Well, finally had to admit Mom to a nursing home this past Tuesday. On Monday, I told her in no uncertain terms that she had to stay indoors & not follow me to the barn when I went to care for the stock because we'd had freezing rain & not all of it had melted yet. 10 min after I got to the barn, I looked up to see her making her way across the barnyard with her cane. I rushed out to intercept her but, before I could reach her, she hit a slick spot on the uneven ground & fell straight backwards...just like you see in those trust exercises at work. She was bruised & hurting a bit but I was able to slowly walk her back to the house & get her settled into her comfy chair by the window where she could see me as I finished my barn chores.
I gave her a few doses of Ibuprofen in the hours after the fall. She usually got up & paced on her own in the evenings but didn't & I was having trouble deciding if she was hurting too much or that the fall had shaken her up so much that she was AFRAID to get up on her own. In case it was pain, I gave her a Tramadol before bed. I got up during the night to make sure she made it to the bathroom & back OK & noticed that she needed a good bit of help. By morning on Tuesday, she was having a very hard time just moving her left foot forward & complained of significant pain in her groin when she tried to bear weight. Spent 6 hrs in the ER with her to have my suspicions affirmed...she fractured her pubic rami (portion of the pelvis) when she fell. It's no longer considered an "admittable condition" but when the ER staff saw the degree of difficulty she had ambulating, coupled with her degree of dementia, they recommended nursing home placement.
Now my problems have shifted from how to accomplish (and survive) the actual caregiving to how do I engage her when I visit with her. Her memory is so poor that she doesn't remember most things a half hour later, nevermind 2 or 3 days later, so trying to ask her what activities she's been to or what things have been going on there is fruitless. I've been trying to avoid talking about the pets for fear it'll upset her because she misses them. That pretty much leaves the weather to talk about & a tour around the facility in her wheelchair... and that certainly doesn't fill much of an hour & a half visit.
With her memory being an issue, what things can I do to engage & entertain her when I visit? I thought I'd take a fairly simple jigsaw puzzle in when I visit tomorrow & see how that goes. After that, I'm tapped out of ideas. Help!!!