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Coping with Cognitive Problems: Senior Cognitive Issues (4 of 4)

In this video, "Coping with Cognitive Problems," certified senior advisor Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care talks about coping mechanisms and how to help a loved one who is suffering from cognitive disfunction or impairment.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. November 27, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Posted by Paula

    I can relate. First, please know that what works for some, may not work for others. With that being said, we had to tell my Dad (89) that we were getting help for us and the "worker" would assist him if he needed anything. Being that I was POA since my mom died in the hospital in 2008, I had access to the funds that she had secured to take care of her and Dad. I lived with Dad after she died for 4 months ( my family and I live 2+ hours away). Then, had in-home health due to a fall - then hired an agency - private was not dependable enough for long distance care - after one month of expenses exceeding $12k for 24/7 care - I gave him his options - you have to be the parent, as hard as I did not want to hear this, it's true. Choices: his home w/outside help, facility, our home w/outside help. I convinced him that the money would last longer if he came to live with us. Yes, the money is there for us to take care of them and us! Being that dad has Dementia/Alzheimer's, you have to present ideas differently to avoid confrontation, frustration, and emotional stress on all fronts. Trying to deal with a accusatory sibling was the least of my worries. I hire outside help when I have errands, Dr. appts, part-time work, etc - and yes his money is decreasing with all of the supplies that he needs. There is no one solution. You do what works for that season and change when it doesn't fit the bill anymore. A support group helps, too! A good read (when you can get a few minutes) is Boundaries. Sounds like you are the loving, caring daughter that needs some encouragement that you are doing a good job! Find a balance - it will take many tries and don't let other's words, pity, etc. influence what you know is right. Also, check out the Council on the Aging, Eldercare, and revisit in-home health care - the Dr. can/may order a psych nurse (very helpful for the caregiver) or visit your local community rec center or church for additional activities- sometimes volunteers provide care/help. There are so many great resources available for caregivers to tap into and use. Take care of yourself and eassure your mom that you have her in your best interest.

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  2. November 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Posted by Cindy

    I have been living at Mom & Dad's house since aproximately 1991. I was forced to move out, in my own apt., when my Dad passed away in the hospital., in 9/2006. I moved back in when my Mom was robbed twice, the house next door caught on fire, Mom fell and broke her right hip. I have tried to get help with home care, but Mom does not want to pay the fee. Foundation for Senior Living rep. came over the other day, and after the rep. told her the going rate of $19.50 to $25.00 hr., minimum of 4 hrs. per day, Mom told her she wanted the literature sent to her in the mail. Mom has refused outside help in the passed. She did have a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, when she came home from the Rehab...... it was mandatory, for a 6 wk. period...... Mom was not confident yet, so we got her Dr. to write another script for home health care. We got another 6 wks. of physical therapy, help with showers, ...paid by medicare... no money out of Mom's pocket......they were great..... nurse did vitals, kept track of medications, all kinds of excercises in bed walking, standup excercises......that was the last time, we had any outside help... It was in 2008, right after my brother died of cancer. Mom was released the day, after my brother passed away. The reason why I am writing is because, I am not sure what to do, now. I took a 3 wk. vacation to get things done, like get Mom new glasses, get some new clothing, eat good food, watch movies together, get things more orgainized at home, filing collected paperwork, getting family photos org., just enjoy life. So, far, I have cleaned the house, done laudry, purchased some good things to eat, excercised in the home, arranged for construction to start on the property damage from the recent hail storm we had in 10/2010., working with the homeowners insurance co...& restoration contractor....and got Mom upset,...while driving her to the emergency room, to look at her right arm, which was cut, when she got upset, that I was not cleaning the pots in back yard right. We washed the cut with water, it looked like stiches should be given, but Mom refused, so... I put tiger balm on it, wrapped her arm with ace bandage, ...kept changing bandage paid, then tried to air it out, dry it up... but Mom seemed to keep bumping it....... after a few days, I wanted to just take Mom to emergency... She didn't want to go, got upset at me, and threw a fit, while driving in the car, I had to pull off the road & call for help. My niece was called, to the scene...... and I became the bad guy. ...My son was called, and I went to his residence for a few days....I left Mom with her 2 granddaughters, who wanted to rant & rave at me. I didn't think that was good for Mom, my son, my nieces or me. I will be going back to work after next week, and I am looking forward to it. I would sure like to get concrete, constructive, help...... not just accusations, pity, etc. ....I hired a cleaning lady once...she was fantastic... but Mom would get upset, whenever we called her to clean....... Mom wanted me to clean up, before she came to the house!!!!! I got frustrated with that..... eventually, Julie stopped coming.... Mom does not like to spend any money. She is very good at coupons. We can afford home health care. Dad took care of that.......... Sincerely. .....

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