Caregiving for mom

I’m the caregiver for my 92 yr old mother. Up until this past November my mom was mentally pretty stable. She has continually battled UTIs. She’s a poor drinker. After this last battle, she seems to be showing more signs of dementia. Every UTI takes a bit more from her. She is now talking at night while in bed. She’s having regular conversations with ”people”. Two days ago she was calling me mom. Yesterday she was seeing spiders (there were none). She’s been wishing Merry Christmas to people since Thanksgiving. Christmas morning she wished us all a happy birthday. In one week she’s fallen twice. Fortunately I took the brunt of both falls. A relative mentioned that her sodium levels might be low. I’m ready to pull my hair out.

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My dad had hallucinations due to a bad uti. He thought he was in a bed in the hospital parking lot. I was told UTI’s can cause this

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SueP I was CNA for 25 years plus Caregiver of family. It us stressful job you have. Dementia and watching out loved ones going down hill and some times because you do daily is mentally and physical demanding. Be glad to listen or give suggestion.
Any time I can help along this New Year journey. I help with my Grandmother and mother for years. Now both gone. Neglected myself I see now about drive me crazy. So if you like I hope we can chat off and on. Take Care. Schoozy.

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I am a caretaker for my husband who has Parkinson’s and a brain tumor. It’s been a rough 4 years. He is on hospice. He had numerous falls–I had motion cameras so I could monitor him when I had to run errands. His falls increased if he didn’t drink enough. I keep electrolyte water, Gatorade and nutrition drinks in stock. The nutrition drinks actually have more sodium and potassium than Gatorade and electrolyte water. He also hallucinates–he does act on it but “the people” keep him from resting. At times, he knows they are not real and then other times, he cannot convince himself that they are not real. Since he is on hospice, he cannot go to the hospital–but I already give him breathing treatments, suction his mouth as needed, and keep track of oral intake and urine output(he has a catheter because he would be urinating every hour or else he would be soaked) and work on arm, leg, feet, neck and mouth exercises. Hospice helps with equipment, supplies and moral support. Check with the local senior services or any Alzheimer’s organization to check on services available for you. If you can get someone to sit with her, please do it and get rest. I work full time as a nurse; my job doesn’t end. My heart goes out to you.

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This us by far the hardest job I’ve ever had. We had Dr appointment today. He checked her out, did some memory questions. She did fairly well. She didn’t know what year we were in, but she rem the 3 words he gave her at the beginning of the checkup.

I am in awe of how much you do.

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I take care about my mother in law. She had 2 strokes 1.5 year ago and can’t take care about herself.

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I worked full time when I was my dads caregiver. Work was my respite, if I had not worked I would have had to care for my dad 24/7 and that would have been more than I could handle. I did all shopping cooking most of the cleaning clothes washing which was every day. My dad had diabetes, prostate cancer, and acute urinary tract infection and we started care when he was 89 years old. He transitioned at 97 years old 4 months before his 98 Birthday. He was a wonderful dad I just hope I was as good to him as he was to me. You will finally realize there is a role reversal you are now the person in charge.

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BJCutie,
It’s hard to adjust to being the parent. I lost my job at 60. Lay-off. But I also know part of the problem was the fact that mom had a triple bypass & until I was able to get care for her, it was me. I’m retired now, and financially I am suffering.

Mom has good days & bad days. For now the good days are more apparent.

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Has she had her sodium levels checked. That might be a good place to start. Does she see a dr. regularly? My Mom is 93 & has dementia & just recently has been talking in her sleep @ night. I thought she had a UTI so I took her to our NP & she had a few white cells in her urine, but the NP was going to send it off to see if something else grew. I would have your Mom’s sodium levels ck’d & have her see her Dr. for a good going over. Tell the Dr. what has been going on & about her talking in her sleep & her falls. She may be anemic & there are so many other things that could be going on. I hope you can figure out what is going on w/your Mom.

Nessa, we had another visit to mom’s doctor. He took blood and will test her sodium levels, among other things. We revisited the urologist regarding her UTI. Seems it is still there…holding out against the antibiotics. Mom’s been given a 7-day strong antibiotic. Following the end of this treatment, she’s to go back to Cephalexin and we will bring a urine specimen to the lab. As soon as the urologist gets the results of that specimen, we will change her from Cephalexin to another antibiotic, which will continue to change every 3 months so her body doesn’t become used to the antibiotics.

Thanks for the suggestion of the sodium levels.

Schoozy, you are so kind. I would be glad to converse with you. This is the hardest job I’ve ever had. No time for me because I have to keep a good eye on mom. Let’s keep in touch!

Gene,
And it’s so hard to know what they really need. I’m learning signs from my mom. Right now the biggest problem…SHE WILL NOT DRINK. I can beg her and she just stares at me. Today we had a small battle and all she would take…one sip of gatoraid. Drives me crazy, because I am the one who will have to be with her for 2 - 4 hours at the ER while she gets her fluids. She hates the hospital, but it makes no difference to her.

You take care of yourself too.

I’m sure your father was (and is) very happy that you were there. It’s so difficult trying to take care of them. They tend to think they are still in charge of everything. It’s difficult for them to give up their freedom and become so dependent upon others. We are now dealing with acute urinary tract infection. Dr has put mom on a heavy duty antibiotic…which will be done this weekend, and then we start another antibiotic. Dr said every three months we will be changing the antibiotics so her system doesn’t get used to any one kind. This is becoming an all out fight.

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What did the doctor say. Did she call you mom or your name before the episode

I am caregiver for my husband who has very early stage dementia. However, he already displays many of the mood changing events described and I believe he has had UTIs though not confirmed. It is hard, even in early stage. His moods also affect me.

I was a caregiver for my mother. She had end-stage renal failure and was on dialysis. She was 81 when all of this happened to her. I remember her calling me and telling me about a cat being in her room (in the nursing home), about a bundle of bacon she dropped and couldn’t find and during a visit to my home, she marveled at all the beautiful flowers that were blooming in my sun room…there were none. Although she was diagnosed with dementia, this didn’t seem to be the problem. After taking her to the doctor, I found out that she had a UTI and for some reason, the elderly would respond this way to them. After they healed up the infection, she was fine. It happened several times until she passed at the age of 90.

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Hi this what I learned for the caregiver that has a patient that will not drink enough water try giving that person Frozen popsicles or slushies or make Frozen juices that you use an ice trays that helped a lot when I was taking care of my mom and she wouldn’t drink enough fluid and she got dehydrated a lot.

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The independence thing is Big!! I met a lady in Rehab when I was there once. She had dementia but was very dependent. To the point that she fell a lot cause she tried to do things on her own. She was moved to a different facility which medicated her and forced her to stay in a recliner chair. She went downhill fast and passed away within a year. It was sad seeing her toward the end. Hey

Take care of yourself so you can take care of others. I truly loved reading about you mom. Some of your description are just like my mother. While I am not my mother primarily caregiver, I am there when she is in need. I am my husband primary caregiver and raising a grandson. Its difficult, but I know it has to be done. .I do take time for myself.

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SueP…One thing you need to be aware of w/antibiotics is that continuous use of antibiotics, esp. strong ones, can cause C-diff which is a problem w/the colon & causes diarrhea & can REALLY be bad for the elderly. I hope your Mom isn’t having any diarrhea & if she is, her Dr. is staying on top of it. Just wanted you to be aware of the C-diff issue w/antibiotic use. God bless you as you care for your Mom. My Mom is 93 & has dementia.

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