By Lisa Baker
Mom has been discharged from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility. She will be here for 20 days. We hope at that time, she will be able to return to the assisted living facility she had been at before her hospital stay.
I talk about my parents and their facilities, but there are many families out there who aren’t able to afford any facility. They often hold full-time jobs outside of the home and come home to care for their loved one for the remainder of the day and evening. These people often are married, have children and a home of their own that needs tending. It isn’t easy to care for a dementia patient. Sometimes they don’t eat or drink. Often, they refuse to bathe. They sometimes will sleep all day only to be up all night. They try to do the things they used to do when they were younger such as cooking, except now they forget they turned the stovetop on, or that the milk goes in the refrigerator and not the pantry.
The caregiver in this type of situation is spread very thin. They are trying to juggle way too many balls. They need help and are way too tired and short of time to find help. Often, they don’t have the extra funds to be able to use a facility or hire extra help to come inside the home. In this type of situation, it’s even harder for the caregiver to take care of themself.
In fact, at a Teepa Snow conference for the positive approach to care, she told us that it is important that you have a group of trusted helpers to care for your loved one. You can’t do it alone and take care of yourself.
For now, Dad is doing OK. He still tries to get out of the door every chance he gets. He also still stumbles over his words. Many times just saying, “blah blah blah blah” as if he is really saying words. I have many times thought surely at some point our lives will settle down when they get used to their new homes. Now, I don’t think our lives will ever settle down. There will always be something with them whether it’s another UTI or behavior issues that require a medication change. Things will only settle down when they are gone. Then, we will miss them terribly.
Sorry folks, I’m still realizing that we lose an important part of them each day. There is such a huge difference in them now and even one year ago.
In closing, check out this last picture. It gives you some ways to take care of your brain. Until next time, make memories!