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A thought and a question
ColtsFan18
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 12:30 AM
Joined: 12/23/2011
Posts: 183


The thought... Reading over this board i can't help but feel so grateful that Baldy isn't anywhere near as bad as some of your LO's yet, even though I know he will be in time.  My heart breaks and fear builds as I read the stories...

The question.., I get so aggravated listening to Baldy talk, trying to find a word of name he's looking for that I just fill in the blanks, I'm questioning if i'm helping or harming by not letting his mind work.  I just get so annoyed at the endless waiting for him to come up with the right word.  Would letting him come up with it on his own help stimulate his mind or help him continue his train of thought?  I hate that I get so impatient at this stage when it's never going to get better.  How will I ever deal with it when it gets bad?  I know I'll find a way and we are all going through a huge adjustment but geez my annoyance level is at it's limit.


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 1:48 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16143


ColtsFan18 wrote:

 

  my annoyance level is at it's limit.

 

 

 

We patients feel bad too.  We don't like being told we are repeating ourselves or knowing that someone is irritated.  I felt demoralized when my two closest friends gave me a hard time for communicating less eloquently than I had in the past.  Even one of my doctors told me I had a hard time making myself understood.   I felt two inches tall.  Why did she have to say that to me?  It served no purpose but to make me feel bad.

 

 

Iris L.



eloquentsolution1
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 2:26 AM
Joined: 12/16/2011
Posts: 108


this is hard for her as you can see by iris's response.

 

i know it is difficult to step into his world, but the fact is, he cannot step into yours.   if you wont a relationship with him, be in the here and now.  it is the only way i am able to enjoy mom, though she is no longer able to communicate save gibberish and occasional english words.  still i love watching her animation in story telling.

 

each situation is different, so look to your heart for the answer.  know that he will mirror your mood so guard your attitude.  come here if you need to vent.

 

as far as finding correct words, how does he feel when you fill in the blanks for him?  if he is fine, then you can be fine too.  if it frustrates him further, then let him search to find the word.

 

i try to pick my battles, by asking mom to do what i know she can so she may continue the accomplishment, (use it or loos it).  but if she stumbles, i will help her with a reminding movement which gets her started.  make sense?

 

i wish you the best in the journey with baldy.


EARchat
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 3:13 AM
Joined: 12/17/2011
Posts: 108


I agree with Eloquent, be guided by his response to your filling in the blanks ... I know with my MIL, we all hesitate and give her a few seconds, then offer the word or name of person she is looking for and she seems glad to get the help.  Without the help, we know she will NOT come up with it.  She does not seem angry at us for helping, she just gets frustrated at herself sometimes for not being able to "pull" that information when she wants it.

 

Even all of that, I know, will be hit or miss someday.  We just need to go by their attitude.

 

Betty


Cheryle Gardiner
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 8:09 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 529


ColtsFan, the impatience is one of the hardest things to overcome, but you must find a way to do it if he's going to be there with you.

I was never long on patience, always ready to go on to the next thing, and would feel impatience with Jim when he would take so long to do or say something. I had to remind myself each time that I just needed to be in the moment with him. This concept is foreign to most of us in our busy lives, but it's very important. I developed the attitude that there was nothing more important than what was happening right then, with Jim. I made a concerted effort to not think about what I needed to be doing. If there was something urgent - a pot on the stove - I would ask him to wait while I took care of it, then came right back to him.

The other thing to do is look and listen with a sympathetic eye and ear. I don't mean to feel sorry for him, but to try to really see and hear the person who is losing so much and try to put yourself in his place - the frustration and fear, and the losses of all he's always known.

Caregiving isn't just physically hard, as you're learning. It's also mentally and emotionally hard. The more you can learn to practice patience, the less stress you will feel. It's a balance, but we are here to listen and help whenever you need us.

Blessings.
cathyjm
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 10:55 AM
Joined: 12/2/2011
Posts: 160


EARchat wrote:

I agree with Eloquent, be guided by his response to your filling in the blanks ... I know with my MIL, we all hesitate and give her a few seconds, then offer the word or name of person she is looking for and she seems glad to get the help.  

I agree, wait patiently for a few seconds and that's enough. Often instead of just offering the word I was sure she meant -- like someone's name -- I'd be more tentative. "Oh, maybe you mean Mary?" Not always -- if someone's hungry and wants toast, just say "toast?" and don't fool around. But try to be tactful and not give the impression that your mind and memory are 100 percent perfect and your LO's mind is a frustration to you. (It's fine to feel that it is; that's where caregivers become fine actors and actresses, and express feelings to good friends, here on the forum, to God and therapists and -- at times -- to strangers who come upon us crying somewhere away from the house.)

Stephanie Z
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 11:33 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4219


Hi, A nurses response. We used to allow the person a minute or so to come up with it on their own. If it was important to them and they can't manage to tell you what they want, ask them to describe it. So if someone wants a glass of water, they might say the stuff in a glass.

As far as coming up with names, you can ask if the person is a relative. Sometimes remembering that the person is a sister or aunt, triggers a name. The idea is to give clues or associations to help trigger the memory of the name or bring out the right word. Just don't let this go too far or it will cause agrivation. However, I think it is worth their pleasure in remembering, to go through the association exercise.

Just my 2 cents


ColtsFan18
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 12:12 PM
Joined: 12/23/2011
Posts: 183


"She does not seem angry at us for helping, she just gets frustrated at herself sometimes for not being able to "pull" that information when she wants it."


This describes it perfectly, he gets annoyed with himself for forgetting, no matter how many times we remind him that it's not his fault, he's really having a bad time accepting that he has a serious medical condition that is causing this. It was only last week that he truly understood and accepted the fact that he has Alzheimers. Prior to that he simply told people that he was going crazy or losing his f****g mind. Good grief, I'd rather tell them I had a medical condition than tell them I'm going nuts.



Yesterday his old neighbors came by for a short visit and got to talking about his driving, (I sat in the background like a fly on the wall just listening intently, KNOWING that I'd learn something) now we already know it's a given that his license is about to be taken away..... but I learned yesterday that he has backed into his garage a few times in the past, information we were never given by him, be it on purpose or whether he legitimately forgot. We have asked him many times about the dings, dents and broken taillights on his truck we have noticed over the last year, he blames the kids in his neighborhood and in town, etc intentionally damaging his truck on purpose. We knew that was all BS but having no proof to back up our suspicions we didn't pursue the matter. Now we know but confronting him with the information will serve no purpose right now, it will only rile him up.



My goodness have I ever gotten off track. I will definitely be working on my patience and trying to remember all your suggestions and pearls of wisdom since I'm completely new to this journey and y'all have been through it. It just seems like the more I sit back and listen the more I learn about the last couple years of his life and he has successfully hidden a lot of important details from us, details that, if we'd known he could have started meds years ago to slow this down and very likely wouldn't be at this stage now, almost as if he knew what was going on and was afraid to tell us knowing what the end result would be.


Stephanie Z
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 1:12 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4219


Hi Colts, Don't feel bad about not starting the meds sooner, They don't "slow things down" and don't really alter the course of the disease. What they will do, however, is to make better use of the resources he has left and in that way he will appear to be a bit more functional.

He is so lucky to have a caring person like you watching over him.

Take care,

Stephanie


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 2:31 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16143


Stephanie Z wrote:

 However, I think it is worth their pleasure in remembering, to go through the association exercise.

 

 

 

This type of "cueing" does help me.

 

 

 

Iris L.