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.
Although this can be an expense you cannot afford, it is a good option. I cannot verify that all new stoves, washers, dryers come with a control lock option, but I will hazard a guess that they do.
I can say that microwaves DO have this option. I never realized they did, until mom somehow locked the controls and YB had to "fix" it. When he told me how it works, I tried it on my own AND tried it on a very old one that I still have. They and the latest one I have now all have this feature AND the stove, washer and dryer all have it as well. This is MUCH easier than unplugging it all the time (especially LARGE appliances like a stove/washer/dryer! I lock my washer and dryer because the cats sometimes turn them on when jumping up/down from them!)
METHODS used to lock controls:
Microwave - Press and Hold the stop/cancel button for about 3 seconds.
Repeat to unlock.
My stove uses the "start" button, but same method - press/hold 3 seconds.
My washer and dryer have a Control Lock button - press/hold for 3 seconds.
Another option for electric stoves is to remove the control knobs, however some ingenious people would get pliers or something to turn the knob end...
I also like the idea of using those child-proofing door knob covers vs locking the door. If she can open it with one of those, then back to locking it...
Also, don't they make child locks for refrigerators too? Consider some for the cabinets and drawers as well... inexpensive way to keep her out of the fridge, kitchen cabinets and drawers - not sure if those would work on dressers, but it can't hurt to give it a try!
Just came back to add thoughts about the suggestion to use a baby gate - if she is downstairs and you want to keep her down there, perhaps. Some stairways are not designed to use baby gates, such as those with just railing on one side (unless you can add nasty holes to screw it in.) IF it is possible to put one in at the bottom, make sure it is high enough that she cannot climb over it (or even attempt to.) Baby gates are designed for "little" people.... As for the top of the stairs, this is a dicey solution. She could either try to get over it and fall OR just her weight alone could dislodge it, also leading to a fall.
Mom put one at the top of the stairs to the finished basement in their condo, so dad wouldn't fall. The stairway was right outside their bedroom. I found their stairs to be rather steep, which is ridiculous in a 55+ condo community! When we were ready to put it on the market, the realtor wanted us to take it down. I said no. People unfamiliar with the place might have a mishap, step backwards out of the bedroom and down they go! I said we would remove it if the buyer wanted it gone. Personally I thought it was mostly a reminder than a safety gate. If an adult were to stumble and fall on it, they'd likely go over it. Again, baby gates are designed for BABIES! Although our LOs with dementia may be drifting back in time to babyhood, they are still full-size people!
your answer was helpful to me. I’m caring for my husband who has dementia. He’s up through the night a lot, he takes off his pull ups, wets everything... it’s a circus and I’m TIRED. The dr. said I can give him clonopin or seroquel but I’ve read not to give drugs to people with dementia and have been putting it off... we’re these the drugs your mom was on for a time? Thanks for any advice.
The fact that she is content to go back to bed when she can't get out makes your choice much less troubling. Your updated statement that you are aware and able to listen for trouble is also much different than if you were so sleep deprived you would sleep through a bomb blast, which is what I took from your initial post.
The fact that you've gotten so many replies so swiftly shows that you have hit a nerve that many of us can relate to. You've also been given a wealth of information on coping strategies, I hope you find some of them useful.
Your mother has a horrible disease, but it's you, the caregiver, that suffers. I understand because my mother, too, has Alz.
I spoke with a few Hospice Nurses the other day and told them the situation you were going through they honestly didn't see any real issues with what you were doing as long as obviously you weren't just locking her in, to lock her in.
Still if I was in you position I'd be contacting local Hospice centers for help they have great resources to aid you and support including Respite which sounds like you need ASAP.
To those that keep preaching Nursing Homes are the answers to all your worries and why some folk are unable or unwilling is -
Because those facilities aren't "Free"............
Medicaid doesn't cover everyone.......
It's considered Abuse to drop off a child or a senior with the attitude that you can no longer handle it........
I had no Idea Long Term Care Insurance was even a thing until recently neither of my parents knew about it either.
As far as Medicaid, I'm speaking from first hand experience and the experience that many in the medical industry have witnessed, in our situation the state has 100% approved my mother for long term aid to help me help her. Medicaid has been the road block and I'm finding out the deeper I dig they don't always approve Long Term Nursing Home Care, so it's not a given, some people are pretty much forced into the situation from the moment they got involved and that moment you got involved you began the concerns of having to answer to the state if something goes wrong, it's a tough spot to find yourself in for some.
Or contacting any agency in the Dementia/Alzheimer's area There are so many places, and I am not saying it is easy, but the hospitals cannot even put up bars on the beds because that is entrapment.
Where do you live?
Best of luck and stay strong
Yes I had area to place my husband but he dyed the night before he was to go to a facility.
I t was a heart breaking decision, but he was total care and I couldn’t lift him in and out if bed.
Having care takers in the home was so expensive and I needed 24/7 help.
I have made it very clear in ny advanced directive no feeding tube, comfort care only.
Also I have told my children I do not want to live with them, they have their lives and I will not be a burden to them.
I have been in a nursing home for extended time because of surgeries, my husband would not provide care I needed.
I know what they are like, but I will not burden my kids.
Fircyour safety and sanity find a place for your mom. Any family member who makes a comment, say to them where were you when I needed a break
You know what you are doing is wrong on so many levels, but you are wrong if you just slept through the night and let mom run the house with no supervision. Oh how easy it is for us to sit in front of our computer screens and tell you to do this or that because we are not in your shoes. My dad use to say, "don't judge anyone until you've walked in their shoes." I am not saying everybody on here is judging you! But there might be a few!!
You are doing the best you can in a bad situation. I would like to think I would never lock my mother in her room at night, but the truth is, I don't know that because I don't know what the future holds. Heck, we have bolt locks that need keys to get out the front and back door--always have! My dad put them on the doors 50+ yrs. To this day, I lock the front door and hide the key--it is within reach should a fire break out. In fact, when I was 7yrs old we had a fire and my brother got the key and let us out all awhile my dad was busy getting my cat.
What is my point? We do what we have to. If there is no family or friends to help and there is no money--then what? Oh yes there is Medcaid, but what if there are no available beds in your area? Then what? Right! Or maybe you just haven't come to that place to give yourself permission to take mom to a MC. And that is ok...because I believe if that is the case you will get there in your own time.
I know you don't want to lock your mom in her room...who does?
None of us grew up thinking that we would find ourselves taking care of our parents. They were suppose to have it planned out and money to take care of themselves. I for one never saw it coming...my mother should have died along time ago. She survived rolling a Blazer 5x, she beat cancer 3x, and had more surgeries then Frankenstein. I hope I made you laugh. But its true!
I don't know what you are looking for--as far as what you can do and maybe I haven't been helpful and I am sorry for that.
What I do know is you are doing the best you can right now! Do remember to take care of yourself.
My heart goes out to you. You are definitely in crisis mode. Your love for your mother is evident but you cannot allow taking care of her to be your own demise. Who will take care of her when you are down? That could be scarier than any alternative.
My mother has been in a Personal Care Home in Georgia for 3 1/2 yrs. She'd been living alone, not preparing decent meals daily, skipping meds, getting weaker and then started falling. She even put a large dent in sheetrock with her head in one of her falls.
My husband and I live with my daughter and her family. Of the 5 of us in our home, my husband's health is rapidly declining and is also showing signs of dementia to go along with failing physical health, my 19 year old granddaughter has epilepsy (avg. 25 seizures an hr, yes hr) and is on the autism spectrum, and my daughter in law has many health issues and is recently disabled. I cannot take my mother into my home. We simply could not care for her properly.
My daughter and I looked at many Care Facilities before placing her. The day we walked into her current home, we breathed a sigh of relief and knew the search was over. Mother now lives in a beautiful Victorian home that has been expanded to total 27 resident rooms. The staff absolutely loves the residents and cares for her as I would. By the time she moved in, I already knew I could rest easy from night 1, knowing she was well cared for. She loves the caregivers, knows about their families, flirts with one's military husband (dad was USAF), and laughs with them daily. I absolutely love the home. The owners do not tolerate unsanitary situations or odors. You walk in to a fresh home day or night. This home has a special needs unit that is for more advanced memory care residents where they are continually cared for and loved.
A year and a half after mother moved in, I went to work as the Administrative Assistant and love it even more. One night working late, around 8pm, I listened to caregivers going room to room, helping whoever needed help to get ready for bed and tucking them in, asking if they needed anything, and saying "Goodnight, I love you. I'll see you tomorrow." I cried as I sent my boss a message about it, saying "THIS is why my mother is there."
I tell you all of this to really say, there are many good places out there. Please go look at some. Look at some of the smaller ones where caregivers know all of the residents. There are wonderful people out there who are caregivers, not for the paycheck, but because it is their nature. Only you can preserve your sanity and your health. And you must or who will take care of her when you are gone?
I feel so very blessed to have found a wonderful home for my mother and I pray you will find the same for yours. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May you have peace as you take the next steps.
Whether the door is locked or not, at some point "the patient" may fall and hit head or break hip. OP already indicated there is no one else to help with "the patient" to sit with her or otherwise.
Sleeping in the same room or a bed alarm does NOT help. THIS STILL does not allow the OP to SLEEP. I seriously doubt that elder care services staffs sitters at no cost.
While locking the door may be illegal, unless this OP is able to place "the patient" in a memory care facility, there truly is no alternative. The OP needs sleep and able to relax..... and truly truly needs to set the family straight and unless someone is able to help, be strong and place her mother in a facility. I can imagine it is really hard to come to this point. But the OP has a life as well and needs to understand that she has done all she can. I really feel empathy for her and know that I myself may not be far behind with my mother who is due to come home in a few days from rehab for stroke/heart attack/"beginning/middle" dementia. And I know that this kind of behavior would definitely be something I would have to rise above and place my mom in a facility, as I too will need sleep and ability to focus on a full-time job.
I don't agree that locking someone in a room is the last option even if it's for well meaning intentions. I think that at this point help from an outside source is necessary.
If I were in this situation, and who knows maybe I will be, I would ask myself...
Is there medication to help her sleep better? Can I move her bed downstairs? Can I put a lock on the kitchen door? Is there anyone I can call to sit up at night just to make sure she is safe and I can get some sleep (siblings, adult children, neighbor, friend, agency)? Is it really not an option to place her in a convalescent home? Do I want to keep digging my grave for an early death?
You might want to rethink your options.
Hospice can help get you a lot of things that will help you, First thing would be a Hospital bed with full rails and a bed alarm.
My case is a bit different as my mother can't really walk without help but that doesn't stop her from trying so the full bed rails keeps her in bed.
My mom would pull the pull ups off and put reg. underwear on in the early stages, I stopped this by removing all her underwear and filling that draw with the pull ups.
Locking the door although considered abuse in most states is something that is normally overlooked until something bad happens, seriously I don't see anything wrong with what you're doing as long as you're not locking her in to leave the house.
When my mother began wondering a bit when she could I replaced the dead bolts on the house to double keyed bolts, I too am all alone and have no one to help me Hospice is a great help but they're not 24/7 either, all the nurses agreed the double bolt was perfectly acceptable at that time.
The sleep issue can't help you with that but to say I feel your pain, I'm in the same life raft as you Thank God for Hospice and Respite, mom gets to go to the hospice house for 5 days every 30 days to give me a break, mom actually loves the Hospice House Hates Nursing Homes though.
One last thing have you tried to find any Senior Connections Centers for aid and assistance they're normally a wealth of information and help to fill out any needed paper work.
As far as Hospice aid goes don't wait on her doctor to recommend it find the a local Hospice, interview a couple and pick one they'll tell you whether you qualify or not, some are more accepting then others when it comes to Mental Health it's not just about end of life with every Hospice.
On a side Note:
I simply love how it's so easy for so many people to simply say "Nursing Home" Thank God I'm not stuck in that heartless type of family........ A Nursing Home is not the answer to everyone's problems, Glad it worked out for those that took the easy way out but if you'd bother to read the entire post before commenting you'd see in a lot of situations Nursing Home is not a valid option for everyone, try some compassion versus tossing folk under the bus.
I was a care giver for a man named Jim who suffered from dementia. Jim's daughter didn't believe in The Horrible And Heartless nursing home/memory care home either, despite all the warnings she was given about her dad wandering at night. She also didn't believe in installing inside key locks on the front door.....one that would require a key to get out. Jim insisted he lived Across The Street and so he'd set off every night around 2 or 3am to find His House. His daughter would have to go fetch him in the middle of the night, or the police would return him to his real home. One night, Jim set off to Find His Home again at 3 am and fell in the street, suffering a subdural hematoma. He wasnt found until a few hours later, after losing lots of blood and going into a coma. Jim passed away the next day in the hospital. We all cried at his funeral, especially knowing how he died and that it could have been prevented.
All the compassion in the world isn't going to bring a loved one back once they've died because their loved one insisted they live at home when they're in no condition to do so. We can "throw the OP under the bus" all day long, but if it gets her to think about doing what's safest for her mother, it's a deal.
Good luck. It's not easy.
My heart pours out to you. I fully understand. I too for 7 years, care for my mom who is challenged with hypothyroidism dementia.
My best advice to you is to have her thyroid check with a full blood panel to determine her cause of dementia...eg glucose, blood pressure, tsh, t4, t3 ect. Often times, there is a metabolic imbalance.
We now use a holistic approach with a holistic doctor. A clean diet with proper supplements makes a world of difference. We use supplements for the mind: fish oil, phosphatidyl serine, tyrosine and GABA among other supplements.
Hydration is essential with good quality water from the health food store. Keep a daily log of foods and supplements consumed for observation purposes, to determine what works vs what doesn't work. It's a very detailed process AND takes time - months upon months. Also avoid dairy, almond milk is wonderful. Be creative with plant based protein powder in non dairy ice cream and non dairy yogurt.
Most of all stay encouraged and reach out to federally funded agencies who offer respite care in the home. Talk to a social worker in your mom's healthcare network, they have tons of advice. You're not alone, reach out to senior agencies for help.
Many Blessings dear daughter!
Neither of my brothers have a clue. When I was telling OB it was too much (and I wasn't even doing the hands-on), he just bellowed at me to "Give it up" - yeah, and then what...??? No suggestions or plans. Sure, that'll work. When I told YB recently that I will need his help now when mom has appointments, etc and that it was all getting to be too much, I could tell by his silly replies (But, but they take care of her...) that he doesn't understand - I suspect he thinks all I have to do is write checks at the end of the month.
If mom qualifies, you could possibly get some in-home help via Medicaid. At least enough to get you some "me" time.
I was told once by some pinhead on this site my mother is a danger to herself and I should simply drop her off at the hospital and tell them I can no longer deal with it........ anyone that's dealing with this knows that is considered Senior Abuse and that's not how it works in the real world.
This site is Great at times but we don't need these people putting their opinions in unless they've experienced these issues first hand it's supposed to be a supportive site, it's somewhat easy to tell the ones that have lived it and the ones that haven't.