Tuesday, 6 November 2007

more of the same

Mum seems to have fallen out of the habit of calling me since Thursday, and I've been taking a break, myself, in order to concentrate on a new job I started yesterday. However, I did phone around a few people today.

The Warden said that Mum was declining rapidly, that she was beginning to look a little unkempt, and that she'd been up to his office close to 15 times this morning with an appointment card in her hand asking him to help her organise a taxi today. Each time, he had explained that the appointment was for the 30th November, and that the card clearly stated that someone would be picking her up to take her there.

Next I spoke to the Community Psychiatric Nurse, who informed me that the CT scan had come back and that it does indeed show some damage to Mum's brain. It's her opinion that the Consultant's diagnosis will be that the damage is from 'mixed' causes, rather than straightforward Alzheimer's. It's more likely that Mum has been suffering from a succession of TIAs and that the dementia is vascular. The CPN said that even in the short period that she's known Mum she has seen a definite decline, and that I should place Mum in care very soon. Mum has been assigned a Social Worker, who I can ask questions about what sort of Home would be suitable for Mum, and how to finance it.

Finally, I spoke to Mum's Bank Manager to ask a question related to the Power of Attorney I hold for Mum. She asked how Mum was doing, and divulged that they'd seen her on Friday after Mum couldn't remember her PIN once again, and that a staff member had accompanied her to the Post Office to help her. I can't imagine a larger town branch being so helpful, and I'm so grateful to them that they are patient with Mum.

It looks like I'll be spending the weekend visiting Care Homes.


BigAssBelle said...

those momentary lulls in the phone calls bring a guilt-ridden relief.

care homes. like our nursing homes here in the US? i don't know what would happen with my father without my stepmother living with him (and losing her own mind and health as a result).

he still has his sense of humor, personality, he just can't remember a freakin' thing. left on his own, he'd take a month's worth of blood pressure meds in a day. he'd never be able to work the television remote. it would be dreadful.

our sole goal has been to keep him out of a nursing home. $5,000-6,000 a month for a reasonable place to stay, and then they allow the non-ailing spouse to have a car and a house and $100,000 in cash. they would take all of his social security income, the income from his investments and leave my stepmother the income from that $100K ~ hardly enough to live on at 4% or so.

it's a terrible quandary and of course he's not at that point yet, but could be and then what. then we will care for her because his care will eat up their income producing monies and so it goes.

what a lousy system. i hate this. i love my daddy. it breaks my heart that dementia is stealing him away.

Greg said...

The Care Homes I'm looking at are about £700 per week so, yes, that's about the same as your figure. Mum's income from her pensions means that a free Local Authority place is denied her, but still only comes to about £400 per week. I'm going to have to fund the remainder from the sale of her apartment. I'd consider taking her into my home and becoming her Carer, except that I'd have to move (my house wouldn't be suitable for her needs) and I'd not be able to work for my current employer, who need me to travel. My ideal solution would be to pool our resources and buy a place in the country (maybe in France?) and look after her there, growing my vegetables. I'd probably last a month before my head exploded...