Dementia in the family

I was hoping to find this subject and find out how others are coping with it in their families. My mother has dementia and it looks terrifying to me. I try to go everyday for a few hour and its hard. I am trying to get a life alert system for her but my brother just says she won’t go out the door and I can’t get it done.Its hard to watch a family member lose their short term memory and more.

I went to the store early in the morning on Tuesday to get sugar for my coffee I happen to get up early. As I was driving back home I saw an old man on the side of the street and he was waving at me . I waved back and kept going I got about 2 block and turned around and went back It was 4:30 am. I asked what was wrong and he said he was lost and did not know where he was.He was in his socks no keys or a wallet all he could remember was his name. I had to call 911 and the rescue had to take him to the hospital where I guess he was reunited with his family .

I think these devices - life alert- are so important. My brother thinks he can predict whether she will use it or not . The idea is the person never pushes the button for help it like insurance but I cannot get this past him.

Your brother may be right.

My mother in law is deaf and losing her mind. She does not want such a system. anyway she would not hear the ringing. and in fact, she does not want to give her keys to anyone, except a neighbor.

The result is that once, she fell, could not open to the home maid,. The woman got the key from the neighbor and called the emergency service.

My mother in law was angry against the maid because she had asked for the key and because the woman had called ! She did not want to go to the hospital There was so much blood everywhere that it took hours to clean everything.

Not much to do, except to cross finger,

It is. Although my mother hasn’t officially been diagnosed with dementia, she does have and is diagnosed with short term memory issues, as well as hard of hearing, and I think she also has some long term memory issues too. She’s forgotten my birthday for 4 years in a row now and I’m her only child. She doesn’t believe she will forget me, but given she forgets major events that we share, with her being more coherent of events or should be, it is scary, because that is long term memory. My mother is in assisted living because of this. I’ve been trying to move her to an assisted living facility closer to me, but it’s difficult because of staffing shortages, pricing, etc. It’s difficult and scary.

Its not a matter if they want the system or not they are not thinking clearly As I said you don’t want them to every push the button . Its not there for what you think will happen who can predict. If it never gets used that is a good thing.

Take the old man I found had he had the device he would of bee able to get immediate help. But he was walking around in the dark outside lost at 4:30 in the morning…Can you predict these things?

A point will come where she cannot be left alone - she could cook something and light the house on fire forgetting she is cooking.

My mother gets mad at anyone who comes over and taking her to the doctor is a nightmare. Also the geriatrics nurse who’s job it is to make sure the elderly are being properly taken care of and not abused is on the scene and her recommendation was to get the device.

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Another incident that happened before Christmas my mother was home alone and decide she could dig the side walk she fell on the shovel and broke her wrist in 3 place requiring an operation and a 3 day stay in the hospital. She sat there for 3 hour not calling anyone and waited for my brother to come home from work.

I understand what you are living, and i share your experience.

Happily, my mother, 93 years old, has still most of her mind and is mostly autonomous.

The doctors have told my wife that when she will be out from hospital, either she will have to go in an institution, either she will have to have some one 24/24 at home. Until now she has rejected both.

The worst is that at hospital, she is losing very fast her mental abilities, including selecting a channel on TV.

Every room in assisted living has a call button and some even offer the necklace call button too. So my mother has them and she doesn’t fight against them. She chose to go into assisted living because when she was living independently, the visiting nurse and aide didn’t do their jobs. She wasn’t happy with them and though assisted living would be better.

Your mother probably would rail against assisted living, but they do have nurses and aides who visit people living independently and medicaid/medicare covers it. It might be a case of “Driving Miss Daisy” with your mother, but it might be worth looking into. The aide does light housekeeping and even the shopping for them. The nurse makes sure they are taking their meds and taking them properly. Of course, there is a limit to this program. If her memory is so bad she can’t live independently, they will recommend assisted living or have someone, like a family member, live with her and care for her.

Unfortunately I have no say she named my brother as guardian with a joint bank account so he could pay for these things.I am powerless. My brother is one of these people who won’t do anything unless absolutely necessary her house looks like a hoarders house the basement if full and he’s stacking things along the wall a sure sign of a hoarder.Nothing I can do but visit.