Facing what I think may be an unusual situation but judging by the content of other posts here, maybe it's not
Married for 20 years my stepfather (88) and mother (82) lived on a rural property about 35 min from me. He was the primary cook and general caregiver for my mother. Over the last year or two he told me that she was repeating herself a lot. I only saw her every couple of weeks, so I never really noticed.
Last fall he became ill and was hospitalized. Subsequently went to rehab to gain his strength back. Was released from rehab but still needed care. Tried a home visit, but clearly wasn't going to be enough, needed more help so we went to ALF. Since mother wanted to be with him she moved there also. She kept asking if it was "temporary". Stepfather said yes and I secretly hoped it was but knew that he had made the decision if he did not not ever get stronger and it was permanent. He started talking to me about selling the property. This conversation was never had with my mother to my knowledge.
I spent days looking at ALF properties and finally settled upon one that would meet our needs one of which was it was near my home as I would need to be involved more giving them the assistance they needed.
He moved into the ALF and within 24 hours was told he needed hospitalization due to his edema and inability to move for himself. He died a week later on Christmas Day. With the help of my siblings and her siblings she agreed that she shouldn’t move back to the rural address and stayed at the ALF. We sold the property and the proceeds went to the trust.
So now mom was in the ALF but living as an independent. I had her briefly evaluated by her doctor who said she had mild cognitive impairment. In addition mom has multiple chronic issues (among them instability, high blood pressure, diabetes (uncontrolled), glaucoma, macular degeneration )takes lots of medication and needs a walker.
In the first few weeks of husband’s hospitalization she had an accident. She was at fault and hit another car. Thankfully no one hurt. At that time the police asked me if this was happening often and if I needed to have license removed. Being that she had been under so much stress/pressure with him I said no, and left it at that.
Mom has been getting lost for awhile. She would be gone for hours and my stepdad wouldn't know where she was. So he'd call me. I put a vehicle tracker on the car and could tell at any time where she was. Sometimes would call and say she was lost and I’d go and find her and she’d follow me. While he was in rehab and I was out of the country on a cruise my stepdad called the police to the rehab because she did not show up when she said she would and it had been a couple of hours. Just then she showed up.
One other time last fall she drove almost 45 miles and then couldn’t turn around as she was lost and wasn’t sure which was the opposite way. She had driven all through the downtown area and never turned around. Finally called after driving 2.5 hours out of her way through some very congested areas.
see part 2.