Month: September 2018

Diaper Changes

One of the hardest parts of Alzheimer’s is diaper changing. Our mother was so clean and proper that she would never have wanted to be like this. Her mental state now, however, is that of a bratty toddler. Sometimes she will soil herself and take her diaper off before we even have a chance to get to her. She’ll often smear the mess everywhere including her body before throwing her diaper. She doesn’t even know why she shouldn’t do this. This is were all the cleaning necessities come in. Attempting to get her into the shower also takes considerable effort because she fights like a toddler, not wanting to get in. She’ll also throw punches and kicks which makes it harder for us: her children, her caregivers. She even screams and cries just like a toddler who doesn’t want a diaper change or get cleaned up. Some mornings she’ll wake up and take her diaper off just to rip it apart and make a mess with it. It’s so heartbreaking to have to watch our mother go through this.

 

 

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Nail Biting

Lately Cristina has been doing this thing where she bites her nails. She has always been a nail biter, but since her Alzheimer’s disease has progressed she hadn’t been doing it, until now. She’s returned to biting┬áher nails, but now she’ll bite her nails to the point of making them bleed. Due to the excessive heat in the summer, we can only put a band aid on it. Once the weather cools down we’ll be getting her some gloves she can wear that will keep her hands warm but also keep her from biting her nails.

 

Facetime

When Cristina’s mother had Alzheimer’s she would have to call her mom to speak to her until her mother could no longer speak, which was difficult mentally because her mother lived in another state. The best thing about today’s technology is the option to use Facetime on mobile phones. So the days of just hearing a voice is long gone for some patients with Alzheimer’s. One of Cristina’s daughters lives in another state and will Facetime on Cristina’s older son’s phone on occasion so they can see each other and talk. Cristina can no longer form words but she will babble to her daughter on Facetime. Her attention span is short, of course, and she sometimes doesn’t recognize her daughter and just gives a blank stare at the phone before looking away at anything else that catches her eye. It’s hard watching her leave us day by day. Each day is something else lost from her and something new for us to adapt to.

 

 

Laundry

Even with Alzheimer’s she still remembers how to fold laundry. It’s bemusing that she can still remember how to do some things and is unable to do so many others. This disease is so unpredictable. When she folds laundry she will put several articles of clothing on, not understanding what she’s doing. She will often sit for hours refolding clothes, no matter how many times she’s already folded them. Folding laundry is another thing we let her do since it helps keep her calm and busy, plus there’s very little risk of injury when she does it.