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Got another, WORSENING problem with Mom now. I go to the kitchen every morning to make the coffee and feed the cats. Well, lately I've got to put shoes on because, inevitably and increasingly, there's one or MORE broken dishes, drinking glasses, bowls, etc. And what I listed above WAS WHAT I GOT UP TO JUST THIS MORNING!!! The hell with what's been broken, but I FEAR for my Mom's SAFETY, right?!?


THEN, she's been increasingly wanting to go home, or go "somewhere" (but can never really verbalize WHERE she needs to go!) and has become MUCH MORE demanding insofar as wanting me to open the door so she can go out! Earlier this morning she became VERY ANGRY with me when I tried to explain to her why she couldn't go out! AND, just NOW, she came to me and said, quite adamantly, that she was leaving.... she was going HOME!!!


Needless to say, I'm VERY frightened that she may leave the house ON HER OWN and get lost!!!


With all due respect to those wanting to reply, please don't tell me she needs to be placed somewhere. We simply cannot afford it and, since we can't qualify for MediCaid for ANY assistance WHATSOEVER (which is a requirement in California), we're, NO, I AM on my own.


I'M EXHAUSTED...

HUGS my friend! HUGS....
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Reply to susalie
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Spend down the $19k on her. You can put up $1500 in a burial trust (that’s medi-cals limit) and you can also buy a burial plot if she doesn’t have one & will be buried. Get new hearing aids, dentures, dental work, new glasses. I would get a couple pairs of glasses and an back up pair of hearing aid if she uses them because they are likely to get lost. Find her a good memory care and self-pay the first few months while her medi-cal app is being processed.
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mtyra1 Feb 12, 2020
I agree with worriedinCali. Spending down the $19k may be the best way to get the care for your mom and also take care of yourself, and taking care of your own health needs to be a priority. Here are the CA regs:

https://medicaid-help.org/California-Qualifications/?utm_term=%2Bmedicaid%20%2Brequirements%20%2Bcalifornia&utm_content=Qualify%20-%20BM&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Search_CA_Kwd_Medicaid-Help

If you are living in her home, and have been there for more than 12 months, then you would be able to continue to live there even if she were placed in a care facility. Only her other assets would be considered, and the $19k should be spent on her.

This is a tough situation, but there are answers. Hugs and best wishes to you!
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Here is a link from the Alzheimer's Association discussing tips to prevent wandering:

https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/stages-behaviors/wandering

When a dementia patient talks about wanting to 'go home', they are generally expressing a need for comfort of some kind. It is up to YOU to determine what type of comfort they need; ie: change of briefs, food, warmth, a hug, etc. Since they are normally unable to vocalize their specific need, it can become a guessing game as to what they truly need. Distraction is always a great technique to use as well. Here is another link on this subject:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/blog/i-want-go-home-what-to-say-to-someone-in-dementia-care

I also recommend YouTube videos (any and all) by Teepa Snow who is an expert in dementia. Not only is she informed, she is quite humorous and you'll find yourself enjoying her commentaries quite a bit, if you're like me! I am required to watch them for my job, and wind up looking forward to them instead of dreading the dryness of the usual group of standard dementia videos. Teepa will help you understand the anger your mother is expressing, and why, what it means, and how to avoid her anger in the first place. You can use certain techniques and tone of voice when dealing with her to keep her calm instead of agitated. That includes holding her hand in a certain fashion where your thumb is pressing/pumping on her inner hand; this causes instant comfort & calmness for her! Very neat little tip right there.

And finally, about the kitchen. That can create quite a dilemma. Since dementia sufferers no longer have a grip on what's dangerous, they can easily get themselves into deep trouble in a variety of ways in the kitchen. Also, they lose their sense of smell which means they won't smell a gas leak. They can easily mix ammonia together with bleach to help you clean, and wind up killing themselves as a result, literally. Knowing how the diseased mind is now working will help YOU determine how to make your home a safer place in general.

Firstly, I'd remove ALL glass items from the kitchen and replace them with plastic. If you need to keep certain glass mixing bowls or whatever, put them up high and way out of mother's reach. Then use the child proof devices readily available to lock up all the cabinets that contain hazardous liquids such as bleach, detergents, etc., and this includes the laundry room.

Another suggestion I have is to get your mom a baby doll; many, many women who suffer from dementia LOVE swaddling and 'caring for' a baby doll, as they did when they were younger. The oldest memories go LAST in their diseased minds, so she may enjoy doing such a thing. You can buy one on Amazon (search out Alzheimers dolls) but they're quite expensive. ANY doll will do, as long as you get a blanket to go with it. Dolls can provide hours of comfort to an agitated individual.

Again, knowledge is power. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to place your mother, then you need to study up on all the materials available to you on the internet on the subject of dementia. It's the answer to your prayers.

Wishing you good luck & Godspeed moving forward, my friend. And please don't forget to take care of YOU during this difficult time.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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lotsokittycats Feb 12, 2020
THANK YOU SO VERY, VERY MUCH for ALL of the VALUABLE INFORMATION you've given me!!! I can't tell you how MUCH I appreciate it!!! BLESS YOU!!! Michele
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Elder proof your kitchen. I put child safety locks on all the cabinets years ago. I've locked away the knives and anything else sharp more seriously. Child safety locks can be defeated after all.

In terms of your immediate issue. I switched to plastic plates, bowls, cups and glasses years ago too. Unbreakable is the way to go. You can get some plastic dinnerware from Japan that doesn't look like plastic. You don't know until your rap on it that it's not ceramic.

As for medicaid. Why can't your mom qualify?
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lotsokittycats Feb 12, 2020
Thanks to you, too, for your helpful answers!!!

The reason she/we cannot qualify for MediCaid is because we recently obtained a "small" reverse mortgage on her home and she currently had approximately $19,000 or so in her bank account. And, even if I were to transfer the balance into my, or a new, bank account, they would STILL consider it an asset, at least for their length of time they consider THEIR idea that the assets were "intentionally hidden."

ANY IDEAS???
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I am so sorry. I hear the frustration and pain in your writing. Stick around and hopefully someone will have a feasible solution for you.

I would be very concerned if I had your situation too. You have so much on your plate. I hope you are able to find relief soon.
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lotsokittycats Feb 12, 2020
Thank you SO MUCH for especially acknowledging my pain. I frankly didn't realize it came through in my writings but I guess it does because it's very real and I also have absolutely NO family support whatsoever! As a matter of fact, one of my family members has even gone SO FAR as to verbally threaten to report me to Adult Protective Services because she didn't think the house was pristine enough for her!!!

I DO absolutely everything for my Mom.... I am extremely diligent about making SURE her gets, and takes her medications to a tee, make SURE she's eating properly, and keep her entertained as much as I'm able, BUT that doesn't seem to be enough for her (my grand neice who's ONLY come to see her great grandmother a few times!) and her grand-father/mother (my brother and SIL) and all they can do is criticize me! I even pay, OUT OF MY OWN POCKET via a VERY meager monthly disability check) for a cleaning lady because I, myself, have been disabled since 2005!

So, you see, its been ALL on MY shoulders and although they're ALL too far to physically help me, NONE OF THEM has or will help us out financially either. SMH!!
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I am so sorry for all you are enduring. Does your mother see a physician at all? Hopefully she might be able to despite the financial issues you have. Perhaps if so she might be placed on some medication. There are medications which slow down the loss of memory issues. There are also ones to help with agitation. I am not implying you overly drug your mother but suggesting she get some help for her behavior.

You too might benefit from a generic antidepressant. You have so much to deal with that of course is certainly exhausting. I understand the need to save money but if you have a Target nearby you might purchase some dinnerware items in melamine. They are reasonable there and very hard to break.

There are posters here who live in California and are generally knowledgeable about care services in the state. I hope you might get some responses from them.
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Reply to Riverdale
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lotsokittycats Feb 12, 2020
YES!, she DOES see both her primary care physician, as well as her neurologist AND cardiologist on a regular basis and she IS on a variety of drugs.... for her heart, her diabetes, as well as an anti-psychotic to help her with the visions of people in the bushes or in the home. She also gets a daily dose of vitamin B to help slow the progression of the Alzheimer's and a few others (daily multi-vitamin, stool softener for her constipation). So, you see, I HAVE to be on top of her meds at ALL times.

I, too, am on a host of medications for both my chronic, sometimes severe, pain, as well as for my depression and inability to sleep. I'm TRYING to take care of MYSELF, but I'm also becoming quite the hermit because I really can't leave the house for much more than a few minutes due to my obvious concerns with mom! Have already removed the stove knobs so she can no longer use the stove (after leaving at LEAST one of them on under an already boiling, or BURNT, pot!!!), and have secured the doors leading out of the house (the RING video doorbell alerts me when there's movement in or out the front door!), and I have a baby monitor to be able to hear movement in her room (thank God I'm a light sleeper, EVEN WITH my sleep medication!)

I'm SURE I could list even MORE, but I think y'all get the picture, right? AGAIN.... Thanks for your reply!!!
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Put a slide lock high up on the door where she won't notice and can't easily reach, and you can also buy inexpensive alarms to alert you when the door is opened.
If she is a wander risk you should alert your local police department, they can keep a file on her and many also can provide a bracelet to help find her if she goes out and gets lost.
You may need to lock your drawers cupboards except for one with unbreakables that she can access. Unplug the microwave and disable the stove too if that's a problem.
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Reply to cwillie
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 10, 2020
I was thinking the same thing. Childproof the house like we did for our young children.
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