Just getting started and need a map to care for Aunt with alzheimer's

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Our family has recently moved in with my husbands Aunt age 84 to help care for her. As an Alzheimer's patient she need constant care. I have been caring for her for several months now and am wondering if I might be over my head. I have 2 children to care for as well one is school age and my youngest is 3.
Our Aunt does not sleep at night and so I get little sleep as well. I have so many questions. I know this can be done if I get organized but I don’t know where to start.
I need to find out if Medicare has benefits for her that she is not receiving: caregiver pay, Assistance to Doctor appointments, meal delivery and respite care for myself. Any help to direct me to the information I seek would be appreciated. Thank you Tammy


I would look up www.alz.org right away and see if there is a local chapter! They have a wealth of knowledge on their website and online coaching available also. You can contact them and they can steer you in the right direction to get your questions answered for the area where you live.

You have taken on a lot with a family of your own. I know when my grandchildren come over, I have my hands full with them and my 94 year old mom with dementia/Alzheimer's.

You mention she doesn't sleep at night. Is she sleeping during the day? Quite often the problem is that they are not stimulated and awake enough during the day and then they don't sleep at night. My mom was up and down all night before she moved in with us. Now I keep her up during the day and busy as I can and she is sleeping at night.

I'm sure there are others who will pipe in here. I wish you the best!
Thank you for your reply. Yes she does nap in her chair some during the day & I try to stimulate her with simple household tasks like folding laundry or dusting.Sometimes she will get involved with a craft or music but no matter what I have tried It seems that she never sleeps more than a 2 hour stretch day or night. She is always up and moving around rearranging things like pictures, kitchen items everything that is not nailed down. :)
Yep, respite care is a godsend, and yes, by keeping her active during the day will help at night - the other thing you might look into - in your area - "call your "Senior Center", and look into Elder Daycare for people with Alzheimers, it is an excellent way to hold down a job or just get needed time alone with the kids. Good luck!
I know my mom gets very unsettled and starts to move things around when my grandkids are over. One aspect of Alzheimer's is that they are very suspicious and Mom thinks the kids will "take things". The kids don't but they do get out all the toys and that means the house is not in its normal uncluttered state.

Any type of clutter is unsettling too. I had to get everything organized and keep it that way. When I have to make a change for any reason (like putting up the Christmas tree) it rocks her world and oh my goodness!

I go through her room every so often while she is snoozing in the other room to make sure she hasn't hidden anything in there. She accuses the kids of stealing but she's the one who does. :)

My husband and I went on a short trip a couple weeks ago and a Visiting Angel came in to stay with Mom. The VA took her rings off to wash Mom's hair and after the bath was done, she couldn't find the rings. Mom had taken them because "they belong to the family". I found them when we returned from our trip.
The nice people above know better than me but come here as often as you can and if there is a support group near you even if it is on email that would be good for you to meet inperson with others would help so much I made a great friend in my caregivers support group and we remain friends even after our spouses died and she move away-try to take care of your self and make sure you get regular me time good luck to you my dear.
Thank you to everyone for your responses. Now I don't feel so alone in this. I did contact my local group and they are sending me a ton of info at: www.alz.org is great as well. I look forward to going to a support meeting to pick everyone's brain. : ) Funny thing happened to us today. I could not find my glasses and I asked her to try and thread a needle for me so I could repair my sons beloved stuffed cat. When I returned to the room she had not only threaded the needle but was sewing the repairs and talking about how much she loves my lil Jess! It was a touching moment. I told her how sweet and thank you so much....She replied you feel like my best friend only I am sorry I don't know your name......We both laughed and I told her she could just call me whatever she wanted to even its "Hey You" LOL
Love it! To my mom, I'm the lady that works here. :)
Absolutely, Alzheimer's also have chapters ALL over the US, and their support groups are the true survival of caring for someone with Alzheimers/Dementia. Yes, suspicious behavior is a symptom of Alzheimers of both women and men.
The one thing that takes up time for patients is to fold laundry or look at photo albums, you also might ask her doctor about the different drugs they have for various behaviors if it gets to be too much. Again, good luck

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