We're having Beef Dementia tonight

No thanks Mom, I think I’ll pass. Sounds a little like Mad Cow Disease.

My mom came up with that one a little while ago. She’s 87 and has been in declining health, both physically and mentally, for some time now. We just recently got the official diagnosis of dementia from her doctor. The other day she asked me what it was the doctor said she had. I told her “dementia” and she jotted it down on the note pad she keeps by her chair.

Fortunately she had no negative connotations attached to the term. Then tonight she was making a shopping list with the ingredients for her lasagna recipe (she doesn’t cook much at all any more, I take care of most of that). She had ground beef on the list and when she went back over it she said “beef dementia” then said “No, that’s not right.”

We had a good laugh over that. Most of the time she’s in good spirits; she’s always been a very positive person. But she knows she’s getting worse and lately has been experiencing more depression. When her doctor diagnosed the dementia he prescribed a fairly low dose of risperidone which is working very well.

It’s not easy watching her decline. I moved in with my parents 3 years ago when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer which had spread to his spine. I took him to his doctor’s appointments and helped him to the bathroom when he couldn’t walk too well. I watched him take his last breath May 2, 2016.

Now my mom is getting worse. The visit to the doctor was the first step in getting her into assisted living- actually it’ll be memory care. I didn’t know the difference until very recently.

This isn’t how I expected to spend my retirement (I’m 62). I lost my job two years ago when my employer was bought out and relocated to Wisconsin. I didn’t want to move back there. I lived there all through the 70s; went to high school and college there. I’ve seen enough snow to last a lifetime. Now I see it on the mountain peaks around Santa Fe and on the Sandias above Albuquerque and that’s as close as I want to get to the stuff.

Anyway, that’s my mundane pointless post.* Mostly just me venting but I did think the Beef Dementia line was worth sharing.

*Didn’t this forum used to be Mindless Pointless Stuff? When did it change? Probably several years ago and I never noticed. Or maybe it’s always been Mundane.

You’re a good son. I hope your mom’s journey is as untroubled as it is possible to be.

Do try and find some time for yourself, even if it’s just to go have a coffee or lunch with a friend once a week.

Yes, what Aspenglow said.

And come here to vent as much as you want.

It sounds a LOT like Mad Cow. :eek:

Bless you for doing what you can. In recent weeks I have learned how exhausting caring for the demented is.

For 18 years I have been convinced it was Mundane Inane etc cuz it rhymes.

Thanks, everyone. I do get a break now and then, my brothers come over all the time and I can take off to do whatever I need to do.

For the past year and a half, we’ve been taking Mom out once a month to one of the local micro-breweries for a beer and a meal. Albuquerque has a lot of them and we always have a good time. It’s getting harder for Mom to get around so I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to keep it up.

She enjoys going to a little nearby park too, just to sit on a park bench and breathe the fresh air. It’s getting warmer and the trees are getting leaves so we can start doing that again.

“Honor thy mother and thy father that their days may be long upon the land …”

You have done so! :slight_smile:

I am so relieved to hear from someone who is doing good just because it is the right thing to do. I really wish this kind of thing really was mundane and pointless stuff-but it is everything but.

Thanks for being a good person. And yes, I really thing you should pass on the the beef dementia. :slight_smile: There are better ways to make Lasagna.

Thanks, Jasmine. I appreciate it.

We considered going with pork influenza but decided against it. As much as I love my mom’s homemade lasagna, when I’m cooking I prefer the easy method- such as Marie Callender’s frozen lasagna. Yeah, I’m lazy.

Beef Dementia sounds like a great name for a complainer’s app, but I rather like the idea that noodles and a slow cooker are involved.

Bumbershoot, definitely look up information on Angel Care or any support you can get so you can take breaks from the altered reality of dementia. Hang in there.

My MILs recipes were all in her head. She was a wonderful cook. If know anything about cookery it’s because of her. We never got around to having her write things down. All of a sudden she was in full blown dementia. All that knowledge lost. Sad.
O.P. good luck with your Mom. You’re a good son.

I hadn’t thought of it in that context, but I like it!

I will certainly look into Angel Care. My mom’s doctor gave me the number of a case worker who specializes in senior care and our phone conversation was very helpful but that’s as far as I’ve taken it at this point.

Thanks, Beck. Years ago my mom compiled all her best recipes and gave each of her kids a copy. Due to my previously mentioned laziness I haven’t attempted most of them but I have assisted in preparing the lasagna a few times in the past couple of years.

Beef Dementia:

1 lb. Ground beef. Browned with chopped white onions, garlic, salt, pepper, a dallop of sour cream, 1 can of man which. Served on a toasted bun with melted shredded cheese and spoonful of PCP. Sprinkled generously with special K. Bon apatite.

Sounds great! The Special K is an interesting touch. Being so close to Albuquerque I have easy access to Walter White’s Blue Meth so I may substitute that for the PCP, but it might not produce the same level of lunacy.

The key to Beef Dementia is it is normally aged.

Good thing she wasn’t diagnosed with hemorrhoids.

Seriously, I went through my MIL progressing through dementia and I can’t tell you it will be easy. Keep strong and remember you are doing a very good thing even if they have no idea who you are. She is laughing about things now… try to keep that up. My MIL continued laughing until the very end (usually we had no idea why) and it really did make it better for all of us.

Most of the meth lunacy I’ve encountered was from those not sleeping for a week or so.

More thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread. The advice and support is greatly appreciated and the humor is just what I need.

You bet! I fear the same for my parents in the next few years.


I’m an RN, and most of my career has been working 8n complex dementia care. So far you are doing everything right.
I did an “Ask The Demwntia care Nurse” thread many years ago. Or PM me any time if you have questions.

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Thanks, Mona.

I found your thread

I’m looking forward to reading it.

Sounds like what they give me here, substituting a cup of sugar for the PCP.