Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Today we went to an eye specialist per moms doctors request. Moms eyes are fine minimal cataracts which is to be expected at her age. I took along my information on the loss of visuospatial skill. She was on her best behavior through the whole process (3 hours long). Now mom can go back to her regular optomitrist. I think what bothers me is that her primary doctor did not have the same information I did on mom. I can't say it enough if you are a primary care giver get and read all medical records. All hospitalization records. We have one goal to keep our loved ones as healthy as possible. I can add another hat as a patient advocate.

sorry computer was down

Never thought I would rely on this blog like I do till I cant write down daily events. I want to thank everyone for thier kind wishes and continued viewing of my journal.

Monday, December 21, 2009


One week to Christmas; mom has become increasingly depressed. It still surprises me that her very lucid thought is that my father was supposed to wait for her. Her mood swings are unpredictable. Once she starts ranting their is no way to calm her down. We have to let her work through it, then she is fine. Anger gone and pleasant. Seems that she is more confused and angry when it starts getting dark. A friend was talking about a sunlamp to maybe help with this problem. She said it had to do with the bodies need for melatonin. I'm going to ask her doctor what he thinks. I will try just about anything once. Still haven't come with a solution to the bathroom issue.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

staying dressed

I wish I could understand the aversion people with ALZ have with clothes. It has been a unique couple of days with mom. I cant seem to keep her dressed while at home. I thought it was because she was not sleeping that her confusion was getting worse, I now think it is just a part of her dementia. We have doctors apts. today. I will ask the experts and see if they have answers. Let you know what I find out. Still haven't figured out the bathroom issue yet. Ideas appreciated.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Yesterday was a day I do not want to relive. Mom woke up angry and very paranoid. She kept saying " I don't know what is going on but, I don't like it". My very calm sister tried to help via the phone without luck. Her care giver was also a target of her paranoia. She was bound and determined to go outside and freeze. We were able to keep her in and get her redirected with a movie. took a while but, we got her to eat take her meds and things mellowed. I don't know what brought on the paranoia still trying to figure that out maybe a dream she had. But, this morning she is fine and in a great mood.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I have noticed mom needs a lot more direction when doing about anything. I thought she was just being difficult due to depression, but I was told yesterday that at daycare it is the same thing. Even with her eating they need to cut up her food or give her one thing at a time. It amazes me how moms mental state has changed since she broke her hip. trying to keep her healthy and safe has become a top priority.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Moms anger

Mom spent most of the weekend mad. Which was okay. I know anger raises the blood pressure and gets the heart pumping. It also makes her stop finding reasons she can't do something and just does it.
I have found that you cannot fight with someone with ALZ.. You cannot be logical with an illogical person. The only way to win is to never get pulled into an argument. If you do you lose.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Day

Today mom is mad since I wont hang her clothes up for her. Silly things seem to really get to her. But, in my defense if I hang them up now (which she can do), I'll have to hang them up again tonight. I continue to push her to do all she can and she keeps pushing back with "I can't do anything". Stay tuned to see who wins.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reality stinks

Well it has been a couple of long days. I have to accept that mom no longer has control of her bowels or bladder functions. I gave up padded underwear for depends. I still have not figured out how to keep her from coming across the house to use the bathroom which is right next to her bedroom. I have a few ideas but, have not tried them yet. I'll let you know how they work. We have been up the last few nights. Not talking about memories, her wanting to be put to sleep because she feels worthless. I try to understand the feeling and can to some point. I am not losing my memories or abilities but, I have lost my independence and the feeling of worth by working as a nurse. The comparison is not the best but it does help me. Today she is at day care I hope it helps to lift her spirits. Then carries through the night so we can both sleep.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Cleaning with mom is like cleaning with a 3 year old. She tries so hard to help. But, seems to undo what I have done. I have learned to let her clean bedrooms before I do. Then I go in and clean. Though she is not to clean closets. This is because as I have said, mom takes everything off the hangers and lays them on the floor of the closet. One room I don't have to worry about is the bathroom, mom really hates the bathroom. Hardly ever goes in.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today has been really good for mom. I think it is all the activity going on around her.She is upbeat and relaxed. All the family called, mom enjoyed talking to each and everyone. This is the first Thanksgiving with severe dementia and I wasn't sure how it would go. I am pleasantly surprised. Hope every ones day went as well.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The money saga continues

Mom was obsessing about money again. The fake money did'nt work to long, as you can tell. Thank god I have a sister to call to back me up. ( I am lucky that way). For support you should have someone to back you up. For my mom it is one of my brother-in-laws. She really does better with men in authority. They know what is going on in our home and know to generalize an answer to soothe my mom. Support for the care giver is so important. I did'nt really understand the full extent of what I was getting into. That is a fact. But, I don'nt feel that I am alone. We are a family taking care of our Brother and our Mother. Only, I get to be on the front line for now,Knowing that I always have back up if it is needed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanks Giving

There are some people in my life who really make a difference. They mean so much that I wonder how I could ever get along without them. When I look back, I can see the void that they fill in my heart. That's the way I feel about my family. You go out of your way for me, to make me feel special. In case you don't know, you are so important to me. I am grateful to have you in my life.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Mom has been wandering a lot more than usual. She has lost most of her bladder control. So cleaning the carpets is daily. I don't think this will change. She is becoming more confused when trying to converse with others. I have found their can not be any distractions when trying to talk to her or her mind wanders. She no longer reads or writes. She can not sign her name anymore. She looks the same so it is hard to try and adjust to what is going on in her mind. She is being robbed of her life past and present. But, she still has that kind spirit that makes her my mom.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mom ohh mom

Mom was up a lot last night. She was worried and could not tell me why. Except to say " I told him to wait for me and he didn't". She always looks so lost when she is like that. I wish with all the leaps and bounds they medically have made with ALZ. They could do something for her. It is hard to watch her shuffle around,as she is not sure where she is going. She continues to go to daycare which is good for her but, she does not have as much fun as she used to. But, she is eating better now that they are only giving her one food item at a time. I wish I could lift her spirits some how.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I don't know what drives me crazier. The Social Security agency, The council on ageing or the 3 doctor's office's. Or maybe medicare RX, So much red tape for so little services. I seem to go to meetings monthly. I expect it will slow down but, it still doesn't erase now. Mom's mood has'nt changed much. She got a phone call about a friend who is'nt doing well(health wise). She was unhappy the rest of the day. I guess that I have to tell her friends about (sunshine and roses only) when speaking to mom.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Difficult day

Today is a cloudy cold day. I know in the institutions a full moon changes the clients attitudes. But, does it do the same with the rain and cold? Mom is really confused today and agitated. She is complaining of being ignored and unloved. She refuses to stay dressed. She has taken everything out of her drawers and closet 3 times today. Only to deny doing it. I really feel overwhelmed. My daughter has stepped in and I have gone to hide in my room for awhile. It is so hard to see her like this when their is no way to redirect her or give her comfort. I know it will pass but, not today. Her confusion usually starts around 5pm. So I will wait and wonder about tonight. I am sorry to whine, Some times things eat at me. This blog has been a release. I will continue to hope tomorrow will bring sunshine.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunny warm day

It has been a good day. Warm outside with the sun shinning. We cleaned up outside putting away the last of the summer nick knacks I cooked hamburgers. Not bad for the middle of November. I find I enjoy these days a lot. Mom was not very confused. She was smiling and talkative. She wasn't anxious or angry. I guess it is like the weather if you don't have bad weather you wouldn't appreciate the good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Night off

It has been one of those day's which I don't think I can do much right. But, thanks to my daughter, I am taking tonight off mom is in my daughters capable hands. I am still in the house, but in hiding. I am going to my room, reading then taking a long bath. It is funny when I was young mom sent me to my room. Now that I am grown I send myself.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Laundry continued

I had a comment about the amount of laundry I do. Let me explain. Mom does not have the best bladder control, which padded underwear helps from her being embarrassed. but, she does like to change clothes a lot. She tries to wear my brothers clothes as well as her own. Plus, I still have to do my teenage son's laundry as well as mine and my husbands and my brothers (he lives with us and is mentally retarded). I didn't want anyone to think it was all my mom's fault for the amount of laundry I do. But, I do wish I had purchased the kind of washers that they have at laundry mats.


I never thought I would grow up to run a laundry mat. In the morning I get set up, do aproximately 7 loads of laundry. Put them away, and start over again the next morning. My mom changes clothes all day long. Would'nt be so bad if she only wore her clothes, and a shirt was a shirt not a skirt.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alzheimer's at what age?

When I think of the past mom always called my brothers and sisters by the wrong names. Their were 6 of us. And we always answered because we knew who we were. Even if we were in trouble. I wonder if at age 45 she was showing signs of Alzheimer's. I have been surprised by the ages of dementia suffers in communities I have been looking through. Alzheimer's is not just for the aged it seems to effect anyone at any age. Kind of worrisome.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Moms eye sight

Mom's eye sight information
I was going through some of mom's medical reports and came across a statement of moms loss of visuospatial skill.This is what I found out.

This is one component of cognitive functioning and it refers to our ability to process and interpret visual information about where objects are in space.

This is an important aspect of cognitive functioning because it is responsible for a wide range of activities of daily living.

For instance, it underlies our ability to move around in an environment and orient ourselves appropriately. Visuospatial perception is also involved in our ability to accurately reach for objects in our visual field and our ability to shift our gaze to different points in space

So, mom's eyesight is not failing. Hope this information is helpful

Monday, November 9, 2009


mom seems to be obsessed with money. She has to have something in her purse. she will spend the whole day obsessing over it. So, since she doesn't pay for anything anymore I put monopoly money in her wallet. It has worked for now. She feels wealthy. Hopefully she does not try to spend it or I probably will be up on counterfeiting charges.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Something New for me

Mom was really defensive today. She didn't want any help, but didn't want me out of her sight either. The sun was out and it was warm, so tried to get her outside. She argued with me , then complained that I wouldn't take her out. So we went outside with, "Just leave me out here forever" on her lip's.

Then she was watching Andy Taylor on T.V. and came out breathless to the kitchen saying " Jimmy won a prize."( Jim is my brother). Jimmy said, " No Opie won a prize". Neither one of us could convince mom. She was angry the rest of the night because we wouldn't listen to her about the prize Jim had won. Her moods are always changing. At least when I mess up, I know she wont be upset for too long. My brother takes it more personally (Men).

Eye sight

Mom is having a harder time following directions. She also seems to be having a harder time seeing things. I am not sure if it is actually eye sight or the connection between her brain and eyes, making her unsure of what she is seeing. Has anyone else had this same dilemma?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Get Away

Today I would like to just get away. Far Far away. Ever had a day like that? One minute I am the good daughter and the next I have over stepped my bounds. Then to top it off mom doesn't remember being mad at me 10 minutes after she says angry things. So she gets confused as to why I have an attitude. Then we start all over again with her being upset(Callgon take me away).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day by Day

Life it seems is always off balance. Some days mom can dress herself and some days she can't. Some day's she can remember what the bathroom is and how to use the toilet and some day's she can't. It is really hard to judge how far to push her to do things on her own, when I am not sure how capable she will be from day to day. It seems everyday I test her. I lay her clothes out on her bed and try to give her time to get dressed on her own, before I step in. I try and just let her fumble around in the bathroom until she gets it right(if she can on that day). I am not sure if this is the right thing to do for her, but I believe if I do everything for her she will stop doing anything and her abilities will deteriorate that much faster.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Best day at Day Care

Mom went to the Day Care center today. I was really worried she wouldn't readjust to the surroundings after her last hospital stay. She has been back 4 times now. But, this was the first time she truly enjoyed herself. That lost look I have been seeing wasn't as apparent. I have to say this group of elderly men and women in Elkhart are great. The volunteers are a lot of fun. Mom is already talking about going back Thursday. Maybe some normality for a while. Well the laundry is done. The dishes are washed. It's 9pm and mom is asleep. I am calling it a night. If anyone has any ideas for winter crafts; I am still looking for ideas at about a 7yr old level. Any ideas would be appreciated. I am not a crafty sort of person.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Day

Mom had many thoughts in her head today. My daughter came in half way through one of our many conversations and listened. Once we had finished and mom had left the room, my daughter just looked at me and said "I did not follow any of that". To which, I just agreed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Sunny Day

Today was a quiet day. I worked outside and mom was the foreman. She enjoys telling me what to do. We got the furniture put away and the yard raked. It was nice to get mom outside. I am not looking forward to being cooped up all winter. I still have not found a task for mom to do to keep busy this winter.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Tip

I know I said I was a nag, well one thing I have learned is when to back off. When mom is upset with me, I let her put herself to bed. Then 1-2 hours later, I go into her bedroom and help her go to the bathroom or just get into her P.J.'s. She is cooperative then. We talk a while, and she goes easily to sleep. Hope this helps you.

Another Day

Good morning to all. Mom has been doing quite well, I am still trying to get her back into the swing of things after her last hospital stay. It seems every time she has a health problem it kicks her ALZ up a notch. Her mental recovery takes longer each time. I feel that I am always pushing her to do more for herself. I think I have officially become a nag.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A question I can't answer

How do I answer the question " Am I normal"?. My mom has been asking this lately and I always respond with "what is normal mom". How honest can you be with someone with ALZ and not upset them?

Maybe I can help

I have been trying to keep my mom from wandering outside of the house. Thought I'd share some of the tips given to me. #1-put a black mat in front of the door to act as a barrier. #2- use child proof door handles so your loved one can not open the door. #3- use a door chime so that if your loved one goes out, you are alerted. I hope these are helpful. If you have any ideas please let me know. Thanks

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I have always loved the changing colors of Fall. This year everything is more intense. Taking mom out for a Sunday drive is like taking a child to see fireworks. She is so full of oohs and ayahs at the color of the trees and the oh so blue sky with it's big white clouds. I have to take a second look to see what I missed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Things I have learned

My mother's memories of current events are not the greatest, but I have learned about silly situations that my cousins and aunts have been in. Things that my mother and father used to do together. Chicago the way it was when my mom grew up their. So much history that I never knew even though my mother did our families genealogy. I have also learned to sit still and listen late at night when she can't sleep. I even look forward to our late night conversations and kind of feel cheated when I check in on her and she is sound asleep,(silly I know). I have learned that even though we drive each other crazy at times, I am grateful to have her with me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last week mom's doctor tried her on a new antidepressant. Within 2 days she was more confused and got agitated very easy. So I called the doctors office. I wanted to stop the medication, they wanted urine (urinary track infections can increase confusion). They got their urine, I stopped the medication and 3 days later I had my calm and less confused mom back. Stay up on the medication given to your loved one. Plus, trust your gut when it comes to their care.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mom's personality

In my nursing career we were taught that the subconscious attitude of an individual comes out when dementia hits. I have to say I am glad mom was always docile. She has her ups and downs but, I think that happens when she realizes that her memory is truly going and she has a very hard time doing the simple things. Such as toileting, setting the table, putting away her own clothes. But, she gets angry at herself not at anyone else. She tries so hard then gets upset when she can not succeed. I wish I could find things that she could accomplish.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What a difference a day makes

It is a bright sunny day. Mom woke alert and pretty oriented. Dressed without much help. Ate breakfast and took her pills without much prompting. We are going to sort buttons in a while. After she helps me dry dishes. I live for days that start like this.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not Before Coffee Please

Up at 6am to check on mom. She was in her chair covered with a sheet, so I went into her room to get a bathrobe and slippers. The bedroom floor was covered with clothes and bedding. I put the clothes on her bed linen in the hamper, then went and helped mom get dressed. Then I started her laundry. When I went into the bathroom to get a wash cloth for mom, so she could wash her face. I had to stop The floor was wet and covered in towels. I gave mom a damp wash cloth, put the towels down to get washed, moped the bathroom floor. Made breakfast, and now we get to sit down for our first cup of coffee. I am glad not every day starts like this.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today was up and Down

Mom and I were up at 6am. We had breakfast early. She went back to bed, when she woke up she swore I didn't feed her. We watched TV(Golden Girls). She really relates to TV. If Lucy looses her wedding band,so did mom... If Beaver gets on the wrong bus. So did my son... and so on. My family is learning that everything should be sunshine and roses around mom. She worries to much for bad news, which keeps us up at night and increases her confusion. I had tried things to keep her away from TV without much luck. Then I got the solution from my sister, now my mom is sorting buttons for me. It keeps her occupied and less anxious. Another good inexpensive idea .

night time wandering

I bought a baby monitor after my mom broke her hip. Then if she needed me at night I would hear her. But, when she gets up at night she is so quiet. I am worried that her new desire to wander at night will take her outside. Any ideas?

Thursday, October 15, 2009


It has been a long day. Mom had her ups and downs. I don't know what it is about clothes the offends her. It's 11pm and she has been to bed 4 times. This time I think she really is a sleep. So I am off to turn on the baby monitor and try to sleep.


I have noticed my mom gets frustrated very easy. She seems to have real problems finding the nouns she needs to carry on a full conversation. I am not sure if I handle this right but, I just let her talk and agree with about everything she says. I don't correct her or argue. Is this the right way to handle this? I know it makes for a more peaceful day. Give me your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Busy day

It is now 9pm. Mom got her hair done today. She had a great time at the salon. Went to here apt. at the clinic. She only argued a little about dinner and medications. Only needed a little help with getting ready for bed. Now I get to relax with laundry and dishes. How was your day?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adult daycare

I just picked mom from the adult daycare center. This was something my sister started and I was not to keen on the idea. But, I was wrong. Since she has been going we have more to talk about and she is in better spirits feeling she is apart of a group. Today the women got pedicures. Some days I wouldn't mind being a part of her group (ohhh to get a foot massage).

Monday, October 12, 2009


I have been amazed with the organizations that assist with the elderly. When my mom was first diagnosed with ALZ(Alzheimer), I met with a company Home Instead. The caregiver they sent me has now become my second set of hands and eyes allowing me to step back from care giving for a while each day. Another is the Association for Driver Rehab. when my mom thought she could still drive this nonprofit association became the non emotional third party that my mom would listen to. Maybe I can help find the program that can help you.


I took up the runners in my house. why you ask? Well I noticed my mom stepping carefully over the space between the carpet and the runner. When I asked she said " I don't want to fall in the hole." Let me know your helpful hints.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I want to say that if it were not for family this would be harder. From my daughter who does my moms hair and nails, to my sisters who call often bringing my mom comfort. Family is so important. I guess it is true no one is an island. This is why I started this website, not everyone has the support I am grateful to have. If you need some added support or just want to sound off I am here.

A Journey With Mom

I wanted a support group to help me accept and survive caring for my mom. But, anyone who is dealing with dementia knows you can't always make the physical meetings, so I hope keeping an online journal helps. My mother was diagnosed with ALZ 2 years ago. I quit my nursing job and now she is living with me. What a life change it has been for both of us. I am learning to judge the time of day by meals. I am hoping what I have learned helps others. Any ideas you have I would greatly appreciate.

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