Loading discussion content. Please wait...
She hears noises, and cannot ignore them until she finds out exactly what they are. Sometimes it's a car door closing. Sometimes it's the furnace kicking on. Sometimes there is no noise, but she insists "something is running" and walks around the house listening, both on the main floor and in the basement, for sometimes as long as an hour. She makes me walk around listening as well, and gets irrationally angry when I can't hear anything.
She keeps a stack of junk mail on the table next to her chair, and reads it like it holds the answer to life, the universe, and everything... often out loud. She's upset that our toilet flushes loudly, so she refuses to flush it. But since she's not flushing, she also doesn't use toilet paper (thankfully she'll still wipe and flush if she defecates). She refuses to take a shower because she says the water pressure hurts her skin, instead washing her hair in the kitchen sink and using baby wipes on her body.
My sisters don't see any of that when they visit, so they think I'm making things up. I'd like to see them here at 3am so she can wake them up to walk the house trying to find that running thing!
How about getting a night vision sound and/or motion activated camera and showing it to your relatives? You can buy a good one on Amazon right now for 99$,(a picture frame with a hidden camera), or cheaper ones with less features. Your Mom is actually being very normal~~ for a late-stage Alzheimer's person.
Just a few more things ( I tend to do this; sorry).
Who's running the show at your place? Your Mom sure shouldn't be; please don't continue to walk around aimlessly with her for so long; the exercise may be good for both of you, so if you want to make a game out of it, maybe that would be fun. Perhaps some soothing music will calm her and muffle extraneous sounds.
Felix, I just read your post to my husband bc it is so similar to how my mom has been for several years. If I listed all her obsessive behaviors this post would never end. She had them all..checking, telling, asking, contamination, hoarding, cleaning, hand washing, fears..etc
Mom has since declined significantly. She is no longer oriented and has stopped many of her obsessive behaviors (but she still sorts and stacks the dishes among other things). It's a relief to not have to deal with the OCD but this next stage brings its own set of challenges with agitation and wandering.
I understand the frustration you are feeling. I'm so sorry. I honestly don't know how we survived her OCD years. We did stop her from getting the mail bc she would read everything for hours, get upset and want me to respond to even junk mail. We would just give her cards from relatives that would make her happy. It's very hard. I agree that trying to diffuse things by redirecting her might be better than following her around listening to walls but I also understand their persistence causes us to do whatever it takes. We made my daughters boyfriend pretend to be an electrician and he "checked" all of mom's outlets and electrical wires in her room bc she refused to sleep in there bc she was sure there was an electrical problem .
I hope you find some ways to improve your situation and find some peace.
This is a phase many PWD go through as they progress. I remember it well. We "go with the flow," trying to keep them calm. It's not easy, and it takes a lot out of us.
I have a friend whose wife is stuck in this phase. She's in a MC. They have boxes of clothes she sorts & folds all day long. And when they set the table for meals, she is compelled to rearrange everything. She is on Haldol to enable her to be "manageable."
I can't tell you how much it helps just knowing this is normal behaviour! Not that it makes it any easier, necessarily, but at least I know it's nothing to worry about.
When mom was first diagnosed (or, rather, 6 months later when she told us, almost a year ago now), she said she wanted to go into AL/MC when she got bad. Unfortunately, that's where it lies, because no one is doing anything about POA or anything else, and I'm afraid we've missed the window of opportunity for her to legally sign anything. She has named my oldest sister the executor of her estate, and my second-oldest sister is now on her bank accounts, but no one has even called a lawyer or begun looking at facilities, much less gotten her on a waiting list for one. I'm afraid I'm going to end up stuck with her until she's gone... and that sounds horrible! I don't mind looking after her at least not now when she's able to be left alone for periods of time. But I have numerous health and related financial problems and cannot just stop working to take care of her full time even if I was remotely trained or qualified to do so.
Sorry. Today is not a good day. I'm writing instead of screaming or beating my head against the nearest wall.
No, you are not stuck with her. Talk to your siblings and remind them your mother said she wanted to go into memory care when the time came and it has come. Start looking at facilities..they will help you get her assessed.
You do not need a POA to get her into a facility, especially if she is agreeable to moving.