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Low activity day & what I wish for my mother

November 17th, 2014 at 01:44 pm

Stayed home from work on account of my cold.
It's rainy, gray and overcast.

I pushed up our Thanksgiving dinner at the restaurant from 2 p.m. to 1, so there wouldn't be any chance of my mother having to drive home in the dark.

I also spoke for the 1st time with my mother's occupational therapist, who was looking for more info on how she could help my mother. She got an earful from me but also told me about a state grant that would probably entitle my mother to at least a few hours of free housekeeping help each week, on account of her dementia diagnosis. (She has the money to pay for it herself, but she won't.)

I go through spurts of trying to help my mother and then "giving up" after a while because she rejects most offers of help and I feel frustrated and defeated. I have to also remind myself I have achieved a few things: I got her to go and get the neurological testing that led to her dementia diagnosis, I got her, by practically twisting her arm, to get the driving test, which she narrowly passed and I got her to start going to see this occupational therapist. I also spoke to her mechanic and got her car thoroughly checked out and I got 4 new tires on her car.

She has yet to accept help in the form of someone coming to the house during the week for housekeeping or whatever. I've come to the conclusion that if I try to talk my mother into it or try to persuade her this is what she should do, I will never get there. It will only get done if I make the arrangements and get it going, either by having someone come free like I've just learned may be possible, or paying myself out of the joint checking account I now have with my mother. I've hesitated doing the latter since this would be the first time I spent her money without her permission and she might have a screaming fit.

In the meantime, I watched an episode of Lilihammer and balanced my checkbook.

My ultimate goal for my mother would be to get her into an assisted living facility, but I'm afraid if I do that too early (like now), then at the going rate for these places, around $5,000 a month, they will suck up all her assets within 4 or 5 years. (She has roughly $135K in savings plus her Social Security of about $925 a month, plus the value of her condo at around $155K.) Once they go through her savings, then she would have no choice but to go into a nursing home, and that would be a fate worse than death to her. She would go kicking and screaming.

So for now, my more immediate goals would be to have someone coming to the house regularly to do some housecleaning and maybe help with miscellaneous things that pop up with my mother. I'd like for her to cede control of ALL bills to me and also give up email. Not gonna happen yet. I'd like to see her stop spending on average $100 a month on vitamins/supplements she reads about that "cure" dementia/Alzheimer's. I'd like her to stop trying to exhibit and sell her art and be content to simply create art. I'd like to find a way for her to socialize and expand her social activities that doesn't require me to take her by the hand and accompany her.

2 Responses to “Low activity day & what I wish for my mother”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    I know how frustrating this all can be, especially when you are the only one trying to help. I am trying to get my mother to go see a neurologist. She is forgetting a lot lately, whole conversations just disappear or are repeated constantly. Her day to day functioning is okay, but she is definitely in the early stages. She won't admit anything is wrong, though. And even if it is, she doesn't want to waste the money on a prescription that might help slow the process.

    I've seen Alzheimer's 3 times now, in my grandma, in DH's grandma, and in my father. I recognize the signs of the onset of dementia. But so far I can't convince her there is a problem. My one sister doesn't care about anything besides herself and my other sister isn't here often enough to notice too much, though I have alerted her to watch for it. If we can both talk to her about it, maybe she will listen.

  2. patientsaver Says:

    You sound like you're in a very similar situation, LuckyRobin.This would be a good time to get power of attorney, while you can still reason with her. It will allow you to pay bills and make other decisions for h er in the future. Very important first step.

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