Dealing With More than you Want to When An Elderly Parent is getting more "ill" by the day with Dementia and/or Alzheimer's

Before I begin other things I must get done today, I wanted to get an update on Mom here. Things are just not looking good. I was there everyday I think this past week again, but maybe Wednesday. The days run together for me now, and I seem to also almost be "lost"... I was there for a brief time on Friday, and noticed she was out of things such as paper towels, Kleenex, probably low on toliet paper, since she had a roll of it in the kitchen for "paper towels"... and she had drank two, 2 liter Sprite Zero and Diet Dr. Pepper's and a 1 liter of diet Pepsi... and the strange thing is Mother used to never drink those. She would keep one for me when I came over, and I had really stopped drinking them a while ago, but I would have a glass while I visited her. She also was nearly out of the Ensure drinks... so I never said anything, but yesterday, I needed to finish mowing as much of my lawn as I could before it rained, so I got that done, and then dressed and went to the market, and picked up a couple of boxes of Kleenex, some double rolls of toliet paper and a 6 roll package of paper towels. 

Plus more Diet Drinks, Ensure, and a couple of cans of soup I knew she would eat. I was not sure what else she needed but I knew to get those, and then get a list. Well, I got there and she was in bed, and this was at like 1:30 in the afternoon yesterday... she has knew I was supposed to come, so the door was unlocked which was a miracle... so I went in, put everything away, and she finally got up and came in the kitchen. I had also picked up medications I knew were ready, and she is complaining of itching so I bought some Benadryl, because she never will get any, and I always have to take some of mine over there. So, she was hurting, and itching (and I don't think it is the pain meds causing the itching, I think hers is just more dry skin because she will NOT put lotion or anything on her skin, and it is just like scales it is so dry)... in fact I need to buy some lotion because the woman from home health care said they would make sure they would put it on her skin when they were there. Well, we sat down, and I told her what I bought and told her to get a list ready and I would pick up more items she needed, but it may be Monday, since I knew the weather may be lousy today. 

And it is, cool, windy and rainy outside today, thank goodness I mowed... which even with the new cordless mower almost killed me... I am only going to be able to mow some, and will have to have someone mow also and help me in between. I will not be able to especially once I have my neck surgery, which I DID CANCEL AGAIN... until the first week in May... right now until I get every else set up for her, there is no way I can have neck surgery. She is so far gone in her mind, she I do not think even comprehends the difficulty this surgery means for me... I really will probably be in a neck brace at least 6 weeks, and this surgery, due to having to remove all that he put in the 1st one in 2012, means this one will probably be more advanced, and lots more hardship that will take a lot longer to heal.

 I noticed he is ordering some type of bone "stimulator" for bone growth... not sure if he means internal or external, but he must think due to my issues with another severe compression, that I may have issues with the osteoporosis causing me to not heal as quickly, which if he has to remove what has grown in place now for 4 years that would make sense... so I felt I needed to wait to see if I can get some help myself here at home. I may need him to write a script for me to have some temporary home assistance come in, and also have my girl that does the dog sitting Samantha to come in and help me with the dogs, feeding them, changing their paper etc... because I will not be able to bend forward etc for weeks after surgery... so a "caretaker" may need to be in place for me also for at least two weeks after surgery.... anyway, I FOUND HER SS CARD! I do not know where it was, but it 'suddenly" appeared in her purse after I looked and looked for two days for it... and it was there, but NOT her Medicare card or the insurance card, which I already have the insurance card, and the Medicare Card is on its way... but then she hands me a "bill" that I had not seen, and it was for one of her credit cards she uses to pay bills, buy groceries etc for the month, and then pays it off when it comes in...well she must have gotten it in a couple of weeks ago, because it was due this coming MONDAY!

 So, fortunately, I went into bill pay and got it set up so it will pay on Monday, thank goodness so it is not late... other than that I may have not gotten it in... SO I SET IT UP to come to me via email and I will pay it electronically. That was just about the only bill left that is not set up to either email me so I can pay it, OR pay electronically without her getting the bill... and now there is one more, that I will set up also, because she cannot recall even when that came in or she did not even realize it was a bill.... I watched her "fiddle" around with a pen, scissors, this little box from a "pie" like you get an individual pie from like Wally World that is already baked, and a brush, a nail file, a mirror, for like 45 minutes while we talked... they sit on this little what used to be a lamp stand and magazine rack all in one, but the lamp has been gone for years and it is so old and almost ready to fall apart. It needs to be thrown away, and something a bit more sturdy put there, but I tried to hand her a plastic container I brought over there to put pens, paper, scissors, etc in, all together, so they are not just scattered loose on this table... BUT I could not make her understand, and she just kept putting them off, on, moving them, etc... and I never did figure out what the heck she was trying to do with it all... but she would pick it up, look at it, and then lay it back down... I do not think she "knew" what any of it was for honestly...

What made it worse though, is that she had some cards there, most of them old business cards maybe from the bank, people no longer even there, and she kept asking me if she could throw them away, and I told her yes... then she came to the two cards from the Casino's, our new one from Winstar, they just gave out new cards when we were there gosh just a couple of months ago, and then one from the other Casino in OK.. and she looked at me, and said I am cutting these up, and I said MOM, those are our card for the Casino's! You don't want to get rid of those, and she looked up and said" I may as well, I have no intentions of being able to ever go back again"..... 

I was floored... that is the ONLY THING MOM EVEN REALLY ENJOYED! Us having Free rooms, and sometimes free meals, and we would go usually about every 3 months, most of the time now spend the night if I did all of the driving, and she was always excited about getting out and getting to go... Now, my fears of what I suspected about a month ago come to reality... MOM IS GIVING UP! In her mind, she feels she will no longer be "able" or even "want to" get out and even go to the Casino again... the other day when the home health nurse was there, we were talking about how we enjoyed that so much, and Mom looked up at the woman and said I just want you to be able to give my daughter enough "rest' by helping me out so "she" can go to the Casino... she feels she can't leave me alone long enough right now to go, so when you have your schedule in place, she can finally get to go back and enjoy it... and the woman looked at her and said well Ms. Steele, we can get you up and going and you can go again and enjoy it with her.. and Mom said, Nope, I won't be going back again... 

I just am not able physically or mentally.... I so wanted to cry, to scream at her MOM, DO NOT SAY THAT! YOU CAN GO, YOU JUST HAVE TO WANT TO FEEL BETTER, AND HELP YOURSELF BY EATING RIGHT, AND TAKING YOUR MEDICATIONS, AND HELPING YOURSELF GET STRONGER AGAIN! But, I knew no matter what I said, nothing would "change" what she thinks and feels... I am having to come to deal with Mom will never "come here and live in the new room we wanted to build on for her".... she has in her mind decided she does NOT want to fight, to be stronger, she will NOT eat better or healthier, she will NOT help herself get stronger... she never goes outside, in fact unless I go there, she keeps the blinds closed now, she will not open up the front door anymore. she stays locked up in the dark all day, either just sitting in that chair, or laying in the bed... I got the curtain rods up and put her curtains back up in the living room, and got the new mini blind up in her bedroom finally... and fixed the front door knob, threw away ALL of those little dangerous throw rugs, that were a trip and fall hazard... 

but even with the new microwave, as simple as it is, I have had to "bake" the potatoes for her... and I am in a state of "shock" that she has reached a place that she is giving up... she is losing more weight, she will not eat anything "decent" or nutritious... she just is "refusing" to get better... and no amount of me encouraging her, or trying to reason with her at this point does any good.... I just have to try and "love her" and get her the help I can, and do what I can, to my best ability... but at this rate things are deteriorating fast... and frankly it scares the hell out of me... but I also know from my experience with my own Dad, and my Grandparents, and what my friend Lisa Lisman Walker told me at lunch the other day and what I already know, I cannot "change" her mind.... it is what it just is.... Rhia
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