Mom’s Alzheimer’s: Reflections on my Non-Decision

Today I’m participating in Kathy Bender’s of Bereaved and Blessed “Time-Warp Tuesday” exercise. The idea is to reflect on a past blog post. This month’s theme is Decisions.

Beginning to process this enormous event

52 years ago my mom made this beautiful needlepoint (Photo: Kathy Morelli, LPC)

52 years ago my mom made this beautiful needlepoint (Photo: Kathy Morelli, LPC)

The event I decided to reflect on is my mom’s Alzheimer’s disease and the post I wrote about it last year: Taking Her Dog Away.

I wrote about the weeks leading up to my realization that my mother really couldn’t care for herself anymore and needed to be placed in an assisted living facility. At the time, I didn’t so much write about having to place her in a facility so much as the final emotional straw of having to take her little dog away from her. I haven’t been able to write about my feelings about this all year. I was so angry and sad, there were no words, no creative art about it either. Until a few weeks ago, I wrote this poem, Footie, I am 6. I seem to finally be able to put some images, emotions and words together.

The decision to place her in a facility was not so much a decision as a non-decision, a result of reactive measures, not so much proactive planning. The months preceding were an emotionally charged mess of strange happenings, phone calls from people in the community, confusing actions and my own (and my siblings’) incredibly strong denial of what now seems obvious.

The third parent

For the past twenty years, I lived the closest to my mom and she was always helping with my family. She was like a third parent to my son. She lived 20 minutes from me and often drove over to pick him up when he was little and babysit for him. She loved having him at her condo. He helped her plant daffodils. She laughed as he said, “Point up,” as he really knew what to do…I had told him to do so when we planted at our house.

And the years passed,. We moved about an hour away. I insisted she move by us as well. I worried about her being so far away, what if something happened? She was about 80 when we moved. She eventually came to live by us, about 20 minutes away again. Life was ok.

Signs of forgetting

I started noticing she was getting forgetful a few years ago. But she was still doing fine, living on her own. She wanted to. She insisted on her privacy and independence. She was paying her bills, keeping the place clean, walking her dog.

Time passed. About three years ago, her doctor called me. He wanted to see me. I called my brother. He wanted us to hear what he had to say. He recommended that she go into assisted living, as he felt it was indicated. Of course, a long, drawn out sequence of events went on and she just wouldn’t go, she felt she wasn’t ready. It wasn’t time for anyone to really step in yet. The doctor prescribed medication, I tried to help her remember to take it, but I wasn’t too effective. Notes, medication holders…nothing much took.

Too many chickens in the fridge

Istock/CreativeFire

Istock/CreativeFire

Two years more go by, I go to her house. I open the refrigerator door. There is so much food in there, I’m puzzled. There are six ready made chickens….and just alot of stuff. I say, “Mom, what’s up?” She gets a funny look like she’s done something bad and she doesn’t answer. So, I get a garbage bag and clean it out.

A week later, I go back again. Same fridge thing. I take a good look around the house. I kinda realize it seems a bit dingy. And I notice there are an awful lot of papers piled up around. I don’t remember that before (I don’t think?) And my mom herself looks a bit shabby. Hmm, is something up here? But what? My goodness, I’m a psychotherapist and I’m just not sure. I work with younger families, I’ve really never seen this. I email my siblings…there seems to be something wrong….no one says much; we’re all suspended in disbelief.

Anyway – in the few weeks after that, I get phone calls from various people: her veterinarian, my veterinarian, the people at her condo complex…all very compassionate, very kind. They say, she’s not herself, we know it’s not her. And I’m stunned. What to do? How to get her out of her house? She fights me whenever I bring it up. How to take away her car? She fights about that.

One day, I get a call at work. I really need to go get her. But I am at work, my day just started. Back-to-back appointments from 2 pm through 9 pm. I was so flustered.

Folks, dream on, I have no staff. The insurance reimbursement for mental health work is not a living wage for northern New Jersey. How was I to call everyone and cancel? I was lucky to be able to get in touch with my son to pick her up and take her to our home. I was lucky he was of driving age and he had a car.

Dementia is a real disease with sad and scary symptoms

At my home, six weeks of a long nightmare began. She didn’t sleep. At night, I had to move all the food in the refrigerator to the downstairs refrigerator to hide it, otherwise it would all disappear overnight. We think she would stuff it down her poor little dog’s throat. We just don’t know. Once night eight pieces of chicken were gone overnight. She constantly tried to go home. She tried to leave at midnight. She yelled at me, tried to scratch me. None of us were sleeping. She’d wander around at night, banging doors and stomping around.

The next morning she’d have no recall of the night before and she’d be apologetic. It was so sad. I called her doctor for help over the first weekend. Medication? A primary care physician with alot of elderly patients, he was so backed up that he didn’t get back to me until late Sunday afternoon, he was exhausted. On a Sunday, he prescribed some meds over the phone and I ran to my pharmacy. Hers was closed on Sundays. I didn’t have any of her insurance information. But that pharmacist found her in the Medicare database, somehow. He was so kind and so empathetic. But she wouldn’t take the medication. She insisted I was trying to poison her. I keep sneaking some into ice cream, so she would calm down and sleep and we could all sleep.

I kept working, my husband kept working, my son was in school. What choice was there? I prayed she wouldn’t run away while I was at work. It was so hard to believe that the illness was really there. Often she seemed much like herself, I saw my mom there, often I didn’t see what they were talking about…surely if she had the right medication she’d be fine to live in her condo again. We went for walks with the dogs, she seemed more tired than she used to be.

Next, the interview at the assisted living place. We had gone there two years before, so they knew us. She fought to stay in her condo, but we found she wasn’t paying her bills properly, the activities of daily living were going downhill. I took away her car keys. My brother took control of the bank accounts. My sister sneaked her check book and credit cards out of her wallet.

False cheer – don’t look behind the curtain

At the interview, the staff doesn’t really say anything; no one talks about the elephant in the room. They’re nice, but it’s so restrained. No offer of counseling assistance for the family, no offer of counseling assistance for my mom in her transition. Just lots of smiles and cheery can-do attitude. (Ha -payback – reminded me of myself when I worked at the Cancer Center.) And we’re all obviously in distress. Being a therapist, I’m expecting transition services, supportive counseling, some acknowledgment of this loss, of the grief we’re all sunk in.

No, nothing like that. The social worker is really more in a salesperson role. It’s plain old weird. Everyone acts as if everything is all ok. A woman is losing her independence and let’s just dance right through this. A woman losing all of her husband’s and her hard-earned life savings to this place and let’s not talk about that either. There is so much denial over what is going on I feel like I’m crazy for expecting some sort of acknowledgment. The cognitive dissonance stuns me. I wonder why I don’t think this is normal.

Move Number One

Next, I arrange for the movers to come. Thank goodness my sister arrives from Florida to help. We go with mom to her condo to consolidate her furniture into one small room. I don’t think I could’ve coped with this alone; it was so healing to have my sister there to cope with this saddest of days. Mom saves her best stuff. It’s pretty ok. She keeps saying she’ll be ok if she can keep her dog. The move goes all right. The movers have done this before, they’re very kind. They tell lots of jokes and pay attention to my mom. I give them tips.

We move in and I think it’s gonna be ok, but it’s short -lived. My mom keeps leaving the premises unannounced. Once, they found her two miles away, sort of running. Last year, she was 91, but in great physical shape. I thought it was weird that they didn’t lock the doors when there are mentally incompetent people living there.

Guilt, shame, confusion – $3500 a month and YOU should be here

Next, the nightmare of the staff calls. The staff calls me at all hours of the day and night, nastily complaining about my mother. I am totally confused. The place costs $3500 a month. No one talks to her, no one coaches her on how to adjust. No one offers to help me with this transition, this immense responsibility. They are downright nasty. They act ass if she was doing this on purpose, as if she doesn’t have a disease. I am very confused. What are we paying $3500 a month for???

I realize they are scared shit about their liability and their licenses, that’s all. If something happens to her, they’re liable, that’s all they care about.

They tell me I should be there to come and stay with her at night, I should be there to take care of her. I am really shaken up.

On top of the grief and guilt I already feel, I am very ashamed. I am also confused, I have three siblings, but the staff calls me to say I should be there. No one else is being badgered like this. Believe me, they’re nasty about it.

$3500 a month you say? I am shaken up.

What are we paying you for???? I ask. I’m pissed.

Fucking. Lock. The. Door. I say.

Why is the front door unlocked at night at a facility such as this? WTF???

I am totally exhausted, emotionally and physically. I am still running my own business and still have my family. I get calls in the middle of sessions, I am 40 minutes away, with a full client schedule. I’m supposed to be writing a book with some co-authors. I’m supposed to be working at my business. Oh yeah, and being a mother to a teenager. I drop out of the book writing effort; I can’t keep up my obligations to the other people.

I am paralyzed by the depth of guilt, shame, anger and confusion I feel. Is this a manipulative tactic they use to get people to comply?

Try to imagine the deep pit of confusion and guilt that opens up when when I hear the words YOU are supposed to be here to take care of her. YOU come. That is actually what the head nurse said to me. Mind you, we are paying $3500 a month.

Taking her dog away

Next the showdown over her dog. You can read about that here.

We are all devastated when we are told we must remove her dog. They tell me by having the receptionist tell me on the phone I have to come get the dog. Everyone seems to be angry at us and my mom. She is 91 and she is ill.

Alzheimer’s- All alone in her roomMend a broken heart

My mother cries every day in her room. She has our phone numbers, but can’t figure out how to call us. I’m trying to work. I run out there as much as I can. No one goes to talk to her. They leave a woman who was just ripped from her home, her car, her independence and finally, her dog. They leave her to cry. I am shocked at the callousness. I am so confused that there is literally no one for her, at $3500 a month.

I call the social worker, and ask what other services are there? At my urging, they put together a plan that includes visits from a psychologist and memory care from a speech therapist. If I hadn’t asked no one would’ve lifted a finger. The professional visits seem to help her, and I bring the dog to visit often.

This scenario goes on for two weeks. My siblings and I are confused. No one is suggesting what we do as an alternative. My brother calls her doctor and he suggests a psychiatric evaluation. But the psychiatrist only comes once a month and we just missed him. But there is a psychiatric nurse who works at her doctors, she can come in two weeks.

Lock her down or I will

I call her and she kindly says she’ll fit my mom in ASAP. She sees her on a Friday. I talk to her I guess later that day; she says “If you don’t put her in a lock-down or have a 24 hour aide, I will.“ Well, I am speechless, I hang up on her, and just sob. Call my brother. And then we have to search for another type of facility. It’s now been 14 weeks of chaos. I am exhausted. We are all exhausted.

My mother has gone from living on her own to having to either be locked up or with a 24 hours aide in a few weeks.

These such facilities are super-expensive. We are now w talking a mind-blowing $6,000 a month. I’m flipping out at the price-tag. (Now, but not then, I’m numb to cost of healthcare in the US.

Ok – so my brother does some research. He goes to one place, and I go to see the sister facility of the place where my mom is at. The place where she is, has a very small lock-down unit. So, it’s inappropriate for her, as she can still walk three miles; she is restless. They say, go see the sister facility; it has a bigger lock-down unit, she can walk around.

Alzheimer’s Lock-down reality

Whoa – the place stinks to high heaven. And this is a nice place, rated well. What are the poorly rated places like? The aides know what it’s all about; they whisper, there aren’t enough aides to take care of the Medicaid residents. The residents aren’t changed often enough.

I look at the residents, most are in the later stages of dementia; their egos have left them, they sit and stare vacantly. But one, looking more youthful than the others, is still ego-aware. She notices me as I walk in to view the place. She is aware of her surroundings. She deliberately meets my eyes. In that look I see envy, anger and the desire to be someone else, actually to be me. It’s frightening.

We step out of the lock down and I start to cry. The staff member tries to say some positive things, but then sighs and kinda just sits there. I’m like, what’s that smell? She doesn’t answer me, looks away.

24 Hour Care from an aide

Next suggestion: the facility says, well, also talk to some home health aide agencies. I call an agency. I’m hysterically crying. I’m exhausted. The case manager is the first person to talk to us in an expansive way, offering some insight and practical solutions. She explains to me our options, she is knowledgeable, forthcoming and professional. She says she’ll do an assessment of my mom’s situation the next day. At the facility’s request, she gets a temporary full-time aide in with my mom.

She gets back to me within a day. She says she doesn’t want to tell us what to do, and she can recommend a professional elder-care counselor; she offers to call her for us.

The case manager gets back to me quickly and says the counselor doesn’t want us to spend our money on consulting with her; the situation is obvious. She says my mom is far too well to be in a lock-down but needs a 24 hour aide.

My siblings and I, after much email deliberation, weigh the costs, the quality of life factors and how much we (translate, I) will need to be present in each situation.

We decide on a 24 hour aide in a small apartment attached to the present facility.

Why stay at that seemingly unfriendly place? Well, they only have a two – three year buy-in requirement. Meaning that you will then be eligible for one of their Medicaid beds after you dump your life savings into their facility.  There really aren’t any better ones; the ones that appear to be better require an outright $300,000 buy in. It is what it is.

It’s in her neighborhood, she can walk the same routes, go to the Shop-Rite with the facility bus. Many people stop & talk to her on her walks….

Move Number Two

I call the movers again. The owner is so nice, he hears the tears in my voice and immediately fits us in, although they are booked all week. Same guys come. They’ve done moves within the facility before, as people move from care level to care level. My son and his friends come to help. They add some lightness to the situation. Nothing like 17 year old boys in an assisted living facility. To them, there’s plenty of comedy around. But my mom keeps asking about her dog…Can’t I have him back? Even the boys eventually ask me, Why can’t she have her dog?

So, you think this situation is finally stabilized? Of course not. It’s a story about dementia and elder-care in the US, folks.

I go on vacation; we had a vacation already paid for and booked in New Hampshire, like we always do. I really need to be away from the sadness.

Musical aides

Turns out the aide who was with my mom was perfectly fine, she just wasn’t certified in NJ, only NY. So, the case manager books another woman for my mom in her place. My mom liked to take three long walks a day, but not everyone wants to accommodate this.

My mom would keep leaving the facility when the aide was in the bathroom. Again, the facility is not happy, the aide is not happy. All are upset. All are calling me again, I refer them to my brother in NJ. My brother is ill-equipped to deal with the emotional zeitgeist of female aides and my mom. He gets stressed and sends nutty texts and emails.

The case manager swaps out so many aides we are six women down, my 91-year-old mom still standing.

Keeping track of the numerous time sheets, dates and payments is no small task.

Finally a marriage – the right aide

Anyway, finally the right one comes along after I get back from vacation and after about another week at work, she has arrived.

She is calm, mature, competent and positive about my mom’s strengths. She urges me to make a doctor’s appointment to get her medications straightened out. With the correct meds, my mom is a lot calmer.

$4000 a month, my own health, the middle class is screwed, thank you very much deregulation and Wall Street

By the fall, my vertigo has come back with a vengeance. I had an accident the year before and it is recurrent, but I’d been feeling very well for many months. But it is aggravated by stress and muscle tension. I’ve not had the time to attend to the physical therapy and exercise I need to do to keep myself well.

I’m feeling kinda dizzy the day we go to see Montclair State with my son. By the time we get there, I am in full-blown vertigo. I’m paralyzed and vomiting in the admissions office. Fun. Eventually I agree to let the paramedics take me to the emergency room. I start my struggle with vertigo again.

With my mom’s living conditions stable, I’ve been able to get back into physical therapy and do my exercise program again.  I’m better  again now, nine months later.

A Year Later

A year later after we moved her, her condition is worsening.

There has been a rate hike at the facility and at the agency. Writing checks for over $4000 a month is stressful in a way I hadn’t anticipated.

We put her condo on the market, after I orchestrated and did most of the clean-up work.

It’s pretty sad to clean out your mom’s place.My family worried about me.

It’s down $78,0000 from 11 years ago, Thank you very much deregulation and Wall Street. The middle class in the US is left to scramble.

Got your back, Wall Street and the 1%. Not.

Decisions

So this was supposed to be about decisions. When I wrote the first post, I was in turmoil.

After a year, I’ve come to an uneasy truce with my choice.

The title of this is Reflections on my Non-Decision.

Processing this event has helped me realize it is not a non-decision, I did make an adult decision, however uneasy I still feel about it.

My struggle is, why can’t I have her live with me? My siblings say, you will get ill. I think about it all the time and I want to take care of her.

Caring for her would mean that I would give up my life. I’d give up my practice. I’d stop doing my life.

I go around and around about this, and I have made an uneasy truce with the fact that I don’t want to give my life. The guilt doesn’t go away, it just lessens.

I have her at the house over the weekends sometimes, with our aide (she is wonderful). It is fun yet also stressful. I always think, can I do this full-time?

Dementia is an awful disease. The person who develops it has an awareness of it all the while it is taking away her sense of self. I wrote a poem about it here.

I grieve every time I see my mom, she is slowly fading away. It’s harder and harder to have a good time; she’s disappearing before our eyes. And yet sometimes there is a good day and she is there.

Dementia has an ugly and unwanted face.

What lies ahead?

The assisted living facility is an ok place, as long as you fit in to their version of care. It’s clean, the food is good. It is expensive.

Hushed, we worry, the money will run out; how can we stabilize her healthcare costs?

There is no answer.

It is not a reasonable amount of money; none of us make enough money to plug that hole.

Life feels different now.

Tree_Heart_RootsI used to feel safe and comfortable. I no longer do. I now feel life is cruel and unpredictable. I mean, I always knew it was. I have weathered other storms in my life. But this knowledge is in my bones.

What happens when the money runs out?

The list of things Medicare doesn’t cover is long.

Isn’t this invisible disability as real as one that physically cripples?

What do you think your decision would be?

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18 Responses to “Mom’s Alzheimer’s: Reflections on my Non-Decision”

  • Oh Kathy, I’m so sorry about the stress you’re under. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s, it runs in my family and I know how stressful and painful it was for my mom. I just wanted to give you big hugs and send love. I have no answers. But you’re obviously a very loving and dedicated daughter. xo
    Cristi Comes recently posted..{Review & Giveaway} New Therafit SandalsMy Profile

  • Welcome to Time Warp Tuesday and what a prolific post you have shared here about decisions. As I shared in my comment on the post you wrote a year ago, Alzheimer’s also has touched my family and it was very painful to watch my maternal grandparents suffer through their dementia before they died in 1998 and 2000. My mom, an only child, had a lot on her plate during the last years of her parents’ lives and I know how difficult it was for her to make similar decisions a long the way. She and her mother were always so close and to have to trick her into assisted living was heartbreaking.

    That said, we were lucky in many ways. My grandparents had managed to save a lot for their retirement, so I don’t recall finances being an issue back then. My grandmother was in a very nice Assisted Living Facility that treated her and our family very well. My parents would take her to dinner every Wednesday evening, as well as to church and have her over for brunch every Sunday. In between that we would visit when we could. My grandmother died 6 months before I got married, which was hard for me to accept. There is still so much that I wish we and the medical profession knew about Alzheimer’s and how to help those who have it and those who love and care about those who do.

    I admire how much my mom tries to learn about advances with research, medication, treatment, etc., as sadly odds are she may have Alzheimer’s some day too. I feel lucky that my parents were able to afford to buy long-term care insurance awhile back, as they went through so much with their own parents, who didn’t have it and how much more difficult that makes things.

    I really appreciate how openly and candidly you have shared about your journey with your mother here. I agree there is so much to be frustrated about with our country’s medical and financial systems that make dealing with loved ones who have diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, that much more difficult.

    Sending peace, love, light, thoughts, prayers and hugs your way as you continue to navigate this experience with your mother and family. Hang in there! Thank you for doing the Time Warp with us this month and I would love for you to join us again in the future!
    Kathy recently posted..Time Warp Tuesday: DecisionsMy Profile

    • Hi Kathy – Thank you for sharing your story about your family and Alzheimer’s. Thank you for allowing me to use your “Time Warp Tuesday” as the catalyst for this post. I had no idea it was going to be so long. It feels so good to get it out, to process it. Guilt is a terrible emotion to feel, so dark & shaming. I am working on feeling like I am doing the best I can under difficult circumstances. I see myself as capable and non-defeatist, but these attributes are not enough in this situation. Warmly, Kathy

  • I am just starting this process with my 91-year-old dad, and I’m not gonna lie, that was tough to read. There just aren’t any good answers, and even the best places are heartbreaking. It’s pretty sad when you’re halfway hoping the person you love will die just so they don’t have to tolerate the assisted living for long.
    Colleen Arnold, PhD recently posted..BRBMy Profile

    • Hi Colleen – thanks for your reply. I am sorry to hear that your family is in this process with your father as well. There are no easy answers. I’m sorry if the post caused you distress. But you are not alone, others are going through it as well. And remember you are not crazy when you feel the cognitive dissonance of the expectation of compassion and the limitations of reality. prayers for strength, Kathy
      Kathy Morelli recently posted..Mom’s Alzheimer’s: Reflections on my Non-DecisionMy Profile

  • Lisa:

    Stopped by from the blog hop and just wanted to let you know I can somewhat relate. My mum isn’t elderly, however she struggles with a progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis that has left her completely incapable of caring for herself. My dad cares for her full time, and it is wearing them both down. There is no form of home care that is actually helpful that we can get without paying for (even in Canada). I feel like we are coming to face a point where we will have to make the decision for her to live in assisted living, and it is incredibly difficult. I don’t know how we will live with the guilt. My parents have no savings, and they live on the tiny income that my mum gets for her disability. My dad gets nothing for being a full time carer. I am only 28 and have only just lost my son. It’s so much of a nightmare.

    This isn’t about me, however. I just wanted to let you know that you’re not the only word.

    Your words “I used to feel safe and comfortable. I no longer do. I now feel life is cruel and unpredictable. I mean, I always knew it was. I have weathered other storms in my life. But this knowledge is in my bones.” really resonate with me. I get it. The death of my son made me feel that way, and I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.

    Lots of love to you.
    Lisa recently posted..Decisions – Time Warp TuesdayMy Profile

    • Hi Lisa – I just want to say I am sorry for your loss. The grief sounds unimaginable. You are so young and you have suffered greatly. I am so sorry to hear there is no home care available for the Canadian citizens. The cost of being a caregiver is high both emotionally and physically. The guilt is hard to deal with , yet I feel for myself, I made the “right” choice (what is “right”?). And I think that other generations did not have to deal with this awful choice as often as the newer generations are having to, with the aging of the population, but no adequate philosophical way to manage how far we go, and what is quality of life, and what is actually humane? Many thanks for stopping by, Kathy

  • Here from Time Warp Tuesdays. This story sounds so stressful, and we are currently watching my husband’s parents struggle with what to do with his grandparents who are suffering from dementia (g-ma) and macular degeneration and COPD (g-pa). It’s been a stressful time for them and I worry that it will only get worse. Especially since they are so independent (well, used to be anyway) and think that they can still live on their own.

    • Hi there – I am sorry to hear of your struggles. Yes it is indeed a stressful time. I hope my story helps normalize the stress, the cognitive dissonance and the feelings of guilt that accompany such a tough time. And most people don’t want to give up their independence without a fight. good luck, Kathy

  • This is such an astounding post. Would you seek the opportunity to publish it elsewhere? Because I think people need to know what kind of a journey this entails … my grandmother had dementia, and though she lived far away, the deterioration was slow and ugly, the decisions no less difficult. I hope that you are finally able to find some peace.

    • Hi Justine – You are so kind! It is an ugly and draining disease, and I honestly don’t think it is humane to let people slip into the late stages of the disease. They are totally helpless and many just sit and cry for their mama, not knowing anyone or anything, having only their lower brain centers functional. I’d love to publish it elsewhere…many thanks, Kathy

  • Sending you hugs, Kathy. I’m sorry you’ve seen the less than supportive side of long term care. Hopefully more facilities will offer better support to new residents and their families. Often, I have witnessed the ongoing need for support as people progress through the disease.

    When you have good moments with your mom, treasure them. Write them down. Remember them. Alzheimer’s changes people and their ability to respond. Yet, they still respond to care and love. They are still capable of joy.
    Reach out to others on a similar journey. They (like many who have commented here) walk a similar path. And walking is so much more enjoying when you can do it with a friend.
    JoAnn Jordan recently posted..What do you get when you cross …?My Profile

  • Wow–as I read this I kept thinking, ‘so this is how the end of our lives is…’

    I can’t imagine the never-ending stress. It dawned on me that my mom is preparing for her eventual demise. She’s healthy and in her 70s, but she just purchased a condo “as an investment” which is a few hours away from her home. My youngest sister is living in the condo, and I imagine, will continue to do so when mom decides to sell her other place. Or maybe, when the decision is made for her…

    I’m so sorry that you’re bearing the brunt of your mom’s care, Kathy. It seems like the exception rather than the rule that more than one child pitches in.

    I like JoAnn’s compassionate reminder that the elderly are still capable of joy 🙂 🙂

    Take care, Kathy. I’m praying for your lovely mom.
    Linda Esposito recently posted..A Vital Anxiety Lesson: On Bathrooms and BoundariesMy Profile

    • Hi Linda – I know, that feeling of “So this is the end game…” is with me all the time, now that I’ve seen it firsthand. The people I know who are adult children in this position all say the same thing to me. Goodness, it’s on our horizon….This is the end-game…what dose this all mean then? Well, I’m glad your mom is thinking of downsizing at some point, it’s not pretty to be the people cleaning out the house/condo, having to throw out, salvage, clean,ready to sell…thanks for your always valuable input! Warmly, Kathy
      Kathy Morelli recently posted..Mom’s Alzheimer’s: Reflections on my Non-DecisionMy Profile

  • Kathy,

    I am so sorry to hear the struggles your family has faced. I wish that it were not such a common story. My mom and her siblings went through similar heartbreaking decisions and heroic stresses to try to keep my grandmother in her home. This must be a situation that has better solutions.

    Sending you warm thoughts.

    Ann
    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..Making Friends with MistakesMy Profile

    • Hi Ann – Alzheimers is an awful disease/condition. It takes a toll on the whole family. From this post, I hear so many people/families are suffering through this as well…so sad.

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