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Alzheimer's - any tips?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by steffiw, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. MIL very poorly with Alzheimer's. Would anyone be willing to share tales, as it feels like we're not coping as well as we might.

    She does have care/respite three days a week, FIL stressed and ill too but apart from meals on wheels doesn't like to accept help.

    We've contacted the alzheimer's society whove been fab, but there's only so much they can do.
     
  2. MIL very poorly with Alzheimer's. Would anyone be willing to share tales, as it feels like we're not coping as well as we might.

    She does have care/respite three days a week, FIL stressed and ill too but apart from meals on wheels doesn't like to accept help.

    We've contacted the alzheimer's society whove been fab, but there's only so much they can do.
     
  3. I truly sympathise; it must be so difficult for you. Could you speak to a social worker about more care at home? If FIL is ill too, would it not be better if you could find a care home for your MIL? If your FIL remains in the family home, the authorities cant enforce a sale to fund MIL's care.
     
  4. Sorry your MiL is poorly. The Alzheimer's Society were a great help for both of my grandparents and we found that our Elderly Mental Health department could add in things that the AS couldn't, such as anti-psychotic drug management etc.
    Ultimately, both of my grandparents ended up in nursing homes but it really was in their best interests and they were happy (ish) there.
    Lots and lots of TLC and patience is what got us through (they're both gone now) and supporting each other through it. A very difficult thing to deal with and very little that can be done - frustrating as hell.
    The thing that kept my Gran happy was talking about the bits of the past that she could remember - reminisence therapy. She was less agitated and her face used to light up when she talked about things she was happy about and that affected, positively, the rest of her time.
    Sorry I can't be much/any help!

     
  5. Forgot to add... have you ever heard of life story boards? This is the latest thing that the NHS are trying to do to help dementia patients. There should be some websites online devoted to this - they are fairly easy to do and you could try producing one for your MIL. It may give her a few things she can remember and also something you can talk about with her. She will no doubt remember things long ago rather than more recent happenings.
    I actually did some life story board work for dementia patients last year when I did some voluntary work with the NHS. My first day on the ward of the assessment unit left me in tears. It was absolutely tragic and so very, very sad. I will never forget talking with an old gentleman who could not remember that his wife had died several years ago. He thought she would be waiting for him at home; he kept trying to escape from the hospital so he could go back to her. My own mother has memory problems and has regulare assessments for dementia so no doubt I will have all this to come. I can only send you my best wishes and hope that everything works out for the best.
     
  6. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Hi steffi. Huge sympathies - been there (still there..) and got the t-shirt. It's a horrible disease.
    I have found the SPECAL approach works well. The method isn't without its critics, but it's worthy of consideration:
    http://www.specal.co.uk/
    The companion book 'Contented Dementia' is a good starting point.
    Is there any way you could persuade your F-I-L to accept more help at home?
     
  7. The main thing to do is to accept that, eventually, one or both of them will need to go into a nursing home. Nobody knows what the precipitating event will be, but it will come one day.
    For the meantime, managing home life so it's as easy as possible for everyone involved is the prime concern. One thing I heard of that some nursing homes are now doing is with music. Find out what MiL's favourite songs were, they're probably quite old ones, and knock up a compilation of her personal favourites. Playing these at various times of the day is apparently a very successful intervention to reduce agitation and confusion.
     
  8. Like the sound of this - MiL and FiL used to go dancing and to the cinema in their younger years, so a compilation of old film music may work.
    Our problem is FiL is one very stubborn Yorkshireman - he simply won't accept help, even though MiL has begun to need specialised nursing (e.g. incontinence), but he refuses to let anyone help, he even hoovers and tidies everything before the sitters arrive on a Wednesday, who are meant to be helping him... Literally the only things we are allowed to do is make meals on wheels, sort paperwork out and sit with her for an hour or two on a weekend so he can moan.
    It's so very hard for everyone; my sympathies to anyone who is/has been in the same situation.

     

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