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Making a plan for a loved one
musicmomoftwins posted:
My mother was diagnosed a year ago with Alzheimers. She also has a
speech problem and can't communicate effectively. I live 5 hours away and my father is in good health and the primary care giver. However, my mother can't take care of her personal needs anymore, nor any of the housework. My Dad is getting over-whelmed.
I want to help him create a care plan for my mother, which I believe should include home health care, some house-cleaning help and so on. I am also very willing to have my parents move in with me as I have plenty of room and would be able to help with all of the thins my mom needs.
Are there any resources out there to help create a care plan as the disease progresses, that might help my Dad to be realistic?
cjh1203 responded:
I'm sorry about your mother's diagnosis. It's so thoughtful of you to realize how overwhelming this is for your father, and to look for ways to ease the load for him. It's got to be tough for you to be too far away to help him on a day-to-day basis, but it sounds like you're a great support to him.

I would recommend contacting the Alzheimer's Association first. You might call the chapter closest to your parents and talk to them about available resources and contacts. It can also be a great help to hire a case manager, to oversee and coordinate everything your mother needs, if you or your parents can afford it (it's usually not a huge expense, but I don't know what finances are available to your parents). A case manager can make a huge difference to the caregiver because he/she is so familiar with the disease and the problems that patients and caregivers face.

Even if a case manager isn't practical, the Alzheimer's Association can no doubt help you with your care plan.

Dr. Judith London, the expert on this board, has written a book that might also be of help to you and your dad: Support for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes".

Best wishes to you and your parents. Please come back and let us know how you're doing.

Judith L London, PhD responded:
It is loving to want to have your parents move in with you but eventually, the burden of care becomes overwhelming for caregivers, whether it is your Dad or you. The Alzheimer's Assn. is your best bet for learning about what to do.

Caregiver stress is a serious problem - and that you are stepping to to help your Dad is admirable.

You are on your way,
musicmomoftwins replied to cjh1203's response:
Thank you Carol. I have done as you suggested and they have some great resources! Unfortunately, my parents live in a county that has no caregiver groups and very little help. However, I have contacted another county and they are happy to have my parents join them for some support groups. I am visiting with my parents this week and my Dad and I are making a lot of calls to see what help they can get. Thanks again.
musicmomoftwins replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Thank you Judy. After looking at the Alzheimer's Assn. Website, I believe there are more resources available in my area, than theirs - I live close to Chicago, in NW Indiana. There really isn't much close to my parents home in rural, central WI. We are doing some research and finding out all we can to make more informed decisions. I am feeling at this point that it would make more sense, financially and for my Dad's health as well, for them to move in with us. My Mom is reticent to leave her home of 30 years, which is completely understandable. Any suggestions on making that transitions easier for her, if that's what we decide?

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