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Old 03-13-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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She got lost

Mom was released from the hospital and was staying with my sister.

She wandered out of the house and the police picked her up walking in circles in a parking lot. She could have froze..we never thought mom would leave the house but she did. One lesson learned was that our mom cannot be left alone even for a little bit. My sister needs to make a sound decision by the end of the weekend. Say a little prayer for her. She wants to do right by mom's wishes which were spoken when she was still well, that she never be put in a Nursing Home so now my poor sister is struggling with that decision. How can I help. I let her know my views on it, but I know it is up to her because mom gave her full charge over her living Will. How can one deal with that and respect a person's living Will.

 
Old 03-13-2009, 11:24 PM   #2
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Re: She got lost

Exactly the way I did Dorri. Mom refused to put Dad in a facility long after she was able to take care of him. She did buy herself long term care insurance but then made us promise not to put her or Dad in a facility. Those were her wishes.... and Dad's wishes. No, they didn't want to go to a facility. But they also never imagined a situation where they would have to go to a facility. As grounded in reality as my Mom was, ALZ was the one disease she was determined not to have. It honestly scared her more than a facility after watching Nanny (who Mom finally did put in a NH), and three of her sister all suffer from ALZ and eventually be put in NHs. I truly believe that Mom was saying that she never wanted to NEED a facility.

But I also know that Mom doesn't want us having to take care of her either. That is why she bought the long term care insurance. She just didn't want to use it. I never promised that I would not put Mom in a facility. I told her I would do my best to keep her at home, and I did. But when the time came I did what was best for Mom and Dad, I put them in a facility.

It sounds much like what happened with Nanny. I remember searching in the night for her. We finally found her walking towards a major highway in her night clothes on three separate occassions... looking for her father. It was not long after that, she ended up in the hospital for an infection and went straight to NH. The infection was the immediate cause but looking back on those three nights... that was reason enough.

She may do well in a locked ALZ unit if you can find one. Most of them do an amazing job of keeping them and functional as possible while keeping them safely confined. But it is time to do something for Mom's safety. The thoughts of what could have happened are frightening. The questions you have to answer is.... could you live with the consequences of something disasterous did happen when she wondered away. Is that better than giving Mom a safe environment when she had no idea what would happen when she requested what she did. A promise is good as long as you can abide by the conditions knowing that it is not causing potential danger to Mom. When danger is present and Mom can no longer make rational decisions for herself, you have to step in and make the decisions for her.

No, it's not easy but I would rather break a promise made in good faith, not knowing the future, then to lose Mom or Dad to some unknown in the night when they were wandering unaware of their surroundings.... and nobody can watch 24/7.

Love, deb

 
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: She got lost

My mother got lost 3 times before we finally paid a Home Health Aide to stay with her during most of my working hours. None of us had a clear idea of how far her dementia had progressed. Once she took the bus to the senior center as she did every day, but couldn't find her way back. She was wandering around the streets of Queens, NY where we lived. She walked past a car dealership on the corner and didn't recognize it as a nearby landmark.

Another time she went to church by taxi and I planned to meet her afterwards and take her home by bus. When the people started coming out of church, Mom was not there. They told me she had not been there.

I panicked. I didn't have a car, I had no cell phone. I went home and waited, quite panicky - and she arrived. She told me she had been in church. (not so), then she said she had gone shopping (no purchases). I never knew where she had been. A third time she went for a walk just to the nearest grocery store. Took a wrong turn. A neighbor saw her trying her key at the outer door of a similar apartment building 2 streets away. He was kind enough to point her in the right direction.

It is extrememly frightening and dangerous to let them go off alone ...

At that time my sister was so in denial about Mom that she told me 'it is better to let her have her freedom, even at the expense of her safety.'


love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 03-14-2009 at 06:09 AM.

 
Old 03-14-2009, 07:39 AM   #4
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Re: She got lost

Thank you once again for the sound advice. Safety always comes first no matter where they are. I hope my sister makes the right decision in our mom's best interest. I understand how hard it must be for the both of them right now.

Last edited by dorri; 03-14-2009 at 07:43 AM.

 
Old 03-14-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: She got lost

Dorri,

What you have to think of now is that it is better to have her contained in a safe enviroment than to have her in either your sister's house or her own place, just because when she was well she asked not be in a NH. She didn't know that at this point she would have no mental reasoning powers or have any idea of where she was or what she was doing.

You sister needs to think that the person she is dealing with is no longer the mother that she knew. That person has left and the person she is caring for needs to be in a safe, protected place where there is 24/7 care.

Mom went to a locked unit after she had a partial hip replacement and she needed rehab. I convinced Dad that at this point he could no longer care for her at home, and as painful as it was, it was the best thing we did. Mom was cared for 24/7 and we didn't get calls for the front office of the home saying that Mom had been seen roaming the dining hall in her nightgown or that she was found on the wrong floor....you get the picture....

I hope your sister sees the light...


 
Old 03-14-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: She got lost

Thanks for the replies. Next week I will be making another trip with my sister here to see mom and my other sister.

Right now mom is in the hospital awaiting care for her sore back. Poor mom, she never expected this disease and neither did we?

 
Old 03-14-2009, 01:22 PM   #7
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Re: She got lost

i promised my mother i would never put her in a nursing home. long ago i helped my mom place her mother in a nursing home and she felt so much guilt as did i. i had to break that promise and my dad and i had to put her in a nursing home. she has dementia and we know could not be left alone for her own safety. the guilt i have is horrible, but there just wasnt any choice. good luck with your sister and my prayers are with you and your family.

 
Old 03-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #8
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Re: She got lost

Yeah, she agreed to go into a Nursing Home.

 
Old 03-14-2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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Re: She got lost

I hope the she you are refering to is your Sister because if it was Mom... she will forget it. Mom agreed to go into AL, then she refused to go, then she was excited about going, then she hated the idea, then she actually signed the papers herself, and now she hates it there. So don't put any stock in what Mom agrees to. That only last for the moment you are in

Love, deb

 
Old 03-14-2009, 10:21 PM   #10
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Re: She got lost

Thanks Deb, I was thinking that she may forget it, but I think the positive here is the talk helped my sister to make a decision about her care.
Mom's mind wanders from one day to the next but she does seem to remember giving her consent to sell the house.

 
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