New & Out of my Depth!

Netty

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
47
South Wales
Hello all, firstly can I say sorry if I have got this in the wrong place! Still feeling my way around the forum!

My mother was diagnosed with dimentia last year, although we had noticed for several years that "something was not right".

I know diddly squat about it all really, and so far everything I have read has frightened me further!

She lives alone approx a mile and a half from me, but has really got to the stage that we feel she is no longer safe to be left on her own for much longer. We have converted a barn recently with the idea that she could come and live with us, but would have her own space (but would still be close enough to keep an eye on her).

One of the (many) difficulties we are having with her is that she is changing her mind from one day to the next as to whether or not she wants to come and live here. Some days she's all for it, admitting that she does not feel safe in her own (isolated) home, others she will find any silly excuse to not come (doesn't like the cottage ceiling, walls, garden etc etc etc).

I just don't know what to do for the best. If I force her to come here I'm afraid the upheaval will be too much for her and make her worse. If I leave her there and something happens to her I will never forgive myself (found her yesterday up a tree with a chainsaw!)

Any words of wisdom?

Annette
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Hi Annette

Welcome to TP. You have posted in exactly the right place. One thought that springs to mind - is there any way you could get your mum to come and stay on some kind of 'trial' basis? That way she may not feel as overwhelmed at the thought that once she moves there is no going back. I realise this might be difficult if you need to move her furniture etc in but I thought the idea might have merit.

I am sure lots of others will be along with suggestions.

Brenda
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,512
Kent
Hi Annette, and welcome to Talking Point.

Don`t worry, you are in exactly the right place.

Sorry to hear about your mother, it`s a very difficult illness to come to terms with.

I think it would be wonderful if she could live near you, it would make it easier all round, you would worry less and she would be safer. Also, for you, the caring would be much more consistent.

Could you have her at your house for a short break to help her see how her new life would be? It might make her feel more secure and help her make her mind up.

Perhaps if she did stay with you, you could increase the length of the `visits` gradually until she felt it was home from home.

I`m sure very soon, you`ll get lots more suggestions.

Take care
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Dear Annette: welcome to TP!

Glad you found us, but sorry you have to be here. You're absolutely posting in the right place.

I think you're right on both counts: right that the move will confuse her further, right that she can't live on her own any longer. It's unfortunate that those two truths are in direct conflict with each other. Personally, the safety issue would win the battle in my mind, but others may feel differently: she is after all an adult (even if she is an adult with dementia) so some may consider it should be her decision. However, as you have experienced, her decision one day will be different to her decision another. I really think the only thing to can do is make up your own mind about where you stand on this issue, and stick with that decision through thick and thin. As to whether a move will increase confusion: it can do, but the confusion could have been there before. My own mother had several strokes and then I moved her to a sheltered housing situation. You would have thought a year later that her confusion had increased (where's the bathroom, is that my bathroom etc) but I noticed before she moved, she was asking the same questions about the house that she'd lived in for 20 years. Confusion sometimes has nothing to do with a new situation, it's just confusion.

I'm quite a pushy person, and I suppose I have my Mother well trained in that she will go along with most of my decisions on her behalf, so I have been fortunate. Only you know how your mother will respond to you "laying it on the line".

Jennifer

Edited to add
P.S. I'd take the chainsaw away if I were you: I knew someone who had an accident with one of these things, and didn't survive the experience.
 
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Netty

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
47
South Wales
Thank you all so much for your replies! Makes me feel so much better that I'm speaking to people that know what its like!

Jennifer, sorry but had to laugh when I read your edit about taking away the chainsaw! We did last year when we caught her doing it the first time. Obviously she has gone and bought herself another!!

I think you are quite right about me sticking to my guns. After a particularly nasty few weeks where she was convinced that some delivery men had gone through her house and stolen from her, it made my mind up that she could not carry on as she is. I am now just speaking to her as if I am assuming its all still going ahead and not really giving her the opportunity to say otherwise. Thankfully I now have her sister and brother on side (took a while!) but at least I can now "attack" her from several angles (she listens to them much better than myself or my sisters).

Granny G: Yes I think it would make it easier for myself. I have 2 year old twin daughters and have to drag them up and down with me each time I pop down to see her etc and besides that, its impossible to drop things and get down to her quickly with those two in tow! I think I will also sleep better for knowing where she is, if that makes sense?

Brenda, I did try the "stay with us for a short while" argument, then nearly fell off my pearch when she said Why? We have already decided that I am coming here to live! Goodness, its difficult to keep up with her sometimes!

She comes to visit here often and the farm is a place that she used to visit as a child and also I rode here regularly most of my life, up until we bought it around 9 years ago, so it is quite familiar for her. I'm hoping this will help.

Anyway, thanks again. You would not believe how much of a relief it feels to have found you all...

I'm off to do some swotting - have an exam coming up but can't seem to get my revising head on for some reason!

Will look in again soon
Take care all

Annette
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Annette

And a warm welcome from me too.

It's a huge problem, isn't it, persuading someone to give up their independence.
But I think you know the answer, don't you? Your mum has to be kept safe. (The chain saw episode sends shivers down my spine!).

I think Brenda's suggestion that you bring your mum over on a trial basis is sound. You could bring her things over in instalments, as he feels more and more at home.

I think what you need to avoid is any sense that you are laying down the law,
your mum would simply did her heels in!

Softly softly catchee monkey!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Love,
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi again just caught your reply, we crossed! I didn't know about your twin daughters -- that would clinch it for me. You can't possibly cope with the situation as it is, it's not fair on anyone.

Love,
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Good grief: I suppose that if a woman needs a chain saw, a woman needs a chain saw! I would echo what Hazel (Skye) said: with 2 very young children you need your mother under your eye. Good luck with the exams.

Jennifer
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Annette

You have not said which form of Dementia your Mother suffers but i would guess its Vascular Dementia

I agree that having her live near you might help but I also know how incredibly obstinate they can get about "they are only moving out of their home in a box "

My 90 yr old Mother had VD and lived alone thankfully for us and her she was not too bad until the last 9 months or her life and mostly the last 5 weeks before she died

however each and every suggestion that she should not drive or should move into something smaller/closer etc was treated with derison for over 10 years

The only good thing she did 10 yrs ago was sign an EPA but if only she had signed the trust papers too the last few months of paperwork chaos would have also been avoided
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Goodness, Annette ... my admiration goes out to you ... caring for someone with dementia is a tough challenge in any circumstances... caring for toddler twins ... wow ... but the combination I can't begin to imagine!

I would just ask you to consider your proposal in the context of your children ... I'm sorry I know this will sound awful, but if your mum can be a danger to herself, are you potentially putting them in danger unless you are confident 'all three of them' can be constantly supervised?

Whilst your proposal seems very practical in terms of being there for everyone, how much more pressure is that going to put on you in case something happens which 'you might never forgive yourself for?'

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to 'scaremonger' - I hugely applaud you for what you're already achieving and how selflessly you are clearly thinking about your mum's needs .... but perhaps think a little more about yourself and especially the impact on those two little tots too?

Love, Karen, x
 

Splat88

Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
176
Essex
We sold MIL's house and our house and bought a bigger house for all of us, me, her, hubby and three sons (from 17 to 21) at the time, 4 years ago.

MIL spent the three months between actually selling her house and moving into the joint one forgetting that that's what we'd all agreed ( so obvious now, but not so then) to thinking she's only visiting, which she does most times still.

I think you'll go through various stages but the one thing that's obvious to all of us dealing with this is for your own sake, you need her near, especially with toddlers AND exams, good grief, where do you find the time?
 

Netty

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
47
South Wales
Hello again everyone, and thanks once again for your replies.

Helena, I have absolutely no idea what type of dementia she has. To be honest, until I started looking through this web-site, I didn't even realise there were different types.

The situation is that we are all pussy-footing around. It was through a converstion with her nurse (who has now left, and due to staff shortages she no longer has a nurse) that went along the lines of "well this is what you can expect of someone with dementia" that we were actually told. Her own consultant has not actually said this to her or us. Though he is prescribing Aricept(?) for it.

I don't think my mother really believes she has this problem, and none of us are brave enough to mention it!! Besides that I feel its kinder to just let her drift along rather than upset her.

As for paperwork, her nurse suggested in the beginning to get power of attourney(SP?) but we've not got any further with this as we keep getting answers such as "you think I'm going senile!" yelled at us. Probably saving ourselves up for a lot of hasle in the future, but we have just left it there.

Tender face: I have had many a sleepless night worrying how I am going to cope with them all. I honestly don't know if I will manage, but I have to do something. At least then if it doesn't work out, I can say I tried. There's also a touch of guilt here too, the very last conversation I had with my father before he died, was to promise him that I would look after her.

One of the most difficult situations I have at the moment is that I am no longer willing for her to be left alone with the girls. I'm sure she finds it a bit odd that I don't leave them with her unless there is someone else there too. I don't want to offend her by saying that I don't trust her with them, but that is the truth. I can see that that will be even more of a problem if she comes to live with us, because she'll probably be saying to "leave them with me" if I need to go somewhere. Not sure how I am going to get out of that one at the moment!

Thank you for saying to look at it from the girls point of view and to think of myself etc. It's a nice change to hear that, as all the family is expecting us to pull out all stops and get her moved up with no thought as to how much work there is still left to be done or offers of help. This coupled with the fact I had emergency neuro surgery Christmas time to repair a prolapsed disk in my back. I'm thankfully back on my feet now, but lifting furniture etc is a definate NO-NO! But it's assumed that I'll be not only moving mine, but hers too!

I have two sisters, the one is fab and lives about half a mile from here and is always helping me out, my other I love dearly but is as much use as a chocolate tea pot! But there is no way on this earth would my mother even consider living with either of them. So really it falls on me.

Splat88: How do I find the time? I don't! My swotting is mainly done in the early hours of the morning when everyone has gone to bed, the house looks as if a bomb has hit it and I look older every time I look in the mirror!!! Just hoping that when the house is finished enough for us to move back in & we have managed to get Mam here & my exam is over I'll have a spare 5 minutes to shove the hoover around once in a while!! Its not that bad though really, I took a five year career break from work last year to be at home with the girls, which was just as well as I really don't think I would be able to fit that in as well at the moment!

Thank you all so very much again. Sorry for the long post, but I feel so much better for getting such a lot off my chest, its been worth it for me anyway!
 
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Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
I do like it when you said

At least then if it doesn't work out, I can say I tried.
that what I though :)


There's also a touch of guilt here too, the very last conversation I had with my father before he died, was to promise him that I would look after her
My father never said that to me , but that what I thought when I frist Started to look after mum , he would of wanted me to take care of my mother .

past few week keep thinking of something Bruce said in a post about decision made in the past and somethink about now , but :( can not remember the rest , and Bruce has gone away for a few days .


Take care and keep shareing lovely to meet you on TP :)
 

Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
190
Co. Durham
Hi Netty,

I'm late getting to your post, but I reinforce the comments about how well you're doing, caring for your mum and those two little girls, your husband and yourself.

I automatically shouted "Ouch!" when I read you've had surgery for a prolapsed disc. I can sooo relate to you on that, I've had two lots of surgery, neither of which has worked, and now have 3 discs in my lumbar spine prolapsed and am awaiting a third lot of surgery. To say I'm virtually useless would be an understatement. I'm just glad my boys are grown now and so less dependant on me than they were.

You're right in that lifting is a no-no, but isn't it hard to do with young children? I constantly put myself in bed for days on end when my boys were young, and now that they're grown, I'm trying to help my mum with my Gran who has AD. There are so many limitations for me, it's hardly worth my helping, but still I try.

I do hope you find a solution to your problems, it's horribly stressful having to decide what to do and when to do it. In the meantime, try to make sure that you get some down-time for yourself at the end of every day, even if its an hour in a hot bath with lots of bubbles and a glass of wine.

The exam thing could've been me, too. It's taken me 18 months to do an ECDL course. I've passed 6 of 7 modules, and still have the last module exam to do, just can't make the time although I did the study quick. I guess I'll get there in the end.

We women always get things sorted somehow, don't we?! lol

Gill
xx
 

DickG

Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
558
84
Stow-on-the-Wold
Hi Annette

Welcome to TP. There is little to add to all the good advice you have been given except to add weight to the advice you have been given re the twins.

As a grandparent I would be devastated if my daughter placed me or Mary above her children and fortunately Mary is still of the same opinion despite AD. You cannot entrust the care of your girls to someone who cannot care from themselves.

I am sorry if my views seem over the top but I have always considered the care of children paramount.

Dick
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,512
Kent
Hi Annette,

Dick is so right.


You cannot entrust the care of your girls to someone who cannot care from themselves.
Far better to hurt your mother`s feelings than to risk hurt to your children. I remember my mother holding her first great granddaughter, my son`s heart was in his mouth.

Perhaps your chocolate teapot sister could find other ways to help you. There must be something she could do to take some of your burden.
 

kindheart

Registered User
Jan 18, 2007
39
Hi Netty,

I am catching you post late.

My mum was dianoised with dementia a long time ago, and after a spell in hospital 2 1/2 years agothe advise was she could no long continue to live on her own.

i moved mum in with me, lucky for me we moved all her bedroom furniture in whilst she was in hospital and when she come home we asked her to stay with us a little while, but I think if she had gone home first we would have had a hell of a job to get her to stay. She knew my home and had been on many visits and had even stayed inthe past, the bonus of her own furniture really made the difference.

I do not have any children at home as they have all grown up and some have families of their own. I also look after my one of my grandchildren daily (3 now).

I too could never leave mum alone with her, even if that meant taking her to the loo with me.

It has been truely hard to deal with.

With regard to the power of attorney I explained to mum that this document was not because we thought she was going senile but in case she was ill in the future, bearing in mind you only active the power of attorney when it becomes necessary so it was only a twist to the truth.

However I do not have very young children or a prolaspe disc or studies to attend to, so the advise above about think carefully as you may have to make scarifacies to care for your mum and you need to be clear in your mind that this is what you wish to do. Talk to your hubby and your sisters and your friends before you make up your mind.
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
Netty said:
Brenda, I did try the "stay with us for a short while" argument, then nearly fell off my pearch when she said Why? We have already decided that I am coming here to live! Goodness, its difficult to keep up with her sometimes!
Annette
Hi Netty,

Sounds like you are making good progress with your Mum - all in the right direction, from what I can see!

I just wanted to commiserate with you about the changes of mind!! I am nearly driven crazy by that aspect of Mum's illness. I am forever trying to "keep up" with her latest "thought" about things. One minute she needs something - I buy it - she wants to know "what possessed you to buy that???" :(

Clothes are the same - she needs it - she doesn't need it - she needs it! All in the space of an hour sometimes. At present she wants new shoes for winter. Fine - I'll get them, but . . . . . will she want them when I've got them??? :D

I confess at times I think this mind changing business is partly about keeping me firmly on a string!! Whilst ever I'm dashing about trying to get / do etc what she says she wants or needs, I'm firmly "in her orbit". If she professes any satisfaction I might go back to my own life!! :rolleyes:

Actually, I know I'm being unfair because I know this constant mind changing is part of the illness, but boy - it is exhausting!!

Thanks for giving me a chance to "offload"!! Nell
 

DickG

Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
558
84
Stow-on-the-Wold
Nell

I had the same problem with Mary so I changed tactics. I now choose and buy whatever I feel that Mary needs and put them in her wardrobe, when I bring them out for her to wear I congratulate her on her good taste which pleases her no end.

Devious but happy

Dick