Caregiving For Dementia

The show is about the Delaney Family that is caregiving for someone with dementia. My mother has had dementia for two years now, and I 'm hoping that this podcast will help someone how's in the some situation. Also, I may talk about my feeling on a lot of things like religion, politics, and there may even be a lot electronics.
So basically the show is a little bet on everything that we do and get into as a Family.

Frustrations (12/2018)

Caregiving for Dementia Frustrations Episode 65 In this week’s episode of care giving for dementia, I discuss some of the frustrations that I find myself with taking care of Mama with her dementia. Some of the things that she does really frustrates me because their things that she taught me how to do. It’s the simple things that we all take for granted that she can no longer do. When you’re the caregiver of someone there are a lot of things that you do to keep them safe and healthy that they may or may not understand why or what you are doing. Now you think about it. If you had a mental disease to the point where you did not know what was going on around you and somebody was doing things to you, for you, with you that you did not understand what they were doing or why they were doing it. How frustrating would that be for you? I find it very frustrating trying to keep mom healthy and safe. When Mama doesn’t realize what’s going on. Mamas to the point where she can’t walk, so she has to be picked up and moved every place that she goes, no matter why he’s going. And at times you have to move her whether or not she’s ready to be moved. In those times you may get some reaction from the one that your caregiving for. That’s totally out of character for that particular person if they were in their right mind. You may fix a big meal for dinner and they don’t want to eat. I find this very frustrating because I have taken all the time to fix the meal. More worrisome than that is the fact that if they don’t eat enough to stay healthy very long. As you get older your body gives up some functionality. One of those functionalities of getting old is the fact that you no longer have the hearing that you once did. I understand that as you get older the part of the hearing that you lose are the high pitches. This makes perfect sense, because when Michael or I talked to mom, mom seems to be able to understand what we say, versus what the wife says. This I think is due to the fact that the wife has a higher pitch to her voice, then Michael where I do. This is frustrating, more so for the wife, because Mama can’t hear much at all from her. I’m finding it little frustrating myself, because a lot of times I end up repeating and repeating and repeating what I say as well. Caregiving for someone is not always the thing that causes the frustration. I honestly believe the frustration is just a part of life. I was brought up that you didn’t stay out after midnight unless you were working. This is something that has stuck with me all through my life. I’m finding this very frustrating, because the boy doesn’t always want to come home before midnight. Some of the conversations I have with the wife. I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round and that’s also very frustrating. Getting interrupted doing things is also very frustrating. I don’t know about you but I’m also finding it very frustrating the way this country is headed. I find it very frustrating that you can’t say what you want to say anymore in his country without someone getting their feelings hurt. So you see, it’s not only caregiving for someone that adds the frustration to life, but other things as well. I don’t have any real good solutions for the frustration that you may feel whether that be caregiving for someone or some the other situations of said in the above but what I have figured out is that if you just walk away for a time. The frustration seems to relax a bit, after giving it some time to work its way out. Taking time to be by yourself releases the frustration as well.

Putting Things Off (11/2018)

Care Giving for Dementia Putting Things Off Episode # 64 This week’s episode once again brings us to the holiday season. I discuss the past 2 years of the holiday season, along with discussing whether or not once again to decorate for Christmas. Decorations seem to irritate mom with her dementia. Christmas has lost its meaning. Michael is all grown up so Christmas doesn’t mean a whole lot to Stephanie and I anymore right now. Put things off, at times because you either have time and no money or you have money and no time to do the things that you want to do. So they get put off. And a lot of times they get put off permanently do to money. I’m finding myself putting a lot of things off right now and it’s got nothing to do with having money or the time to do them got to do with taking care of Mama. When you’re younger you put off a lot of things, thinking that you’ll get to them eventually. The longer you put them off the more they can cost you. Stephanie and I’ve found ourselves in situations where if we to handle things a little differently if we had done things just a shade different than what we did we would not be in situations that we found ourselves into. Stephanie and I put off getting married for now that happened 10 years because we didn’t think we could afford it, but if we to wait another year and a half another 18 months Stephanie’s dad would not abandon our wedding. We put off buying a house for years, cause we didn’t think we could afford it. We were living in an apartment and the apartment had radiator heat know really is no adjustment for radiator heat it’s either on or it’s off. There was no air-conditioning for the apartment and so we talk to the management and by the time we paid the rent paid the electric bill for the air conditioner and we wanted a dog as well. So by the time you took all 3 of those payments we had enough to buy this house. This house is not the Taj Mahal. It’s not Trump Tower, but it is a roof over our heads. It keeps us warm. It keeps us dry and it fits into the budget. And that’s one thing that I’ve learned a little bit from mom lived within your budget. You don’t have to have the best you just need what you have to have. There’s so many things that I want to do with this podcast with the name baby mountain radio, but I’m finding myself having to put those things off. Not only do to the fact of not having a lot of money, but taking care mom is priority right now. So I putting things off with doing a whole lot because of that. Mama could tell that something was going on long before anybody else new, including the doctors. She didn’t know exactly what was going on, but she knew something wasn’t right. So before she got too bad Mama had some things put down on paper for legal situations. However, there was one thing that she put off because she didn’t think she or I you one would need it, and unfortunately that one thing that she put off has cost her a few dollars. Not a whole lot but a few dollars. Sometimes putting things off may not cost you, but it cost your children. Which may or may not be good? See their 6 of us kids and 3 of us have just up and disappeared for the past 2 to 3 years. And that hurts because you think they’ll be around, and then all of a sudden they’re not there and haven’t been there. Several years ago, I promise mom that she would never see the inside of a nursing home. So you see, I don’t care who it is or who isn’t around as long as I am physically and mentally capable of taking care Mama. Mama is staying right here at home with me. I hope you enjoy listening to this episode of care giving for dementia.

Being Forced to Stay Gone (11/2018)

Caregiving for Dementia

Being Forced to Stay Gone!

Episode # 63

 

 

I just got back from DC pod Fest. I had to force myself to stay away from the house because I was mentally still here, still taking care of Mama. I found it very difficult to focus on the sessions at DC pod Fest because I couldn’t get my mind to let go of the caregiving.

I want to thank Jennifer Crawford and her team at DC pod Fest for putting together a great event. The event was fabulously put together. The event was jam-packed full of great podcasting information. I’m already looking forward to DC pod Fest in 2019.

With that said, though I found it very difficult to focus on any of the sessions that I was attending because I couldn’t get my mind off of what was going on here at the house. I was still caregiving for my mother even though I was physically gone. My mind would not leave the house.

One of the problems that the main caregiver for someone has is getting away from all the caregiving. In other words, you may get physically away. You may be able to physically leave the caregiving to someone else, but you are mentally still the one caregiving for that one. That’s the situation I found myself in this weekend. Yes, I physically got away, but mentally I could not leave the house.

DC pod Fest was Friday evening and all day Saturday, I left the house at about 4-ish on Friday evening, because the event starts until 7 PM. So, at about 6:30 PM I called to check to see how things were here to house. I was told they were fine. Go and enjoy your event. So I get I enjoyed Friday nights event. Up until about 11 PM. When I found myself all alone, I was wondering what was going on. So I call home again to see how things were going on. Everything was fine. I was told she got her medicine and now she was sleeping.

I was ready to come home Friday night at 11 o’clock. Only through the support of the boy and the wife was able to stay and get some sleep Friday night, but I didn’t get to sleep that I thought I would. Mama usually gets me up around 2 AM-ish and around 4:30 AM and wouldn’t you know I got up around 2 AM-ish and around 4 AM-ish. I got up at 5:30 AM to go to the event for Saturday. I thought about calling but then I thought no they’re in bed. Nobody wants to be wake up at 5:30 AM when a phone call.

I did fairly well. Saturday up until about 8 AM-ish and that’s all I could stand I had to call and find out what was going on. I called about 4 times to see what was going on. And finally, the boy told me he said daddy quit calling she’s okay, she’s fine. Go and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Well, I didn’t quit calling but without that kind of support. I’ve come home much earlier than I should have.

Sunday morning I came home around 9 AM and the wife was awake and had just gotten up, but the boy and mom were still sleeping. I was home about an hour or so, and Mama woke up. So I went out to the living room, which is her bedroom and as soon as she saw me her face just lit up. She had missed me. She was glad to see me. Then at times, she asked me who I am.

            I understand while I was gone on Saturday, my brother and his wife came down to see mom for her birthday which was Sunday, and now I wasn’t here, but in times past. Mama recognizes my brother’s wife over my brother at times. Now the longer they’re here, she gets to recognize my brother.

            I guess that’s one of the strangest things about this devastating disease called, dementia. Sometimes, Mama recognizes us and sometimes she doesn’t. No matter how long it’s been since she seen you.

Caregiver Gone (11/2018)

Caregiving for Dementia Caregiver Gone Episode # 62 This week’s show, I’ve called caregiver gone because I am the main caregiver and I’m going to be gone for almost 2 days. Although I’m going to be fairly close to home. I’m not going to be right here to take care of Mama. With me not going to be home for 2 days that leaves Michael and Stephanie to take care Mama and they do things different than I do, and Mama’s not used to that. Mama is used to me mom is used to the way I do things. So I’m worried that the change may be a bit hard for Mama. I have left the house for a couple of hours here in a couple hours there. Leaving either Michael or Stephanie to take care of mom, since mamas gotten sick. I haven’t left her for 2 days. Every time I leave the house. I feel a little guilty because I’m the one that’s needs to be taking care mom. This will be the 1st time that I’ve gone off and left mom for any length of time and yes I do feel extremely guilty. When Stephanie and I went to our support group for caregivers’ One of the things that they tried to push for was taking care of yourself 1st. It was said. If you don’t take care yourself you not going to be able to take care of the one you’re caring for. That made perfect sense then and it makes perfect sense now. However, leaving for 2 days or leaving for any amount of significant time I feel very guilty, but I guess feeling guilty is just part of taking care of someone. You feel like you’re not doing your job. You feel like something’s going to happen to the one you’re caring for If you leave them for any amount of time. Whether or not your taking care of someone, life goes on. There are things that happen. There are things that you want to do. There are things that you do that may or may not take you away from the one you’re caring for X amount of time. Some of the things that you want to do cost money it cost you to do some things. And you need to decide whether or not taking a break from caregiving is worth it. DC pod Fest is this weekend and I decided to go. I’ve put the money out to go, but I still feel guilty even putting the money out to go to something where our learn something. I’ll meet new friends I’ll be able to see some friends from last year. It’s a year later, when mom’s a little worse, so the guilt a little stronger, but needing a break is even, a stronger need. It’ll be interesting to see how things go with me. Not being here. When I get back what kind of attitude, well I come back to. Will they want to stick around or will they want to leave for a few hours. Only time will answer this question. Only time will help Mama get used to other caregivers.

Doing The Hard Things (10/2018)

Caregiving for Dementia Doing the Hard Things Episode # 61 In this episode, I discuss a few things that Stephanie and I are having a real hard time doing. The older you get more hard things there are for you to do. When you’re in school homework is hard and the higher you get in school, the harder the homework becomes. Will this week’s episode of care giving for dementia, I talk about things here in the house that are really hard for Stephanie and I to do. When I talk about things that are hard to do. I’m talking about raise your kids the right way. It’s harder to turn them loose when they become young adults. Stephanie and I find it very hard to turn loose of the boy in fact, there are times when we telling he still can’t do something, and he’s like daddy. I’ve seen movies and I’m sure that you gone through a in your life to where someone has passed away, and there spouse doesn’t want to go through their things. They don’t want to go through their things because it’s too hard. Well, I’ve had just a little taste of that this weekend. You see, Stephanie and I trying to get things ready for winter switching the summer close over to our winter clothes and were running on to some of mom disclosed that we know Mama will never wear again. Mamas lost so much weight that you will not get into most of her clothes that she got in the closet. Stephanie, I have very little room so we can’t hold on to everything that Mama has we bought a new close and she’s lost so much weight. She won’t be able to where this year. So were finding ourselves making the hard decisions of keeping some of moms close throwing some of moms close away or donating some of them. And then there are some of those close that I just can’t talk about right now. Because there Mama’s favorite clothes, their close up, Mama wore all the time. In fact, there’s one dress hanging in the closet that will probably be the last dress, Mama ever wears. Mamas made a lot of her clothes when she was younger I can remember coming home from school and finding mom on the living room floor with material in this tissue paper thing that was called a pattern spread all out through the living room floor. She take this tissue paper thing in panic to the material cut the material out and take the material over the sewing machine and so the pieces together. Mama used to make a lot of pretty close herself. I remember one time she made us kids pants and vests to go to school in. I’m glad I was a kid. Cause pants look so funny. But there’s some close of mamas made here. Some of her winter sweaters she crocheted some bedspreads that she crocheted fact; I’ve got the last bedspreads she ever crocheted about 3 years ago. I don’t want to get rid of those. I don’t want to throw those out. I don’t want to donate those but yet on the other hand, we can’t keep everything. Then Mama has a bed that she bought before she got too terribly bad with this dementia. It’s a two-piece bed. The main bed is too high for Mama anymore. The other piece was what we call of rollaway bed. It’s a smaller and shorter bed, so it’s easier for Mama to get in and out of then the normal bed. We’re talking about decorating for Christmas this year at least putting up a tree. Because last year didn’t feel like Christmas in fact, it was rather depressing, so we decided that were going to put a tree up this year. But in order to do that we have to take apart this bed and store it. So we can have the window for the tree. If we take this bed apartment and story it. I kind of feel like I’m doing Mama wrong. Cause its mamas bed. But we need the space for the tree; both of them can’t go to the same spot, so I feel bad, I feel like I’m doing Mama wrong. After all, it’s her bed that was talking about moving. It’s her bed that storing away. So were left with hard decisions to make and the only way to make them, is to do what’s best for you at the time.

No Name (10/2018)

Caregiving for Dementia No Name Episode # 60 I had too many names for this episode of caregiving for dementia. So I called this episode. No name because I couldn’t pick one. One of the reasons why I didn’t pick a name for this episode is the fact that one week we’ve taken some of mama’s medication away from her. Which, has woken her up, to the point where she can now carry on a small conversation, or at least to the point where you could figure out what she’s talking about, and to her appetite is back. Yeah, mama’s appetite is back. There lies the question, are we doing the right thing by taking her medication away? I feel that we have because it’s woken her up to where we can talk to her. She’s now eating. And I mean eating. We have a serving spoon for food and last night we give Mama a spoonful of macaroni butter, applesauce, and a little bit of pork chop. Mama ate extremely well, she had over half a spoonful of macaroni butter she had a spoonful and a half of applesauce and she probably ate half of the pork chop that we cut up into small pieces for her. I am extremely excited about that. We started out with Mama not eaten anything at all. Most of the time, when we did get her to eat. It was a bike here and a bite there. We worked at up to 4 bytes here 4 bytes there and I believe we went up to 8 bytes, but last night. Last night she ate extremely well and were all tickled pink about it. Now we may pay for taking the morning medication away for Mama, we may not. We’ll just have to wait and see. It’s something the only time will tell us. We may have to deal with the more of an anger attitude more of a feistiness without the medication. But again, it’s just something the time will tell. I was asked the question by her friend when I was talking to them about taking this medication away from Mama. He said. You may feel better about her waking up and eating. But how does she feel? That’s a question that I could not really answer other than the fact that no one should sleep 24 7 365 and that’s what Mama was going with all this medication. She won eaten because she was sleeping, she wasn’t talking because she was sleeping, she’s lost the ability to walk because she was sleeping. I’ve always heard that if you don’t use it, you lose it, and that is so much of a true statement. Because Mama no longer has the ability to stand no longer has the ability to walk. For the time being, I have my mommy back. We are able to carry on small conversations with her appetite is back, with those 2 things alone. I don’t see how I could be too terribly wrong. It’s something that will just have to wait and see you can’t cross a bridge until you come to it now, you might be able to see where things are going, but you can’t cross the bridge until you come to it. So we’ll just have to wait and see. If you leave everything up to the doctors. I honestly think that their answer is medication. The medication. However, and Mama’s case makes Mama sleep all the time. So I may be wrong, I may be right. I’m not sure, but one thing I am sure of and that is that the medication at the doctors give mom for her dementia is making her sleep. That’s it’s plain as the nose on my face. And I would rather deal with a little bit of a nastiness and have Mama wake a little bit thinner wood for her to be sleeping 24 7 365. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more episodes of caregiving for dementia for updates on mom, for updates on how she’s reacting to having no morning medication, whether or not we’ve had to give her back her morning meds.

Making Sense at 22 (10/2018)

 This week’s episode is about some changes that we need to make. We were at the dinner table. The other night and Mama looked at me and got angry was ready to fight. The boy looked at her, grabbed her hand and said grandma, grandma, calm down. We had come in from church and we were eating dinner and we were all sitting around the table and we were talking. All of a sudden mom looked at me and she got really angry and I didn’t know why I mean we had been holding 15 minutes, so one anything we did or said. But she got this really angry look on her face and started yelling a little bit what she was yelling we couldn’t say. But Michael looked at her and took her by the hand and said grandma, calm down, calm down, grandma and wouldn’t you know, lo and behold, she looked at him and it was like a light switch immediately. She calmed down. This went back-and-forth couple 3 times. Maybe and Michael eventually said trade me sides, daddy. I looked at him and I asking what you mean trade you sides. He say come over here and sit, so I did. And when Mama looked at me from then on, the anger, the ready to fight look had completely disappeared. Michael looked at me. I looked at Michael. He said she can’t see you. It’s dark over here. And he was right. There’s no light on one side of the table except for the kitchen like which for you and me is not dark, per say, but for an 85-year-old I would say it was dark. We do have a lamp sitting on a dresser, which is where Michael was sitting so Mama can see him with the light. I, on the other hand, was dressed in a black long-sleeved shirt sitting in a dark and corner. When I had moved over to where the light was. It was like a light switch. There was no more problem. There wasn’t a problem with Michael sitting in a dark corner because Michael didn’t have a shirt on, so he was white. So Mama could see him, and Mama could see me now that I had a light behind me and she was fine from then on. A few nights after that Stephanie and I came in again from church, this time I was in a white shirt and Stephanie was in a dark green dress, and lo and behold, Mama was ready to fight with Stephanie. Mama got that being ready to fight look and was going off on Stephanie. Stephanie went into the bedroom, changed her dark green dress to a white T-shirt type thing and lo and behold, Mama, calm down. Again, it was like a light switch almost immediately with Stephanie got out of that dark green dress, 

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place (10/2018)

This week’s episode is about being caught between a rock and a hard place with some more decisions about mom. Deciding whether or not to up some of her medication, whether or not to take her to the doctors for the flu shot. I talk about upping a little bit of mama’s medication. There is a pill that Mama has that she can take 3 of these pills per day. If she takes 3 of these pills a day, all she wants to do is sleep. The whole purpose of this pill is for agitation. Now if I up this pill to the 3rd pill per day. All she wants to do is sleep. If she sleeps all day, that means I get no company I get no conversation. I don’t get anything except a zombie. Mama is to the point now where every time she moves she hurts. Now, Mama always did hurt, but she hurt because of a high calcium count, which acts a lot like arthritis. If you’ve had arthritis you know what I mean. So then the question becomes, do we put Mama through the pain of moving around for the flu shot or do we not worry about the flu shot and save Mama some pain. I’ve talked in the podcast a little bit about the fact of having COPD and my doctor is constantly every year, asking about whether or not we’ve got the flu shot. Now for 7 years or thereabout, all 4 of us have gotten our flu shots because of my COPD. This year however, I’m considering not worrying about a flu shot for mom because of the way she hurts when she moves. Now I could go to the family nurse but I know what the family nurse would tell me. But if you left it up to the medical profession you’d be popping pills or taking a shot every 2 to 5 minutes for something or another. However I’m concerned a little bit about the fact of not giving her the flu shot, because the flu shot supposed to stop you from getting the flu, but it 86 years old, is putting mom through the pain of moving around worse not getting the flu? I don’t know! Do I up the pill to stop the agitation that Mama has? If I up the pill I get a zombie, if I don’t up the pill that I deal with the agitation and I don’t get anything done. I’ve got the attitude of Mama comes 1st. They’ll be time for me. They’ll be time to get things done in time. But on the other hand, what’s best for mom is the question. A question that I have no good answer for.

A Turning Point (9/2018)

In this episode, I refer back to several different episodes of caregiving for dementia about changes. If you would like to hear those episodes that I refer to, I put the direct links for downloads in the show notes. And yet in this episode, I bring you yet another change in mom with her dementia in this episode, I discuss a lot about drinking, Mama is forgetting how to drink. And it’s a major turning point because when she forgets to drink altogether. We have lost any way of getting any nourishment to her at all. I also talk about my belief in the fact that I don’t believe the doctors really know where this dementia comes from. They just seem to chalk it up to be an old. The problem that I have with that thought is the fact that you have 85-year-olds that are acting like they’re in their 50s and 60s. And then you have people in their 60s and 50s with dementia like the 85-year-olds. So I don’t believe just being old has anything to do with dementia. Once again in this episode, though I know that mom is not totally gone. You see, I’ve made up some T-shirts for the show in which I have used the cover art as front of the T-shirt, which is in fact, Mama ’s high school graduation picture that we have altered to black and white. I was sitting out with Mama one evening working with her on her drinking and she recognized that I had a T-shirt on with a picture of a girl on the front she looked at that point in looked at me and said that girls pretty, I looked at mom and I said that you she pointed to shirt looked at me and she said yeah, I know. Now whether or not she actually knew that the picture with her not I don’t know, but that ’s a glimpse of Mama still be in there. Thank God that Mama’s still with us. Here are the direct links for the episodes that I have referred to in this podcast. # 1 Losing History Episode number 14 # 2 Physical Problems episode number 20 # 3 Changes episode number 27 # 4 Christmas Changes episode number 36 # 5 and last but not least Losing Spunk episode number 51 I hope you enjoy this episode, or the past episodes of caregiving for dementia. Have a good week. Have a safe week and will talk to you next week. I have one last link I’d like to share with you for the international podcast day. https://internationalpodcastday.com/

Mental Illness (9/2018)

Caregiving for Dementia Mental illness Episode #56 There’s not a whole lot of show notes for this one. This entire episode has been on the most severe form of mental illness. You ask what the most severe form of mental illness? Well, the most severe form of mental illness is suicide. Family has not only been hit by mental illness, but it has also been hit by the most severe form of menta l illness. In this episode, I talk a good deal about suicide, my opinion on suicide, my opinion on life. Suicide is wrong. When you have a society that believes that you come from an ape, you have a society that has no accountability for anything, it does. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I’ll say that again, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Suicide doesn’t fix any problem that you may face in life. It’s not a fix for someone not going out with you, it’s not a fix for money problems, Suicide is not a fix. Death comes fast enough on its own you don’t need to rush it along. Even after you die there’s still accountability for your life here on earth. You can’t live 80, 90 even 100 years and that’s all there is to it. Life cannot be the end! I agree that life is hard. I agree that life has its problems. Lord knows I’ve had mine, but living through the hard times makes the good times even better. There’s got to be someone in your life that you can talk to if you’re considering suicide. If your problems are to the point that you considering suicide find a friend, a coworker, a teacher, your parents, even your kids find someone to talk to if you don’t have anyone like that that you can share your feelings with, then the national suicide prevention hotline number is 1-800-273-8255 and you can always reach them as well by chat at www.suicide prevention lifeline.org. Give them a call. Give them a chat. If you don’t have anyone in your life that you can talk to about your problems start a podcast about your problems. Talking about your problems, whether it be with someone or in a podcast really helps, I know this podcast is help me tremendously dealing with what mom is going through with her dementia. Find someone to talk to, find something that you enjoy doing, anything at all to distract you from your problems. But whatever you do, don’t, don’t commit suicide things will get better. They will get better with time.