She has early stage dementia, and will not take her medicines, and is being unsafe. The family all live in other parts of the country from her and need to bring her closer.
My question then becomes, how do we do this step by step.
My thought process is to get her finances in order and get her a true diagnosis and appropriate help. We are looking for independent living communities as well. Any and all help is very appreciated. I am lost here.

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Just a quick and simple example of how much help she is going to need. It was 8pm here at home. I am"it", the caregiver. She says: Aaaa!, something is in my eye, it hurts, hurts. I jump up, look at the eye and it does look tomato red. I have her lay on her side, (she's 90.5 but very mobile). I explained I will be applying eye drops to gently flush object out. She forgot that we cannot use kleenex in eyes, it's like putting pieces of glass into the eye. Ok.
Thirty minutes go by, and she wants to do eye drops herself.
I go, repeat the process. She's miffed because I won't let go of the eye drops. (If I had, we would never find them again).
I said, how about we let your eye rest? I can put a patch.
How about some eye ointment, and patch, and rest it up.
I'm walking away, or else one of us will "loose" it, and I hear... ok, I'll have the ointment then....
Bite my tongue for the one trillionth time today. Put it in, AAHHHHH, feel so much better.
Go back to my tablet, and she peeks into my bedroom, 9pm, favorite program on t.v., and says....I'm going to sleep.
Could she get this level of attention and care elsewhere? Where? AL, IL, NH, or nowhere?
I am glad to help her . She is all alone in the planet. I don't mind, and sometimes the mental drain is ten times worse than the physical work.
No, she is too shy, so she just doesn't let anyone else get too close.
It's 9:54pm, and my therapy is to write you all.
Helpful Answer (0)

There are lots of good comments above.

I would reiterate that when someone has dementia, once it progresses from the early stage, it's not likely that Independent Living will be sufficient. Of course, no one know how fast she will progress, but I would keep that in mind. You may know more if you spend some time with her and really see what she is in need of on a daily basis. I would most likely explore Assisted Living with one that has a Memory Care unit nearby.

As stated above, some of the concerns are mistaking medication and taking care of personal hygiene. At a certain point, they are not able to do that and may need daily prompting to bathe, assistance with toileting and medication administration.
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Freq, windy and garden all gave excellent advice. I can only add this: Look at Assisted Living. Preferably AL that offers transportation. I only see IL working if it's on a campus that moves residents to Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing (on-site) as their needs increase.

Living "independently" in a new setting will not address Grandma's non-compliance with meds and unsafe home practices. Having family nearby is good for the overall picture. But Grandma's day-to-day (which will only get worse) sounds like a case for structured, professional assistance.

If family takes this on, here's the hitch: Most relatives who are able-bodied enough to be a significant help are probably working full-time. In "we'll care for her ourselves" situations, a disproportionate amount of responsibility falls on one stay-at-home parent, empty nester or retiree.

Even with a detailed care plan (as GardenArtist outlined), Grandma will need her pill regimen and will forget to turn off the stove when there's an ice storm....when the kids have the flu.....when the caregiver has gall bladder surgery.....when the caregiver's family takes their yearly vacation, etc etc. Same goes for Grandma's groceries, laundry, housekeeping church, doctor's appointments, you name it.

Your head and heart are in the right place. I urge you get Grandma in a setting where the family can visit as guests, not chore-minders. You all be the better for it.
Helpful Answer (4)

Sunday, I see you're in TN. Is that where you'll be bringing your grandmother, or is this a question to be decided? With family spread out, it seems like the pivotal issue would be the best location for her. But each of the family could do research on IL facilities available in your area.

Secondly, it seems like the family is cohesive on wanting to help, so someone or each of you could begin making lists of what's necessary for (a) the move (b) visiting afterward (c) any other type of support that might be necessary. Then work out schedules and responsibilities.

I.e., required would be transportation to medical appointments, perhaps assistance with laundry, meds, entertainment and social activities in addition to what's available in IL, etc. Medical transportation might be one of the primary factors to address in terms of mobility once she's settled in.

Thirdly, I agree with FF that the legal issues should be addressed, and this may depend on who is closest to her once she's settled in IL. For financial, legal and medical proxies under powers of attorney and a living will, you might want to consider dual authority of two relatives who are closest to her, either of which could act so that joint concurrence isn't necessary.

Others who post will likely caution against dual proxies, in part because of family dynamics. However, we've had this for years and it's worked perfectly for us; I would never consider any other situation unless there was no one else to serve. If anything happens to the first named proxy, someone should be able to act without having to create new authorizing documents.

There are also the issues of changing accounts, mail change notices, etc. When a close friend of my father's moved from her home state to her daughter's state to be closer to her daughter and SIL, e-mail notices were sent out with the new address. It's a quick way to notify all her friends so they know how to keep in touch, and it's much quicker than calling.

It's important as well so that your grandmother doesn't feel as though she's losing contact with other relatives as well as friends.

Fourth, as to a true diagnosis and "help" (which I assume to mean medication, there could be 2 steps to this: first, locally, then secondly at her IL. I don't know if a Dx is a requirement for admission. If it's not, it would seem advisable to set up a medical team in her new area, as well as finding a competent, reliable pharmacy that delivers. (I'm not as familiar with IL operating procedures as others, so it may be that some IL's have on site pharmacies or contracts with specific pharmacies).

There are a lot of other issues, such as coordinating the move, selecting what she'll take with her, and perhaps most importantly, getting her on board with the move.
Helpful Answer (1)

This is going to be a big job. The details of how you pull this off will depend largely on her level of dementia and her willingness to move and accept help or lack thereof.

Has GM given a family member POA? This is a must if she is having trouble with her financial and medical affairs.

You can search this site for specific info and disscussions on all things eldercare. If you include more details on this thread, there are lots of folks here with tons of experiences similar to yours. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (2)

Sunday, as for independent living communities, go to the upper right corner of your screen where you will see SEARCH SITE..... now type in independent living and the zip code of the area you wish to search. You should get a list of places in that area.

Yes, get your grandmother's finances in order. If she is using automatic pay for anything, keep that old account open until all the auto pays are transfers to the new account.
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