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Long distance children and Alzheimer's parents

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Unread 12-17-2010, 03:46 PM   #1
lefthanded
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Default Long distance children and Alzheimer's parents

This may have been asked before, but does anyone know of good resources for those of us who live far from our parents, and can not get home to see them as they are worsening into the later stages of Alzheimer's? My sister is shouldering the brunt of making arrangements for her care, etc., and my brother is there to visit her and help a a little, but I can't get home to see her due to finances and health reasons. I am not only looking for help knowing if there is anything I can do, but also in how to cope with being absent when needed by my family and while my mom is "disappearing." If I went home today she would not know me, and I might not know how to handle it.

Any resources will be appreciated. Thanks.

Debra
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Unread 11-27-2011, 07:59 PM   #2
vligrl
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Originally Posted by lefthanded View Post
This may have been asked before, but does anyone know of good resources for those of us who live far from our parents, and can not get home to see them as they are worsening into the later stages of Alzheimer's? My sister is shouldering the brunt of making arrangements for her care, etc., and my brother is there to visit her and help a a little, but I can't get home to see her due to finances and health reasons. I am not only looking for help knowing if there is anything I can do, but also in how to cope with being absent when needed by my family and while my mom is "disappearing." If I went home today she would not know me, and I might not know how to handle it.

Any resources will be appreciated. Thanks.

Debra
I can't believe it's been a year without a response? I have the exact same situation. My Mom was diagnosed a year ago and has rapidly been going down hill. She lives with my 91 year old depressed Dad and a Caregiver. My brother lives close by and comes by once a week for his wife to take care of the medications. I try to keep my Dad's spirits up and thank my brother for helping out where I can't but the stress of being this far from home (3,000) and hearing how each week she is forgetting more and more, is killing me over here. We don't have a lot of money so I haven't been able to visit as much as I like. Was out in February and now that my Mom is losing her ability to converse and to remember short term things, we are coming out again next week. I am scared to death to see her this way and possibly not remember who I am. I have never seen her ill except for colds but after being away for four years, the signs of age really caught up not to mention developing Dementia. I am afraid this may be the last time I see her and she won't remember I was there after I leave. Any support or encouragement is welcomed.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
tecky
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Wish I had some advice for both of you, lefthanded and vligrl.

I went through the exact same thing for a few years and lost my mother to Alzheimer's in December 2010. I was not able to visit her often as we live a great distance away, and because I've been on disability with Chronic Migraines. When I was able to see her, it was very difficult dealing with her not recognizing me. I also suffer from depression and anxiety, and found it very difficult to sit very long with her when she was unable to recognize me. At times she would say things that made no sense, and I was in such a sensitive state, I would begin crying, which I don't think helped anything.

My brother lived nearby and was able to visit her frequently, but I felt that he resented me for not being there more often and for not helping more with her care. We both had power of attorney to handle her medical and financial matters. I was just too ill to do any of it--physically and emotionally.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer my support and encourage to both of you as I know what you're going through.

I was able to spend every day of the last two weeks of my mother's life with her. I honestly don't know whether she recognized me or realized I was with her. She recognized my brother (that was painful for me). My brother and I spent every day with her those last two weeks and the last 3-4 days we spent the nights, as well. I just sat with her, holding her hand, reading her favorite Bible verses (ones she had made note of in her Bible), and singing to her when her pastor visited.

The nursing home where she lived the last 2 years was a memory care home, so they specialized in Alzheimer's patients. One time, the administrator and my mother called me (I was ill and in bed), but my mom started crying partway through the call and repeated, "what did I do wrong?". I was crying, too, then, so I don't know if the phone call was a good idea or not. I still don't know if she understood what was going on or not, and I don't know what she meant. It was very difficult.

Hang in there.
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