Hi everyone. I'm dead tired, but need to vent to you all before I can do anything else. Since my dad passed away 15 years ago, I've been taking care of my mom. Mom is 77 years old, and has been able to live on her own up til now with some help from me.
For the past month, I've noticed that my mom is showing signs of decline.
She has become very forgetful.
She has been having trouble with speaking. She will open her mouth and sounds will come out, like she is struggling to speak initially. Once she gets going, she's fine, but it takes her a minute.
She is confused. She knows her birth date, her name, and other info like that, but she struggles to tell you what medications she takes. something she knows like the back of her hand.
She will ask you, "What day is it today?" about 5 times in an hour.
I don't think she is keeping herself clean, and when I asked yesterday when the last time she showered was, she said she didn't know.
I am all she has, and her sole source of social interaction is me and my husband. She is lonely, and this is heartbreaking for me. I have tried to get her to go to a day center, but she refuses.
She is sleeping much more than usual. I was looking for her the other day, and at 11:00 am I found her laying on her bed, curled up in a fetal position, sleeping. She does this frequently through the day.
She "can't walk." I'm struggling to figure this out. She is a very sedentary person. She told me her legs feel weak. She said they do not hurt, unless she is trying to move.
I would think that this could be dementia, but my mom is on 4 different psychiatric meds and it's equally possible that being forgetful extends to the taking of her meds. She is either not getting enough or taking too much. Either way, it could play a role.
(Wait. Maybe I am STILL IN DENIAL!?)
I just got home after spending 10 hours with my mom in the emergency room. My mom is still there, on observation. I brought her in because she told me on the phone that she "cannot walk," told me to come over and to "get there quick". I did. My moms balance is not good, and she has been falling, which has concerned me a great deal. I had planned to buy her a walker today, and had an appt for a consult with a doctor who does house calls.
I was able to help her walk to my car, but when we got to the hospital my husband got a wheelchair for her.
All of my mom's blood work turned out fine. Everything was within normal range. The doctor said he could not find any medical reason for why she is having trouble with walking. He said that he wanted to keep her overnight for observation. The only thing they have said is wrong thus far is her blood pressure, which I was told was normal by the day shift nurse, but the night shift nurse said it was too high at 197/92.
They brought a portable toilet into her room because she cannot get to the bathroom on her own as quickly as she needs it. Even with the toilet that close to her bed, she needs to be helped onto it, help to clean up, and help to get back into bed.
What do I do from here? What should I expect? What should I ask? Is there any possible way at all I can keep her from having to leave her home? She cried today and kept saying she wanted to go home, she wishes she were never born, wishes she were dead, etc.
I'm worn out, burned out, and my heart is breaking. Hurts to see her this way. *sigh*, I have so much more to say, but I'm running out of character space.
I feel a tremendous amount of guilt, and despite my husbands objections, I am beating myself up for not doing something sooner, I had tried. But that's not good enough in my eyes. I was repeatedly telling my husband that I was worried, felt overwhelmed, and needed help, but I don't think he believed me, until today.
Not even sure how I will pay for this, because we only have Medicare and to date, it has hardly covered anything.
Any advice, encouragement, etc, would be awesome and I thank you in advance. My dad was young: 66 when he passed away from cancer. Although I have been a caregiver, this is the first time I am caring for someone with age-related issues. It's so damn hard to watch a parent age like this. Sometimes I just can't stand it and I can do nothing but cry and want to punch walls.