Saturday, June 25, 2022

Ready for the long break

I do not have to be back to work until July 6th. Wooo! I am really needing this time off, this time. Dealing with mom has gotten me tired and run down and then with our pup sick and having to be put down, I need some rest and recharge time.

And now our cat has diarrhea. Good grief. He was outside the day before for quite awhile exploring. It's certainly possible he ate something he shouldn't have. He also likes to drink out of the toilets, which I'm guessing is probably the culprit. I'll have to make sure the lids are down. I usually try to keep them down, but sometimes forget and dh isn't good about putting the lid back down either. I do not need another vet bill right now. The pup cost us almost $3000 this past 5 or 6 weeks. He doesn't seem sick otherwise. He's eating and drinking and normal energy.

We seem to have finally gotten summer weather here now. Temps in high 70's and into 90's this next week. 

I am liking my $100 Fire tablet, but still hard to get used to the bigger size. It is really nice for watching movies and shows on. I've downloaded a book, but haven't read too much yet. Just haven't found a good book I'm really interested in lately. I don't really like the cover I got for it. I might invest in a better one at some point. I thought it was going to be like a softer leather type, but it's a harder type of "leather".

Mom's place finally got the maintenance guy up there and I see got her tv working again. I saw on camera last night she was eating her dinner with a tv tray at her recliner and watching tv, so she looked content. Next visit (if it's still working!) I'm going to look at all the cords and see if I can remember where the HDMI is plugged in, etc. Then maybe next time she messes it up, I can fix. If she messes it up again, I'm going to try that basic remote control. The only reason I haven't is that it doesn't have a button for the "guide", which that is how she is used to scrolling through the channels.

Today I'm going to vacuum.....and the selfish side of me is glad this will be the last of vacuuming long black dog hair up. He was a shedder, not to mention how long the fur was. I don't know how many vacuums it's clogged and ruined over the last 11 years. I can typically vacuum one or two rooms and the have to empty out the canister because it's full of his fur. And I will not have to mop the hard flooring all the time. It was constantly covered in drool spots wherever he walked and laid.  

I think our neighbors down at the end of our street are going to take our extra kibble dog food. We have an unopened 40lb bag and our bin in the laundry room is almost a full bag. DD is going to take the frozen fresh food I was trying. Unfortunately his next shipment for 3 weeks worth shipped out the day before we put him down, so now I have 21 packets of that food. So, neighbors down the street....they don't even feed their dog any kind of dog food! Just table scraps. She said he was having trouble eating dog food they tried when he was a puppy so they just started feeding him table scraps. Weird. I can't imagine that he could be getting all the nutrients he needs regularly from that kind of diet. 

After our text chat she sent down the 5 year old to share an otter pop and visit with dh to cheer him up. They sat out on the front porch chatting. He's such a cute talkative little boy. Dh sent him home with some of our dogs tennis balls, to play with his dog.

DD said she woke up yesterday and her throat felt much better and her temp was down to 99. Later in the day it was down to 98. Whew, glad she's feeling ok. She was even able to work all day (she also works from home still).

Friday, June 24, 2022

Finally Friday

I was thinking on our pup. We actually got that first tumor we found removed 14 months ago. Then we had another one removed in January. It's obviously been spreading since then, with the nasal tumor and also another one we found recently on the side of his neck, at about the time the first ER vet visit (5 weeks ago or so?) and it had grown just since then. We showed it to the vet that 2nd visit but she said she was more concerned with his nose. Anyhow, I guess we need to look at it as we got to have our pup around for 14 months since we first found cancer. 

When mom's new caregiver texted me back about getting her up and downstairs for breakfast she said she would start the next day (yesterday). I had slept in until almost 8am, as that was the night we had been at the vets and I didn't get back to bed until 3am. I looked at my camera app and mom was still in bed. What the heck?! Then about 8:10 the camera notification shows the caregiver coming in (so she must have a master key) and walking towards mom's bedroom door (open) and saying hello, it's time to get up. My mom mumbled something and Liz said it's time to get up and go down for breakfast. Mom said "oh, ok". By 8:23 she was dressed and downstairs. I'm guessing that as long as they show up sometime during the breakfast hour, they get served. They don't have to be there right at 8 am.

Mom's doctor emailed me back and said to go ahead and take her off the Aricept and see if that improves the confusion and worry. She also said if it's not showing any improvement for her, might as well stop it. I just need to figure out if I can stop it from my app, or I need to actually be at the machine to stop it from dispensing. I think I should be able to stop it from the app, but I don't want it then to start flashing a message on the machine itself that the button needs to be pushed to remove the pills. I might just wait and do it when I go see her next. Liz's helper has been the one the last 2 evenings to make sure she got her pills taken. She apparently came up with mom (mom is 3rd floor apt) right at 6 and they dispensed them then. A half hour later mom called me saying she was trying to push the button to take her pills, but it was saying it's "locked". I told her she already took them and that C was there with her when she did. I ended up with 4 calls from her that day with things she was worrying about. About half hour later I checked in on the camera and she was walking from her bedroom into her kitchen and talking to herself. The only part I caught was "what I'm paying that lady and she isn't even here!". I'm like what?! LOL. I haven't said a word to mom about paying Liz, nor has mom asked and I doubt she asked Liz, haha. First she doesn't want her help and then is complaining to herself that she's not there. LOL. Not to mention I'm not quite sure what mom would have wanted her there for at that time. It's also not going to surprise me if mom starts trying to blame her caregivers for the things she hides/loses. 

Then Mom's caregiver texted me yesterday afternoon that the senior living place is closing their dining room for 7 days, starting today. I'm assuming lack of help. Way to just confuse mom more, eh?

Then this morning, as I'm having a bunch of trouble getting logged into work remotely and had to call and put in a "ticket" for IT to call me about it, I'm checking my mom cameras and see she is up and dressed and not going downstairs. And then it's like almost 8:30 and still no one has come to tell her to go downstairs....then I finally remember they are bringing up the meals starting today. Too much going on and I haven't finished my one and only cup of coffee yet!

DH just found out that 2 guys he's friends with wives just passed away. One is a guy that used to do welding work for dh's business years ago and the other is our mason guy who did all the stone work on and in our house. Dh has still kept in touch with him via text these past 3 years. So sad. 

And then dd messaged me last night that she wasn't feeling well - cough and chills and a fever of 101. She took a Covid test that so far is negative. She's supposed to be driving over here on Sunday to stay while we go on our trip......

 



Thursday, June 23, 2022

A sad goodbye

Sadly, we had to take our pup back into the ER vet late last night and have him put to sleep. He was just getting worse. Zero energy and was really having trouble breathing last night. His stomach also seemed bloated. It was time. At this point we felt keeping him alive longer was just for us and not his well being.

This vets office was so caring and compassionate. It was nothing like when we had to put our other dog down, at that vet out in the country. We had never had a dog put down before, so didn't know what to expect. For that dog it was just one injection and he was instantly gone.

This vet had a separate room for this procedure. They put out a big soft blanket on the floor and the tech took him back for a few minutes to have an IV port put in his leg. Then the vet came in. She was so sweet and caring the whole procedure. It was 3 injections. A slower process but a much better way to say goodbye. The tech even took my credit card while we were waiting for the vet to come in and got the payment taken care of, so I didn't have to check out after. They even had a door from that room to go back out to the parking lot. Pups tummy also seemed bloated and the vet said it felt like it was his spleen. Just too many issues going on, it was time.

It will sure seem strange not having a dog in the house anymore. Hard to get used to. He was a great dog and there wasn't a person who met him who didn't think he was the sweetest and best behaved.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Mostly good things

Blogger is now not letting me reply to any of the comments so accept my apologies. It keeps showing I am not signed in and shows me as anonymous. I am not meaning to ignore you! This is frustrating.

To continue a bit with the hiring of the caregiver for mom...She is very reasonably priced at $25/hr and she bills in 15 minute increments. She said most of the larger caregiver services have like a 2 hour min, charge, but since she is there at mom's senior living place all day, bouncing from one resident to another, she just keeps track in 15 minute increments and says she will bill once a month. I'm guessing maybe this will cost mom around $800 a month, including laundry. WAY cheaper than the extra couple thousand (or probably more) to live in assisted living. The part about the assisted living place I toured (and another one I found some unit pricing on) is why are their apartment rent, just for the apartment, so much higher than where she's living. I get that they charge thousands more for the actual care, but why are the apartments themselves $1000+ more a month? The "alcove" studio type I looked at is almost $1000 more a month than my mom's 1 bedroom apartment where she is at and that still includes meals and housekeeping. I guess because they can, LOL.

I received my new Fire HD Tablet. It's so much bigger (and heavier) than my ipad mini. That will take some getting used to, but if I had gotten a new ipad, I was going to get the regular ipad that is same size as this and not the mini (because the mini is now so high priced). It has a nice display. I spent most of the evening getting my apps on there. I haven't downloaded an ebook yet to try reading, but I did watch a bit of a show on Netflix. It's different then the ipad/apple system, so will take a little to adjust. Just not quite as intuitive as using the ipad, but I'm getting it figured out. One app I really wanted was YouTube TV. I thought it was available to put on there, but apparently it's only available on the Firestick and Fire tv, not the Fire tablet. How stupid is that?! I found a hack online to install the Google Play store and was then able to add the Youtube TV app. The instructions (written and video) were a bit long and overwhelming at first, but I watched the video a couple of times and same for reading it. Then I went through the steps, pausing the video at each step and it all went smoothly. I guess I still have a little bit of tech geek in me.

The new cat food bowl arrived and it's super cute and so far appears to be "un-tippable" LOL. It's not for lack of trying though!


My work changed our VPN log in to a new system that went into effect last night. Of course no one can get on this morning, LOL. So, I'm waiting to hear when it's fixed. Ok, right after I typed this they got it working. Only an hour and 15 minute late start to work. Seems to be working ok now.

Another thing I finally got accomplished is getting my mom's IRA investment account transferred to the company we are changing to. What a headache! They were basically just dragging their feet to hold on as long as possible to the money, from the sounds of it. Just using an excuse and then when we'd supply that response required they'd come up with a new one. I am POA on mom's account. There is no reason they need her verbal approval, plus they already had a written letter, signed by her, instructing them to transfer the account to the new company. Finally, her investment guy's office went over the head of the branch office and went to the regional guy to find out why they are not releasing this. Then they tried to say they called and left mom a message about it. Nope - because her landline doesn't have voicemail set up! I called the regional guy this morning and left a message telling him I have POA on her account and they have that on file and what do we need to do to get this transfer done? When he called back, if he gave me any sort of run around, at this point, I was just going to tell him I'll be contacting my mom's attorney to handle it. But, he called back, was nice, asked for me to verify the new company account # it will be transferred to and then said it's all cleared and I could go ahead and call the office where I am transferring it to and let them know it's now ok to put in the transfer funds request again. I called investment guys assistant lady and she was happy and relieved to hear that and kept apologizing it was such a hassle with the old company (the one they left).

Last night at about 6:10 the caregiver's other lady that works for her stopped at mom's apartment to remind her to take her pills. Mom was all good with her (she was only there a couple of minutes) but she told mom why she was there and said show me where your pills are kept and mom showed her the dispenser on her desk (the lady said oh neat, that's a fancy one) and then the lady asked mom which button she presses and mom said this big one and she pressed it and out came the pills and then she went and got her water at the sink and took them and the lady said goodbye. It was great! 

But I don't know what is going on this morning.....mom was up and dressed by 7ish yesterday morning and went down early. This morning it is already 7:45 and she's still not dressed and just now got up out of her recliner. I'm not sure what time she got up (I forgot to set my app to motion detection when I went to bed because I am worried about our dog). But, it certainly doesn't appear Liz or her helper have stopped by to check on mom and make sure she's getting ready. I'm just going to watch and see how this goes. They'll know when she isn't down for breakfast and we'll see what happens.

I can't figure out how to reply to anyone from yesterday, unless I do it anonymously. Anyone else having this issue? It keeps showing that I'm not signed in, but when I click on "sign in" it shows I'm signed in.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Caregiver hired

The caregiver called me back. Oh boy! I am so glad I called her. You can tell she is totally on top of everything going on where mom lives. She is there daily and she very much already knows who my mom is and what is going on with her. She also has noticed the recent decline and has even helped mom a bit with a few things. She was able to tell me some things she's noticed with mom, that I would have no way to know. Like she will get downstairs early to a meal and sit with her "group" (which she said is also mostly 5-6 women, also with memory problems) in the sitting area and then when it's time to go into the dining room to get their table, they will walk into the dining room and mom starts wandering off to the elevator, and so Liz will re-direct her into the dining room. She said she will also sometimes come down with her purse and is confused, not sure if it's her purse or not (Liz said we all know her purse, LOL). Or she'll have a magazine with her that she said "someone" left in her apartment and she's worried people are coming into her apartment when she's not there, type of stuff.

I told her I had toured the assisted place across the parking lot. She asked how I liked it and what made me decide to look there. I said it seemed fine and well, there aren't a lot of choices for assisted living and figured I'd start looking there, since it was closest. She said well, between you and me I wouldn't move anyone there. She has worked in and around all these facilities the past 20 or so years. She said it's just not the best care there and you typically end up paying way more than the "level" of care they assess you at. The residents wear a button to push (the guy told me that) and every time it's pushed is an extra charge and she said can you imagine how many times someone with memory issues ends up pushing that button?! I said, ohhhh! that's good to know. I asked well, then where, what type of place would you recommend when I do have to move her. She said definitely a home care setting. She will get better care and not just be a "number" to take care of and the cost will be the same each month.

I explained the few issues going on with mom that she needs help with. She does this exact help for many of the residents there. Some need more than others. Some just need a knock on their door to remind them it's meal time. Some need reminders to take their meds and make sure they took them. Some need hygiene help. Some all of the above. I asked if these are things she can assist my mom with and allow her to stay there longer, rather than being moved, and she said most definitely. She said my mom is familiar with who she is, since she is there every day and has talked to my mom often, as well. That is a plus. She said hopefully mom will be agreeable to having help, some aren't, especially the one's in denial. I said mom is starting to realize her memory isn't working, where previously she was just had no clue it wasn't working. 

Liz said she would chat with my mom yesterday afternoon and see how receptive she is to her offering to help. I said feel free to use me as wanting her to have help. She also said she can start right away with that evenings pills. Oh yes! Please! We both agreed that the thing we possibly will have to work through with mom is getting her comfortable having help come in her apartment, as she is kind of paranoid about people coming. When I was there Saturday she was doing her usual stuff about people might come in or have come in and taken stuff. I said "who" might come in and take stuff? She said "I don't know, some man maybe".

Then just after lunch I get a text from Liz (and I love that she texts!) "well, that didn't go very well. (smiley face). I'll try again this evening". I asked her what did she say to you? She said mom told her she didn't need any help, takes care of herself and her meds. LOL. I told her I'll call her this afternoon and talk with her more about it. So, I did. I told mom there is a lady that works there and helps a lot of the other residents with things they need help with. She says "oh, I'm not sure I need that". I said yes, you are starting to forget more and more and we need her to start helping you with something things like taking your pills and making sure you get down for breakfast each morning. She said her usual "well, if I just make myself a big note I can take my pills". I said no, we've already tried that. Then I said that Liz just talked to her after lunch and said you weren't very receptive to her helping. She said "I wasn't? well, maybe I just didn't realize who she was". I so wanted to say just the very fact that you do not remember talking with her about this not 30 minutes ago proves you need help! I told her Liz will be stopping by after dinner to visit with her.  An hour later she calls and says "now when did you say this lady was coming by?". So we went over the reasons again. That she can stay living there, where she's comfortable and knows everyone and not have to move someplace new. She seemed to understand, so it will be really interesting to see how it goes this evening. 

Then I texted Liz back that I forgot to ask her - what other types of care/services does she do? as I'm sure as mom progresses she'll need more help. She said she also does laundry. I screamed back YES PLEASE!. This lady doesn't miss anything. She replied back that she has never seen my mom in the laundry room doing laundry. I said because I've been doing it for her the past year and a half.

I messaged all this info to dd and she's like "We love Liz already" LOL. 

Sometime either after I left Saturday or yesterday mom laid her "Alzheimer's clock" face down on top of her cabinet. I know she refers it all the time. I'll see her sitting in her recliner with her schedule and look over at the clock to see what the date time is. Plus I know she uses it to know when to go down for activities and meals. Last night I tried to get her to get it set back upright. There is a flap in the back that opens at an angle to set it down, like a picture frame. Well, I was watching her on camera this afternoon and she was at her desk looking at a schedule she has sitting there (right next to the downed clock) and I hear I say, I don't even know what day it is. So, I called and talked her through again trying to get that clock set upright so she can see it. Finally she found the flap and I got her to set it down (only because I could see what she was doing). She was like "oh, this is great! You are so smart. You're as smart as I used to be!" LOL. OMG, we both laughed good at that one.

So, mom got back from dinner about 6:10ish. At 6:15 (before her med dispenser notifies her) she, on her own, pressed her button and dispensed the pills (of course! LOL). I just happened to catch it on the camera feed. Then she walked over to sink and started to get a glass. All at the same time dh was talking to me and then the camera stopped because it only goes so many seconds before I got to click "continue" and by the time I got it going again she was walking away from the sink, so I wasn't sure if she took or not. I texted Liz that she appears to have taken them, but I'm not 100%. Liz said she was on her way to her apt in a couple minutes. Somehow in that 2 minutes mom left her apt! Liz texts me, she's not here. Liz did look around and did not see any pills on her desk or next to her sink, so we figure she took them. Not 2 minutes after Liz left, mom returned. Who knows where she went. My guess is she went to her guy friends apt to see if he wanted to watch tv and either he said no or wasn't there. So, she did not get to talk to Liz again last night. She was up on her own again this morning.

Mom has made 2 strange comments the last 2 evenings after getting back from dinner. She will tell me "oh it's been a crazy day. I had to go downstairs, for something, I don't even know what it was or how to describe it, but it was so long and I didn't like it". I'm thinking what in the heck?  So, last night I said, well, you just came back from dinner...she said "I did?" I said yes, you just had dinner down in the dining room and were there for about an hour or so. She said "I don't think so. I didn't have any dinner or if I did it wasn't much". So, she is totally confused and seems to be imagining things. I'm starting to wonder if this Aricept medication is making her worse. She's been on it 2 weeks now and honestly, she seems more confused to me.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Current neighbors, old neighbors and phone calls

We had a quiet Sunday/Father's Day. DD called dh after they got off their 5 hour or so plane ride home and they were on their way home. I was wondering why it was so quiet (for a little while) next door and then realized their son's car was gone, so it appears they all went somewhere for the day. Then of course the 5 dogs barked off and on all day. It doesn't take much to set them off (a chipmunk, a bird), but hey, who cares about your neighbors, right?

Speaking of neighbors, we found out that our old drug dealing neighbors (one out of the 3) who had the walk up window for drug purchases, sold their place. They lived there for probably 35 or more years. DH saw on Zillow it sold last January. I said I'll bet the guy (dad to the drug dealers) died. Zillow has the link to the county website for the parcel and then I clicked on a link to "Sale excise tax affadavit" and it just lists the wife's name as the seller and says " "her name", a single person". The I googled the guys name and he died in 2020 (age 69). Not surprised he died young, he was an alcoholic, at a minimum. Looks like she had to do quite a bit of fixing up inside, that's for sure and from the pics some of the rooms she was still in the process. Google also showed she now lives in North Carolina. Sorry to anyone who lives in NC! Hopefully she isn't the piece of SH$t neighbor she was to our neighborhood!! Doesn't everyone let their adult sons deal meth and heroin out of your house for years and years?

I may have opened a can of worms, haha. When I installed the landline for my mom I programmed in my # and uncle's #. Only apparently I didn't get his entered correctly so she would push the button and get a recording that this # is not valid. She never told me this. I just kept seeing this strange number on her call log as an outgoing call and couldn't figure out where she was getting it. A couple of recent visits I tried to fix it, but I didn't have the instructions and couldn't figure it out. Finally at my visit a week ago, I had gotten the instructions to fix it. Well, now she's calling him all the time. She called him 3 times yesterday, because of course she doesn't remember she already called him. I told him this probably wasn't a good thing for me to fix! I told him to let me know if the calls are getting too much and I'll just remove his number. He calls her pretty regularly, so that would probably just be easier for him than dealing with her repeated calling. Plus, if he doesn't answer she will keep trying. I was outside working in the yard for about an hour yesterday (I had already talked to her before lunch) and she tried calling me 5 times. I saw the notification on the 2nd try and she left a voicemail that all was good, she was just calling to say hi, call her when I can. Then she called 3 more times in the next hour. 

I called the caregiver this morning and left a message, so hopefully she will call back soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Simple Sunday

The weather wasn't very nice yesterday, but most of my running here and there it was just cloudy and no need for a jacket or sweater. But about 20 minutes before I was to leave my mom's the thunder started. Then it started pouring rain. By the time I finished talking to the office lady the thunder had at least stopped but I had to make a dash for my car and got pretty wet. Of course, being a brand new car I had parked as far out as I could away from other cars. Not to mention their parking spots are really small and narrow so it's just easier to go park farther out and not try to squeeze in between 2 other cars. Today is only supposed to get to 62.

Mom was up on her own this morning. She did call me back yesterday morning at 8:10 to tell me she was going down for breakfast, so that was good. She probably forgot she wasn't feeling well, haha. When I was at her apartment (before I talked to the office lady on my way out) she mentioned her memory and she even said maybe she needs more help. So, I used that to mention the place across the parking lot and she was very open to the idea. If hiring the outside help doesn't work, I think it won't be too much trouble (well, other than just the move and coordinating it) to move her. I also hesitate on this place, because while they assist pretty far with the dementia, they do not do the "end stage" memory care. So that would mean another move at some point. There is another place that does both. They have assisted part and then a memory care unit, that they get transferred to once assisted living isn't enough. I'm kind of hoping hiring this Liz might work for her next level she's in now, where she needs assistance. Keeping her where she's at is best, if possible, as it's where mom is comfortable and knows the place and her apartment and routines there. If I can keep her there, with hired help, until she actually needs memory care then there would only have to be one more move for her. 

It's interesting how she can still have a phone conversation and "wing it". I happened to catch on camera when my uncle called her the other evening. She just chats away a couple minutes and if you weren't around her regularly or talked to her regularly, you probably wouldn't think much is wrong.

DD and her dh fly back home this morning. Then she will be over here next Sunday to stay and dog/cat/chicken/house sit while we go on our little trip. I am looking forward to that week. I have the week off, plus the 4th and 5th are work holidays, so I'll have 10 days. I'm ready!

I'm just kind of doing this and that today. I got my kitchen cleaned from the dishes I left in the sink last night, made some hummingbird nectar, took a shower, made the bed, gave dh a haircut. And it's only 10:15 LOL. Waiting for my hair to dry a bit and then I'll go outside and water my hanging flowers at the front patio. I also need to add some potting soil around the daylilies we planted along the front fence.

When I was at Target yesterday I had some time so I looked at their t shirts and managed to find 3 to buy. As usual most of all the colors I like they are out of all the medium sized, but I did manage to get a rust colored one, a dusty green, and a gray. Plus I only like v-neck so that limits my choices, too. I wanted to find some shorts, something like a bermuda type. Nothing like that. They were all really short. I'll have to look online.

We also need to replace a shrub that died. Typical for us. Seems like about 1/3 of whatever we plant dies. I bought 2 of this azalea type last summer. One on one side of front walkway, one of the other. One looks great and is growing. The other died. Why? so frustrating. The only thing dh can think of is that with how the underground sprinkler/watering system is it seems that side gets more water. I'm going to do some research and see what might be good to get that can take a lot of water. There are some different trees we planted like 3 years ago. Three of them. They are all still basically the same size. The two 6' maple trees we planted never did make it.