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She only lives about a mile from me and maintains for the most part very well. She only uses the microwave for cooking and I see her almost every day. She is acting more frail and seems the memory is going quickly. She repeats constantly, but still forgets what I say even when I write it down. I just don't want to over look any situation. I seem to get very frustrated but am going to start some classes on how to react to different situations. The other problem I have is I go home to my husband which is also in early stages of dementia. It catches up with me.. Any help please

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Wow.. you girls are wonderful!! 97yeroldmom what a beautiful story.. Sometimes we feel we are the only ones going through different times in life only to find out that is far from it.. Thanks so much again for your input.. It all was very helpful:))
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I agree about having a backup plan. Since you are also providing care for your husband, I might explore options for her care, in case of crisis. If suddenly, she wanders away from her house or you get a call from police about some concern with her, or she has a fall and can't take care of herself, etc. I'd explore what is available in the community so you have some idea of who to call. Sometimes, these things happen suddenly and it's hard to do your research, visit and make decisions so quickly, especially when you must stay and care for your husband.

Do you have her signed Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA?
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BeingBlessed
You may get frustrated but you have an amazing attitude. Be sure to check out Teepa Snow on UTube. You can learn a great deal about how to handle the situations that might stump you otherwise.
As I was reading Sunnygirls answer I was thinking about my aunt, 91 next week, who is also in the early (probably med) stages of dementia. I was going, check, she's done that, yes, check, we've been there. As time has gone by, I have added layers of care. I live two hours away so I can't be there everyday. I was going every week, cleaning and cooking for her, and anything else that needed doing. Medical and Financial. When she had an infection that developed into MRSA and was hospitalized her care had to be stepped up. We started with medicare provided home health. A nurse comes weekly and takes her vitals and organized her meds. We added an aid to bath her. Then physical therapy was started once a quarter at the suggestion of her neurologist to help with balance. She uses a cane. A couple of years later she was getting forgetful with taking her meds and we added a morning aid to help her take her meds and make her a hot breakfast. Then I added a house keeper to deep clean once a quarter (I did the highlights once a week). She has an excellent gardener that we've added that also does helpful chores. Since I have a husband with health issues who still works, I was getting a little overwhelmed so my latest addition has been a couple (great nephew to aunt and his wife).They now take care of paying everyone, picking up the prescriptions, setting up the meds, buying groceries and making her meals aside from the breakfast and many other things like keeping the cameras we added in good order. We were worried about her falling when we were not there. So, the cameras were added. They have been a big help with not only the obvious of seeing about her safety but also noticing what's up with the aids and who else comes to visit. They also gave me a glimpse of just how vulnerable she is. She wears a medialert that thankfully she hasn't needed for an actual problem but if she accidentally presses the button, I get a call from the agency. I can look on the camera and usually see her greeting two or three big burly guys (which she loves) and explaining that it was an accident. I don't need to ask niece to go check on her because I can see she is fine.
My husband, who is actually her nephew (she is my aunt through marriage) insists he will move in with her before she has to move from her home. Of course he doesn't have a clue of all that is done for her and will have to be done for her. She can still change her clothing, brush her teeth, put on her socks and shoes, etc. and take care of her little dog (blind and deaf but still loves her). She finishes her toiletry with a big spray of White Diamonds and an orange lipstick. We have to remind her that it's time to do those things but she can do them.(She remembers the perfume and lipstick on her own). She went through a period of not answering the phone but now enjoys hearing from all who call. I changed her medical team to a geriatric primary (two hours away) but it works much better and we utilize a local urgent care as needed.
I'm a huge fan of home health and therapy (my mom used for many years). My aunt was a Rosie the Riveter type. Went to work in a petrochemical plant at 19 during WWII. Was engaged for 27 years. She took care of her mom and her husband took care of his mom. When his mom passed, her mom suggested they get married. So, not believing a married woman should work, she retired and got married and had a wonderful 10 years before her husband passed. Time shares, gambling in Vegas, Disney trips, fishing trips and lots of family events. She had helped to raise her nieces and nephews but no children of her own. She tells me that her home is very important to her and she wants to stay in it as long as possible. Of course, all of our parents and loved ones want the same. She did save her money and she does pay for her own care and she is very easy to care for, very appreciative and loving, so as long as I can make it happen for her I will. And, she trusts me, completely. Which is huge. It makes me more responsible and it makes it easier for me to be. I would never want to disappoint her. The couple I have helping are in their late 40s so they are a perfect age should something happen to me where I can't care for her and they think of her as a great grandparent. Through them she enjoys five generations of family.
So, what I am saying is educate yourself, recognize that you can't do it all yourself, allow her as full of a life as you can provide. Get her the best medical team you can muster. Make sure you have the legal documents in place to take care of her as easy as possible BECAUSE you will have enough problems without having to deal with ones that are very easy to rectify IF you do them in advance. So, like Windyridge suggested, make sure you have those things in order. Your aunt should pay for it. Go to a well recommended elder attorney prepared to explain aunts situation in detail if you haven't already taken care of that for your husband and your aunt and yourself. Make sure you have alternates in line should something happen to you. You are not infallible. It's better to be prepared.
You will make mistakes, she will have accidents or health issues that you will look back on and think Oh I should have done thus and such. That's all a part of living. But what you do Most of the time will hopefully carry her and you through her more cognitive years. Remember that the time to get her more care is when she needs it and/or when you need it. Try to get another family member involved, you never know when you could have an emergency and not be able to care for either your aunt or your husband. I can't tell you how much stress it has taken off of me to have that extra layer of care....it feels like for both of us. Make sure to take care of yourself. You are the most important person in many lives.
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Beingblessed it just depends on how her dementia in your aunt is presenting itself. My mom had dementia and cognitive decline and it showed up as a lack of short-term memory and a general decline of her problem-solving skills. She couldn't remember anything and repeated herself constantly. She'd write something down and forget where she wrote it. I tried various ways to help her and they were about 99% futile.

But, my mom lived in Independent Living on her own until she died at 97.5. I talked to her twice a day, took her all of her food (she'd microwave it), fixed her meds, took her to doc's appts, etc. She never lost her understanding about how most things or people worked, so I wasn't worried about her burning her apt down or letting strangers in. But she was in a more controlled environment than living in a house by herself.

What she did need help with daily was taking her meds. She told me she was taking them and she wasn't - she couldn't remember. She wound up with a clot in her foot. So from that point on, I had people come in 2X a day to give her her meds. But beyond that, she was able to stay by herself with a LOT of help from me.

I learned to figure out when she was telling me what I wanted to hear (just like a little kid). So I was very tuned into her and her daily environment and watched her like a hawk to make sure she was safe. I'm just happy that she didn't have to go to a higher level of care, as she valued her independence. You've really got your hands full with two loved ones with dementia.

You might go to youtubedotcom and watch Teepa Snow videos about dealing with folks with dementia. Hers are more Alzheimers focused, which is a tougher situation than I had with my mom. But it's all good info to have. {{{Hugs}}}
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Thanks so much for all your inputs. It's nice hearing from others that have experienced some what of that same situation. I just never want to over look anything that could be dangerous to her or my husband. At times I feel like I'm drowning but I'm strong and pop my head back out and start swimming again... Thanks again..
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I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this. Caring for two people with dementia is going to get difficult very quickly. I'm glad you're taking a class to help understand this disease.

You may have already done this stuff but it's important to be prepared with all the legal stuff, poa, wills, end of life, care facility and financial planning. Will you be responsible for you aunts care as well as your husband?
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Beingblessed, you really do have your hands full. Caring for someone, even though, they don't live with you, is still a great amount of work. I'm sure you know that.

I have read that except for the early stages of dementia, it's too risky for someone to live alone. I found that with my LO after the fact. When we realized it, she was not faring well.

It seems like you must see your aunt every day. I'd keep in mind that with the progression of the condition, they can do things like eat spoiled food, consume non-food items that can make them ill, like cleaners, mistake medication, misuse electrical appliances in a way that is dangerous, allow strangers into the home (they lose their filter and may mistaken the person for a friend or neighbor), provide personal or financial information to a caller or stranger at the door, and hurt herself and not be able to remember how to call for help. I know some people with dementia who fall, but, forget how to use their medical alert button. They may also stop bathing or properly cleaning themselves in the bathroom. They forget how to do this or just aren't aware that they aren't doing it.

My LO tried to put metal in the microware. She had forgotten safety rules. I had removed all scissors, knives, small electrical appliances.

I'd also consider how she's feeling emotionally. My LO could tell things were changing in her brain and it scared her. She felt like she was in a dream. She wanted me around to reassure her she was okay, so there were many phone calls. So, even though, my LO initially scoffed at AL, she did go, because I think she was afraid to be alone. It became too frightening, without having someone there to care for her and she knew it.
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Wow, you have a tough road. I'm so sorry. My mom lives with me and she has dementia. I too struggle with frustration. You're right, we have to work on our reactions. My mom is home during the day while I'm at work and one of my greatest fears is that I won't know when it is time for help. I rely a lot on her doctor's opinions and also just my interacting with her on a daily basis. So far she has not done anything that would make me feel she is in danger. She stays in the house, lets the dogs in and out and watches TV mostly. She does some light housework. I've found she responds well to having little tasks and she wants to feel needed, which really don't we all? I want her to be as independent and as "adult" as long as it is possible for her to be and so far it is working. It is frustrating, but it is also very rewarding. I feel blessed to be able to share this time with my mom and to be able to stock up on so many memories that I know some day I will need. When she looks at me and tells me I'm the best thing she ever did, well, it is all worth it to me. Good luck and you're doing a wonderful thing. Try not to forget that.
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