This is the third of a 3 part series resulting from an interview with a reader. She agreed to share her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease and hopes that it will be helpful to others.
What would your advice be to family members of someone struggling with Alzheimer's or another dementia?
I would suggest they find resources the minute they think something is wrong. I think you should take all the help you can get.
I also would tell people to talk, talk, talk. Ask questions of anyone that would listen. Don't think you are alone; believe me, you're not. More people talk about the disease now than they used to, and that's a good thing.
What else would you like to share with people that you think would be helpful for them to know?
I want to share this: make sure the person is safe. I found a wonderful lady from Uganda that moved in with my mom. This went well for a little while and then one day she had told me that it was too much for her to even handle. She said that my mom needed more care.
I thought, "No, I cannot put her in a home." But I had a lady come in and evaluate her on a Thursday. On Friday, she was placed in a nursing home. That shattered my heart. I think I waited too long. I knew she needed to be there, but I just couldn't let her go. So now, I would tell anyone to think of the person, not yourself.
Also, make sure you have someone that understands what you are going through. You need help, and don't be afraid to ask. Do not go it alone.
What happened after you moved your mother into a nursing home?
She got extremely good care at the nursing home. Even in her state of mind, she was always smiling and they loved that about her. She was always put in front of the nurses station if there wasn't an activity going on, so she could still see people. She loved being around people and they always kept someone with her.
In November of 2011, my husband and I had a trip planned to go to St. Martin. I fought with myself about what I should do. Should I go or not? A friend told me that I needed to go, and said she would visit my mom daily.
In the end, the decision was taken out of our hands. My husband developed a severe eye problem and could not fly, so we had to cancel our trip. We were scheduled to fly out at 6:30 am on Nov 28th. Our phone rang at 6:00 am that day, and I thought it was American Airlines looking for us. Sadly, it was the nursing home, and my mom had passed in her sleep.
I was thankful she did not suffer, although my husband and I did and still do. I miss her, more than I can ever express.
A note of thanks to Margie, daughter of Ruth, for her willingness to share her mother's story. We wish you comfort and peace.