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Linda1652 05-10-2012 10:25 AM

Update on Mom
 
The last time I wrote, she was still living alone. Her mood had improved being on Namenda. Her neurologist said she was capable of living alone(she had extensive testing), but she needed to wear that device around her neck (to report falling). Well, she refused to wear it and fell. I estimate she was probably on the floor for at least 3 hours before I found her. She had broken her shoulder severely. After surgery, she went to a rehab which was 3 min. from my home, so I was able to get there often. My sister wanted her to stay with her temporarily after she was released. She hated her job, so it took no convincing to get her to quit, and care for mom. The plan was for her to care for mom in mom's home, but only 4 hours/day---going back and forth. My sister is married to a saint.(He had just gone thru coordinating caregivers for his mom---she had insurance that paid for 8 hrs/day.) It was not a good situation. Anyway, he called me and said it was HIS idea for mom to stay with them permanently. So, Mom has her own room on the main floor,next to the bathroom. He likes to cook, so she gets good food. It's not all perfect....they went out and forgot to give Mom dinner, and my sister still forgets to call in meds. However, I am thankful every day for our good luck. Mom has care,and it's costing her estate less than 23,000/year. My sister doesn't even seem to mind when Mom has accidents...told her to put Mom in Depends!! In retrospect, there is no way mom could have lived at home without more help.

I know this is one of the better stories here and I don't mean to boast. I have plenty of bad stuff in my life....I've had cancer 3 times and still have it. My husband has had serious health issues for 20 years. He almost died of sepsis!! Thank goodness something worked out in my life!! I just hope it lasts and things keep going OK.

Gabriel 05-10-2012 10:35 AM

Re: Update on Mom
 
Good stories are great to hear :) I am glad that your sister was able to take Mom home with her and it is working out. I will say that what happened to you is what I fear for many. The fall necklaces are great but if Mom can't remember what it is and how to use it then it is useless. It is not the day to day that is the problem but the unexpected. It was that kind of unexpected that forced us to make alternate arrangements for Mom and Dad as well. So I do hope others take heed from this part of your story.

Your sister will get more adapt at having Mom there and what needs to be done for her. I am just glad it has worked out for all of you :) Bless the BIL!!

Love, deb

ninamarc 05-10-2012 10:50 AM

Re: Update on Mom
 
Good for you and your sister! Glad that Mom has a place to go. I thought it is funny that your sister forgot Mom's dinner and med. Guess it takes some time to get used to. She should have the schedule on the wall so it is clear.

Hugs,
Nina

Linda1652 05-14-2012 10:38 AM

Re: Update on Mom
 
[QUOTE=ninamarc;4977406]Good for you and your sister! Glad that Mom has a place to go. I thought it is funny that your sister forgot Mom's dinner and med. Guess it takes some time to get used to. She should have the schedule on the wall so it is clear.

Hugs,
Nina[/QUOTE]

There is trouble in paradise!! I am now refilling the meds. And, paying her bills. My sister wasn't going to give me the checkbook, but I think she was thrilled to not have to call in medication and pick it up. I had to call in 3 today---she had only 4 pills in each left. Hopefully, they will be ready. My sister bought mom a bed yesterday---without mom trying it out. It could have been a nice excuse to get her out---and get a bed that is comfortable for her. My sister had a fit when I told her to cancel it. She couldn't understand that if mom is paying, she should try it out before!! She gave me receipts where she reimbursed herself---had mom sign the check to her. Much of the stuff was for my sister. And, she didn't show me recepts for another $600 spent. Hopefully that now I am in charge of the money and POA, my sister won't go crazy spending mom's money. My sister is a spendaholic in her life. I didn't want to believe she would take advantage.

And....she says mom only has dementia when she talks to me. She said mom is fully capable of making her own decisions.

Sure didn't last long....if something sounds too good to be true, it probably IS too good to be true.

ninamarc 05-14-2012 12:10 PM

Re: Update on Mom
 
Sorry that Sister thinks Mom has no dementia? So she is not on the same page with you? That is trouble. Maybe she is naive. Maybe she thinks she spent the money and will be used for Mom in her house.
It is too bad to realize that your sister is not as level-headed as you.
So she seems to have problem with serious responsibility. Medication is a serious issue so it is better you do it instead of her.

Whatever it is, for now if she does not admit Mom has dementia, she would not be able to do it at your level. Did you show her any diagnosis paper and tell her what the doctor says? Send her a book about dementia...

About the bed, well, if she was able to go out, Mom probably should try the bed. If the bed is not fit, then return it, if it is fit at home, keep it. Don't have to return it just because Mom has not tried yet...
For my FIL, we bought a bed out of state first before we moved him. We know what his size is so we had twin XL bed. As long as you know what Mom wants.

Maybe there should be some middle ground. Try to convince her the dementia problem...
At least Mom is at the sister's, not yours.
Hope things will improve, if not get worse...

Hugs,
Nina

Gabriel 05-14-2012 12:22 PM

Re: Update on Mom
 
Sorry but I had a good chuckle over the fact that, according to sister, Mom only has dementia when she talks to you. What a concept. You wonder how people think sometimes.

At least sister is willing.... for now.... to take care of Mom. I have a feeling that might fall apart as well when she realizes just what it is to deal with Mom. I an sensing a bit of denial on her part... perhaps? Without a realistic idea of what is expected there can be major problems.

I had a similar problem. Grocery shopping was a major expense. Still not sure if it was just wasteful over spending for Mom or a combination of two shipping trips in one. Yes, there were unexplained reimbursements. I do have the checkbook now. I also have the debit card. There is no reimbursement for random expenses. Everything is paid for with the debit card and the receipts are kept.... or by check/draft with a record of what it was for. I actually attach the receipts to the bank statement each month which gives a complete record of everything that is spend for Mom... and the fact that it is spent for Mom. Expenses went down :)

Unless there is a compelling reason why Mom needs a new bed I would retain her current bed. Familiarity is the best friend of anybody with dementia. We carried Mom's queen size bed to AL and then moved it to the locked unit. We tried once to swap it out for a very nice twin bed and it disrupted her sleeping habits so we put her bed back in the room. If Mom bought it pre dementia then she finds it comfortable. The problem with buying a bed now is that she is incapable of telling you what is comfortable. It is only familiar or unfamiliar. Not understanding the implications of buying a new bed, Mom's answers are unreliable. Shopping does sound like a fun excursion, but it can be so overwhelming for a loved one in mid stage dementia. I have the shoes to prove it. Several attempts at getting Mom new shoes produced a collection of shoes she wouldn't wear even though she tried them on in the store. So I went back and got the same shoe she had before in the same size.

Perhaps with you controlling the money and ordering the meds it will work out. Then again be prepared for sister to bail out when reality sets in as to just what she is dealing with and that there is no free money. Only time will tell.

Love, deb

ninamarc 05-14-2012 12:47 PM

Re: Update on Mom
 
If the person does not like the new shoes, it does not mean the shoes are not fit or not comfortable. Yes they will miss the old broken shoes.
We did hide one of my FIL's old shoes. The shop said throw it out and buy a new one! So we bought new ones. We also bought new gym shoes which he still wears - he has worn this pair of gym shoes for 6 years now!
We changed his old malfunctioned eyeglasses. Now he is used to it. Certainly he would at first cry over the one he had before.
But if these things are not fit or broken, what can we do? We bought the best ones that fit him and he still can wear them and has no rejection now.

It depends on the situation.

Hugs,
Nina

Linda1652 05-14-2012 01:58 PM

Re: Update on Mom
 
At least Mom isn't with me...but my sister's patience is running thin. They were just having an argument about Mom's Physical therapy. Mom doesn't want to go, and in her demented state, insisted the Dr. (whom they saw this afternoon) said she didn't have to go. I used that as a "teaching moment" to show my sister that's mom's thinking skills are seriously lacking. And, that when she was discharged from the rehab, one of the reasons they said she needed full time care was that she was making poor decisions. My sister had insisted dementia is only poor memory--I think it's hard for her to face. I have a bad feeling she isn't going to be able to deal with mom's meanness. The only way this will work, if there is something to scare mom with. She does really like staying with my sister. Of course, as the dementia worsens, we won't be able to reason with her at all.

Gabriel 05-14-2012 07:37 PM

Re: Update on Mom
 
Your sister's misconception of dementia is what so many think. I wish it was just a poor memory. In fact it is the loss of so much more including the ability to think and reason, the loss of inhibition and judgement, behavior change... and the list goes on and on. Perhaps you could find some information in Alzheimer's and give it to your sister. Education/information may be your friend. Or perhaps find a local Alzheimer's Association support group that she can attend. Even volunteer to go stay with Mom while she goes. There will be people there that can help her understand.... and it will not be you telling her. Denial is a safe place to hang your hat when what you are facing is difficult but in this disease you have to dive into the hard stuff. Hopefully you can help guide sister into understanding and it will work out with her. If not there are options to explore :)

Love, deb


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