I agree with SO much of what Franklen wrote. My mom has Alzheimer's, diagnosed 10 years' ago. Lived with me for one year and it nearly destroyed my marriage and my physical and mental health. And, I had a caregiver here because I worked full time, but my office was in the home and my mother refused any help from the caregiver and insisted I take care of her, which I wasn't able to do during working hours. It was constant stress, CONSTANTLY. When the caregiver left, I cared for mom, from about
4pm until she went to bed at 9PM. Then my husband would come home and he would want time with me, but wasn't able to because I was tending to mom. As I said, it nearly killed me. Mom went on to live with my sister, then into assisted living and now in skilled nursing, awaiting public aid. She is completely out of funds. Fortunately, I have her in a facility that is 5 star, highest rating in this area, all private rooms and they accept that she is public aid pending and they are only taking her social security check for now. Franklen perfectly described what the Alzheimer's/dementia floor is like. Yes, the staff is specially trained to work with AD/dementia patients, but patients have rights. So if someone refuses to shower, they do not push it. My mother went SIX weeks without a shower. Believe me, I was there, I visit her often, I was going every week day, but now have cut down to two days a week and my sisters go on the weekends. I tried everything to get her to shower. Thankfully, they are able to get her to wash up at the sink in the morning. She goes through periods of refusing to eat, and then refusing to take meds. I believe she does this because she doesn't want to lose control, that is the only thing she has control over, if she showers, or eats or takes medications. I know, for her own well being and safety, she cannot be in our homes. She falls constantly because she refuses to use a walker in her room. Her bed now has an alarm, so staff knows when she gets up to use the bathroom so they run there and walk her to the toilet. Thankfully she has not broken anything. I feel as if she is going through hell and she is taking me with. I am NOT blaming her. It's just so difficult to watch her on this journey. I see a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety and take medications. I find myself looking at her and thinking how sad this is, what she has become. She is so insecure, she does not leave her room except to go eat. There are many activities, none of which she will go to. She stays in her room, all day long. I beg her to let me take her outside to a beautiful courtyard, take her by wheelchair...no. Take her out for coffee, for lunch, for dinner, buy her something...no. All she wants to do is stay in her room and yet she calls me at least four times a day to tell me how lonely she is and asks "when are you coming?" when I was just there an hour before. Believe me, I know it is the disease, but it is still so hard to deal with, to wrap your head around it all.
Well, I really went off on a vent here....