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New to Caregiving for Grandmother with Alzheimer's- Advice needed
illy25
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2019 3:01 PM
Joined: 1/7/2019
Posts: 6


Hello,

My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in September 2018. We have been able to get her in an adult day care and home health aide for the hours until my mother can get home. As a caregiver, my mother does everything she can for my grandmother as well as take care of all chores and responsibilities of rhe house. My grandmother has to be supervised to prevent any accidents and because she starts doing things around the house thinking she is helping but only making more work. I do not want to see my mother deriorate as this newly found position is taking a toll both emotionally and physically. Does anybody have any advice on maybe how to make things easier? Anything that would help make things better for my grandmother and mother. Maybe rearranging things in the house a certain way, child proofing, etc? Any advice for my mother as a caregiver to help her manage the stress and help her emotional well-being? If it helps, I can be more specific on incidents that happen.

Any information is helpful.

Thank you!


Ms. Lala
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2019 4:56 PM
Joined: 11/29/2018
Posts: 13


Good day, first of all I am new to this life as well being the care taker for my mom. I have had to child proof my home, by putting door locks on the rooms not being used, clearing off counters in the bathroom, keeping her room very simple. setting up a nest camera in her room. letting her do things like setting the table ( then fixing later ) letting her wash some dishes  ( cleaning them again later ). My mom did not and does not like to do any painting, crafts, puzzles all things they say to do with them. Its hit and miss with each one. I just try my best to shower her with love and patience  Its a lot, I have not found any help at home as of yet, I gave up my job to take care of my mom. I would try to have the care giver keep mom up until your mom gets home just so she can sleep once mom is home and mom  can get herself a break. reading postings on this sight have been really helpful to me and I am always researching. Best of luck to you and your family. They say make sure you take care of the care giver first and I am starting to really listen. Its life changing and mind exhausting. 

God bless


ruthmendez
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2019 8:52 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 1931


Hello illy. It's hard to answer the question of how to make it easier, especially because your mom is working too.
Working and taking care of PWD leaves no time for yourself.  It just doesn't get easier.  I'm not sure if you or your mom are aware of the typical progression of the disease.  

It is 24/7 care.  But, yes, rearranging things around the house, locking certain bedroom doors, removing certain items, are some of the things I had to do.

I work full time, and I miss a lot of time from work because of my father.  He does have someone caring for him while I'm gone, but I do the caring overnight for diaper changes.  When I come home, I do all the grooming too.  It just ongoing and it seems like no end.  I'm sorry, but I have to say it's tiring and is taking a toll.  

I guess one thing that's important is to stay healthy as much as possible, and keep sane.  


UpbeatWhiner
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2019 9:32 PM
Joined: 1/4/2017
Posts: 34


I have found most help is all situational, so you should maybe give us examples of the things you and your mom need help with, and of course what works for one person may not for another. And even what works for grandma today may not in 3 months.

There are alarms for doors if she tends to wonder, there are ways to make a stove not work if thats an issue. Think safety first, tackle those issues, and then move on to the rest. 

I think the biggest thing I have realized I had to do, was make EVERYTHING as simple as I could. Involve grandma in doing it, but minimize what you can. My mom would go through her clothes almost obsessively looking for an outfit for Sunday church, and then always wore the same one every time. I asked her if she would be willing do downsize and give to charity. She loves helping out the community.  So we went through everything and counted. We only kept 3 winter PJs, three summer sets, and 3 gowns. That sort of thing. When we got to dress clothes, I asked her to pick just the one black skirt she liked most (she had at least 10 plain black skirts), then lets pick 3 colorful skirts you like and matching shirts. We hung them as outfits on the same hanger. We got rid of enough clothing to give two people a full wardrobe, and in doing so minimized her going through her things over and over and over. Everything I make as simple as possible for her lowers the stress and anxiety she had over that thing/issue, and mine in the process as well. 


JoyceBurns
Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 5:00 PM
Joined: 10/29/2015
Posts: 3


Hi, sorry to hear you are entering the arena of dementia with a loved one.  Each case is different and each will change and there is no predicting when or how long each phase will last.  I would suggest a doctor who will help you get a home care nurse to help your mother care for her.  I tried doing it by myself and it is just too hard.  But I do agree with others in that you have to baby proof.  I had to get a PO Box so I could take care of the bills.  And still, things deteriorated to the point that I had to ask for mental health care for her.  I needed it too.  It is a maddening disease and depending on where you live, difficult to find support.  Best of luck to you.
Mimi S.
Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 7:59 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7036


Welcome to our world, illy. i'm so glad you found us.

And thank you to all those experienced caregivers who responded.

I have what seems to be a contrary thought. Do think about Assisted Living with an on-site memory Unit. At home it is often difficult to provide daily activities for physical and cognitive activities. Socialization with other people is often also difficult. In addition to the toll working a paying job and coming home brings to some caregivers.

 

Unfortunately for too many Assisted Living is out of the question because of financial considerations. However, if finances do permit, do think about it. You will still be your mom's advocate and can visit at your pleasure. Sleep at night is a possibility!
Stephanie Z
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 4:52 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4203


Hi,

     Here is a list of information I try to keep updated for the forum. I'm a retired RN who was an Alzheimer's care nurse for many years. I have tried to include much of the information you will need. Here's the website:

https://www.alzconnected.org/discussion.aspx?g=posts&t=2147523850

This is an updated (AUGUST 1 2018 )  list of links about information care givers will need. I check it and add to it on a regular basis. If you find something you would like to add, let me know.   

    The first is a very helpful article is:   "Understanding the dementia experience"  It will give you an idea of what your LO is going through, and what they need to have a good quality of life.  "Communication skills"  demonstrates better ways for you to communicate with the person who has dementia by encouraging  their cooperation  and reducing  the chance of negative behaviors.

   There are many other links included here which will be more applicable, and very helpful as your LO's dementia progresses.

It is also important for you to use the 800 number at the National Alz. Assoc. if you run into problems we can't help with. The 24/7 Helpline is: 1 800 -272- 3900  Ask for a care counselor. This service is free.

Hoping this helps,

Stephanie Z


illy25
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:11 PM
Joined: 1/7/2019
Posts: 6


If you're in florida you need to contact Alliance for Aging to get her approved to apply for medicaid long term care which will pay for adult day care and a home health aide. I had to do this and it was about a month long process. You'll need her diagnosis in a letter from the doctor and a power of attorney to be able to speak on her behalf. Also, maks sure she receives less than $2,000 monthly to qualify for Medicaid.
illy25
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:16 PM
Joined: 1/7/2019
Posts: 6


Hello! Thank you for responding but having my grandmother in someone else's care is not an option. I have experienced family members wither away in homes and thats not something I'm willing to put my grandmother through.
illy25
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:17 PM
Joined: 1/7/2019
Posts: 6


Hello! Thank you for responding but having my grandmother in someone else's care is not an option. I have experienced family members wither away in homes and thats not something I'm willing to put my grandmother through.
illy25
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:17 PM
Joined: 1/7/2019
Posts: 6


Hello! Thank you for responding but having my grandmother in someone else's care is not an option. I have experienced family members wither away in homes and thats not something I'm willing to put my grandmother through.
illy25
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:18 PM
Joined: 1/7/2019
Posts: 6


Thank you for the posts
 
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