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 Denial or Dementia? 
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Heavens, yes, Julianne! Good point! Don't wait until a court would find them incompetent to sign.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:57 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:20 am
Posts: 31
Location: Outer Banks, NC
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Happy New Year Everyone,
We also had a very different Christmas. For at least the last 60 years we have celebrated Christmas Eve with my mother's brother and family at my mom's house. This year I decided that mom couldn't handle it. So instead we had a quiet Christmas Eve and the next day we had Christmas dinner in the living room with my mom in a hospital bed. Instead of my sister, mom, and I spending 3 days cooking and 3 days recovering, my daughters and niece cooked the meals. My mom was actually pleasant and not the least agitated, even once!(Maybe because as others have suggested, we just agree with her now when we can!!) That was a great Christmas present to us.

She did however entertain us quite often. Sometimes it's just impossible not to laugh at some of the off the wall things she says when she is in a humorous and benign delusion. Yesterday we were watching tv in the afternoon and she whispered to me to go get her wallet. When I asked her why, she said that she wanted to give Oprah some money for Christmas. We were watching Oprah and she suddenly thought we were there in Chicago at the show. She wanted to help Oprah out since this is her last season and she might not make any more money. :lol: Delusional for sure, but I got a real giggle out of that!
Debbie

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Debbie 57 daughter of Evelyn 82
When you get to the end of the rope, tie a knot in it and hang on!


Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:16 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:34 am
Posts: 67
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Julianne,
Mom has outlined all of that though I am not sure of the terms when we are able to take over. Previous to the hosipital stay and dx we both clarified all. She is still mild- moderate (at least today) and I must be sensitive as to how and when I addrress certain serious issues with her. My hope is that when my sister comes sometime in January, I will let her be the "heavy" and discuss such matters. Mom is having major issues with control and we are trying to come up with ways to allow her to keep control with checks and balances. I handled her and her health issues phenomenally well when she was in distress. Now that she has lucid moments (and mean ones) I was having trouble navigating and keeping up with the sudden,polar changes. The more I read here, the better I adapt and learn what and how to address certain issues. I appreciate the thought and will add these related questions to my ever expanding list.

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Katie (36) daughter of Marcia (70)


Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:51 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:34 am
Posts: 67
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Debbie,
Aren't these folks wonderful? SImply agreeing and going with the flow and then remembering to have fun make all of the difference.

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Katie (36) daughter of Marcia (70)


Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:53 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 215
Location: Kalispell, MT
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Hmm, seems like all I do now is post on this forum. Anyway, I occasionally ask my husband questions that I think will shed some light on his perception of things. Such as "If you had to describe your condition to somebody, what would you tell them?" "What is the most difficult thing about your condition?" I usually say condition rather than disease. His answers are that he can't drive and that he can't find the right word when he talks. I think that is a blessing considering his real condition.


Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:27 am
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:34 am
Posts: 67
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Gailshef,
What a great idea about the phrasing of questions. Mom's answers are similar. Before she was petrified to drive and now she wants to drive again but we are waiting until we see the neurologist in 3 months. I visit this forum often as well. Mom says I'm addicted.

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Katie (36) daughter of Marcia (70)


Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:24 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 57
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
In my case it was Denial!!!! I couldnt use the A word, she didnt understand the D word and the L word... not even going there! HA. Made it all the more difficult. My moms life was all about denial though, so why change now?

Tiny,
I see you are a teacher. My teaching skills came in handy. You had to quit your job and move in with your mother?! Wow! I put my mom in assited living for two years. She was at her home alone prior to that a lot of the time but with me in my home after falls etc. on and off for 10 years. It was so hard I thought assisted living was the only answer. Brought her home after I retired early. Wish I would have had the energy to bring her home with me earlier.
You have a long road ahead of you. Take care of yourself. Sharon E


Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:38 am
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:34 am
Posts: 67
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
I haven't quit yet and may take FMLA after my sick days run out next week. Mom is doing well but has a history of depression and I think she would decline rapidly if she went to an ALF. She does much better in her own house. In fact, travelling to visit my brother and staying in his house incited the dementia related issues. I had seen her only in her comfort zones so we were finally able to observe the real issues and she was unable to "hide."

Unfortunately, she has no support system here and refuses to move back home with me. This aspect is the most difficult for me because I'm still learning how to deal with our new relationship. Demanding anything from her is something I've never done and am not good at in general (unless they are middle school kids and even then I have my moments)All of her Dr.'s are here, at least she's comfortable and busy. I'm muddling through and hope I can figure things out without going broke or crazy. I wonder which will come first?

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Katie (36) daughter of Marcia (70)


Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:42 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Katie, I think we'll all end up both broke and crazy. But, if we're crazy, maybe we won't mind so much that we're broke. :lol:

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:54 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:34 am
Posts: 67
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Hahahaaa. I was already living in the suburbs of crazy town. Looks like I'm headed for some downtown living. I've been telling my students for years they better become successful adults because someone will have to take care of crazy, old Ms. G. My long term goal is to sell everything, backpack accross Ireland for the rest of my life. I told a friend yesterday I was going to be like an old dog and just disappear. Thanks for the laugh.

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Katie (36) daughter of Marcia (70)


Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:00 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 57
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Tiny,

I can so relate to you. I am not sure when my mother's LBD started but after my father died she came to my home and broke her hip. She was here for about 6 months. During that stay we observed her have terrible dreams. Come to find out this is an early sign LBD may be brewing. She returned to her home and well..... I took care of her from a distance. She would end up at my house for holidays and after falls or illnesses. Many things happened ,which will fill a book here, during these 6 years. I tried to talk to her about ALF. Nursing homes were her greatest fear. She wanted no part of it and I couldnt convince my sister she needed more care than I could give her. We fought.... Mom did not want to come and live permanantly with me, nor did we think we could handle it! Finally made my sister come to find an ALF. Placed mom and I continued working. I was so burned out from everything and my job I retired early at 51. It took me about 2 years to recover from the burn out, and then I brought mom home to live her final months with me.
Save your money now. It gets more expensive later. It sounds like you are in the early stages. I think if I were you I would not take the leave now, I would save it for later! My mother suffered from depression all of my life and had many other medical problems. I let her stay at her home for as long as I could. It becomes very obvious when they cant do it alone anymore. If she is still driving you have a long way to go! Hope I didnt ramble too much.
Sharon E.


Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:52 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 215
Location: Kalispell, MT
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Tiny:

Regardless of what anybody says, think very (very, very) carefully before letting your mother drive. There are at least 2 threads, maybe more, that address the driving issue. Both in Introductions: "Mom just got diagnosed with LBD at age 65," and "LBD patient life expectancy." This is hard to tackle, but those of us who let it go on too long without an accident are JUST PLAIN LUCKY. It gives me the shivers looking back.


Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:53 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 57
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Yes I agree with being careful with the driving! It is a hard issue but one of the first that must be addressed. ( I may be wrong about Tiny's mom driving.) Must have projected. Thank God my mother didnt hurt herself or someone else. She would tell me she would forget where she was going, left her emergency brake on , did damage to her car, nearly had an accident and did end up with a scrape on her car. We never did figure out where she got a huge gash in her head which required 11 stitches.

Sharone


Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:15 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
We were just plain lucky too that my dad didn't have an accident before I was forced to take away the car keys. When I told him that I didn't think he could live with himself if he hurt or killed someone, or went to jail in his remaining years, be in a lawsuit or see me and my sister sued because we should have been responsible enough to have him stop driving, that gave him pause. He didn't like it, but I too look back and think "phew", we were so lucky. He shouldn't have been driving at least the last 10 - 12 months that he did. I'd been refusing to ride with him for 12 years as it was! I always drove when we were together since the late 90's. Last summer when I had to force him to give it up he said "You don't trust me to drive!?" I said "I trust you but I don't trust your legs that will hardly get you to the car" or something to that effect.
It is a really tough situation to deal with but it has to be done at least for the protection of everyone else on or near the road. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:29 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:34 am
Posts: 67
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: Denial or Dementia?
Ladies,
Thanks again. Honestly, she hasn't been good driving for a few years. This past spring, I drove 4.5 hours, picked mom up and drove her back to my house for a visit and then returned her 4 days later. She isn't happy alone. She's been in decline for the past few years. During the past month, after onset of hallucinations, parkinson like movements etc., when she wasn't so lucid she revealed much I did not know.
1. She ate mostly pb& j or ice cream
2. Left food in the fridge so it looked like she had food in the fridge
3. Lost approx 30lbs.
4. Anxiety and paranoia increased
many neighbors moved/ left- vacant houses
obssesive about heat in house
5. Will not drive at night- thinks people are trying to run her off the road
6. Depressed
7. Sleep disorders- napping throughout the day
8. Depressed-
9. Does not take medication as prescribed
10. Self medicates
11. You all know the rest- or at least you found out when your LO crashed

I know we're in the early stages, I know she may be able to make it on her own for a while longer but she's my mom, my hero, my world. I signed up for this along time ago. The suddeness is what is getting me. I'm not trying to be a martyr and I won't live with her and watch her slowly kill herself if she becomes noncompliant. But if I leave, I'll expedite her death. It's been difficult but also an honor. Even if I consider that I may never see or know my mom again, while she's still lucid, she deserves, has earned the privilege to live well. I'll be okay and without a husband or kids; who knows maybe this is a blessing. Over the course of the past year, I have renewed my spiritual curiosity. I've been kicked in the a double more times than I can count and I will always be okay and I will always make it. I just need a little help sometimes and I cannot tell everyone here how much I appreciate the kind words, the practical knowledge, the resources, education, and laughs.

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Katie (36) daughter of Marcia (70)


Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:54 pm
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