My mother has been diagnosed with mild to moderate cognitive impairment ~ she is 78 years old and has been living with my husband and I for the past 7 months. She has a room off of our kitchen that is up 7 steps. Her room holds her bed, tv, sitting area, dressers, a desk and full bathroom. We have a small fridge in her room that holds yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh fruits, seltzer waters.
I prepare her main meals and at first she was coming down to eat dinner with us and I was bring up breakfast and/ or lunch for her.
Over the past few months she has stopped coming downstairs at all unless we are leaving the house for a doctors, hair appointment or visit with the grandchildren. When she does come down, it's with the full drama of moans and groans ~ she has a sore back and hip and she does suffer from COPD which she takes medication for.
She has become accustomed to being waited on for each meal. I have explained she needs to "move and get some sort of exercise" and it would help me a great deal if she would bring down her garbage and dirty dishes every day. She refuses.
We just had a doctors appointment and her doctor noticed she has gained some weight (13 pounds) in the past 12 months and has told her the same thing I have been saying ~ he also added that she is fast tracking her way to a nursing home with the lack of activity.
I want to make sure that I am doing the right thing for her and am considering preparing her meals and leaving them in the kitchen for her to come and get ~ this would have her coming down and up the stairs. I have tried this once and she slammed the door in my face ~ and she sent the dirty dishes she had down the stairs....
We also tried bringing her meals but not removing the dirty dishes and garbage from her room ~ this lasted 11 days before I couldn't take the mess up there and my husband felt the newspapers in her room were becoming a fire hazard. I just reverted back to bringing her all her meals, removing her dirty dishes and bringing down the garbage.
I know that I am dealing with someone with dementia so I don't want to make assumptions that she completely understands what she needs to do. I will say that she knows how to make her coffee in the morning and work the small microwave she has in her room ~ she also reads the paper and does her crossword puzzles. She has told me many times she just loves being waited on.
Suggestions please ~ my frustration levels are through the roof and my migranes are becoming much more frequent. I feel like I am dealing with a toddler.....
I would love input from anyone that has/is dealing with this type of issue and how to best handle.
Thanks very much.