What can I do to bring some pleasure to my mom who has Alzheimer's?

1 answer | Last updated: Mar 28, 2016
Olderwiser asked...

What can I do to bring some pleasure to my mom living at her home with Alzheimer's? We talk everyday (way too many phone calls!) and I visit her at least every other day. We do simple outings such as her favorite hairdresser and small diner style restaurants. She's no longer interested in shopping at all. She's also not interested in photos of happy memories or the grand/great grandkids. We visit my dad at his assisted living apartment. He has very fragile health issues and mom wants to be with him but a restraining order will not allow that to happen. She had no hobbies or passionate interests her entire life. My dad directed and guided everything she did. She is just so angry, sad, lonely, self-pitying, and always wants to fight with me. I remain patient and search for something to make her smile or laugh again.

Expert Answers

A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She is a well-known speaker and has written two books, one focusing on end-of-life care and the other, entitled The Magic Tape Recorder, explaining aging, memory loss, and how children can be helpers to their elders.

You have a very difficult situation to deal with as she probably will not change her lifestyle at this point in her life. Validate her feelings and then try to move the conversation on to something else. Would she consent to counseling?If so, find health care professionals who are qualified to counsel seniors. For your own mental health you may need to set limits on the calls and visits. Taking care of yourself is important if you want to be able to continue caring about both of your parents.

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