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Mom not liking caregiver
Hi GuitarGirlLaura. I'm sorry you are going through this.
I can’t tell from your post whether the assisted living center did an evaluation and the result was she needed MC or whether they just casually mentioned assisted living might not be suitable, if it’s the latter, you might ask for an evaluation.
I also can’t tell from your post what stage your mom actually is in. Does she dress herself and choose appropriate clothing? Does she feed, toilet and shower herself appropriately? If so, she’s probably still in mild dementia stage Even so, independent living is probably too stressful for her, especially on top of the move. A change like that can really knock them for a loop. She may also be anxious and depressed, which affects their cognitive level.
You might take her to an urgent care place and ask that she be tested for a UTI since she’s behaving differently the last few weeks, she may not be drinking enough water. The common symptom of a UTI in the elderly is an increase in confusion and brain fog.
It’s really hard dealing with a person with dementia and trying to work full time and have a family. Several of us here retired a couple years earlier than expected due to the stress I’m not saying you should- not everyone has that luxury.
Are you able to speak to the doctor that prescribed the patch? Maybe he can recommend an alternative or, perhaps, there is something that can be done to alleviate the issues it was causing. Maybe that would help until she gets to the neurologist appointment. So frustrating that you can't get an appointment for that long.
Also, when I said if it's not a good fit, I meant don't worry about changing a caregiver that doesn't seem to be working well with your mom. Give it some time but then give the agency feedback to see if they can find someone who may work out better. It's a common issue.
Best of luck.
Thanks for your post, Quilting..Yes, she dresses herself. Makes her bed every morning. If I ever see that bed not made, I'll know something is really off! We're not sure on how often she showers and her eating is all out of whack. Thanks for reminder on the UTI...I suspected that a couple of months ago, and took her to get tested and the test didn't "take"..not enough pee. I should have had her test again. I don't know if I can get her to go test again..she was pretty mad at me thinking she had a UTI (normally she's a pretty sweet, easy going person).
I think we are going to have her evaluated soon by the place she lives. I don't want to even spring that on her but it's looking like it's going that way. I actually think she'd do well in assisted living, but apparently at her place they told us your mind has to be "intact" for assisted living, and you move there if you have a physical issue...and memory care would be the option for her. I'm not sure what stage my mom is in. Her old neurologist in Florida was not great and never gave us any indication about exactly which stage she is in, and they were super hard to deal with. Plus she doesn't live in Florida anymore. I'm gonna hope for the best with the caregiver coming tomorrow, and hope it goes well (4th visit).
Laura, when we moved my FIL to MC, he could do all his grooming (with reminders), toileting, carry on a short conversation, feed himself, and was physically very healthy (could walk miles a day). He could even call us on his KISA phone.
The reason we went the way of MC is that had we done AL, there is no doubt he would have wasted away in his apartment due to inertia (discussed in another thread). Because he was encouraged to come out of his room for meals and activities in MC, that didn’t happen. The group was always together in the commons area or courtyard and some were participating, some were hanging out and some were sleeping. He had a walking buddy there and there is no telling how many miles those two logged, lol. The higher functioning residents gravitate towards those at their level or staff.
He for sure would have told us he didn’t want to go, but he did well, maybe even improved, at least mood-wise. We were at a crossroads at the time we placed him - whether to bring in caregivers or MC and the MC was the right call for him at the time (he’s back home now for the final stage though).
Hi, sorry for your struggles. My first thought is what was in the patch? Could just taking it off trigger some problems. My moms been on Memantine for a long time. When she was having “pill burden” issues, it was a med I considered removing. When I began titration her off of it I saw some negative changes like she wasn’t able to follow directions as well. She might take a misstep while walking in weird ways. I put it back in and those things improved. Again, I started the titration off of it a few months later, same result. Now there aren’t many things she needs to do. I’m removing it. Still I wonder if her confusion with what her fork is, for example, could be exacerbated because of the meds titration, I’ll never know.
I guess my point is maybe a sudden removal of the patch might be a problem?
Also, I didn’t expect Memantine to help her memory but I do think it helped in some ways, often physically.
I hope your day is peaceful in some way.
IME (mother, in various levels of facilities in 2 states) many/most people with dementia/cognitive issues do not do well in assisted living. So many ALs are set up more for “physical” problems and do not provide the kind of help a person with cognitive problems needs.
Somebody here once said if a person can and will ask for help, AL might be good. But if they cannot or will not ASK for help—they don’t really know they need help, or if they just want to sit and do nothing—then they need memory care. (If I read it right, that’s what your place is telling you now.)
That may be over-simplifying or generalizing, but it seems to often be a good guideline.
And as HBuzz said, many AL residents will not “socialize” with someone who’s more cognitively impaired. It may be mean, but that does happen.
Now that my DH has Alzheimer’s, I’ve been through the wringer on home aides. I strongly think it takes time for many PWDs to get used to the aide. I don’t even expect “bonding,” just tolerate and accept. And yes, it may take a few before you find a good one. I went through 4 over a few months (most quit because DH was so difficult, but that’s another story)
And, as said, I never told him it was a caregiver for him; that was a dealbreaker, nonstarter. . The idea that he needed a babysitter was infuriating, although its exactly what he needed. He was always told the aide was a helper for me.
Maybe tell your mom it’s a facility staffer there to do (something the facility does)…just not a caregiver for her. Although it may be too late for that if she remembers the person…
I had to have the 5th aide here maybe 8-10 times before DH was ok with her—not welcoming, but just ok. Yes, that was a lot of time when she was not doing what I needed her to do. But that was the trade-off for the long-term benefit of getting him used to her.
Sorry, but meant to say…complaining of nothing to do, while refusing to try any activities or actually do much of anything, was something my mother did for years.
Her caregiver, who was excellent, and her MC could get her out, she could do or go to all kinds of activities, but nothing ever suited. It was an effort to get her, she may or may not have tolerated or done it, but she never really enjoyed it. I think I read here that I had to do what finally happened.: accept that there was no way to restore her abilities and make her happy. She was cared for, and safe. We don’t always get “happy” with dementia.
My DH now is in that mid-stage Harshed Buzz wrote about in her last graf. It absolutely is exhausting, and frustrating. So many fiblets and work-arounds needed….there is no way on earth I could do it while working (I did before). I don’t know how anyone can do that long, without a lot of outside help.
Thank you. Yeah I'm not sure what stage she's at...somewhere in the moderate stages I think. Yes, she can dress herself, bathroom, all that. Not sure how much she's showering. That turns into argument. And cooking, she's almost stopped completely and I think she kind of forgets to eat and doesn't know how to put a meal together.
She's is going to 3 fitness classes a week now which she really enjoys and loves the teacher. But I do have to remind her each time, right before, to walk over to the fitness center, which is luckily only 50 feet out the door. Short term memory seems like it's 80% gone. She seems to do better on the 2 days the caregiver is there, I think the routine is good for her. Even though she still complains about it. She seems more confused on days she's sitting in her apartment all alone. It gives me peace of mind when caregiver is there, or my sister is there. I was going almost every other day for months, and now I go visit twice a week. My sister visits at least one a week, sometime twice.
We hired a caregiver - a "companion" - to come a couple of days of week to assist with bathing and some household chores. It could literally take the entire morning to coax mom into taking a shower and then styling her hair. So, the caregiver became a "friend" in her eyes, like someone she would visit at the beauty shop. We ended up increasing the caregiver's hours after mom had a nasty fall and it was obvious, she needed more oversight. Anyway, call the caregiver her companion.
After the fall, my mother went to assisted living - not independent senior living. An assessment by the facility was made to see basically if she could walk (with her walker) and if there were transfer issues - they are seeing if residents can make it on their own to the dining area; they were aware of cognitive issues (everyone in the assisted living had some type of cognitive decline - that is why the majority of them are there!). It took me walking down with her to the dining room and going to BINGO to get her in a routine. Some of her friends would stop by once a month. I eventually hired a caregiver to take her shopping or visiting to give her a break from Assisted Living, but the caregiver burned out after a couple of months (as mom can be difficult).
We recently had to move her to memory care due to continued memory loss and cognitive functioning. It was a really hard move to make the change. She wants back to assisted living but she cannot function there anymore.
I had a speech therapist test her when she was at rehab. We started with a neurologist after the fall, and he said she just had low IQ! What a joke! My mom was an accountant. A nurse said fire him, he is obviously wrong! Since then, testing at different agencies (speech therapists and doctors) show moderate dementia. (Incidentally, she is in Florida too.) So, although a neurologist should be able to diagnose the level of dementia, he/she is unlikely to say that in front of your mom. It will be on the paperwork. Her PCP should be able to do the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) every time she goes in for her 6-month Medicare appointment. If not, ASK because it will give you a baseline.