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Mom's Alzheimers has reached the point where I'm enlisting the use of a adult day care health program. Working on getting her into it. Meanwhile, we had another disastrous trip to the grocery store (Mom's favorite hobby where she drops $300-$500/week). My best friend's mom who is also good friends with Mom had that moment of confrontation where she was hit with the fact that Mom is gone. Nothing exists of the woman we all knew; we're now purely dealing with the disease.
And it's terrible.
Tired. Angry. Hurting. Crying. But now in therapy...
Can you return items?
I know these suggestions don’t help with the feelings but maybe they will help wth the money.
Tlyoung- So sorry for what you're going through. Therapy is a life saver.
Can you call her bank/credit card company and get them to lower her credit limit, or allow her to only have a debit card? Or, I've heard about pre-paid "spending cards"- you can load money onto them and it works just like a credit card. Also, I shouldn't be assuming she is paying with a card- is she using checks or cash? Perhaps take away her checks or limit the amount of cash she has on hand for each week.
What does she DO with all the stuff she buys- is it all food? Does she hoard certain things? Do you have to throw out food she is wasting? My mother has an obsession with buying toilet paper and bottled water, as well as expensive skin care products. Perhaps you can discreetly return items to save some money.
Sorry you have to deal with this.
Who is taking mom shopping? Maybe it is time for someone to accompany her to the store. And practice these lines;
Hey mom, you don't need that olive oil. I went to get a snack this morning and saw that you have one bottle just opened and another unopened one behind it.
Hey mom, I was looking to see if you had some mustard seed for this recipe I want to try and saw that you already have 5 cans of tuna fish in the cupboard. Let's wait until next week, they may go on sale then.
Hey mom, I went to get a couple ice cubes for my water and saw that your freezer is pretty full. I don't think you can fit those pork chops in there until we eat some of the stuff already there.
Best friend's mom took her. We all try to gently dissuade her when shopping and she just gets angry at us. Her mental and emotional maturity has devolved to the level of a child. She primarily operates on the id's "I want!" and trying to redirect her only leads to anger. We know grocery shopping is a battle we're not going to win; the second she goes into a store she just re-buys everything she already has in triplicate and doesn't care when we try to assure her she already has that. "But I enjoy this! This is my favorite hobby!" And no, she barely eats anything she buys. She hoards everything now, food included. She crams food into every place she can find and the rest of us are left either having to eat it, donate it, or throw it away.
The complete personality change was the second thing effected (following her memory loss). And it's hard for all of us to acknowledge that the Carol we knew is gone. Completely gone. My mom's friend was hit hard with that realization yesterday when she tried to intervene on the shopping and look the Alzheimer's anger in the face; the face of someone who used to be one of her good friends.
I'm hoping going to adult day care may help dissuade the need to go shopping as a way of getting out of the house, but the real fallout is all of us having that moment of standing in the kitchen, looking at one another, crying, and acknowledging out loud to each other that Mom is just gone. Carol has already passed away, now we're just dealing with the disease.