Mom is terribly forgetful and defiantly says she is not senile . Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom is terribly forgetful and defiantly says she is not senile . Any advice?

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(I do not say she is, only that she has forgotten to pay rent or her other bills)
Mom is 89 and has been stuffing her bills in bags for at least 7 yrs now. The last time I was there , a certified letter from the county came at the door , for she forgot to pay her county taxes, glad I was there. Also when I arrived with my 21 yr.old daughter, there was every dish and plate, silverware stacked dirty on the sink and
no food barely left, and she had not gone to walmart as she usually goes weekly, but not gone for a month. Concerned about leaving her alone I made the decision to take my daughter back to stay with her to help her out.
My CPA and also my husband heard that there is a program where my daughter can get paid for her work.
Can you please help us? We live in Livermore, CA & Mom is in Susanville, CA
Thank you,
Sheila M.

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You have several separate issues going on here. First is your 89 year old mother who sounds like she has declined a lot fairly quickly. She need to go to her personal medical doctor immediately. The urinary tract infection possibility would explain some of her behaviors. Second, her ability to transport and care for herself is impaired to the point of endangering herself. This also requires immediate assistance, probably via home care, that the doctor can help you with. And at 89 her ability to care for herself, especially drive herself, is not likely to continue much longer. Third, you are directing an apparently otherwise unoccupied 21 year old adult who likely is not skilled in caring for a sick/demented person with a house that is a total mess to care for her grandmother without clarifying the roles she will have to fill. Fourth, you seem interested in payment for your daughter over the quality and type of care your mother would be receiving. It is not uncommon for grandchildren who are in over their heads to abuse and neglect the elderly that they have been put in charge of. With disastrous effects. Grandma is not necessarily an employment opportunity...she is a sick, needy elder. Don't mean to be harsh, but the vibes I got from your inquiry concerned me a bit. Please get Mom to the doctor ASAP. Good luck.
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California has a state program called IHSS - In Home Supportive Services. Mom could apply for that and then hire your daughter or someone trained in the caregiving field, and the state would pay them. Go to: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/agedblinddisabled/PG1296.htm
to get more information.
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The first thing to determine is the kind of help your mother really does need. Managing her finances is an obvious one. Help with routine shopping is another. Does she do OK with fixing food when she has it in the house? Can she do laundry? Is she confused? Does she take pills? Can she manage those herself? How about bathing?

Once you figure out what she really needs, then it is time to figure out how she can afford it. One approach for tackling both of these issues is to make an appointment for her with her county's Social Services department for a needs assessment. Be sure that you are present for this! Elders are not reliable to tell their own stories.

We did this for our mother. She insisted she didn't need help but we could see that she did. She got on Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and had a homemaker come in to clean her tiny apartment, to do her laundry, and change her bed linens. A visiting nurse struggled with getting her to take her pills regularly (a big challenge). She got meals on wheels, which she loved. We continued to do her grocery shopping and visit her regularly. I would say she had an additional 3 to 4 years living in her apartment than if we hadn't intervened with a social worker.

Mom's dementia continued to progress. She went to live with my sister for about a year. She paid the say rent to my sister that she was paying in her senior apartment, and Medicaid paid my sister something for her care.

After about a year Mom's physical condition took more care than could be provided in a private home. We moved her into a nursing home near two of my sisters. Since she was already on Medicaid that part of the transition was easy.

I tell this to point out that increased care for parents doesn't always have to be all or nothing. Depending on their needs it may be possible to do this more gradually.

For example, you (or someone) could take over paying all her bills, online, and keep an eye on her checking account. This doesn't require moving in or moving Mom anywhere. (Get her Power of Attorney.)

Someone (Granddaughter?) could take her shopping every two weeks.

A cleaning service could be hired.

Etc. Giving Mom just the help she needs might be a better choice than providing a full-time caregiver.

When the time comes, more intensive help can be provided.

I'd say you're trying to put the cart before the horse. First talk to her doctor and also get a needs assessment done, to have a better idea of what really is needed now.
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What does your 21 year old daughter think about this idea? Is she thinking about a career in home care or nursing? Are you thinking of this as a stopgap until you can find a facility that she'll agree to go to?

You don't say if your mom has any physical impairments, but she could live another 10 years, easily. Will your daughter be free to date, socialize, have people over? How do she and grandma get along now? Some food for thought.
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Please get in touch with the AC site immediately and have this personal information deleted. You are putting yourself and your mom at tisk of identity theft and alerting yhe public to the fact that she's a vulnerable person!
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The only way your daughter can get paid is if her Grandmother pays her from her own retirement fund. If Grandmother can do that, then it would make more sense for Grandmother to hire professional caregivers to help her out... thus your daughter would be able to work and save for her own retirement. I do see that you live in California, check with the State to see about a program that might pay you to help care for your Mom.

Too many grandchildren are placed in a role of caring for their grandparent only to resent it after a while because days turn into months and months into years because they are no longer among people of their own age, doing things that young people do, no longer employed, and no longer enjoying life. Hope the decision for your daughter to help out will be very short-term until other things are put into place.

You might want to move your Mom to a retirement village where she can be around people of her own age group, where the facility has meals in a central dining room, and there are activities for Mom to enjoy. But first your Mom needs to see her primary doctor as it sounds like she either has an urinary tract infection [which can cause dementia type symptoms] and/or the start of dementia itself.
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