Dementia is Slowly Erasing My Mom’s Memory

Dementia is Slowly Erasing My Mom’s Memory

My mom and I have always been close.  My brother has said numerous times that we are so much like sisters. When the diagnosis of dementia hit I knew nothing about what that would mean for us. I have good days and I have bad days. Today was so tough.

Dementia will never be able to Keep us Apart

My mom is strong so I know she will beat this! That was my mindset a year ago. I thought all that was needed was medication and all would be fine. I was in denial. At the end of today, I feel like I have been run over by a truck. Her emotions were all over the place. She complained about everything and I could not make her happy.

Dementia is Erasing her Memory Piece by Piece

I thought I could make her snap out of her confusion.  She would cry and I would tell her she had absolutely nothing to worry about. It took a while to realize that she was crying because she knew her brain was dying.  She knew it way before I did. I felt there was no way this could happen to her as she had been through so much when my dad became a quadriplegic in 2008. It is not fair that this is happening to her.  We had so many more things to do together!

PIN IT! Mom and I at the Beach

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You have to learn to live in their Reality

One day I was watching a Youtube video on Dementia. When I heard this sentence “You have to learn to live in their reality as they can no longer live in yours” sunk in. She could no longer help her crying, confusion or depression.  It is not her fault. Her brain is dying.

 

 

My mom and Pippa

PIN IT! This is my mom and Pippa. She is the great-grandmother

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How do I talk to someone with Dementia?

I can no longer disagree with her logic. She can no longer understand when I tell her not to worry or cry. When I leave for work each morning she cries.  She has done it for several months. It is so difficult. I feel guilty and sad about it. Recently we went to Memory Care. The doctor there spoke to me about the crying and my guilt. She told me not to tell her goodbye in the mornings. I have not been able to do that yet. In my mind, I keep thinking this might be our last day together.

I Hate Dementia

I hate dementia because I want my mom back! She is my best friend and biggest cheerleader. It is difficult to watch the progression of this disease. Hearing the same questions over and over is so hard. It might be impossible but I still pray that I will get her back. I need her so much and I know that sounds selfish.

 

 

PIN IT!What can I do to Help someone Struggling with Dementia

I pray often that my words will be sweet and that I will be able to calm her fears. In the last few weeks, I have tried my very best to hold her hand when she cries and let her know I hear her. She texts me throughout the day with questions like “what am I suppose to be doing” or “where are you?” or “come home!” She tells me she wants to go home even though she is the house she has lived in since the 1970s. She is always hungry.  Forgetting she eats she tells me she has not eaten all day.

Family is Everything

What I have learned in the last year is family is everything! My brother is my mom’s other favorite person. She wants either him or me to do everything. That is understandable! My husband was laid off nine months ago. He has been such a huge help. He stays with her while my brother and I work. There are many days when she is not sure who he is. He does the very best he can to calm her. It takes more than me, my brother or my husband. I am lucky to have a wonderful sister-in-law, a son and daughter-in-law, and nieces, nephews as well as great-nieces.

PIN IT!Brick by Brick

It is easy to be overwhelmed by it all. I try my best to approach dementia with the brick by brick method or day by day. When you look way down the road it looks scary and sad. If I can help anyone going through the same journey please reach out. It is not easy and I regret not knowing anything about dementia until the diagnosis hit my family. Learn all you can and remember the person they used to be as often as you can! If you feel like crying then go cry and come back stronger!

 

Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey: A Guide for Families and Caregivers, Fifth Edition, Revised and Expanded

The beloved best seller has been revised and expanded for the fifth edition. Jolene Brackey has a vision: that we will soon look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer's disease to focus more of our energies on creating moments of joy. When people have short-term memory loss, their lives are made up of moments. We are not able to create perfectly wonderful days for people with dementia or Alzheimer's, but we can create perfectly wonderful moments, moments that put a smile on their faces and a twinkle in their eyes. Five minutes later, they will not remember what we did or said, but the feeling that we left them with will linger. The new edition of Creating Moments of Joy is filled with more practical advice sprinkled with hope, encouragement, new stories, and generous helpings of humor. In this volume, Brackey reveals that our greatest teacher is having cared for and loved someone with Alzheimer's and that often what we have most to learn about is ourselves.

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Dementia Caregiver Guide Paperback – November 1, 2018

This simple, easy to read, 100 page guidebook helps family members, friends, and caregivers to better understand the changes that come with advancing dementia or other impairments in thinking, reasoning or processing information. It also reinforces the impact of Teepa Snow's guidance and person-centered care interventions including the GEMS and Positive Approach to Care techniques. The goal is to provide better support and care practices when someone is living with an ever-changing condition. By appreciating what has changed but leveraging what is still possible, care partners can choose interactions that are more positive, communication that is more productive, and care that is more effective and less challenging for all involved.

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