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Old 10-08-2006, 03:30 AM   #1
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Basic AD Conflicts

After being on this Board for nearly 2 years I see several issues that come up over and over again. For all new AD caregivers. these are some of the issues you will have to deal with sooner rather than later, to avoid a catastrophe.

1. Getting the car away from the Alzheimer sufferer.

2. Getting guns away from the patient.

3. Keeping him-her from burning the house down with attempts at cooking. (ex. disable the stove.)

4. Keeping them from getting lost or hurt by having them supervised 24/7.

5. Getting them to take their medicines, not too many but also not too few.

6. Getting them to eat regularly and eat good food - not moldy leftovers they have stashed in some corner.

7. Getting them to dress appropriately for the weather/occasion.

8. Getting contol over their bank accounts before they give away everything they own to a scam artist, a church, or anyone who tells a good sob story.

9. Getting them to stay reasonably clean and wash their bodies , many forget or develop a fear of showering, or are insulted if you say they are not clean.

I had trouble with all but the car and gun problems - my Mom gave up her car voluntarily at age 91 because of vision problems, and there were never any guns in our house. But she burnt pots and a toaster/oven, she got lost on the streets of New York and forgot a red light meant stop. She took no pills or 3 days' dosage at once. She forgot all about eating and drinking regularly and would skip meals unless someone persuaded her to eat. She put on thin summer clothes in winter and went outside. Once she went out in a nightgown. Her bank statements were thrown unopened into a drawer. She lost cash. She stank at times.

In my opinion 24 hour a day care at home or in an instutution is the only answer.

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 10-08-2006 at 08:42 AM.

 
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: Basic AD Conflicts

The gun issue is the only one I haven't had to deal with.

Right now I am having to deal with the money issue only it's her thinking I am stealing "all" of her money. She cannot handle money at all so I must be stealing it. She always has pocket money. I always make sure she has $20 or $30 on her so she can pay her way at a meal or offer to buy a little gas for someone driving her. I can live with her losing small amounts to help her keep her pride. She goes without nothing. But when she was "on her own" she used to carry a lot, and I mean a lot, of cash in her purse. It used to worry us to death. She's think nothing of pulling out a wad of cash in public in stores. If I tried to get her to put it out of sight she'd yell at me about how stupid I was, that she could handle it.

So I now have control of what little cash she gets each month. It's about 25% of her monthly cost of living. I pay the rest. Yet, because she does not have a wad of cash in her purse, I'm stealing her blind.

I know it sounds terrible but every time she goes off on me about something like this I find myself looking forward to the day she will no longer understand things like money at all and I just won't have to deal with it.

 
Old 10-08-2006, 01:49 PM   #3
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Re: Basic AD Conflicts

When my Mom was already too addled to go out alone, we had a Home Health Aide who took her to the senior center and back. Mom had to have a little money on her for lunch, etc.

One day the aide said to me, Your Mom gave them a $20 instead of a $1 for her coffee! oh oh! And all the time she was complaining that she had no money. On the advice from someone on this Board, I only gave her singles after that, 11 or 12 per day - enough for her lunch, coffee and carfare (I gave her the carfare in quarters after she lost her senior metrocard 2x.)

That worked out well. Any time she said 'I never have enough money on me,' I got out her wallet and opened it right in front of her and showed her a stack of money. This calmed her down.

I also think the person selling coffee at the Senior Center might possibly have kept the whole $20 instead of making change, thus taking advantage of Mom's confusion ...

Another sad thing - all her old old friends stopped sitting with her at the table there - they all sat far away and didn't even recognize her or greet her. One reason may have been the fear of becoming that confused themselves, and preferring just to deny it, the other could well have been how Mom forgot to wipe after the toilet and often stank ...

It was so hard. I sympathise with all of you. I am glad Mom is in a NH!

love,

Martha

 
Old 10-08-2006, 02:59 PM   #4
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Re: Basic AD Conflicts

Quote:
1. Getting the car away from the Alzheimer sufferer.
2. Getting guns away from the patient.
3. Keeping him-her from burning the house down with attempts at cooking. (ex. disable the stove.)
4. Keeping them from getting lost or hurt by having them supervised 24/7.
5. Getting them to take their medicines, not too many but also not too few.
6. Getting them to eat regularly and eat good food - not moldy leftovers they have stashed in some corner.
7. Getting them to dress appropriately for the weather/occasion.
8. Getting contol over their bank accounts before they give away everything they own to a scam artist, a church, or anyone who tells a good sob story.
9. Getting them to stay reasonably clean and wash their bodies , many forget or develop a fear of showering, or are insulted if you say they are not clean
Yes, we too came across the same problems except the gun thing (although I reckon if she had them, it would have been a problem!!! .. The potato gun we found didn't work anyway)

My ex-charge was obsessed with money .. but she KNEW the difference!! $10 and $20 notes were not sufficient for her .. she needed LOTS AND LOTS OF $50 !!! And when I say lots, I mean thousands ... she would withdraw $1,000 and stash it throughout the house. It was only my intervention at the bank and getting the appropriate paperwork signed by my other ex-charge and showing the sons POA that limited her withdrawals, and boy, wasn't she mad when the bank wouldn't give it "ALL" to her ... We couldn't even put her off with the lesser notes .. she KNEW the pretty yellow ones were good! If the Bank couldn't give her the pretty yellow ones, she would go to her investment company and yell at them (although that money was deposited into her bank account automatically) until they did something! I would end up going down there and saying "STOP .. she's not competent anymore" and again, the POA, the extra paperwork .. finally I came up with the idea of them giving her a statement .. and IT WORKED !! She could see lots of numbers and she was happy with that!!

She would also obsess over old bank statements too. I would often find her sitting on the floor, loads of old statements surrounding her and she would be constantly fretting .. and it didn't matter WHAT you said to calm her down, nothing would appease her .. except a trip to the bank to get some more $$ out !! She would even run away from me and find her own way there!!

Y'know .. it's amazing WHAT they remember vs what they forget isn't it?

And it's the same with the medications .. either she would take a whole heap at once, or none at all, or buck you and fight you in taking anything .. she was in a real "LEAVE ME ALONE I'M PERFECTLY FINE" mood when it was quite clear that she needed 24/7 supervision (not necessarily CARE, but definately supervision)

yes, they are common threads for sure .. good pick up .. I suggest we create a topic on each one and ask if we can make them sticky's !!

Cheers

 
Old 10-09-2006, 12:25 AM   #5
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Re: Basic AD Conflicts

She sounds very much like my dad with taking alot of money out at the bank. It is very difficult to get him to shower or bath. My brother has durable power of attorney, but my dad lives with me. How can my brother start taking care of his finances? His doctor has not deemed him incompetent he saw 2 different doctors

 
Old 10-09-2006, 04:19 AM   #6
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Re: Basic AD Conflicts

Dear Martha ...congratulations on a very helpful step by step post.
I did the car thing about 2 years ago
mum has never had a gun....not the type ..prohibited in OZ anyway
after visit by Aged care assessment team the stove is disabled and microwave is in the trash....no good anyway.
mum doesnt wander so my caregiver brother goes for a walk every day...she is used to that "routine" and at all other times is not left alone.
my brother has taken control of meds because you really cant disolve aricept in a glass of water.or take 3 at once or none at all
fridge is cleaned out every week (me) and lunch is provided at dementia day care on mon,tues,thurs, frid...meals on wheels wed. my brother heats a can of soup for supper weeknights...I feed her up hugely on the weekend
I am supervising dressing(week ends only) but although she has a personal carer 3 times a week I believe she is still not changing her clothes (including underwear) from sun when I drop her off home to sat when I pick her up...my brother is not into making sure mum has clean Knickers on..i wonder why??
so she stinks a bit on arrival at my house but I do all the girly things with her, change of clothes, surplus hair removal, manicures, pedicures, hair dresser clothes shopping grocery shopping etc etc
my brother paul gets to the mail before she does, hides it, then gives it to me as i take care of her financial affairs

 
Old 10-09-2006, 04:21 AM   #7
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Re: Basic AD Conflicts

we have a bit of a team effort going

 
Old 10-09-2006, 05:53 AM   #8
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Re: Basic AD Conflicts

Hi Tryme! Well, first thing you do is convince the doctors. The best way of doing this that I've found is to write down EVERYTHING your dad does that's unusual. (taking out large sums of money for no apparent reason, getting lost, repeating the same story over and over, not showering/changing clothes/shaving, etc., etc,.)

I used to call my journal "my ammo". Every visit shot down by a doctor saying "Mr. H, you have a clean bill of health". And after my dad told the doctor he was going to drive 700 miles to my sister's house, the doctor would say something like "Have a nice trip and make sure you take plenty of breaks to stretch". At that time, dad couldn't get to the next town 4 miles away without getting lost and here the doctor thought he was capable of driving 700 miles! I made an appt for dad to see a geriatric specialist. I took dad and my ammo in to the appt. I handed my ammo along with a note discribing some of dad's recent behaviors and moods that were not typical of the old dad. The doctor looked at all of that and said "Mr. H., I'm going to ask you some questions". He failed that test MISERABLY! When asked who the president was, he said "I don't know". What month is it? "July." (it was a chilly October here in the midwestern US).

The doctors began listening to me when I spoke. She (dad's geriatric doctor) LISTENED to ME, not just my dad. She even once called ME to ask how I was doing!

I found that I had to be kind, but agressive in my dad's diagnosis. I even had to be a vit sneaky.

My dad goes through the Veteran's Administration for his medical care and that's getting tougher and tougher to get the help needed from them these days in my state. That's a big part of the reason he's in another state with my sister now. He gets dental care there through the VA which he can't get here. It's easier for him to get the more expensive tests done there than it is here. Sad, but true.

Hang in there and get a POA for financial and medical affairs if you don't already have one. Give a copy of the financial POA to his bank and give a copy of the medical POA to his doctor's office staff and a copy to the hospital he goes to. Of course, keep extra copies for yourself.

Love, Barb
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Last edited by LuvMyLilDoggie; 10-09-2006 at 05:58 AM.

 
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