Episode # 33
This week on Caregiving for Dementia.
I have a lot of trouble trying to tell mom about the trouble the other family members are having. You see any time that one of us has a medical condition or someone has died, whether it be a family member or a friend of the family, I have a really hard time bringing myself to the point of being able to tell mom.
It’s hard enough trying to carry on a conversation with mom, about anything at all. So when I find out about someone having trouble, that normally I would’ve told mom about whatever it was, with her having to dementia, I can no longer do that without great difficulty. Mom’s not capable anymore of understanding, physical problems, or the fact that someone has died. You see, she keeps asking to go see her mother. Her mom died 20 years ago. As she normally would know this, but I can’t seem to bring myself to tell her the grandma has died.
I have found out about someone being very sick, sicker than I thought they were, and I’m not going to say anything to mom about it. They’re not going to say anything to mom about it. All because mom’s not going understand, no matter how you try to explain it to her. Because she may realize that something is wrong with our actions, the way we talk, but without getting her upset and not accomplishing anything except getting her upset. We have decided not to say anything. And this is not the 1st time that something like this has happened. The 1st time it happened Mama just got extremely agitated even though she knew something was wrong. It took forever to have her understand what it was.
It decisions that you have to make to keep that person from getting so upset and so agitated. Because it does no good to get them upset, especially when they’re in their 80’s. It doesn’t do you any good because you have to deal with the one that’s agitated and upset. And a lot of times you get upset because they are upset, you try to explain something to them and they don’t understand what you’re trying to tell them, so they get upset, you get frustrated because they don’t understand plain English.
The conversations that you try to have with someone with dementia, isn’t always about someone being sick or someone dying. It’s any kind of conversation that you try to have, can be very frustrating for both you and the one that has dementia, For example, I had a problem with the computer. I need to put some major money out to fix the problem. That would’ve been a conversation that mom and I would have had if it wasn’t for her having to dementia.
Mama also seems to be having trouble hearing us. Of course, that’s been the case for a while, but part of the problem is the fact that when she 1st got dementia. She took her hearing aids out one night to go to bed we got up the next morning and we could not find her hearing aids. Months went by, and we found one of her hearing aids but when I found it, and it appeared to be very, very dirty. Now I’m not a hearing aid technician, but common sense tells me that you can’t put water on hearing aids. So I haven’t put it back in your ear. Yet, I may take an alcohol wipe to it, to see if it will clean up. But even if it does clean up she’s to the point now where she can’t tell me if they hearing aids working or not. Now I may be able to figure it out by her actions as we talk to her. Or I may not be able to because she’s not capable anymore of telling me whether or not a hearing aid is helping her or if a hearing aid is bothering her.
That’s like her eyeglasses. It’s been at least 3 years since she’s had her eyes checked. She can’t tell the doctor what the eye chart says anymore. She can’t tell me what the eye chart says so I can’t tell the doctor what she says about the eye chart. And it’s very frustrating for me because I feel like it would be a waste of time to take her to either Dr. for either problem because she’s not capable of communicating much anymore.
If any of you out there have a doctor, that specializes in these 2 fields that has experience working with folks with dementia and not being able to communicate very well. Please, please leave a comment on www.babymountainradio.com, and let me know who they are and how to get in touch with them.
I guess to wrap this week’s episode up. When it comes to health conditions, or life or death situations. Doctor’s appointments for things that need the person to communicate with the doctor. You just have to do what you think is best for yourself and for the person who you’re taking care of. Because you may feel like I do at times like you’re caught between a rock and a hard place. You feel bad because you don’t take them to the doctor, you feel bad if you do take them to the doctor because they can’t communicate, so you feel like some doctor’s appointments are just a waste of time. What do you do in situations such as these? Again, please hit www.babymountainradio.com and let me know.
Until next week this is Michael, enjoy your week.