Some of you may remember me. I've posted previously about having moved my 90 yr old (soon to be 91) mom across the state to live with us last April. She was no longer able to maintain her house, her expenses, or herself. Moving in to our home was the only option she would agree to, so we put our entire living room in storage & that's now her room. We only have a kitchen, bathroom, & 3 bedrooms now. Then we spent $15k to renovate the entire (only) bathroom in our home to make it completely handicap compliant. Shortly after mom arrived, the cognitive issues she'd successfully masked all came into view. We knew she had physical limitations when we opened our home to her, but the cognitive stuff really blindsided us.
Her long time physician was a real trip and danced around the idea of "potential cognitive decline" for months. I wanted so badly to cut bait and find a better doctor closer to us, but all the physicians in mom's network had waiting lists for new patients, so we had to do our best with her existing doctor for a time. It wasn't until I walked into that office with three pages of behavioral observations we noted over a span of 5 months that the doctor finally gave mom a mini mental health assessment and confirmed the official diagnosis of dementia. But that's all the doctor told me - dementia - not what type, not what stage. But at least it was a start.
Finally, in late-January 2019 we got the good news that mom was accepted as a new patient by a GREAT local doctor. Whew! Having someone who's proactive is a breath of fresh air! Reviewing copies of mom's medical records has been a real eye-opener. There were periodic entries over the decades made by her previous doctor that mention likely bipolar illness and probably a form of personality disorder (BPD is noted - borderline personality disorder). Mom was given multiple referrals to a psychiatrist but always refused treatment. I never knew any of this until last month. Surprise! I always thought something was wrong with me that I just couldn't manage to keep our relationship happy. *sigh* Needless to say, I'm absolutely in therapy now to sort this all out.
We have a geriatric social worker hired and a full neurological exam scheduled to pinpoint exactly what stage & type of dementia we're working with. Yesterday the social worker discussed facilities with us and wants to take us for tours. She has concerns that our house isn't well-suited to someone with advancing cognitive decline and that it would also become a severely isolating and confusing experience for our two young kids. Additionally, neither my husband or I can stop working our full time jobs. Mom came to us with nothing. We're covering all of her costs and ours at the moment and frankly, we need every penny we can earn.
Mom knows she's declining, and yet is defensive about it and in denial. I can't really blame her. I'd feel the same. We haven't had any conversations about care facilities or the like in ear shot of her. But I know she's thinking about it because she confronted me with serious hostility out of nowhere last weekend. Saturday morning she woke up angrier than I've ever seen her & told me if I ever put her in a home she'd hate me even more than she already does. Then she said that once she's gone, she's going to haunt our house and everyone in it for the remainder of our days. THANK GOD our kids weren't around. The haunting comment would've scared the absolute heck out of them. It sure sent chills up my spine. A few hours later, it was like none of that had happened.
Today I'm feeling quite horrible knowing that if the neurological report shows moderate to severe dementia (like we think it will), I'm going to blow what's left of our relationship out of the water permanently when I tell her she's being admitted to a facility as soon as we find one. She's never going to forgive me for that. Our relationship has always been fragile. I don't see how it withstands this. What a way to end it