Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Tonight the neighbor's puppy jumped on Mom's lap and licked her face. That is a sweet little puppy.
Our weather has cooled down and the humidity has dropped. What a relief. I don't really enjoy the hot stuff.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Everyone is so worried about me getting help for Mom to help take the burden off of me, yet every time I try I'm thwarted. I'm really starting to get frustrated and angry with this. I now know what it's like to have a kid and I can see why I never had any of those. I need to stand up to Mom and make her do some of these things I guess. I'd really like to get her into the day program so I will concentrate on that now.
I think that is why I sleep late on my days off. It's my way of avoiding the reality of Mom's dementia and the exhaustion that accompanies it. At first I thought the Cymbalta was helping me to fee like getting up, but it's not. I still want to avoid getting up for as long as possible. I just want to delay the inevitable.
Mom wants to go outside again. She'll sit out there for a few minutes then want to come back in. Then she'll go outside again and want to come back in in a few minutes. It's exhausting for me because she wants me to go with her. I can't get anything done around the house because she wants me to be with her.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
I asked the Home care agency to put our account on hold until the medication has a chance to work for Mom. Tonight she said that she enjoyed having the home care worker here. Maybe the med is starting to work?
It is a beautiful evening tonight. We went outside and Sateen, the cute little black puppy across the alley, was out and she and J ran over to play. Mom loves that puppy. She is pretty darn cute.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
It's easy to get caught up in my own life's drama but today I realized that others are experiencing drama in their lives. I was able to get to know K in my vanpool a little bit better today. I learned that she is divorced and that she has 3 kids. In a matter of months she separated from her husband and kicked him out, put her house up for sale and then was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a strong lady who works 2 jobs; one full time and one part time. She had to sue her husband to get him to pay child support. How can a human being refuse to support their own offspring? I will never understand that.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
We have a VHS video that Uncle N copied for us of old home movies of Mom and ME. It is priceless to watch. I copied it onto DVD today. Aunt ME asked for a copy, but I think she already has one. It has scenes of all the Deckerts and Bartholomaeis at Grospapa's cottage on Lake H. It's very cool.
Found this article:
Forming an Alzheimer's Care Dream Team
WebMD Medical News
May 9, 2006 -- If everyone with Alzheimer's disease had a "case manager" for their Alzheimer's care, it might help Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers, a new study shows.
The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, included 153 older adults with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.
All of the patients and caregivers live in Indianapolis. That's where researcher Christopher Callahan, MD, works at Indiana University's Center for Aging Research.
Callahan and colleagues make the case for "collaborative care," a team of specialists led by a nurse to help patients and their families navigate Alzheimer's care. But even without such a team, there are steps caregivers can take to take care of themselves while tending to Alzheimer's patients.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia among older adults. But it's not a normal part of the aging process.
The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, with that number set to grow as the U.S. population ages.
The Alzheimer's patients in Callahan's study were almost 78 years old, on average. Most were financially disadvantaged and had other health problems. About half were black.
Patients had "moderate" dementia at the study's start, the researchers write, based on scores from a mental skills test.
Doctors randomly assigned 84 patients to get a year of collaborative care. Advanced practice nurses were at the heart of collaborative care.
The nurses coordinated weekly meetings by a team of geriatricians, geriatric psychiatrists, and psychologists. The nurses also tracked the details of the patients' cases, including depression, medication use, and patient-caregiver attendance at group therapy sessions.
The other 69 patients got standard Alzheimer's treatment, plus information on Alzheimer's, communication skills, caregiver coping skills, and legal and financial advice. They also received patient exercise guidelines and a caregiver guide.
The researchers compared the two groups after a year (when the collaborative care program ended) and again six months later.
The collaborative care group had some different results from the other participants:
- Fewer behavioral and psychological dementia symptoms at 12 and 18 months.
- More likely to take antidepressants and Alzheimer's drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors.
- Less distress and depression in caregivers as the study progressed.
However, collaborative care wasn't shown to improve or worsen mental skills (cognition), activities of daily living, or rates of nursing-home placement, write Callahan and colleagues.
The study shows that "care for patients with Alzheimer's disease can be improved in the primary care setting, but not without substantial changes in the system of care." In other words, the dream team for collaborative care isn't in place.
Future studies should test whether collaborative care is cost-effective, the researchers note.
Tips for Caregivers
The Cleveland Clinic (which wasn't involved in Callahan's study) offers these tips for people who are serving as caregivers for Alzheimer's patients:
- Take time for yourself. Make sure you have time to relax. If necessary, enlist the help of other family members or even hire someone to help out.
- Learn as much as you can about your loved one's disease so you will know how you can help. You'll also understand what changes to expect in your loved one's behavior or symptoms.
- Help your loved one participate in as many activities in the home and outside the home as possible. Maintain the intricate balance between helping your loved one accomplish a task and actually doing the task for him or her. Allow the patient the time needed to complete daily activities on his or her own, such as dressing.
- Consult your loved one about his or her family affairs. Although it's not easy to discuss these topics, you should be informed of your loved one's wishes regarding a living will, durable power of attorney, and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order.
- Set realistic goals for yourself and your loved one. Do not attempt to do everything. By setting attainable goals, you are setting everyone up for success, rather than disappointment.
- Do not put your life on hold. Continue to meet with friends, participate in hobbies or groups, and maintain a schedule as normally as possible. You will feel more energized and are less likely to feel resentful in the long run.
- Have someone you can talk to. You are there for your loved one -- to listen and to offer support -- but you also need a support person. Talk openly and honestly with a friend or family member. If this is not possible, join a support group. Understanding that you are not alone and that someone else is in a similar situation helps you to feel nurtured.
Friday, June 8, 2007
We took Mom's car in to the dealer because it was shaking when it would idle and the service engine soon light was on. Five hundred dollars and five hours later we finally left that place behind. It was a bad fuel injector according to the service advisor. It's time to sell that car I think.
Ang is having a drama. Webster has given her bookoo bucks to go there but she has her heart set on Kent because it's close to her high school boyfriend. Bad reason to pick a college.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
I am trying to figure out if all I need is a network hub in order to use my work laptop.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I woke up feeling very disoriented. First of all, I thought it was Monday so I thought that I had overslept and missed my vanpool to work. It took a few minutes for me to realize that it's Sunday. I must have slept very deeply or the Flexeril is still in my system making me groggy. Mom was disoriented as well, she burst into tears when she realized that she was not alone today. I have been giving her Metamucil in hopes that it will help with the bowel incontinence. I'm not sure that the higher dose of citalopram is helping; she seems to be more agitated. But it's only been a week. I just don't want her to suffer. She is still reading The Reagan Diaries and asking me if he is dead every so often. It's cloudy and cool today. We are supposed to have thunderstorms off and on today. A is off to Denver today until Thurs. M is not liking his summer job, it's very hard and he is in pain, but he's making tons of money. An is bored this summer...On Friday I stopped in to Pier One and found a set of nesting tables with tile on the top to replace the one on the patio that is all broken up.