I just wanted to share an epiphany with you that I had today. It's been 7 months now since my MIL came to live with us. She's in stage 6 of Alzheimer's. Someone at church today was telling me that if we ever need a break, she'd be happy to come and sit with my MIL for an evening. I realized, as sweet as that was, that we're actually doing much better than we ever expected we would with her. I'll keep the offer on the back burner, but my immediate feeling was, thank you, but we're good right now!
I'm so glad of that offer, because it made me realize how blessed we are that this is manageable. I have two days a week that she goes to the adult day center, so I can get shopping and errands done. And we have a place for respite stays if we need it. We're going on a family trip soon, probably the last time all of us and only us will be together, as it looks like our daughter is about to be engaged and one of our sons is about to join The Marines.
I've certainly had my days when I've raced here to get wise advice and encouragement from those more experienced than I, but all in all, things have been working out as they've come up. You have all encouraged me so much, and I've taken your words of wisdom to heart. For example, we could have had another blow up last night over the hearing aids, which I always take at night so they don't get "put away" in some place where no one can find them the next day. She forgot that I always take them and admonished me to not lose them, to not do this, not do that, etc, and became incensed that I seemed to think I could take better care of them than she could. She repeated that I should be careful and I winked at her and flashed her a big grin, saying "Aw, I was just thinking I'd take them outside and run my car over them!" She burst out laughing and all was well! Can you believe it? Thanks to you, dear ladies, I have been trying hard to have a sense of humor about everything she does and not let it get to me when she's rude to me or angry when I'm just trying to take good care of her.
I know not everyone can do what I'm doing. I can only say God has blessed us with the circumstances to be able to do it. She doesn't wander, she doesn't try to get into things that are dangerous (at least, not so far), she's been compliant for the most part, even if she's angry, and she loves to take naps! Someone on here suggested motion detectors, so I have several placed in strategic places so I'll know if she's on the move. I know the routine can be upset any time, but I feel so blessed to be able to take care of her. We're hoping we can keep her for the rest of her life, as it seems the facilities around here are less than what many of you have found. We clearly will give her better care than any of them, except maybe the respite care home we found, which is an option if we want longer term care down the road. It's run by a physician's assistant, and she bathes them everyday, just one of the things sadly lacking in the more expensive places I've talked to!
I guess I'm rambling, but I just wanted to encourage those who are thinking about becoming a caregiver. It's hard, but if you're able, it's a wonderful thing to be able to do for your loved one (as long as they won't be a danger to you or to themselves in your home, which you need to carefully assess). And again, thank you dear ladies for being here!
Big hugs to all of you,