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Question on when family in home care in no longer good enough...
So my sister and I have been living with my mother for the past 3 1/2 weeks and aside from some hiccups in our transition and understanding of how to live/work with her (as well as few mental breakdowns on my and my sister's parts which were wrong and made us learn what we can't and shouldn't ever EVER do), we've been "ok". The only problem I've been noticing is that mom's disconnect from reality is getting bigger. I think the problem stems from the fact that I'm doing all the cooking and therefore she thinks she's staying at my house. Fine, we can handle that. The problem is that she sometimes thinks she lives down the road in her childhood home and needs "to go home for the night". We deal with that with some version of truth and/or fib. Tonight my sister and I went to a meeting together and came back to mom having "tidied up" the house cause "the kids were coming" and she was waiting for our dad, who has been dead for 10 years, to come home. The tidying up was mostly our stuff that had been left downstairs - nothing major, just phone chargers put into a drawer and a box/bag moved around a bit. I understand sundowning to a certain extent, but we've gone from this happening every 3 or other day to every night and some mornings since we've gotten here. I'd like to think that eventually some form of equilibrium will occur and the delusions won't occur more, but I'm not sure if our mere presence here is making mom's mental state worse.
So long ramble short, for anyone who has gone through this, what made you pull the plug and start the process of moving your LO into a facility? I'm not giving up yet, just worried I'm going to have to push the plan of moving mom back to MN and into a facility faster than I wanted.
Thanks - Holly
Will you or your sister be living with your mother from now on? If so, she will be safe and whether she has delusions or not, they won't affect her safety so she could still live at home. As you learn more about Alz, you will learn delusions are par for the course and learn ways to adapt. My mother had plenty of delusions and just like your mother was looking for missing children, even thinking she was never married and was just a teenager, to talking to mirrors and seeing horses in my backyard, or thinking someone stole her purse. I went along with what she believed as best I could. I did not try to reorient her to "reality", but lived in her world just to keep her from feeling anxious by me always correcting her. .
However, if your mother will soon be left to live alone-then she won't be safe and should be moved to a facility closer to you or your sister. Good luck.
+What are your thoughts about getting an aide in during the day/evenings or even 24 hours? So far that has been working for us. I am sure my dfil wants to keep dmil at home for as long as that is humanly possible. So far having the aide and him their in their home has been working. Oh, not perfectly or without issues but it has been working.
Just a thought.
To answer the questions that have been asked:
My sister and I are here with mom until we figure out out next step, whether that be a facility in MN or something here in MD.
My brother tried having an aide come in to be with Mom back in January but she "fired" them because "She didn't need any help". She is extremely resistant to outside help. It's a miracle she's tolerating my sister and I being here full-time.
I'm not looking for immediate answers; more long-term. After have a long discussion with my sister last night after I posted my question, I think we have a plan.
Oh the "tidying up." My mom was a pro at this. Always re-arranging and taking things. If I set my car keys down for all of 2 minutes they were gone. I learned to leave everything important in my car because it would disappear. 4 months after she moved to MC there are things we know are in the house somewhere but haven't found yet!
The delusions are normal and probably aren't going away no matter where she is or who is there. My LO also has this thing about kids, sometimes they are orphans, sometimes her kids who are apparently young. She is often preparing for the kids. She says her mother is coming to pick her up who has been dead for decades. She did it in her normal surroundings at home with her spouse of 40 years, she does it at MC. It's a normal part of dementia. Delusions and disconnect from reality may have nothing to do with you being there. What caused us to pull the trigger on moving her was we couldn't meet her needs anymore. That point is different for everyone. For us it was incontinence that really was the game changer plus her ability to get into mischief got to be too exhausting for my dad. I would again stress that you learn about the progression of the disease and make decisions based that. It is hard to know what the right thing is and there will always be room for second guessing. You just do your best. Good luck.
just my .02 cents for what it is worth....you can retry the aides again at another time. The exact same thing happened with my dmil. We had a friend who was working as an aide stop in a couple of afternoons a week. We had a fiblet that she was in between jobs and did not want to drive all the way home. Worked for a couple of weeks and then she figured it out and would not let friend stay anymore....fast forward about a year ago....she didn't question why we moved her bed downstairs into the living room. She, of course, did not question why the aide lives in the house now (never mind just a couple of hours a week). The good and bad thing about this disease is things change.