Taking care of my 92 year old Grandmother, and just discovered many things about her health. Any advice?

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After a recent fall my grandmother, who is 92, was told she could no longer live alone. None of us grandchildren live in the same state (Virginia) as she does. So we presented her with the choice of where she would like to live. It was better for everyone if she came to live with me in Florida. She has been here for a week and we have discovered many things regarding her health since she has been here. She was diagnosed with Dementia back in 2016 and never told anyone. I am extremely worried now that she is down here with me that her health is going to decline since she is completely out of her element.

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
There will be some decline but you can minimize it by creating consistency for her. Do you know what type of dementia she was diagnosed with? The type matters. The progression is different for different types.

You will want to find new doctors for her. She will need a general doctor (geriatric is better) and a neurologist who understands dementia. This will be important if she needs meds.

I suggest you read all you can about the type of dementia your grandma has so you can be prepared. I tried to stay ahead of my mom's progression so I would know what to expect and how to best deal with it.

You can do this ;-) My mom is stage 7 Alzheimer's and has lived in my home the past few years. Earlier my sister and I helped out step dad care for her in her home. The further she progressed, the more help we gave.
Top Answer
SWalrath, you are right about thinking that your Grandmother's health may decline. Moving someone who has dementia to a new location can cause confusion depending on what Stage of dementia she is experiencing.

Since your Grandmother has been in your home only a week, give her more time to settle in. Grandmother is experiencing new noises from the house and the neighborhood.... how the sun comes into the house.... the floorplan of the house and where very thing is, such as clean towels, extra toilet paper, etc.... even how the moon may shine into her window at night... different meals, etc.

Falls are tough for anyone in their 90's. I noticed with my Dad, every new fall caused his memory to slightly disappear. I must say your Grandmother was amazing that she was able to live by herself for so many years.

Do you have other family in Florida who can help you? Why I asked, taking care of your Grandmother on your own will be extremely mentally and physically challenging for you without an extra pair or two of hands to help you out. So plan ahead.
I think you also have every right to revisit the situation with your siblings and other family members, since you didn't know about the dementia when you agreed to have her live with you. For example, maybe you were assuming she would be basically able to take care of herself during the day, etc., and now that may not be the case and will not be the case as the dementia gets worse. This is a totally different kind of deal that what you signed up for, and it would be OK for you to have second thoughts that it's right for you to take on, in my opinion.

Also, I noticed you said it was better for everyone if you took her in -- did you really think it was the best thing for you?
Everybody gave great tips already, so I don't have much to add except I think that any cognitive impairment has a very strong emotional component to it; it's true that moving to a new place can have an emotional impact, but so does the feeling of finally feeling safe with someone taking care of you; you are doing something great for her, she will perceive it and perhaps this will really help her also cognitevely...

wishing you both the best
What else did you discover about her health? Did anyone talk to her doctor while you were figuring out what to do?

Do you work? Are you gone during the day? Persons with dementia often can only be left alone for very short periods, and eventually not at all. How can you handle this if/when she needs 24-hour supervision? At the first appointment with her new neurologist talk about what level of supervision she needs now.

Moving can be difficult for people with dementia, but I think your family made the right decision to get her near a relative. It might possibly better (now or later) to have her in a care center near you. I agree with SnoopyLove that now that you know her health status it is perfectly reasonably to reassess the situation. It is possible you could enjoy having her in your home for several years, and it is also possible that you both would be better off with her living nearby and you visiting often.

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