Author Topic: On Caregiving  (Read 69904 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #250 on: August 31, 2017, 10:06:48 am »
I'm a little annoyed today, as my sister sent me a review of her visit with Mom (she was here for about 24 hours, total). She has made up her mind that she hates the place where Mom is staying and wants her moved somewhere else. But she also says that "she should have an in home type of care. But I have no clue where that would be."

My sister said Mom "doesn't deserve this. . . .She has always done everything she was supposed to do. It doesn't seem fair." I'm trying not to read that as accusatory. I so wish my siblings were more like your brother, Katherine! The third thing that irks me is that my sister thinks Mom's brain fog is due to some pill she's taking and that Mom could be miraculously lucid if we would just stop giving her that pill. She continues to be in denial that our mom has dementia.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #251 on: August 31, 2017, 07:01:01 pm »
But she also says that "she should have an in home type of care. But I have no clue where that would be."


Perhaps you should tell your sister:   "If that's how you feel, you're welcome to come, and take her to your place, and use your salary to pay for the in home care."


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #252 on: August 31, 2017, 07:52:42 pm »
Perhaps you should tell your sister:   "If that's how you feel, you're welcome to come, and take her to your place, and use your salary to pay for the in home care."

If I said that, my brother would beat me up (figuratively) for shaming her. Also, I don't want money to figure into the equation with Mom. I'm of the opinion that people use money as the basis for making decisions too much. My attitude is that there is always a way to make the dollars work if you're savvy. I'm knocking on wood now.

It was another grueling day. I had an appointment with a hospice nurse in the morning. Mom has been admitted into the "hospice program" whatever that is. It started with the nurse interviewing mom and me and looking over her meds. She is taking mom off the two dementia drugs she was taking ("those don't work") and iron, which could irritate her stomach. One or two others will be phased out. No need to overmedicate her. Then, a lady from the church came to visit, which was very pleasant. Then, we wheeled her into the dining room for lunch. Not much was eaten, despite a lot of coaching. But, I have to keep this in perspective. Mom has lost almost 20 pounds since the end of July, but she now stands at 132 pounds, and that is really not a bad weight for a person. It is more than I weigh. So, no need to panic yet. Also, Mom is getting a dietary supplement, like a protein drink, twice a day, so I'm not worried about her not eating enough to keep a bird alive.

But, then a bombshell hit. I wheeled her back to her room after lunch, and terrifyingly, all her possessions were piled on her bed in a chaotic fashion. I went back out to the nurse's station and said, "Um, why are all my mother's possessions piled on her bed?" "Because she's being moved." was the answer. "Oh?" I said in a still, small voice. "Where?" It turned out that nobody knew where she was being moved, only that she was vacating that place. I tried to maintain a calm facade because Mom was nearby and she understands more than anybody might think. I took her back to her room, faced her away from the bed, took out her Bible and began reading to her. About 30 minutes later the social worker came and apologized and said the attendants would put everything back. I told him, "no, I will put everything back in its place. I don't want anyone else to touch anything." I'm feeling a little violated tonight, and when I left, my mom had had a nice shower and was sleeping peacefully but I question my ability to protect her from harm.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #253 on: August 31, 2017, 09:29:23 pm »
What a dreadful experience!

Dementia is what it is, but being overmedicated certainly doesn't help, especially with drugs that don't work and do nothing, and for which somebody is surely charged, even if it's Medicare.

You should look up hospice.  My grandmother received hospice care.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 09:18:39 am by Jeff Wrangler »
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #254 on: September 02, 2017, 10:30:33 am »
You should look up hospice.  My grandmother received hospice care.

Yes, you definitely should look it up, Lee. I know what it is and I imagine Jeff does, too, but you need to get the information from a reliable source, with lots of details on how it works in general and in your mom's case in particular.

One of its guiding tenets, as I understand it, is that the person should always be kept as comfortable and happy as possible, so that's good news.

Dementia drugs don't do much good, but I think generally healthcare people believe they're better than nothing. But it makes sense that they would take her off them if she's going into hospice.

Atul Gawande has a lot to say about hospice in Being Mortal. His father was in hospice care, and he followed a hospice nurse around for a day or two to see what her job was like. For the record, he seemed impressed by the care, and to have a lot of admiration for the nurse.

Side note: I talked to a woman yesterday for a story who said that while Alzheimer's cases are increasing in number, that's entirely because older people are increasing in number. (Almost half of people over 85 have some dementia.) But the cases of hospice per capita are decreasing, she said. That really surprised me. I asked her why, and she said nobody knows.

She is not a health-care professional (I'm doing a story on ageism, and she's an anti-ageism activist). I have talked to the guy who heads the Alzheimer's department at the Mayo Clinic before. He's very nice and very frank. I'd like to ask him about this.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #255 on: September 02, 2017, 10:39:29 am »
I so wish my siblings were more like your brother, Katherine!

Yes, aside from his ability to commit in a romantic relationship  :laugh: (which isn't my business), he really has no flaws. I am always thankful for how well we get along and how easygoing he is.



Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #256 on: September 04, 2017, 07:53:37 pm »
A scare today. Got a call from Mom’s nurse saying, “She’s breathing sporadically but she’s still warm.” Arrived and Mom was just a little less responsive than yesterday. She would take 4 breaths and then no breath for 30 seconds. She aroused herself and took some of the thickened water, said it was very good. I applied lip balm and read to her many parables of Jesus. No lunch whatsoever. I stayed for several hours and only left after she fell feast asleep and was breathing normally. It’s hard for me to judge but the end might be near.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #257 on: September 04, 2017, 08:25:46 pm »
“She’s breathing sporadically but she’s still warm.”

My God, what an awful thing to say! Who are these guys?

Why didn't she just come right out and say it, "She's not dead yet"?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #258 on: September 04, 2017, 09:18:02 pm »
Why didn't she just come right out and say it, "She's not dead yet"?

Which reminds me of that Monty Python sketch that it would be tasteless to quote here.

I'm sorry, Lee, that must have been scary. "She's still warm"?? Not exactly the best bedside manner.

Keep us posted. {{{{{ Lee }}}}}

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #259 on: September 05, 2017, 12:44:44 am »
(((Lee))) I'm sorry to hear your mom's state is worsening.