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Posted: Sunday, November 21, 2021 10:04 PM
Joined: 7/8/2017
Posts: 114

My sister has been my mothers companion for several years. I do most of the cleaning, handling of doctor appointments, and finances for both of them. My mom is on hospice, recently the nurse hospice told me she’s worried that my sis can’t handle taking care of my mom because she too is showing signs of dementia. I honestly can’t take on any more due to other responsibilities, so I’ve been talking to my other siblings about it being time that we think about placing mom into memory care. 

Now the urgency has changed - my sister fell and broke her hip. Has to have surgery (probably tomorrow), now I’m handling it all, knowing there will be even more needs with my sisters recovery! 

My mom is reasonably easy to take care of, but it is a full time job. She feeds herself, can still dress herself - but it takes her a long time. She doesn’t know who we are a lot of the time, but other times seems to be more aware. She can’t cook or clean, and she can’t be left alone. She often has sundowners. Some days she is just do out of it, all we can do it try to calm her, trying to keep her from completely losing it!

Mom is and always has been dead set against going to a facility. I feel like crap, and I know she is going to be angry - sooooooo how do I do this and make it happen as peacefully and as lovingly as I can?

Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 6:47 AM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 1713

Saya I'm sorry this has happened, but the same dilemma has been brewing for a while.  You can tell your mother this is a temporary necessity. For your sister, I would talk to the hospital social workers today. She wil likely need to go to rehab, and this crisis is your opportunity to think about her longer term future also. Keep us posted when you can and good luck...
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 7:00 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3125


I am so sorry for this entire situation. 

In your shoes, I would likely place your mom in care under the pretext of going to a senior apartment while sister heals and rehabs. If you could get sister released to a SNF/rehab on the same campus, it would be ideal. You might even be able to spin it as mom being near/helping sis. 

The other piece to this, as you probably know, is that your sister's cognition may suffer as the result of the trauma of the break and subsequent surgery. It is very possible sister will never be able to resume her role as companion caregiver and may need to be placed in a care facility herself. 

If there are sufficient assets, another alternative is to hire 24/7 care for the pair of them. You'd have to run the numbers as they apply to your situation. 

My dad carried on mightily about not wanting "to go to a home", but at the end of the day he didn't execute a workable plan to make that possible. When the point came that his care needs were killing my mother he went into care. She felt terrible about this, but I encouraged her to focus on the gift of 10 years of caregiving she did in the home rather than the few months he was in a MCF. FWIW, he adjusted pretty quickly.

Good luck. 

Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 7:44 AM
Joined: 2/29/2020
Posts: 840

Be proactive and contact the discharge planner, case manager or social worker at your sister's hospital (different places have different names, the nurse on her floor can tell you who handles discharge planning there.) Be sure that he/she understands that you can't be the caregiver for your sister as she recuperates. Most patients go home and get therapy there after hip surgery, but she should have the option of short term rehab if her insurance will cover that. This will buy you time to work on a long term plan for her. Meanwhile, you might consider a respite for your mother, with the plan that she can stay long term if it works out. Most places in my area will do respite (minimum seems to be 2 weeks.) and it is a short term solution while you work on all the details for them both. I think it's easier to work out a respite quickly (they are used to hearing that a caregiver has taken ill), and you don't have to pay an admission fee until you're sure. These short term arrangements should be easier to sell to your mother and sister, as well as any other family members, than a quickly drawn up long term plan.
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 10:32 PM
Joined: 7/8/2017
Posts: 114

Thank you all for your replies.

My sister’s surgery went well. Doc called me after and told me she could be out in as few as a few days! I said what about rehab? I told him that she will NOT have the help that she might have told him that she’d have! He said I should talk to the hospital social worker. I didn’t have to wait long, the social worker called me on her own, asked if my sister has dementia. I explained that I had had her tested, but neurologist said no - said she had faux-dementia. The social worker said she had never heard of faux dementia, but that she suspected full blow dementia! She said your sister doesn’t seem to know what is going on. 

When I went to visit my sister, she said she was getting out, maybe by tomorrow! She hadn’t even gotten out of bed for her first walk yet! Then she asked if she’d already had the surgery. At one point she said she thought Saya was going to come visit. I did have a mask on, but there is no way she shouldn’t have known who I was!

Social worker is definitely not going to let her go home! Said she’d send her to rehab! I asked if she could arrange to have sis tested again for dementia, since at this point we do not have a diagnosis. She said she would try to get that done.

So much going on! My brother is coming for the holiday, we will be having some serious discussions! I will bring up some of you suggestions! Thanks again 

Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 4:12 AM
Joined: 11/20/2021
Posts: 7

You poor soul, I feel your pain and I'll tell you 1st you need to make sure u take  are of YOU. seriously, it's hard to do that and sounds selfish but I've been caring for my mom for yrs now alone and it's so very hard keeping everything organized esp for 2 people, your guna need help. Reach out for the ones who know how to find these people  because you will end up in a rubber room and it doesn't take long. I am at the end of my sanity now. I have to get her in a memory care unit asap. She's developed lawyers body dementia I believe by symptoms like overnight. I love my mom so much, she's just been the best one could ask for and I'm not ready to let her go. Yet. She deserves a better quality of life at this point & I just can't do it anymore.  I gave up my independence for so long now and ignored my health and needs. There's not enough time in a day.  It's so very expensive but found the nicest place for her , very lucky she has a policy she started in 1992. Pays a lot and she has enough to be there for quite some time. I don't really no how long she will last. She's not the mom I knew all my life. 

I'll definitely be there a lot but they quantine new patients and I don't want to even think how that will go.  I don't know if she will think I abandoned her or what. Have  no idea what she's thinking or saying anymore.  

I wish you the very best of luck and hopefully you find help because you can't do it alone.  Absolutely no way.

Keep posted. I'll pray for all of you

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