Hi. I'm new to this site, so glad you are out there. I am the youngest of us 3 sibs and I seem to have taken over the responsibility of finding help for my sister and brother and I am very happy to do it. Just wish I knew a way to help them. So, my brother is 79 and is in the late to middle stages of Alzheimers. He has a wife and no children who can help. I try to help but now with this virus, I'm not seeing them of course, but I call all the time. At what point do you consider an Alzheimer's home ? My sister in law doesn't complain much but she does tell me what she has to do for/with him and I don't see her doing it for much longer without falling apart. She wont have someone come into the home for fear they will steal from her! She is 76. Also, she talks to him like he knows what she is saying and when he says no, she gets mad. She has read the "36 hour day" book and told me to read it. I'm not criticizing her in the least, she is doing her best. But what if her best is not the best for him? When the weather gets nice, she will be outside in her yard gardening for sun up till sun down and he will be in front of the tv with his head down staring at the floor. It breaks my heart.
Welcome, so nice of you to help your siblings! Every family is different when it comes to care decisions. I personally think if the diagnosed/patient is a wandering risk, or needs assistance getting around and showering/dressing, then greater care is needed. Can your family secure valuables so a caregiver can be brought in? I think the brain gets confused faster when there is a change of residence. The Alzheimer's association also resources you can inquire about.
I know exactly what you and your sister in law are both going through. My parents are 85 and 86 years old, and my mom has Alzheimers. My dad is trying his best to take care of her, but he calls me 8-10 times a day. I live almost 3 hours away and keep going back and forth. This has consumed every ounce of my energy, and every minute of my time for months now. I can't even go back to work he calls me so much. I would say she is entering late stage, but who really knows. She is coherent sometimes, and then others she doesnt know me or my Dad. The facility decision is tricky, and you have to be careful about your assets, or they will come after every single penny they can if care is not affordable. And it is ridiculously expensive, around $5000-$7,000 per month here in FL. My Dad refuses to put my mom in a home, but he can't deal with it on his own. I have offered for them to move in with me, which would only be possible if I rennovate my downstairs and add a shower in the half bath, and close in a bedroom, but he won't do that either. So his solution is to call me and have me drive over every time she is upset, which is several times a day, which I cannot do either. I would recommend she get a nice safe for any valuables, and concede to home health care. If he has Medicare, it is covered up to 35 hours per week I believe, he just needs his Dr. to sign off on it. If he is a Veteran, he is also entitled to free help up to 14 hours per week, and can also apply for funding to help with his care. There are some hoops to jump through, but its nice to know they have a few options. My dad is the same way with my mom, wants to argue that he is right and she is wrong, and is exhausted and has no patience with her. Once the virus has passed, maybe you can go over and give her breaks as often as possible. I don't know how far away you are, but that would be super helpful. I am so sorry you and your family are going through this.
Thank you both for being so understanding and caring. I feel for you with your mom and dad situation. It's bad enough with my brother, I don't know what I would do If my mom didn't recognize me. She has passed and had Parkinson's and spent her last years in a home where she truly liked the people and the attention and commotion. My brother has moments of lucidity when I'm not there, says my SIL, but when I'm there he's happy to see me, acts like his old self for a few moments but can't carry on a conversation passed a few sentences. Looks off into the distance and tries to come back when I talk to him. My SIL says he goes days without speaking a word to her. He goes weeks, over a month sometimes, without washing up because he says no when she asks him to bathe. I tell her they need help from a professional . She pretty much says no to whatever I suggest. She wants to do this whole thing on her own. Perhaps the cost of the nh, perhaps she doesn't want to be alone. The doctor comes out to the house once a month, or else a nurse practitioner. His feet are so swollen and red because she cannot get him to walk anywhere except to the dinner table. Otherwise he is sitting on the sofa, in front of the tv. Like I said, it's so sad. You know the heartache, I'm sure.
Teepe Snow has some videos online on trying to get Alzheimer’s patient into the shower. Some have fear of water. I’m wondering if it could be a vision issue. But she has other thoughts on it. My family used a transfer chair and when we needed to, hired trained caregivers.