Skip to comments.Dealing with Dementia - - Asking for FR experience, advice
Posted on 04/05/2010 11:59:18 AM PDT by Loud Mime
I am taking care of elderly parents; Mom does OK, but Dad has dementia and it is starting to cause other problems.
This thread is posted in order to ask for advice and tips from other freepers. There's a wealth of knowledge on this forum.
From what I have read, the medical community seems split on the question of dementia causing excessive sleep, or that excessive sleep causes dementia. I have noted that after Dad is up for some time and active, his mind is sharper....he remembers things that happened. Therefore, I'm inclined to believe the latter theory.
If I leave him to his own actions, he will spend 20 hours a day in bed - almost all of in sleep.
Getting him to do things is another labor, but I've learned something. I propose the minimum, such as "You do not have to take a full shower, but you need to wash off and towell off." Once in the shower his old habits take over and he's fully clean. He does not remember the previous instruction.
We no longer go for a walk, which is "work." Instead, we go shopping.
Any other tips or experiences?
“Dealing with Dementia - - Asking for FR experience, advice”
Well, first thing...
Nevermind, I forgot.
Bump to follow the discussion. My Mom is going down this terrible path.
No advice, but I will pray for all involved.
Seek help from your father’s insurance. Get in-home help. Look into elder day-care.
Be sure to take care of yourself and your immediate family.
If your father is anything like my father, that’s what he would want.
Has he been checked for depression? The excessive sleeping can be a sign. Depression and dementia can feed off of each other.
You should have him see a geriatrics expert. Sometimes a small AM dose of methylphenidate/Ritalin will help people focus. He might also try one of the meds aimed at slowing Alzheimers.
I have worked with people with psychosis, taken care of family with dementia and talked quite a few people down from bad acid trips and the one thing they have in common is that they need to be reassured about their safety, and their environment.
When they are confused, you need to remind them of where they are, who you are and the time and year and of course that they are safe. Find an object that they associate with security, a stuffed animal, a picture, etc.
And to get them to go places and do things, you need to be very matter of fact about it and do not offer them options. It is very much like dealing with a three year old child.
You are the parent now and they are the child.
My father is sharper early in the day. As the day wears on, he becomes less engaging, more confused.
But he’s up early and then early to bed.
My father-in-law suffered from this and succumbed to it after a little over 5 years. I have seen the progression. You need to start planning. Medicine for this is primarily experimental or of unknown assistance. Even still, medication at this point only promises to slow down the progression, but even that is open to debate.
Best to you. It is difficult, but it is a blessing that you are there to care, or direct the care, of your parents.
Bookmarking for future reference.
Similar situation for me, but your dad sounds quite a bit worse than mine. Last Cristmas, my dad really lost his temper with my brother over something trivial and I’ve been kind of worried ever since. Today he fell down trying to chase the neighborhood cat away from the bird feeder. He does childish things sometimes.
If they prescribe steroids be careful. two people I know went on MAJOR spending sprees due to the side affects of the steroids.
Multiple cars, computers, stocks on margin, etc. Mania, delusions of grandeur, and of course tendency to spend gobs of money.
Seriously, Loud mime, I don’t envy you. I’ve done it myself, for my parents, years ago. There’s no easy solution, and it sounds like you are doing things as well as can be expected, you’re patient, and that is probably the best thing you can do. Your parents are lucky to have you.
Geez, I wish I had the answer. I have an uncle with it...
Look on a site dedicated to Alzheimers, because they two seem to be correlated, and they often have the latest news of treatment options, as well as things you can do to keep their minds sharp.
Good luck, will pray for you both.
Anthing you can do to stimulate his intellect will be beneficial. Card playing, reading magazine articles, particularly about events from his life, having him makes lists, and the like can be beneficial in my experience.
I am a firm believer in a schedule -— alarm in the AM, get going, do something structured.
Work, water aerobics (my mom), whatever.
Sorry to hear about your Dad. I’ve volunteered at a local Senior Center for several years. We have a few dementia and Alzheimer’s Seniors. Their spouses and/or children bring them in and each of them seems to have a passion for something. We have a weekly sing-along and one of our ladies is a beautiful singer...she knows every word to every song, but she can’t tell you her husband’s name. One of our elderly gentlemen is a real card shark, but can’t find his own way home.
If there is a Senior Center in your area, check it out. Getting these folks to do something different and socialize on a daily basis can make a huge difference in their overall well being.
There is a book that has a lot of information about this and other brain activity. I watched it on PBS one night and ordered the book the next day.
Dr Amen gives supplements and diet that may work. I will look up his suggestions in the book for you.
The book is “Change Your Brain Change Your Body” http://www.amenclinics.com/cybcyb/
Then Dr Wright has done some research on a supplement found in tomatoes, lithium. Not the prescription dosage but the supplement dosage. Also know to protect the brain if someone has a stroke.
and I’m convinced that lithium is an anti-aging nutrient for human brains. And there are also some very strong reasons to believe that lithium therapy will slow the progression of serious degenerative mental problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
You would have to have any supplements cleared by the physician of course. Which may be your biggest battle ever.
Someone here mentions depression. Dr Amen also talks about that.
Same with my Mom. She’s more “with it” in the mornings. As the day wears on, or she gets ‘stressed’ the forgetfullness kicks in.
Excessive sleeping is also apparent, though I’m having her checked for depression as well.
I give her as little choice as possible when it comes to doing things. Keep it positive.
Can your father take this test?
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