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Polymathy1 t1_iugu7ka wrote

Sorry to hear that. Laugh while you can because there is a lot of the sad parts coming.

Here's some practical advice for whoever spends time with her:

Don't argue on things that don't matter. You won't win and even if you do temporarily, fighting will just upset her. 10 minutes later, she will still be saying the same wrong thing but also be upset and unsure why she's upset. "You can't find your car keys? Oh, Nan, I just dropped it off to get the oil changed as a surprise/is in the shop." instead of "You don't have a car/license." Then change the subject to a very different thing.

Play music she likes and get her to talk about her past when she feels like it. Find out what music she likes and stuff it onto a music player. Music can help her have a better day when she is doing poorly because it stimulates more parts of the brain than many other things. When it gets worse, smells can really cut through bad feels and frustration. Find some smells she really finds calming or associates with good memories and write this stuff down so that you can keep track of it.

If you show up on a Tuesday and she calls you Mike all day and seems to like you like you're some friend of hers, just be Mike for the day. She might even say nice things about you as though you aren't you.

Do fun stuff with her that doesn't take much talking like gardening, feeding ducks, painting, singing, listening to music, or whatever. Things that take skill like knitting should be saved for good days. On the topic of knitting, dementia can make some people be shockingly and unexpectedly mean and violent. It isn't her fault, but don't get hurt either. I think it's like 40% of people with Alzheimer's that get mean.

Make sure someone is helping her with vision and hearing issues. Dementia plus being kind of blind and deaf sucks astronomically more than dementia when you can see and hear well enough to not have to repeat yourself.

Anyway, thanks for coming to my Ted talk. Cheers to your Nan and you both.


Aggravating-Bottle78 t1_iugwdn6 wrote

I found my mom would laugh if we all laughed when someone said something funny and she didnt even really hear it. There something positive and feel good about having a laugh with your family.

She definitely liked having music and I would have music playing when making dinner and though she no longer cooked I'd get her involved with chopping vegetables and she liked to help.

Sometimes she would take drama on tv for real and would say look what that awful person did etc..

So if we had the tv it might be mr Bean where could still really enjoy the simple humour or music on youtube.

We were lucky to have private caregivers come to her (and she livrd with my brother so she wasnt alone too much) and was able to live at home as long as she could.


Grieie t1_iuh0f0i wrote

This. My grandma Marsie would get family members confused. She thought I was a nurse at one point and hated me, then I was her favourite as an brought her ginger ale, then later she thought I was my cousin. There was no point correcting… just to try and keep the interactions as pleasant as possible. Although when I was the “nurse” she really really didn’t like me. I didn’t take it to heart, took the advantage to try and get her to take her meds.


Polymathy1 t1_iuh0vvk wrote

Lol I misread the last part as " I took advantage and tried to take her meds." I got like no sleep last night, but funny misread.


Grieie t1_iuh1243 wrote

With some of her hallucinations, ohh hell no. Something about a train, and the animals were there. And the mother animals started eating their babies. And it might have been on fire. It was apparently driving past her room. She wasn’t in viewing of a railway.


Orthophlox t1_iuht2rd wrote

Yes, the whole arguing with dementia patients notion came from the idea that you need to "re-orient" them back to reality in hopes it would slow the progression of dementia. It doesn't work. It just makes people upset.

It took a while for me to convince my family of this. For nearly a year they insisted on reminding my grandmother, multiple times a day, that my grandfather was dead whenever she asked for him. Then she would cry and they would lament how heartbreaking it was. She did it with me and I said "Oh, he's parking the car, he'll be right in." And my family was LIVID because "what's she going to think when he doesn't come in from parking the car?" forgetting, of course, that she won't ever get that far.

Eventually they bought into it more and everyone was spared a lot of pain. Not the least of whom being my grandmother who no longer had to relive being told her husband was dead over and over and over again, especially by people who just sort of broke that news abruptly to a woman who, in her mind, was hearing it for the first time.

Imagine a loved one dies and when you ask about them someone just sort of snaps "What? What are you going on about? He's dead!" Yet, that's pretty much how people tell people with dementia news like that. Not only counterproductive but inhumane.


mistermaster415 OP t1_iuh8ts7 wrote

Yeah the only thing we argue over is her driving. Other than that we just brush it off n have a laugh with her.


kittycoppermined t1_iuk1e2e wrote

Not sure if you can where you live but my mom was able to have my grandma’s doctor request a drivers exam and of course she failed so lost her licence very quickly.


Beginning-Health6946 t1_iuhvn5j wrote

This is why a lot of stand up comedians usually suffer things like depression. Finding humor in things is a tool that keeps the person from going insane.


greenlemons105 t1_iugu0ub wrote

I’d like to think OP’s “sort of funny” comment is in a coping mechanism way since dementia is awful for the individual and their loved ones. Not funny “haha”, funny “this is saddening but I’m trying to cope with this painful reality”


mistermaster415 OP t1_iuh8y25 wrote

It sort of is, our family has always been the type to laugh at our misfortunes, and nan did the same with her mother. She laughs with us, we all dont take things to heart


BoredGoard t1_iuhj5w9 wrote

My mom called me one time and said “Well… your grandma is pregnant.” She then went on to tell me my grandma said she was pregnant and my mom told her “Mother, you haven’t had a uterus in over twenty years.” We laughed.

I also have a family that chooses to laugh over crying. Sometimes we do both. Best to you and your nan.


triggerismydawg t1_iuih90u wrote

Mine is the same way.

When my grandma was dying (at home on hospice) and hadn’t been lucid for days my aunt and I were trying to roll her over. We were *awful at it and couldn’t stop laugh-crying. My aunt said “I bet if you’d known this is how things were gonna end up you wouldn’t have grounded me so much mom!” And my grandma started laughing 😂

We never heard her speak again but that laugh meant SO much to us.


usrdef t1_iugwqu9 wrote

Exactly. Finding humor in things is how some people cope. People need to stop being offended by a sentence because the person decided to translate it in their own way.

This is why a lot of stand up comedians usually suffer things like depression. Finding humor in things is a tool that keeps the person from going insane.


Dan300up t1_iugv1s2 wrote

Yo dude; no time of the year is a bad time for a happy New York…wishing the happiness of 9 million people on you is a hell of a tribute 😂


OKIKNOWNOTHING t1_iugxq39 wrote

It's a little early, we haven't even had Hollywood or Tokyo yet.


mistermaster415 OP t1_iuh6qhr wrote

This was a card my mum found from last year, it's gotten worse since unfortunately. None of us even picked up on this being an early sign


OKIKNOWNOTHING t1_iuhjne9 wrote

I'm sorry to hear that. It really sounds heartbreaking. Keep your spirits up, I wish you the best.


kittycoppermined t1_iuk1loy wrote

Hugs OP. The early signs only become early signs once it has progressed.


Van_GOOOOOUGH t1_iugtpox wrote

It is cute & sad & funny. I hope she has plenty of love & support to see her through.


djkmart t1_iuhf3pu wrote

Can never fault an old person's handwriting. It's always impeccable.


notBroco t1_iuh5vxv wrote

Ask her to draw a clock.


kittycoppermined t1_iuk1q9f wrote

This is how the health nurses did the preliminary diagnosis of my grandma. They also had her write her full name out.


Ex-zaviera t1_iuh6q01 wrote

Nan has that killer handwriting tho. Treasure it!


Brewe t1_iujazmk wrote

Maybe you just haven't been informed yet that you're moving to the big apple in December.


-420-69-nice- t1_iuguahm wrote

It's hard to watch so laugh when you can that's all that will get you through


TheAltoidsEater t1_iuh05iy wrote

Or she remembered that Jason was going to New York for Christmas.


TerrorMgmt12 t1_iuhpyml wrote

@belightcare on Instagram has amazing advice I wish I knew when my dad was going through it.


JarJar4ever t1_iui4azs wrote

Make sure you keep these cards, might be the last thing you ever get that is hand written from them before they can't write anymore. I kept mine from my grandma that she mailed me in 2019. She wasn't able to write anymore after that and it is something that I cherish very much and keep on my fridge until this day.


RoosterGlad1894 t1_iuifnby wrote

This is gonna sound fucked up but you have to learn to laugh with dementia. My grandpa had it for eight years and I took care of him. His entire life he would wake up and have his coffee and do his crossword puzzles. One day he wasn’t in the greatest mood so before he got up to start his day I took his crossword puzzle and started filling in the spaces with messages and it was the funniest thing ever to see the look on his face like trying to figure out if it was like talking to him or what. You gotta have a little fun on the way because dementia is a real bitch sometimes!


thingk89 t1_iuj01bn wrote

I went through the same. I was blessed because she was always saying funny things and was extremely kind right till the end. It’s ok to enjoy the humour in this last chapter. You won’t have regrets


BuckNutley t1_iuje2qz wrote

It's just sad. It won't be funny when she doesn't remember who you are anymore or where or even who she is.

I'm not trying to be mean, I've been through/am going through it. It's not fun.


JesusSaysRelaxNvaxx t1_iuk6yer wrote

My oma had front lobe aphasia which determines similar to dementia until they basically become infantile and then die trapped inside their bodies, fucking awful. I'll never forget when I was 18 she got me a birthday card, at a Christmas party (my bday is nowhere close to christmas) and it has a unicorn and rainbows on it - it was for a small child, along with a very random gift. Crazy enough it was my nieces birthday recently and someone got her the same card 16 years after the incident and I was instantly transported back in time. I wish more than anything we had a cure for it, I can't imagine anything being worse than losing my mind and being trapped in my body.


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Bigchungus230106 t1_iuhf92w wrote

Sorry to ask but I'm missing the joke. I'm not saying it's not funny I am just not seeing the funny part can someone please explain.


Implausibilibuddy t1_iuhu6i8 wrote

She meant to write happy new year but the dementia, like the permanent brain flatulence it is, caused her to lose her train of thought mid sentence and write New York instead.

Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog though. You learn more about the frog but the frog dies.


Bigchungus230106 t1_iuhxizd wrote

What a great analogy. I thought the year actually said year not York but thanks for explaining


[deleted] t1_iuhjpjz wrote

Maybe Jascon moved to New York and she wishes him, that NY is happy, so he could be happy, too.


zerbey t1_iuhztrw wrote

My Great-Grandma had a wonderful attitude to her dementia when it first started with plenty of self deprecating humor, it made the really difficult years that followed easier to handle.

Your letter also reminded me of the final birthday card I received from my Grandad. Nanna had always taken care of them, but he was determined to continue that after she passed away. He had no idea what to write, so asked my Mum who just said "write what you think is best!". I received a birthday card "Best wishes, [his first name]". His Valentines day cards to my Nanna were always "Yours, forever [his first name]". She thought it was adorable but always laughed about it. He was a farmer, not a man of words but of deeds. He meant the world to me.


SkipLarouche t1_iuhmwbi wrote

Laughter and love are the most important. For the last three years I had taken care of my mom, who suffered from dementia. It’s hard, but trying to stay positive and make her laugh made the days easier. If you get frustrated or upset, leave the room for a second so they don’t pick up on your feelings. We’d also start each day with a run down of who she is and where we are, and who I am on bad days (“hey mom, I’m your baby, I just grew up and got fat” would always get a chuckle). Sending love and positive vibes to you and anyone taking care of family


BriRun1 t1_iugsovp wrote

I understand what you’re saying, but there isn’t anything funny about this. I’m sorry that your nan is going through this.


Polymathy1 t1_iugubrl wrote

When it comes to dementia, you have to laugh at what little you can. I once saw an old woman demanding someone give her "that penis there, right there, the big penis on the couch!" when she meant pillow. It's called word salad and it's at least a little funny sometimes.


mistermaster415 OP t1_iuhdb8x wrote

Yeah I laugh as much as I can, it can get scary and I feel bad so laughing all I got


igetnokick t1_iuh05rw wrote

maybe you lie but if you dont, its not funny and you are about to find out