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Mom's aphasia getting worse
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Replies: 4 - Pages: [1] - Last reply: 2021-09-12 08:16:28 - By: Susan Wirtala
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Sue
(Member)

Posts: 3
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2021-04-26 00:03:56

My 83 yr.-old mother suffered a series of mini strokes in 2003, and was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia. She used to be extremely active sewing, biking, swimming, playing cards, and has many friend. As we saw her condition worsening, my brother and I moved her from AZ to an independent living facility in IL to be near us. Over the years she has completely lost all speech, as well as her smile. She can write very little, and no longer uses email. She has an assistive communication device with pictures and sound, but that seems too difficult for her now as well. We have noticed a turn for the worse over the last few months-she used to write appointments in her calendar, and the last three months the calendar has been blank and she forgets doctor appts. When we come to visit she is lying in bed, shades drawn, in the middle of the day. She seems to be disoriented/confused at times. One day last week she left her room with just her underwear on. This is a lady who always wore matching outfits and hair was just right. When we ask simple questions we usually do not get a response. Before she would shake her head and try to write out what she needed. Looks like she does not change for bed. Sleeps in the same clothes she had on all day. We are at a loss as to what the next step is. We realize she needs someone to help bathe her and possibly take her down for meals, but this will not stop her from leaving her room at any point, walking around not fully dressed. She is the sweetest lady, and never shows any frustration-If only her big blue eyes could talk. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!

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Kathy
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2021-04-26 00:03:56

My mother-in-law has PPA too. She hasn’t had strokes though. I understand your frustration and I think you are ahead of the game with the communication book and trying that. Maybe she has had another stroke and now needs to have more of an assisted living environment. Does the place she lives at now have an arrangement with an assisted living facility? Would she be willing to have a daily caretaker come in? We are having a caretaker come in a few times a week for our mom and she likes having her around. Our mom is in an independent living apartment too. We just spoke with the facility and they said we should have the caretaker come more often. Our mom too was very active and social and this PPA has made her withdraw so much. We are starting the communication book with her this weekend even though she doesn’t want to use one. She doesn’t want anyone to know. But they do already! Best of luck and hang in there!

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Sue
(Member)

Posts: 3
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2021-04-26 00:03:56

Kathy,

Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, we could have someone come in for my mom where she currently is. Did you find the person you have coming to help your mother-in-law through her independent living place, or did you find someone on your own? Could I ask approximately how much it costs? It’s so hard to make decisions when they can’t tell you what they want.

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Susan Wirtala
(Member)

Posts: 1
Registered:
2021-04-26 00:03:56

When my mom progressed to your mom’s current symptoms, we moved her to an assisted living facility. We chose a small one, Mom found large facilities confusing to get around and she couldn’t function in a larger social setting because of her communication problems. Independent living was too easy to just stay in her apartment. We wanted access and coaxing regularly around people, and she felt more comfortable around people who had problems too. We had the staff come ask her each meal to come out to eat and help her or, if she refused, take her sandwiches or other food in between meals, just so she’d eat. We wanted staff who’d be in her room several times a day and would notice changes. Also, she could develop relationships with staff because the communication problem made it impossible to have relationships with friends and family. We had staff help her with her tv as she developed problems handling the remote and we had them play her favorite DVD movies or have the channel on TCM. I’d suggest grab bars, lots of them in the bathroom, the bed, her chair. We also found Mom was not brushing her teeth properly. Beware of this. Staff can help and I also stepped up her dentist cleaning and checkups to at least once every three months.

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