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She is 95 with no major health issues. Can only see fuzzy images and almost no hearing. She seems to have age-related dementia. Can still walk on walker, very carefully but cannot do anything in the kitchen or cleaning, etc. Bathrooms and eats on her own and that's about it. But it's the communication. This morning she asked if she could have something to eat, her stomach felt sick. When I tried to clarify how her stomach felt sick (so I would have a better idea what to get for her), she could not tell me. She kept referring to the BM she just had and thought if she ate would make her feel better. I asked if she had diarrhea and eventually said no after giving me a puzzled look. I asked if she felt like throwing up. No. I asked if she was nauseous. No. So I said, so you aren't sick to your stomach, you are hungry? She said yes, I guess so. But I'm not certain she ever understood what I was trying to find out, or why I needed to know. I just gave her some toast hoping it would do the job. There is no money for outside caregivers and no other family. She comes completely UNGLUED when any thought of a NH comes up. I am trying to keep her at home even though I feel she would be so a great deal happier in a NH. With me, she is alone so much. I am gone from the house on occasion up to 5 hours. But when I am home, I have to stay in my bedroom for tv or reading as I cannot tolerate the temperature in the den nor the level of the sound of the tv that is comfortable for her. In a NH there would be people and activities, etc. But now it is the difficulty communicating. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill but how can I take care of her if we can't communicate and how in the world can she possibly be happy?

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Has anyone tried telling resistant elders, "dear (loved one).. we have to move. You'll be in one room, and I'll be in another, a ways away." No lies. Just very careful truths.

Our Edna is 92 an it is truly complicated and difficult to determine what kind of pain or discomfort she has. It's always obvious that there's *something*, but narrowing it down is a combination of really simple questions like: touch a spot and ask, "Here?" and watch her face, as much as her answer. After 7 years we've gotten pretty good at interpreting, but it's still a struggle. Often it's mostly observation.
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bennthere60, the reason your Aunt, 95, becomes unglued at the mention of a nursing home is because way back when such homes were thought to be like asylums. You could change her mind by previewing a couple of places, some offer free lunch, and your Aunt might be pleasantly surprised that she is having lunch in a "nursing home" [try calling it a retirement village, it has a better ring to it].
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Check her out for dehydration or uti. These are very common ailments. Most people don't drink enough water.
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Sometimes with elders, even w/o dementia, it's difficult to communicate as specifically as they might have years ago. I think part of it is the recognition that they are getting older, more limited in so many ways, and their thoughts begin to revolve around their limitations. In addition, they're also generally not in situations where vocabulary expansion is on the daily agenda.

I've been through that and find myself sometimes battling to expand my vocabulary as I sometimes can't remember words that should come easily. I try to relax, read some gardening magazines, and hope the relaxation unties my twisted vocabulary.
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I realize now that trying to get her to explain what she meant about her stomach feeling sick is not something I will do again. I was trying to be certain I didn't give her something that would make it worse, whatever "it" is. And, Sunnygirl1, I hear what you are saying. I do spend some time with her. In the morning when we get up, as we get coffee and some sort of breakfast I stay with my aunt in the den. Generally about 3 hours. As the day begins to warm up is when I move to my bedroom. And that's also when tv shows come on that I know she likes to "watch". Then I stay with her about an hour when we have dinner. So I don't leave her completely alone all day. I hadn't thought it about it like it is with a child/baby. And, I do believe I will talk to the doctor. Thanks for the input!
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I think you called it, frankly. She asked for something to eat because she said her stomach felt sick. I'd have just asked her what she wanted. Period.
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I would likely get her checked out medically again and discuss this change with her doctor. It could be from a stroke, infection or some other medical issue that just arose.

If it is dementia, she may likely have trouble communicating. That's not uncommon. They sometimes are not able to adequately describe their pain or sickness. It's often like determining what is wrong with a baby who isn't verbal.

It sounds like there might not be a lot of attention for her in your home, due to the heat and sound issues. I know they often like it very warm. But just for an hour a night, could you dress her warmly and turn the heat down so you could watch tv together?

Also, with dementia, if that is what is going on, it's rather risky to leave them at home alone after the initial stage. I'd be very concerned too with her loss of verbal skills. Could she call for help or get out of a house in case of fire? She may get upset with talk of a nursing home, but I think I would proceed with having her check medically and evaluated to see what level of care she needs. If you can't provide it, then she will need to go where she can get that care.
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