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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

Hi Kathy and Alice!

Welcome, though it's no fun having the need to be here.

My 80+ year old mother had lived alone in a nice little house that she bought at age 79 and it had a nicely small and managable yard. My Dad had died 12 years before. I'm the only child and lived 1200 miles away. Not easy, as you know, Alice!

I won't go into details of Mom's decline, but it was after a few minor and one major car accident (no one even hurt, thank God), scary contents in her refrigerator, and forgetting a gazillion things that I finally knew I was stuck being the bad guy. I could not let mom stay home alone. Among the few alternatives, I chose to pursue an assisted living set-up where Mom would have a 1 bedroom apartment and her own furniture, 3 meals a day, and a nursing staff on the premises who could provide different services to residents on an a la carte menu of charged. The facility was near where her sister lived, so they could still visit together.

The catalyst in Mom's case was that she tried to leave the house at 11pm when I was visiting. She had her purse, cold cream, and shower cap and fought me for the car keys. She refused to believe it was 11pm and said the clock and black sky didn't mean anything. YIKES!!! How long had she known night from day? :eek:

I just told Mom of my concerns for her safety, that I needed to know that she was warm, dry, clean, safe, and had good food to eat. She knew it had gotten difficult to do lots of things and now is was her turn to need a little help. She cried, I cried. Buckets. I chose 2 places and we went to see them. She chose the one where several of her friends lived. A week later, her apartment looked so pretty and sunny as we sat in it and cried some more. She would have loved it had she still been her social butterfly self. 6 months later she thought that pretty place was my home and was concerned her mother didn't know where she was.

As far as driving is concerned, I hugged Mom and asked if she remembered that kids had to be 16 years old before it was their turn to drive a car? She said she did. Well, since she was 84 and had had 3 accidents, it was sad, but her turn to drive was over. She cried, she got angry, I was firm and I'd already taken all of the car keys. I also told all of my cousins that she was not to drive and I told her car mechanic the same thing! It took a while until she was over that, but all of the keys were in TX and the car was locked in her garage and those keys were in TX, too.

Based on my experience, I'd be concerned about your mother having a tenent because she will be less able to care for herself and cannot safely house someone else.

The most essential step is the Durable Power of Attorney so one of you can act in her behalf, pay her bills from her account, and talk to her doctors. Martha's suggestion about using her age as a ruse is good! I was lucky in that Mom's church had a program about the legal paperwork you needed to do to help your children as you age. Mom had done the DPOA many years before I needed to use it. An eldercare lawyer can be of good help to make sure all is in order before your mother gets worse.

If you haven't already read it, at the top of this thread is a sticky, The 7 Staged of Alzheimers. It gives a good overview of the common behaviors you can expect, although each patient spends a different amount of time at each stage and they can bobble back and forth between stages a bit, too.

There's also a sticky about who we are, so you get an idea about who is answering you!

Dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer's is not easy. You lie a little, manipulate conversations and situations, and do whatever you must so the ditsy loved one is safe and the people of the world are safe from them!

Come back as you need to, we're here - and someone may have thought of more to tell you...

Wishing you both well! Barbara :wave:

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