Mom has been staying with me since September. She is 89 and has been diagnosed with mild mixed dementia, vascular and Alzheimer's. Her confusion and ability to live alone declined over this past year, her house in my hometown is 200 miles away. Her longtime friends and neighbors are what enabled her to live on her own up to that point. She was even driving, small town, but still we worried.
I gave a heads up to her PCP, and they did memory test at her yearly physical and she did poorly. She ended up hospitalized for low iron and blood count, probably due to poor eating. She doesn't cook anymore and mainly snacked on stuff she didn't have to cook. Used the hospital stay as an excuse for her to stay with me for awhile to recover. Her blood count has stabilized and gone up since I've been cooking or her, and also taken over her medications.
Referred to Neurologist. Had Brain MRI. Got diagnosis.
She's in denial about it. And is spitting mad they told her to stop driving. Neuro gave her a referral to do a driving evaluation to placate her, but there's no way she will pass it. She gets confused about a lot of things, has difficulty with the correct word. My cats are being called dogs. But the fact that she is not supposed to drive, that she doesnt forget at all
I have a small house, and am going a little crazy. My sister tries to help, but is not in same town and is working full time with young kids, and no spare room. I'm retired, and have the room,but it's difficult. She has no hobbies, doesn't read novels, knit, sew, play cards. I take her with me when I do stuff with my grandkids but otherwise shes sitting around watching TV, and talking to me... chatters about every stray thought.
I'm an introvert, like to read, work on my genealogy projects, go for walks. Tells me to go ahead and do my normal stuff, but I can't because she interrupts constantly. And when I stop and give up on it. She gets mad and says fine, I'll just sit here then.
I've taken over her bill paying because there were bills missed and late. She cant seem to complete it. Gets overwhelmed and puts it away for "later or tomorrow when I'm not so tired. I have medical and durable POA
So here's my problem. We have the "you can't live alone anymore" discussion. She says it would be a " nightmare to live in an apartment, and those places are awful. I don't want to stay here and be a burden. "Get her to agree to "go look" so we know what's available. But the next day it just starts over. There is no way to complete the task! It would take at least a few weeks to discuss the issues, tour a few places, maybe convince her to pick one, sign a lease and move her in. But after a few days many of the details are lost or mixed up. So we are in an endless loop going nowhere. We actually drove to a new assisted living place to look, and she sent me in for a brochure ; wouldn't get out of car.
Could do caregivers in her home, but I am a 4 hr drive away, and I am afraid that she wouldn't remember them from day to day, probably wouldn't let them in or go to sleep with a stranger in the house . So assisted living near me is the best safest solution. She needs someone to give her her medications every day, someone to remind her to eat a regular meal, and some social interactions. She is fine to walk around, bathe and dress herself. Loves to people watch, and watch game shows on TV. Gets a little tired if she has to walk a lot. She gets a little off balance on occasion, so I think a fall monitor would be good
What do I do? Choose a place, and tell her this is where you are going? She is strong willed and has always been very independent, so I don't think she's would just say ok. She is in denial about how much confusion she exhibits and the mistakes she makes. Mostly I just go with it, but sometimes I have to correct her, and she says I'm wrong or I changed the plan. And then there are times when she is talking and acting like her old self.