My 87 year old grandma that is suffering with dementia moved in with us about 5 months ago. It hasn't been bad for the most part...she has good days and bad days but, this past weekend she went completely crazy. She ran out of the house with a safety pin and a pair of fingernail clippers stating I was going to hurt her (I'm the only one who consistently is patient with her outbursts) and that I'm hiding her money upstairs (we live in a single-story home--no attic). I didn't try to argue with her because I've learned that they're beyond the point of reasoning. I chased her down in the rain and begged her to come back inside and eventually had to call 911 to have an ambulance take her to the hospital. She ended up having a UTI and is much better now--even embarrassed about how she acted--but, my gracious, I'm so nervous with her staying with us now. I haven't been able to get a good night's rest since. She was diagnosed about a year or so ago with mild dementia but, it was always forgetting to eat, take her medicine or forgetting what day of the week it was. She is still able to bathe, feed, and toilet herself. She even likes to go get our mail and walk around the yard. We have never had a problem with her. She would have paranoia about her money after the move into our place but, it never made her run away. My husband and I are both working full time and we really try so hard to take good care of her. We are both in our mid-20s and I'm pregnant with my second child and my first is 2.5 years old. I really don't want to put her in a nursing home but, I don't know if I'm doing her justice by keeping her home. I'm always on top of her medicine and doctors appointments but, with work and going on 2 young children...I don't know what the right option is. I would appreciate any and all advice from experienced Alzheimer's/dementia caregivers. Or anyone with experience with putting a loved one in assisted living/nursing home.
I wish you peace, luck and the ability to not feel guilty. There is nothing to feel guilty about.
1. UTIs are just about the #1 cause with elderly. It's amazing that this infection which as maturing adults, we took for granted that the Dr gives us a drug for that and it goes away for years/years, now becomes something that will never go away and it affects them mentally.
2. Talk with her Dr. With my Mother, her Dr told her she only had 5 marbles left in her head and if she had 1 more issue happen HE will place her in a nursing home. She threatened to call the police and he told her to because he has the legal right and that he would have them take her when they get there
3. Mom had her last chance about 3 weeks later. Ended up in the hospital WITH A BAD UTI, so my husband and I did not have the choice other than find a place that I WOULD BE COMFORTABLE
4. You need to have her examined, the Dr tells you no more
5. Have a professional help you look for a suitable place....you'll be comfortable with
6. Buy yourself a quart of your favorite ice cream, watch the Notebook and cry, cry, cry
7. Then prepare yourself for everything that you'll be forced to do should you have to go Court to become her Appointed Guardianship/conservator
You are my daughter’s age.
We just moved my Mom to a care home after having her with us for one year, preceded by 6 years of caring for her in her own home.
During the past year, my daughter (a full-time college student) gave up her social life, many nights of sleep, and one of her part time jobs to help me care for Mom. My husband became our cook and took over care duties when no one else was available. I can’t begin to tell you how much it affected my health and job security. We ensured 24-hour care for her. And, spent thousands of dollars on in-home care just so we could go to work.
Based on our experience, and of others I’ve met along the way, I would tell you this -
First - love yourself, your children and your husband. Place these things first in your life. They should take priority over any care giving responsibilities you accept.
You are a kind, loving granddaughter (like my own daughter). No one else can take your place in that. Allow others - professionals - to “care” for your grandmother. They are trained and equipped.
Next, invest your time and energy now to find the best and affordable long term care placement for your grandmother.
Dementia is a degenerative disease. There are no cures. Your love will not be enough as the disease, inevitably, progresses.
Lastly, make your Grandmother’s move to a care home or assisted living a high priority. Transitioning to a new home is difficult for elders with dementia. The sooner your Grandmother can move, the sooner she will adjust to the change and learn to be happy there.
Wishing you all the best.
You are young and have a family to raise and apparently a great love for our grandmother. It maybe best if you can find a wonderful Assistant Living place where she will have 24 hour care where her medication is administered, meals prepared for her and activities where she is interacting with others her age. You could go an visit with your kids and enjoy your time with her and she can spend sometime with your family and you have a peace of mind.
If possible call social services and see about having a Social worker assess your grandmother and also assist with finding the right type of place for your grandmother. It will take some of the pressure off of you and allow you to rest knowing she is well cared for.
I seems as if her craziness was due to an infection, not full blown dementia.
My uncles wife was completely bedridden due to a muscular disorder and the caregivers took all the stress off of him.
He simply attended to her emotional needs.
Some patients thrive in a nursing home, others go downhill. It all depends on the individual.
grandma in a nursing home. Your heart will tell you that. You have to realize that grandma is not doing anything to hurt you, its the disease taking over her mind.
you need to take into consideration the new baby and its needs, the toddlers needs, work, husband, his feelings, etc.
maybe there is other family members who can chip in and help to make it easier for you and your family.
you have a lot of thinking to do and decisions to make. the only thing I would tell you is DONT feel guilty if your decision is to put grandma into a nursing home. you took grandma in, you took care of her as best you could, and most important you love grandma and she knows that deep inside. you have nothing to feel bad about what ever decision you make.
I wish you the best with your growing family and grandma....
I agree that bells and whistles are far less important than the basics of good care.
You love your grandmother. Unfortunately, it is necessary to prepare for the worst because dementia only gets worse. This is a difficult and emotionally draining process. Take care of yourself and your pregnancy because nothing good will happen if you burn yourself out.
Sounds like you have a lot on your plate! That is a lot to take on with you being pregnant & you have another little one & working full time! It is always difficult to make that decision. First, I am guessing your parents are not in the picture, do you have any other siblings? Second, does grandma have the funds for a NH? Just letting you know, it is a LOT of work if Medicaid is needed, it can be a full time job in itself! You can always talk to her doctor and see what they think. My mother was deemed as needing 24 hour care and that is when I had to make the decision to place her. She says she is lonely & bored, but it is better for her & me & my family that she is somewhere safe, gets fed 3 meals and has many activities to fill up her days. (not that she remembers them ) : ) Safety was a big issue for me as well, she wanted me to continue taking care of her at home,but I can't be there 24 hours a day, and you are still young and have a lot going on in your life.
Best of luck - don't let the guilt control any decision you need to make, write down pros & cons and put your emotions aside. : )
I knew the moment had already passed when both my husband and I began getting physically sick - him, began having high blood pressure and now is on meds, and me, I could no longer sleep deeply nor rest during the day and I got sick from exhaustion. I then had to choose between giving her constant care and our long term health and ability to work - her needs or our life.
I was also at a point when I knew I could no longer sustain the situation for her benefit nor ours.
That day, although I wisely chose our life and health, was one of the hardest for me to take action upon. A year and a half later I am glad for all our sake, although my heart wishes I could still take care of her. I go visit now 2-3 times a week and can spend quality time with Mom.
I personally wouldn't trust her near a newborn & neither should you as you would be on pins & needles worrying about another UTI
You need rest not stress as this can affect the baby long term - check it out because this type of stress can be as harmful to an unborn baby as drinking while you are pregnant
If your grandmother's finances permit, call around to assisted living/memory care communities near you. They are MUCH less expensive than a nursing home and your grandmother doesn't sound like she needs medical care. She needs support with activities of daily living, social engagement with peers, and an environment that will keep her safe and set your mind at ease. All that spells AL/MC. She may be able to start off in AL (if that running out of the house episode was entirely due to her UTI).
Expect the initial transition to be a little rough (dementia can make it hard to adapt to new environments for some). Hang in there. It will be OK.
Visit an elder law attorney (not just any attorney) and talk about your grandmother's finances and the best way to plan for her care now and in the future.
You obviously love and respect your grandmother, but you're in charge now.
Best to find that best quality memory care facility she can afford now and relocate her. She will hatd it for a while, but she will be safe and have more professional support than family can provide. If you are not POA for health care and/or property, then work with whoever is to relocate her.
Once she is relocated, you, the kids and hubby can visit frequently and at the same time preserve the joy of living your young family life .
Please do not let her condition keep you and yours hostage to her condition. It will soon feel like that and it will get far,far worse.
You are a loving granddaughter and have been generous.
Sometimes it's a personal choice.