PDA

View Full Version : My poor Grandma :(



king2005
03-22-2010, 08:15 PM
I was talking to dad today & we got onto the topic of Grandma (I ask about her often as I know shes getting old). Well he is getting worried. He thinks & is pretty darn sure, she is getting Dementia :( Dad will go to their Dr. to talk to him about what she's been doing. My dad goes instead of her as leaving the house stresses her out to no end. So the Dr & my dad talk as much as they can & do what they can without her being there (8/10 times its for health advice for her)... Well this is what she did last night.

Dad & Grandma were playing cards at the kitchen table. Dad had her wrapped up in her blanket as she's always cold. She kept telling dad that there are some cards over here. Frank, there are cards here, right here, Frank I dropped some cards right here, here... Dad kept looking for cards & she said No Frank right here & pointed to her blanket. She thought the blanket was cards :(

Dad said not too long ago she lost the ashtray. Well thats impossible as it takes up 75% of her side table. It was still there, not covered, but she couldn't see the "ashtray". :(

This happened the other night & I still feel bad, I was almost in tears just hearing her voice. She was so scared... Dad & I were on the phone having a much needed conversation (I needed answers from the past & wanted to tell him what CAS did to me, as I never told him what they did to me)... 2hrs into our conversation, dad swears he heard grandma call for him (its hard to hear her sometimes when her tv is sooooo loud). Dad took the phone out to see her & she was almost crying. She said she was calling him & calling him & he wasn't coming to help her. She couldn't remember how to make the chair go down (its a remote controlled chair for people that cannot get out of chairs.. it lfts up & pretty much pushes the individual up out of the chair (its GREAT).. but she forgot there was a remote.. so she was stuck in a terrible position. Dad said bye to me & I felt like doo doo cause of poor grandma :(

Ted (dad's youngest sibling) called the other day & dad gave him some updates on grandma. Ted said why don't you put her into a Nursing Home, it would be easier on you. Dad said no, she'll remain here with me until she no longer knows who I am. Once her mind is gone it wont matter where she is because she wont know where is is regardless, or who anyone is anyways.

Dad & I knew this was coming for a few years, as Grandma isn't grandma anymore (she turned racist a few yrs ago... which isn't like her at all!!). I've been hoping for a quick death for her so she wouldn't slip into full blown Dementia & be scared. Sadly her physical health is too good, so she will most likely see a Nursing home in the next couple of years :( Shes too good for that, but dad wont be able to care for someone with full blown Dementia, it's past his capabilities.

My poor Grandma :(

I believe she's 86 or 87 this Aug.

Karen
03-22-2010, 08:17 PM
Our heart goes out to your Dad, is there help available that can come and sit with her once a week or so so he can have a break? Is she on any medications? Sometimes if meds need adjusting, it can cause dementia-like symptoms. But even if it is"just" dementia, tell you dad we'll keep him in our prayers.

king2005
03-22-2010, 08:22 PM
Oh I forgot to add this...

Dad bought a Door Bell system today. he installed one button in the Bathroom & put the other one on her side table. The bell (or whatever it's called) is in his bedroom, so if she ever needs him, she can Buzz him.

The next step will be betting a buzzer as a necklace. he said she doesn't need that yet, but he'll get a 3rd button & will turn it into a necklace when her legs get weaker. Right now she can walk just fine with her walker.

Freckles
03-22-2010, 08:27 PM
Dad said not too long ago she lost the ashtray.
Does she smoke? Or is the ashtray for other people?

king2005
03-22-2010, 08:30 PM
Our heart goes out to your Dad, is there help available that can come and sit with her once a week or so so he can have a break? Is she on any medications? Sometimes if meds need adjusting, it can cause dementia-like symptoms. But even if it is"just" dementia, tell you dad we'll keep him in our prayers.

Thank you

Having a stranger come into the house is not a good idea, she gets horribly stressed out & just wants them to go away. :( The ONLY people she likes coming to visit is my sister & I. Once her daughter (dad's sister) is over she's happy, but she doesn't want her coming over & gets upset when she learns of it. Poor Grandma thinks shes a bother to everyone. Shes not, everyone loves her dearly & thats why shes not in a Nursing Home while still sane... well mostly sane I suppose.

Shes not on medications, just vitamins as she doesn't eat much of anything but pudding, tea, & milkshakes. Ok, its not a "milkshake" but she doesn't know that. Its one of those protein drinks. Dad saw some Protein Pudding snacks, so he's been trying to get his hands on those too (no luck yet). She also sleeps most of the day.. she sleeps all night, all morning, & starts waking up around dinner time. Shes had several tests & nothing is showing up to why shes sleeping that much & not eating. The Dr. is glad he's been able to trick her into drinking the Protein Drinks, but obviously she needs more, but she refuses.. Not much can be done at this point sadly :(

king2005
03-22-2010, 08:35 PM
Does she smoke? Or is the ashtray for other people?

She smokes... The carpet, chair, & blanket (she doesn't wear clothing when shes at home, shes happier in her blankie (it has ummm arms?) & adult diapers) are not Flammable so thats good.. I suppose. He wants to take the cigarettes away, but she freaks out really really bad.

Freedom
03-22-2010, 09:15 PM
Dementia is hard on everyone. I am sorry to read this update on your Grandma. My Dad also has a form of dementia, cerebrovascular dementia. There are over 30 types!

Here are a few suggestions:
- Dad needs to attend a caregiver support group; the help you get from other caregivers is priceless!anyone else to hep care for her should attend one as well.
- get the doctor to make the diagnosis, as many of the "benefits' kick in once you have that in hand.
- talk with the social worker at your local Alzheimer's Assn. chapter. They help with all forms of dementia, not just the Alzheimer's type.
- chat with the nurse at the local senior center, and the elder care specialist there as well.

One thing I can share with you (and everyone in any support group I've attended says this): with dementia, things suddenly happen fast, and you must know which resources are out there so you can develop a solution to whatever problem just cropped up. You can go along with no changes for weeks, months even and then suddenly 2 or 3 things change all at once. It is hard to cope with in a crisis, so knowing who to turn to is a HUGE asset. Then thins seem to hum along or weeks or months again; until the next upheaval. Just the way the disease is.

K9karen
03-22-2010, 09:30 PM
So sad. Been there, so I can fully understand your dad's situation. Being a caretaker is a tough and stressful job. Far be it from me to condemn smoking, so just be sure your dad's around when she lights up. Grandmom may forget she's holding a ciggie. The mind sure is an intricate thing. And it's ever so sad to see our loved ones slip away from reality. I think the phone calls and support you're giving your dear dad is good medicine for him. You're a good daughter.

king2005
03-22-2010, 10:38 PM
Dementia is hard on everyone. I am sorry to read this update on your Grandma. My Dad also has a form of dementia, cerebrovascular dementia. There are over 30 types!

Here are a few suggestions:
- Dad needs to attend a caregiver support group; the help you get from other caregivers is priceless!anyone else to hep care for her should attend one as well.
- get the doctor to make the diagnosis, as many of the "benefits' kick in once you have that in hand.
- talk with the social worker at your local Alzheimer's Assn. chapter. They help with all forms of dementia, not just the Alzheimer's type.
- chat with the nurse at the local senior center, and the elder care specialist there as well.

One thing I can share with you (and everyone in any support group I've attended says this): with dementia, things suddenly happen fast, and you must know which resources are out there so you can develop a solution to whatever problem just cropped up. You can go along with no changes for weeks, months even and then suddenly 2 or 3 things change all at once. It is hard to cope with in a crisis, so knowing who to turn to is a HUGE asset. Then thins seem to hum along or weeks or months again; until the next upheaval. Just the way the disease is.

30 different kinds? I had no idea Alzheimers was one type of Dementia. My dad most likely knows as he took ummm some kind of special nursing in college & he's worked with Mentally ill people all his life.. so he's a good fit for this job. I know its gotta be hard on him because its his mother.. His father was a jerk & when I met him the first time, I'm sure he was abusive to his kids, as he struck me out of the blue in MY home... But grandma is a sweet heart & always has been. My sister & I have always been her favorites, as we're soooo well behaved & we do things with her, unlike our ungreatful cousins!!

I will pass the above info to my dad. I know he has been seeing a caretaker for a refresher & new tips. However if Dementia comes & goes then he's going to be stuck with her to the end. He wont have the heart to put her away & she wont be able to handle it. She screams & cries for dad all the time. He doesn't stray far anymore, because when he returns shes getting upset more & more when being left alone, its scaring her... As of right now, she is ok if dad is gone for 1hr at a time, but not a min more.

When dad's best friend of 30 yrs's mother died (dad knew her well too) a couple months ago, dad wasn't going to go as he had to care for her. Well Rosemary caught wind & drove over to the island (PEI, from NS) to take care of their mother, so dad could fly to Ontario to go to the funeral. Dad wasn't too sure about as Rosemary is crippled (one of her legs was fused straight (not at the hip)... But Rosemary pretty much kicked him to his room to pack... Dad showed her how to care, help & clean their mother... Needless to say when dad returned after being gone for 2 days, Rosemary & grandma were THRILLED to see him again. It didn't go well at all. Grandma refused to ask Rosemary for help, or for food if she was hungry, or help to go pee.. nothing... They were bother terribly stressed out, but Rosemary said she WILL do it again if another emergency comes up.. As dad has NO life :( Rosemary has been coming to the island several times a month lately to spend the dad with grandma. This allows dad to sit back & relax a little.. but he still has to do all the work for her, but it means that he can take off for a few hrs to visit friends & he just has to say, she needs "(a drink, snack, pudding, milkshake, cookie, tea, water, etc)" at such & such a time.. He's never very far, ,as all his friends live in the same building. He also takes care of them.

My dad's friend's kids have given their mother special coupons. When they want to go out shopping, or out for a drive, or whatever, they give my dad a coupon. Dad keeps them in a bowl, & once a month the daughter comes over to collect the coupons & gives my dad money for the gas he has spent. Everyone just LOVES the system, & Betty loves to pop over to wave a coupon at my dad to go somewhere. It gets dad out of the house for an hr+ (he leaves the girls to check on his mother, then goes back to hanging out with them while they shop their hearts out)... He pushes their carts, lifts heavy items, & then loads & unloads the car. Betty & her friend can no longer drive (age &/or they can't afford their cars). Dad loves it, he's always loved shopping with us as kids.. he'll follow us around while we look & poke things, or he'll window shop near by..

oops.. kinda wrote a lot :p

king2005
03-22-2010, 10:56 PM
So sad. Been there, so I can fully understand your dad's situation. Being a caretaker is a tough and stressful job. Far be it from me to condemn smoking, so just be sure your dad's around when she lights up. Grandmom may forget she's holding a ciggie. The mind sure is an intricate thing. And it's ever so sad to see our loved ones slip away from reality. I think the phone calls and support you're giving your dear dad is good medicine for him. You're a good daughter.

since she sleeps all morning & most the afternoon, that means can can only smoke from dinner time until 10pm (when dad puts her to bed), she can & does read in bed, but there is NO smoking in bed :) Dad is always home for the night just before dinner time

Dad has tested the floor a few times to see what happens when a full smoke is lit & falls.. It just leaves a mark, no smoke, no fire, no spark.. nothing happens.. So he feels confident about it. He still hates it, but hes kinda stuck... Shes not an adult so you can't talk to her like one... shes a teen & has horrid fits of rage & then cries... It's pretty bad.. Dad just can't do it to her. Also smoking is one of the very few things she enjoys & can do...

I also told him to keep an eye on Buttons, cause she might start to accidentally abuse him (use him as an ashtray). He said he knows, he's been keeping an eye on how she is with him. She is a little too rough with him as hes not a puppy anymore (pushes him off the chair so she can get up.. its hard on his bad back, he needs to be set down.. not like she could do that anyways)... So dad does his best to keep the dog healthy so it can outlive grandma... Right now it's going to be close.. Grandma isn't like she use to be & neither is Buttons (14yrs old this yr)... If that dog dies I can see grandma falling into Dementia super fast. That dog is her life.. If the dog outlives her, the dog will be put down & buried with her... The dog is HER dog, Grandma is HIS life... When she was in the hospital for 2 weeks several yrs ago, the dog nearly killed himself. He went insane. Refused to eat & drink, wouldn't sleep, & barked non-stop, as he was trying to find Grandma.. He was rushed to the vet so he wouldn't die.. he was given meds & an IV... After that, they took him to visit her every day. He would eat in her room & drink.. when he was home he was lost again, but only until the next day.. he was calmer but a complete mess.. poor little guy :(

Taz_Zoee
03-22-2010, 11:32 PM
I have no advice for you. I am sorry about your grandma.
I just wanted to say, your dad sounds like a wonderful person. :)

Catty1
03-22-2010, 11:53 PM
Your poor Grandma...and she has NO idea what is happening to her!

I am NOT a fan of medicating a person to make them compliant...but I wonder if a mild tranny or something would make her less fearful and at least feel a bit calmer? To live so terrified is awful.:(

I am glad your Dad does get a bit of a break, and that coupon thing sounds like a great deal!

Prayers that things can be a bit calmer for your Grandma and your Dad.

And I agree - you ARE a WONDERFUL daughter!:)

king2005
03-23-2010, 12:31 AM
Thanks guys :)
I do try to do the best I can :)

The scared thing doesn't happen too often right now. Since she sleeps all morning, that gives dad a lot of time to do things, so she has NO idea he's even been gone.

Now that she is getting worse, dad will adapt to her new needs, so she doesn't get scared. We most likely wont medicate her to make her a veggie, its just not who we are. If she reaches full blown dementia & gets scared all the time, then thats prob when dad would medicate her into a veggie, so she wont live in a never ending nightmare.

My great grandmother lived in a never ending nightmare & she got hurt so many times, nearly broke her leg, then her arm :( She would cry everyday & non of her bloody kids (her, nor her kids share our blood, she married my widowed grandfather's dad) would visit her, only my grandma would. I hated going there & I'm 100% guilty at avoiding her. I feel terrible, but I just couldn't handle her crying all the time & wanting to come home.. Thats all she wanted for 10+yrs.. was to come home.. it was horrible :( :( :( :(
I do love her, but I was soooo thankful when she passed away a few months ago, that poor women is not at rest. She was 98

I'm pro Assisted Suicide for cases like this. We can end our pets horrid suffering, but its ok to let our human loved ones to live in hell for 10yrs.. I don't understand how that is right, I just don't :( My grandma isn't close to that, shes very much alive & ok... but if she goes into full blown dementia & is scared all the time, I would wish the assisted suicide option was available. However if she wasn't scared & was in a happy dementia, then assisted suicide would not be an option. Just my opinion, I don't expect others to share it.

Catty1
03-23-2010, 12:34 AM
OH, gosh, I didn't mean veggie at all! :( Just something to take the edge off for her.

{{{hugs}}}

king2005
03-23-2010, 12:38 AM
OH, gosh, I didn't mean veggie at all! :( Just something to take the edge off for her.

{{{hugs}}}

Sorry I interpreted it wrong :(
So something that would make her more happy... like a prozac?

Pawsitive Thinking
03-23-2010, 06:45 AM
It's heartbreaking for everyone concerned. The same happened to my grandad :( He had to be moved to a home for dementia patients for his own safety in the end. He died peacefully in his chair shortly after, having had "a really great day" according to the staff.

Sending you and your Dad lots of love and support :love:

wombat2u2004
03-23-2010, 08:44 AM
Sorry I interpreted it wrong :(
So something that would make her more happy... like a prozac?

Prozac is for depression, and besides, it has lots of side effects. A trip the doc might be a good idea. Maybe he can prescribe something to relax her a little more.

Catty1
03-23-2010, 11:51 AM
Wom, Jesse said that her grandma totally freaks out at going to the doctor. But her dad and doc might be able to work something out.

Prozac and all its cousins take from 2 to 6 weeks to take effect.

I WAS thinking of a tranquilizer, but at a LOW DOSE (not veggie level ;) )

Prayers continuing.

Pawsitive Thinking
03-23-2010, 11:53 AM
Prozac is for depression, and besides, it has lots of side effects

Can vouch for that - when I was on it the side effects were worse than the symptoms I was on it for in the first place!

wombat2u2004
03-24-2010, 07:44 AM
Can vouch for that - when I was on it the side effects were worse than the symptoms I was on it for in the first place!

I remember that.
You sent that photo to me.
You had tiny little bloodshot beady eyes, and your hair was all messed up, and your jeans were on back to front.
I tried telling you that you looked like a crazy woman, but you just wouldn't listen. :p:p

Marigold2
03-25-2010, 07:32 PM
Please tell me she doesn't drive..........................

caseysmom
03-25-2010, 08:05 PM
So sorry about your grandmother, my sympathies go out to you we went through the same thing with my father.

king2005
03-25-2010, 08:40 PM
Please tell me she doesn't drive..........................

She took herself off the road in 2003. She felt she was too old to be driving, so she parked the car & never touched it again.

Also the fact that she wont leave the house kinda makes driving impossible...

king2005
03-25-2010, 08:42 PM
So sorry about your grandmother, my sympathies go out to you we went through the same thing with my father.

thank you & sorry about your father :(

Pawsitive Thinking
03-26-2010, 08:12 AM
I remember that.
You sent that photo to me.
You had tiny little bloodshot beady eyes, and your hair was all messed up, and your jeans were on back to front.
I tried telling you that you looked like a crazy woman, but you just wouldn't listen. :p:p

Lol! and that was one of my better days.......

wombat2u2004
03-27-2010, 07:19 AM
Lol! and that was one of my better days.......

I'd have to agree with that. :D:D