Hello Everyone, I have a grandmother who has recently within the last year been diagnosed with Dementia/Alzhiemer's disease. Although I worked closley with patients who suffered with this I thought that it would be easy for me to handle it when it came to my grandmother.
This is not the case whatsoever :( it is so hard to sit with her and have her looking at me with a blank stare like she doesn't even know me. Also hard to deal with her when she gets into one of her combative moods.
So my question to you all is how do you deal with your loved ones who suffer with this disease?
My husband's mother had dementia before she passed away. My husband and I are rather pragmatic so we talked about it and treated the situation the same way that we would if someone was dying of cancer. We realized that she was going and that we had no control as to when so we made peace with that first. Then, we just took each day as it came with some days being better than others. We tried to be supportive to her when we could and relied on professional assistance when it was too much for us. She declined for 3 years before she passed on and that is a long time to care for someone so you have to pace yourself from the beginning.
I think that the best thing we were able to do for her was being calm ourselves. If we had let ourselves be stressed, I think that would have made the situation worse for her.
My great aunt was just diagnosed and now she is getting lost in her room at times just looking at all of her belongings. It is so hard for the whole family. I have read that learning a new language can strengthen your memory.
I have been lucky enough to not have a close family member suffer with this terrible illness but I know it is incredibly difficult for the person and their family. My advice, take advantage of all the help and support there is on offer and there is plenty around in a variety of forms. Your family member's doctor will be able to point you in the right direction or provide you with more specific information.
My brother-in-law has been dealing with dementia for a good while. My sister is coping as best she can. His doctor was able to put him on a better medication which is helping him more. He can now dress himself. I read that a daily dose of Vitamin D and cod luver oil can help ward off dementia.
This information was on the internet by a Dr. Baylock I believe, he lost both his parents to Alzheimers, and then decided to study brain diseases. He stated that there are things that we can do to stop the onset or ward off, in other words keep the disease at bay, this was one of the things he suggested. I immediately got some Vitamin D and Cod liver Oil and started to take them.
My father in law has Alzheimers and he is nearly 90. He has done very well on the meds prescribed for this although I don't know the names off the bat but any doctor would know. It was well worth it and has staved off the disease by years I believe. He was diagnosed 7 years ago and although he is getting quite confused now he's still able to dress himself and enjoys alot of activities including golf 3 times a week! He was a professional basketball player and has always been very active so I think being active and healthy has a lot to do with his success but he also has a very positive attitude and this has helped immensely with the depression part. Everything that was and is available to him he has done. He participated in a course to help him learn to use the other side of his brain and he goes weekly to an Alzheimer's group where they sing and do crafts. I hope I'm half as healthy at his age.
It's important to not get carried away - remember that even if we're taking care of our family members with dementia, we should never take ourselves - our own health and wellbeing - for granted. Imagine if anything happens to us, that'll be so much worse for everybody in the end. I know it's easier said than done. I'm from the Philippines, and here, almost nobody goes to care facilities or nursing homes even if their elders have dementia. We take care of them ourselves. It's just the convention, I guess. It's tough, but it's a nice tradition.
Taking care of your family member with dementia poses many challenges and communication difficulties can be one of them. If your grandmother is behaving aggressively then try to identify the cause.