The day that never ended!!!

Today was a difficult day! My mom woke up confused and it never got better. I’m not sure what it is, but my mom does not think this is her house. She always wants to leave and go home. We have lived in this house since 1987.

We tried everything today, but nothing seemed to help. We listened to music and looked at pictures. My dad took my mom out for breakfast and for lunch. We talked about things we have done recently and what we will be doing.

I can’t figure out how to get her to accept this as her house. Any ideas on how to handle this situation? I’m puzzled!!

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About Richard Kenny

My Mom has Alzheimer's and I help my Dad with caregiving!
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's, Caregiver, Dementia, Family, Memory Loss and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The day that never ended!!!

  1. Hey – A couple of ideas to feed the basic human need for a purpose — Ask her to help hang picture, select window dressings, arrange furniture. What did she like doing before and is there a way to modify that interest to her current abilities?

    One suggestion I recently heard was to ask for her help: “Can you help me make this house feel more like home?” Apply that to the earlier suggestions.

    Hope that helps – keep us posted!

    • Kay,

      Great suggestions! We are trying to incorporate them in our daily routine. We are trying to get my mom doing more things around the house. My dad always wants to do everything for her. We need to have her start doing the things that she can do.

      I just downloaded the book “36 Hour Day”! Im so glad you recommended this book, It has given me so many great ideas and we are trying to change how we navigate throughout the day.

  2. frangipani says:

    It does sound frustrating. I don’t know what I would do when the time comes. I would probably tell a little lie like “we’ll go home tomorrow”. A desire to go home is frequently expressed by patient’s with alzheimers. On this page, you can read about how many others have coped, in the comments section:
    http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2010/09/alzheimers-disease-i-want-to-go-home.html

  3. boomer98053 says:

    Certainly one of the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s and other dementia is figuring out, on any given day, at any give minute, the communication style that works for someone with dementia. And when you find what works, it may not work five minutes later. Whenever possible, I always suggest that the caregiver/family members enter into their loved one’s world because trying to get them to participate in our world is very difficult for them. Isn’t it funny how we think if we talk louder, or repeat ourselves numerous times, she’ll understand; or if we write a note with big enough bold letters, she’ll be able to read it. I’m guilty of those two fallacies. Perhaps you can tell her that you’re on a vacation right now, and for the time being, you’re going to be staying in this house – isn’t it lovely? If that idea resonates with her, then see how far you can take it, helping her to feel as though she’s on vacation by sightseeing, etc. I know – it’s a long shot – but if it works for awhile, maybe doing so will get you through this particular stage in her disease until house-identification-confusion may become a thing of the past. I hope you find the answer soon for her sake, and of course for everyone else’s sake.

    • Thanks for your thoughts! I have tried to tell her that this is a vacation home or some other place and we will go home tomorrow. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t! 🙂 Once I figure something out that works; the next day, it doesn’t. I’m going to try a few new things based on your comments.

  4. boomer98053 says:

    Certainly one of the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s and other dementia is discerning what type of communication style works in any given day, or any given minute for that matter. And oftentimes when you find a communication style that works, it won’t work an hour from now. Perhaps if you tell your mother that you’re currently on vacation so we’ll be staying at this house for awhile – isn’t it lovely? Then emphasize that fantasy by taking her sightseeing, asking her what she wants to do next, etc. If she finds comfort in that scenario, perhaps keeping up this ruse for awhile will get her through this anxious time that she’s experiencing – seeking identification and recognition on the homefront. And maybe by that time, this phase will end and association with her homestead will no longer be an issue. It’s certainly easier for us to walk into their world than it is for them to walk into ours. Isn’t it funny that we think if we just say the sentence loud enough, and numerous times, she’ll understand? Or if we write her a note with huge bold letters, she’ll be able to read it? I’m guilty of those missteps when I was the caregiver for my wonderful father several years ago. Caregiving is a work in progress to be sure. I hope you, and your mother, find relief soon.

  5. mebwoodacre says:

    Richard, living with an Alzheimer patient requires an “acting degree!” Listen to your mom and tell her you undersatand. Perhaps play along and tell her until she can go home to help make “the place” as comfortable for the time-being. Ask for her help…our loved ones need to feel that they are taking responsibility for themselves in some form — and that they have a purpose.
    I am sending you good thoughts.
    Margao

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