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84 y/o dementia, some memory issues, serious depression, anxiety hip replacement, PT/OT/ST nothing is helping her leg strength. Drs say ongoing UTI, compliance, med management, and isolation. Will this get better? We go take her out to eat, out to drive, just out. Staff helps, I’m out of ideas.
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I want to tell you that there is something that can make this better. But I can't. Some miraculous thing could turn it around; who knows, but this sounds more like the long slow slide, and as to the depression, I always think it is the single only honest response to all of this at the end of our lives. Why should they NOT grieve all the loss of the wholeness of their being?
It is so horrifically painful to see, and you long for respite. You think that there is something YOU can do to make it better, to change the course of it. I think that is unlikely. You take her out to eat? To a drive? Blessings upon you because for me, in this condition, it is the only thing I would truly love. Take me for a Burger King; take me for a drive; let the animal therapy visits commence. I am out of ideas as well at that point.
I am so sorry. Not everything can be fixed and the good and decent caregivers are the ones so desperate to fix it, so wanting to believe there is something that might. Treasure the time you have. If you have pictures take them in one at a time. Show them to her. Ask her to "Tell me about Uncle Henry". You might get some stories you can treasure, because I sure have some about my Dad's Uncle Henry (Think Illinois after the covered wagons; thing so many rattlers in the creek that he walked out in the a.m. lifting them and cracking their spines by the dozens.)
These are their lives. Long lives for some of our elders. And YOU are there. Still hoping to make a difference. It doesn't honestly get better than that.
If it brings pain, then weep (it's the proper response) but remember, too, these were long, whole, full lives with their measure of beauty and pain.
They did strut their hours upon the stage. Ask her. How did you wash clothes? Did you sew? What did you cook?
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worriedinCali Oct 4, 2019
Such a beautiful response Alva <3
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Is she new to Assisted Living? If so, give her a chance to acclimate. If she's not new to AL, then she may not adjust, who knows? My mother has been in AL & now Memory Care for the past 6 years and chronically complains about SOMETHING. The people. The food. The activities. The mental status of the residents. Whatever it is, she'll find something to complain about. I often say, if I bought her the Palace of Versailles, she'd find something to complain about IT, too. My husband and I take her out to dinner, she comes to our house for holidays. I buy her all sorts of nice clothing and jewelry. But the bottom line is this: nothing and nobody can 'fix' old age. Or chronic complaining and pessimism. So stop trying. That's my suggestion. Let her alone to just be. She will either choose to be content or she will choose to be miserable. You have no control over the outcome.

All the best.
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AlvaDeer Oct 4, 2019
I absolutely love that. If I brought her to the Palace of Versailles, Lealonnie. All I can say is TOO MANY MIRRORS. Speaking of complaints. We who give care in any way are so into "fix". We just can't get that depression is normal. Grief is normal. Sadness is normal. And bad food! A given. I like your answer.
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Ok here is what I do which isn’t necessarily right.
I play Go fish with her rules.
Connect 4 her rules
i have photographs to put in an ongoing photo album
old photos a yr books to reminisce
wine and cheese eve 4 pm white wine small sherry type glasses, berries best crackers and cheese
there is a path out the front it’s red stamped brick. We go on red brick road adventures. Pick leaves, flowers, look at gardens, bugs. Walker in tow with sit downs inbetween
i played bingo at the nursing home with them
i went back to hometown in Oklahoma bought books of literature for like a 6-10 yr old plus photograph books of Pryor from the 40s-50s.
i read her chapters of the Oklahoma older children adventure books.
We make tea together. It’s her job, I assist😏.
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in short, UTI’s keep an eye out all the time. Tell staff to change pads more often or ask all the time if she needs to go in the bathroom. Ask staff to make sure she is drinking water all the time. I micromanage this at moms nursing home now. She use to get them all the time. I put a sign up to make sure she is drinking water. If moms at home then I guess all of the above.
The isolation I think you mean being in a room at a home? Or does she live with you. If she lives with you then research to be done in your area. If she is in a home I can let you know what I did to get my mom to come out of her room and join in, go on excursions etc. hard work, took 6-8 months
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shad250 Oct 5, 2019
I think she is in Assisted Living
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You ask ‘will this get better?’. Perhaps, perhaps not. You might as well ask 'will her legs be strong again', ‘will she get young again?’, or ‘can she go back to a happier stage of her life?’ There is no magic wand, and no way to cure old age. You are doing the best you can, and that is as good as it gets. Keep trying, and stop worrying. You have my commiserations and best wishes.
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Update: after a few really bad days tonight we’re visiting and it seemed so sad, of all things I go with her to dining room. Her friend there (who’s dying of cancer on hospice) and her son from out of town came in. She’s extremely funny and has always been the one to lift my moms spirits had been looking at nursing home with higher skill level nurses. Normally, you would not have though this was going to be a delightful, joyful evening. It was! By the end of the “meal” lol we had several folks sitting with us laughing at what? Life and Death the trials of both. My mother laughed so hard and the frankness of our lives seemed lighter even tolerable for that moment. Thank goodness for friends, true loving even suffering friends. Such a wonderful lady.
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