QUESTION

One of my friends whose mother and father are showing signs of dementia asked me if she should move in with them or speak with them about an assisted living place.  She is single with two children. I told her that I would put it on my blog and ask the question to get some opinions.  What do you think?

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5 MORE SIGNS OF EARLY DEMENTIA

The following are more signs of early dementia that may impact your relationship with your mother. Take note of these additional signs.

1.  Poor Judgement

Watch for changes in your mom’s decision-making abilities, rational thought processes and judgement skills.  Dementia could be the culprit in making inappropriate and irresponsible decisions. A once logical decision maker who made informed decisions suddenly may begin to exhibit poor judgement. This could include actions such as losing control of her impulses which might exhibit itself by saying tactless things, etc.

2.  Speaking and Language Problems

Dementia causes difficulty in processing language.  Your mom may be experiencing  diminishing ability to communicate due to a difficulty with vocabulary and other aspects of language.  She can have trouble recalling the right words in a conversation, stop mid-sentence and become at a loss at how to continue or finish her thoughts, or use the wrong words when referring to everyday objects.

3.  Changes in Grooming and Personal Hygiene.

Sudden or declining attention to personal care, such as infrequent bathing, wearing the same clothes over and over again, not brushing her teeth or combing her hair, can point to dementia.  If your mom usually kept her home immaculate but suddently stops cleaning and allows dirt or clutter to accumulate, it could be a cause for concern.

4.  Problems with Simple Math

In the early stages of dementia your mother may have difficulty working with numbers, including doing simple math problems. She may begin to struggle balancing her checkbook or doing simple addition and subtraction calculations.

5.  Difficulty with Motor Skills

You may begin to notice that your mom is experiencing difficulties with her fine motor skills. This may prevent her from completing such tasks as buttoning her clothing, tying her shoes, holding eating utensils, or unlocking and opening a door. You may also see some difficulty holding a pen or pencil and increased difficulty in writing and signing her name.

Remember, these are signs to watch for, however, the only way to know whether these signs are age related, or signs of dementia, it’s important that you to contact your mom’s doctor about your observations and concerns.

5 SIGNS OF EARLY DEMENTIA

As our mothers age, we may see changes in them that impact our relationships. Often these changes may be the result of the onset of early dementia. Be aware of these signs.

  1. Forgetfulness and Memory Loss
    The most common symptom of most types of dementia is memory loss. Early onset of this disease can cause a person to forget entire conversations that took place only minutes ago. Early dementia usually affects short-term memory first. Your mom may have trouble remembering important dates and events and ask for the same information over and over again.
  2. Lack of Concentration and Increased Confusion
    Getting confused about times and places is a common indicator. Your mom may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than she did before. She may forget where she is or how she got there. She can lose track of the seasons and the general passage of time.
  3. Losing Things
    A person with early dementia may begin to put things in increasingly unusual places. Your mom may lose things and be unable to use the simple method of retracing her steps to find the items. This situation can even escalate into accusations of theft when they cannot find a personal belonging that they have unknowingly misplaced. This can lead to paranoia, and having “hiding spots” to foil the perceived thief.
  4. Difficulty Doing Familiar Tasks
    This condition also affects the ability to do normal, everyday tasks. Your mom may also have trouble remembering how to drive, or cook a favorite recipe. Her symptoms can include a problem with depth perception, judging distance and even seeing colors.
  5. Personality Changes and Mood Swings
    Watch for changes in personality and sudden mood swings. She could become fearful, suspicious, depressed or anxious. Your mom might have been an outgoinging social person and has become tentative and shy.                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you notice an increase in any of these signs, notify your mother’s physician.

 

4 WAYS TO HELP YOUR AGING MOTHER ENJOY THE SUMMER

As summer approaches, many seniors have been home bound because of the weather and want to get out and enjoy the warm sunshine. We want to make sure that they can safely do this. Here are 4 ways to help them enjoy a safe summer.

  1.  Stay Hydrated – It’s very important to make sure that your mother is drinking plenty of water, especially during the hot days of summer. Senior citizens have difficulty adjusting to changing temperatures, are more sensitive to the harmful effects of heat and often lose their ability to conserve water.
  2. Certain Medications Are Effected by the Sun – Make sure that your mom is aware of side effects on her medication labels.  If she wants to spend time in the sun, applying sun screen is a good idea.
  3. Dress In Layers – Dressing in layers is important if seniors are going to be going back and forth from the air-conditioned home and the heat outside. Her summer wardrobe should include loose fitting, light-colored clothes made of natural fabrics like cotton.
  4. No over exertion – Make sure that your parent is participating in appropriate activities for the warm weather. Seniors must be careful of expending too much energy during the heat of the summer. A Senior Citizen Community location usually has activities that are monitored.

As a matter of fact, these are helpful ways for all of us to enjoy a safe summer.  If you have other ways that make an enjoyable safe summer, please share.

 

 

 

10 WAYS TO MANAGING STRESS IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOM OR ADULT DAUGHTER

  1. Visualize a relaxing scene when you visit.
  2. Walk away from unnecessary conflict.
  3. Give and receive a hug.
  4. Sip a cup of tea together.
  5. Believe in the power of forgiveness.
  6. Set a realistic goal for your visit.
  7. Plan the subjects of your conversation beforehand.
  8. Be well rested before your visit.
  9. Confront your feelings.
  10. Count your blessings!

What techniques do you use?  Do you have any to add to this less?  Let me know.

HOW DO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP EFFECT YOUR HEALTH

Negative emotions can cause stress which affects all aspects of our lives, including behaviors, our thinking ability, and physical health. Stress is a body’s method of reacting to a perceived or real challenge. If stress is left unchecked, it can display itself in many ways that effect our health negatively. No part of the body is immune.

Stress causes the body to release the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. During periods of increased stress, “the immune cells are being bathed in molecules which are essentially telling them to stop fighting,” according to Dr. Esther Sternberg. This makes the body more susceptible to disease. Stress can raise your blood pressure, cause rashes, aches and pains.

Stress can also affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems, making your heart pump faster, and sometimes making it hard to breathe. In addition to all of this, during stress the sex hormone called androgens are released which can result in temporary hair loss according to Dr. Roberta Sengelmann.  Did you know that stress can even affect your menstrual cycle?

Here are 5 ways to reduce your level of stress in your mother/daughter relationship.

  1. Acknowledge your mother’s or daughter’s concern (Listening rather than being defensive and confrontational goes a long way)
  2. Respond rather than react (remember you can’t change your mother, but you can change the way YOU respond.
  3. Honor each other’s feelings. (Sometimes there is no right or wrong, just a difference of opinions)
  4. Treat each other with respect (Disrespectful criticism and contempt only fuels conflicts)
  5. Get help (sometimes we are so close to the problem, we can’t be objective)

Hope this information helps you navigate through the challenges of your mother and adult daughter relationships.

 

Mother’s Day Can Bring Sadness

Mother’s Day can be a very celebratory day or a sad day.  For some daughters whose mothers have passed, it can be a sad day because their mother is no longer with them. This day is usually a day of remembrance. Hopefully, most daughters have happy memories of their mothers and can celebrate this day.  Unfortunately, there will be some daughters who have negative feelings and sad memories about their mothers.

For daughters whose mothers are still alive, and have a poor relationship with their mother, this can also be a sad day.  If Mother’s Day brings you sadness, focus on your yourself and your own strengths. Don’t put yourself in a situation that will bring additional conflict.  If this means not spending time with your mother, don’t feel guilty. If possible spend time with your children, grandchildren, or even a close friend. You can always spend the time, giving yourself uplifting affirmations.

Although this day can be difficult, especially when most people are celebrating,  I would suggest using this day as a day to focus on forgiveness and remembering, that no matter who your mother was, or how she treated you, she gave you the greatest gift of all, ‘LIFE”.

Mother’s Day

May 14th 2017 is Mother’s Day.  This is a poem that I thought was very appropriate for my blog.  Do you see you and your mother in the words? Tell me what you think.

Mothers and daughters ought to be friends,
But there is a lot that gets in the way.
The determined pursuit of opposite ends,
Ends up as harsh words we would rather not say.

Yet storms tend to pass, and passions abate,
And love to outlast the days of despair,
And comfort to come to those who would wait,
And friendships to flourish in those who forbear.

So we must be patient, and fight, if we must,
With the knowledge that love will endure what we do.
The anger is wind, and the angels are dust,
But love will be waiting whenever we’re through.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon

Who Is Yo’ Mama

According to “Loving Your Parents When They Can No Longer Love You” by Terry Hargraves, There are 4 types of seniors.

  1.  The type who accepts the fact that they are aging and can’t do the things they used to do.  This type is usually pleasant to be around.
  2. The type who refuses to accept that they are aging with its constraints. This type is usually defensive, angry and although they may need help, they usually refuse assistance.
  3.  The type who feels sorry for themselves and wants you to pity them and often wants someone to take care of them.
  4. The type who submits to the challenges of aging, and becomes passive and depressed.

Let me know who you think your mother is, why you think so and give me some examples. Your mother can be a combination of types.

This is a blog about the relationship between adult daughters and their mothers.  I started this blog because I am an adult daughter with an aging mother and our relationship is often somewhat less than ideal.  There are times when it is extremely difficult and unpleasant and at other times, loving and great.  I hope this blog will offer some insight into this complicated, dynamic relationship. Also, many women are currently in the position of being caregivers or know someone who is. It is not an easy task. Sometimes you end up being the forgotten one. There are things the caregiver should be made aware of and that caregiver should have a game plan to face the many obstacles that can occur.

I want to help someone understand what and why certain things happen in the life of an adult daughter and aging mother and offer some pointers. This blog will be a place where advice, solutions, comments and humor surrounding this relationship are offered by me as well as you.