More Questions re: Alzheimer's patients

mimi427April 8, 2005

Again, I want to thank each and everyone of you who responded. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to know there are people that truly understand what I am going through. My husband is trying, but I still feel he really doesn't "get it". There are times when I think he thinks my mom is just looking for attention, when the reality is she really needs my help.

You've all been going through this a lot longer than I have. I've noticed over the past 4 1/2 months that my mom is becoming increasingly dependent on me, which I completely understand; after all, that is why she is living with me. My concern and question is what will happen when my husband and I try to take a weekend for ourselves? I'm very concerned that she will be very nervous and aggitated and worry that I won't return. Every time I leave the house,even if only for an hour, she says "don't forget to come back" and I always say "I will come back, I always come back". I don't leave her at nite, only during the day for a few hours. If we're gone for a weekend, I have this fear she will sit and worry that I won't come home, and then she won't sleep. How do I go away to relax and re-energize if I'm dwelling on mom being anxious and worried? How do I get beyond that? I really do want to take a few days, and my husband is very anxious to get some alone time, but I need to be able to leave and feel she'll be ok. I know she'll be taken care of, I'm just concerned about her emotional state. I leave the house almost every day for about 3 hours when I go to my office and everyday I tell her where I am going, and everyday, as soon as I leave, she asks her care-taker "where is my daughter?" and continues to ask every 5 minutes or so until I return...I just can't get that out of my!! Mimi

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Mimi, how is your Mom's concept of time? I think that is important in your decision about getting time away. For example, when you have been gone for 3 hours, does she know it has been 3 hours by the clock? Sometimes, I can be gone for an hour and my uncle asks me if I was gone all night...what I am saying is, to him it wouldn't make a difference...he sleeps a lot, and loses track of time...and perhaps your Mom asks every five minutes because she forgot she asked five minutes before that...this is just a thought...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 2:10AM
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Mimi...My Mom started out that way, too, when she still felt time it could be a day, an hour, it doesn't mattter.
When we were considering going away for two weeks in August (before she was placed), I was going to give her a calendar that she could "X" out each day in an attempt to show her time passing and getting closer to our return. And perhaps doing it another way: a sort of "advent" calendar.
Patti may certainly have a point: they can simply forget they asked. Does your Mom do that with other things as well? Perhaps ask the same question about when her care-taker was coming, after she'd been and gone, for example?
My Mother always enjoyed a soap opera on here at 4:30pm, and started handing me the tv remote to "make it 4:30" so that she could watch it. Alzeimers patients simply revert back to childhood, and telling time can be one thing that they forget how to do.

Go. Enjoy your weekend away! I'd been told here many times that I needed to care for myself if I was to do a proper job with Mom....heed that advice. ;-) And if she's cared for, warm, fed, dry, you don't have to worry about her at all! Now go! Shoo!! ;-D

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 9:11AM
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I know it's difficult to believe, but her emotional state will be about the same no matter if you go or stay. So, you need to think about the relationship between you and your husband. She won't know that you have been gone two hours or two days. It's most likely all the same to her. She's going to worry. No doubt about that. But she will worry just as much if you don't go. It's part of the phase that she is going through. The road with her is going to be long and tough. Get used to taking care of yourself and your family.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:25AM
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As far as her concept of time, I guess I didn't give that much thought. I know she doesn't mix up her days and nites, at least not yet. I do see her looking at her watch on occasion but never refers to the time of day. She has no idea which programs are on TV and really doesn't care about what she is watching. In fact, quite often, she sits with her eyes closed and just listens. She's not sleeping because she twiddles her thumbs while her eyes are closed and is aware of people walking in and out of the room.
PeaBea, you bring up a very good point (and from what I've been reading, you seem to always bring up good points :). If I'm not here, it won't matter if it's a day or an hour, she will worry. What I dwell on is how it affects her "in the moment", but what I keep losing sight of is that she will forget. Somehow, I need to get past how she feels "in the moment"...thanks again for your input...talking to people that have traveled this road is priceless, and I appreciate all of you more than words can say...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:38AM
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Yes, Mimi, go with your husband. You need that time together. It sounds like you have good people caring for your precious mother. As Nora wrote in your previous thread: she hugs her mother, assures her she loves her, and tells her that everything is going to be OK...

Keep assuring your mother of your love and that you will always return when you leave her. Patti and Lindi also had some good comments... May God bless, strengthen, and encourage you as you take one day at a time with your dear mother. ~breezy

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:42AM
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Mimi, this is one time when looking in the past can help. Think back to one hour ago when you were concerned "in that moment." What could you have done that would have helped "in THIS moment?" Probably very little and one hour in the future, it would probably mean nothing at all. Focus your thoughts on the practical and not on the "maybe ifs." I know it's usually just impossible not to dwell on it, but try to relax and not worry so much about what might happen.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 11:22AM
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I know the time problem hit my dad, he would call us at 1,2,even 3 in the morning and want us to come over and have a talk. We would tell him we would be over in the morning after we fed the dogs. Go over at 10AM and he did not even remember calling us.
Time just had no meaning for him anymore.
Follow the others advice, they all dealt with this more than I did.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 1:22AM
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