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Aging parents


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#1 Mama Kel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:57 AM

So this is all new to me but anyone going through this? gone through it? I feel like I'm losing my mind because they are angry about things that didn't really happen, or at least happen the way they say. Their personalities are changing. It's kinda crazy. Not sure what to do :undecided:

#2 Jwheelz

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:00 AM

I'm sure there are boardies who can help you out... I don't have experience with this but I feel for you and I send strength and positive vibes your way <3

#3 Mama Kel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:16 AM

I just had to call Frank to make sure I wasn't crazy being blamed for a conversation that didn't happen! (at least with me anyway) Frank was in the room for said conversation :bang:

Thanks J <3

#4 china cat

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:25 AM

Sorry, Kel

is it both of them?

(((hugs)))

#5 Mama Kel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:30 AM

It's mostly my mom. My dad has had a poor memory for years due to Lyme disease, but it's like a light switch flipped & they are both different people all of a sudden. It's so bizarre. Not just poor memory or mixed up memories but personality changes. Plus I think my mom is having health issues & trying to hide it - causing undue stress I'm sure-and is not helping the situation.

At least (to look on the bright side) if this is the case, they haven't just all of a sudden turned into dickwads! :lol:

#6 Karen

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:01 AM

My mom has dementia...and is in chemo. She keeps saying 'gosh, my building never lost power during the hurricane' and that she wasn't here because she had to go somewhere (does not recall being evacuated for 2.5 weeks) She sometimes gets quite annoyed when you tell her that is not what happened...

She's not being jerky but she is being stubborn (again, the dementia). For instance, today is her triple dose chemo week where in addition to the injection she has to take pills every day. I hide the pills, some of which have to be refrigerated. I left the house for 2 hours very early this morning. By the time I got back she was awake (doh!) and had taken the correct doses but ALL AT THE SAME TIME.(which is probably why she is so sick right now...usually she doesn't get sick until the following day from this triple does) In addition, she put her refrigerated medicine in the closet...sigh. When I told her that we had a deal and she is can't administer her own meds right now she got pissed and cranky. I don't know what my point is....I guess it's that I understand it's frustrating and I totally sympathize. Getting older has to be tough, especially when you feel you are losing control of taking care of yourself and making decisions, etc. The memory loss I know is frustrating. At least for my mom it is... She SO wants to be more independent but it is just not safe for her to be. Much love to you :heart:

#7 Slave Self Promoted

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:27 AM

:heart: much love to you during this, kel. :heart:
it's hard for independent people to let go. that's a good sign that while they lose their marbles, they're still very independent people. try to talk about the conversations you have had without correcting their memories. it's the best way to maintain your own sanity without losing respect for what i'm sure are incredible people. understand that when it may be a thing of pride for you to remember this conversation as a good one, you don/t want to make it shameful that they don't remember it as such. it's a tough road, and when dementia hits, you're left feeling like the teenager in trouble for no reason, but they're in a cloud of scary confusion. often, it's best to admit that you're the asshole and tell them you love them. :heart:
i wish you the very best. :heart:

#8 Royal

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

Hi Kelly, Hi Karen...

The 1 800 numberfor the Alzheimer's Association is good nation wide or go to www.alz.org I dont reccomend the Alzheimer's Foundation.

The following office(s) serve your area. Click on the office location nearest you to be redirected to your local Alzheimer’s Association site. Call us toll-free anytime day or night at 1.800.272.3900.

Kelly the local ofice is at
2 Jefferson Plaza
Suite 103
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
local # 845 471 2655

I reccomend coming in and getting some of our materiall pamphlets very informative. If you want to meet with an Alz social worker, the appropriate thing to do would be to schedule where your parents live.

I'm not saying Karen and Kelly that your parent is suffering from Alzheimer's, but it's good to get information about it. There are also early stage support groups that are very helpful.

#9 Mama Kel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

I don't know if it's the start of dementia, or just typical aging, or what. My grandmother had dementia/alzheimers. If it was just memory loss, it would be frustrating enough but she's screaming at me & totally pissed for things I DID NOT DO nor are in my personality to do. (things that are typical of my youngest brother though) So it's more than just memory loss, it's fabricating conversations that do not exist and then 'fighting' with me about them and lashing out at me for them. So I kind of have to point out that she's wrong because her anger at me if affecting her relationship with my kids. I can deal, they can't.

But she is also just WAY over-reacting to things. Which is more typical of her when she's stressed about something (possibly her health, she has MS).

Thanks for your encouragement, words of support, etc. I really do appreciate it <3 Let's hope this is not the start of a nightmare :undecided:

#10 Spidergawd

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

:heart:

#11 TEO

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

Love & Light :heart:

#12 Ginger Snap

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:56 PM

I don't have direct experience with elder parents, but I work with a sometimes challenging and delusional, often cranky population, and honestly, my parents are also cranky by nature. :lol: I think the biggest trick I've learned is to not take anything, I mean anything personally. I know it sounds really simple, but I think it can be difficult for us to not take our parents personally.

With my delusional folks, I don't know, I'm never going to change the fact that they're delusional, and they certainly aren't going to begin believing me, so i've figured out how to just roll with it. Not give in or reinforce the delusion, but make space for the fact that it's perfectly okay with me that that's what they believe. Then they can trust me because we aren't at odds and I can give them the care that really matters.

#13 Gypsy Bob

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

As an Aging Parent myself (63 and counting) I can offer a few insights. Part of the problem with recall is there is much more of a linear time span for thoughts and memories to get lost in. Some thoughts are fresh in others minds when in reality I may not have visited them in MANY years. Without more frequent recall facts and details of similar experiences tend to overlap and blur the margins hence "A brain Fart or Senior Moment." Thoughts and memories tend to atrophy just like muscles when under used. The significance of someones Fond Memory may simply have become Less Significant to me. I find that at Family Gatherings when I hear the phrase "Do you remember" my response is simply "No, I don't."

The speed at which time passes is ACCELERATED and this somehow messes with cognitive storage and recall. So I hope this helps and what do you mean Jerry's Dead! :afro: :bigsmile:

#14 TEO

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

Along those lines I am currently reading a book on the neuroscience of magic. It goes into how that when we recall a memory and explore it, the most recent recollection of the memory is that which is then saved to be later recalled, rather than the original memory. Additionally we do not store the entire memory like a tape to be replayed, rather we only save certain details and color in the balance each time we recall the memory.

#15 Ginger Snap

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

:lol: bob

#16 TEO

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

Oh, we can also recall things(memories) we never experienced based on having other's tell us over and over what our experience/perceptions were.

#17 Mama Kel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

I hear what you all are saying. and I would/could empathize if I knew wtf was going on with them. But they share nothing. One of them could be hit by a car & I'd never know. It's hard to sympathize with people who are attacking me for no reason & not being honest with me. And saying/doing things that are affecting MY children negatively. Bottom line, I need to protect MY kids.

Sorry I'm just pissed, and worried & frustrated

#18 Lemireacle

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

My siblings and I are going through this with my mom. Her short term memory is getting really bad, but she'll have no problem recalling the slightest detail of an incident that occured back in 1952

It's tough and easy to get frustrated when talking to her and having to repeat something three times in the span of a few minutes. But she's still with us, so I'm not complaining!! :heart:

#19 Mama Kel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

Thanks you guys. Hopefully they will come clean w/ me & tell me what is going on. My gut says there's a lot more to this than they're letting on. I appreciate all your kind words & support <3

#20 Karen

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:15 PM

My siblings and I are going through this with my mom. Her short term memory is getting really bad, but she'll have no problem recalling the slightest detail of an incident that occured back in 1952

It's tough and easy to get frustrated when talking to her and having to repeat something three times in the span of a few minutes. But she's still with us, so I'm not complaining!! :heart:


This. Totally.


Kel, the imagined conversations is something that I have been experiencing with my mom. Definitely part of dementia. She is adamant about how she recalls things, real or perceived. It's tough and Wit gives great advice about it...try not to take anything personally. It's tough but it makes things easier if you don't. The kid in us cringes when our parents tell us 'no!' which is what many folks with memory loss/dementia/alzheimers do.

Ryan, thank you so very much for the Alzheimers info. :heart: Thankfully, my mom's doc is pretty sure that she has dementia and not alzheimers but we are always paying close attention to any changes.

#21 Joker

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

It's going to be a tough road ahead, heed the advice that's been given and stay strong :heart:

#22 Jwheelz

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

Have them meet with a neurologist and get assessed. My father's dementia progressed very very quickly, but there were signs we missed and interpreted as "normal aging". You need to know what's going on because early diagnosis allows for important early treatments that may extend quality of life and independence.


This. I was just going to say something along these lines, especially since it's a sudden change it's very important to get them evaluated medically. If something is seriously amiss, they may not be capable of making proper informed decisions about their care in which case it may be necessary to explore something like medical power of attorney at least maybe at some point in the future. I know it must be very frustrating and actually I've begun to see slight changes in my own parents which is sometimes pretty scary... either way <3 <3 <3

#23 TEO

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

If they are both doing it, could it be something harmful in their environment? Carbon Monoxide or other things?

#24 Karen

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:29 PM

Excellent advice in this thread! :thup:

#25 Misha

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:24 PM

Sorry you're going through this Kelly. My story is very similar to Karen's. My Dad is getting chemo and his memory isn't what it used to be plus he's so frustrated that he can't do things like he used to. We live with them and every day is both a gift and a challenge.

#26 Joker

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:47 PM

Is it worse at night? It might be Sundowners, they were able to treat my dad and it settled him down a lot

#27 Mama Kel

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:50 AM

This. Totally.


Kel, the imagined conversations is something that I have been experiencing with my mom. Definitely part of dementia. She is adamant about how she recalls things, real or perceived. It's tough and Wit gives great advice about it...try not to take anything personally. It's tough but it makes things easier if you don't. The kid in us cringes when our parents tell us 'no!' which is what many folks with memory loss/dementia/alzheimers do.

Ryan, thank you so very much for the Alzheimers info. :heart: Thankfully, my mom's doc is pretty sure that she has dementia and not alzheimers but we are always paying close attention to any changes.


This is all new. I don't know if this is dementia or what, but it is sketchy at best. Talked to my brother about it & he said he feels like he's noticed this slowly for years. He comes home once a year so maybe easier to see the changes when you're not there regularly?

Have them meet with a neurologist and get assessed. My father's dementia progressed very very quickly, but there were signs we missed and interpreted as "normal aging". You need to know what's going on because early diagnosis allows for important early treatments that may extend quality of life and independence.


Yeah this is great in theory. In reality I'm dealing with a woman who has had MS for 20 years & NEVER treated it!! Getting her to a neurologist will take years, if ever :(


There is great stuff in here. Thanks all <3

#28 sarah b.

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:09 AM

Love and strength to you.

#29 Karen

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:12 AM

This is all new. I don't know if this is dementia or what, but it is sketchy at best. Talked to my brother about it & he said he feels like he's noticed this slowly for years. He comes home once a year so maybe easier to see the changes when you're not there regularly?


My sister didn't notice it as much as she sees my mom all the time. I come in every couple months or so and stay with my mom and it is much more apparent to me.. So, yes, this might be true...

#30 August West

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:52 AM

Even when you look back it's hard to tell when how it all started. I have been watching both my parents aging, It's been nuts for the past 15 years and it got a lot crazier. Last year I had to call 911 because both my parents were beating me because i was cleaning out their refrigerator. Today I am at home with my Mom and some friends for help. But the past year has been filled with falls and hospitals, a beating for me by hospital security, rehab, nursing homes, back home with care from an agency, allegations by agency workers of assault and itimtation by me. more hospitals, hospice, death and finally a peaceful clean home with good care for Mom, who's dementia is severe now. Ever want to talk or visit IM me.

#31 Mama Kel

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:21 PM

<3

#32 Mama Kel

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

Thanks. Yeah I obviously need to start asking questions. My brother noticed a bunch of stuff that I didn't. Calling the other brother today. Still waiting to hear back from my parents, not sure if I will

#33 TEO

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

Much love Mama Kel :heart:

#34 KrisNYG

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:42 PM

Thanks. Yeah I obviously need to start asking questions. My brother noticed a bunch of stuff that I didn't. Calling the other brother today. Still waiting to hear back from my parents, not sure if I will


My dad pulled this crap with me (not dementia or alz, other health issues). I stopped at his house and went through his medicine cabinet. See what they're taking (dosage, dates, Dr's name, etc.) and look it up. Also, don't pass out and puke if you find things you hoped you'd never ever see! :lol:

#35 butterqueen

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

As other have said, you cannot take it personal. I have seen a few family members in delusion (bipolar, altzheimers) and it is important to not take it personally, not react badly (seems to get them even more riled up), and as others have said, while you don't feed into their delusions, you let them know that you understand that they see the world as they see it and respect it. They are not trying to hurt you, they are confused and ill.

The best thing for you is to get a therapist skilled at this so you learn how to better have tools to react to the person, since you can't change it. And try to intervene and get her to a doctor if you can, but if not, continue to practice calm detached empathy.

Way easier said than done, hence getting therapist help, meditation. It's kinda like having a little kid throwing a tantrum. You want to throw them into a wall, but you can't, it's a kid. So you have other age/developmentally appropriate techniques.

#36 JBetty

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:46 PM

My dad pulled this crap with me (not dementia or alz, other health issues). I stopped at his house and went through his medicine cabinet. See what they're taking (dosage, dates, Dr's name, etc.) and look it up. Also, don't pass out and puke if you find things you hoped you'd never ever see! :lol:


What did you find?

#37 Mama Kel

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:14 PM

My dad pulled this crap with me (not dementia or alz, other health issues). I stopped at his house and went through his medicine cabinet. See what they're taking (dosage, dates, Dr's name, etc.) and look it up. Also, don't pass out and puke if you find things you hoped you'd never ever see! :lol:


This I should do. They are both on so many meds, it's disturbing!!!

As other have said, you cannot take it personal. I have seen a few family members in delusion (bipolar, altzheimers) and it is important to not take it personally, not react badly (seems to get them even more riled up), and as others have said, while you don't feed into their delusions, you let them know that you understand that they see the world as they see it and respect it. They are not trying to hurt you, they are confused and ill.

The best thing for you is to get a therapist skilled at this so you learn how to better have tools to react to the person, since you can't change it. And try to intervene and get her to a doctor if you can, but if not, continue to practice calm detached empathy.

Way easier said than done, hence getting therapist help, meditation. It's kinda like having a little kid throwing a tantrum. You want to throw them into a wall, but you can't, it's a kid. So you have other age/developmentally appropriate techniques.


good idea. I think I will do this. As Frank always says, I have the patience of a saint when it comes to kids, but none whatsoever for adults!

#38 butterqueen

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

just think of them as enormous kids and try to remember all the times you had tantrums and poopy diapers.

You are trying to think of them as "normal" rational adults at this point. They are not, they are seniors and life has that annoying way of bringing us back full circle to where we started.

It's like the patience you have to have as a mom when your kid says "I hate you." They don't hate you, they are in that phase of life.

#39 butterqueen

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:53 PM

I have pretty good patience for kids, elderly, delusional people. I have NO patience for grown adults who just happen to be assholes.

#40 Mama Kel

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:43 AM

Well I got an email, denial is a powerful thing. Has always been for my parents, why would it stop now? :bang: but at least the lines of communication are open & I am much more aware & have a better understanding thanks to you guys ((((((((((((((Boardies)))))))))))))))) <3

I am not ready to deal with this shit yet :(

Thanks all - you've really helped <3

#41 Jwheelz

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:43 AM

none of us are ever ready for the nasty things life throws our way... <3 <3 <3 love and strength to you Mama Kel :)