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As most of you know, my mom moved from my home into my sister's home one week ago. I've kept in touch with my sister and have called my mom almost every night this week, and things seemed to be going okay -- considering.... Today, I picked mom up to spend the day with her. From the moment she got into my car, until I dropped her off, all she talked about was how confused she is, and she has no idea where she's living. I thought it may have been because I brought her back to my home and that confused her, but I called my sister and told her what was going on and she said yes, mom's been saying that all week -- well, this was the first I heard about it; my sister didn't mention it to me before I called her today. Maybe she didn't want to upset me, I don't know. It was just so sad to see mom so confused. I'm thinking that she just hasn't gotten over the "change"..moving from my house to my sister's.
The other thing that is really bothering me is my mom's attitude toward her aide. The aide agreed to continue to care for mom at my sister's house. She's been caring for mom for almost one year and for the most part, they get along well. They had some really rough times when mom first moved in here, but things settled down within two months. Now, all mom does is complain about the aide and how "there is something about that woman that I just can't stand"...it's really kind of freaky...she's saying the same thing now that she said a year ago. It seems as if she has reverted back a whole year, like she doesn't even know who she is and they are starting all over again. She's insisting that she doesn't need any help, that she can take care of herself, yet for the past 6 or 7 months, she goes into the bathroom in the morning and calls the aide in to help her get dressed. Talk about strange....
At one point today, I said something to her about when she was living here and she said "I lived here?" and I said yes, you were here for almost a year and she just looked at me and I said where do you think you've been living? She said "I have no idea"...I think what has happened is that she's taken another decline, probably brought on by the trauma of the move. Once again, it's so difficult to watch and feel so helpless knowing there is nothing I can do but try to comfort her. I hope that she is able to settle in very soon and feel that she is at home. thanks for listening, Mimi
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Dear Mimi:

Wow, it doesn't get any easier, does it? I am sorry that you are dealing with your mother's confusion issues during this time. But, you know that there is nothing that you can do, and it is a "one day at a time" process...

You, Mimi, stepped up to the plate when need be. Step back now and take care of yourself. Since you are still a big part of your mother's life, she will be taken care of. This time is a blessing for you, so I think.

Good night and take care, Mimi. God bless your mother and you!

Hugs and All from Glenda
Mimi,

I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going well right now. Changing the routine for an Alzheimer's patient does cause added confusion on an already confused situation.

You must remember that your mother's memory is going so remembering where she's been for the past year or even for the past week is impossible for her to comprehend. That's what this disease does. It robs the memory bank of everything.

As for not caring for her aide, it's possible your mom just doesn't like her personality. It could be something as small as the tone of her voice, her scent, or the way she works with your mom, dressing, bathing and such.

Then again, it could be the repetition pattern. That is the something that hard to destroy. What I mean is the pattern we develop as a habit. Doing the same things over and over again until it becomes an unconscious habit. The same thing could be going on with your mom. She could be repeating the same thought over and over and not mean anything by it. Still, you just don't know.

That's what makes this disease so ugly. You just don't know anything except what's happening at the moment. It changes from one day to the next.

Maybe a call to your mom's doctor would help. He might be able to give you an answer as to what's happening.

I wish you well in finding out.

~Jane
Hi Jane,
I would agree with you about just not liking her aide (mom never liked many people), except for the past 7 to 8 months, she got along VERY well with her. They had problems at first, then they set up boundaries and mom backed off, and eventually asked the aide for her help. They would spend the afternoon together, discussing whatever program they were watching. That's what is so strange. Mom went from accepting her (for the past 7-8 months) now back to when they first met. I guess it's just because mom is so confused. I think the move just threw her into a tail spin. You just don't realize how confused they can be until their lives change.
As far as talking to the doctor about it, actually we did talk about it, but long before she moved. At her last appt., he did a "mini mental" and that is when I found out she went from a score of 25 to 18 - and I asked her Dr. if she'd continue to decline at this rapid pace; of course, he couldn't answer that, but what he did say was if she had some trauma in her life such as hospitalization or a move, that is enough to cause a sudden decline. Funny, I didn't remember this conversation until just now, as I'm writing this, so I guess I answered my own questions...thanks for the therapy session, lol...send me your bill....
Seriously though, even after just a short 7 days, I find myself looking at mom differently. When she lived with me, I think I was so use to certain things she did that I no longer saw them. Yesterday, when I was with her, I noticed so much more, and again, maybe there is more to notice, who knows???
In talking with my sister, and she's called me every day, between 2 and 3 times a day, I feel as if I am re-living my first few months with mom. So much of what she is going through and feeling I went through. The biggest issue is with her spouse. Both of our spouses were very supportive of having mom move in, but, when she actually moved in, things changed...especially attitudes and you find yourself feeling like you're the mediator between your spouse and mom, with SO MUCH tension, the last thing you really need. I keep encouraging her to seek professional help, but I don't know if she will. In the meantime, I listen, and try to be there for her.
Hi Mimi..

I think the confusion is a deper stage of the progression of the AD. It may have been aggravated by the move.. but it seems like there is a definite lapse in her short term memory from what you are describing.

and yes.. living with your mom day to day, things grow into place that you don't see because they are so very subtle but when yhou are away from her for a while, you can begin to notice them even more...

My sense Mikki is that it may not get easier.. just keep doing the loving things from afar as you are. Keep reaching out for support... stay connected with her doctors and keep learning more and more about the disease so you are more informed and can anticipate what to expect...

keeping you in ny thoughts and prayers... take care angel...
gail

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