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I went to visit my mum yesterday

(22 Posts)
kittylester Tue 22-Oct-13 08:04:47

As some of you know, my mum is in a care home, living with dementia. Yesterday, she informed me that my father has disappeared again with his floosie but she doesn't mind so long as he keeps paying the mortgage and it stops him 'bothering' her. When I told her, as gently as possible, that he died nearly thirty years ago, she announced that it f*****g well served him right. thlshock

Sook Tue 22-Oct-13 08:17:41

kitty thlgrin.

Notso Tue 22-Oct-13 08:19:19

thlgrin

moomin Tue 22-Oct-13 08:28:30

Oh kitty - tragedy and farce eh? thlgrin

JessM Tue 22-Oct-13 08:47:52

in dementia veritas? Your face must have been a picture.

Aka Tue 22-Oct-13 08:49:53

grin

Lona Tue 22-Oct-13 08:54:22

It's so sad that she is constantly reliving upsetting parts of her earlier life.

Lona Tue 22-Oct-13 08:55:31

She clearly gave as good as she got though grin

kittylester Tue 22-Oct-13 09:12:45

Lona, I don't for one minute imagine my father had a 'floosie' but it must have been a worry for her that he might as his father and his sister had extremely 'unconventional' lives. thlblush

squaredog Tue 22-Oct-13 09:15:30

Sounds like she keeps you entertained.......

Lona Tue 22-Oct-13 09:30:49

kitty That's ok then smile

FlicketyB Tue 22-Oct-13 09:35:27

People with dementia live in a world of their own and the biggest mistake we make is in trying to make them live in our life instead of us inhabiting theirs.

When my aunt first went into care she was convinced the care home was owned by the GWR (Great Western Railway), she had lived most of her life in Swindon, then she told me about the railway station that was at the care home. I later realised she was getting partial views of a courtyard with a raised area with the edges marked with a painted white line and a lot of black cast iron garden furniture which she, in her confused state, had mistaken for the platforms and tracks of a railway station.

kittylester Tue 22-Oct-13 09:53:14

My Mum is convinced she's at work a lot of the time flickety, although they don't pay her as she's retired! She goes in everyday to help or they'd get in a mess without her and she'd be bored at home. She then catches two buses home. thlconfused

The consultant likened the memory of a dementia patient to a colander. He said that pieces of memory fall through the holes and meet up with other, unrelated, memories. It certainly helps not to try to relate it to anything else but to just go with the flow. When there is something exceptional, I text or ring one of my brothers to laugh about it - it's the only way to cope. thlgrin

FlicketyB Tue 22-Oct-13 10:02:30

kittylester I find the easiest thing is to just go with the flow. DA's dementia is now quite advanced, I visited recently and she was having a completely off the wall day. She didn't even recognise me, she thought I was one of her carers and she was worrying about my tea break. Any attempt by me to be FlicketyB was met with distress so I acted carer through out the visit and left on the basis of going for my lunch break. Next time I was there she was back to 'normal', knew who I was and we had a nearly rational conversation.

I get home and have a giggle with my DH. After nearly 15 years of taking responsibility for various relations in their last years I have found that an element of black humour is the best way through it.

Gagagran Tue 22-Oct-13 10:11:46

My late Dad once went to visit his cousin in a care home. They had grown up together and had known each other for 80 years. They had a good chat about inconsequential things and at the end of the visit, the cousin looked a bit puzzled then said to Dad "Who did you say you were again?".

My lovely Mum was in a care home too, suffering from vascular dementia. She did not know who I was. She thought I was the nurse who put drops in her eyes. She and my Dad were married for 70 years but she could not remember him or the fact that they had five children. It's so sad that the comfort of memories of a long life seems to be taken away from these old people and it scares me to think that may be in store for me too.

Eloethan Tue 22-Oct-13 18:30:25

Some time ago I saw a programme about coping with dementia and the daughter of a lady with dementia said that she thought it was better to go along with whatever her mother said as it caused much less distress. Her mother sometimes thought that the care home in which she was living was in fact an airport lounge and she was about to go on holiday.

LizG Tue 22-Oct-13 19:22:38

All of you ladies who cope with this are wonderful and to be able both to smile at it yourselves and share that smile is amazing. It is threads like this that make this site so special. Thank you for sharing, I fear dimentia (I guess most people do) but you have all helped to take the sting out of the 'tale' flowers

kittylester Tue 22-Oct-13 19:23:05

One can get caught out like that though, Eloethan as I know to my cost grin

POGS Tue 22-Oct-13 22:50:27

Kitty

You have to laugh don't you. Humour can help keep the tears away. wine

Iam64 Wed 23-Oct-13 07:52:43

Kitty - it's good to hear you can have a laugh with your brothers. I feel even closer to my sisters due to all the laughing/crying we did when caring for our parents. I heard a great piece on the radio recently about a care home in the Netherlands. I suspect their approach is the one currently recommended for everyone caring for/related to a patient with dementia. It's the go with the flow approach Eloethan mentioned. The residential accommodation is built like a small village, with places to sit etc and one resident was always waiting for the bus. Instead of explaining repeatedly that there wasn't a bus, staff/relatives simply said something like, it shouldn't be long now. From our 19.23 post, it seems you were caught out by this though. But, thank goodness you can laugh about it at times.

Faye Wed 23-Oct-13 08:34:08

I had to laugh when I took my mother to visit her 90 year old sister who lived in a nursing home. My aunt had been always been very mean to my mother, my younger siblings and me as were my grandparents. My mother was the odd one out in her family and always felt she wasn't even liked by her parents. My cousins have fond memories of my mother but not of their own parents. My aunt by this stage had mellowed and enjoyed seeing my mother each week. Mum must have been having a vague moment and she started saying how awful her family had always been to her and all she had to put up with. I changed the subject and then Mum started up again and she went on and on. My aunt looked uncomfortable and was lost for words. When Mum and I had left I told her what she had said and we both laughed. Probably the first time anyone had told my aunt exactly what they thought of her and her family. Mum thought it was funny, she had finally let one of her family know exactly what she thought of them.

kittylester Wed 23-Oct-13 09:10:41

Good for your mum*Faye*, it must have been cathartic for her but I bet she was her 'normal' self next time.

Mum has never had any scruples about saying exactly what she thinks about anybody and we have always had a difficult relationship. My brothers, on the other hand, are wonderful! Luckily, we can laugh together about mum and her idiosyncracies

We were told never argue but never tell lies to mum - that's where it's easy to get caught out. thlconfused