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Home Aide
Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022 7:27 AM
Joined: 11/24/2019
Posts: 7

I finally made the decision to get my LO a home aide.  It's so hard to know if this is the right decision.  She seems so with it and capable.  My niece and her family live with my mom but it's a lot on them. My mom calls me every day multiple times to ask what she should be doing for the day.  We have no idea what she does when everyone is out of the house.  My mom doesn't remember to eat, does things she shouldn't like feed the dog cat food, and pulls herself up as she goes upstairs.  These all sound like good reasons to have an aide to be with her for some of the day.  

Today is supposed to be the first day. My mom called me crying saying why do I have to have an aide.  The aide isn't even there yet!  I'm going to my mom's house to help with the introduction. Why does doing the right thing, feel so hard?

Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022 8:16 AM
Joined: 5/9/2022
Posts: 60

Hi phillymcole,

This is a struggle I have had with my mom since I started caring for her. 

She keeps telling me she's getting better. She keeps saying she doesn't want this and what did she do to deserve this...she was a good person (that can be debated but we won't go there).

 She keeps doing things that is a huge risk to her safety. She is a fall risk. She has a caregiver come by three days a week. I planned it that way to make sure she eats but then she either forgets to eat and tells them she ate, or she snacks all day. Either way, she is still desperate to control her own life, even though she cannot.

Last week she wanted to use the shop vac to clean the front porch...and she did. She got snippy with me when I asked her if she was going to finish, because she started watching TV and almost forgot. Then I got to take this five pound shop vac (which weighed five pounds and eight ounces with all the debris she vacuumed...ha was only a quarter full) and dump it, only to have the porch be cluttered again with debris eight hours later. WHY??? WHY????

To answer your question, doing the right thing makes the person you are caring for feel like there is less control over their lives and it is devastating to them. You sense that and it breaks your heart. Plus there is the underlying issue of their time being short, and the denial. They believe they are still who they were and they cannot see how on earth people would think they need help. This disease prevents that logic.

What I have to remember is that doing the right thing trumps any emotions, because it is about safety and wellness. Your mom will get used to this and eventually will look forward to the visits, depending on who she connects with. I promith!!

Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022 3:05 PM
Joined: 11/24/2019
Posts: 7

Thanks nerdyblond.

Day 1 sounds like it has been a disaster. My mom won't talk to the aide and keeps trying to leave her behind.  This is so frustrating!

Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022 3:30 PM
Joined: 12/11/2018
Posts: 1093

Hi Philly - 

Your DM may be like my husband and many dementia sufferers who are not in denial though it seems like it to us -- their brain disease causes a condition called anosognosia, which prevents awareness that there is anything wrong. You can try to explain and reason away, but they aren't being difficult...they really feel like you are gaslighting them (and it can really seem to them that you are going a bit loco). Very hard for us to understand or even imagine, but there it is.

That's why we really have to come up with fiblets and workarounds to get things done for their safety, with the least resistance. Whatever you think she will accept, e.g. the person is not there to help her...but to learn, to earn, to do a bit of cleaning or cooking or repairs or whatever may fly.

Learning that I was the one who had to get the attitude adjustment was hugely helpful! I never heard of anosognosia, but it is a real thing. This article helped me a lot. I learned to stop wasting time and breath trying to convince my LO of anything to "bring him around to my way of thinking". LOL I can laugh at myself now. That didn't work. And it often agitated us both, or made him mad and me mad and sad. Thank goodness for this forum. I learned you can't reason with someone whose reasoner is broken. I wanted him to cooperate and the best chance of that was not to approach it head on. That's just dementia. You can make the switch to "whatever answer or explanation brings the most comfort is the right one", and 'the truth' is a relative concept". Try it; it will make a difference. Good luck to you!

6 Ways to Help Someone Who Doesn’t Know They’re Ill: Anosognosia in Dementia – DailyCaring