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It is heartbreaking to seem what is happening to her....how do I handle this?

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Question - (30 September 2006) 4 Answers - (Newest, 30 September 2006)
A female , anonymous writes:

Not sure that this is the right type of question for this sight but have read some answers here..a lot of sweet people with good insight respond. My mom has alzheimers and I try to go and see her every second weekend. She is not in this city. I work at a pretty intense career here. Here is my problem. When mom was in the early stages of alzheimers I was able to hold it together but it has gotten pretty bad lately. She still looks youthful but the changes that have come over her lately are huge....it is heartbreaking to seem what is happening to her. I am a pretty strong person but lately I burst into tears for no reason and I know it is because of mom. The last time I went to see her I cried all the way home...made me a bit of a driving hazard I guess. I just do not know where this emotional instablilty is coming from and I wondered if anyone had any advice on how to handle this. Any replies greatly appreciated.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (30 September 2006):

eyeswideopen agony auntI agree with the aunts. Support groups will enable you to get some comfort and insight on how to deal with this horribly cruel disease. You will find comfort there. Good luck.

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A male reader, fallenman United Kingdom +, writes (30 September 2006):

fallenman agony auntAs others have already stated the effects of Alzheimer's I won't repeat it all again. The emotional response you are experiencing is one of pending and actual loss. Ok so now what do you do with it?

What I am about to say is nearly as painful as the loss itself. You need to accept that you will loose your mom and then give her permission to go. You should do this on your own or with a counsellor as it refers to you and not your mom. When you have internally given your mom permission to go the sense of loss will deminish.

It works like this, if you give something away you don't feel the loss, but if something is taken from you, you feel the loss. So although it will be painful to let your mom go it is the lessser of two.

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A female reader, old woman in a shoe +, writes (30 September 2006):

This is heartbreaking. Alzhiemers is an insidious disease, muddling the mind and leaving only a shadow of what was once a whole person. Mothers are so important to us and you truly never outgrow them. If I were you I would feel the loss almost as keenly as I would if my mother had passed away. However, you end up with the reality that she is alive but hardly who she once was. It is a loss and could certainly explain your anguish. That being what it is, you need to help yourself in order to help her. If you are finding yourself overwhelmed and sad frequently you may have some depression stemming from this situation and whatever else life has handed you. I think finding support groups would be a wonderful idea. If you can't seem to shake this sadness you might also consider talking to your doctor about the issue. Life is hard enough when we are 100%, operating on less is quite difficult. Take care

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A female reader, Toria +, writes (30 September 2006):

Toria agony auntWhen something happens to someone close to you it breaks your heart especially someone as close as a mum.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are hard to deal with although Alzheimer’s disease does not affect every patient in the same way.

Early in the illness, Alzheimer's patients tend to have less energy and spontaneity, though often no one notices anything unusual. They show minor memory loss and mood swings, and are slow to learn and react. After a while they start to shy away from anything new and prefer the familiar. Memory loss begins to affect job performance. The patient is confused, gets lost easily, and exercises poor judgment.

Then they may need assistance with more complicated activities. Speech and understanding become slower, and they often lose their trail of thought in mid-sentence. They may also get lost while travelling or forget to pay bills. As they become aware of this loss of control, they may become depressed, irritable and restless. The individual is clearly becoming disabled. The distant past may be recalled, while recent events are difficult to remember.

As this advances, it affects their ability to comprehend where they are, the day and the time, and have to be given clear instructions and have them repeated often, As their mind continues to slip away, and they may invent words and not recognize familiar faces.

I've put this here for you to understand that the way she maybe acting like the depression and aggression is due to the Alzheimer's and not actually aimed at you for any reason, although hurtful and very hard on you as you are watching your mum suffering from Alzheimer's and you are seeing less of the person she was in her everytime you see her, but all you can do is be there for her loving her and try your best to do what you can to make things easier for her.

There are plenty of support groups you can attend or you can speak to your doctor for referal to see someone on a one to one basis if you feel you need this.

I hope this helps :o)

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