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Old 10-17-2008, 04:07 PM   #1
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Difficult Mom decision

I need to inform my extended family (Sunline Members) about what has been going on with mom. As most of you know she came thru the cancer surgery (8/12) with flying colors, NEVER a pain med once she left the hospital.

Her dimentia/Alzheimers is progressing, I have been able to work since she returned home from the hospital due to having help from home health nurses and home health aides coming to the house. But, since she has been released from the cancer doctors care, that ended the home care visits. These visits allowed me to do my bus run, run limited errands, etc.

Mom is really not safe to be home alone for any length of time. She does not normally think/remember to eat or drink, it has to be prepared & given to her. Then the scarey thing, we have a fenced in yard for the pups, well one thursday night at 7pm, I heard the back door shut, I go to see why, and there was mom down the 4 steps with Harley on a leash (inside the fenced in yard). I asked mom what she was doing and she told me "I didn't want Harley to pee in the house, so I thought I better take him out on a leash to pee" I asked her if she remembered that we had a fenced in yard, and she told me she didn't know that. This shook me up, what with winter coming. I discussed my concerns with her doc, the nurse, the aide and myself many times and in the end, for moms safety it was decided that she would be safer in a nursing home
A social worker was sent out to talk to me and evaluate mom, and she said she would get the ball rolling, and that it "could" take a long time, unless we got lucky. Well, she called me last thursday, she had located a medicaid bed for mom in a place called WillowTree in Charles Town, WV. This is about 24 miles from home. I still had many reservations about putting mom in a nursing home (I worked in one 1990-1991), so I wasn't wild about the idea. But, further conversations with the "professionals" made me see that mom will be safer there. They said I was one person, would not be able to continue to care for mom on my own and work or I would be ill.

So, mom was admitted to Willow Tree yesterday, and it tore me up and still is.

Her doctor called me today at 4pm, he had visited mom, she was doing well, they had even got her to play some bingo

Yesterday, when I told her I had to leave and would be back on sunday with Harley to visit, she got quite nasty, I got upset, and just told her that I had to do what was safe for her, and that I'd see her in a few days.

I'd like to think that between my dad passing away on my birthday, my sudden divorce after 33 years and now this horrible disease for mom, that I won't be hit with anymore nasty situations again for a while. Not sure how much more I can handle.

Thank goodness I have my RV'ing friends, you guys keep me going,

Kitty

So, that is a brief update of what has been going on, sorry I have rambled.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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Kitty--you ramble away.
You're in a heckuva place, and it's vital that you take care of you, as well as taking care of your mom. If talking here is part of taking care of you, I say go for it.

Strong thoughts, kiddo!
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:54 PM   #3
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Hi Kitty...I am so sorry, but I know you did the right thing for both of you. You have to make a living and your Mom could wander off somewhere during that unattended time. Alzheimers is awful. You're an angel for taking care of your mom, and for realizing that as much as it hurts you the right thing to do is to make sure she is safe.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:12 PM   #4
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Kitty,

These decisions are never easy or guilt free despite logic telling you this wa the right thing to do. We are facing old age/health issues with my mother in law and understand completely how you feel.

Post anytime you need to vent about it and know we all care for you.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:54 PM   #5
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Kitty....making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is NEVER easy. Leo and I had to place his father in a home, after an out- patient brain surgery left him unable to talk, walk or communicate in any way, shape or form.......three years after Dad passed, Leo (an only child, his sister passed at a young age) had to face the fact that his Mother was suffering from Alzheimer's, trust me we did everything possible to keep her home as long as we could...we even hired "live in help", who turned out to be "moochers" even with rave recommendations from former employers.....anyway Mom was placed in a home and lived quite happily till she left us.

Fortunately not all "homes" are "horror shows"...now with the state mandates and unannounced visits most have "cleaned up their act".

Kitty - try to get yourself into a support group for Alzheimer's care givers....you will learn that "nasty behavior" is sometime part of the disease. In the end - Mom did not know Leo at all and thought I was her deceased daughter (Linda died at age 2 in 1944)....so you try to keep you chin up and vent to us anytime you feel that you need to!

We are here for you!!!!!
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:41 PM   #6
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Kitty

You hang in there. And don’t beat yourself up over this. These are gut wrenching hard things to do. The disease your mom has is terrible. You know, you are living it. Alzheimer's has touched Cindy and I twice already by ones around us.

Our neighbor 2 houses down had the disease. The wife, about 68 in age her self was trying for care for him. He would have good days and really bad days and never remember what he did. He was on the “list” to get in for long term care. They told them he has to be advanced enough before they would take him in as openings where far and in-between. So home care continued. Then one night the sheriff was on our front lawn with a squad car and a search light…. I look out and there are 4 state troopers cars there too. Something happened and he ran out of the house and kept running. The DW was beside her self not knowing what to do so she called the state police to help find him. They searched for 2 to 3 hours then called in the state air patrol in a helicopter. We have a ravine behind the house and they kept searching it with that light beacon searching thru the trees. No luck finding him. At 1:00Am they stopped the search after 5 hours. It was November and nights went below freezing. The next morning they found him in a field across the street with frost bite on his feet as he had no shoes on and not coat. After this, the next day he was admitted to long term care and passed away a few months later.

One closer to my heart is my Aunt Sophie. My dad passed away when I was 11 and Uncle Art and Aunt Sophie sort of where like 2nd parents to me. She was always chipper, hard worker, never complained, always loving towards me. Uncle Art owned a farm and they worked it until he passed was at 75 from a heart attack. Aunt Sophie then all alone, a few years later came down with Alzheimer's. She got to the point my mom had to have her admitted to long term care about 20 miles away. I went to visit her last year in the home. She did not even recognize my mom nor Cindy or mself. Just sitting there in the wheel chair starring ahead. This disease is so terrible for both the person and the family. It affects both.

You did the right thing that fits you and your mom. I only share these hardships to help you see what could happen if you did not make that very difficult decision. Your fears are justified. My neighbor had the anger streaks, he was not himself and would not even remember doing it. Aunt Sophie never had the anger, she just would drift away and not even know you are there or where she was.

It was an honor meeting your mom last summer at the M & G. You hang in there and if you need to vent, ramble or just have a good cry, type away. We re here.

John and Cindy
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:20 PM   #7
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Kitty, I know this is a difficult time for you. I went through a similar situation about 1 1/2 years ago with my mother. She had advanced stages of Alzheimer's and in order to protect her I had to have her declared unfit and a danger to herself. This allowed her to get the necessary help she disparately needed. Unfortunately my Mom condition was so advanced she passed away three weeks later. During her final weeks she did not know who I was at all and she became so violent they had to restrain her to the hospital bed. This was not normal for my mother as she would not of hurt anyone. The Doctors and nurses assured me this was just part of the advanced stages of the disease. At the time I felt very guilty for what I did because it was something my Mom had talked about since I was a young boy and she made me promise her every time she brought up the subject that I would never do this to her. I suffered greatly from the guilt even though I new very much it was the right thing to do. Eventually a friend said something to me that helped me through this time and actually it actually took away my feelings of guilt. i will pass these words of wisdom onto you in the hopes they will bring you the same internal peace and knowledge that what I did was to protect my mother. Here is what I was told

"Remember loving someone is doing what is best for them, it is not always what they want you to do."

I wish you all the best during this difficult time and you and your mother will be in my prayers.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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Kitty,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. It's a very difficult decision to make, but be assured you made the best decision for you and your mother.
Right now a very dear family friend (and co-worker of mine) is being faced with the same hardship. Lester is a very active 80 year old man, Korea Vet, family man, who worked 2 days a week until recently. His wife Ruth of over 50 years is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's. He has devoted every moment of his life recently to care for her in her state. She is now getting violent and is losing control of her bodily functions. It's taking a heavy toll on him, but he refuses to put her in a care facility. Now we are all concerned not only for her health, but his as well.
Take care,
Lowell
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:59 PM   #9
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Kitty,

My family is also touched by this disease. My mother is in the advanced stages and resides in a very caring nursing home.

My father, with help from my wife and I in the last year she was still home, was the sole care giver. For over 5 years, he took care of my mom in the home they lived in since 1965. A little over one year ago, the level of care she required became more than any of us could provide.

Dad did not want to put Mom in a nursing home. But caring for Mom was taking it's toll on his health and his inability to manage her increasing needs was causing her health to decline.

Once we chose a home for her and placed her there, the difference was AMAZING. She became happier. Dad was happier because he could see she was actually ENJOYED all the constant attention and being around people like her. His health improved. Her health, other than the Alheimers-related issues, stabilized. Unlike so many nursing homes we looked at, this place was GREAT.

The name of this fine facility is Advent Christian Village at Dowling Park in north Florida. The entire community is retirement-oriented. They have made my family and especially my dad very happy with their level of care.

I think you made the correct decision, for both your mom and you. As you have read here, you are not alone in this. Places like this web-family can be sources of great support. Take care.
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:00 PM   #10
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Kitty.....

Despite your pain and normal doubts, you made the right decision for both of you. Others have already detailed the reasons that validate your action.....and I fully agree. Many of us who have undergone some of this can only offer our heartfelt support.

Frank
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