wolfsbride: (Default)
So we were trying again with Mom's case worker. Apparently, they can do what is called an emergency assessment which allows them to place people somewhere, on a continuing temporary basis until more permanent facilities can be found. So, that is what my friend who is helping me had tried to arrange for today.

The Saga )
wolfsbride: (Default)
So, today one of mom's friends came over with some money and I took the opportunity to go shopping without mom. Bought enough easily made food items to hopefully last for a couple of weeks until the next lot of money comes in. Came home and made something for mom to eat and a salad for myself and sat down with mom and the friend.

After we'd eaten, I got up to get some of the dessert - ambrosia salad - that I had bought for mom because I know she likes sweet things. As I was working in the kitchen, mom's friend started to sort of ask her questions. We'd decided to do this because I could never get her to tell me what's going on in her head.

One of the questions her friend asked her was does she think I'm trust worthy. She wouldn't answer the question. She said things like - oh well, that's not important. Or that doesn't matter. So after a little more talking, her friend then asked her if I was taking good care of her. With no hesitation, my mother said: When it's convenient for her.

I could tell how shocked her friend was because she kinda fumbled and then was all.. but... she makes you food and takes you places doesn't she? Makes sure you're all right? And again my mother replied: When it's convenient for her.

So there you have it. Apparently, I should be holding her hand 24/7. Clearly the fact that I actually have to WORK to provide stuff for her has become this HUGE thing in her mind. Which, really, if she'd signed the damn power of attorney like she was supposed to, I wouldn't have to work so damn much to pay for things and then I COULD spend time with her.

So, when the lady finally left, I just cleaned up the few dishes and told her I was going to bed. And then I barred my door so she couldn't get in to bother me every five minutes like she normally does. I'm pretty much sitting in the dark crying as I write this because I've gone into debt and worn myself ragged looking after her and that's the thanks I get.

Tomorrow I'm going to see if the lady that lives close to us can take her for the whole day. I can't even look at her right now without wanting to punch her in the face.
wolfsbride: (Default)
After a run in with the same irate neighbour that she always manages to bother when she goes wandering without me, I taped a note that said she is not to out without me to the underside of the table in front of her couch - it has a glass top. After reading the note several times and trying to take it off, which she couldn't because she couldn't figure out that it's UNDER the table, she put a pile of books on top of it so that she doesn't have to look at it.

Amazing.

Clearly the DEVIOUS part of her brain is not yet scrambled.
wolfsbride: (interpretive crows)
So... This afternoon I was getting ma ready to go out to run some errands since I can't leave her alone now. She was just inside the kitchen and I was just outside getting ready to head to the door when she pipes up with... Oh, I think I'll have a glass of this juice here. Now I'm all.. Juice? What juice? So I go back to see what the hell she's talking about.

She has a small glass on the counter empty but in her hand was a bottle of all purpose cleaner that HAPPENED to be orange coloured. My mind is boggling. I say to her.. Mom. Read the label. What does it say?

Mom: All purpose cleaner.

Me: So?

Mom: *looks at me blankly*

Me: *thinking... ooookay* It means you can't drink it okay?

Mom: Oh.

Me: *promptly hides it away.

Like... so now I'm going to have to child proof the house. Fortunately, out of sight equals out of mind for my mother. But OMG! She was going to DRINK it!

Though... It's a sad thing to say... If she had; I'd get to take her to emergency and then I'd be able to FORCE them to put her in the system instead of having to WAIT a billion years for the red tape to clear.

And they wonder why senior abuse is a problem.
wolfsbride: (Default)
So this week I was all YAY because I had finally had a response from the notary. They emailed me a draft of the power of attorney document for my approval. I emailed them back with my approval and was tentatively hopefully that the whole issue would be resolved in the next couple of weeks.

I guess I should have remembered that the universe abhors imbalance or something. For every good thing there has to be an equal bad thing. Apparently, my mother has been bothering the neighbors by trying to get into their apartments. Unfortunately, all the doors look the same and I guess she's forgotten what the apartment number is. So I ASSUME she's been putting her key in people's locks and jiggling the door knob.

This means I can no longer leave her alone for even a short period of time. I will have to take her every where I go - excluding clients - until I get some sort of in home supervision or something going. Hopefully, the few clients that preferred to have me come out to their place will be understanding and won't mind just dropping their data off for me to work on.

I think on Monday I will also email the notary and ask them to hurry up with the appointment date and to make it sooner than later.
wolfsbride: (interpretive crows)
My mother has these house slippers that make a funny flip creak noise when she walks. And by funny I mean ANNOYING. And let me tell you something else. That noise has become like the THEME FROM JAWS to me. Whenever I hear it, I immediately tense up in anticipation of the next round of mind boggling inane conversation.

You're probably wondering what Jaws has to do with Poe. Well, they're both horror stories :D

Its really funny. In one of the classes, part of the presentation was how to treat people with Alzheimer's. For example with respect and so forth. The last one was with unconditional love and the lecturer was all, you know, this is the only slide I dislike out of the whole series because not everyone who is looking after someone is doing it out of love and I found myself thinking....

Even if you WERE doing it out of love, the day to day grind would slowly but surely turn that love into hate. One of the most prevalent things you'll see in regards to elderly is what they call senior abuse. And I can't help but feel that maybe if the government got their heads out of their asses and acknowledged the fact that yes, the population is getting older and yes, not everyone is well off enough to afford private care and actually did something to facilitate the building of more facilities rather than shutting down the ones we have, people wouldn't be shoving their seniors into a dark closet, why hello there, Harry!

When I started thinking about my mom and outside facilities, I went online to get some sort of idea of what was available in our city. THERE ARE FIVE FACILITIES that are government regulated - meaning the cost is indexed to your income so that they can't charge you an arm and three legs if you can't afford it. FIVE! In a city of 200,000.

I couldn't find any numbers on how many seniors there are in our city, but if we even take just 1% of that number, that's 2,000 elderly people. The number of opening in all five facilities add up to 630. So yeah. Where's YOUR ma or pa gonna sleep?
wolfsbride: (logan cartoon)
Omg. *strangles everyone*

As I expected... The actual visit with the specialist took less time than the actual wait to get in. Five minutes. In which I learn.... Oh! Your mom's medication has been approved since November 2011! Actually the first thing he said about it was oh! You go to the pharmacist to do that!

Me: Oh! *amazingly refraining from stabbing the specialist in the eye*

Specialist: Well yeah. I'm sure I said that.

Me: *not saying anything LESS I SMITE HIM WITH A MOST HORRIBLE SMITTING!!! OMG!

Specialist: Well, let me look and see if I did it.

Me: *thinking* YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO DO IT AND THEN CALL ME WHEN IT WENT THROUGH! *but I don't say that because... see previous reaction*

Specialist: Oh yes. Here is it... It's been approved since November 2011. At which point he gives me a look and says... So... You haven't filled it YET??? LIKE IT'S MY FAULT!!!

Me: No, I have not. *gritting teeth*

Then the letter issue. I explain to him what it is the notary wants and that I had gone to the GP first and the GP had said to see him.

Specialist: Well.... You know... He can write the letter.

Me: Oh.

Specialist: Yes. I'm busy you know.

Me: *thinking* Doing what? Surely not LOOKING AFTER PATIENTS.

Specialist: This is how I do it. So just make sure he does it that way.

Me: Okay, fine. Thank you... FOR NOTHING! But I course I don't say that bit out loud.

And then to top a great day off.. I fell as I was leaving the building.. So I had to get on the bus all covered in mud. The bus driver didn't want to let me on.

AND THEN.... I called the notary. The person that is in charge of doing these things is... you guessed.. away on holidays. And she only works two days a week. So I left a message on her voice mail.

SIGH! Two steps forward - Six steps back.
wolfsbride: (logan cartoon)
Sorry for the language but I'm getting really annoyed.

Here's a laugh for you. I had been trying to make an appointment with the memory specialist to ask him a couple of questions about mom. I wanted to know if the medication for mom had been approved yet and if not, did he have any idea how long approval would take as she's kinda getting worse as the time goes by and I also wanted to know if he could write me up a letter for the notary.

First, I couldn't make an appointment because he was away. My mind boggled. I mean.. My GP is away all the time. That doesn't stop his receptionist from taking appointments for him. They're just after he gets back.

Second, I got a call today from his office. My appointment is for tomorrow. I'm chewing my nails off hoping they're not going to cancel on me since they took so long to get me in in the first place. The receptionist tells me Dr Baker says I should go see my GP. At this point, I feel like banging my head against the wall. Or banging HER head against the wall actually.

I very politely tell her I DID go see my GP and HE told me to go see Dr Baker. Her response: Oh. Well, I guess you'd better come in then.

THANK YOU for making me feel like my problems are important to you! Sheesh.
wolfsbride: (Default)
So this was the last class in this series. This one generated by far the most discussion. The class actually ran over time.

Anyway, here's a list of what we covered and my thoughts.

1. The importance of early planning - They talked about talking about wills and estates and power of attorney as a family and making decisions now etc. which is all well and good if you're in a situation where your family is willing to deal with these issues in a timely manner. Yes, it solves a lot of problems but unfortunately, in my case, my mother was dead set against signing anything. She kept putting if off and off and well, you know how that worked out.

2. Personal planning tools - The had a check list of things that you need to be aware of which will be helpful if I ever get past the financial stage. They also talked about enduring power of attorney, representation agreements, committeship and advance directive. So at least now I actually understand what's involved in getting my mother declared non compos mentis if I have to go that far.

3. Safety issues - driving, wandering - what it says on the can. The driving isn't an issue for mom, thank goodness. But the wandering is. See other post. The Society offers a Wandering package which has a bracelet that's keyed into the police system. Again though, the problem might be would she wear it.

4. Navigating the System - This was most helpful! I now have a phone number I can call to get a case manager for my mom. Hopefully. Apparently, they are very understaffed. Surprise surprise. The wait time for a call back can be as much as six months. Lets hope I get lucky. I'm overdue.
wolfsbride: (Default)
I didn't go to my third class as that was the week of snow and I didn't feel like going out in the wet slush and breaking a leg, so I asked the lecturer to put aside a packet for me which he did! So you get two for the post of one

Below is a list of what he talked about and my thoughts.

1. Changes in Behaviour - So this basically covered the way changes in the brain create changes in behaviour and the types of behavioural changes that occur. He noted that behavioural changes are one of the first things that OTHER people notice about the person with Alzheimers. Memory loss is one if the first things people WITH Alzheimers notice in themselves. Unfortunately, because the majority of people with Alzheimers are older, they tend to attribute the memory loss to aging and so they miss out on a possibly early diagnosis. It was good to know that there is a reason mom is behaving the way she is.

2. Behaviour is an attempt to Communicate - Unfortunately its up to the caregiver to figure out what that communication is. I think I've talked about this before where my mom won't ask for food but she'll do things that indicate to me she wants something to eat. It's like trying to learn a weird sort of short hand.

3. Managing Behaviour - So this part talked about ways to try to modify the behaviours some what. Like making sure the environment isn't upsetting, asking questions to figure out what's causing the behaviour, etc.

1. Feelings - Omg. Let's just spend the two hours crying shall we. :)

2. Burnout - Warning signs and How to Avoid it.

3. Dealing with Stress - Same as above.

4. Loss and Grief - This was the most interesting part of the four as it talked about how even though no one has died, both the care giver and the caree has lost things and it's actually beneficial to go through the grieving as though you have had that physical loss because in a way, the person you knew has died.

Class 3 had lots of good information. I'm glad I thought to ask for a packet. Class 4 was .... hard. Listening to everyone's emotions. Didn't help that he started out with an emotional video as well. People were sobbing.
wolfsbride: (black wolf)
Am back from my second class in the Family Caregiver Series thing. Still having a lot of overlap with stuff I've figured out for myself. I'm hoping at SOME point I'll learn some useful stuff. I'll stick to the same format as last time.

Below is a list of what he talked about and my rating :D

1. Exploring Communication - This was actually quite interesting. It talked about how we communicate. In a person with Dementia/Alzheimers verbal communication accounts for only 7%. Body language is 55% and other verbal cues, like tone or pitch is 38%. I'm assuming this a broad average as each person would be different I imagine.

2. How Alzheimers affects Communication - This was also very interesting. It talked about the sort of changes Alzheimers causes that affects the ability to communicate. It also talked about the areas of the brain that involve communication which is pretty much all of it.

3. The Relationship Between Communication and Behaviour - This part I have already come to grips with through living with my mom. This area talked about how as the person's ability to verbalize decreased or their frustration with not being able to communicate increased, (not necessarily the same thing by the way) they would start relying more and more on behaviour. So if the person you're looking after is doing something you think is weird (as in not their usual weird behaviour), that might be their way of trying to tell you something. Sadly, you're the one that has to figure it out.

4. Strategies and Tips for Communicating with a Person With Alzheimers - This was the one I was most interested in. Sadly, yep, it's pretty much all the stuff I've already been doing. Like not correcting, distracting, don't use big words etc. They also talked about how to establish communication, which I suppose will be useful as she gets worse.

Most interesting fact - How the brain works so that we can communicate. Oh my gosh! Also, as people with get worse, if English is their second language, they will revert to their original language. Which makes sense.

Most annoying fact - None of the facts were annoying but people's reactions were. I can't believe how many people were shocked by the fact that it's not a good thing to argue with someone with Alzheimers or that it's OKAY to lie to them. You are in for a long and rocky ride if you get all het up about those two things.
wolfsbride: (Default)
So had my first Family Caregiver Series thing. It was well presented but had a lot of overlap with stuff I had pretty much figured out on my own since I'm living it. Below is a list of what he talked about and my rating :D

1. What is Dementia? - which I had already figured out from reading and talking the various doctor types

2. Illnesses that cause Dementia - Who cares? Not I.

3. What happens in the brain - Very interesting. Too bad biology is not his field. Will have to see if I can hook up with someone to answer questions.

4. The progression of Alzheimers - Also very interesting. Gives an idea of what will be coming and what to look out for.

5. Current medications and research - Very very interesting. Kicks government. Please to be giving more funding for research. People aren't getting any younger you know. Or at least start funding age regeneration research :)

Next week: Understanding Communication - This one I'm very interested in as my mom is in this stage now where what she says is not what she means.

Most interesting fact - Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging. PLEASE TAKE NOTE PEOPLE!

Most annoying fact - The government has to do a study to decide whether it will cover dementia medication. Yeah, thanks for nothing, bastards.

December 2012

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