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How to get my mom to understand my dad's AD....
Ravensmom
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8:57 AM
Joined: 1/12/2012
Posts: 37


Are there any books/articles out there that give a simplified, straight forward explanation of AD?

 

My mom is 74 yrs old, a narcissist, very naive, and my dad's primary caregiver. She is a simple woman who still struggles with the fact that cash, credit card payments and checks all come from the same place. This is nothing new. My dad always managed the finances and now she's had to step up. I have POA and monitor spending, etc. but try to allow as much independence as I can.

 

We are selling their home and moving them into an apartment. It is SO frustrating as she is more concerned about whether or not their new apartment has a dining room and a place for the dog to see outside than the care my dad will need in the future (he is currently pretty self-sufficient with routine, daily tasks). I have tried and tried to get her to understand and listen but she just shuts down and looks away. She behaves like a 13-year-old kid with attitude. If she doesn't get her way, she pouts. My dad just wants her to be happy so will agree to anything she says.

 

I have to find a way to get through to her, does anyone have any experience with this type of situation?


dutiful deb
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 9:40 AM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1876


I have a copy of the 36-Hour-Day, and there are other resources such as Understanding the Dementia Experience.  I also watched a documentary--it's a little dated, but I got something out of it--called "Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter" by Deborah Hoffman, and then there was a series put out by HBO which I think was called "The Alzheimer's Project" that I found helpful. However, everyone is different and what helped me may not help others.

 

I remember a time when I wanted to read or watch everything I could get my hands on in order to better understand this disease. You can also search the Web; I did that and found the best place for me was Alz . org, which led me to this site.

I have found the comments, suggestions, and support here to be invaluable.

 

Best of luck to you.  Blessings.........Deb


KML
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:12 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


Ravensmom:

 

Here is a link to Coach Broyle's Playbook for dementia.  It was written by a husband caring for his wife.  It is very quick and simple reading but is packed with practical suggestions.  It's a really good start in reading about dementia.  It's not too overwhelming.  This is on the Alzheimer's Association website for sale, but you may be able to google Coach Broyle's Playbook and download a free copy, too.  http://www.alz.org/coachbroylesplaybook 


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:49 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16444


Have you read "Understanding the Dementia Experience" by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller? 

http://www.alzheimercambridge.on.ca/Understanding%20the%20Dementia%20Experience.pdf 

 

Have you considered that your Mom might be in early dementia herself? 

Just wondering. 

 

Iris L. 

 

 

 


Ravensmom
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:12 PM
Joined: 1/12/2012
Posts: 37


Thank you everyone for your replies.

 

Deb, I appreciate the support.

 

KML, Based on your suggestion I just bought 3 copies of Coach Broyle's book. It looks to be just the right thing I need! 

 

Iris L., I have read the article. My mom would not. There are no pictures (I'm so not kidding). I have thought of beginning AD with my mom as well. However, she has always behaved this way going as far back as I can remember and was old enough to know her behavior was not normal for a parent. A Norman Rockwell family, we are not. She and I have never had a good relationship, but that's a whole 'nother story and a whole other support group

 

I'm just so afraid that my dad has been able to "hide" alot of his disease in the familiarity of home. I think the move is going to open up a pandora's box.

 

 


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 4:09 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16444


What about using videos directed towards children?  The main webpage, www.alz.org, has a section just for kids and teens.  There is a video.  The HBO Alzheimer's Project also has videos. 

 

Iris L. 


Jamie J
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 6:47 PM
Joined: 1/19/2012
Posts: 83


Ravensmom, I am in the same boat with my mother.  She says she understands it but continues to argue with my dad, corrects him when he's wrong, etc.  Basically everything we are told NOT to do she does. 

 

This phrase reminds me of my mom......I have tried and tried to get her to understand and listen but she just shuts down and looks away. She behaves like a 13-year-old kid with attitude. If she doesn't get her way, she pouts......my mom does the exact same thing.  It gets frustrating because we get through maybe 5 minutes of a conversation and if she doesn't like it she walks away and ignores me the rest of the day.  The other thing she does is when I give her a suggestion or say anything to her she says "What are you trying to say?" then gets in a very defensive stance and I know the conversation isn't going to go anywhere.  I just keep thinking......how can she not care about her daughter enough to listen and try to understand the disease?  I've come to the conclusion that she doesn't care which is sad but something I will have to accept. 


Jamie J
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 6:57 PM
Joined: 1/19/2012
Posts: 83


Sorry, I didn't offer any input.  I've read the following:

 

1)  36 hour day - very good

2)  Understanding the Dementia Experience - very good

3)  Measure of the Heart: Caring for a Parent with Dementia - this was about a daughter who gave up her career to move in with her parents to take care of her father - there were a lot of good resources offered in this book.

4)  The Caregiver Notebook (available through the Alzheimer's Association)  was extremely informative and thought it would be good for my mom to read so I bought it fo her. 

5)  I'm reading one now called Alzheimer's Basic Caregiving - an ABC Guide

 

There are also some good videos out there, in particular, ones by Teepa Snow.

 

I hope this helps.  I found that the local Alzheimer's Association office has a lending library, but I bought a lot of mine on Ebay.  The local library may have some as well if you don't want to buy them.


Ravensmom
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:08 AM
Joined: 1/12/2012
Posts: 37


Jamie J - You and me girl....just knowing you exist makes me feel better! I have also come to the conclusion that I truly think my mom just doesn't care.

 

I truly appreciate all of the help and advice everyone has shared. The house is going on the market this week. Once it sells a decision MUST be made on where they are going to live. This is going to be interesting to say the least.


Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:21 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7035


Raven's Mom,

I do hope when you consider an apartment, you think about a Continuing Care Community with an on site dementia unit.

 

At this point your dad probably needs time away from mom. There should be plenty of activities to stimulate physical mental and social growth. And his AD needs can b e attended to.

 

Does you mom go with dad to his AD appointments? If so, I'd ask the doctor to check out your mom. Send him, before the appointment a list of behaviors that alarm you. Do you have the paper work signed so the doctor can talk with you? if not, see if he can get mom to sign it when she's there.

 


Ravensmom
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:38 PM
Joined: 1/12/2012
Posts: 37


Mimi S. - Thank you so much for your reply. The community that we all visited together was a continuing care facility. It's beautiful and would be perfect. However, my mother can come up with a negative for every positive. She fights me every step of the way. I do have all the necessary paperwork signed at the drs office. I also have DPOA and POA - Healthcare.

 

I will talk with the doc the next time we are in but as I mentioned before - unless she has had AD since in was 10 (27 years ago) I'm pretty sure it's not.