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One day she' pretty much ok then 2 days later is seeing things or not sure where she is. She had another UTI which is now cleared up plus her new Dr. put her on a low dose anti-depressant which she would normally never have taken but she seems much happier with it. Before this I was pretty sure it was time....I, also, brought in a home care worker 4 hours in the a.m. which has certainly helped both of us. The Dr. said to start spending down her money but I'm afraid of doing that too soon....this is just so confusing...........also (this is really strange) after a lifetime of being mean and nasty (narcissistic) she's suddenly a sweet little old lady....shocking to everyone who's known her...is this normal (whatever 'normal') is?

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Sounds like she could have dementia. Dementia can change a personality. It's good you have someone coming in to help. If she ahs dementia, then she may eventually have some behavior issues. If she is no longer safe to be at home, does not want to bathe or eat then it may be time for a facility. It's a personal choice; not everyone is able to care for someone at home. When the person becomes less mobile and needs to be lifted, this is difficult and may also be an indicator of nursing home placement. Once in a facility you can still remain involved, but you no longer have to complete the physical tasks. As a caregiver you must first take care of yourself before you can care for someone else. Make a list of pros and cons, talk with the physician for his/her recommendations.
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Mleigh you now see how much your mom needed antidepressants! I bet she couldn't help who she was before. My mom went on them in her 70's and
Said "omg i wish i had these years ago!!!"
I chose to never put my mom in a NH and its hard but i hire morning help when i can. Its your choice, you dont ever have to so take your time.
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It's too late now to "spend" on anything other than mom's care. There is some leniency to make reasonable needed repairs to her home, which might be a way to somehow preserve money for family BUT be aware, there is Medicaid Estate Recovery, which will put a lien on her home (if you go to sell it or even transfer title, you will have to pay back nursing home bills out of sale of home). I'm not an expert, ask an Elder Care lawyer, but one relative did have their home sale proceeds essentially given all.to the state, to pay back NH bills. This is a good thing, people should pay their own bills, and the home as a large asset isn't to be thought of as belonging to the heirs, it belongs to the senior for their own use. Also keep in mind the level of "niceness" of care if you are private pay is much nicer than welfare paid. Private room can mean a lot to a senior's dignity.
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I agree with Pam, and let's talk about the "right time." As tomes of reading on this site will attest, the right time turns out to be the right time for EVERYONE. The criteria for your mom's right time and yours might be different, probably will be, but my personal opinion is that when the criteria are met for one family member, then it is the right time for all.

That means,of course, that you need to sit down and think about the criteria.

Also, you MUST talk to an elder lawyer. "Spending down" the funds might be meaningless if it has to have occurred six years prior to admittance to the AL. Things are not always what they seem--oh, boy, is that ever true. So, safety first. Be informed correctly. Lawyers are not doctors, and vice versa.
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Don't you wish you could have found the right meds years ago? I was so relieved when MIL finally got the right medications. Before you spend down, talk to facilities and ask for the free benefits consultant. Maybe even go see an Elder Law attorney.
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