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When I try to take care of chores, mom starts screaming for me after only a few minutes. She's been living with us for 13 months. I am paying for sitters who do very little, just so I can have some peace. I am concerned for mom, because she truly thinks that no one is here. But I am also concerned that I'm spending money that may be needed later, just so I can get things done.

We found that the best treatment for mom's anxiety was meds as prescribed by a geriatric psychiatrist.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Sitters are very costly--about $20 an hour. If you are paying "under the table" you will not be able to provide proof to make them Medicaid eligible and Medicaid would see that as "gifting" which would be penalized. Also by hiring "under the table" these sitters can CLAIM to fall or get injured in your house and can sue her estate. That is a good enough reason to use legitimate agencies because sitters would be covered by Workman's Compensation and cannot sue her estate. Further, if the sitter is not interacting with your loved one, you can complain to the agency. Sitters *DO NOT* do hands-on care like toileting and bathing. You would have to hire a CNA which would cost a lot more an hour. All sitters do is sit and watch. They can read to your loved one and interact in other ways, but they do not do hands-on care.

Now my mom's Alzheimer's was extremely severe; however, she was only bedridden for 2-1/2 months because I kept her going and walking as long as I could. It got to the point she forgot how to stand, and could not focus on that and I ended up getting a feeding tube since I did not want her to die of dehydration. She did great with it until OTHER natural causes killed her not related to Alzheimer's. Still with insulin-dependent diabetes she lived to be 90, and I never had to give her any psychotropic drugs or narcotics. She only took a few meds (Lopressor, insulin 70/30, lactulose and multivitamin), and I had her on hospice for 2 years. I brushed mom's teeth and used chlorhexidine oral rinse by using swabs to keep her from getting aspiration pneumonia due to dirty teeth. ORAL CARE IS IMPORTANT even with tube feeding. The mouth has to be clean. They gave mum her diapers, cleaning materials, dressings, tube feedings, pump for tube feeding, and tubing and I used hospice like a home clinic with routine labs, urine tests, and whatever else I needed. For her feeding tube I used a simple tube-top I bought on Amazon. Mum never bothered with the feeding tube, but I had to protect it from getting accidently pulled while turning and cleaning her. The tube top on her abdomen worked like a charm, so I bought a few of them. Now that feeding tube took a *LOT* of care but I never had a problem with it.

Even during advanced stages once I hoyer lifted her back to her bed (I put her on her easy chair a few times a day), she had this look of fear in her eyes because somehow she knew she would be alone at night even though I slept in my bedrrom just one room away, so I got a nursing manikin which looks like an old woman. I got it a wig that looks just like mom's hair and dressed it up with mom's clothes and on a wheel chair I would put it next to her bed and she would look at it and fall asleep. I called it virtual company. I always kept her bedroom with subdued light. That way I can sleep at night, and mum would think someone is with her.

When mom died I felt destroyed, but I keep the manikin on her favorite chair to REMIND ME she is better off where she is. It looks just like her. Looking up at the ceiling, mouth opened--that's what the manikin does. Mom's ordeal of life is over, and she is at everlasting peace. Only the living are suffering and the price of love is grief. I came to terms with her loss, but the manikin is a source of comfort to remind me how she was before she died.
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Reply to cetude
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bestafk Nov 27, 2020
What a wonderful daughter,your Mom was truly blessed .and what imaginative solutions you developed.
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Its part of the Dementia. You can't reason with this. You could tell her over and over that you are just in the other room, she does not understand it. This is the part I never got used to, the neediness. I can't stand turning around and there is someone right behind me. Even an animal. As suggested, ask her Dr if something can be given.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Sounds like the caregivers are not doing what they should be doing. They should be keeping your mom occupied while you are doing what you need to do.
And you should find things to do out side the house as well. Mom needs to know that she is taken care of when you are gone, out of the house. With you in the house she knows she can rely on you.
The caregivers should be doing things with mom. Reading to her, listening to music, art project, puzzles, folding towels, sorting socks, rolling out cookie dough, whatever mom can do they should encourage it.
By the way the paying of the caregivers should be paid for by your mom not by you. As her finds dwindle you can start the process of applying for Medicaid. the proof of payment for caregivers needs to be documented and kept so that there is no question that her funds were used appropriately.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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When my husband first became completely bedridden and was in a hospital bed in our living room, he used to call out my name a lot. I think he just wanted reassurance that I was still there, which of course I always gave him. I also had a security camera on the mantel of our fireplace, so I could check in on him anytime I wanted to, whether I was home or not. Mine just has where you can here what's going on in the room where the camera is, but they now make them with 2 way talk, so if you're out running a chore and you check in on your camera, and you hear mom calling for you, you can respond to her and hopefully that will be enough to calm her down, I wish you the best. I know that it can be hard to get things done when you have someone calling your name all the time.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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sudalu Nov 27, 2020
I was going to suggest a baby monitor, but I don't know if there are any with a two-way talk feature. The security camera should work well.
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Or, possibly?, spending money just so that you don't completely lose your mind..?

This may be a phase that gradually passes, too, you know; and you will be able to be out of direct sight without your mother becoming afraid.

Or, can you do chores and jobs within sight of your mother, either by keeping her with you in a wheelchair or bringing (say) the paperwork into the living room? I don't recommend this approach, though, because (see above) I know it would drive me potty if it were me.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My husband would be nervous if he couldn’t see me (he’d forget I was mowing the lawn or something.) if I could find a movie or show he loved, he’d be entertained and wouldn’t worry about me. If not, I might just let him watch me until he got bored. He did carry a notebook that I updated everyday with what was happening and he would refer to that many times during the day. Best wishes.
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Reply to Franklin2011
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We've developed a process of posting signs where she can see them, because in our case it's not that she's afraid to be alone so much as worried about where we are and when we'll be back. So we post signs answering the question every time she sees it, for example, "We are upstairs working in our office."
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Reply to Brandiwyn
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Talk to her doctor. She may benefit from anti-anxiety medication. If you are home when there are sitters, it may be an unnecessary expense - except a sitter at night if mom is prone to wander.
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Reply to Taarna
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My husband would get separation anxiety when I left him to go to bed. I found that if I told him: I’m upstairs just around the corner. Everything is ok. We don’t have any problems. It’s ok to go to sleep. I locked up the house. And, I love you.
I didn’t say all those each time. He just needed to hear my reassuring voice.
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Reply to MamaMamaMama
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