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Old 01-01-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
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Vascular dementia-- Update on mom

Thought I would post this separate rather than adding to a similar post.

Mom was diagnosed with that dementia by a 2 day psych test going on 3 years ago. At that time, she was mild to mod, so I was told she could still live alone. Last Feb, she fell and had to have surgery for a broken shoulder. My wonderful brother in law insisted she move in with them. My sister only wanted her there short term, so she flipped out. I took the brunt of her anger. I was caught between a rock and a hard place.... mom's happiness and safety vs my sister's happiness. It was rough. When they went on vacation, mom was put in a lovely Assisted living for 2 weeks. I visited daily to take her to bingo. The 2 times I couldn't get there, she refused to let an aide take her. She liked living there, but I don't think she would have liked it as much without daily visits. She has the perfect set up at my sisters, so as long as they will keep her, life is good.

On Christmas, after about 7 months, my sister finally gave up her hatred of me!! That was a miracle for sure.

Mom's dementia has gotten worse. Like someone said, sometimes you think you are talking to a normal person, but they do not have the reasoning or judgement skills. She was very angry about not driving and talked about it for over a year. She knows her memory is going, and I try to reassure her that she doesn't have Alz, but normal old age memory loss. Of course hers is much worse because of the vascular aspect.

During the past year, I was extremely fortunate to have a BIL (who also likes to cook) take mom in. But, I did suffer for 7 months with the estrangment of my sister. Hopefully, things will look up in 2013!!

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Vascular dementia-- Update on mom

Linda, there are some that just can not handle care giving. It is not an easy job. It takes patience and stamina not to mention giving up much of your life to provide care for somebody else. In the case of dementia of any kind the constant turmoil can wear you down quickly. When forced into a care giving situation, the stress and resentment will explode in some direction eventually. What you can not do, is force somebody to be a good care giver and be happy about it. Bless your brother in law for being willing, but it was probably your sister doing most of the care giving. I am just glad the two of you were able to patch up the differences.

There are always happy alternatives. AL is not necessarily an unhappy existence. You commented that your Mom ... " She liked living there, but I don't think she would have liked it as much without daily visits.".... humm That is a conflicted statement. If Mom is happy, then Mom is happy. Just because she chose not to go to bingo doesn't mean she would be unhappy if there were not daily visits. Even if it took daily visits to make her happy, that is better than having her in your home 24/7. Mom goes with you because she knows who you are. She does not know the caregiver. You would be hesitant of going with someone you don't know. If given time, Mom would know her care givers and go with them. It takes time, longer than 2 weeks usually, for them to adjust and feel settled. But from your statement that Mom was happy it appears that there were good things happened for her in the AL.

Then you talk about Mom's anger, her having no reasoning or judgement skills, and the fact that her memory is going. What a daily battle for your sister to contend with.

....."She has the perfect set up at my sisters, so as long as they will keep her, life is good. "....... I guess my question is... Good for who? For you? For Mom? For your sister? Sister's anger at you tells me that you are insistent that Mom stay with her rather than going to AL. I am assuming that you are not willing to have Mom live with you. I am wondering why you think it is so perfect for Mom to live with sister? How many days do you go to your sister's house to keep Mom so your sister can go out?

Perhaps you should sit down, talk to your sister, and listen to what she has to say rather. I would hate for 2013 to be a repeat

Love, deb

Old 01-02-2013, 05:26 AM   #3
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Re: Vascular dementia-- Update on mom


I am confused about your response in many ways. I did not say mom was angry. She had been angry when she was living alone and would call me repeatedly. That's when she was put on Namenda and her mood evened out. Actually, she has NOT had a temper tantrum since living with my sister I said I was caught between a rock and a hard place because she was happy living with my sister and BIL. My BIL would be shocked to know my sister was so unhappy, as she only vented to me in emails. I can assure you he would not let mom stay in his house if he knew how unhappy my sister was. I think you sister was very unhappy because her life was turned upside down, but now accepts it. I didn't say that mom was in the short term stay. When we went to Bingo, she said she didn't like the people because they all had dementia. She was living with people who were not as severe. She had dinner each night with a lovely normal couple who were staying there for dr. appts., then they were going back up north.

The option was never to live with me. If I didn't have a BIL who WANTED mom to stay with them, she would be in assisted living. My BIL had a grandmother who was in AL, whom he visited weekly. His own mother had insurance for home health care. Perhaps those experiences are why he insisted mom live with them. He just lost his mother---maybe it gives him comfort to have mom there. He is really wonderful with her.

You are right---it is perfect for me. But, my sister is also getting paid decent money and would have to get a job if mom moved out. They leave her alone whenever they want, so their life is not altered that much. One time I had to go over there late at night because she had fallen.

I think you totally misunderstood my post. One day mom may need more care and won't be able to be alone. Then, there will be no choice than to put her in AL. Most people would think that Mom is in the best place---with loving family. I don't understand why you don't think so, especially when I said my sister is now Ok. Of course she was angry at first---but she was the one who wanted it, even when I told both of them emphatically to think about the ramifications. I just didn't pawn mom off----I made sure they thought it over.

Old 01-02-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: Vascular dementia-- Update on mom

It would seem that your sister talks about her frustration in emails, etc. because saying it in front of her husband would cause tension and maybe she is relenting because she doesn't want the strain of disagreeing with her husband. You say she is getting paid to do this and maybe at first it was ok, but having to walk in the shoes of a caregiver 100% of the time things appear different and aren't as easy as it one would think it is. It could be as Deb says that your sister isn't up to the task of full time caregiver.
How much of the caregiving does your BIL do? Maybe he doesn't mind because he's not the primary?
I would definitely have a heart to heart with your sister and listen to her and her wants also. Maybe now her viewpoint has changed, even knowing the ramifications going in. JUst thoughts....

Old 01-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: Vascular dementia-- Update on mom

My BIL is responsible for meals. My sister does the wash. Mom dresses herself. Sister puts out her pills. Sister bathes her and washes her hair once/week. She takes her to appts. Most of the time Mom is in her room, reading or watching TV. My BIL told me mom isn't nearly as bad off as I think.

When mom needs serious care, I would not expect them to give up their lives to care for her. This is more like having a child....except they can go out and leave her alone.

I do know where you and Deb are coming from because you have been in my sister's situation. That is why this has touched a nerve. Mom has been there for 8 months so they have a routine established and sister is used to it. Mom continues to tell me how much she loves it there and how lucky she is. And, she tells me that both are so good to her. When my sister was angry with me, mom told me that she was very nice to her all the time. That wasn't the case when mom lived alone---they used to get into it!!

Yes, it would be stressful to have a parent live with you. But, we are talking about a parent who can be left alone. And, one who is not causing any problems. There are lots of multigenerational families living together quite successfully. When mom becomes a problem, at least we know of a place to put her where she had good memories.

Another important consideration.....if mom goes into AL too soon and her mon ey is spent down, what we have paid sister will have to be repaid. That is another can of worms. I am not going to tell mom she has to move out until my sister brings it up herself. My sister is not timid. If she can't tell her husband she is in over her head---I am not getting involved now that things have calmed down. Sister gave up a job to get paid an extra$300/month tax free to do this. She set what she wanted to be paid. I told her to give it great thought and to not quit her job. She hated her job and quit ASAP!! I told her to at least let them fire her so she could get unemployment.

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