My elderly mother is getting too difficult for me to take care of anymore. Where can I get help? - AgingCare.com

My elderly mother is getting too difficult for me to take care of anymore. Where can I get help?

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She is in cognitive decline with underlying dementia. She will not go to any senior programs. She just wants to sit in her room and watch TV.

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You could always try hiring a companion or sitter. Having a new person to talk to might get her out of her shell a bit. My cousin has been working as a companion to an elderly man and taking him to appointments, and they both ended up enjoying the company.
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There are people you can pay under the table to stop in, paid on an hourly basis, sometimes churches and senior centers have lists. There are paid companions through an agency, like 'At Home', much more expensive, minimum of 2 hours per day, about $25 an hour (they usually don't do any personal care, but at the beginning of the patient's decline they take them to doctors appointments, out shopping, do little things around the house - light housekeeping. Some will help change diapers, some are strictly 'I'm here to check in and fix your lunch and a snack for later'. A home health aide through visiting nurses association can come by for bathing, hair washing, etc. (they do NOT cut toenails). Mom sitting watching TV is perfectly fine, really, if that's what she wants to do, let her. This is nearing the end of her life, what else do you expect her to be doing if she is not sociable and doesn't want to make an effort to go out visiting?
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Maybe you could have a home healthaide come in a couple of times each week to give you a break
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There are several sources of help available to persons who are disabled or have dementia.

Are you hoping to keep her home with you, or are you considering placing her in a care center?

Don't feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed. That is a pretty standard part of the journey. Give us a little more information about what is going on and what you need help with. We care, and probably some of us have already been there and survived that.
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Why does her sitting in her room and watching tv make it difficult to care for her? Some people just don't like going out and doing activities, especially if she's getting dementia, as you state above. Getting dementia can make you confused, anxious, depressed and scared. Going to a strange place with lots of strangers may not appeal to her. I get it. Why can't she just stay at home and watch tv?

Is she doing things when you are not there that causes you concern? Do you think it's unsafe to leave her unattended? If that's the case, then she will have to do what you say so you can keep her in the home. I'd try to explain that, but she may not be able to digest it. If she is scared, anxious or depressed, I would discuss it with her doctor to see if medication could help.
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Are you caring for your mother on your own, Charles, or is there any other family involved? What aspects of her daily routine are you beginning to find challenging - is it her safety, are you anxious about her mental welfare, are there physical tasks creeping in?
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I think when one person agrees to be the caregiver for another person sacrifices have to be made on both sides. Usually it's the caregiver who ends up making most of the sacrifices but maybe it's time to discuss with your mom the sacrifices she needs to be making in order to have you continue to care for her.

Unfortunately, if she refuses senior programs and adult daycare and such there's not a lot you can do about it. You can't force her to go. How advanced is her dementia? Is she unable to be rational? I'm going to guess yes since the ability to be rational starts to erode early on in dementia.

If your mom is content to sit there and watch TV all day there may be nothing you can do about it but it's worth trying to talk to her about it. You can't shove her into the car and make her go but maybe she'll talk to you about it. Of course this all depends upon how advanced her dementia is.
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So what would happen if you signed her up for daycare? Sometimes it isn't a matter of asking them what they want, but telling them what YOU want. If you want a little time to run errands or just to spend some time apart you tell her that is the price she pays for being in your care.
Perhaps offering one or two choices and allow her to pick will make it more palatable to her. Daycare? Senior's centre? In home companion? A new address lol?
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