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Becoming a caregiver

Old 02-20-2015, 10:23 AM
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Default Becoming a caregiver

Looks like I'm going to be the primary caregiver for my 87 yo Mom. She was diagnosed with fibermyalgia about 15 years ago and has been having problems with her mind for the past couple of years. Some days now she doesn't recognize who I am or that she is at home. Unfortunately I don't have any training in this field and looking for resources that I can learn from. When I first found this site, I was only here looking for fishing and boating info, however I found that there are professionals and experts in most every field on here any most are willing to help us less educated. I will be grateful for anyone that can point me in the right direction. Thanks
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:35 AM
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Man, follow your heart and climb into a bottle every now and then... I'm at about the 5 year mark for going through it with 2 worthless-ass siblings and my Mother's asshole boyfriend who I stopped from dipping his beak into her life savings...
Stay strong and truthful with doing the right thing...
I'm sure there are support groups in every area but I have never sought one out...
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:43 AM
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Good luck

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Old 02-20-2015, 10:43 AM
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I'm assuming Mom's at home.

If so, I suggest 'Visiting Angels'.

If you bring or hire ANYONE into your Mom's home, the first order of business is too remove or hide ANYTHING of value...especially jewelry and small valuables.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:45 AM
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Goggle support groups in your area, sounds like dementia or Alzheimer's maybe starting to appear. My wife's mom was diagnosed with ALS last summer and my wife became the primary care giver, she has received a lot of help from support groups. Just my opinion but meet with an attorney you trust to make sure her affairs are in order, including how to protect your mother financially and possibly become her power of attorney, if you already haven't. Good luck
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:58 AM
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Thanks sooo much for the quick replies so far. I am already living in the home, its a large 3 story house and I am in the upstairs apartment, theres no way she could have maintained the home for the past several years. About 2 weeks ago she fell twice in about 5 days and was not hurt but I know she not going to be this lucky every time.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by reeldude56 View Post
Thanks sooo much for the quick replies so far. I am already living in the home, its a large 3 story house and I am in the upstairs apartment, theres no way she could have maintained the home for the past several years. About 2 weeks ago she fell twice in about 5 days and was not hurt but I know she not going to be this lucky every time.

Sounds like she could use 'Life Alert' services....

Does she have a walker?
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:08 AM
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falls can be so dangerous

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Old 02-20-2015, 11:11 AM
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My wife and I have been caregivers for our son for >30 years. His condition is very different than your mother's, but some problems are common.

It sounds like she's having mobility problems, at least, balance problems, if she's had 2 falls in 5 days. Is the home set up so she can live on one floor and not use the stairs or could it be modified to accommodate that? Stairs are a very dangerous place for falls.

Consider whether she should be living in this house or in an assisted living facility. Yes, affordability can be an issue. One way or another, you need her in a place where she can safely live and that may no longer be her house. Many cities have agencies that can come into the current home and advise on safety and modifications to make things safer.

You need to find a way to get a break from the caregiver duties, if only for a day or two. Basic sanity maintenance for you.

If it hasn't already been done, consider having her sign powers of attorney during a lucid moment so you can conduct business in her absence/incapacity. You may need to take on the role of her guardian at some point, but power of attorney lets you do a lot.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:12 AM
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I (and more my wife) care for my 90 YO Mom. She's still pretty spunky but extremely hard of hearing and mentally slipping. If your Mom has gone so far, time to recruit outside help. Yes, get Power of Attorney. Yes, get control of her accounts. You might want to consider opening the conversation about a nursing home if that might be in the cards. If you have an extra bedroom, you might hunt up a nurse looking for room and board. It might be a good fit.

I can tell you, take breaks if you can find someone to help out. I really feel the confinement and pressure of caregiving. My wife sees it in me. We were used to travelling long and far and (I'll say it) it feels like we're trapped at home.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:17 AM
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Falling issues may be related to crystals forming in the ear.

MIL had them. She got much better after a visit to the ENT doctor.

Does she get dizzy when getting up from a chair?
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cedarholm View Post
Sounds like she could use 'Life Alert' services....

Does she have a walker?
She did about 9 months ago but after 2 or 3 months she returned it.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cedarholm View Post
Falling issues may be related to crystals forming in the ear.

MIL had them. She got much better after a visit to the ENT doctor.

Does she get dizzy when getting up from a chair?
Don't think this was the issue on the last 2 falls. First time she tripped over her cat and the next time she bent down to pick something off the floor and lost her balance. But she has fallen before where this might be a problem.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:39 AM
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I suggest you look for a geriatrician, a medical specialist in caring for the elderly. They can sort through the issues and seperate the medical from the aging issues and best create a plan to manage the impacts of both. They can also help the mentation outlook and help determine the need for financial oversight of your mother's assets before things get ugly. I don't know your family situation but I do know from experience that things can get ugly in these areas and having an independent medical opinion is often a great comfort.
The elderly often have problems that are exacerbated by the treatment of medical issues by different types of doctors. The prescriptions often conflict and as metabolism and physical condition changes then dosages need to be reviewed.
As stated falling especially repeated/frequently is a major safety concern. Determining the cause is important. It could nutrition, medication, eyesight, nervous system, muscle issues or a host of other things. Knowing the cause of the issue will allow you to determine the best plan for safeguarding the home environment.
You have embarked on an often painful but extremely rewarding journey. There are probably resources in your area that you have yet to discover. I would look to both aarp and the area agency on aging for source material to help you become more familiar.
I used to work in the senior care area and may be able to offer further info by PM. I may also be out of date or not familiar with your area of the country, so don't get your hope's up, but I am happy to try.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:28 PM
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Meals on wheels if it's in your area, they will drop off meals every day and it cuts back on the work you have to do. They also have adult day care centers tat will take them for a few hours or the entire day.

It allows you a chance to be normal for a short time. If you find you need to place mom in a home check out Aplaceformom.com

They will help you select a place that fits your budget and her needs, they are a free service.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by txj33p View Post
I suggest you look for a geriatrician, a medical specialist in caring for the elderly. They can sort through the issues and seperate the medical from the aging issues and best create a plan to manage the impacts of both. They can also help the mentation outlook and help determine the need for financial oversight of your mother's assets before things get ugly. I don't know your family situation but I do know from experience that things can get ugly in these areas and having an independent medical opinion is often a great comfort.
The elderly often have problems that are exacerbated by the treatment of medical issues by different types of doctors. The prescriptions often conflict and as metabolism and physical condition changes then dosages need to be reviewed.
As stated falling especially repeated/frequently is a major safety concern. Determining the cause is important. It could nutrition, medication, eyesight, nervous system, muscle issues or a host of other things. Knowing the cause of the issue will allow you to determine the best plan for safeguarding the home environment.
You have embarked on an often painful but extremely rewarding journey. There are probably resources in your area that you have yet to discover. I would look to both aarp and the area agency on aging for source material to help you become more familiar.
I used to work in the senior care area and may be able to offer further info by PM. I may also be out of date or not familiar with your area of the country, so don't get your hope's up, but I am happy to try.

Agree completely. Especially as dementia sets in. No way Mom could keep her pills straight.

Once my brother stepped in with help from a primary doctor and sorted through all the various prescriptions from other specialists, he got her down from 6 scripts to 2 and Mom improved substantially.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:09 PM
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Get her primary doc to refer her to an accredite home health agency. This is covered by medicare and private insurances and is a temporary (3-6 wks) service. They can send out a nurse to sort out her meds, a physical therapist can address safety and balance issues, and a medical social worker can educate regarding meals on wheels or assisted living.
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