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My mom is 88 with the beginnings of dementia. She has lost her concept of day and night. $$ on overnight care. I have a full time job and she lives next door to me. I feel so torn, but I want her to be comfortable and happy. I would love for her to be able to remain in her own home. We tried living together, but proved to be extremely stressful for both of us. She is funny and can take care of her own personal hygiene. I would love for her have a companion to take her places and just be there when I cant.



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I agree with Pam that she might truly enjoy assisted living. This stage where she can still take care of her own hygiene and other needs won't last. She has a progressive disease.

Still, she sounds like she could take advantage of the socialization at this point and that may help her stay more lucid for a longer time. I hope that you'll look around at what is available in your community.
Take care,
Carol
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Jeanne Gibbs: The last sentence says it all-expensive & costly in all respects.

The Assisted Living option went well for my wife for couple of weeks. Then the question of, "when can I come to our house?" surfaced. After two months time she still asked the same question.

After six months in the ALC, the same question was being asked, so I moved her back home, changed my business schedule, hired an additional employee for business and enrolled her into Daily Living Center thinking all bases were covered. The Daily Living Center was just as you described in their services & care. The only detraction was that there was little interaction & conversation among the attendees after light exercises & simple games.

Then I tried an "Alheimer's-Dementia" 24 hour care center. I found out that it was just an expensive experience.

I have modified my scheduling again, thus allowing me to spend time with my wife in her state of mind. She enjoys getting out of the house, socializing with the elements. No more headaches, no more ear aches, have cut her medications. The down side is that now I am confined much of the time in not having a lot of time for me but I do hire outside help occasionally for a break.

The only thing that I would like to see would be that her 4 daughters (all live within 75 miles) would come to visit, send a gift or even a card. On special days & events I have resorted to buying 4 cards or 4 inexpensive gifts, having people sign each of the daughters names to each card, I even put stamps on cards, carry them to post office to have them sent our house so that my wife does not know that her daughters are not in touch, same thing at birthday & Christmas. I like to see the elated look on my wifes face when I explain who they are from, sometimes she says she remembers & on other times she has no recollection. Under handed? Maybe, but I am the receipent of knowing she might have a moment of recollection. I am blessed.
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She might have a very good time at assisted living. Send her for a month trial in March. Mom loved it and stayed.
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yingperson...I hope you know what a wonderful person you are!!! Your spouse is truly blessed. The combination of so many little things adds up to being a super caregiver!
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"Beginnings of dementia" carry a fairly wide range of abilities and behaviors. It isn't long after "beginnings" that a person with dementia just cannot live alone safely -- not while you are working, and not overnight. If not immediately, very soon something will have to be done to ensure that mom is not alone for long stretches of time, and probably not too long after than to ensure she is never alone.

One option for daytime supervision is an Adult Day Health Program. Usually they pick the participant up and return them home. They may offer a simple breakfast and have a hot lunch. Some offer optional services such as help showering, and toenail care. It would be a way to keep have Mom safe and occupied while you work. When you are home, you might consider some kind of electronic monitoring. Ultimately she will need someone in the house with her.

If you can meet her safety needs with her in her own home, I'm all for that! Realistically, even if you arrange for her needs to be met at home now, that may not be sufficient indefinitely (depending on dementia's rate of progression).

You may also want to compare the costs of round-the-clock in-home care vs the cost of an appropriate facility. What can Mom afford? Might she need Medicaid eventually?

Dementia is such a sad, scary, and expensive disease!
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yingperson, how wonderful you are to care for your wife as u do. It hurts my heart to hear about your daughters. They dont know what they are missing and God help them if they have children who observe their callus behavior for they may find themselves treated the same way when they are old. Bless you dear man.
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If her days and nights are mixed up then you might need to rethink where she is living. Would she go outside in the night ? Do you have any type of alarm system? Is her doctor aware? If she is still a bit self sufficient she might truly enjoy the atmosphere of assisted living.It would give you peace of mind and hopefully some security for mom. If she can get to adult day programs while you work you should investigate that. Churches, community centers and area on aging locations might be a good place to start for resources. Finding a companion for overnight help will be costly if you use an agency. Also check out Adult Foster Care homes as they may have staff that are looking for other employment in their down time. Stay positive!
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88 and 'still takes care of her own hygiene' ? That's impressive! .... My mother began to confuse day with night about 4 years ago, and we had to 'lose' her car keys. It's been 4 years and she is now in a nursing home because she deteriorated in that time. We kept her in her home as long as possible but she started falling down, defecating on the floor, and didn't recognize her own house she had lived in for 60 years. So she is better off in the nursing home and doesn't even remember her own house. I only mention these things because it's the beginning of the end, dementia-wise, for your mother, and unless you want to use up all the money for in-home caretakers, it might be wiser to explore assisted living where patients are moved to higher levels of care as needed.
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my mother is 89 and still takes care of herself. I handle all her bill paying since my brother and I are both POA. She never handled the bills when my dad was home so I took that over but she sits and chats with me while I do them. I can tell in some small things that she will probably start developing more issues in the next couple of years. she still drives but only to see my dad and to the store so she drives back streets and NO major highways and not when the weather is bad. We have an emergency alert bracelet she wears so for now, my situation is okay. But we had to put dad in NH 2 years ago, dementia/alzheimers and mom could no longer handle his care. good luck
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I thought that about my mom, too - 'oh, she'll only drive a couple blocks to the store in the afternoon.' I started getting calls at 2, 3, 4 a.m. - 'I went out to get a sandwich and the shop was closed! I went to the mall to return a sweater and it was closed! I went to church and it was dark and locked up.' Then there was the getting lost out in the country from taking the wrong turn, at night, missing for 18 hours. So watch out. It's coming.
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