Katydid Asked March 2011

I feel trapped and so guilty. What else can I do?

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My very independent, healthy 92 yr old mother has some Dementia. She is no longer nice or sweet and I am her only care taker. She won't take or do anything that might be helpful for her. I am her only caretaker and she refuses any outside help. She can still drive very well and needs no assistance in walking or doing tasks.

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beta42 Apr 2011
u should put her in home-its verbal and emotional abuse cuz ur a family member if she does it to a staff member its just a grumpy old person and they wont take it personally
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Katydid,
Sometimes the worst person to care for a senior is their children! Not because their children don't love them and want the best for them but because it will destroy their children! Some diseases, mental health issues, personalities and the combination there of are far larger than any person with the emotional ties of childhood can possibly manage. Have you considered investigating a geriatric case manager who can manage your mothers life while you continue being her daughter? If resources are truly a challenge many social services agencies offer various levels of case management. Consider talking with Adult Protective Services for insight into what facets of your mother's life you have any ability (right) to attempt to change. Having POA for your mom may be the worst thing you can do for your own mental and physical well being! This DOES NOT make you a bad daughter in any way. A child is not obligated to sacrifice her own health and well being to care for an aging parent. A child is only obligated to do what they can within appropriate reason for their parent. Just like it is sometimes best for a birth mother to allow her baby to be adopted, it is at times best for an adult child to allow another to care for their parents. God bless you for your loving heart.
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bobbie321 Apr 2011
Why thank you thank you on behalf of the great caregivers here.
Drop on over to the Grossed Out thread because that is where we all are hanging out on a daily basis. If you want, copy and paste your stuff into the box over there and hear more ideas and encouragment.
they are a wonderful group of people and some of us have actually met!! and more of us are planning to meet in the future!
lovbob
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Katydid Apr 2011
I have already told my sons I am signing a POA soon. I am sooooo fortunate to have such honest and loving young men. They would do anything in the world for me and I told them if I get like my mom, just put me in a home! I'm sociable and really like friends! My mom was never like this. She scolded me a lot and told me that I was too friendly to people. (I thought she was weird then). I am in perfect health and shape except for osteo-arthritis that hit after mother got so bad. Most people don't know I am only 62, cause I sure don't feel it! My hair is beginning to turn a little gray and I know that my mother is part of this. I plan on starting swimming aroebics to help with my arthritis. At least it has not show up on my body yet. My mom only has about 20 gray hairs to her name at age 92 1/2. Her health is good, just not her mind. Dementia does take tole on one's health though.
I would love to have read the document that lady attorney wrote for your mom. She sounds like a real jewel.! Lucky you.
I had to laugh at your stating, "bring on the Meals-on-Wheels!" and lets go to the Mall. Hey, I'm for that too. LOL. All of my mom's lady friends have all passed away, so she doesn't have any anymore and she absolutely will NOT go out to a store to buy clothes, or go get her hair done or anything that is positive. She wants to stay shut in her house and looks like a 'bag woman' that digs in dumpsters and collects cans. Even when she drives herself to the grocery store, she looks awful! It's embarrassing. She does not want me to go with her and never lets me know when she is going. She refused to let me have a garage sale for her several years back to get rid of the boxed up items in her garage. I'm trying to be positive about this and find some joy somewhere in here. I don't know what I would do if I had not found this site and all the wonderful sharing and encouragement I have received. At least I've discovered that I am not alone and everyone here has their share to deal with too. You all are just GREAT!!!
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bobbie321 Apr 2011
Awww Katydid...
that's what Dementia looks like. I am so sorry.
Ow on your knee and yes the stress is not what you need.
glad your bro has the POA. could the both of you take a day and handle the 'recycling'?
Him working while you sit with your leg up and point?
She is going to fight just like you said but there will be a turnaround point and you can only do what you can do.
I would hate to call the state because that is a slippery slope to get involved in and if your bro and you can show up and just do it, without warning, she will yell and freak but when it's accomplished she will probably love it because so much crap will be gone. they really act out and look like they're going to achieve liftoff but that is the disease talking.

Have you tried telling her that she has Dementia? I know that's a WHOA!!! but I did do that with my mom. I told her that I could bs her or I could tell her the truth and this was in the period of time that I describe as a turnaround. she was beginning to understand that what she was doing was not 'normal' and that I was going to help her and not run. She was able to relax a little because I told her that I would help keep her 'safe and sound'. their fear is for being unsafe more than the loss of independence I think. they're scared because they know something is not right and what will happen to them if someone figures it out? They want to stay in their home, that's the end all be all, so if you can get her to accept help in order to stay in her home......
Tell her you've already figured it out and that you want to help her stay in her home and have a good time and be 'safe and sound'...
at the end of the day, what have you got to lose? It will be as uncomfortable as all get out but it may work. Everybody's Dementia is different.

I know that there are answers to the thermostat issue....
Try: alzheimersstore . com might have to Google to get the correct web address... online store and they will send a catalogue out to you. i got some stuff from them for mom and it's good stuff!
I think that there's a thermostat that you can program by phone but I'm not sure. love Google.
When person has Dementia they have to be very brave and when someone is caring for a person with Dementia they have to be very brave also.
Stay here with us on the site and we will be brave together.

lovbob
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bobbie321 Apr 2011
Jeeze, I didn't think about the legality of it all. Wow.
and Crowe has a good point with getting the Power of Attorney and Medical issues ironed out.
My mom thought she was never going to die and that made it so hard but I did find an older lady who was an attorney and the 3 of us sat in her office and she was great with mom in explaining the whole process. The POA that she wrote up was a beautiful document and it was a contract I willingly signed even though it bound me hand and foot to my mom. It made my mom feel good too and that was the beginning of the turnaround with the difficulties of caring for her. the rest of the difficulties were just the disease itself and that is hard enough without all the rest of the drama.
Man, when I get old I am totally looking forward to the meals on wheels and taking the old people's bus. what a luxury! Let's go to the Mall!
With all the budget cuts I bet there will be no meals on wheels. I'll set up the grocery delivery and as long as there's peanut butter.....
I'm not a senior yet but I will totally tell them I am at the movies and Denny's to save a buck. I don't dye my hair and am just about totally grey after caring for mom.
Mom also wouldn't let anyone come by to visit because she didn't want them to see the house and put 2 and 2 together.
I've always been a great fan of your friends being comfortable enough to 'drop by'. that way if you're getting too out of hand if they are decent friends they will help you get straightened out.
these days if someone drops by over here they go home with knick knacks and some books!! Anything to move some of mom's stuff out of here!
lovbob
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Katydid Apr 2011
My brother just recently got POA and was allowed to be put on her Bank Account. He is always on the up and up with her and did tell her that she could legally revoke it if she felt she needed to. I don't think she will remember this though. What she truly needs is someone to come in and check to see that she is getting proper food and see that her house is not stifling hot. She can't regulate a digital thermostat, but does know how to turn it off by pulling the plug inside the A/C unit. I have osteo-arthritis and have a badly messed up knee that needs surgery. I have to get around on crutches and live across town from her. So this is my problem. She can hardly hear her phone, so usually does not answer it. I have to get myself in the car and go see if she is alright. The stress is what is causing the flare up of arthritis. She wants me to do so many things that I am not able to do and she refuses to allow anyone else to come in and clean or change light bulbs, gather up all her recyclables that she insists on doing. She totally refuses to throw things in the trash because 'Katy can do all her recycling. 'In the mean time, her walls are stacked with, tin cans, papers and plastic water jugs. I have to have her car washed and serviced all the time, but that is going to stop shortly! A near 93 year old does not need to be out driving! She thinks new neighbors, repairmen, even me, are stealing from her. I keep telling her, there is nothing for them to steal! i told her there is nothing they would want. She refuses to update anything, I can understand that being her age. It's like I was told, just let her piddle around with all the mess and her old bills stacked all over the place. She only wants to stay shut in her house, by herself and has made that very clear.
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Katydid Apr 2011
You pointed out something that I did not recognize Bobbie. The fact that my mom is suspicious is because she knows she's getting away with stuff. I know that"s why she puts up such a fuss to keep people away, so they won't know how bad things are. There is a driving service (a Senior Bus Service) but perish that thought! She'd never stoop to riding a bus. She needs Meals on Wheels, but same thing, "what would the neighbors think" and thinks he is capable of cooking for herself (NOT!) and she wouldn't dare let anyone see that car drive up and bring food to her door! SIGH! I don't want mother to have an accident or cause one.........that's my fear. Did you know that legally, as her only caregiver, I could get in trouble if anything happened to her! The legal services could charge me with neglect! This was scarey when I read about it. I plan on busting her taillight out and then call the Police and tell them she's not safe to be driving on the road. When they hear she is 92 1/2, that ought to get their attention!
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cmagnum Apr 2011
The fact that she can't remember what day, week, month or year it is means the geriatric doctor is no good. Take her to a neurologist to an examination. She'll flunk.

Before, I did that though, I would get medical and durable POA over her if you don't already have it.

If she needs no assistance in walking or doing tasks, then what are you having to do that makes you feel so trapped?

What are you feeling guilty about?
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Katydid Apr 2011
I have yet to walk that path Carol but reading what you said has given me such clarity and I do know for a fact that God allows deception at such times to provide help those in need. She is so healthy except mentally but this deteriorates a person rather quickly. I like the way you answered your parents questions. Thank you for your reply and I pray that things will run even smoother for you. : )
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