Mom was diagnosed with Vascular dementia a few months ago. My brother and I took her in for the dementia test because we had noticed some forgetfulness. My sister-in-law had a father who died of Alzheimer’s in 2010 and she encouraged us that if mom was diagnosed early enough a prescribed medicine could prevent her from getting worse. The testing was hard to watch. Mom was asked question after question and then asked to draw a clock. My heart ached for her as she kept looking to me for guidance.
Donepezil is used to treat dementia due to mild, moderate and severe Alzheimer’s disease. It is not a cure but may help slow down how quickly the symptoms progress. The info on the drug states that the symptoms will progress over time even if you take donepezil. She began this treatment on July 5th. I do not see a change yet but we are only on day 12. She is doing well and has no side effects and there are many of those listed. She also has Leukemia and takes a med daily for that. Even with that, she is doing better than I imagined.
Music Therapy for Dementia
Mom wakes up happy and I have found she loves music especially now. I have read cases where someone with dementia has not uttered a word for years but can sing the lyrics to a song and never miss a word. Music affects so many parts of the brain and it touches areas that may not be damaged by the disease.
Activities for People with Dementia
Mom loves the word find books and does them every day. Her routine is to get up early in the morning, make her bed, make coffee, feed the cat, eat breakfast, take a shower, sweep the floor and then she may turn the news on or start doing the word find books. Her cat has been so great for her. He gives her a purpose and she talks about him so much. She loves routine. The next thing I want to do is to let her dig in our small garden. She talks about her and daddy growing tomatoes and I know she misses it. I cannot tell you how many times she tells me one of my plants is in need of black dirt. I have placed plants and bird feeders all over her yard. She loves to sit on the porch and watch the birds. The change of scene and fresh air make her calm and happy. I have read that stringing beads for jewelry is a great activity.
Dementia and Aromatherapy
There have been days where I have found her softly crying. She wants me to take her on road trips, shopping or just sit on the porch with her. This is so difficult and I feel horrible. At this time I have to work outside the home. I would love to work from home or even part-time. I am working on a plan but it has not happened yet. She gets depressed that we are not together more. Studies have found that aromatherapy can help with anxiety and depression. Rosemary, lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, and Ginger are recommended. I have just begun this. The last few days we have used rosemary but there is no much info and I will list resources below.
My mom is more like a sister than a mom. I am going to do all I can to make her life happy and enjoyable. We took her to the beach a few months ago and she enjoyed it. There are times she does not recall the trip and asks “When are you going to take a vacation?” or “can we go to the beach?” I am learning how to communicate a new way with her. I was saying things like “do you remember?” or “we just went to the beach in May!” You say things without thinking and then it hurts her feelings. If you need help on this Google Teepa Snow and watch videos. She is great. I have read a few books as well.
Teepa Snow Dementia