Dealing with my Mom’s Alzheimer’s

We went on a family vacation this week. Went from Southern CA to a vacation house on the Russian River in Northern CA. Loads of family was there and at least some good times were had by all. I hope, anyways.

We do corky stuff like build jigsaw puzzles, swim, and paddle about on inner tubes. Some spent the evenings in conversation lubricated by a little alcohol.

But dealing with Mom has been challenging, and emotionally exhausting. She has literally gone from being unable to speak to being almost her regular self. I think the episode of aphasia followed by clarity made it clear to her that no one is making this up. We are not in league with her doctors trying to make her believe that a passing problem is more serious than it is in reality.

The last couple of days of clarity are more heartbreaking than when she’s been more out of it. It’s an awful thing to have to think about and she has not been able to pass it off, not even to herself this time.

Unfortunately, instead of growing used to the fact and learning more tolerance, I feel that my skin is getting thinner every day. She’s angry and emotional, which is totally understandable, but it feels like the only person that she lashes out at is me. Most often when I’m trying to help her with something. I’m not reacting better as time goes on. I know this is not about me. But I feel how I feel and I don’t know how to stop that. I feel that most of my interactions with her have an emotional slap in the face in them somewhere.

What do you do? When do you say this is just more than I can handle? The last sixteen months have been a road leading deeper and deeper into hell. Sooner or later I have got to get out of this car.

3 thoughts on “Dealing with my Mom’s Alzheimer’s

  1. I am sorry. Alzheimer’s is cruel. To everyone. My mother said to me once, “I love you even if I do bad things”. I lost her in September and I am heartbroken. There is nothing easy about this. I wish you peace.

  2. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. I know how hard it is, I took care of an elderly friend (who was like a mother to me) with dementia for the last 5 years of her life. The best advice I can give you for for coping:

    1) Get help! Join a caretaker group (check with the Council on Aging in your area). It helps to vent and brainstorm with others.

    2) Remember that it’s the disease and not the person. I always focused my frustration and anger on the dementia, not my friend.

    3) Take care of yourself first.

    4) Cherish the good moments, however brief. It’s a sad fact that they will be fewer and far between as the disease progresses.

    Best of luck to you and your Mom!

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