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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.