I just came from a visit to the NH. Now that she is eating better, she is talking more and getting feisty and argumentative again. Mom was on the "I want to go home" merry-go-round. I know she can't help it, but when this goes on and on like an Abbott and Costello skit "Who's on first", it completely wears me out. With her dementia (and hearing loss) I have to write everything on the white board. It does no good because she still can't remember and keeps on and on. "I was going to go home tomorrow, but I think I'll go home today with you". "Why am I still here?" (me- You have a leg infection that they need to treat so you have to get stronger. Her - There is nothing wrong with me. I want to go back to my house (my ans - (5x) you sold your house 10 years ago". Where is my furniture" (me - storage) Then I have to pay storage fees. (me- Its in my basement) Then I should pay you. I'm still paying rent on my house. me- You sold your house. Then where do I live? I want my own place. (me- you need to get stronger then we can talk about going home.)
Nothing works, can't change the subject - she goes right back to it. Whatever I say, she has a counter answer.
Finally I wait until she starts to nod off so I can sneak out. Otherwise the nurse tells me she raises a fuss the rest of the day because I left her.
I guess there is no way to get around it - they have dementia, they can't reason, they obsess, they miss their independence. I feel so sorry for her. I wish there was a way to spare us both these endless conversations that go nowhere.
I would like to think that people are good and will strive for cost containment in health and elder care. I know better than that now. Isn't it strange how we come up thinking people are inherently good? It is a shock when you find out that some people love money so much that they would hurt others to get it. And those people tend to end up on top, since they have all the money.
The only solution I see to the problems in the US is universal healthcare with a single payer who sets the price of what will be paid for a service. The way that it is now, the middle class and below will be wiped out of any resources before death, and all that heirs will receive is the chance to clear out a house before it is sold for recovery. This is the way things are going at the present time.
Unfortunately, in hindsight, society should have made more effort to come up with a system of affordable care for older people but it didn't. Plenty of care if you have money - otherwise not. Years ago infirm seniors were 70'
-80'and children in their 40's & 50"s could provide short term care. Now the infirm are often 90-100 and children in their 60's & 70's. I am so sorry for those widows and widowers living in poverty in the shadows who have no one to look out for them and no money to buy medicine.
Its similar to the 60's when millions of women began to enter the workforce and put their children in daycare. Only those with a big enough income could afford childcare (or had family to help) and many who wanted to work stayed home because the care cost more than they earned. That is still going on. No matter how much they raise minimum wage, it isn't enough to cover childcare any more than it is enough to cover in home care for a parent.
Its the way it is and there doesn't seem to be any solutions on the horizon.
Yup. People who used to die very young don't so much anymore, because of the elimination of many common and not-so-common childhood illnesses. When did you last hear of someone dying of whooping cough?
In realistic novels set in colonial and frontier times, families lose children, and often the mother. Step-families and half-siblings were as common then as they are in this age of divorce and remarriage. But I digress ...
People are living MUCH longer now. Of course we are seeing more cases of disease of old age!
There may be other factors, too. But definitely we can blame a lot of it on vaccines and antibiotics. We keep people alive longer.
We seniors are the first generation to deal with taking care of even older seniors. If only they could come up with care that doesn't completely bankrupt us. Truth is, when you are a senior you simply can't care for someone 90-100 years old, lift them and be 24/7 for them. I wish the government would realize that - but hey - this govt would just as soon seen those seniors disappear - until those politicians reach that age themselves - lol!
The only way I've found to deal with the frustration and anger is to wait until I get alone to release the bottled up emotions in a way she can't hear. She's two rooms away, so screaming curse words wouldn't be good. I just whisper them with force.
I don't recall when I was growing up anyone going through what we face now. Everyone just had a grandmother and one day there was a funeral. Now it seems like a huge percentage of the elders have dementia. What in the world happened? I don't think that age alone explains this epidemic.
Now I am dealing with that with my Dad, but on a much smaller scale. Dad is once again in the instant replay mode regarding the reason my Mom had passed. He just doesn't want to accept that there was nothing anyone could do. I need to remember he is going through the "what ifs" which is normal. "If only we had a different doctor to see Mom, she would be here today".... [sigh]. I don't think he will ever accept my answer.
Oh, if only we could go into their minds to see how they are processing things.