It's been a good Christmas with DD and SIL and their 2 pups. As expected, it was an exhausting 24 hours of Christmas with my mom. Dh and I drove in yesterday at picked her up at 11. Roads weren't the best, but driveable. DD and SIL stayed at our house and got the turkey in the oven for me while we were gone picking my mom up.
As DD described it, it's like as the clock strikes 5pm she's (my mom) "gone". We had been sittting in the living room awhile, after dinner and clean up. Then dd got up to go work on the puzzle at the table in dh's den. Dh was on his computer in the den and then sil got up to go to the kitchen. And then suddenly she had no clue who any of us were or where she was. I moved over next to her and was trying to tell her I'm her daughter. She kept asking these strange questions. Something about "were or are we close?" or did we live "close". Then she wanted to know when I finished school. At that point I texted dd in the other room "Help!" Everyone came back in the room and we just kept talking to her but she kept saying "this is your house? you live here?" I don't know how many times (from an hour after she got here) she said "oh you can take me home any time" and I had to say over and over you're staying the night and we're taking you home tomorrow. Just after 6pm (exactly like she did Thanksgiving) she said she was ready for bed, so by the time I got her all changed into her nightgown, etc, it was a bit after 6:30. She was up twice in the next half hour.........for some reason she got it in her head she was going to live here. First she said "well, I guess I could try it out for a month or two. The second time up she told me she thought about it and wants to stay where she lives. I just said, yes, you are staying where you live and we're taking you home tomorrow. Then up again at 3:45am (which at that point she asked me twice who I was). Apparently she even opened dd/sil bedroom door. I got her back in bed.
Then I got up at 7:30, before any one else. I walk into the living room and there she is! Asleep in the recliner with a blanket draped over her shoulders....a blanket that had been at the other end of the house upstairs, in my office. OMG! We never heard her up or come down the stairs at some point between 3:45 and 7:30. My biggest fear is she would do something like this and fall down the stairs! Thankfully she didn't, but oh my! No more staying here. I just can't do it.
Sometime during the night she took the garbage can from the bathroom and put in in her room (there already is a waste basket) and had taken her underwear off and thrown in the garbage can....?? ok...When I helped her get dressed I could not find her shoes, which I had set on the floor the night before. Finally I found them downstairs.
We all went with to take her back this morning and every 3 minutes it was "can I get you guys lunch?". Finally we got her up to her apartment and her things put away and settled in before she had to go downstairs for lunch at noon. DD and I got in the elevator and both just breathed a big sigh of relief.
It is exhausting! People often liken caring for someone with full blown dementia to caring for a toddler but it is much harder. At least you have some good and some funny memories of her Christmas with you. Amazing how she was able to sneak around your house in the dark without falling down.ReplyDelete
It is harder than a toddler. I had left a bunch of lights on in the house, just for the reason of her maybe getting up, but even in the light those stairs scare me having her go up or down by herselfDelete
How scary!! What if she went outside! Yes home visits are over, it’s just very sad isn’t it. JreReplyDelete
It's so sad how much her brain has deteriorated.Delete
This is so scary! I care for my elderly parents and also have someone in the house and it gets worse and worse daily. Pills, hygiene, food, cleaning them and trying to keep them safe. It's so much. This is why CNA's and care takers should earn so much more than they do! I wish you and your mom all the best!ReplyDelete
They do not earn enough, especially the good ones.Delete
I work as a RN in homecare (that’s why before I was pushing for the need to start getting a aide, I know you thought she wouldn’t allow but they get used to it and as it’s more needed just accept as they forget moment to moment, they are a lifesaver!) but anyway in my state for PCA’s (personal care assistants who go into homes and do daily cares sometimes for people that are totally dependent, the states reimbursement rate to the homecare agency is $19.60, this is for those on MA who many chronically ill people have, so they have the business cost and then the pay to figure out with that rate. You can make more at McDonalds. It’s no wonder there’s a caregiver shortage. It’s terrible, they deserve so much more.Delete
If she wandered outdoors, she could freeze to death! Worse yet, she could take to walking down the road like my grandmother did, going home. That is all so scary. I thought you were going to say you could not find her shoes! I cried for all of us after I read this.ReplyDelete
I was worried I wasn't going to find the shoes, either! I'm like it's a big house, who knows where she hid them!Delete
it's a full time job looking after someone with dementia. Luckily she's not incontinent as that's a whole other ball game. No one wants to put a loved one into a nursing home, but it's for their own safety. It's so hard. Sending hugs your way.ReplyDelete
The incontinence has started the past month or so. I had to clean and then have her carpet cleaned from it. She's had a few accidents in bed now too. Her caregiver had me get Depends, which I stopped and got yesterday and she is going to have her start using them now :(Delete
I'm sorry for all of you and experiencing this. It sounds like a change in routine really sets it off. I agree caregiver's deserve so much better pay, yet it all is extra costs to the families as it is. You've done a valiant effort trying to include her in your holidays at your home. As you know, it's now not safe.ReplyDelete
The change in routine really does have an effect. I really didn't want to bring her her overnight, but K said it would still be good for her and dh was making me feel guilty about it too....but now I know that was the last time.Delete
Memory problems are hard. All that confusion must be stressful for both of you. I am hoping that the memory care place will become available as soon as possible. e-HugsReplyDelete
I'm hoping it's available sooner too. She is ready for it.Delete
Oh my gosh, that sounds like such hard work, but I think you're right - that should probably be the last time she stays with you. My cousin took his dad to Wales for "a little break". Dad, who had dementia but was perfectly physically healthy, got confused during the night, tried to go to the bathroom, fell downstairs and died. Beyond a certain point it's no longer a pleasure for anyone is it. I'm so sorry you all had to go through that!ReplyDelete
I do find it all extremely exhausting. I cannot imagine doing it day in/day out, like some people do who have their parent live with them to take care of. If that makes me a bad daughter, then so be it. I'd end up run down and sick very quickly.Delete
At this point it gets to be a safety matter. My biggest worry would be her starting to wander and going outdoors, thank goodness she’s hasn’t thought of that yet and pray it doesn’t come to that.ReplyDelete