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Mom's not doing well

October 7th, 2015 at 06:26 pm

Right after work I drove straight to Lowes to pick up 2 carbon monoxide detectors and a smoke detector for my mother's condo. There's a new law in CT that my realtor once again failed to mention, requiring the seller to make sure there are both of these detectors on every floor; if you don't provide them, you have to pay the buyer $250.

Because I only learned of this through the paralegal that is handling the closing (not the lawyer I thought I hired), i had 2 days to take care of this before the closing, which has beenset for this Friday.

So last night I was going to order these items cheaply at Walmart, but both walmart and Home Depot didn't have them in stock ready for pick-up tonight, which was essential, becus I'll have to sign an affidavit tomorrow saying these items have been installed. So i had to buy them for more $$ at Lowes.

I picked them up tonight and then went to condo where I plugged everything in, then came home and have been on the phone with Masonicare this evening.

My mother's not doing well at all, mentally. As the doctor described, her delirium is a function of a combination of events: the surgery, the anesthesia and her pre-existing dementia. He said they see it all the time.

The problem is that she's in a state of hyper-alertness, not sleeping at night, is very agitated and getting up and trying to walk around. Without consulting me, the doctor there prescribed an anti-convulsive drug which is also used to control the mania phase of manic depressive states. It's a very powerful drug with scary side effects and they say it can increase drowsiness, tremors, unsteadiness, all of which can lead to falls! Which we don't need any more of.

After the aide told me all this, i called her back and said do NOT give any more of this drug to my mother til the doctor calls me back.

Another doctor, a geriatric psychiatrist that I've spoken to before, called me back, and patiently spent about 30 minutes on the phone with me explaining the importance of using this drug, that the only other choice would be an anti-psychotic, which they don't like to use, that my mother's current state will not go away by itself, etc. He assured me he's treated hundreds of elderly people with this drug and that they used the very lowest dose with my mom, who weights all of 100 lbs or so.

So I caved, but feel so nervous. And I really have to steel myself to visit her again tomorrow; i haven't seen her since Sunday. I admit I skipped a visit because during the work week i can only see her at night, which is when the dementia is usually worse. It's also very unpredictable what state I'll find her in; sometimes she's her sweet and gentle self, albeit with dementia, and other times she's anxious and agitated and is very hard to appease.

The doctor said her dementia has reached a "new level" and her memory is at about 40% now. It kills me to have to see my mother like this and yet I have to try to offer some comfort to her. I can't abandon her to the rehab place and feel I have to watch everything they're doing. I like a number of the aides and I do like the Indian doctor I just mentioned above, but the speed at which everything is happening is dizzying. To think that just a month ago my mother was in pretty good shape, albeit with mild dementia. And 5 months prior to that, she was still living on her own. Now I can't imagine that possibility at all. So sad. Will the tears ever stop falling?

I ran into my mother's neighbors tonight when i was at her condo, and I told them i probably wouldn't be seeing them again for a while, and that the closing was Friday. I hugged her and thanked them both again. She said they were going to see her on Sunday. I think maybe I should warn her about my mother's current condition as it might be upsetting to them.

Tomorrow I sign all the paperwork related to the condo sale at my lawyer's office. Friday is the closing which I won't go to, but I do want to go pick up the check in person right afterwards and then deposit it, temporarily, in my mother's checking account. It's too big a check to entrust to the US mail.

I decided I would open a Sallie Mae online money market which is getting 0.90% with no minimum deposit requirements and no fees, and then wait for the fed to raise interest rates before probably putting a portion of the condo sale proceeds into a 6 month or at most 1-year CD. She already has about $100K still invested in various mutual funds, so I think that's enough stock market exposure for what are really very short term funds, since the money will be all spent in less than 3 years.

I started thinking of her brokerage account, with T Rowe Price, and am worrying that I may have to call them and see what hoops I have to jump through to manage my mother's money. Now I've been managing her T. Rowe money for some time now because I have all my mother's personal info and I simply set up an online account, which she hadn't had before, and so I've been transferring monies from those funds to pay the rent at Maplewood each month.

But the problem is, I think they use snail mail to mail tax forms at the end of the year, and I think the US Post Office will probably stop forwarding mail by that time. They only forward mail for 6 mths.

I had gotten some forms from T. Rowe a long time ago when I inquired about what i had to do, but there was no direction about how to complete them and it wasn't at all clear to me. They don't recognize Power of Attorney. At the time, I simply lacked time to spend on that particular project. I may have to tackle it now because once they get mailed returned to them as undeliverable, they might put some kind of hold on her brokerage funds if they suspect fraud. Oh, the complications.

13 Responses to “Mom's not doing well”

  1. AnotherReader Says:

    It might be as simple as putting in a change of address on line. I would not tell them why, just do it. You cannot afford to have your access to those funds cut off.

    Years ago, Fidelity would recognize a power of attorney, but you had to get it notarized. I think we did it in one of their offices. It's too late to do that with your mother anyway.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I also think you may be able to have tax forms sent to email. Try it at least. Mutual funds will acknowledge POAs but may need them to be notarized or have security guarantee. Just call and ask what you need to do.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks, another reader. I will see if there's a change of address feature online. I would think there would be. Good idea.

    Creditcardfree, i'll have to dig out those forms again. It WAS something like a security guarantee but i had no idea what that was..do you?

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I worked for Pioneer Mutual Funds so I'm familiar. A security guarantee is something a local bank, usually one you do business with, can provide. It's similar to a notary. I'd start with your local bank if you can. Smile

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    creditcardfree, that sounds familiar. They said something about that. I just hadn't heard of it before but at this point, they knew me at m y mother's bank pretty well, and I have 2 accounts still open there.

    I can ask them to help me when i come deposit the big check.

    Thanks!!!!! You gave me the confidence. I was procrastinating about it becus i saw it as a "headache." Maybe not a big deal.

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    Your welcome, PS. I would definitely go to your mother's bank first since they know you. I doubt the time spent would be too much.

  7. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I agree with try going on line and changing the address. I wish you had a power of attorney. Or is it worth doing joint accounts? Or is it too late?

    I am very saddened to hear of your mother's deterioration. I pray and hope for your strength through this very trying time. Best wishes and good luck. I hope the closing goes smoothly.

    At this rate of deterioration can you continue with her at the Maplewood facility? Will she need to be moved to a facility for demetia or alzeiheimer's? I know recently you wondered about spending all her money or how much liquid. This could help guide some financial decisions.

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    Living almost Large, I DO have power of attorney. But T. Rowe Price doesn't recognize it. I do also already have a joint account with my mother.

    Maplewood is a "memory care" unit..that's all they do. But i'm not really sure if they would keep dementia patients in the late stages, or if they're equipped to handle that. My mother's not yet in late stages, but she has worsened. I need to ask those questions more pointedly at the next family meeting next week.

    I'm beginning to see more clearly that in a way it doesn't matter as far as her money is concerned. It will be spent down. But Maplewood would definitely be better as far as the environment. As long as I have the money to spend, I may as well spend it on the best I can afford. However, if Maplewood would only keep her for a certain period and would not want her there when she got real bad, is it worth the disruption of yet another move? Or wouldn't it matter? These are questions I'm still grappling with. The change in her condition somewhat alters my impressions.

  9. snafu Says:

    I'm so sorry your mom is not doing well recovering from surgery at Masonicare. I can't help but wonder what all those drugs do to someone with dementia who wouldn't understand what was happening. Mom would have already endured considerable pain from an undiagnosed broken hip, followed by surgery, complicated by UTI to make her very fearful of 'what's next!' I believe change is very difficult for those whose lives are topsy turvy as a result of dementia.

    I am feeling so empathetic as a result of hospitalization where they wake you to give you a sleeping pill according to their orders. Questions are not answered and you're never sure all the interventions are appropriate. I was hooked up to so many machines I easily believed I was more animatronic than human! It's terrifying!

  10. LuckyRobin Says:

    I don't comment much on these posts as they bring up a lot of memories from what I went through with both my grandma and my father, but I do keep you and your mother in my prayers.

  11. PNW Mom Says:

    I'm sorry to hear about your mom. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I am sorry to hear that your mom's condition is worsening. {{{hugs}}}

  13. Petunia 100 Says:

    You know, I would think you could access tax documents right on T. Rowe's website. On Vanguard's site, customers can access those documents for several years.

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