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I haven't been here for a while. Just thought I'd update all of you on my mom. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's six years ago, lived with me for a year and has been with my sister for the past four years. We've been very fortunate to have the same aide for the past 5 years, 6 days a week, so my sister has been able to manage. On Sundays, I pick up my mom, along with my other sister, we trade off, so again, my sister who has my mom living there gets a break. This has, for the most part, been working out. Mom of course has been declining. Many times when I pick her up, she has no idea who I am, but still agrees to come with me and at some point she does remember I am her daughter. Alzheimer's has caused so much confusion, and has taken away so much of her. It did, however, give us one blessing. Mom is a holocaust survivor and she has forgotten that she was in ten labor camps. Sadly, she also has no idea that she has 8 great grandchildren and rarely remembers her 7 grandchildren.

On a brighter note, my sisters and I looked at an assisted living facility over this past weekend. One of my sisters is an RN and works there. We took mom and she was SO excited and wanted to know "when can I move in?" NONE of us expected that response. Mom has always, always, always wanted more than anything just to be with her daughters and now, she can't wait to move! If all goes well with the cognitive test today, she will move in tomorrow! My heart is pounding with delight, but there is a part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just hasn't been that easy with mom, but maybe now things will turn around.

I just thought I'd share that with you, my friends, who were here to support me at the beginning of this journey. The journey continues, we are just taking a different path, and hopefully a happier one. Please say a little prayer for us...thanks so much,
Miriam

[This message has been edited by MIMI427 (edited 06-09-2009).]
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Hi Miriam:

What wonderful news. I will say a prayer that this all works out for you and your sisters. You have all been so wonderful assisting one another in caring for your mother.

I am sure we all know the challenges that you have faced and the emotional difficulties that have been a big part of this journey. Just know that your sharing has helped us all during our caregiving years. Bless you angel!

Hugs, Glenda
Morning Barb, Glenda and all,

Thanks so much for your support. It means a lot to me to hear you say that but I think I have to clarify some things, as far as me and my sisters.

Yes, we have all chipped in and did our share, or at least what we felt was our share. As you know, I cared for mom here in my home the first year and really received very little support from either of my sisters. When I could no longer do it and needed support, they were no where to be found and I ended up looking for a nursing home by myself. The night before I was to take my mom there, my one sister called to say she'd take mom and that was almost four years ago. During that time, I did pick up mom every other Sunday, for the entire day until her bedtime and did that religiously. My other sister picked up mom from Saturday afternoon until Sunday night. My brother in law still doesn't speak to me, the one where mom was living, because he felt I wasn't doing enough. And there are issues between me and my sister who is the RN because she was cashing checks out of my moms' checking account, large amounts and couldn't account for them when I asked her about it, so she no longer speaks to me. So, it's not as rosy a picture as one might think but, the bottom line, we have been able to come together to make this experience for mom the best it can be. None of us would ever want my mom to think we don't get along, it would break her heart. In reality, there is very little closeness between us. The one sister that doesn't speak to me, she use to be my best friend, seriously, my very best friend. Sad what sometimes happens in families.

Nice to hear from you both.

As an aside, a little chuckle...when mom went to dinner last night, she sat with another woman and two gentelmen walked over to their table and introduced themselves. One just happens to live in the next room to mom!! My mom has been single for over 44 years...wouldn't it be something????
Miriam
Hi Miriam... glad to hear things are going well... and they truly are in spite of all... and most of all happy to hear you are doing better....

There is life after caregiving.. for many it's about reclaiming or redefining who one is after the whole process.. so much is absorbed and it can take years before we truly understand the impact it has made... for many it is regaining health... but for many it's a gifted opportunity to sit back and see all the growth they have come through - to know and understand that the whole process was a gift in the bigger scopes of their lives...

Please keep us posted... take care

gail
Just wanted to update on mom's life at assisted living...it's wonderful! I can hardly believe it. If anyone would have asked me to bet on whether mom would do well, I would have bet against it. At the very least, I would have expected a major decline in her mental status from the stress of moving, etc. There's been none of that. Only negative was that she lost 7 pounds and they feel it is because of her activity. Before, she wouldn't move from her chair throughout the day and now she uses a walker to get from her room to her meals, activities, etc. For the life of us, we could NOT get her to do anything social and now she goes to the activities, which are many throughout the day. Don't get me wrong, she's not at all of them and not every day, but she goes and anything is better than what she was doing, which was a lot of nothing. The staff is wonderful, just wonderful. I realize we are lucky because one of my sisters works there, so maybe there is a little favoritism going on? I don't know, hard to say. I only hope and pray mom hangs on mentally for a while so she can stay in assisted living. They do have certain expectations of her to care for herself to some degree, but there is someone always there in the unit to help, if need be. The place is about ten miles from me and it takes me 40 minutes one way, just because of heavy traffic and trains (always seem to get stopped by freight trains!), but my other two sisters are very close, within 10 minutes so it works out. The one that works there is there 5 or 6 nights a week (works the evening shift) and is able to take a break and tuck mom into bed at night. We also bought mom a phone in which you are able to program a speed dial and then place a photo of the person on the phone, so all mom has to do is push the button and call us! This is the first time in 4 years that she has called me. She calls two times a day, some days not at all, but the conversations are nice. Dementia really suits my mom! She has become a much warmer, more loving person than I had ever known her to be.

For anyone that is considering placing their parent or loved one in assisted living, let me tell you, there are wonderful places out there. Between my sisters and me, one of us is there just about every day, so we do see what is going on and really can see how well mom is being cared for.

I wish all of you well,
Miriam
Hi Gail,
Yes, I'm still working. I am doing medical transcription, from home, which I love. I get to spend time with my dogs which is one of my favorite things to do.

Unfortunately, I am still having a lot of problems with my back in fact, just had an MRI done about a week ago and am waiting to see a new physician to review the options I have. I am learning to live with daily, chronic pain. It's certainly nothing new - it has been with me for over 20 years.

I read your post and am amazed that you made the move. How wonderful for you! I wish you the very best.

warmest wishes,
Miriam

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