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LGBT Community and Allies
Taking care of Mom, and making a new family with her and my husband and me
Recently moved my mother from Tennessee to California following the death of my father.
Learning how to care for her, as well as building a relationship between her and my husband at the same time.
Major, Major adjustment for all of us.
Hello and a very warm welcome to you, Momma's Boy. When we first begin taking on the duties of providing care first hand, it is really kind of like tap dancing, juggling and whistling the flight of the bumblebee all at the same time. There is indeed a learning curve for everyone, but as we begin to get all our ducks in a row, it all seems to come together. Soon you will be an expert!
I can tell you that if you have any specific issues, about the best thing you can do is to post your issue on the Caregiver's Forum and/or the Spousal Forum. None of us are tied into a particular Forum and we all tend to mosey this way and that way. The reason to wander onto the other Forums, is because they are so well attended and you will get more responses.
Unfortunately, I do not know the function and capabilities your mother has, but I could suggest your partner perhaps going with her to the Senior Center for activites, OR; there are also Adult Daycare Centers out there and each has it's own "flavor" and approach and activities. One can usually attend these Centers partial or full days, one to five days a week. Some really focus on activities, modest exercise, discussion and socialization, so that may possibly work. I actually hired a lovely woman from my church (didn't tell Mom this) and she became Mom's "friend." She came to visit and they had tea and sweets, they went to the hair dresser, to the mall to sit and watch people, to the senior center; out to lunch (on my dime), watched TV, looked at magazines and talked and sometimes took short walks. It helped with socialization and Mom was not overloaded by too much stimulation and it wasn't expensive.
Also, do try calling the Alzheime's Assn. Helpline at (800) 272-3900. Do this on a weekday during regular business hours. Ask if you are at the national office in Chicago or if you are at your local office . . . sometimes it rings right in to the office closest to you. If national, ask to be connected to your local office. Once there, ask to be put in contact with a Care Consultant. These are highly educated social workers who can discuss this concern and oft times can offer information about what is available in the community. There is no fee for this service.
If you have a dementia specialist for your Mom, that is great. If not, it would be a good idea to get her connected to a good Neurologist who sees dementia patients as a routine part of his/her practice. This will do best at managing your mother's care plan which is quite important and increasingly so as the disease moves forward.
You probably already have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and one for Finance; if not, that will be a priority while your mother is still capable of signing. If you are not, I would advise to get on all of her financial accounts, this will save SO much trouble in the future. Also, if you need an attorney for assistance, I strongly recommend using an Elder Law Attorney as they are most knowledgeable about all the bits and pieces of elder law which is very complex. One can find the online, through the phone book and also by going to their professional assn. at www.naela.org One just puts in their zip code and a listing will come up.
Your mother is indeed blessed to have two such wonderful sons caring for her; and the two of you are to be commended for your care and compassion. You are already an excellent advocate on her behalf.
So; do not be a stranger, let us know how you are and how you are doing; and do wander about to the other Forums too for lots of practical knowledge. Saying that, I do want to say; do not let what you read make you a bit nervous. Many of the folks who come here have severe issues they are dealing with. Not all persons with dementia will have such significant problems, many are docile and mostly calm all the way through. Each person is very different from the other. Didn't want to scare you off!
Take care and warm wishes to you,
This Clinical trial of Focused Ultrasound has helped people with Essential tremour and with Alzheimers.