I have read about how bad this is. And against the law. But I'm upstairs with her down the hall. I just started locking her in. A slide lock from the outside on top. She doesn't know it's there. From 12 to 8 . This is nessasary because My mom may fall down our stairs is a big concern its 16 steps. And she will go in the kitchen try to cook and turn on the gas. She cuts the gas on all the time. Gas fumes all over. We took knobs off and she will still turn them on especially in the winter to keep warm. She takes good roast out and steaks any food she sees in freezer she will try to cook. My son came in the kitchen the smoke alarm went off she was sitting at the table with smoke all around while some food she put in the oven was burning. She is up at night will go downstairs looking for food 2:00 in the morning. Take food out leave it on table mix strange things together. I'm tired of not sleeping and worries about gas blowing up and her safety. When I do sleep I'm exhausted I may not hear her or know what she is doing. AND also her urine incontinence is awful all over the house. Nothing I can do she hates adult pull ups. She won't listen to me. I take care of my mom by myself. No help. My son is off on Tues and watches her sometimes a couple of hours while I run errands. She does everything she pulls off all her covers on her bed to the mattress everyday. I cannot understand why. Her mind is so bad and I can hardly handle her. My family does not like convelasant homes I can't put her there. When she is trying to open the door about 2:30 in the morning it unnerves me. It's a nitemare. But after a few minutes she goes back to bed. What else can I do???? Even my aunt who is her sister and a nurse told me for her safety and mine lock her in till morning. Yes it's drastic but I have peace of mind for a little while. All of this is slowly killing me. Sometimes I think I could die from so much stress.
Right. You're right, this is a nightmare.
Your family doesn't like convalescent homes, huh.
Well, that's okay. They're not moving into one, and they're not understanding or thinking through the basic care needs and safety of your mother.
You must not lock your mother in her bedroom. If this came to light for any reason, you would be in so much trouble.
But you must keep your mother safe. I promise you, I really do understand the bind you're in, and how impossible it seems.
Caring for somebody with dementia as advanced as your mother's, though, IS impossible for one person in a standard family home. She needs a team of people so that round the clock there is somebody with her to monitor her, reassure her, and redirect her. You cannot be awake 24/7, and see to her needs, and run a house, and do all of the other ordinary work of a normal day.
You're on a tight budget, I see from another post, and you've been caring for your mother for seven years. Okay. So, who are you in touch with? What about medical, social care, nursing or other professionals? Who else, outside "the family," is aware of your mother's situation?
It's not that you are failing or givng up! You just need a new plan for MORE care - one that looks after BOTH of you.
My usual comment: if you broke your leg, what is your backup plan? Don't get stuck in the 'only family' can help rut. Agree with CM: reach out to the professionals around you.
And they are sacrificing YOU to the cause.
DO NOT LET THEM DO THIS. Do you live with your mother in her house? Or does she live with you in yours? Are you her POA/HCPOA? Is she still considered competent to make her own decisions?
If the authorities were to discover that you are locking mom in, you most likely would be brought up on charges. Mom taken from the home to become a ward of the state. All it would take is a neighbor or even a sibling or other relative to make the report to the authorities. Locking her in is illegal. Are there bars on the windows too?
Mom needs more care than you can provide. Call the Area Agency on Aging for help to find the resources you and mom need. It is past time to find the best care and solution for mom.
Of course you need to sleep. If you haven't been successful finding a medication that guarantees you several uninterrupted hours at night then perhaps it is time you acknowledged that this is a task that is beyond what one person, no matter how loving and well intentioned, can do. There are other options, but all of them involve sharing the load, such as sending her to adult day care which may tire her out so she sleeps at night, hiring caregivers to cover the shifts you can't. It's time to look outside the box you're accustomed too.
As to the gas stove. Try contacting your gas company about installing an electrically operated gas valve that shuts the gas supply off to the stove. Around here our restaurants have them on their grills and such. Should there be a power failure or equipment malfunction the gas is shut off automatically. I am sure that you could have one installed that can be activated by a key switch in the kitchen or operated by the smoke detector. I would opt for the key switch.
Maybe a child proof lock could be installed on the fridge.
Please, please take the wise advice given to you here.
Many hugs as you find solutions for your mother's care.
I HATE nursing homes, BUT when it is desperate, you gotta do what you gotta do. Even though it may be quite challenging. She needs to be safe and you need to sleep.
A nursing home solves both problems. Having an overnight caregiver could be another solution.
Please get some help and take care of yourself.
" My family does not like convelasant homes I can't put her there." Who in the family does not like nursing homes and how dangerous does your situation need to be before you realize that the way you are living is not safe for anyone?
You are in over your head. Mum is at the stage that a village is needed to care for her, not just one woman and her son.
And yes, you could die from the stress. Then what happens to Mum? What happens if you have a stroke, heart attack, or collapse from exhaustion?
In a different post I mentioned a friend of my Mum who had early onset ALZ. Her wonderful husband died of stomach cancer 3 years into the diagnosis. She lived another 20 years.
I have no useful suggestions for you, unfortunately, because I can't think of one single thing you can do to protect your mother or yourselves from what's happening right now. I'd like to wish you good luck & Godspeed, though, and send you a big hug.
When we need dental care, we go to a dentist.
When we have an emergency, we call 911
But when a parent needs 24/7 care and supervision, then ONE child (usually a daughter) has to do it all, and some people will shame her if she complains and wants respite or a life of her own.
Hugs! May God guide you.
However I quite agree that this isn’t the best option for her, or for you. For now, I’d keep locking the door, if it works for both of you. If someone does come to investigate, it may be exactly what you need to convince yourself and the family that she would be better off somewhere that can provide 24 hour care.
Defences are stated to include “You acted in good faith – your restraint was caused by reasonable belief that the alleged victim could endanger him/herself or others” and /or “The victim’s presence was voluntary – you did nothing to force the victim to stay and they were not being held against their will.” I'm quoting from the legal firm posting on Google regarding the Code and its meaning.
You should of course explain it to mother, but you would anyway. I’m sticking to my comments - if you are just down the hall, on the spot for any emergency, and waking up if you hear something bad, I would have serious doubts about ‘illegal’, and even more doubts about a successful prosecution. I'm startled by Worried's implication that locking the front door overnight might be illegal. Don't worry quite so much - the police support locking the door!
lets put it this way. If you lock your minor child in a room, you will be arrested. For child abuse and false imprisonment. You can’t do that here. It’s no different when it comes to an adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s. If someone calls the cops, they are gonna arrest you for elder abuse and false imprisonment. I sympathize with the OP but her mom has rights and she needs to be very very careful when it comes to “confining” her in any way.
Waking up because you're just down the hall? What, at three in the morning when you're severely sleep-deprived? Not a chance; and besides if the idea is that you wake up when you're needed, why not put an alarm on the door instead? And apart from the obvious physical and environmental risks of leaving mother locked in her room alone and crashing around, what about the additional fear and confusion caused to a woman who is already fearful and confused? Being confined in a room you want to leave, and probably not understanding that it's been locked from the outside, could be terrifying for her.
Securing external doors at night is fine - the parallel would be doors with key codes in memory care units. Locking the *kitchen* door to prevent access would be fine (although if the OP's house is open plan obviously that idea wouldn't help). The falls risk on the stairs could also be addressed - not a child-proof stairgate, because, holy Heaven, mother would probably try to climb over it, but there will be other barriers designed for adults' safety. It's the kind of situation that an occupational therapist would love to get her teeth into.
But in any case the main point is that it is simply not possible for one individual, no matter how dedicated and loving, to meet the needs of an able-bodied person with dementia during this phase. The OP must get help - not because an over-zealous APS might decide to make an example of her, but because she and her mother desperately need help.
In another store a fire was set in the clothing department. alarms went of and those that had sense started to exit the store like a christmas sale was in the parking lot.
Imagine you in that situation and only one of the front exits was available. The next marked exit was waaay back there. You need to get out in a hurry. Your life depends on it.
Luz would have just looked at me would not know what to do even if was pulling and urging her to run.
The fire marshal told there are many doors in the front of the store. Which are for different venues in the from. Things like the pharmacy, the optometrist, etc. Those businesses would be locked after a certain hour. You ain't getting out through an unidentified door.
One crazy shooter or explosive device would be enough to kill or injure. Courtesy will be long gone if panic sets in.
worriedincal, I will agree that Mom may need more help than the OP can currently provide. However she sounded like she wanted to keep her at home. I was answering her question on that line.
I wanted to keep Luz at home with me as well and I did everything I could to do that. Alarms, locks, lights, platforms, sleeping on the couch near her sleeping on the love seat. I even slept on the floor when slept in the tv area when she could not get to or into the bed.
I did all of that and more when required. I was tired and worn out but I had her with me. I would do it all over again for her to this day.
I have noted on here that care giving like mentioned here is 27 hours a day and 8 days a week. I felt like that and still believe it.
Near the end I was looking to buying sleeping cot because Luz would get down on the floor to sleep like I would. And then have trouble getting up.
It was only when I started experiencing pain in my legs and back that I thought more actively of placing her in a SNF. I hated that idea and told her so. But it was becoming clear to me that I must do this thing. I think she understood.
I hope I have explained my point of view in lending my opinion on things the OP can look into to keep Mom at home.
You are correct, you have answered the OP's questions from the perspective of doing everything possible to keep a loved one at home. Many of us here do not have the capacity to do so and give advice from our point of view.
Luz was blessed to have such a loving husband.
Hey - it’s not a crime to admit that caring for a wandering, demented elderly loved one is more than you can do. There’s no shame or blame in it. It’s frickin’ hard!
However, it is a crime to lock someone in a room for eight hours. In this case it would be considered Elder Abuse and you would be arrested. Depending on your area there is a possibility the media would catch wind of the situation and your mugshot and charges would be featured on the local news and in the local newspaper - along with their on-line editions. On a slow news day neighboring states could pick up the story as well. I see stories like yours a couple of times a year, sadly. So, there will be lots of shame and blame once you are “caught”.
Look, I’m not unsympathetic to your situation. I have a mobile 6’2”, 170 lb., 26 yr old man - with the mental capacity of a two yr old living in my home. I’ve been there - through much of what you’re describing. Luckily, certain ticks and phases pass with him - however, often reappearing in time. Right now I’ve got the knobs back on my stove and the door alarm on his bedroom door hasn’t gone off at night in a month or so. My latest problem is him locking the sliding glass door behind me when I take the garbage out or get the mail, etc...
I do understand.
But all that still doesn't make what you’re doing okay. It just not a good idea. Frankly, I find it so disturbing I haven’t been able to sleep since I read your post.
Pleeese - let go of this nonsense that your mother can’t be put into a care facility! It would be the best, safest and most appropriate and most humane option for your mother. AND, FOR YOU!!!
Keep reading here...they’ll keep ya alive Misseverything!