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Mom is a sweet 95 y/o WWII Vet. Husband died in 2003, she is legally blind, has pretty arthritic hands and is seemingly more and more confused as of late. I'm getting her tested for a UTI tomorrow. She lives in a 3500 sq ft two story home. Her bedroom, bathroom and laundry are all upstairs which causes us all concern. She has missteps on the stairs once in a while but has luckily been able to catch herself. I have installed wi-fi cameras so we can keep tabs when we're not with her. My partner calls her as soon as she gets up in the morning to orient her to the day, she makes and takes her lunches and dinners up to her. I help Mom with showering, laundry, hydration, incontinence issues, appointments, etc... My sister comes to hang out with Mom and pay the bills 2hrs midday twice a week and 1hr in the evening twice a week. We just hired a companion / reader 1-1/2 hrs twice a week. I'm finding that I need Mom to have additional care but she says she doesn't need it. We all love Mom dearly and want her life to be as fulfilling and safe as it can be until the end.
Any ideas or commiseration?
Best,
Kel

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I'm so sorry to read about your mom's fall. I hope she's able to weather this storm. Please keep us posted on how she's doing.
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OMG Kelster, wow, what an ordeal. As you can see, we all here have our ordeals. Your mom is a feisty vet, bless her heart, she won't go down easy but this fall is a huge red flag. Things are going to have to change, her age and conditions from it will advance and as much as you and she don't want it to change you must prepare for a new plan. Sounds like mom is going to need rehab after this awful fall, I hope she makes it through okay and intact, but she really can't live alone in a two story home alone anymore. Whatever you decide, whether that is to move her in with you or another sibling, or move to assisted living or residential care, it is time to protect her from being hurt further. Good luck with it all and now is the time to get all her financial and legal matters taken care of if not done so already and to realize that now is the next step time.
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Thank you all! Well, it seems as if things have taken a bit of a turn! 0900 I was cooking breakfast for mom this morning when she caught her toe on a chair leg and fell like a big old growth cedar that had just been chopped down. I was 6' from her and couldn't keep it from happening. She hit face down with her R arm under her ribs. Dr appt, UTI diagnosis, antibiotics, X-rays, skin tears...holy c$@p Batman! Tonight we sit in the ER for a CT, more X-rays and steri-stripping the skin tears. We were prepared to deal with all of it until we couldn't manage her pain. So, now we wait and hope for an admit for the night.
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Your mom sounds a wonderful and lucky woman . She is indeed lucky to have so many caring people around her. Will you adopt me too. I would love 24 hour care. I would say don't hover over her and allow as much independence that is safe. Is there money to install a stair lift.? some one I know installed one for $3,500. If the money is there it is a great option
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Hi Kelster,

You've gotten some good answers already. I just wanted to say that your family sounds great - an independent-spirited mom and children who are sharing the responsibility and doing their best to keep her independent. You don't see those kinds of things on here very often. Your parents sound like fantastic people (truly The Greatest Generation) who have raised some terrific daughters (and your partner sounds like a gem as well). Your mom is a lucky! woman
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I love snowgrey's suggestion even if it is stretching the truth. Your Mom may be more accepting, thinking she is helping someone else in exchange for caregiving chores.
My personal suggestion, if there is a bathroom and spare room on the first floor, make the spare room Mom's new bedroom. Involve her in choosing colors and decor. Even if the bathroom does not have a tub, she can spongebathe in between the days you come to give her a full bath or shower upstairs.
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Your mom sounds lovely and from what you wrote it sounds as if everyone is pitching in and doing their part. That is so wonderful, Kel!

As your mom is getting more and more confused can you gradually increase the time the companion spends with her? Ninety minutes can become 2 hours and see how that goes then increase it again the next week or in 2 weeks, ever so gradually that it's not very noticeable. I do home health nursing and I've done this before. Or I'll say, "As long as I'm here why don't I (fill in the blank)?" Then the caregiver can do some laundry or sweep the patio or do whatever you need her to do. But caregivers only do light housekeeping so whatever you need the caregiver to do most of her duties need to be centered around your mom. A caregiver could get your mom out of the house. "Let's take a drive." Or to an Dr.'s appointment. It doesn't sound right to use your mom's increasing confusion to your advantage but you would probably be able to increase the in-home assistance because of your mom's worsening confusion.

I had a patient who had Alzheimer's. She lived with her husband and I was asked to "visit" in street clothes as opposed to scrubs. I rang the doorbell and this beautifully dressed woman with full makeup answered, invited me in, and led me to the den where we sat and watched C-Span. She didn't ask who I was or wonder what I was doing there. She made intelligent comments and asked me if I would like something to drink. It was a very surreal experience and it was only when I had been there for a while that I began to see the cracks. But my point is that she didn't question my being there, she just accepted it. And while she was confused she was a lovely hostess!
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Thanks! I'll try a bit of rearranging. The LAST thing she has ever wanted is to be a burden on her children. I would never tell her that it's getting to be too much because if hurt feelings. When my dad died at home at the age of 99 and 12 days. Mom was the caregiver and did it all up until the last 4 days. She has always said she has lived the 90's vicariously through my dad. She's a wonderful woman who so misses her independence. Thanks again for your reply.
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Dear Kelster,

How about a little 'rearranging' of the truth? Find someone to 'assist' mom, however, put it to mom that 'your friend needs help because she's/he's homeless' ! That way, mom has help & you have peace of mind.
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