Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Share with me

Today grandma and I had a bit of a hiccup. I’ve never been around her this long without a break and she can get a little trying on ones nerves. We believe she has the start of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I’ve never had to deal with either one of those diseases and am not really sure how to handle things without going crazy myself.

I’m curious if any of you have dealt with anyone with either of these diseases and maybe have any tips. I can’t continue repeating myself when I have to explain something or listen to the same stories over and over again. The constant looking for something and relocating of items and then accusing someone of stealing them is tiring too. It’s almost like dealing with a child but it’s a grown person doing it all.  She can even get a little snarky with her answers about things and then when you call her on it, she has no idea doing it.

I’ve heard that there are support groups for families that have elderly ones that have these diseases but am wondering if any of you can share any personal stories. 

Till next time!


  1. My grandpa had alzheimers. It was such a very sad thing to see. He actually accidentally ran away once. He drove almost four hours before he pulled over to pee when police finally found him.
    He eventually wasn't able to even remember who any of us were and had to live in a home.
    It's very sad seeing someone you love lose their memories like that.
    My Oma is becoming quite forgetful and I too hear the same stories repetitively or get asked the same question again and again.
    Just try to remember that when it happens they don't realize they are repeating themselves. It's hard and definitely grates on one's nerves, but they honestly have no idea about it. It's upsetting for them too when they realize they forgot something. Knowing you are losing your memories is probably just as bad as watching it happen.
    Do your best to take some time to step away and give yourself a breather. When it's getting tough try to change the subject, or tell her a story about something in your life. She can't be repetitive if you're the one talking :)
    Good luck and try not to take it to heart. She doesn't mean to be that way I'm sure.

  2. @Else
    Thank you so much for posting this. I'm sure it's not that easy to share such a personal story with me and I do appreciate it. It's really tough to watch it happen to someone you love and that is important in your life. I wish there was something I could do to help her not go through this, even though she's not aware of it yet.

  3. My granpy has had dementia for the past few years, boy it is hard and I empathize with the frustration you have felt. One thing that was helpful for me is that it is completely natural to feel frustrated, angry, etc. Not only are those a normal response to the situation but a lot of times they are an extension of the grief process: grieving a person who is fading away, even though they may still be alive in body, because I'm gradually losing the person who I love. Myself a lot of my grief displaced into anger, denial, confusion, stress. For me once I squared with that I had a much easier time and was able to better cherish the time I still have with my granpy. Honestly sometimes I still do want to tell him to shut up, even though I know he is sick and can't help it! I know that sounds horrible, but it's not: it's part of the process, and I *don't* tell him to shut up. I do feel it though, because when I try to avoid that feeling I end up blowing up with denial/stress/fear in some way and causing harm when I can't stuff it down anymore.
    And a huge 2nd to what Else said about doing the talking! My grandpy loves when I chitter-chatter to him, tell stories, talk about my day, even if he doesn't get most of it. It's a very good way to diffuse the nerves from him repeating and being lost or crazy or whatever is going on, and connect with him on a level that's much deeper than words.
    It is really hard to watch, and that bothered me to my core in a really painful and gut-wrenching way for a while. Now I try to focus on what can I do to make the whole process easier, more graceful, more filled with love. I had to lower my expectations and increase my acceptance. It's hard but just know that when someone is surrounded by loved ones they know and if they could express to you how much it means to them (literally the world) they would.
    Hope that helps a bit. Many thoughts of love and light your way!