Monday Memories With My Mom - Evening Edition

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     So, I'm going to try to make this quick (probably won't work).  I decided to post earlier about my mom celebrating her first anniversary in her senior living facility.  I did it separately because I wanted to keep at least one post "positive".  However, if I'm being "real", there are other things going on not so positive.
     First, last Wednesday while I was out school supply shopping  with the kids I got a call from the Med Team that my mom had fallen in the hallway.  She was not hurt and said she just stumbled.  Someone was there to help her up right away.  I immediately wondered which shoes she was wearing.  (Remember the shoe thing from last week?  They told me she had her tennis shoes on.)   I called and talked to her about it and she just said she stumbled.  She is easily distracted and who knows what might have happened, but it does concern me.  Sometimes I just have to let it go and be glad she is ok.
     Then, I must admit, I was more than a bit "distraught" when I took my kids to visit yesterday to celebrate with my mom.  We arrived at her apartment around 3 pm and let ourselves in as usual.  Lights were on, tv was on, blinds were open, and there was my mom in bed with her pajamas on (I think she was reading a magazine).  The good news -- she was in her bed and not on the couch.  The bad news, the sun was shining through the window and it was the middle of the day.  I questioned my mom as to what she was doing and she said, "going to bed".  I asked her if she felt okay, and she said, "yeah".  Ugh!  After all of this -- I am still not "used to" this disease!!  I am afraid of what I might learn if I visited every day.  Part of me wanted to just forget my whole plan and let her do her thing, but then I decided to tell her to get up and dressed.
      Her apartment has been looking worse and worse.  It is still amazing the amount of stuff she is able to accumulate without leaving the building.  She has soooo many magazines and at first I thought my sister-in-law was bringing them, but then I realized my mom is taking them out of the public laundry room (and probably anywhere else she can get her hands on them).  I had the kids return a stack of them.  My mom has been doing this for years.  If it's "free" -- she will take it -- in quantity!! 
     While my mom was getting ready, I was again trying to quickly tidy up.  I don't know why (well, I think I do know why), but I forget to look in her dishwasher for "things".  You can see from the picture below that I found a little bit of everything in there!!  Why?  Why?  Why?
     While my mom was putting her shoes on (she was back to her tennis shoes), I asked if she was ready and she said "yes".  I looked and only one of her shoes were tied.  This, in combination with her falls and the fact that I want her to wear the other shoes she calls "winter shoes", was enough for me to take away her tennis shoes for now.  I am willing to bet she is having a hard time with them lately, and I just don't want to take the chance with falling, etc.  The other shoes have velcro.  Then, getting the other shoes out started the whole roundabout conversation about how they are winter shoes.  I had found them again packed away in her linen closet.  Usually, I can figure out a way to reason with her, or at least make her comfortable with a decision.  Well, she is not backing down on the "winter shoes" thing.  So, then I told her it was winter....  I had everyone compliment her shoes that I could find.  I still don't think she's buying it and it didn't help that I had flip flops on.....
     After our visit with my mom, I decided to call her shortly after 6 pm (on a whim).  I needed to know that she was at dinner like she should be.  She was not at dinner as she did answer the phone.  I then called the Med Team and asked why my mom was not in the dining room for dinner.  (She is supposed to be escorted to meals.)  They did not have much of a reason except they said they were short staffed and would go and get her.  Ugh!!!
     I KNOW how hard it is to be a caregiver, so I am trying to be understanding.  What I don't understand why these kind of important jobs are some of the lowest paying jobs around.  They also appear to have a high turnover rate because of it.  However, for the next few weeks I am going to be vigilent about following up making sure my mom is getting to the dining room.  I have set the alarm on my cell phone for her meal times and will be calling to see if she is in her room.  Guess what?  I did it at lunch today and she was not in the dining room, she was in her room.  The Med Team said something about my mom was "looking for something" and didn't want to go to lunch.  While there may be some truth to that, I am not totally buying it....
     I have also typed up a detailed "Care Plan" as a follow up to my recent meeting with the Area Agency on Aging case manager.  I have posted it in my mom's apartment and left copies with the Med Team.  It details all of the services that are supposed to be provided to my mom and which Medicaid is paying for.
      Now that I have a year's experience, it is time to start cracking the whip if I need to.  Looks like I might need to!!??  So, there you have it, the other less positive side of this one year celebration!

Getting My Mom Out of Bed at 3pm Sunday Afternoon

Dish Towels, Tons of Placemats, Coupons, Empty Styrofoam Containers....



Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

I can only imagine your concerns about your mom's care. It is so hard to trust people, but I know you are keeping close tabs!

I pray she is getting the care that she deserves.

Brian said...

Taking free things in quantity must run the family.