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.