My Demented Mom

5 million Americans suffer from Dementia. My mom is one of them. A site for young adult caregivers struggling and coping with "the long goodbye."

Dealing with my mom was especially difficult, mostly because of the lack of help. Unfortunately, due to of her type of dementia — frontotemporal dementia — it was almost impossible to ask for help because of her behaviors. In hindsight, I suppose, there were small things that could have been done to help lighten the load. The thing […]

Family Caregiver Award Winner – Kathy Ritchie (Primary Caregiver for her mother, a resident of Beatitudes Campus, Phoenix, AZ)The Exceptional Friend or Family Caregiver Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and abilities in one-on-one caregiving for a friend or family member living with dementia. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event in […]

Kathy Ritchie’s mother is living, yet she is mourned for her loss of self. She suffers from dementia. Ritchie, founder of the blog My Demented Mom, visited HuffPost Live to discuss the disease affecting five million Americans and her personal struggles with her own mom’s diagnosis. “It is painful, it is a trauma,” she told host Nancy Redd of the crippling […]

I have a message for my mother’s friends, family and acquaintances: She’s still alive. My mother’s heart still beats. Though she might not be able to talk to you, walk with you, or share a laugh with you, she’s still here. She’s still alive. If you spend any amount of time with her, you’ll quickly […]

1. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. 2. More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease (I’m guessing this figure does not include Americans living with other types of dementias like FTD). 3. 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. 4. In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided […]

As I write this blog, I’m trolling Twitter. Just seeing what’s out there in the way of caregiver support, resources, news, etc, etc, etc. Turns out, there’s a lot shaking in our world. A quick scroll on my feed shows Tweets about everything from incontinence and nursing homes to tips on how to be an […]

It’s another year. And I am trying to be optimistic about 2013 — optimism is not my strong suit — mostly because, at this point (knock on wood…… the gods can be very cruel), the worst thing that could happen is that she finally passes away…………………. She must be close. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. […]

Dear hospice and nursing home (names of providers removed because I have enough problems, frankly), Thank you for making late/end stage dementia even more awful by not coordinating your care of my mom, by failing to communicate with me, by making me feel like I’m making poor decisions on her behalf, by one day telling […]

I don’t know how to talk to my mom. When I visit here, I usually sit there and hold her hand. I’ll say prayers, I’ll tell her not to be afraid, I’ll tell her I love her, but mostly, I just sit there. I don’t know what to say…………………… I can’t find the words. I […]

Let’s face it…………….. when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias like Frontotemporal dementia (Pick’s disease), we are David and it is Goliath. So, don’t worry, you’re not alone if you feel absolutely helpless — or hopeless……………………. we all do, even my friend Suzette Armijo, who is her grandmother’s primary caregiver, has her moments………. but you would […]

Hi Kathy, we’ve got the two letters from your mom’s doctors, so you can come in and sign the DNR. Oh, great. OK. What time? Noon? OK, I look forward to it. I mean, I’m not looking forward to it. Um, you know what I mean. And that is how I made the appointment to […]

When it comes to dementia and demented events, there are very few things that actually disturb me anymore…………….. or, I should say, disturb me for extended periods of time. After all, I’ve been dealing with my mother’s decline for eight years or 2,920 days…………………………….. that’s a long time to get used to the grotesque. And […]

This is a controversial matter……. I don’t even know what to say about it……….. my mother is on antipsychotics that were given to her by a trained psychiatrist to “stabilize” her during her month-long stay at a geriatric psych unit. They do this……….. stabilizing…………… because many facilities (even the “memory care” units) won’t accept behavioral […]

Mother’s Day is an awkward holiday. I say awkward because while I understand why we make such a fuss about this day, I can’t help but find it to be somewhat, well, insensitive — to put it bluntly, Mother’s Day is another reminder of what I, and others like me, don’t have. My mother is […]

An article, which appeared in The New York Times, about a wife and her husband who has Frontotemporal dementia really hit home with me……. I wish this article came out five or six years ago…… For me, reading this, well, I felt some comfort………… like when they talked about shoplifting …………… knowing that it wasn’t my […]

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