Sunday, December 4, 2022

December is moving right along

Dang it's cold out! -5 degrees (I tried to make a degree symbol but how google says to do it didn't work). Yesterday at 5 we drove into town to watch the first Christmas tree lighting. There were a lot of people! That was neat to see. Since it was a whole 11 degrees outside, thankfully we got there just before the trees got lit up, so we didn't have to wait too long. That was probably the longest I have been out in super cold with the snow boots I bought last year and I'm happy they kept my feet warm. They had lights in all the big trees on 2 blocks, plus all the building. I thought maybe they were doing the bridge across the river, but I suppose no power there. But they did have some big huge wreaths with some lights (must be battery).

DH got the inflatables put up. That Bumble is huge! LOL. I like it :)

Sometime last evening mom laid her clock/calendar face down again. I texted K this morning just a couple minutes before she got to her apartment to ask her to set it upright so she's aware of the time during the day. I also told her it looks like mom went to bed in her clothes again last night. She went to bed at 8. Like I said earlier, I'll take her sleeping in her clothes over wandering and calling me at midnight. She hasn't had any more wandering/late night restless since last Monday, thankfully. 

Mom has several cardigan type sweaters that she wears often. She also has this "sweater set" that is a sweater top and cardigan in one. Awhile back she must have pulled it out of her closet of clothes and seems to put it on over her top every so often. Only now she can't seem to figure out how to get it on anymore. She put it on after she got back from breakfast and headed downstairs, only I could tell it wsn't on right. Later another resident was sweet enough to come back up to her apartment with her and got it on her correctly. 

K responded to my text this morning about her clock with a thumbs up, but then never uprighted it. After mom went down for breakfast I texted K again, mentioning the sweater set and asked her to please hide it out of mom's sight and I'll take it with me next visit, as she is having too much trouble getting it on and she has plenty of other sweaters to wear. I'm hoping that will remind her she needs to go back to mom's room to upright the clock! I have tried to get mom to upright it before and when she finally does understand what I am talking about she doesn't understand how to pull out the little stand in the back.

I mailed a $500 deposit to be on the "Prority waitlist" for the memory care place. Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later. They have 2 room type options in memory care. Both are studio sized rooms, one with a private bath and one with a shared bath in between. At this point either is fine with me. She's soon going to be to the point she won't realize it's a shared bath anyway. The shared bath room is $700 a month cheaper than the private bath.

Tomorrow I'm calling a carpet cleaning company to go in and finish cleaning mom's bedroom carpet. It was recommended by the assist. mgr I talked with Friday. I'm hoping I can just pay over the phone or mail out a check for it and then they can go take care of it when they can schedule it. If I knew she was going to be able to move soon, I'd just wait and do it closer to that time, in case we have more accidents to clean up, but since it sounds like it will be 3-4 months I'll get it done now.

Ok, I'm annoyed that K didn't take 3 seconds and set that clock upright while she was in mom's apartment getting her to put clean clothes on for the day :(  I bought 2 $100 Amazon gift cards to send to her and the other lady for a Christmas gift. K told me Friday she just hired another person to help with everyone they work for there where mom lives and will start training her (next week I think she said). So...do I get another card for this person? I kind of don't feel like someone who will have only worked with mom maybe 2-3 weeks deserves a $100 gift card....C has been helping mom since June (she was the other caregiver company owner's employee and K kept her on when she took over the business), but do I leave this new person out or get them something like $25? 


Saturday, December 3, 2022

A calm day so far

While I was at my mom's cleaning yesterday, I replaced the batteries in the one camera. Well! She had for the first time in the 6 months or so I've had the cameras, she found that one that was on the shelf under her tv. It appears during one of her times to unplug everything from the back of the tv cable box, she picked up the taped down little camera and set it on her desk. (this was sometime in the last few days, after the battery died on me). I also went ahead and replaced the batteries in the camera up on her kitchen cabinet. They are probably getting close to wearing out, too, so at least I know I'm good to go now with them for a couple months. I also moved it a little bit so that while I can still see her recliner, I can also see her entrance door all the way now. After I plugged her tv cables back in I realized her remote control isn't next to her chair. I looked around some for it, but didn't find it and by then I was ready to get out of there. I left K a message that I plugged her tv in and if she happens to come across the remote to set it next to her chair, please.

I also am going to try a little "trick" with her heater. I mentioned recently she keeps turning it off completely when she goes downstairs or goes to bed. Too chilly! So, I put some tape over the Off button (just a flat type button) and took a black sharpie she had in her desk and covered over it. So, now all's she sees is "heat" "cool" and the up/down to adjust the temperature. Hopefully now she won't turn it all the way off, so it won't get so cold and she won't walk back into her apartment and turn it up to 90 because it's cold. When I put the little camera's back, after changing batteries, I adjusted the one under her tv a bit so that it more faces towards her kitchen and door. I can still totally see her in her recliner, but now I can also see the door fully.

So far so good last night and this morning. She fell asleep in her recliner around for awhile last evening and then got up and went to bed at 8:40. I had thought she shut her bedroom light out too quickly to have changed into her nightgown and from this mornings video clip I see she took her jeans off but slept in her top. K got her up this morning and dressed, so no issues this morning, thankfully. 

Early this evening is our town's first ever Christmas lighting event, so I think we are going to go see that. There is a huge tree in front of the courthouse on "main street" and all the business's on the street have put up lights, too as well as the bridge over the river. There is going to be a Santa, hot cocoa and cookies, 4-H selling wreaths (wish I had known that before I bought the ones at Lowes, but I'll remember that for next year), and sleigh rides (perfect as we have snow).

It's -1 degree out this morning. I have to take a walk to the mailbox to leave outgoing mail. Time to get my long underwear on. Oh, and Mr. sent dh an email last night/this morning. Their son's dang dogs caused a fight between 2 of their dogs. This happens at some point every time their dogs are staying here. The whole dynamic of 5 dogs just messes with their own dogs routine so much. I would not put up with it and it's awful that they allow this to happen to their dogs. I don't know how much they have spent in vet bills over the years dealing with this. With that dump of snow we had, their DIL's car was sitting in the driveway covered in almost a foot of snow. Do you think this fully able late 30's lady could go out and clean it off? No....her almost 73 mother in law (Mrs Neighbor) was out there with a broom cleaning it off.

Dh was really impressed with our new snow tires yesterday, so that is good.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Not a fun morning

I've had literally a crappy morning. Mom had a huge "bathroom accident" right when she woke up/got up this morning. All the way from her bed to her bathroom (carpeted). The assist. caregiver is on duty today and she came in right as mom was apparently just trying to clean herself up. She got her in the shower and called K....who happened to also be there in the building, because they are so busy now, she was helping with other residents. She came in and tried to clean as best she could, but obviously couldn't do much with the carpet mess. She called me and I said I'd call the office to see if it's something their housekeeping could treat with carpet cleaner or if I had to come in and do it. I didn't realize how bad it was.

I called in and got the general manager....boy she sure doesn't know much of anything! She's the one who called me earlier this week about mom wandering Monday night and I mentioned I have called to put her on the waitlist for the memory care place and she says "where is that?" um...2 buildings over from yours....I know other of their residents have transitioned on to this place, how does she not know the name of it? Then this morning I ask her if this is something housekeeping can take care of and she says she doesn't know, I'll have to ask so and so when she comes in at 9. How are you the manager and not know how your place operates? Anyhow, I got ahold of the other lady at 9:30 and she said, no, they won't clean up bodily fluid type messes. Makes sense. So dh drove me in and I took in the 3 bottles of carpet stain cleaner I have along with this scrub type brush. OMG! what a mess it was. TMI you don't need, but it took me almost an hour and a half to clean it best I could and I'm sure I'll still have to call a carpet cleaning service to come in. Mom thinks some dog must have made the mess.......the only good part was that I got there right as mom got downstairs, to wait for lunch, so I got to do the cleaning without her there. K did come in with her clean laundry right after I got there, so I got to meet her in person finally and we had a good chat.

The memory care place emailed me a "waitlist document" to fill out and send in with a $500 deposit, so that is going on the mail tomorrow! Hopefully we can manage until they have an opening.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Side jobs and snow

I guess the word has gotten out on "the street" that my side job company is selling. My f/t job boss called me about it yesterday. She didn't know if I knew about it or not, but she mainly just wanted to make sure I did know, since it will be a loss of income for me and she didn't want me to get blindsided if the side job owners hadn't told me about it yet. I told her side job boss did give me a heads up a couple months ago this might be in the works. Boss asked how I felt about it (knowing I'm losing income I've had for a long time now) and I said I'm ok with it. I've had some notice and it will be kind of nice to not have to deal with it anymore. I also said I never expected it to last as long as it did, so it's all just been bonus income these past years. While it will be an adjustment, I'll be ok. Her other concern was if the new owner would want me to stay on, that would be a conflict with my f/t company........I said from my understanding they do not need me and if by some chance they did want me to stay on, I knew that I could not, due to the conflict of interest. So, we are all on the same page with it all. Plus, it does sound like that little side job my f/t boss is hooking me up with is going to happen. It won't nearly make up the other lost income, but it will help and probably be an extra $200-$300 per month. It's just some light bookkeeping for a very small non-profit organization. 

Also in my chat with my boss, it sounds like we will be getting some bonus for the end of the year, it just has not been figured out how much, but she said she told the company president to get on the ball with a decision by the end of next week so it's not a last minute fire drill to get all the bonus's calculated, entered and checks cut, like it always ends up being for her (and me).

It has been snowing non-stop since yesterday morning. A couple times I woke up during the night it was just dumping down (dh likes to leave the back patio light on when it's snowing, LOL). Since I've been up it's just a light snow. DH shoveled and plowed twice yesterday and he's already up and at it this morning, since we got so much last night. Here's a short action clip, LOL

Mom was pretty "relaxed" last evening. After dinner she spent most of it in her recliner and around 7:30 or so she put her chair in front of her door, so I knew she wasn't planning on going anywhere, LOL. Then she went back to her recliner and fell asleep around 8pm. When it was getting close time for me to go to bed I decided not to call her to tell her to put her nightgown on and go to bed. She was already asleep in her chair (with lights off) and I didn't want to disturb her so I just let her be. With the lights off the camera doesn't always catch motion, but at some point she did go in to bed and slept, but of course in her clothes. But, I guess I'll have to take that situation over her wandering, at this point.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Last day of November

Over the long weekend I was able to get quite a few gifts and things we use ordered online. The Wrangler jeans dh likes to wear were on sale with Walmart for $13. I was able to get him 2 pair in the dark rinse in his size. All the other washes were sold out in his size. But saved $6 a pair over waiting to buy them later in the year, when he says he needs new jeans. 

I took a look for a few things to see if they were on sale with Amazon Cyber Monday. I was able to get dh's prostate supplement for $4 less, so I bought 3 months worth. My daily vitamins were $6 off. I needed more cat litter and Chewy had a coupon code for 30% off, which is a nice savings.

Including Thanksgiving dinner we got 3 1/2 full dinner meals out of the food. Sunday evening I gave dh the last of it and I just made myself some french toast. He also got quite a few turkey sandwiches for lunches and I got a couple sandwiches, too. I had bought a premade pumpkin pie from the store bakery. YUCK! It had the strangest flavor. It's like I've tasted the flavor before, but couldn't pin point what it was. I threw it out. Monday night we just had easy tomato soup. Last night I just ended up doing french toast for the both of us, with some sausage links. By afternoon I was feeling pretty tired from the less sleep I got Monday night (due to Mom calling and then checking the camera again an hour later). That is why there is no way I could have my mom live here, while I'm still working full time+, even though I work from home. Just that couple hours of screwed up sleep and I'm tired. Do that a few times and I get run down super fast. I know myself/limits. I need my sleep or I get run down really fast. 

I decided to order $100 Amazon gift cards for K and her assistant caregiver. Closer to Christmas I will mail them to K's business address with a note asking her to give the other caregiver one of them, since they are never there when I stop to visit mom. I don't want to just leave them at mom's apartment for them to pick up - who knows what she'd do with them.

I did manage to (finally) get mom talked into getting into her nightgown and going to bed last night, so no issues last night, she slept all night. Other than it took me almost a half hour and 2 phone calls between 8:30 and 9pm to get this accomplished. She'd hang up with me and then forget.

Today is payday, I always like payday :). Another $1000 payment to the mule loan, so still on track to have it paid off at the end of February.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The decline

It was great having yesterday off. I didn't do a whole lot but kept busy. I had zero emails from the side job so that was also a relief. I called mom a little after lunch - she thought she was staying somewhere where she golfs but wasn't sure where....maybe Oregon? I said well, I don't think you're going to get to golf much with all the snow on the ground! LOL. I told her she was born and raise in Oregon. In the evening uncle calls me that he called her and she sounded fine tonight (she wasn't). He appreciated me looking up the flight info and he thinks he'll try to wait until spring/summer and have a friend drive with him out here. I said that sounds like a good plan.

Just before midnight my phone starts buzzing and it's my mom. "Hi, I probably caught you eating dinner". No mom....it's almost midnight. You should be in bed. "oh, I'm so sorry, this clock is weird, it says 11:52". Yes, it's almost midnight now, you should go to bed. She said she would. An hour later I check my phone app and she's still up. I call her and tell her it's 1am mom, you need to go put your nightgown on and go to bed. She said ok, she would. She walked into her bedroom, turned the light off (left living room lights on) and went to bed, in her clothes. Got up around 6:40, turned the living room light out and went back to bed in her clothes. I texted K just before I know she usually gets there to let her know what went on. She said one of the other residents had just told her mom knocked on her door at 11:30 last night, so she walked her back to her apartment. Ugh. I did get a call into a larger assisted living place that has a separate memory care section and they have a 3-4 month average wait list, so I'm getting her on that and will go tour it after the holidays. That other place has a 20 person wait list (small home with like only 9 rooms) so probably why the lady hasn't returned my call. (K told me she just found out this 20 person wait list at an elder care meeting she went to last night). K said she used to work at this assisted living/memory care facility and it's pretty good - just super expensive, but unfortunately there aren't a lot of options for memory care in this area. K wants to open her own care home, but said she is a couple years out doing that. 

Then I got a call this morning from the director where mom lives, she knew I was aware, but also wanted to chat with me about it. If she starts wandering at night, she won't be able to stay there, of course.  If she does this again, she will obviously have to be moving as they can't deal with that where she lives. In the waiting time until I can find someplace available maybe I can find someone to hire to come in and stay with her in the evenings or the director suggested maybe start giving her a sleep aid in the evenings. A sleep aid would probably help, I'll bet. K is going to give me a call after she's done with her morning rounds, she said she has some ideas until we can get her moved. I'm hoping this one more of a "one off" deal with mom, as she's never done this before, but I'm sure it's just a sign of more of what is to come.

Monday, November 28, 2022

A day off

I am so glad I decided to take today off. I got the big tree up yesterday (about 5 hours) and other than a few things, the house is done. Now I can relax today and shop. SIL is done. Three gifts for DD are done. I'm getting my mom a cover for her office chair. It's just some stretch fabric that goes over the seat and back pieces. I went with pink, as she has a small antique loveseat that is pink. She often will say she thinks that chair sitting at her desk is getting worn out (it's not!) or the color is ugly, or someone changed chairs on her. But, I also have a feeling if I put the cover on, she's going to think it's not her chair.

So, uncle called her last night and he got a taste of her not knowing where she is. It was the thinking she was at a hotel and she doesn't have her car so she can't go home. Of course experiencing her doing that fo the first time will throw you for a loop and apparently it did to him. He was freaking out a bit over it. He called me back a little later, thinking he should fly over to see her...but not sure....He's almost 80, though in good health, that's still a lot for a guy who hasn't flown since the 70's. He asked me to check into flights. It's not a direct flight from where he lives, so that adds to the trip. I told him it's certainly not an emergency! He could call her tomorrow and she'll be normal, it just goes back and forth but is definitely happening more often. I also explained sundowning and that it's mostly common for her to do this in the evening. She had gone to bed at around 7pm (it keeps getting earlier) last night and he called her at 7:30, so I'm sure she was even more out of it. I'm sure when I talk to him today, he'll have calmed down. Plus trying to book a flight in the next month or so is $600-700. If he waited until Jan the price is $250-300. Plus if he does decide to come I really want him to know what to expect in terms of being able to visit/spend time with her. She really won't be able to hold a conversation and it will just be her repeating the same few questions over and over, which after about an hour or so, most people are ready to pull their hair out. Even me, who is very patient, can only take it for a little while. I cannot tell you how many times she asked me, while here at Thanksgiving, "how long have you lived here now?" Literally about every 10 minutes. I honestly told him at this point he'd be coming for himself (which is totally fine) but that she may remember him, but she definitely will forget right away that he visited. If he really wants to see her (and knowing he doesn't like to travel) I'd suggest he fly in one day, visit with her, come stay at our house for the night and visit her again the next day for a bit, if the timing worked out, before flying back home. 

I know my uncle - he's a flake and once he calms down after this call with her from last evening, he'll decide not to come, which is totally fine. I know he likes to call her in the evenings, but I'm going to suggest he try day time every so often, too. It's just harder to get a hold of her because she is gone for 3 meals and then hardly in her apartment the rest of the time due to activities and just being out in the common areas, rather than her apartment.

I'm hoping I don't have to deal too much today with the side job emails. I think I might make some peanut butter cookies and try to go over my gift lists and finish up as much as possible.