Alzheimer`s Disease/changes in behavior beginning at evening time
hello. My mother is 74years old and she was formally diagnosed with Alzheimers about 5 years ago. We have been through all in the last 5 years. The hitting, aggression, verbal abuse and phsycosis. My mom has been on numerous meds including anti depressiin/anti anxiety. I believe my mom is in stage 7a. In the last 4 months she has stopped walking and sits in her wheelchair all day. When afternoon comes around her anxiety's worsen and cries and holds on to dear life when we start to move the wheelchair. Bed time gas become extrenely difficult because now she refuses to get out of her chair and when we try to get her out she stiffens up and we can't move her. We don't know what to do. Is this normal Alzheimers behavior? we need to hire help and eventually find assisted leaving care for mom but we dont know how to pay for it since dad is 88 and is on a fixed income. Combined income through social security and pension is about 2,0 month and Alzheimers care start at 3,200 month. what are our options for paying for care other than depleting all of our saving? thank you.
I am so sorry your mom is going through a difficult time with her Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, yes, this is pretty common behaviors for an Alzheimer individual during this stage. My sincerest empathy for you and your family.
I'm not sure about you and your family's approach to your mom at this time, but I will try to give you some helpful tips that may ease this stage.
1. Always approach your mom from the front...Alzheimer's individuals lack the awareness of 360 degrees any longer. If you are behind her, you don't exist and it is very scary and unnerving to have someone just "appear".
2. Ask yourself, how important is it that mom gets a bath today? Could you do a "sponge bath" instead. I do realize you need to keep the peri area clean and try. Frequent brief changings are recommended.
3. Go SLOW and take your time. Do not Rush your mom. Her ability to process what is happening is very, very limited. Always be calm.
4. Use a soft tone and voice. Your mom is not deaf, she has Alzheimer's disease.
5. Soft lighting and soft music works well.
6. Instead of placing her in bed, can she just sleep in a recliner? If there is a worry about falling out of the recliner, I would recommend bed with at least 1 side rail.
7. TAKE YOUR TIME. see #3 again. I cannot stress that enough. This is your mom's time, not Your time.
8. Keep your own frustrations and emotions under control. Since a lot of Alzheimer's individuals lose the ability to comprehend speech, they are very in tune to emotions and non-verbal communication. What are your non-verbal gestures saying? What are your facial expressions saying?
As you can see, this list is about how YOU and your family are to change...not to have your mom change. I hope this will facilitate a good start for your family.
With regards to Assisted living. Unfortunately, Assisted living is private pay. You may want to check and see if there are any local Adult Day Centers in your area for Dementia folks. Most folks are subsidized by the County or Veterans Administration for their care.
Spending down funds is also unfortunately a requirement when seeking assistance. Please contact your local Office of Aging to discuss more options for your mom.
With Best Regards,
Michalene Peticca, MA