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Dazed and Confused
Wendell Gee
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:13 PM
Joined: 8/13/2019
Posts: 1

Mother received AD diagnosis appx 18 months ago.  I committed to her that I'd keep her living independently as long as possible but am getting a lot of cocked eyebrows from her physicians when I tell them she's still on her own.  In addition to her AD she has vestibular issues (migranes/vertigo) that make her at risk for falls.  AD seems to be mid-stage with symptoms including pronounced speech aphasia, inability to spell or pay bills, but still able to care for herself, shop on her own, and prepare own meals.  I'm poster child for sandwich generation: have young children and travel fairly frequently for work so I cannot check in with her on a daily basis (telephone calls are difficult for her, FaceTime is a 50/50 proposition).  

Not sure if respite care is appropriate or if I should move straight to AL.  Physicians believe social situation of AL may improve speech/cognition due to being forced to speak in social situations, as she currently lives alone per her wishes.  She has a pension which will cover ~50% of monthly AL expenses, which are quite steep where we reside.

I realize that each situation is unique, but am eager to learn at what point others have made determination to go to AL.


Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:17 PM
Joined: 5/2/2019
Posts: 117

If you are going to have your mom moved, I think you may want to consider one step above what you think she needs so instead of assisted living, maybe memory care. And maybe look at a place that she can age in place...mean she can stay with the same facility but getter higher care as she needs it.

 Since you do not spend that much 24/7 time with her, you may want to do that for about 10 days so you have a better idea of where she is at. If the doctors are looking at you askance then you are in trouble. It is usually the other way around. Lol!

Ask yourself if she answers the phone? Then she will be scammed if she has not been already.

Since she prepares her own meals, I assume that means cooking. Look for burnt pans and/or hot pads, I bet she has some from forgetting the stove is on. Even if she has not yet, she soon will.

Food in the fridge. Is it rotten? 

Her judgment is impaired. Today is the best she is going to be and she is only going to get worse.

These are the facts. You will need to make your decision based off of them.

Good luck.

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 11:08 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 4818

You got some good advice, I just wanted to add that if you have not stayed with your mother overnight-then perhaps you can figure a way to get some other family member to do so and see just what really transpires over the course of 24/48 hours. It may be that she only needs care mid morning, or late afternoon- something she'll be able to afford verses AL. Stimulation will her active longer as long as it is not OVER stimulation. Good luck!
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 11:34 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 705

Hi Wendell,

I've found Doctors tend to vote for as UNrestricted  living situations as possible so if they don't like her alone- it is time(past).

On the promise you made, the disease moves one way. Sure everyone wants "freedom" but that isn't free to be unsafe or preyed upon. Safe is what the focus should be.

It is very hard when we hear the voice we’ve listened to for so long - your whole life in your case, and have to realize it isn’t “powered” by an intact brain. They sound the same, have those “mommy eyes and that little mouth frown” that we watched for to give us instructions for so long.

But now we have to guide the show, make the tough calls to keep them safe and the decisions may not make them happy. But she needs to have you make the call for her.

(I assume you’ve done the legal things POA, healthcare etc).

Puzzled how she can shop but not able to pay bills. Have you seen her receipts- is she buying logical things? Please say she isn’t driving.

Right now, you are traveling, she falls, how can she get help? She yells but has speech aphasia.

As suggested look for a place where she can move through all the stages. Hopefully a private room. Until she can’t notice it anymore.

Remember you should be looking at placing her at a level for her worst day not her best. And, again, it does keep going.

Good luck Wendell. You may not be able to follow her wishes of independence, the disease- not you- took that away  but you are respecting her by getting her safe care.

(It may be a sad /happy thing to have in the future, but maybe save a few of your face times with her . I miss my mom’s voice, her mommy eyes and that little frown )

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