I stopped coming to this forum a while ago because there were very few people here. It seems there are more here now and I love the support. My mom was diagnosed almost ten years' ago with Alzheimer's dementia. It has been a VERY long, frustrating, depressing, extremely sad journey. When she was first diagnosed, we tried to keep her at her place which was only one mile from my home. But the phone calls began, many times a day, begging me to come right away, the TV doesn't work and I'd run there and find she took the batteries out of the remote and stuck them under the recliner seat and then deny doing it. We went through this for about
five months until she asked to move in with me and of course, I took her in. I never really asked my husband, after all, this is my mom, what was I to do? By the way, I do have two sisters that live locally. Mom lived with me for a year and I nearly lost my mind. I gained 35 pounds and developed SO many health issues including having to have angioplasty. I finally realized I couldn't go on like this. My sisters both refused to take her so I looked for a place for her. When I found a place and the night before her move, one sister stepped up and took mom for 3 and 1/2 years. From there, mom went to assisted living, a lovely place, where my other sister works, she is an RN and so she could watch over mom on her evening shift. Now, just last week, we moved mom into skilled nursing. She has run out of money and I had to apply for Medicaid. We are very fortunate that the facility is really a lovely place where the residents are taken care of very well, but...it is still a nursing home and she is on the alzheimer's dementia floor. I find it really disturbing seeing all the people with dementia and most of them are functioning at a lower level than my mom. Mom has been on Aricept and Namenda since her diagnosis and I believe it has kept her from declining too rapidly. She has definitely declined. There are many times that she has no idea who I am, she becomes VERY confused. All she has done for the past four years is lie in bed listening to the TV, that is it. Even though she was at a facility that had social activities all day long, she refused to participate. I am not sure if she is sleeping or just lying there with her eyes closed, listening to the TV. She has trouble with too much input, causes confusion.
My mom turned 91 in January.
I try to tell myself that she is happy. She made the move from assisted living to the skilled nursing facility amazingly well. It was last Thursday. Since then, she is now showing signs of more confusion and anxiety. I am meeting with the psychiatrist tomorrow and the physician to discuss her medications. Hopefully, she will settle in soon.
I am ashamed to say this, but the most difficult thing for me to do is to spend time with her. I visit her very often, at least four times a week, sometimes three times a week, but I do not stay for long, usually 1 and 1/2 hours. The repetition just gets the best of me, she wears me down. She also says things that bring back some pretty awful memories of when I was young. Mom was a holocaust survivor and came away from that with such tremendous rage which she took out on her children. we were verbally as well as physically abused most of our childhood. Worse than that, we were ignored. Believe me, I understand it as an adult, the horrors she experienced, just cannot imagine what she went through, but as a child, all I knew was I never felt loved. She took care of us, but didn't know how to nurture. My dad died when I was only 13. So now, when she says things like "you are good for nothing" I really have a hard time with that. I do understand she doesn't mean it, it is the disease talking and I don't hold it against her. I am there for her and I will continue to be there for her. The facility is less than ten minutes from my home, so I have her close to me and I can keep a watchful eye over her, letting the staff know that family is very involved.
Sorry this is so long and thanks for letting me get my feelings out,