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I’ve been caring for my Alzheimer's grandma for 6 years now. Over this last year she had gotten WORSE. I’m steadily cleaning up poop. She can’t do anything anymore but won’t accept she can’t. She won’t listen when I try to help her. She wakes every night at 12:30 and I have to stay up and care for her and I also have a disabled toddler that needs me. None of our family will help. Not even for a day. Here are my issues: she won’t sleep and the doctor gives her trazadone. I’m wondering if I should ask the doctor to change it. Wandering had been a huge issue. I have signs all over my home to help her but she won’t stop and even try to read them. Lately she has been talking to people everyday. She act as if she’s a rebellious teenager and I’m the mean mom. This is the hardest part. I put her in diapers but they are the nice pantie diapers but last week she found some undies and wore them. Pooped in them and just threw them in the wash. So here I am cleaning poop. Then she smears poop from her bathroom to her room. I wash her clothes and pretty well do it all but sometimes I feel she doesn’t appreciate it at all. I’m so tired. I need sleep but I am scared to place her in nursing home. Last time she didn’t do well and ran but I’m tired and my son needs me so much. There is a lot more going on and I promised her I wouldn’t place her in a care facility but I’m starting to feel like maybe I’m not the best things for her. If I mention nursing home she goes into tears. Would they be able to keep her without my approval? I am POA. I need to know if I made this choice just for a week to maybe 2 weeks of the month. I would be able to take her out if the place wasn’t good for her. Also any ideas on how to get her to sleep and help with the poop issues? Please no negativity. Thank you all for your help!

Your Grandma needs more help than you can give. No one knows until they have to care for someone, how frustrating Dementia/Alz is. Yes, they act like children. Its not what Gma wants but what she needs.

I would not approach a NH as such. Explain to her she is moving to an Apt. There will be people there and things to do. Your Gma will not get better. You can no longer reason with her. She has lost that ability. She doesn't process or comprehend. She is like your toddler. Your toddler is most important now. His/her development depends on you being there fully.

If Gma has money, use it for her care. Prepay her funeral. Get caught up on her debts because once she runs out, you will need Medicaid. They will use her SS and any pension to offset her care.

If you r living with her in her home, I suggest you talk to a lawyer versed in Medicaid. ( Medicaid allows u to use her momey) Since you have been her caretaker for 6 yrs you may be able to stay in the home but will need to prove you can pay the bills.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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So your grandma hallucinates, wanders, is incontenent both ways, and doesn’t sleep. For many caregivers this would be unmanageable. Top it off with a toddler and it’s more than humanly possible for 1 person. I believe her needs would be best met under the care of 3 shifts of professionals who can go home at the end of their shifts and come back refreshed. This is no reflection on you, and when you promised no care home she was probably not as far along her dementia path...and who could have foreseen this!? Her inability to make good decisions anymore is why you have POA, and this is one of those decisions. I would start by calling her doctor and telling him all these behaviors including the poop and the wandering, and the medication isn’t working. The hallucinations could be the result of a UTI, especially with her bad hygiene, so a trip to the doctor should be made ASAP. When you make the appointment you can tell them over the phone all her other behaviors so they’re prepared.

Then start looking for memory or long term care facilities. Call your local Office for the Aging and ask for help. Or wait until the next trip to the ER and tell them you no longer can care for her and they need to place her.

In the meantime have you tried using the incontenence briefs with the tabs on the side instead of pull-ups? They might be easier for you to deal with since they don’t require removal of shoes and slacks to change. Also, wandering outside of the house is a very serious issue, and I have read that placing a black mat in front of your doors may make a person with dementia think it’s a hole and not walk over it. Also door or bed alarms could be installed.

We we haven’t even touched on funds...whose house it is, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. that’s probably a future post. But for right now I would get her evaluated by her doctor or at the ER.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Yes, you can have a trial placement. And you definitely need some respite care anyway. You want a place that specialises in dementia care ideally - look up the three to five facilities or memory care units nearest to you and call them today.

I do not mean that I do not care that your mother will feel upset. But her needs are more than you can meet, there are trained, experienced people who can help her *better* than you can, and - this is not negative, just important - your toddler needs you more. You, only properly rested and not wearing surgical gloves for a change. Hugs to you, hope you find help very soon.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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