Can I leave my grandmother alone for one hour? - AgingCare.com

Can I leave my grandmother alone for one hour?

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My grandmother has some limited mobility, ever since she had a stroke the right side of her body doesn't have much strenght and can't use her right arm and her right leg cannot support her weight, meaning if she falls down she can't get up on her own. My mother brought her to live with us about a year ago and we have had to work or schedules around her so there's always someone looking after her.

My mother and brother have to gou out to work but I work from home so I'm the one who usually takes care of her when they're gone, I'm not exactly a very social person so I don't have many activities outside of the house except for the few ocassions that I do have to go to the office, and those times my mother or my brother are around to stay with my grandmother.

The thing is I've been through therapy myself for depression (long story I won't share right now) and now I'm at the point where I'm supposed to add more activities to my day to day life in order to get better and I was planning to take some classes, but this time around nobody can stay with my grandmother for at least one hour, which is the time it would take me to go back home from school and the time my brother is working and my mother has to leave for work.

Now, we tried to get some extra help with hiring another caretaker to stay with my grandmother the days I have to leave for class, but my grandmother is adamant in that she doesn't want an stranger in the house and I really don't to make her uncomfortable, now a solution she proposes is that the hour it would take to make the journey home she can spend it alone, since at that time of the day (the afternoon) she usually is lying down in bed watching tv after she already had her meal and taken her medicines. She can get up and go to the bathroom on her own, but like I said she has difficulties with her movility and she could fall down on the trip to the bathroom and wouldn't be able to get up on her own, also she's still dealing with the after effects of aphasia and she wouldn't be able to use the phone if she had to and is not strong enough to open the front door.

All that being said, it's only for an hour, it's not entirely like that something will happen in an hour, but something could happen in an hour and she has had accidents when there's people with her so I feel that maybe this is a good idea. I would really appreciate some advice.

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I want to thank you all for your advice, right now I've decided it's best that I don't leave my grandmother alone, but I sat down and talked with her about the possibility of having an external caretaker for when I or my borther or my mother won't be able to around, and she has agreed that maybe it is something that will have to be done eventually. She didn't sound too please dabout it, but at least now she's actually considering.

As for my classes I'll have to find a different schedule, hopefully I'll manage, in the meantime I have made my mother and grandmother aware that I won't always be around to help and that other options must be taken.

Once again I thank you all for your advice, it really helps to be able to share this with other people.
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Nowmymomsmom, your post brought some humor to the situation - I wonder how often women (older or not) call 911 because of the "cute guys"!
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The lifeline system will call your mom if she has a fall/or problem and presses the button.(they can set it up direct through your local hospital)..if she doesn't answer the phone/or call box when they call usually in about 3 seconds. 911 is dispatched immediately!Can she safely use a lifeline necklace?
My mom figured it out years ago when she wasn't too bad and I used it for a back up measure just in case when I would run out to pick up her rx's etc...then she figured out the "cute guys showed up" and would press it all the time.....so they started calling me...did your mom fall? NO she is right here next to me watching TV....lol....but if she is capable they work. Do you have a neighbor or friend she knows that could fill in for you?
Good Luck!
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All those emphatic NOs are reawakening my fears about leaving my mom alone and making me feel like some kind of uncaring monster. Bottom line is we all have to weigh the pros and cons of our personal situations and do the best we can with our resources. I missed the part about her aphasia, but that doesn't rule out her using a panic button. Is there anyone close enough to respond immediately?
You know her best so should be able to judge what she might do if left on her own. Perhaps you could give it a trial by hovering nearby and observing what happens when she thinks she is alone?
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With three adults living with gram to keep her safe, it is not acceptable for her to be left alone.

Period.
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I agree a life line remote necklace is needed here and that you need to explain your situation about caring for her 24/7 and how her getting home care to come in to sit with her will greatly improve your life. It;s likely she hasn't thought of how this is affecting your lives and needs to be made aware. Naturally its hard for elders to release control of their own lives and become a burden to others.
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That was silly of me. Liz was not held prisoner here in the house throughout an entire year. She was here every Monday afternoon for my respite break, I mean, for a year.
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You can get round the phone problem with a panic button pendant; and you can get round the trip hazard problem with a commode; but here's the thing: if your grandmother is recovering from aphasia, how sure are you that she is not in any way affected by any form of dementia? Especially vascular dementia?

Because if she is, you can't leave her alone. It doesn't matter how many aides and precautions you instal, if she's cognitively impaired she won't use them and she'll set off for the bathroom come what may. And you'll get back to find her on the floor, bleeding.

Although I should say, she can't be left alone rather than you can't leave her alone. My mother was anti strangers in the house too, but we were lucky enough to get the lovely Liz, who sat quietly in a corner and read a book and made the occasional cup of tea and petted the cat for a whole year; and when my mother went to the bathroom and tried to shoo Liz off, Liz would just casually say she was going that way anyway and don't mind her. She was a caregiving genius, that girl.

Anyway. So find the right person with the right non-intrusive attitude and everyone will have peace of mind. Best of luck, and with your classes too.
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If she didn't have mobility and aphasia issues, I would have also suggested a lifeline alert system as well as a lockbox with a key inside.. But the fact that she can't speak or open the door makes me think that she just shouldn't be left alone. If anything happened, you'd never forgive yourself.

I would also tend to think that her insistence she can live alone is an automatic reaction, or one from someone who mistakenly believes she can be left alone. I'd ignore it and find someone to stay with her, offering as an excuse something to the effect that you want her to have some companionship.
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No.

A person with your GM's limitations, who cannot even talk on the phone in case of emergency, should not be left alone for an hour. Sorry.

But you absolutely need to get on with your life and your therapy. I see two choices:

1. Enroll GM in an Adult Day Health Care program for the same days you go to school. This could be awesome for her as well as respite for your.
2. Bring in outside help help for when you need to be gone. I understand that she does not want outsiders to come in. As my mother always told us, you don't always get what you want in life. This may be one of those things she has to accept in order to continue to live at home with her family around her.
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