This is my first time to request comments, though I have commented a lot in the past.
My 84 year mom was diagnosed with vascular dementia in early 2020, though her symptoms began years before. She lives in an assisted living facility that I think does a good job. When doing the recent Level of Care plan (she did not attend, and I am her medical POA), I realized how much I was treating her as if she was a 5 year old, and wanted to include her, yet if she has been present, she would want everyone to just leave her alone. She doesn’t care (realize?) a whit if she wears the same clothes for a week, never washes her hair, has gained 35 pounds in the past year, I believe b/c she hasn’t moved in the past year while under Covid lockdown and has been drinking sugary lemonade 4-5x’s each day.
My response for the past few years as I am “looking out” for her has been more of a bossy drill sergeant (at least that’s how I feel. My nickname is Nurse Rachett). I do not have guardianship of her. Because of the lockdown, I had no idea her apartment looked like a cluttered rat’s nest, and her appearance was awful, with dirty hair, unchanged clothes, and dry, scaley skin. Over Christmas, she came down with Covid, was in the hospital for almost a month, and came home for 3 days. The facility could not handle her needs to have eyes on her 24/7 to make sure she kept the O2 cannula in her nose and help her walk to the bathroom each time she needed to go. So they allowed me to stay with her for that 3 day period before I was able to get her into a rehab facility for the next month. Boy did I get an eyeball full! After a month in rehab, she is home again, hence the new LOC plan.
Luckily, we (Mom & I) have not gotten into any power struggles (yet) over her care, which I’d sure like to avoid. I’ve been very direct, yet fair I believe, with hospital, rehab and now her AL facility about what I want FOR her. I am however, very concerned, when the AL facility tries to implement the LOC plan, we may have a tiger on our hands in my mom. These are simple things (to me) such as standby in another room when she showers twice a week, and changing her clothes every day. These are things Mom simply doesn’t care about anymore and she doesn’t realize are a problem (for me).
Sorry this is so lengthy; I’d so appreciate any ideas.