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My mother has dementia and is becoming more and more "confused". She is forgetting to change her clothes, bath and now eat. We do have a caretaker visiting twice a week but she has not been able to get my Mother to change her clothes or bathe. Should we be considering a higher level of care?

When is it considered abusive to leave her alone?

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Debby in Idaho, I'm praying for you. It's hard enough when they are kind and grateful. It's incredible he was allowed to practice medicine at his age! I'm so sorry this burden is on you.
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bolandd, that was one of the signs that I notice of my mnl before we got her to move in with us. Because you are not their 24/7 their may be dangerous stuff that she is doing and not to scare you but I believe she needs someone with her now. She can accidently leave the stove on, fall or etc. Look around for help like the social services or Adult Aging Agency care to help you find resources. We are only able to my mnl to take a bath once a week and that works pretty good for us. I have also notice that she eats a lot better since we have her with us for she needs to be reminding to eat for she forgets. Just another reason to have someone with her. Hope this help.
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JaneB: I understand how you are feeling. Often what we want to do and what we can do are different things. I hope a smooth transition can happen after your mom's surgery. You are doing the best you can for her and your family. Blessings to you.
Cattails.
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Sounds like she is ready for a higher level of care, 24 hour caregiver, assisted living or nursing home. It sounds like her dementia is advanced and that she at risk of harming herself if she continues to live alone.
Sarah
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191696flo, have you looked into Medicaid for Mother? Have you discussed her situation with a professional trained in dealing with exactly these situations, such as a social worker from her county's Social Services department.

If mother now needs full time care, she is beyond the services of Assisted Living Facilities (ALF), but may need either in-home care services or some other type of care center. It is wonderful that family has been pitching in to help Mother stay home. Family is not obligated to pay her expenses, and as what she needs increases beyond your ability to provide it you need to look into other ways of getting her needs met. Please do the research into what she is eligible for, and help her get it.
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Helper22, you are not responsible for you mother's rent, utilities, food, or any other of her expenses. Of course if you have money to spare, super -- go ahead and pay whatever you'd like to. I hope that you are not neglecting saving for your own old age. Who is going to pay your rent when you are 85?

Yes, there is help available. I think a good place to start is the Social Services department of your mother's county. A trained professional will know not only what resources are available at the county level but also what other programs are available for you mother, how to look into them, and how to apply. The social worker might suggest applying for Medicaid. There are programs specifically intended to help people stay in their homes as long as possible -- that being cheaper than having them in a nursing home.

Please look into what your mother is eligible for, and help her get it.
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Six of our family are paying my 95 yr old mother's rent and now she is close to needing full time care. We can't pay rent and care both and assisted care homes are beyond our financial abilities. Who can we turn to for help?
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sorry, pc issue.. ago, they pulled it a month ago.. so im in it for the long haul..
by the grace of God. prayers work so if you dont mind, maybe pray for debby in idaho?
thx
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i love this site too, i too am at my wits end, crying out for gods help, and other things, calgon is no longer in the business of taking us away - lol.. i also pray that which ever one of my kids take care of me that i am not like what i am going through. i feel a sense of responsibility, i am told to enjoy the time you have.. i cant find that joy folks, i read and i learn, i bite my tougue, and pray he does not live to the ripe old age of a long time, lol, hes 83, from texas, now in the northwest, hates cold, actually hates pretty much everything, oh whoa is me, etc. hes retired usmc sgt maj 30 yrs, hes getting senile, has bad health, and NO appreciation.. i cant go anywhere with out mr. miserable with me..however, he i am, he doesnt want to ever go to a home, and i wish he was anywhere but here daily, he grew up in an orphanage, i knew they were going to pull his dr. license this year, should o
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Your mom, at age 85, does need daily care and needs to be watched while you are at work. That said, you will have to dig down further in your own jeans and come up with more private caregiver pay. My suggestion: Use your Mom's S.S. money for her care. The rent , food, and utilities are yours to pay. Get help with this issue. You can do it. It's legal.
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Do you know of any federal or state (IL) places where I could get some funding. I have a caregiver watching my mom during the day (she is 85 yrs old) she is alert and can handle many things on her own while I am at work during the day, but one day when I came home she was on her way out of our apartment building with no id, no purse, no keys and no shoes she had with her my phone number and her TV remote, needless to say this was very scary. Until I find a higher paying job I need assitance because I pay the cargiver, rent food and utilities, any ideas? Thank you
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italianbabs, my heart goes out to you. You made a mistake when you promised to keep Mom home her entire life. None of us can foresee the future and what needs will arise. I have promised my husband I will always see that he has the best care possible. Both of us know that some day that may mean placement in a care center.

You made a mistake, but it was well meant and done in love (and a little ignorance). Forgive yourself for that mistake and then move forward with correcting it. Your mother deserves the best care she can get, not the best care based on what you didn't know several years ago.

Maybe their will be some tears to go along with this decision. Cry if you must, but move forward with what is best for Mother.

Caregiving seems to involve a certain inevitable amount of guilt. If you keep Mom home you'll always wonder guiltily whether she would be better off in a professional care setting. Accept the guilt, push it to the background, and take the best actions you can in the interest of your loved one. Caregivers can't be paralized by guilt and also do the best job of caregiving.

Good luck to you and your mother.
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You know she needs more care.
The question is what are the options you can afford, both in money and in time.
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Debi1306, never feel like you are giving up. Giving up means you would have turned a blind eye to the problems your mom was facing hoping they would go away.
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I understand your guilt. We have had to make the same choice. Mother moves into Assisted Living June 1st. She hates us for it but she is no longer safe alone. Hasn't been fixing her own meals and I can't always be there to feed her. Also, has some bladder and bowel control problems. I just can't do the "clean up" anymore and worrying about her alone at night makes for very little sleep. Sooooo.... in short, we made the decision. I still feel like I have given up, etc. Just know that you are doing what is right for all of you - your peace of mind and your parents safety. Hugs to you and know we are thinking of you!
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someone with dementia will decline so doing something sooner rather than later is imparitive... Most AL will not take someone with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disease at least not in our area. Can you get some home care for her while you are making decisions. They could also help you with what options are out there. I know this is tough... take care and let us know how things are going... YOU are not alone!
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My state also has memory care assisted living, but in my eyes they have a lot to be desired. Are there any Residential Care homes in your area? They tend to give more care and a lot more company and time spent with them, as there are only a few seniors there. I opened one in my state, and the senior that we cared for loved it here, as well his family as it was a home family environment, and it helped that there were the same constant care givers. Sadly he died this past Feb. Good luck, I know this is a hard road to travel.
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italianbabs, I hear you about "I would never place my parent.....". I said that also and felt very strongly about it. And if it was just old age aches and pains mom was having keeping her home would be the plan. However, it comes down to do you honor your parents wishes or do you do what is best regarding their safety and wellbeing? Most nights I get maybe 4 hours sleep tops, and I still have a full time job in another state that I spend long hours at. Mom admits that at times she is afraid to be in her house and she doesn't sleep much so she isn't very steady.
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JaneB. Just guilt about not being able to keep her in my home any longer and I promised I would never do that. It is impacting my marriage and my family life as her dementia increases and I can't leave the house too much. I work all day and feel guilty as she sits there all day long and she pees the bed and can't cook for herself. We watch her on cameras for her safety during the day. I don't trust people coming into my home while I'm at work to give her assistance although she needs it. I have visited numerous facilities and in my heart I know that this may be better for her. She will have people around, her family that we don't speak with can go visit her and I just think it would be in her best interest. I know what I want to do and what she needs but my heart aches to take her away from her "home" and her family. How do I get past that and not cry everytime I think about it? She is having surgery Saturday so we may be able to take this opportunity to put her in AL after she goes for physical therapy and it will make it an easier transition since she will think it's related to her arm therapy. I guess the social workers will advise us on the best plan for mom.
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There are assisted living places that are geared just for the care of dementia/alzhemiers people. My brother and I are at the point were we need to make that decision for our mom. Our doctor said that often times people with dementia/alzhemiers improve when they are placed as they have a schedule, regular meals and social interaction.
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People with dementia can go into a memory care unit at some AL facilities, but really don't qualify for regular AL. AND, if she can't cook or bathe or evn know to change her clothes (and consider fear of slipping, and cold as two other reasons for being against bathing), she needs daily help.
Babs, guilt about what, exactly? That she is getting older? That you can't stop it? I found both those things at the root of the guilt I was feeling. But when I saw what it was, I could let THAT part go, some. Investigate what's behind the guilt and see if it makes sense, or is based on unconscious assumptions about what is even fixable.
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I elected to get full time care, live in , one person 5 days a week and one person for the weekends. It might be appropriate to see a neurologist and possibly get mom on something like Aricept and Namenda. Your mom needs to find someone she can trust, and a live in would help with all of that, as opposed to assisted living. Also, see an elder care attorney to get her finances in order to protect what she has since she may require state assistance for home care. and eventually nursing home care. In my state, there is only a 3 month look back period to apply for medicaid long term home care. It may not be the time to transfer her yet if you want to pursue other means of keeping her safe and in her home. You could also hire someone for 12 hours each day for meals, meds and getting ready for bed, but your mom will eventually need 24hours. This can be very costly, but I advertised in the newspaper for someone with my mom's ehtnic heritage and just asked for a companion, health aide at first. You can pay them $10-12 per hour per day, but this will require lots of supervision on your part and that has to be considered. See a neurologist and a lawyer to look at medical needs and financial asset preservation . Good luck
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I recommend you take a day and visit the assisted living facilities in your area, There are so many more options and levels of care than I realized were available. Some are specifically set up for people with memory loss, some are attached to hospitals, some have a nursing home in one wing that patients can go to when they are ill or fall and then return to their private rooms when the recover, all had activities scheduled daily and physical therapy rooms. Of course assisted living can be expensive and cost go up the more assistance one needs, but some places set aside a few low income slots. Check them out, I now know which one I'm checking into someday! Best Wishes.
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I am wondering the same thing. My mom can't cook or make anything to eat or a cup of hot tea anymore. So everying thinks that is the time to make the transition? I can't get over my guilt so how do you get past that? I love this website. You can get any question answered and you don't even have to ask the question as someone is always thinking the same way you are. Thanks caregivers! You are all the best......
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I thought a person with dementia could not go into an assisted living facility? I was told that they needed to go to a nursing home?
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Based on what you are saying, it sounds like AL with a memory care program should be considered. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
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from personal experience, I would say a higher level of care is needed when a person cannot function by themself, or becomes a threat to themselves or others. you dont give much details, but Im guessing theres praobably more than hre just forgetting to bathe and eat. She might not want to stand naked in front of the caregiver, and if she doesnt know or trust them may think they are poisoning her food. what does she have to say bout it ?
does your Mom live alone? does she take care of her own finances ? If your questioning if its ok to leave her home alone, then she probably shouldnt be home alone...
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I believe that she needs Assisted Living care. The functions of daily life are : eating, bathing, ambulation, feeding oneself, and using the toilet by oneself.
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