Dealing With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

dementia

Our minds work in mysterious ways.  What triggers some utterances from the mouths of someone with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be mind-blowing to the listener as I’ve learned first hand.  The associations that they make and willfully say aloud can be very hurtful and they are not aware of the power of their words nor the sadness that it evokes to the recipient.  I try to figure out what makes their minds tick the way they do and I try desperately to unscramble the mixed messages, but to no avail.  It is heart-wrenching to witness and even harder to comfort myself and them.

I feel utterly alone.  The worst part is that they don’t remember what they say to me.  I can’t explain to them why it hurts.  I can only change the subject and move on, even when my heart is heavy with sadness, hurt and pain.  They forget what has been said when I change the subject, but I continue to remember and try to put on a happy face.  But the pain digs deep into my soul.

It is hard to manage and be a caregiver to someone whose mind is not working properly and I have two of them at present.  I’m learning the hard way to go with the flow, to deflect conversations and to change subjects quickly in order to protect myself.  I bite my tongue…a lot!  It isn’t easy.  It’s like I’m on edge during every conversation as I do not know what will come into their minds and out of their mouths.  It changes moment to moment, sometimes circling back to reality, but many times, there are misunderstandings as their brains fire and connect or disconnect at a moment’s notice.  I think it would be easier if they weren’t family members for then I wouldn’t feel the pain of the stings or hold onto their thoughts.  I would just let it be.  I would be able to rearrange the conversation later in my head and remind myself that it’s not about me, that it’s simply the disease talking.  I wouldn’t take to heart so deeply what is being said.  I wouldn’t get caught up in their confusion.  I would simply be able to redirect without trying to explain myself or reiterate for the thousandth time what the truth is or reiterate the lies that a loved one is resting instead of allowing their pain to hit them again and again.

It’s exhausting.

For them, for me, for our family, for the healthcare workers.

So today, please send out a prayer of support and healing to all who care.

Shine On!

xo

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17 thoughts on “Dealing With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

  1. I have been with people whose minds are affected by disease and it is difficult. I’ll send out a prayer for them, and you, and all those coping with this issue.

  2. This is so hard and exhausting Yvonne. I can only imagine the sense of loss and difficulty in accepting the situation. Sending you a virtual hug along with light and lightness in the days ahead ❤️

  3. Such a difficult situation Yvonne and even more reason for you to nurture yourself when you can. Carers fatigue is very common in these situations. If you can make time to download these feelings as they arise in you, you will find it will not build up and deplete you. Thinking of you.

  4. My dear dear friend. My heart goes out to you and my arms want to embrace you in the biggest hug I can find!! I can only imagine how difficult this time is for you. The best I can offer you is to try to view your time with them as if you ARE working…and it is your job. If they allow any reminiscing or compassion go with it. If not, put your ‘Healthcare worker’ hat on and let whatever transpires to roll off your back. I guarantee you it is the disease talking…and I am certain they have moments of realization of all you are doing for them. Be true to yourself and DO NOT take any negative comments into your psyche! And make sure at the end of the day that you hug yourself and that you are kind to yourself…Much love to you dear friend!! ❤ ❤

  5. Yvonne,
    Know that you and your loved ones are in my prayers.
    Also know that the frustrations, fatigue and anger you may feel are expected under your most difficult circumstances.
    I, at times, experience the same with my dealings with poilo weaknesses and pain. As soon as I may express that anger, I offer God an I’m sorry. And when I do I feel a release. I know He knows, and I am not alone. For it is important that I bear those challenges as best I can. If allowed to fester it does me no good.
    There is value and purpose to suffering; for the inflicted as well as the caretaker. It precedes a greater good for those who bear their trials well. No greater proof of that is there than the example of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
    Hang in there.
    -Alan

  6. Well said. My mother, who has dementia, does this. She will sometimes say ugly, hurtful things to me and my daughter and I keep reminding my daughter it is the disease talking…it is not my mother or her grandmother.
    It’s a sad thing to witness and I hold you lovingly in my heart Warm embraces. ❤

    • Warm embraces to you and to your daughter…it is the disease talking many times which is how I can wrap my head around the words. They are not the essence of my loved ones. They are just words that have no meaning…but it’s taken me awhile to get to this place of peace. I hope you are there as well. I’m here for you xo

      • Thank you. I do have peace with her process and I often want to escape it. Every time I leave her house after being there for 2 weeks, I find myself saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” But, 2 months later I am back doing it again because I believe it is part of a healing process for me, my mother, and my daughter.
        Thank you for your kindness. ❤

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