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Endocrinologist -- thyroid treatment to possibly help with MCI
Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 7:55 PM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 335

Saw the endocrinologist today.  She will be treating my borderline low thyroid (which bounces out of bounds then back in bounds).

I hope that this will give me a bit of a brain boost.  And I very much need one now.

I think the exelon patch is helping.  I am more confident that I feel less wool wrapped around my brain.

It is a very odd sensation, almost as if my brain is a bit closer again.  Welcome back, brain!

My spouse and I will be caring for my FIL, who is experiencing some dementia.  We will be buying a house large enough to add my FIL to our household.

This requires a big move and with my spouse spending most of his time caring for his father, that leaves me to make all arrangements for moving 4 hours from where I currently live.

I can use all the useful treatment I can get. 

Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 10:28 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2427

I hope that you would reconsider.  You are putting your life on hold indefinitely with this plan.  How did it come to be that the solution is to move to a new place and create a 1-bed nursing home with 2 employees (your husband and you)?
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 1:44 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16643

What's the income situation? Are you both retired and receiving SS and pensions?  Will FIL be contributing to the new house?  Suppose he has to go into long term care?  Medicaid requires a five year look-back into funds.  Given your own potential cognitive issues, have you consulted an elder attorney for expert advice?  Financial planning is a necessity!  


Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 8:34 AM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 335

I appreciate the concern, very much.  My spouse and I have discussed and thought much before this decision.  It took weeks.  I had to be sure we were ready and able.

My FIL is at the beginning of the dementia journey.  At this point, he needs some supervision and reminders to take meds as prescribed.  After experiencing my mother's advanced dementia, I feel I have some preparation for what will come.

My spouse has all POA in place and my FIL has a steady income and health care as a retired Navy Vet.  The house will be sold and proceeds go toward his care.

When it is time, he will be living in a facility.  Where we are moving, facilities are far more affordable, just less than 2/3 of what they cost where I currently live.

My spouse will be primarily responsible and I will be helping him.  My spouse will be permanently working from home.

I do not want my FIL to have to go into a facility until that level of care is warranted, esp. with the pandemic.  I am looking forward to having him in my household.  I have much to learn from him about his life and my spouse's life before I met him.

I am not looking forward to everything I must do in order to help make that happen.  I am feeling overwhelmed.

We are budgeting for help with packing and for a clean out from our rental.   We will also be hiring weekly cleaning help after the move.  I know I would not be able to manage a large house properly.

My FIL was an amazing father to my husband and very kind to me.

My spouse was willing to do move to add my mother to our household before we learned that her dementia was too advanced to allow for the care I could provide with assistance from caregivers we could afford.

My spouse has no qualms with placing his father when that becomes necessary.  He was witness to my struggles to care for my mother

I am looking forward to having my own house, though it is a few years earlier than we had planned.  My retired service dog will finally have a yard of her own after 11 years of living in apartments.

I don't know how long being a family in this way will last, but I strongly feel it is worth doing.  It might be a year, less or more.

I have no illusions about caring for someone who needs nursing facility care or memory care.  I know I am not capable of that level of care and won't put any of us through the struggle of trying to provide it.

I want to help and I can do this.  It will be hard in the beginning and near the end.  I think the middle will be worth the effort. 

Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 2:31 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16643

KawKaw, I'm so glad to learn that you have a well thought out plan. I think one of the biggest challenges is deciding where to live and accommodating the household to the new realities.  You've been down this road with your mother, so you know much of what you have to anticipate.  Getting household help is a great plan.    

I have a question.  You say your FIL needs only help with his medications and some supervision.  Why are all the moving arrangements on you?  That's a huge task for a well, young person.  There are companies that do "senior moving."  They know how to downsize and move.  The Flylady also has a moving list and advice.  I've been downsizing for the past several years and I am still struggling.  I want to give up but I can't.  What I have discovered for me is that I need to get rid of most of what I have.  I have to pare way, way down.  More than would be acceptable for a well person.  My suggestion to you is to not let all of the moving and new household set-up be on you.  Collaboration will be of great help.  Best wishes, KawKaw!  


Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 5:56 PM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 335

Thank you for your input, Iris.  It is welcome.

Truly, I am not pleased to have our move primarily my responsibility.  My spouse will be home periodically to help for a week at a time.

My FIL lives 4 hours away and though he does not need 24/7 supervision, it seems best to have someone with him just in case something changes. 

My spouse and his brother are taking turns staying a week with FIL.  For the first few months, it was to get a good understanding of his current condition.

In October, that will change to my spouse staying 2 weeks while my BIL works, then a week home with me to help with the move.

My spouse is going to be looking at local houses for purchase while he is there with FIL.  He will be working arranging the mortgage, everything on that end until my signatures are needed.  I plan to drive up to look at the short list of properties.

I am weeding my belongings now.  Clothes, knick knacks gifted to me that I didn't have the heart to give away before.  Furniture that doesn't fill a function for me.

I am weeding my files of documents I don't need to keep any longer.

In the meantime, my small life continues to turn.  I keep close to home and do my socializing online.

Dogs need to be exercised in the morning and walked throughout the day and evening.  I have responsibilities for the nonprofit for which I serve on the board.

Household chores, which require a bit of effort to get motivated to do.

My local sister will help with the preparation and moving day.  She is a terrific supervisor.

I have been frank with my spouse about not being able to do it alone.  I have said very directly that it is not possible for me to do it all.  He has not let me down in the past.

It is going to be hard.  I will have to be aware of and communicate my vulnerabilities, my limits, hire help, and work very very hard.

I will need to have others observe me to be sure I am rooted in reality.

I think the result will be worth the work and effort.  I admit I am intimidated by the amount of work this will be.

Moving to a house from our one bedroom apartment is a very attractive option.  I want space.    I want to foster and train a dog now and again so that they can find forever families.  It is a calling, dog training.

Moving opens up some doors along with helping my spouse care for his father.  Mixed bag.


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2020 2:34 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16643

When I was diagnosed as having systemic lupus almost thirty years ago, I was give wise advice that has served me well.  "Accommodate your illness!"  I always keep this in mind when I seek changes.  There will be two of you with limited capacity in the house.  I hope you are thinking single story, without a basement or too many steps.  Look for a fenced yard and possibly a screened-in porch or deck.  Read about what is desirable for older adults in a home.  There are a lot of threads about home modifications on these boards, if you have time to search for them. There are also threads on moving.


What I have learned is that a key to living with cognitive impairment/early dementia is to anticipate changes.  Most new members join after they have been overwhelmed by happenings that are unexpected by them, but that are actually quite common. They get frustrated and worn out by fighting a losing battle over something because they didn't know differently.  Don't let this happen to you, KawKaw!  You already know you are having difficulties.  Don't let yourself get overwhelmed!  If you have the funds, think seriously about a senior move company.  I think Jo C wrote about such a company once. Make your life easier!  Accommodate your illness! Keep downsizing!  Don't feel discouraged because you can't do things the way you used to years ago!  I am saying this because I have had these thoughts myself.  But I chase them away when they pop up!



Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2020 3:25 PM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 335

I have been thinking that I have been accommodating my cognitive vulnerabilities while still contributing to my family unit.

The responses I have received makes me suspect I am not properly hearing what posters here are trying to tell me.  Thank you very much for doing what you can to get through to me.

Knowing dementia, I realize that I might not be aware of my empty places.  Such a twisted symptom.  Very frustrating.

I have been gauging my abilities and health by my behavior and feedback on my behavior and communications.

My spouse will be home this week (YAY!) and I will share that I am very interested in getting a reality check on what I can reasonably do.

I appreciate all the feedback, support and suggestions I have received.  Many thanks!