Parental Journal 61 from Planet Elderly – Heading Back to Missouri to Recharge

Friday, May 13, 2016  evening

Time to recharge.  The situation here is not ideal, but it is stable enough to let me go back to my regular life for a while.

Diagnosis of moderate dementia has been received.

Mom denies anything is wrong; she will not consider agency aides or assisted living.

Mom is starting some medicine her doctor prescribed – generic Aricept.  She has difficulty managing her meds.  When I caution about taking too much or too little, she just yells, “Then let me die.  I don’t want any help.”

After agreeing to have neighbor Kevin check in on her twice a day to make sure she does take her meds and to provide any other assistance as needed, Mom told him today that she did not need a babysitter.  She doesn’t want him coming over.

Kevin will ignore the babysitter remark and provide the assistance she, he, and I agreed on a couple days ago.

Mom is very eager to have me go away for a while.

I am very eager to go away for a while.

Remaining issue addressed today:  Mom’s ability to be a safe driver.

Today I sent a letter to Mom’s doctor requesting that she inform authorities of Mom’s diagnosis and recommend she be tested to assess her ability to be an aware and safe driver.  This is an Illinois requirement I learned from the Internet.  The neuropsychologist told me she was certain Mom would not be able to pass the test.  This will be difficult for Mom, but it needs to be done to avoid any possible danger to Mom and/or others.

A Deep Bow of Gratitude to Kevin

I would not be able to return to Missouri for a while if it weren’t for neighbor Kevin.  Yesterday he told me he knows how difficult things are and will be…but he said that being in my position as the only child daughter who lives 400 miles away…”that is a no win situation.”

It may be a no win situation, but it is a situation shared by thousands of other families.  My situation is a heck of a lot easier to deal with than that of others who must provide 24/7 care for a loved one for years with little or no assistance.

It may be a no win situation, but it is a situation that will have an ending.  In my case, two.  The days ahead will be filled with a bit of wonder, grief, frustration, and gratitude.

And heck, there’s no guarantee I’ll outlive them.  No guarantee whatsoever.

About jjmummert

Just another voice in the wilderness from someone who's lived on this planet for over 60 years and faces permanent residency on Planet Elderly. Update: As of March 2, 2017, I turned 70. I'm now an official resident of Planet Elderly. Dad passed away September 22, 2016. I view the Parental Journal entries as part therapy, part family history, sort of a case study of what our family experiences with one parent in a memory care unit, another living independently with short-term memory loss, and me, the only child daughter who lives 400 miles away. It's quite an adventure. Recommended readings for others who have loved ones who live with some form of dementia: The 36-Hour Day, The Myth of Alzheimer's - What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis, Alzheimer's Early Stages.
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