Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in August, although she had been struggling with confusion, disorientation and depression for at least 6 months prior to that. Once it became clear that she could no longer manage finances or medication, she and dad move in with me and my husband. Dad has a bit of dementia, is hard of hearing, has COPD and other health issues. Both do not drive.
Our place is cramped, and transitioning mom and dad out of their home was difficult, but necessary. I have been working with their trust attorney for guidance on my responsibilities as trustee. They do not have much, so ultimately, I was told that I am to preserve their assets for their long term care, since the do not have a plan or LTC insurance in place.
Mom has always been extremely active and is still in very good physical health at 68, so she is restless and in denial of her condition. She also seems to be in a sundowning phase, does not want to sleep, gets up frequently through the night and rises early in the morning. Nevertheless, she still wants to get out so she is constantly calling friends and family to take her to places or just to get out for coffee, lunch, movies, shopping. She is an impulsive shopper and because of the dementia, frequently purchases duplicates or items in excess. I end up having to run around returning items. At their attorney's suggestions, I even had to have mom and dad give me their debit and credit cards to hold, because neither understand that there is a budget and will spend without regard to what is necessary or reasonable, often resulting in overdrawing.
She also makes plans to start a Bible study, go on an outing with friends, start a new project, and just announces these things to me. I end up scrambling to confirm times, dates, places to either fulfill what she is trying to achieve or to coordinate plans for her. She doesn't realize that I am operating in the background to ensure her safety and to prevent miscommunication with the others that she is making plans with. This has my own schedule turned upside down, as I'm having a hard time keeping up with her. My own life is in a shambles, as everything is revolving around my parents' needs now.
My challenge is in trying to allow her to maintain as much independence as possible, without driving me and my family into the ground. Although it's my responsibility to manage their finances, I struggle with telling them when and how much they can spend, even if it's to preserve for their future care. I feel like they see me as an ogre trying to control their life in an already unpleasant situation. Additionally, mom has become deceptive telling tales to get her way. My sister and I have had to cross-check with each other to keep the stories straight. I don't know how much longer I can manage!