Anyone have experience with dealing with a person who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's? My dad has it and I could use all the tips I can get.

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asked Aug 18, 2016 in Living by admin (21,700 points)

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37 Answers

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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Be very very patient. Get them to tell as many stories as you can remember. My grandmother would tell me the same story every morning. She lost her cigarettes every morning and eventually quit smoking on accident.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Yes, lots of patience is needed. You are right. Thanks for your response. :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Here is some very good advice: http://alzheimers.mercola.com/

God Bless
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Thanks for your response. :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Haven't had any experience with either of these conditions, BUT... spend some time on the internet, checking out support groups. These people are angels. Many sites have forums and mailing lists, links to local (realtime) meetings, up-to-date resource lists and plenty of moral support for family and care providers around the world.

You'll find everything from humor to inspiration, and all the ones I've seen for various conditions have been totally free. SO worthwhile... the internet does things like this very well.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Yes, another friend suggested me finding a support group and I have located one but haven't been to a meeting yet. I think that it will help me to cope with what is happening to my dad. Thanks so much for your response! :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
You're welcome-- I hope you find all the help and support you need. Even a simple mailing list can bring you in touch with people you need to know. Feeling isolated and alone can really take a toll.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Mom had it prior to passing very difficult to deal with at times - patience !
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Patience and good listening skills. Write down memories and stories and names of people from the past that might have been or will be lost or forgotten. Past memories are often clearer than recent ones, the mention of a name or place can unlock a whole piece of history you may not have been aware of.Try looking at old address books and mentioning the names in them, christmas cards and letters too.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Thank you so much for your response! My dad is now in a nursing home. All I can do now is see that he has excellent care, go to see him, talk to him several times per day on the phone if he is able. But, that doesn't seem to be enough. He can no longer remember how to change the tv channel and he can't read (he was an avid reader) because he can't retain what he has read and gets frustrated. Thank you so much for your well wishes and answer. :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Yes, patience and good listening skills are crucial. We do talk about the past and different people and things he can remember. It's just so hard to see him feeling like he is losing his mind. I cannot imagine how he feels. It must be frightening at times. He is now in a nursing home because I could no longer care for him. :( I go to see him often, we talk several times per day on the phone......I just feel so helpless that there is not much else I can do to make the quality of his life better. Thanks so much for your response. :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
thoughts and prayers
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
grandma
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
I'm sorry that your grandma had this too. It is so sad. :(
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Be very very patient. Get them to tell as many stories as you can remember. My grandmother would tell me the same story every morning. She lost her cigarettes every morning and eventually quit smoking on accident.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
My grandparents have it. Do little activities with him and take him out to lunch or a movie
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Yes, I do take my dad out for lunch as often as I can. He likes to get out since he is now in a nursing home. Thanks for your response. :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
You are welcome. With altzheimer's there are occasionally days that the memory is better than others. Have you considered maybe getting him some audio books? It might help him to have to listen and try to follow the storyline.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
It's tough, but patience is very important to remember. It's good that you have it diagnosed so you know what he and you are experiencing. It is hard when you see your parent getting like that - you think they are just getting forgetful and it makes you aggravated - or it did me - I didn't want to accept it. If you realize it becomes difficult preparing food that he will eat, or just getting him to eat becomes trying, try foods that can be held - don't require a utensil. Sorry, hate to have to say that, but hope it may help. God bless you and your family.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Yes, I have a relative with advanced dementia. There are no "real" conversations anymore. I just let them go mentally to where ever they want to go. It's very sad but I try to find humor in the conversation of the day, because if I don't laugh I'll cry. When re-telling the stories they really can be quite humorous. Try to find some positive in the situation and Gods know's it's hard. In the depth's of dementia if my relative laugh's or smile's I see that as a positive. You have to learn to appreciate even the smallest thing. Good Luck, I wish you well.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Thanks so much!!! Yes, I have already given him a book to write in and that is an awesome idea. He hasn't been interested in writing in it much. But, today when I see him .... I am going to remind him that I love to hear all about his childhood and past and would love it if he would write down some stories for me. My dad has a wonderful sense of humor so thank God that we can laugh at times! I think that writing down "funny" stories for myself is a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks so much for your response! It means a lot to me!! :) I love your avatar!!! :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Thank you so much!!! I think you have a valid point...If we don't find the humor, we will just cry.....I appreciate your response so much!! Thank you for your advice. I will take it!! :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
I'm glad I could be of help to you. Maybe some day will can exchange stories :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Please feel free to email me any stories. You were a huge help! :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Very difficult disease for the patient and those around him or her. My heart goes out to you.
About 8 years ago my mother contracted "Herpes Encephalitis" which is a viral infection in the brain. I won't bore you with the whole story except to say what followed was three years of constant care which my father, brothers, sisters-in-law, and myself provided. Here is what I learned. 1. No one can do it alone and there is no reason to. There are services out there you don't know exist. Visiting nurses, hospital equipment, beds, lifts, etc..., hospice, support groups, nursing homes, the list goes on. Find them and use them. We had some truly wonderful visiting nurses and aids who made the situation so much better than it might have been. Let professionals deal with the day to day as much as possible because that is what will wear you down. Concentrate on your loved one. 2. Everyone is different but generally speaking the patient is really only concerned with what is happening right now. Whether they think it's Christmas 1965 or February 19th is not as important as you being with them. I can remember laughing hysterically with my mother once over something that happened years before. So what if she thought is was yesterday; we were both having a good time at that moment. Ditto for ...
Very difficult disease for the patient and those around him or her. My heart goes out to you.
About 8 years ago my mother contracted "Herpes Encephalitis" which is a viral infection in the brain. I won't bore you with the whole story except to say what followed was three years of constant care which my father, brothers, sisters-in-law, and myself provided. Here is what I learned. 1. No one can do it alone and there is no reason to. There are services out there you don't know exist. Visiting nurses, hospital equipment, beds, lifts, etc..., hospice, support groups, nursing homes, the list goes on. Find them and use them. We had some truly wonderful visiting nurses and aids who made the situation so much better than it might have been. Let professionals deal with the day to day as much as possible because that is what will wear you down. Concentrate on your loved one. 2. Everyone is different but generally speaking the patient is really only concerned with what is happening right now. Whether they think it's Christmas 1965 or February 19th is not as important as you being with them. I can remember laughing hysterically with my mother once over something that happened years before. So what if she thought is was yesterday; we were both having a good time at that moment. Ditto for the times she was unhappy. If I would have comforted her because of something that happened in 1990 then I can do it in 2005. 3. No one is God. The truth is we can only do so much. Do not get bogged down in "if only I could...". It serves no purpose to waste energy on things you have no control over. The situation is what it is and it sucks enough already. 4. You need support. Talk to family, friends, find a support group, whatever. I found what wore me down was not the crisis but the day to day stuff that followed. I had several friends who simply listened to me sometimes and that was a real relief. Sometimes you will be sad at the whole situation, sometimes you will get angry or frustrated with the patient, and you have to vent or you'll go nuts. Feel free to shoot me a message if I'm on the site and you can vent to me anytime.
By the way we were very lucky with my mother. She has actually recovered much better than any of the doctors ever thought she would. There is a large portion of her memory she never got back but to someone who didn't know about her illness she would appear to be fit and healthy.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Thank you so very much for sharing your story with me....and for taking the time to respond. You bring up so many great points. My dad is now in the nursing home and is getting good care but I still feel so helpless because all I can do is go to see him and talk to him on the phone when he's up to it. I believe you are right about all the points you covered and I will take each one of them and use them ....so thank YOU! You are so right, I do need some support. I am an only child so it is just me. I think I do need to find a good support system. I have some friends that listen but cannot fully understand what my dad is going through and what I feel. Thank you for reminding me that I can only do so much! The nurses have told me the same thing. I truly appreciate your response! Thank you SO MUCH!!!
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Treasure, so sorry. I know how difficult it is to deal with. On the weekends, I'm a pediatric intensive care nurse and during the week, I work in an internal medicine practice and most of my patients are elderly. The doctor I work for is the head of pallative care at the hospital. Children will come in with their parents and the children look like they are at their wits end. You have done the best thing that you could do by getting him into a home where he can be watched. I think for the most part, you just have to roll with the punches. Things he is doing now that are extremely frustrating for you will be funny later on.

My grandma could be sitting in her living room watching TV with her husband Jack and look over at him and not know who he was. She would get up, go to the kitchen and call 9-1-1 to report an "intruder". Next thing you know, cops would be beating down the door to help this poor, little old lady and Jack would be saying "did you call the cops on me again?" Of course by then, grandma's memory would be back and she would know who he was but not remember making the call.

Perhaps you can journal "funny" stories or things that he says in a notebook for yourself for later on. I have often thought of doing that and giving them to someone in an Alzheime...
Treasure, so sorry. I know how difficult it is to deal with. On the weekends, I'm a pediatric intensive care nurse and during the week, I work in an internal medicine practice and most of my patients are elderly. The doctor I work for is the head of pallative care at the hospital. Children will come in with their parents and the children look like they are at their wits end. You have done the best thing that you could do by getting him into a home where he can be watched. I think for the most part, you just have to roll with the punches. Things he is doing now that are extremely frustrating for you will be funny later on.

My grandma could be sitting in her living room watching TV with her husband Jack and look over at him and not know who he was. She would get up, go to the kitchen and call 9-1-1 to report an "intruder". Next thing you know, cops would be beating down the door to help this poor, little old lady and Jack would be saying "did you call the cops on me again?" Of course by then, grandma's memory would be back and she would know who he was but not remember making the call.

Perhaps you can journal "funny" stories or things that he says in a notebook for yourself for later on. I have often thought of doing that and giving them to someone in an Alzheimer foundation to use in a book or pamphlet, but then thought it would be wrong of me to do as I'm not family to the patients and these are "their" stories, not mine. Patients with Alzheimer's as you know have a very sharp memory of the past. Maybe you should buy him a book to write down stories of his youth and what life was like when he was a young man....stories that he remembers his parents or grandparents telling him. I think Hallmark has such books. Once he's gone, those stories will be gone and I think that giving him something to reflect on would be both helpful and healing to the both of you and give him something to do to pass the time and might help him not to focus on himself "losing it''. Hang in there!
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
God Bless you, Iam taking care of my mom she has demensha. I would sugguest for their safety to lock up all household cleaners, keep them on a routine it makes it easier for them to function, such as meals, and meds. I had to take the knobs off the gas stove because my mom would turn them on and forget. Make sure their enviroment is a safe place. I also made sure that my mom has accessiable snacks in a basket on her kitchen counter top, that don't have to be refrigrated, so when she is hungry she can find them. Show them family pictures and talk with them, include them. Make sure their clothing is easy for them to put on and is organized, so its easey for them to access. If they become aggravated do not argue, a soft touch and a calm voice will calm them down. It is also important to see that their needs are met and let them feel useful, let them do task that they can do with your supervision. Change of enviroment can upset them such as hospital or doctor visit make sure doctors or any care givers know their condition. Tip always make sure that they have help if needed to dress look presentable when they have to go out, it makes them feel cared for and loved and puts them at ease. Also secure all medicines, and pay attention to changes, it will give you a heads up on what the...
God Bless you, Iam taking care of my mom she has demensha. I would sugguest for their safety to lock up all household cleaners, keep them on a routine it makes it easier for them to function, such as meals, and meds. I had to take the knobs off the gas stove because my mom would turn them on and forget. Make sure their enviroment is a safe place. I also made sure that my mom has accessiable snacks in a basket on her kitchen counter top, that don't have to be refrigrated, so when she is hungry she can find them. Show them family pictures and talk with them, include them. Make sure their clothing is easy for them to put on and is organized, so its easey for them to access. If they become aggravated do not argue, a soft touch and a calm voice will calm them down. It is also important to see that their needs are met and let them feel useful, let them do task that they can do with your supervision. Change of enviroment can upset them such as hospital or doctor visit make sure doctors or any care givers know their condition. Tip always make sure that they have help if needed to dress look presentable when they have to go out, it makes them feel cared for and loved and puts them at ease. Also secure all medicines, and pay attention to changes, it will give you a heads up on what they get into. I have found organization is your best friend, I put bath items in plastic totes in the closet, you can pull them out everything you need is right there, you don't have to look through shelves of bottles, make totes up for medcine and a pill box labeled with the days of the week, make up, hair care, house hold cleaners. To keep my mom safe I had to put locks on closet doors with a key to secure things that she could get hurt with. So as long as you see that their needs are met, you will not have to play 52 card pick up. You can buy totes at the General Dollar store, or Dollar Tree, or Everthing Is A Dollar, and also labeled med containers. Changes have to be made depending on what they get into. I have found pocket folders with clips are a life saver, for Bills, medical records, household records, get an organized system that is easy so if you and anyone that helps you such as a family member, they will know where everything is and keep lines of communication open so if you have any help they will understand whats going on and what medicine they need, bath, meals, moods and how to calm them down they do have bad days. The problem is they forget how to do a task, the process of tasks, so if you have a routine like you did with small children it will train them how to do task. Also many will forget to eat or drink thats why scheuled meal times are important, also some have a hard time chewing food, so cut up their food, or give them food that is easey to chew. My mom needs more personal care now, so my sister and I had to organize the house to be safe and then we can spend more time taking care of her than cleaning, if you get the house organized, its just a matter of mopping and dusting,and vacuming while the dishes are being run in the dish washer and the clothes are being run in the washer and dryer. LOL Have a sense of hummor it helps. One day mom put the dishes and the clothes in the washer machine, imagine that, she washed everything and the dishes didn't break. LOL But after that we had to put a lock on the door to the utility room so she wouldn't tear up the washer and dryer, so we do the laundry now. I have to retrive her clothes out of the trash can she mistakes it for a clothers hamper, lol So we always look in the trash before we throw anything away. Blessings to you its hard at times but all you can do is love them.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
I have recently contacted a support group. That is a good idea, thank you. He is now in a nursing home. I feel like I have already lost my dad. Once in awhile, I get a glimpse of him but most of the time...he is lost. So sad and such a helpless feeling. I want to help him in some way but all I can do is make sure he's getting the best care possible, go to see him, talk to him several times per day on the phone if he feels like it....and love him. Thanks so much for responding. :)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Thank you so much for your tips and advice. I took care of my dad for awhile but now he is in a nursing home. :( It just kills me that he doesn't know how to change channels on the tv or do some simple tasks. He has been robbed of so much. He can't focus on reading (and can't see well) and he used to be an avid reader so he can't get any enjoyment from that anymore. I just wish I knew what I could do to help him pass the time. He wants to help but since he's in a nursing home now there is nothing that he can really do to help. It's so sad. Blessings to you for answering this poll. I truly appreciate it. I go to see him often (I don't live in the same town) and talk on the phone with him several times per day. I love him to pieces. It is just so hard to see what this disease takes from them. So sad....
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
I understand and in time, I will be facing the nursing home decission, and I don't want to go there period, my mom is at a different stage of the disease, but she has faced cancer, hypertension, and had to have have a cornea transplant to keep from going blind. My God what people have to endure as they age. My mom has real bad back injuries, from falling and one more fall she could become paralized. Yes it is hard, to watch what happens to people and they have to endue so much just to live. I guess all you can do is make them as comfortable as you can and love them.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
I am sorry, it is a difficult thing to deal with. A doctor exclaimed to me that the family suffers greatly but that patient is fine, they do not know what they forget. His words: "They do not know what they lose and that is God's way of making this easier for them to bear." When my mother was diagnosed, I was so stressed and it became easier when I just let her be - gave her the medicines recommended, made sure she was safe and well cared for even when I was not there, and spent time with her as she vanished into her own world. It is sad, and hard; my thoughts are with you.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Thanks so much for your reply! It is so difficult to see my dad not even be able to change the channel on the tv. He gets antsy and wants something to do because he is in fair shape physically but since he is now in a nursing home....it is more difficult to find him something to keep him busy that he can do. He would love to do dishes....he used to help my mom a lot around the house. This is a horrible disease! He has even said to me that he thinks he is losing his mind. :( I cannot imagine what he must feel like. I just go to see him, talk to him several times per day on the phone and love him so much.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
My mother had dementia from about six months before her death. She would get lost going to her bedroom, forgot who I was, couldn't tell morning from evening, got lost outside and in Walmart, put her clothes on backward and took other people's pills. I was comtemplating putting alarms on the outside doors when she had a stroke and died. It was similiar to taking care of a two year old, except instead of getting better and smarter as time went by, she regressed.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
I can relate to you. My mom had dementia and died of heart failure. My dad has Alzheimers and is in a nursing home now. He is just lost. And, it kills me to see him this way. I can't imagine what he must feel like. He has said that he feels he is losing his mind because he can't remember if he just ate, or what he ate or what he just said. Dementia and Alzheimers are terrible! Thanks for your reply. ;)
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
Talk to his doctor and get a list of the many resources that may be able to help you. There are support groups who can be so helpful. Does his insurance provide for outside help in the home? Perhaps he is not to that point yet, but at some point he probably will be. Arm yourself with as much information as possible. Try to remember that the man you once knew is slowly becoming someone else you don't know and don't want to know. Those feelings are only natural.
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answered Aug 18, 2016 by Anonymous (2,291,900 points)
No problem :)
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