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Question
Posted by: Noeline | 2007/04/17

Dementia-Caregiver needs advice

Hi there, My Mom who lives with me is 75, has COPD and is frail, and becoming more confused by the day. She wakes up at night, not knowing where she is and gets panicky and calls or wails for me. She is becoming increasingly demanding and behaves like a toddler more and more.

Are there any books and/or online support groups on dealing with this from the psychological perspective? I don't always know how to handle her when she cries for me or wants something she can't have.

Thank you - Noeline

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Our expert says:
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Dear Noeline, I know, from personal experience, how hard this is. I would hope that your doctor could put you in touch with some resources. The COPD will be relevant, on top of the aging, as it will reduce the amount of oxygen available to her brain to enable it to work properly. And though some have found it can help to use some drugs like Risperdal, which can be calimng and clear the thinking to a degree, it has risks, and also in someone with COPD.
As for books. one I recall, was : "The 36-Hour Day : A Family Guide to Caring for Persons With Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins ".
and others include : Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease by Joanne Koenig Coste ;
Talking to Alzheimer's: Simple Ways to Connect When You Visit with a Family Member or Friend by Claudia J. Strauss ;
Alzheimer's Early Stages: First Steps for Families, Friends and Care-Givers by Daniel Kuhn ;
Alzheimer's Activities: Hundreds of Activities for Men and Women With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders by B. J. Fitzray ; and
There's Still a Person in There: The Complete Guide to Treating and Coping with Alzheimer's by Michael Castleman .
Check I think in SA, Kalahari.net currently has a book sale on at around 20 % off, and can source most UK and US titles ; but also check the Exclusivebooks.com website, as they are sometimes cheaper still.

( check through Google.com for online resources --- I seem to remember the Alzheimer Society in the UK had a useful site ),

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Our users say:
Posted by: Paul | 2007/04/17

Hats off to you Noeline.

Reply to Paul

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