Mom has dementia that has progressed very quickly in the last months, but even more so in the last week. She is unable to understand the safety precautions she needs to take; using her walker, especially without carrying anything while she does so, going up and down stairs when she's constantly told to have me with her to do so, trying to do things she isn't supposed to, like moving furniture, unloading the dishwasher, etc.
She's had a-fib for years, controlled with medicine, but just this year she had a heart attack and congestive heart failure. Her heart doctors, I feel, rushed us into getting a pacemaker put in, and her regular doctor was on board with it. I tried to convey the extent of her dementia but no one seemed to think it was a consideration. In the time since then, just over a month ago, she has done fairly well physically, but has declined every day mentally. She took a fall last weekend because she wouldn't use her cane to get around, now she has a bruised rib and has to use a walker instead. She has had false memories, no short term memory, is unable to remember names of people the only three people she sees every day, or at least 5 days a week and has for over 6 years. She even thought I was a "nana-sitter" the other night, and I've been here taking care of her and my dad until he passed away at home in 2016 for 10 years. She also told me she thought she was in the hospital the other night, when she was actually in her own living room. She refuses to accept that she can't make the best decisions anymore, that she doesn't know what's best for her and that she does in fact need help. Sometimes she says things like "with any luck at all I'll be dead soon" and "don't worry, I'll die soon then no one will have to worry about any of this". Any thoughts on whether I am dragging out a life that she hates at the cost of artificial means and her being unhappy because she has to be reminded to be careful and not do things she shouldn't but do things that she should? She's great about taking her meds, except for pain meds. I hate to give them to her if she doesn't need them, but she won't admit she does, so I try to keep on top of the pain. She was very underweight, but we changed her Aricept to 10 mg and she's eating better, actually putting on weight. Some of her problems come from the fact that she has been on homebound status since the first of October, and is stir crazy not getting to go to the theater, shopping or out to dinner. But her own behavior got her another 3-4 weeks when she refused to use her cain and fell and hurt her ribs. Are we just dragging this out with the pacemaker, given the stage her dementia has moved to? She was never what you'd call a sweetie, although she has her moments and never hesitates to tell whoever will listen that she appreciates all I do for her, but she just cannot remember what those things she needs to do to be safe, and to relinquish the control she thinks she has but actually lost long ago. Please help with any thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.