My mom might not have dementia, but her memory loss is becoming a health concern for her and a safety concern for our household. I had to take over doling out her meds because she ended up in the hospital a year ago after a fall and it later came to our attention that she'd been basically over and under dosing herself. She wants to do things on her own, naturally, but she isn't capable of many things because of her bad memory.
She recently had cataract surgery and has to wear a plastic eye patch at night and take eye drops. I keep all her items in a blue bag from the surgeon's office in my bathroom. She hates the patch but until this morning she was waiting for me to bring the bag into her bathroom first. This morning she took off the patch on her own and when I brought the blue bag out she didn't know where the patch was. We hunted everywhere. Then all of the sudden, I look in the blue bag and there it is. She had to have put it in there after we started looking for it. I don't know if she did that intentionally or really doesn't remember doing it. It might not seem like much, but she can't afford to pay for another patch on her fixed income and things like this are happening almost daily.
A couple of weeks ago, she opened the front door while our escape artist dog was standing at the top of the stairs. If my daughter hadn't been right there to close it, he would have run out. Yesterday my daughter, her partner and I came back from the store. Summer was the first one inside and smelled gas. She checked the gas stove and one of the burners was unlit but on low. Now my mother has always been afraid of gas appliances because a high school friend died in a gas explosion. I can't see her turning on a burner, but the stove wasn't used that morning and unless our dog has become incredibly dexterous, well, my mom was the only one home.
She also has rectal incontinence and I'm beginning to worry that she isn't cleaning herself properly because she always smells like.... poop. She uses feminine pads (which the doctors all said was fine) and goes through 2-3 heavy duty ones each day. She was supposed to have exploratory surgery last year, but I got sick and we had to cancel. Then she refused to go in for it..... I'm hoping we can talk her into doing it, but we'll have to see the specialist again.
I just don't have the patience, ability or training to handle this. I'm stressed, become easily angry and frustrated - at everyone in the family and I worry she is going down hill quickly. Just the idea of having an invalid to take care of with my bad back scares me. I feel guilty because I should be willing to take care of my own mom, but at the same time I feel like I have a right to my own life....
Sorry to dump on everyone. Reading the posts and answers here over the past couple of weeks since discovering this site has really been helpful and eye opening. I know I don't have it anywhere near as bad as many of you do, so please forgive my pity party. You all are awesome!