My sister and I have moved my mother in, six months with each of us due to increase falls and decrease memory. I was a nurse for 40 yrs. and thought I could handle just about anything but the memory loss is just about more than I can take. Asking me the same questions sometimes several times a day. The thing that I don't understand is someone can tell Mom gossip or about an accident and she will repeat those details for weeks but tell her one of her meds was discontinued and she will ask everyday if it was. She is also very intrusive into people's lives. Example: if people miss church, she asks them why they weren't there, where were they? I know she has a genuine concern for people's spiritual walk with God and worries they'll quit attending church but my sister and I keep telling her you can't intrude on people's business like that , she gets mad and does it the next week. She also says outloud everything she sees. There is a cow in the field, there is a man walking, there is a truck towing a truck. Everything that's in her head has to come out her mouth. You and I see those things but don't verbalize it, she sees it and says it. Every sound she hears, she wants to know what it is? Sounds we all know and just ignore, she says, what is that sound? I ask her why she asks about sounds thinking it's her hearing, she got a weird look, and a blank stare and said, maybe I have dementia. All of the above is very difficult to handle. She does not have funds for ALF and us not nursing home appropriate yet. Any suggestions?
You say that she can't afford AL. I would check into your state to see if there is any program that helps those who are in need of AL or MC due to disability like dementia and qualify by income/asset. Some states offer that for those who a doctor states they are not able to live alone due to mental defect. It's a Medicaid like program, but state funded. My state has one, but, it's limited for those who doctors confirm that living alone is not an option.
If she’s feeling particularly anxious, it happens as much as every second or third sentence. If she’s more peaceful and relaxed, it can be somewhat less.
You still seem to feel, based on your description, that she expects or requires informative responses from you. Consider the possibility that she doesn’t. My LO DOESN’T, so when I’ve come up with a couple sentence answer, I can say it every time she asks the same question during my visit with her, and she’s content and satisfied every time she hears it.
If caring for her IS more than you can take, take stock of whether it’s truly fair to yourself to take the task on. Just looking for a facility and determining what MAY be available can be empowering, and since the stages of memory loss can vary dramatically in length of time, you may find that she’s eligible for a potential placement you hadn’t previously considered.
Let us know how things are going.
I chose to give my aunt either a one-word answer even if it was a "therapeutic lie" (with a smile, which helped both of us), or ignore her or just walk into another room. I kept telling myself she can't help it, she's not trying to annoy me, I love her. Others have suggested wearing earbuds and listening to music or podcasts. Now my auntie talks a lot still and says the most egregious things to everyone, even me. We just ignore her, and even that feels awful after all this time (she's had dementia for 15 years. She's 97).
If you come to a point where your mom is a candidate for a care community you can help her apply for Medicaid. My MIL is on Medicaid and in a very nice facility. She gets all the same care as a private payer and is doing well. May you have peace on this journey.