I have always prayed and trusted in my higher power. Today, it is like the air I breathe, extremely valuable if I want to survive.
My next indicated step, in response to the potential physical violence from my LO, who has Young-onset Alzheimer’s, is to have a “Plan B”. Yes, I know that her tirades are verbal abuse, but not to her Alzheimer’s brain, cause she was never like that before. It feels just like verbal abuse, although I have never experienced nor would have tolerated it in the past. It hurts and causes me much stress. I just keep reminding myself of something I ran across in my “research”: “The dementia patient is not giving you a hard time; The dementia patient is having a hard time.” In any case, the line that cannot be crossed is physical violence.
Hence: Plan B- Transition to a Memory Care community if that line is crossed.
First step: research facilities in my area. The first one I visited is about 5 minutes from where we live; Pros: beautiful, brand new, specific memory care unit with 2 floors separating higher functions folks from the the more advanced folks etc. Cons: no younger people there. I came away with the thought, this could work! Then I visited a facility 35 miles from us, (45minutes-1 hour, remember the So. California constant traffic!) on the recommendation of a Care manager that leads one the support groups I attend. I’m thinking in my mind, the decision will be: do I want convenient for me or what’s best for my LO? Pros: This facility was built from the ground up for dementia folks. Over a dozen folks with Young-Onset Alzheimer’s live there. Every detail was thought out on how to best treat dementia folks. No locked doors, (except the front door), open space made to feel like home; 3 kitchens, get a snack or something to drink any time they want, (just like home); lots of interesting spaces to hang out; comfy couches with several Big screen TV’s’; one dedicated to sports!; lots of activities (physical and mental); big outdoors area; resident cats and dogs and/or you can bring your own pet, they will care for it completely. The kicker was that have bunnies!!! (could you hear the squealing with delight in my typing?) My LO LOVES rabbits. Cons: 45 minutes-1 hour drive). As the tour continued, I knew there was no decision to be made, hands down, this facility would be better for my LO. Also as the tour continued I was coming to the realization that she would greatly benefit from a place like this sooner vs. later…..
If you have followed this blog for a minute, you know that there’s not a lot of stimulation going on for my LO. It’s not for lack of trying; but with me everything I say or do is “wrong” and “I don’t care”. The hired help is only a little better but she has already taken control and runs them around to her liking. She is in charge, hence very little activity, either physical or mental. She sleeps till the afternoon, (on days when no massage appt.) and might walk the dog 2 x a week.
So… the full realization, that this wasn’t “Plan B” but really should be “Plan A”, hit me as I was driving away from the facility. I did not expect nor was I prepared for the uncontrollable emotional outburst. (Again, driving while crying is NOT recommended!). It was so clear, I just wasn’t ready for it.
Now, I’m doing what I do best; Putting aside the emotions, (not burying them like I used to, just some clear-headed thinking) and getting some advice/facts from some professionals. I consulted with the Care manager for an assessment; she concluded what I already knew; that she would greatly benefit from a place like that now. Next week I will consult with our primary Dr. (he will play an integral part, if we are to get her there.) I will probably consult with the neurologist, but she most likely won’t play a big part since my LO doesn’t like her! And of course the massage therapist, whom she loves and will do anything she says or that she makes up that she says! (You see, the massage therapist has told her to sleep as much as she wants, it’s good for her; her body needs it!)
I am going back to this facility next week and putting her on a wait list. (I will be taking a friend with me this time!) The good news is, that this wonderful place which is NOT cheap, will almost be fully covered by her Long Term Care insurance policy for as long as she needs.
Pray and trust in God……