Need some personal help here! (long)

  1. Hi all

    First, let me say that I am a Geriatric Nurse and have lots of experience with Alzhemier's pts. However, I am rapidly learning that it is much easier to deal with someone else's Mother and give advice than to deal with my own.
    My Mother has Alzhemiers. She is in about the Mod - Severe stage, scoring a 12 on her last MME. She is still functioning well however, and lives at home with my Dad. Unfortunatley, they live a good 4 hours drive from where I am, which makes helping out very difficult. My brother is in China and my sister doesn't think there is a problem, so I am the #1 shoulder for my Dad to lean on. Here is that latest difficultly.
    The decision was made that my Mom should not be alone in the evenings anymore. My Dad goes out 3 nights a week to play cards (he really needs this time away from my Mom!) so we have a sitter coming in through CCAC I just got an email from Dad saying that "tempers are short" and Mom is giving him a hard time about the sitter. I've asked for more info from him - who is she fighting with, how long etc? I just spoke with my Mom on the phone (tongiht is one of his nights out) and she seemed fine - happy, like the sitter and so forth. She did mention how Dad won't leave her alone. I remind her (as I have many, many times) that this is for her own safey and its either this or a nursing home. Which she accepts from me. I told Dad this and told him to stick with the sitter, because he was thinking of canceling her.
    Does anyone have any other thoughts/advice? I think I am too close to the problem to see the whole picture, and while I can symphathize with my Mom about not wanting a sitter, I also want her to be save.
    So if anyone has any suggestions about how to make this work better, please share! If not, thank you for just letting me vent. Sometimes the shoulder needs a shoulder to lean one!
    I am also torn between wanting to stay where I am, with a job I love, home I love and moving back home to help out - where I will not have the opportunities I have here. Everyone tells me to stay here, but I still feel so guilty sometimes! :uhoh21:
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   avery
    I am sorry that this situation is before you and believe you are doing everything exactly right. It says a lot about you that you care and are taking time to be there for both your mom and your dad. I think the sitter is a great idea and it is important your dad have time away.
    It is also important for you to take time for you!
    =o)
    Avery
  4. by   Bethy-lynn
    My mother in-law also has alzheimers, and we live a six hour flight away. When I first met her, she was closer to the moderate stage, currently, she is very end stage (she has declined very fast). While I'm not exactly in your situation, but I do have a good glimpse. My mother also had stroke ver y recently, and lives four hours away. So the whole guilt thing I understand. It's really hard to know as much as we do, and know that we could easily take care of them, and probably better than anyone else could, but at the same time, we want to live a life that we want. When my mom was sick, I wanted to stay with her so much, and even after she came home, I didn't want to go back. My dad reminded me that it just made my mom feel worse about getting sick, and in turn made her feel guilty about me "missing out". I realized that my dad was doing just fine, and that he would call me if he really needed something, or had a question.
    My mother in law also has a sitter, but they hired a woman that was of the same ethnicity (she hasn't spoken english in a long time), and it made it seem like more of a friend coming over, instead of a "sitter". Maybe there are church friends, or a closer relative that they could hire instead of a strange person coming into the house. If all she needs is a sitter, and not someone to pass meds, etc, then that could be a great option. They could even refer to it as "a girls night in/out".
    Hang in there, it's an uphill climb. I wish I could tell you that it will get better. If you ever need to vent, feel free to use me...I hope this helps. :flowersfo
  5. by   JentheRN05
    Well - heres what my parents did when my grandma was in that stage of alzheimers.
    They had grandma and grandpa sell their house, and used the proceeds to build an apartment in their house. That way they could still keep track of them as well as give them their freedom. They installed door alarms because in that stage they start to wander (if she hasn't already). And they had a bathroom to themselves. My dad cooked for them since he didn't have a job and got their meds ready for the week. My moms a nurse and took care of medical needs until it was time to call hospice in (hospice nurses are wonderful by the way). They both died in my parents house, under their watch with hospice watching their backs. My grandpa died 2 years ago from gastroparesis, grandma from alzheimers (pneumonia is what actually did it) But I tell you what. Neither of them had a pressure ulcer on their body due to the wonderful care my mom and dad gave them.
    My dads mom is currently in terrible shape. She was moved into a nursing home (which I totally disapprove of) and my parents are offering to take her and my grandpa in in the same apartment my other grandparents shared. So far they have refused, all of their kids (save my dad) live in Indiana, my parents live in Michigan. So they wouldn't get to visit. Heck - when I lived up there I MAYBE saw them 2 - 3 times in the last 10 years (but I digress)
    Just something to think about.
  6. by   elizabeth321
    In order for your parents to stay in there own home and your father to have respite there is no other choice but to have someone come in. It would be nice if she had something meaningful to do at the time when he wants to go out...but there are no day programs in the evening.....and if there are no close family or friends to help that is there unfortunate reality.
    Hang in there....

    Liz
  7. by   Pepper The Cat
    Hi all
    Thanks for all the great advice and support. Its so nice to know that other people have gone through similar things.
  8. by   tridil2000
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    Hi all
    Thanks for all the great advice and support. Its so nice to know that other people have gone through similar things.
    you're doing the best thing possible at this time.
    good luck!
  9. by   marjoriemac
    I know how you feel luv! My situation was with my gran, I lived nearest her and everytime she misplaced her purse or wouldn't answer the phone, I got a frantic call from mum to go see her. My mum was recently diagnosed with Parkinsons and was told to take life easier so I felt I had to take a lions share! This however meant after long shifts in my care home I was stopping by on the way home. I also went up on days off to take her out. My mum did not like to admit what I had been telling her all along that gran definately had dementia (at least moderate stage). It came to a head when I went up to see her and she wasn't in. She had wandered out at 4am and was picked up by the police and taken to hospital. I guess what I'm trying to say is that whether you're there or not the condition will deteriorate. If she thinks your dad is hounding her, she will feel worse if the two of you are. Try and reiterate to your mum that the sitter keeps dad away for a while and she may accept it, maybe there is no problem but dad has created one as he feels guilty relinquishing his care. Biggest advice though - don't leave your job, you need to maintain your own life too.
  10. by   Pepper The Cat
    Thanks Marj

    Sometime I'll have to tell you how my Mom wandered out of our hotel room while we were Cuba. Think I aged about 10 years that night!
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I would encourage checking out hospice, although that won't be a 24/7 on the spot/in the house kind of help. A good memory care unit might be helpful if there is no one to take them in or move in with them, and even then this is not a one person job.

    My hat is off to the poster with the parents who built the apartment in their own home. Yea! I want to be that kind of child, and also that kind of parent.

    To the OP, good luck! We'll keep you in our thoughts, especially if you'll keep us posted!

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