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Old 12-29-2011, 07:53 AM
Dickons Dickons is offline

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Aging parents

When they start forgetting.

Any tips on how to help their memory when they don't want to listen?

Any tips on how to not feel guilty when you haven't done anything wrong and they have just forgotten?

Anyone dealing with this?

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:42 PM
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RavenSong RavenSong is offline
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Dickons, I went through this the last year of my mom's life. We think now that she most likely was in the early stages of Alzheimer's before she died. Anyhoo, she often forgot stuff I had just told her, and I found myself having to repeat what I had said numerous times.

My uncle is taking the Alzheimer's drug that slows the progression of the disease...but it's starting to not be as effective as it had been. It's very frustrating dealing with my uncle...the Alzheimer's seems to have intensified his anger problems, and now he just explodes without any forewarning.

The AARP website has a page that keeps seniors on their toes. There are daily activities, like Sudoku, that give your brain a workout, especially in the memory department. I haven't visited the site lately, but it's probably worth a visit.

What does not kill me, makes me stronger. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1888, German Philosopher (1844-1900)

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Old 12-31-2011, 08:23 AM
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snuffie snuffie is offline
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Oh, Dickons. My mother had Alzheimers & my dad had dementia! I truly know how difficult it is. It is so hard to keep perspective when they are angry.
PM me if you would like to "talk".
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:56 PM
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EZ2Luv EZ2Luv is offline
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Dickons sending ((hugs)) your way this is one of th hardest things I have ever gone through. You just have to try and seperate the illness from the parent. They don't even know that they are forgot. My mom would sit there with evidence that she had forgotten right in front of her and still insist otherwise.
I learned that trying to remind or explain otherwise made things worse. My heart goes out to you, it is not easy.

In Rememberance of my 3 Brothers in Heaven, who went to live with Jesus before I was born.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:13 PM
Dickons Dickons is offline

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Thanks guys,

Raven - I have tried for years to get brain games and a variety of different games to be part of moms life to no avail. The brain games helped my brain rewire so I know for a fact that it works, and mom saw that too. I think everyone should practice a variety of brain games every day after the age of 30 to preserve their minds. Sadly few do and believe just reading the paper or whatever is enough.

Snuffie - thanks and you know I have already taken you up on your offer.

EZ2Luv - I have found mom doesn't realize and that makes it so hard and I know I have to accept that. Although I do hold out hope that she will start writing things to remember in notebook everyday that sits on the counter. Although I know she has to remember to do that.

Dad never lost himself for which I am grateful.

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Old 12-31-2011, 02:51 PM
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bldgafamily bldgafamily is offline
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Dickons, I am sorry for what you are going through. I am experiencing it now with both of my parents- and they seem to be going through it differently, so there is no consistent way to work with it- just case by case. My mom has always been - and I say this with tremendous love not meanness- flaky in a happy, still-productive way. As she has aged, it seems to be getting much worse and the things she is doing are now scary, rather than just, "Oh, that's just my mom." My mom is very receptive to me pointing out things when I observe them and does seem to recognize when something happens. So, that has been helpful so far, because there has been no denial with her.

My dad, on the other hand, is getting hard for me. He is the kindest, sweetest man in the world, and his personality is completely changing, along with the memory issues. He gets defensive or edgy when you point out something to him that you have already done or talked about- so with that, we just bring it up one time, like, "Oh you remember, we just talked about that." And then move on and not harp on it- or he will start to get angry. The personality change has been harder for me than the memory- he has no filter and at times he comes across as mean. I don't like this version of him and it makes me sad.

Someone else said a little earlier to try to separate the parent from what they are going through- I think that is great advice. That's what I am trying to do with my dad- I'm telling myself it is part of aging, and maybe partly due to his heart medicines, and keeping myself remembering he is still my daddy. The sadness comes from this happening to him now, when I just know he would normally be loving being a great Poppy to my 2 and 1/2 year old twins. I wish for all of us it could have held off a little longer.

Best of luck with you and your mom- it's not easy. I always knew this is a part of life, of being a grown-up, but I guess I never actually thought it would happen to ME I wish everyone going through this with their loved ones lots of strength and support.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:05 PM
Dickons Dickons is offline

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Thanks bldg,

Mom is starting in the angry phase a bit too - argumentative and wronged feelings.

It is really hard not to take it personally. Just wish her genetic makeup was more like dads.

Tough for you with little ones - they won't have the same memories you do which is sad.

This also makes me very aware of how old you are when you become a parent makes a difference. I worry for the next generation and not just adoptees will face this earlier than many bio families now that many are delaying childbirth until they have established careers. Seems an unfair burden - raising small kids and caring for end of life for your parents - we were all just about grown and out of the house before mom and dad faced this with their parents.

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Old 12-31-2011, 03:12 PM
caths1964 caths1964 is offline
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(((Hugs))) to you all. It's hard isn't it.

My adad had vascular dementia - he had multiple strokes throughout the last 7 years. It was really hard to watch him go downhill. Dementia seems to run in his family, all his siblings had it. My aunt is still alive and she is in a special nursing home for those with dementia though she doesn't know why she is there - "There is nothing wrong with me, why am I here". Apparently, though she is nicer than she has ever been so it seems she is getting the help she has needed for not only her dementia but whatever underlying mental condition she has had all her life. With dad, the weekend before he passed away, he couldn't even move or smile (the first time he hadn't been able to smile) so that when he did pass away 2 days later, I just felt he had decided it was time to go.

I do think Alzheimers would be harder for relatives to deal with in many ways because people with it can be so unpredictable.

In regards to mum, she doesn't have dementia but I am glad that she has gone into the assisted living part of her retirement village - though the residents are independent with their own little bedsitting room and can go wherever they like, their "housework" is done for them and their meals are provided and if something happens to them, they will be found in time. Mum collapsed in the shower one morning and if she had been in her old place, she might have been there for ages.

It is great when elderly parents are able to be independent (I have a 102 year old friend who still lives alone) but if I were elderly and home was getting too much, I would move to a retirement village - these days they are just like minisuburbs and you can still be as independent as you like. When people our age get old, they will probably have disco and poker nights down at the retirement village hall lol. I believe that quite a few *young guns* in their 60s have moved into the village and are shaking up the entertainment scene a bit lol.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:06 PM
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belleinblue1978 belleinblue1978 is offline
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My aunt has dementia and has a big whiteboard on the wall where they write her important stuff on. She can't remember that my uncle lives in a nursing home now, so that is on there permanently and when my cousin comes and goes for work is on there as well. Appointments and things go on there as well. It helps her some.

I have two Aunts, one has dementia, the other Alzheimer's and it is so hard to watch two vibrant women deteriorate. My heart goes out to you.
First mom to the amazing Kiddo and adopted adult

11/25/2011 Mom and I go to a bridal shower for my baby brother's fiance. We are NOT cupcake artists.
12/12/2011 Grades are out and I got an A. Sure it was only one class, but it is still an A!
5/15/2012 Semester finishes, I a got an A and a B. I was hoping for two A's, but with all the drama, my grades were pretty good.
5/30/2012 Kiddo turns 8. Hard to believe he is so grown up! I talked to him on the phone for the first time on his birthday.
2/1/2013 Take over as Executive Director of the shelter in my community. It is so nice to work in town again.
5/28/2103 I go to a ball game for Kiddo and we celebrate his birthday. Almost 9!

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Old 04-28-2012, 03:35 AM
feb171983 feb171983 is offline
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Reminding them politely over and over. Or, "dad, remember how I said..."

They'll get frustrated with things. Sometimes they have hearing problems. Patience is necessary.

AARP puts out some good materials on this subject.
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