More Questions RE: Alzheimer's

mimi427September 30, 2005

I do have many books on Alz/dementia, but I find personal experience to be so much more helpful. For the past two days, mom has been saying things like "I can feel I'm getting much worse....something is happening to me". When I ask if what she's feeling is in her head or in her body, she's not sure. I've noticed when she tries to get up from a sitting position, her legs really quiver and she tells me her knees won't hold her...she keeps them bent, so I try to get her to lock them; she finally does and can then walk. I know you're not doctors, but just from experience, does this sound like it's more decline or could it be from lack of exercise, just plain weak?

She's also been talking about being a burden to me, which I continually tell her she is not and has never been. Since she learned she's moving to my sister's, she's been saying this and I feel very bad, because we did tell her that I can't take care of her because of my back problem. So now I'm thinking she thinks she's a burden because of my bad back. I've tried to reassure her she has nothing to do with my back problem, but as you know, it just "doesn't stick" in her head.

You know, every time she declines a little more, I have trouble adjusting for a few days, and then I manage to accept it. Maybe this is just that...more decline...I'm just curious if any of you experienced any of the above with your loved ones?

Thanks so much,

Mimi

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Glitter53

Hi, Mimi...yes, it could be another decline. My Mom started to walk all stooped over her walker and her legs just wouldn't straighten up like they used to, so she more or less shuffled instead of walked. Now she can't support herself at all and is in a wheelchair all the time. We were fortunate to find a wheelchair second-hand in the newspaper at a very good price, before it got too late for her to negotiate around with it. She hated it in the beginning, but I got in it and tried to use the wheels to get around and kept bumping into things, she was having a whale of a time with my silliness...so she tried it and I left her alone with it, and just peeked in from time to time. She kept working with it I'm sure just to show me how easy it was! LOL! Anyway...she realized it was much more comfortable than trying to walk and she got quite good at it, and it was certainly easier for me to take her through the house (I always worried about her falling with her walker, as she seemed to list to one side). Perhaps you could keep your eyes open for one and just keep it aside for when she'll need it.

As for her questioning you about being a burden...don't forget she may not likely remember asking you before, so for her it's the first time she feels she's asking...just reassure her with lots of huggles and kissings and she'll be fine. Focus on the better times ahead...getting to know her other daughter more, the outings you'll both be taking her on....lunches out....Yes, they do need a lot of reassurance..just like the child they're becoming.

HTH!
Linda

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 9:29AM
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Logfrog

Instead of telling her that she's not a burden, try to explain that if you don't take it easy for a while, it will get so you can't take care of her. Keep talking like this is only temporary and then she can come back when you heal. Tell her it's like a broken leg or arm. Your back has to heal and it will take time and rest. She may accept an explanation like that. She worries about being a burden because she can't understand about your back. I suspect that she is having trouble with her legs because of her age. It's one of those unpleasant things that happen to the elderly. There's not much you can do to reverse the problem.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 9:34AM
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mimi427

We have a wheelchair, actually have had it for many months,but don't use it in the house. She has a walker for the house but refuses to use it. I know I need to be assertive with her, but you have NO idea how stubborn this woman is. I suppose if she gets to a point where she's really afraid, she'll use it or the wheelchair. She willingly uses the chair when we go out, but the one we have is just a transport chair, doesn't have the big wheels for her to use herself...oh well, one more week, and then it will be sis' issues to work on. Thanks

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 1:42PM
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