit two local care homes set up for dementia care, just for respite to start with.

However, she's been increasingly daffy (to put it politely) all week (though yesterday she seemed more compos mentis ) culminating in 2 missed calls and 2 voicemails on my mobile before I lifted my head off the pillow at 6.30 (my phone is on silent at night).

'I'm up and dressed and now I don't know what to do. I think you should come and see me straight away'

'Don't you look at a clock, Mum?'

'I can't see it'

'But you can see the one in the kitchen?'

'Yes dear, but then it goes right out of my head'

[Confused]

She hadn't had breakfast or even a cup of tea! I did wonder if she had a UTI, so I'll have to call the GP surgery and see if they can help her out.

Anyway, an hour and a half later she had had a cup of tea (still no breakfast!) and the carer hadn't seemed perturbed, but then she wasn't Mum's usual lady so couldn't measure her daffiness quotient accurately.

Sorry about this - just need to spread the anxiety around a bit!

Mrs. S, breakfasting on fingernails

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Sorry for the double post, but I wanted you-all to know that the people at the GP surgery were terrific and her favourite doctor is making a home visit this afternoon!

[Overused]

Mrs. S, much relieved

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Jane R
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Great news.

Hope she takes a liking to one of the care homes you're visiting on Monday.

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Penny S
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So glad to hear you are relieved. And have the doctor engaged.

And deeply envious.

Yesterday she had been complaining that I didn't want her to use the kettle. (I had explained I would like it to only be filled up to the one cup mark. I was worried about the electricity, but also about the weak wrist and a heavy load of boiling water.) I had also, apparently, objected to her using so many teabags. Not true.

So I went out and bought a hot water dispenser and fitted it up and demonstrated it, and provided a whole tin full of teabags, and we discussed using it for cup soup and instant porage, and then she declared she would not go near it and was afraid it would fuse and gas was much better.

She has shown a bit more interest today.

But well done, Mrs S. I'm so glad for you.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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So the doctor called me straight after the visit, and she had done just what I knew she would. With her favourite doctor to talk to, she was in excellent form and they had a lovely chat and he is convinced that once the antibiotics kick in all will be well [Mad]

All these people tell me how well she is doing, but it is not they who get the phone calls at 5.30 am (to be fair, I don't get them either, but only because the phone is on silent) saying 'I don't know what to do!' [Mad]

The doctor says 'of course, she's very lonely' and I'm saying 'but people phone her and invite her to do things and she refuses' which rather shut him up [Mad]

Then he said 'but she has made a very sensible suggestion, that perhaps she goes into respite care...' to which I was able to reply 'I've arranged for her to visit two homes on Monday'.

'Oh - so it wasn't her idea originally then?' [Mad]

Anyway, I've ordered her a clock to tell her when it's time to get up, and what day it is; and we'll see how Monday goes. but OH MY LIFE!

Penny S - you must be a saint. I wouldn't do what you are doing for my own mother, let alone anyone else's [Overused]

Mrs. S, all at sea

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Huia
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I bought a clock that tells the day, date a.m or p.m and the time, on my brother's behalf when he was living alone, with carers coming in.

It only helped to a limited extent, because if he disagreed with the time reading he just decided it was broken.

(no use getting a 24hour clock, because he never quite got the hang of it, even before any dementia set in).

I hope the visits go well Mrs S, and that the Dowager finds a place where she can be happy, and that suits everyone.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Piglet
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quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
... no use getting a 24hour clock, because he never quite got the hang of it ...

I can understand that. [Big Grin]

I always have to do a double-take when I get airline tickets or whatever in the 24-hour clock, and as far as I know I haven't reached the dementia stage - yet. [Eek!]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Ferijen
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Mrs S - I've hesitated on whether its worth sharing this, but there are similarities and I though it might be helpful. My Grandmother In Law was in a similar position to your Mum about 11 years ago (she died last Christmas). She lived by herself, looked 'independent' to many observers ('oh look, her fridge is full' - but full of e.g. margarine tubs with mouldy food in it), but rang my mother in law (her only child) constantly during the day, very confused, etc. MIL visited (four hour round trip) as much as she could (she was still working full time at that time) and made herself sick with worry.

She was moved into residential care as a 'holiday' when PILs went on holiday and MIL couldn't go in an emergency. PILs hadn't made it to the ferry before Mr Ferijen got a phone call (as contact in the country) saying 'oh, she's worse than we thought, we can't cope with this, can you come and pick her up'. (She was seven hours away, so that was a no...).

It wasn't a nice way for it to happen, but finally it allowed 'neutral' people to see the extent of the problem. I've forgotten (probably wasn't told) all of the details of what happened next, but she never went back to her own home again which whilst there was short term pain, I'm sure kept her alive and safe for many more years than she would have been otherwise.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Thank you, Ferijen - I can just imagine exactly that happening.

I had a conversation with her yesterday morning where she told me she didn't feel safe living alone; when we went through all the possibilities (more care visits, a companion, moving into care) she rejected the first two out of hand, and said she didn't think she'd be happy in a care home.

I had to say to her that perhaps she had to give up on the idea of being ecstatic about living anywhere, and settle for feeling safe and looked-after.

Thank you all - I will let you know how Monday goes!

Mrs. S, working up to making the first phone call

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Penny S
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Not saintly, just stuck with TINA. And the new normal.

The engagement of tradespeople is glacially slow.

But she has used the dispenser. Also said to her son that she thinks I bought it because he told me what she had said about my attitude to the kettle and teabags, with an implication of blame there. He's not supposed to pass things on like that!

We are having regular, alternate day, visits from the District Nurse team, to whom she talks about things like her home. I have made sure they have seen the sort of thing she has collected there, in my garage, and at least one has worked with hoarders, and understands that what she says is not entirely consistent with reality.

With regard to care homes, D got round to agreeing when the team at the hospital changed the name to convalescent from care, and our rector agreed that this was key. That, or respite, do not have the mental echoes that care does. We did not find recent reports helped at all to reduce the fear which seems like that my grandparents had of going into the buildings once occupied by the workhouses. Unfortunately, the team's researches did not find places once the agreement had been made. Grr.

I am beginning to understand why the Saxon saint Cuthman spent his time pushing his mother round Sussex in a wheelbarrow.

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Penny S
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I felt moved to contribute this.

And Cuthman heard the teachings of the monks and found himself called to preach the good news to the benighted people of Sussex (and they were very benighted, being in the grip of Woden and Thunor and even older deities than that), but without any guidance from the Lord as to what he should do with his mother, an elderly lady, bedbound, and unable to care for herself.

So he went to the village social workers and said, "Will you look after my mother for me while I go and preach the good news of Christ to the people of the land who languish under thralldom to the false gods of the Germanic tradition, and even those of the Welsh who came before them?"

And the village social workers said, "Who do you think we are? We are but a figment of your imagination, as probably is the feeling you are called to call people away from the ancient gods. This is Dark Ages, man, and no such thing as social care has been imagined by anyone but you, nor will it be for millenia, if then, and if it is, the powers that be will strike it down. You are responsible, you alone, for your mother, so do your duty and forget about bringing the people of Sussex into the light of the Gospel."

But Cuthman would not be turned from his vocation, so he made himself a wheelbarrow, loaded his mother into it, and plodded across Sussex from hurst to denn, and ham to lye, and preached the word of God to all who would listen.

And they did, for they said among themselves, "He takes great care of his mother, though he is only weak, and his teaching must be powerful if it leads him to do so when she is such a complaining mother. We would have left her behind ages back."

And some of them converted, and some of them gave him food, so he could travel more easily to the next farmstead.

Alternative history, in which those who did not help him were punished by God

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Today, after giving me heart failure on Friday, she has no idea what all the fuss was about [Mad] and doesn't think she wants to look at the care homes we have appointments with tomorrow [Mad]

Me: I don't care, it's taken me weeks to set this up, we're going [Mad]

If I were St. Cuthman that wheelbarrow would have gone over Beachy Head by now [Roll Eyes]

Mrs. S, fed up (can you tell?)

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Penny S
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Prayers for tomorrow. Oh dear, and fellow feeling.
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Sarasa
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Mrs S - Oh dear, I was going to post that your mother was being very sensible about going to look at the possiblilty of respite care. Mine would flatly refuse from the outset. I also totally sympathise about the phone calls. I've not had any (yet) that were as alarmng as the one you had, but many that go round and round in cirlces, and don't make total sense.
Hope it goes well tomorrow.
Penny S - I like your St Cuthman story.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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