Desperate need of advice

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I've been living with my friends mother now for 8 weeks. She has Dementia and is close to the 5th stage. At first she was relieved and no longer frightened when I had moved in. Now she still has confusion, dilusions and is worried about lots of little things. She misplaces things and thinks her cats are talking to her and the tv is talking to her sending her messages. She has recently, in the last 5 days, become demanding, frustrated with me, she has hit me with her purse and has been feeling threatend by me. She even feels her daughter, my friend, is betraying her. I know this is part of the disease, but the problem is, in a few months we are moving in with her daughter and I feel this may be a wrong move as we both will become her enemy. Is assisted living the best solution for elders with dementia. If she is going to become more demanding and abusive and threatend is it fair to say we will be victims, when we are trying to be the best possible caregivers. She has never had a mean bone in her life until now. I am looking for advice.

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To the poster who said that the hospital didn't want to operate to fix back pain due to his long history of drinking. Let me relate this, maybe it will give you some talking points with the hospital.

When my mother was 89 she had a heart attack. Six weeks later, she passed out on her feet, fell and broke both bones in her leg, totally separating the foot from the leg. The hospital refused to allow the orthopedic surgeon to operate, it was against their policy to allow surgery on someone with such a recent heart attack. As I have her health care power of attorney, they laid all this on me, said the best way was just to remove the foot. Those were fighting words. The surgeon had already told me it would be a very difficult procedure to fix it but he had no doubt he could. The thought of my mother waking up to find her foot gone was totally unacceptable to me as I knew it would be to her. I insisted they allow the operation. They said no. I said they were to do it or answer to my mother when she woke up and they wouldn't like that. There was no circulation in the foot, something had to be done quickly. During our heated discussion it became readily apparent to me that their refusal to operate on the elderly usually boiled down to liability, they were afraid of a lawsuit. Common sense told me that it would be less stress to reset those bones and insert pins than it would be to take off the foot. Sure, I had to sign a stack of papers, but they fixed the bones and four weeks later she was back to her usual self. Moral to the story: DON'T LET THEM SNOW YOU ABOUT THE DANGERS OF AN OPERATION. Yes, operations of all kinds on all age levels involve danger. If someone is in too much pain to be able to take care of themselves, you might want to get a second or third opinion on the risk of an operation. Mostly, they fear losing a patient and the possible lawsuits that might result more than their concern for the patient.
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I think that's a big part of all of this. Where do we find the time for us? I've described the kind of intense pressure like being in a tunnel not much larger than me that goes from under my feet all the way to the sky with no end in sight. I have someone around me all the time.

Even since getting my parents into assisted living, there is always something to do, and always someone around. Even at work the office situation is a bullpen setting and there is just NO PRIVACY! I think that is the thing that drives me the most crazy.

Even if I'm just sitting with my husband and I go off into la-la land, there he is to wake me up out of it and gets me into something else or another demand. I forgot who said it, but my patience has never been lower. My heart knows the correct attitude to have, but my physical and emotional response is one that snaps more frequently than it ever has. I live in constant exhaustion and even with sleeping pills I still can't sleep.

All I can share with others, is take 10 minutes to read if you can, try to get into counseling. Don't let it the stressors of caretaking get too far before your physical and mental health is just too difficult to restore.

Neon, I think you said it best when you said you don't care what others think. That is a very difficult attitude to obtain, but yes, it is possible AND necessary. Thank you for re-itterating that fact. Thanks all!
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neon, I just read your advice about christmas. This woman will not, give us money for food, or anything. she bitchs if our children (HER GRANDCHILDREN) come over to have a meal.I also serioiusly do't think i have it in me to do all this prep by myself to serve her family that will not even bother to call or stop by to give my husband and i a break, one hour a month. They do not help ever. I feel asthough my husband and i are losing our relationship at a rapid rate and no one cares. A lot of times lately i don't even feel like he cares. I have been begging for one dinner. One I don't have to shop for , prepare, or clean up. Can i ever find the romance back, when latelyy all i feel like is a servant. why am i being so selfish that i think someone should be patting me on the back. Why do i feel the need for acknowlegment from someone. When mom did give me acheck for 250 dollars after 6 months of care giving she actually said to my face that i shold be grateful for that kind of money, what do you say in a situation like this... I am so desprate for a reprive.thanks all for letting me rant, this site is a gift i will always cherish
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take care of yourself guilt is a useless emotion it solves nothing it gives nothing treat yourself with the kindness and love you give to your parent and it won't be so hard I am so glad you are all here to help me take a good long look at myself Most of the time after reading your posts and posting mine I do take my own advice. Thank you for letting me feel that I am helping you. neon
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Guilt gee what a word and a usless emotion. It solves nothing. Mother used to use that on us when we were little, it did give us a conscience too much of one in my opinion but you all know what they say about opinions.

Yes,, I agree with mindingourelders, We all have our hands full thats why we are here and I am so thankful for this site, it really helps me take a good look at my situation and find solutions some work some don't but that's life. My husband is not a caregiver either although I have to say he did lots of things for his mom I didn't think was in him. I found him one day before we brought her to live with us. She had put on five pairs of panties because she just couldn't figure out how they went so they were all around her waist, don't ask me I haven't figured that one out give me twenty years and I may LOl anyway he undressed her and put her underwear on got her dressed shoes and sock and off to the hospital they went she had her second stroke, She was with my sister in law at the grocery store and had a stroke, my sister in law got angry with her made her sit down and finished her shopping than took her home and left, called us and said there is something wrong with mom so we went right over and just took her to ER thats how we found out anyway that was a long time ago. yes, we are all human treat yourself with love and kindness just like the person you take care of you will feel better, you will deal with their issues better and life won't be so demanding. love to all and thanks for being here for me to neon
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080760, do you have any idea of what your sister's wishes might be if she had her full mental faculties? If you don't know the answer to that question, you may want to ask yourself what you would want her to do for you if you were in her shoes. There is no known cure for Alszheimer's so would ECT restore her memory while her body repeatedly tries to fight off infections? Would ECT enable her to to swallow, or would she still have to be tube-fed? Is her body strong enough now to withstand a series of ECT's, even? Just sharing questions to help you sort through a very painful and difficult situation. Blessings and peace to you and your sister, 080760.
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080760 Honey just let her go sometimes Doctors make it so that people live too long. She will be better off. A body can only take so much and electric shock treatments at her age I think that's kinda cruel

msTish it's okay if you have to do all the planning and entertainment it really is fun help her make out a Christmas Dinner Check to you go to the store and have a ball, ya gotta find your fun where you can. Love and prayers to you all
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MY 51 year old sister has the final stages of alzheimer's. She is almost catatonic with foot ulcers, colitis and was just put in the hospital for a blood infection. she lost her ability to swallow. She is constantly getting secondary infections. My family and I are struggling with the decision to put in a feeding tube or set her up for hospice care. Within 3 years time, she went from 160 lbs to 100 lbs. She does not remember any of us anymore and cannot speak. We feel she has given up. I read and researched quite a bit about Electric shock Treatments.

A patient would need several series of treatments for it to work. I just don't know.
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neonwocky, thanks for the advice , I geuss I failed to mention i have no access to this money nor does anyone. no POA, we've been trying she just doesn't think its any big deal.. I love the thought of a mamma's Christmas. I also forgot to mention she.s help less. wheelchair, little arm, hand control.. It would certainlly fall all on me , and this is what she would expect. Just recently we have gotten her to give me 250 a week but I'm buying food and such and trying to manage my own health.. Prayers to all and I hope everyone has a great Christmas...
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Helping cost nothing it comes from the heart Its a shame family members don't understand that. Yes, a trip to the church should be on your list it will be manna for your soul. I keep you in myprayers to. But I am serious if they want a mamma christmas take some of their inheritance and do a mamma christmas you can sit with mamma and tell her you will help her do it and make her feel like she is still in control. you go girl.
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