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Sun, Jan 5 9:48pm · Early Onset Alzheimer's: Driving and staying home alone in Caregivers: Dementia

In our case, I requested that my mom's neurologist send a doctor's request to the DMV to have a behind-the-wheel evaluation. Mom received an official DMV notice in the mail and she asked if I could help her get to the special facility where the test was to take place. Because I felt sure that she should not continue to drive, I told her that she would have to take care of the details herself and that I was unable to help her. She was upset but she attempted to get there herself. She got lost on her way there and missed the appointment. All other appointments were overlooked and her licensed expired. At that point, thankfully, she was fairly compliant about losing her freedom to drive and we didn't have wars about her driving. Because we lived together she didn't seem to mind me driving her if we needed to go somewhere.

I understand that others have a much more difficult time relinquishing their freedom, but in this case, I think it helped may have helped my mom to know that "officials" (in this case, doctors or the DMV) were the ones who helped confront the issue of driving.

Dec 30, 2019 · Tips for transition to incontinence? in Caregivers: Dementia

I'm hoping to receive tips on how to deal with the process of minimizing messes and the toileting challenges while I care for my mom.

She still tries to get to the bathroom but forgets where it is. She stares at the toilet and doesn't know what to do. During the day she is able to tell me that she needs to use the toilet and I help her with the entire process of getting there and I clean her up afterward.

My main concern / question is about her toileting at night time. She still gets up and walks herself to the toilet and manages to get back to bed (but can't cover herself with the covers so she curls up in a ball hoping to get warm.) Sometimes I wake up and cover her up. I know it's quickly approaching the time when she's unable to find the bathroom at night.

How do I help someone who doesn't understand what Depends underwear are for (they feel wrong to her and she doesn't want to urinate in them) or she would never understand how to use a bedside commode at night by herself…

All this to say, how do you suggest I transition all of us to when using the toilet is no longer possible? Especially at night…

Oct 31, 2019 · Ideas for Dinner / Evening / Bedtime Schedule Challenges? in Caregivers: Dementia

Hi Colleen. Wiping the counters might keep mom occupied for a few minutes. And folding napkins another minute or two…

I perceive that mom does not enjoy most tasks partly because of her not remembering how to do them (i.e. how to sweep, set the table, etc.) and also because she seems to have a strong drive to "do it right" and gives up because it isn't the way she thinks it should be (i.e. pulling up the blankets on her bed, folding a towel, matching socks, putting away clean utensils…)

I can't teach her how to remember a skill, and I can't talk her out of her needing to "do it right" and giving up.
As coloradogirl mentioned in the post above, "I'm coming to understanding that if anyone is going to change, it has to be me rather than her because she just doesn't have the capacity to change."

Oct 31, 2019 · Ideas for Dinner / Evening / Bedtime Schedule Challenges? in Caregivers: Dementia

I realize everyone's situation is unique, but I'd like to ask for suggestions on how to care for a loved one who often needs redirection and attention while also trying to manage dinner/evening/bedtime routines.
How can I best manage our time so I can prepare dinner and then have time to do dishes, and maybe some time to enjoy family life afterwards? Currently, I often start dinner prep anytime from 4:30-5:30pm and we eat together after my husband gets home from work around 6:30. The kitchen is cleaned up ~7:30pm. (Mom goes to bed around 9:30pm and rises around 7am.)
Also, my mom's attention span and cognitive abilities are like a 2 yr. old., and she needs constant supervision in order to complete any task. Thank you!

Oct 31, 2019 · Ideas for Dinner / Evening / Bedtime Schedule Challenges? in Caregivers: Dementia

Thank you coloradogirl. When thinking about your ideas, I must confess that I enjoy doing daily chores (including making dinner) without having to stop and redirect my mom, and I'm wondering if I subconsciously resist "reducing the amount of time" I'm occupied by these things? I do remember as a young mom being frustrated in a similar way, but at least when my kids were little their attention spans allowed them to play with a toy, or each other, for a certain length of time. If I did implement some of your time-saving ideas, it seems like I'd have even more time I'd have to keep my mom occupied in the evening. Thanks for your thoughts.
Maybe I'll start a new discussion thread asking for sample dinner/evening/bedtime schedules and how others manage its challenges while also caring for an easily distracted person with dementia…

Oct 31, 2019 · Ideas for Dinner / Evening / Bedtime Schedule Challenges? in Caregivers: Dementia

Thank you, Colleen. No my mom can't set the table. I haven't found tasks (and I've seen many great suggestions on this site!) that interest her (or she can focus on long enough to complete) for more than a minute or two.

I think I've come to the conclusion that my mom's developmental abilities are similar to a 2-3 yr. old and she can't do much without assistance. One positive is that her energy level isn't like a 2 yr. old so I'm not "running" after her all day, and she's often content to lie down on the couch (if she can see me.)

Oct 31, 2019 · Ideas for Dinner / Evening / Bedtime Schedule Challenges? in Caregivers: Dementia

Thank you, virginianaeve. I've tried giving her napkins to fold. Her interest lasts about 1-2 minutes.

Oct 30, 2019 · Ideas for Dinner / Evening / Bedtime Schedule Challenges? in Caregivers: Dementia

I’m challenged to keep my mom occupied during the hours while I make dinner and when she goes to bed (usually 4-5 hours.)
I need to focus on my tasks of cooking, clean-up and any evening chores and I don’t know how to keep my mom occupied.

TV might work for an hour or so. But most of the time she wanders and says, “What should I be doing?”, or, “I want to go home.”
I’m sure part of the problem is that I’m working in a different room…she’s anxious when she can’t see me.
Mom is not content to pull up a chair in the kitchen and watch me.
And she is completely unable to help in almost any way–her OCD and inability to carry out the steps of any task cause her to give up in frustration after about 30 seconds, and then she wanders away.

Thanks for your thoughts!