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Caring for an elderly person with friendliness. There are no hard and fast rules for caring for the elderly. But there is one important rule that all care givers should adopt and champion and that rule is always establish a routine. In may ways elderly people are like children, and routines provide a reassuring structure to their day when the world outside is becoming an increasing confusing and hostile place to inhabit.

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Figured out many years ago that my siblings weren't going to be there and I should act as an only child. I do have my brother that lives near by that is trying he is unsure how to take care of her really well but at least he is trying. He needs step by step instruction especially with her meds but I am taking a break the next two days from work and my normal schedule so will see how this goes. She attends adult daycare from 830-4pm so that usually wipes her out and she sleeps a lot so im hoping for a peaceful night for my brother otherwise I know my cellphone will be ringing all night. I know my current job situation will have to change soon because they only care about numbers and my productivity can't be what they want when i have all this on my mind and especially with them wanting me to work so late. Especially with it getting closer to spring she will start walking all over the neighborhood thats how all this started when she walked off, fell and broke her hip. She still walks well on her own has a walker and wheelchair when needed but wheelchair is only for our shopping trips. This next week will be hard for my mom its the anniversary of when my dad died 5 years ago so keeping her happy and busy will be my job. In less than two weeks having new assessment to change her homecare so im hoping this new service will help its homecare through the adult daycare center so maybe she will recognize some of these people. Thanks for listening to my story.
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I am also having problems sticking to a routine with my 97y.o. Mother. Sometimes she doesn't feel like getting up early(8 or 9am) so I let her sleep in later. She also likes to stay up late, mainly because she sleeps alot during the day due to inactivity. When she can't go in the yard or out on one of her porches and sweep because of the temperature, she becomes very restless. I need to explore an adult daycare program, if I can get her to go.
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Chris, sounds like your mom is at the point where she needs someone to keep an eye on her 24/7. I took FMLA 5 years ago when Mom came home from rehab after a fall. At the end of my 12 weeks it was clear to me that we could no longer leave her unsupervised so I was asked by my sibs to quit my job and be her care giver.
She is in a wheelchair now and can no longer wash, dress, or feed herself. Went through her LTC insurance money in the last 3 years for payed caregivers, as mom was quite the handful because of her severe OCD combined with PD and dementia. She is now in daycare 4 days a week and I had to cut back on paid help, but it's much easier with her in the wheelchair the past year. Physical therapy had a special high tech one approved for her through her insurance. It even reclines back and she can't tip it over like her regular one.
By the way, I have 6 sibs, 3 of who were all for keeping her at home. I rarely see them,and they don't help me with Mom at all, unless I ask. So don't count on help from that direction, as it will probably be all you! Just the way it goes, sorry!
I hope you can find alternatives so that you can keep your job for a while. You don't need the added burden of financial problems too. Good luck!
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Thanks Lildeb I will call her for sure. Right now have an assessment interview with alternatives for older adults (service from the state that pays for homecare and daycare). Have tried for the last 18 months the one homecare service but consistently have had trouble keeping the same caregivers due to bad scheduling and caregivers leaving for better jobs. I have a very stressful job to and they keep changing me to later hours which is just too much change for my mom. Homecare has been nonexistent lately and I have had to have my brother stay with her a couple hours during week but all he does is text me non stop but its always so busy at work its hard to handle. I have applied for FMLA at work just to keep my job but have started looking for 1st shift job because its just too much stress. I get more assistance from my aunt and best friend that I do from my siblings but im not only child just wish they would care enough to help her. My mom does really well at adult daycare even though she fought it in the beginning but she considers it to be her "job". The biggest problem for homecare is she used to be a CNA and did that kind of work for 30 years. But I have decided when we switch homecare services im taking time off work so I can train them properly. Thanks so much for all this help it has helped a lot.
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Routine is what we have found to work for my mom who has dementia, and when they change her tv viewing it takes some time for her to get accustomed to it. We try to keep everyday routine the same, and I don't think she realizes it, but it is what tends to work the best.
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Your welcome n I am just now trying them out as well. You have a while before October so I wouldn't worry about it. However, you do still need those little breaks to help keep you from going insane. Good Luck.
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Thanks for posting that number lildeb - I'm going vacation with my daughter and 2 of my grandkids in October. Normally my brother takes over for me when I go on vacation but he had mentioned a while back that he was going to be going on a road trip with his girlfriend in October, so that may conflict. Between my husband and a respite caregiver, it probably wouldn't cost more than a plane ticket for my brother anyway.
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I do agree that you need to keep the "routine" for your loved one cause it does/ can cause them a problem after all thats what they have been used to. I have taken care of my mom for 10 years and she does not like change at all.God Bless all of you here .....^ -^ - Purplerain
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Chrissykall, You are going to need some help. I can understand when it comes to staying on the routine things. The routine thing is a must if you can keep it that way for her. As for your mom accepting someone to help, I just got some help from here online n they suggested a couple "In-Home" help for us. She also gave me a # to call her if I needed more services in case those didn't work for me. Right now we have had one 'in-home visit assessment n they seem very knowledgeable n my mil actually felt comfortable as they were here. That could had been that I wrote my mil a note on the white board so she wouldn't freak out. Of course, it is a bit pricey to me but I did find out I don't have to have a contract it can be a on-call basis as long as I can let them know at least a day ahead if possible. That was comforting to know. The lady that hooked me up with these care giver respite resources was from this site
I hope you r able to get some help with your family members but don't hold your breath like some of us have already experience. Hopefully they will help but just n case I would search for alternatives for your sake to get a few brakes. Good luck.
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I would think that it depends on the living situation and their mental state, as an older person living with a family - with younger kids - would have a harder time sticking to a routine. Our household is sometimes hectic, but my parents still have a good mind, so it may actually be stimulating (hopefully!) Some things like meal times, bedtime, should be the same time every day.
Anyone who has Alzheimer's or dementia would definitely need to have a set routine. Even having visitors in the home used to upset my grandfather.
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I remember when we realized that trips were not good to do anymore. We took my mom to our son's home for a birthday party for our grandson. Its three hours away and so it was an over night trip. She was so confused about meals being not on time, who all the people were and the kids being noisy. It wasn't fair to her, to us or to my son. That was the last time we took her very far. Now we go very very little. Doctor appts. are about it. Find a good PCA company. They monitor and provide good personal care attendants. Typically her insurance will cover the cost of the service. I am my mothers PCA.
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In the last year I have found that my mother need to stay in her normal routine. For the past year has been going to adult daycare which she considers her "job". I have tried taking her to my sisters or brothers to help give me a break but that doesn't work. She gets confused when she is out of her normal routine. After our thanksgiving in 2012 have decided she can't go on trips anymore. She loves the idea of going on vacation but when it actually happens its a disaster. The only bad part now is trying to find a caregiver that can handle my mom. She is beginning to need more help having problems, sleeping, eating and dressing herself. I'm even to the point I need to look for a different job so I can work daytime hours. My brother stops by to check on her but then if she is upset or needs something he will text me to help right away which I can't since I'm at work. I have told all my siblings they are going to have to visit because its too hard for her now to get out of her routine.
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Routine is absolutely essential. And yep, that extra time in getting ready for appointments sure does alleviate caregiver frustration and stress. I've learned to let Mom sleep as long as i can on the day of an appointment or appointments. Then i start waking her up gently. First with her milkshake, then when she's awake and alert, breakfast, then up for bathing, changing, hair washing, getting dressed etc. I take time for breaks in between tasks. Breakfast, then a rest time, then potty and bathing and a gown until it's time to get dressed. Then a break while I get ready to go and get the car out and ready for transport. Everything is time and working to keep the smooth transition. It's painfully hard sometimes at the doctor's office when appointment waiting time can seem like forever and a day. My Mom is diabetic so I have to remember to take applesauce, yogurt or apple juice with me for long appointment times. Extra drink in her own cup is also helpful. It's almost carrying a diaper bag but we have to remember that our parents or spouses have to eat, they have to be stable and kept as normal as possible when it's time to go somewhere. Every now and then we take a small road trip or just check into a hotel for a night to have a change of scenery. Like a mini-vacation. Just relaxing, having dinner somewhere and breakfast at the hotel is a special time and helps to break the monotony and I agree with someone who said earlier that the neurologist asked about trips or concerts or something. These outings are definitely important. I did learn a couple of weeks ago that while I love for Mom to get out and see her grandkids and great grandkids and attend birthday's etc, it was very hard on her to take her to Peter Piper's for my nephew's 10th birthday. Yikes, we managed to stay till they did the birthday cake but it was definitely time to go after that. Once we were back in the car, safe and sound and "quiet" she was a totally different person. At Peter Piper's she got to the point where she hung her head down on the table and slumped over in her wheel chair because it was too much for her. We all have to keep learning and growing to manage. I've noticed that when I finally started to keep up with my own medications and started taking my depression medication again, it has really helped me to feel so much better and have so much more patience.
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Equillot brings up a great point about allowing extra time...even DOUBLE the time...to get anything done and to get anywhere....my husband has gotten slower and slower over the past few years...now it's far worse....he has to "rest" in between everything. I try to allow him the extra time...I have to keep reminding him to do things, too. Just the nature of the "beast".
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Hasn't this Routine been brought up before n another area. I agree too that routine is the key to success.
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Another rule that comes in handy: When taking your elder out for appointments, allow twice as much time to get ready as you think you need. What used to be a 1 hr prep time is now a 2 hr prep time, and I've discovered that tempers are less likely to flare if we just allow that extra time in the schedule. I don't schedule any appointments now before 11 am. Mom needs to get up and sit on an ice pack before doing anything. She needs an hour for pain medication to work. Only then can she start getting ready. Since she doesn't get up until 7:30 - 8, that makes 11 am the earliest we can do anything. Take into consideration your own elders impairments when scheduling appointments. If they're not good late in the afternoons, don't schedule them then. Allow enough time so they don't feel hurried. My Mom says that if she feels hurried she gets very scattered and flustered. She says "my hurry doesn't work anymore". She literally will start shaking all over until we get in the car and sit down and she can relax.
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im having promblems trying to keep my moyher in law on a routine
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As an 87 year old guy who has been an obsessive-compulsive all my life, I am increasingly experiencing annoyance when my routine is varied. As I get older, I'm sure I will get more irritable. So stick to the routine with whomever you are caring for. You'll save yourself many unpredictable hassles.
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I totally agree with routine being important. I believe this is one of the reasons my husband had such a dramatic downturn last Christmas. Despite all my efforts to keep his routine going in my absence, nothing went according to plan. I'm sure there was some other factors that played into his sudden, dramatic and very negative change, but without his routine, everything went sour. I try very hard to keep things on a schedule, especially his meds, because he takes different things at different times during the day The evenings are the worst when he takes his Parkinson's meds at 6pm then has to take his cornucopia of evening pills at 8. He insists that he already took them so I have to be sure he sees me take them out of the evening section of that weekday so he doesn't think he's doubling up. It is very much like have a toddler...I have 3 grandchildren under the age of 5 so I know how important schedules and routines are. Heck, I get cranky, too, when I can't do what I should be doing at a certain time! A little OCD or something??? Nah, it's just so much easier to stay with a routine than haphazardly doing things. Always been a planner/scheduler/rule follower and I guess that isn't going to change. I'm glad the people at @cernahome's Mom's NH went along with the TV program schedule. We need to give our loved ones whatever joy they can find.
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@cernahome12 I agree with you...and I have a funny story to share to illustrate your Mom.

After Mom was admitted to the nursing home, we had a care plan meeting to discuss rehab, medications, everything...

After 45 minutes or so of going through (what I thought was) everything, I turned to Mom and asked her if there was anything else on her mind. And there was...

When residents were brought into the TV room it was interfering with the "Law and Order" marathon on Tuesday's on the USA Network! Her favorite show was on from 900 am - 1100 pm and she was missing episodes because that's not the channel that was on in the TV room!!!

So I worked it out where the staff left her alone on Tuesday's (they had to install an alarm on the wheelchair so they would know if Mom tried to get up on her own).

So you are absolutely right. Don't mess with the routine!
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Totally agree. If we alter my mom's schedule much at all we pay for it so as to speak. Very much like having a toddler and deviating form their routine..they react and sometimes not is a good way!The first time I realized this was several years ago when we took my mom with us to my son's house for a birthday party. Of course their we more people, meals were not on time and the noise too. Its not fair to her, to me or to my host(son) to put any of us through that. She stays home now. Of Course with a caregiver, myself or someone, always as she has become that needy and for safety reasons. But we do not take her out of her comfort zone.
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