Mother was diagnosed with alzheimers a little over one year ago. She is 80 years old.
My brothers and sister along with myself noticed on our long distance phone calls that she was confused and unable to remember our phone numbers yet alone who she was talking to.
Our father called me and asked if i would consider taking mom because he was unable to give the attention and care she needed. My husband and i decided along with my family that i was the one best suited to take care of her. I do not work and all of our children have moved out, so i was the one.
My husband and i drove from Florida to Massachusetts in early September and lost the air conditioner in our car in 90 plus degree weather. Three days later we were seeing my parents for the first time in eight years. Wow, i was shocked at the distance look in her eyes ,and not realizing it was me. My mother only remembers me from the day i picked her up, not birth, not early childhood, not graduating High School, not getting married, not having her grand children. My mom, in her mind did not know me...that day i picked her up we met.
Needless to say, it's always of heart-wrenching to hear that someone is watching a family member with this. My friend's mother had it; and no doubt about it, it's awful and it's super, super, difficult to deal with. I hope you find people who know just what you're going through as support. Someone has probably already mentioned this (and maybe you just already know it anyway), but sometimes it can be a little helpful to make sure there are things like calendars, clocks, and other things (even if you have to talk about them to her) that can help someone feel a little more "grounded" in day-to-day life when some of the more "grounding" aspects of memory (and other things associated with the situation) can erode at that sense of "grounding".
My mother was just diagnosed with Alzheimers too, though she is not showing many of the signs yet. She has always been forgetful, just a little bit more now (forgetting keys, her purse, etc)
I have discovered a great new website to help me learn more about Alzheimers and other issues in elder care. It's called icarevillage.com and their tagline is Everything Eldercare.
I created a hub for them at
http://hubpages.com/hub/caring_for_alzh … d_dementia
But you can see the site directly at http://www.icarevillage.com and see many videos by experts in the health field.
My heart goes out to you. It is a tough situation. Build a support network - you must be healthy and take care of yourself to be able to care for her. Holly
My wife's father went through this, and my wife's mother had senility - it was very difficult to see them slip away from us - almost like a death.
My father-in-law thought he was a lot younger and went back to his days of working in a stock broker - he used to talk to me as if he was my mentor - rather than correct him, I just nodded and agreed.
One thing we noticed was that he was happy - even though he wasn't in the present - he was reliving a past memory (the long term memory doesn't suffer as much as the short term intially).
We also realize that it was the care giver who was hit hardest - while my father-in-law was sometimes confused he didn't really understand what was happening so it wasn't so bad on him...it was the people around him that were the ones who saw the change and felt the pain.
My advice is to find a support group - you'd be amazed how many people are going through the same and just being able to talk about to someone who understands the pain really helps.
Also take time for yourself - make sure you are healthy and happy...it may be a really difficult decision but there may be a time where it would be better to find a 'nursing home' for your mother - especially if you find yourself becoming ill....
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