Tommorow is mom's 83rd birthday. My Dad died when he was seventy three so she has out lived him already in age by ten years. The reason for this post is specific I need some encouragement and help from any who have a ALZ. patient at home. The NH where mom has been has discharged mom and we have 30 days by law to remove her. It would take too much time to explain all the details but mostly it boils down to they say they can no longer provide for her personal care needs. Here's the scenario we live a bit isolated in the eastern part of the state of KY. we are having a hard time finding a secure facility. She is on the waiting list for our local unit but they say it could be awhile. Several in the last few weeks have either refused her because she doesnt seem to fit "personal care" or they are private pay or they are booked. Regular facilities are saying they cant take her because of her discharge from a reg. facility. Here goes, I have taken a leave of abscence from my job and mom is coming home to stay here agian until we find proper placement. Her Dr. is going to work with me on her meds and try to wean her from some of these drugs which he thinks is part of the problem. Also he has asked me to journal all her behaviors sleep eating etc. Im scared but I am glad I decided not to work this time so I can devote to her more freely. Anyone who could help with ideas or suggestions would be so appreciated. My sister is meeting with the local NH ADM. on tuesday to ask them to reconsider her for their reg. facility until the secure unit has an opening. It's just five mins. from us. It's been ten months since she has been living at home and I know she will be more confused etc. Wish us luck, jess
I think if Mum can be properly medicated on anti-psychotic drugs (she will be zombied btw) the regular nursing home might agree to having her prior to a secure placement .. **fingers crossed** but you will need your doctors support in this, and it's not going to be easy.
On the other hand, if you HAVE to bring her home for a while before re-placing her, taking time off work is just the thing (as long as you can afford it) ...
First: Make a workable routine and stick to it. Be realistic, be honest. Don't be SuperDaughter. Second: Make sure you have back up eg: if she doesn't sleep at night, you can call in somebody or 5-6 hours so YOU can get some sleep and not worry. make sure you have back up at any hour of the day. Third: Get your doctors support that Mum CAN be admitted to hospital if need be to calm her down if she get's super aggressive. And last but not least: Remind yourself .. it's only temporary - Do NOT burn yourself out, and do NOT take on all the responsibility. Get services in now BEFORE they're needed, in Australia you can get people in to clean your house, give out med's, make meals, take your loved one out for a drive etc etc .. hunt down these services. I know ours is a small cost here in Queensland, but in New South Wales I never had to pay a cent.
One more thng - if you do have to have her at home, investigate Home Health Aides. When I was living with Mom we had one for 6 hours a day to cover some of the time Mom was alone. Now looking back I see how foolish it was to try to save money by not having her for the full 8 hrs I was away at work, since Mom's money went down the drain for the NH and now she's on Medicaid.
If your Mom is eligible for Medicaid, they pay an aide, around the clock if needed. We had a neighbor in Astoria who was alone, mentally ill, and poor - she had a day 'nurse' and a night 'nurse.' All free, because she was poor.
If you are able to afford it, just having someone for some hours a day is better than nothing, so you can go out, shop, get a haircut, go to the dentist, etc. I sadly neglected my teeth for the whole 5 years ...last year I had over $3000 of dental work done as a result. I had virtually NO free time, my job (which I loved!), travelling to and from work by bus and subway, and being Mom's around the clock caregiver. Talk about burnout. I was so 'down' that at one time I was thinking about jumping in front of a subway train. Depression, heart problems, high BP, sleeplessness, the overwhelming feeling that nothing I did could make any difference.
Do as Sally says and get a back up person to jump in any time you feel that bad! Better yet, WAY before! I do hope your Mom can get permanent placement sooner rather than later. It is appaling that her NH can discharge her. Ought to be a law ....
If you don't care for yourself, you can't expect to care for others. As Martha mentioned, your health will take a downward turn if you do not have some time to your self and time to get things done. Maybe look into arranging some sort of respite, or a Home Health Aide to come in so you can get out.