My 94-year-old mother in law still lives alone in her own home. We live right around the corner from her. Physically she is in good shape and still takes care of the housework and her personal care. But she is becoming more confused as time goes on and is requiring more and more of our time. Her doctor says this is just "normal dementia that comes with age," and has not offered much in the way of help or advice. She is very lonely and sits and cries often because her husband, friends and simblings are all dead (can't really blame her there). She tends to fixate on this which makes the confusion worse as she becomes more upset. This makes her extremely needy and anxious and she calls us several times a day to tell us she is "just sitting there all alone." She is no longer able to handle her meds, my husband or I go there each day to give her pills. And she barely eats if left to her own. Even using phone is starting to be challenging for her.
The main problem is this neediness is constant and my husband and I have no freedom to be away from our home for long (fortunately he is able to work at home). Even a couple of hours to go out dinner is interrupted by phone calls for no logical reason. A vacation, even a short one, is out of the question. This is causing a great deal of stress in our lives and is starting to negatively affect our marriage. We feel that she could benefit from an assisted living environment where there are other people and activites to occupy her time. Of course she is dead set against this, but her dementia makes it difficult for us to discuss this with her. How do we know when it's time for her to no longer live alone? We don't want to wait for the crisis to happen (like a fall or other injury) but also don't want to force her into something she does not want. Looking for advice and others experience. We just don't know what to do. Thanks.