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Random breaking down, wanting to end it all
My LO was diagnosed July 2019 with Alz and she lives with me and my husband. Lately when she comes home from day center, she cant sit still and is constantly moving things around and thinks that I am mad at her. The latest occurrence is that she burst into tears and said just to give her something to end it all because she couldn't deal with everything going on in her brain and not being able to tell what's real and not real and she is tired. I feel bad for this and it may be because i am just overwhelmed and tired but it gave her a hug and tried not to laugh. I usually cry with her and for some reason my reaction was completely different.
I just wanted to reach out and see if any one has had this experience with their LO and how they handled it. We think that she is Stage 6-Stage 7. She is finding harder and harder to get up off the couch, shuffling her steps, and has started eating less.
Any information or advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
You have instinctively done a wonderful thing. You have validated your LO.
I agree that a mild antidepressent might be in order so do ask her neurologist.
Can you give her something to do when she gets home? Sort old papers?
I want to echo the recommendation that your LO visit a Geriatrician/Psychiatrist who could assess her for medication that could ease these symptoms. It could be an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications, or something else, that might help her especially at this time of day when sundowning intensifies.
My mother, when living with me, repeatedly thought that she was dying in the mornings, and was super upset that I was not "with her" though she was in my house. Now, when I visit her in a facility, she talks about death a lot (thinking that she is going to die soon, that we need to get her clothes together for when she dies, etc. ) but without distress, which I think is a way of her communicating that she doesn't want to survive a long time and understands that she is declining. When I ask her how she is doing, she will say, "Surviving, unfortunately." This response has been going on for a long time, long before moving into the facility. My Mom isn't actively seeking an end of her making, but I want to suggest that this desire to not exist as a result of suffering from this disease is within the spectrum of normal. It must be so distressing to experience one's own brain falling apart.
I don't mean to undermine the need to minimize her distress. That is of utmost importance. My Mom is now on an antidepressant and two anti-anxiety drugs. The drug mix is something that is reviewed by her Geriatrician/Psychiatrist when behaviors change -- she continues to be more anxious in the late afternoons/evenings. Perhaps there are other approaches that people with more experience may be able to suggest. It must be so terribly hard for you to hear her express these sentiments as the person who is caring for her. I wish you the best.
I do recall the fidgeting. Folding clothes or sorting papers, if she is able, might help her keep her hands busy. Also, there are fidget boards you can purchase online from sites for PWD. They have various activities on the board to keep the hands occupied.
I also recall my LO asking me if things were real or if she was dreaming. She had quite a bit of anxiety and worried a lot over a lot of things. I would comfort her and tell her that things were real and that if it were a dream, it was a good dream. I often reminded her that I would take care of her and she was alright. Still, once she went on medication for anxiety and depression, it helped a lot and brought her a lot of comfort. She was then easier to console.