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  #1  
Old May 26, '11, 4:03 pm
BlsdBGd BlsdBGd is offline
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Default grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

Perhaps someone reading this might have experienced what I am going through. Due to her dementia, I had no choice but to place my 90 yr old mother in a hospital. While her brain illness has worsened over the years, the past year and a half has been very difficult for me. I continue to visit her frequently, but when I come home into her house, sadness comes over me and I miss her. Though my dad also had alzheimers, mom and I supported one another while caring for him. Now I carry the heavy and painful load alone. Apart from crying, praying, singing songs of praise, planting flowers, how else can I deal with the pain that swells up in my heart?
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  #2  
Old May 26, '11, 4:06 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

You can find others in a similar situation, but other than that you are doing what you can do, which is grieving. Well, that, and I have found it helpful to take heart in the fact that things have gotten easier for Mom, now that she doesn't remember the last ten minutes. She doesn't have enough memory to have to go through those frustrating days any more. Harder on us, easier on them.
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  #3  
Old May 26, '11, 5:09 pm
Warrior1979 Warrior1979 is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

It is natural to focus one grief, especially when dealing with one's parents. It's important to remember, though, that you have done the best you could for your parents, including frequent visits. You are honoring them by doing so.
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  #4  
Old May 27, '11, 12:13 am
Arlene Arlene is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

I so understand what you are going through. The killer for me was when my mom didn't recognize me anymore. Talk about an arrow piercing your heart. I missed my mom before she died. I missed the person she had been before the memory thief came. I hated that she was reduced to a body, but she was gone. Know what I mean? We lost her last November. I really thought that since she wasn't part of my every day life that I had finished my grieving and that I wouldn't miss her more than I already did. But it didn't happen that way. I miss her terribly. Focus on your good memories. Maybe do things that she would have liked. Last Christmas I got several hummingbird items from my family. Hummingbirds were my mom's favorite bird, and so they remind me of her. I'll be working on a scrapbook soon. I'll pray for you as you take this difficult journey.
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  #5  
Old May 27, '11, 3:56 am
Joan M Joan M is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlsdBGd View Post
Perhaps someone reading this might have experienced what I am going through. Due to her dementia, I had no choice but to place my 90 yr old mother in a hospital. While her brain illness has worsened over the years, the past year and a half has been very difficult for me. I continue to visit her frequently, but when I come home into her house, sadness comes over me and I miss her. Though my dad also had Alzheimers, mom and I supported one another while caring for him. Now I carry the heavy and painful load alone. Apart from crying, praying, singing songs of praise, planting flowers, how else can I deal with the pain that swells up in my heart?
You need the support of others who are going through what you are going through. Perhaps there is a chapter of an Alzheimers Association close to you? Regular meetings can be very helpful, particularly meeting others in your situation and exchanging stories.

I have two older sisters who live in a different country from me. They both have Alzheimers. I have had to face the possibility that this may happen to me, too. I joined the Alzheimers Association here and attend the monthly meetings. I have found them to be very helpful, as I meet caregivers and care companions who share their ups and downs, and also learn more about the condition. Our meetings usually take the form of receiving information and news about the condition, introducing new members, sharing our stories, and just getting to know each other better.
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Peace and Love
Joan M.


It's not enough to be good; you need to show it. What would you say of a rose bush which produced only thorns?#735, Furrow - St. Josemaria Escriva
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  #6  
Old May 27, '11, 7:40 am
BlsdBGd BlsdBGd is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

Thank you for all your comments, and especially to Arlene. Arlene, your comments reflect my reality. When my dad had alzheimers and failed to recognize me, it hurt. He became like a son and I like his mother. Now it's the same with mom. Did you have a hard time letting go of your parents personal possessions? For therapy, I planted a climbing red rose bush in mom's front yard yesterday in her honour. thank you again, especially for your prayers and I will pray for you as well.
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  #7  
Old May 27, '11, 5:55 pm
Arlene Arlene is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

I live in California and my mom lived in Texas. For most of my adult life our relationship consisted of visits 1-2 times a year, phone calls and letters. So I wasn't part of her daily life, and even though I kept her updated on my kids and our lives, she wasn't part of mine, really. When she started her decline 5 years ago, my brother took her into his home. He was never married and never had kids, and it was something he felt called to do. I would come out every six months and stay for a few days so he could get away for respite. She had a few hospital stays and a couple 100 day nursing home stays, but he was her primary caregiver. She died at home. (My brother's home)

My mom had made arrangements many years ago to donate her body to be used as a cadaver. Her estate all went to charity as she wanted. I'll never forget once she told me that if you had a coat hanging in your closet that didn't fit anymore, it was a sin not to donate it because somewhere there was a cold person who could use that coat. That's how she was. So it was no problem to pass on her personal items to people who could use them.

I think the rose bush is an awesome idea.
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  #8  
Old May 27, '11, 6:08 pm
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Nanny PK Nanny PK is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

You have my prayers. My grandfather had dimentia and my mother became his "parent." It used to be so hard for me to visit him because it broke my heart that he didn't know who any of us were. You would have to tell him who you were over and over again because he just didn't remember. What helped me (maybe it will help you. I hope it does) is to see his not knowing as almost a blessing. It would be so hurtful if he realized what was happening to him. As it was up until the very end he was almost child-like. He, too, lived in a nursing facility because he required 24-hour supervision that my parents just could not provide. The staff loved and cared for him -- in fact, several of them even came to his wake. That meant so much to me.

I would second some of the other suggestions mentioned in earlier posts -- find some kind of support system for you. You need others around you who are going through (or have gone through) the same situation to give you encouragement.
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  #9  
Old May 27, '11, 6:25 pm
BlsdBGd BlsdBGd is offline
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Default Re: grieving the loss of an elderly parent who has dementia

If anything, over these seasons of tears, I've become closer to our Lady. When I pray the divine mercy chaplets, I reflect upon the way of the cross and I picture the Virgin looking into Jesus eyes, so full of love and pain. I admire our Mother for her strength, for her perfect resignation in her hours of distress, for giving her Son to us and for standing at the foot of the cross while others hid. For me, the Virgin Mary is my mamusza (Polish for mommy). Thanks be to Gd that He created her and that He gave her to us as our mother.
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