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Family stuff (My grandfather)

I talked to my mother after not hearing from them for 2 weeks about the status of my grandfather and the efforts to make sure he wasn’t being taken advantage of due to his worsening Alzheimer’s. Apparently my mom was given power of attorney, so she will be able to see if anything suspicious happens finances wise and can put a stop to it if she doesn’t think its in his best interest. We’ve found out that he has some bills from the book publisher (where he’s bought multiple copies of the same books that he’s forgotten about originally ordering, and then claiming he’s getting them for free) and some other things here and there where we wondered why he’s spent on this or that, but overall most of his finances are based in investments, so nothing too harmful has happened there. Unfortunately, his mental state is getting worse – he didn’t know who my mother was on the phone when she called him and told him her name, and he’s had some bad episodes of getting very angry at his family and being paranoid that we’re all out to get him. This is him going thru the mood and behaviour changes this disease inflicts on people.

I think mom is a bit stressed – particularly when she’s got to monitor what happens with him on a weekly or even daily basis. I asked at what point does he have to be put into a nursing home or long-term care facility, and thats up to his doctor to rule on that. So.. its good in a way we can protect him.. but its still going to be a challenge yet for our families (my step-grandmother’s family as well as ours). I dont know whether its a bad thing for me to be wishing he gets to the point of having to be sent to a nursing home, but my step-grandmother can’t take care of him, and I cant imagine its very easy for her at this point either.

Once again, if you need help or information on this disease, or might consider a donation to them to help research this, The Alzheimer Society of Canada’s website is here.

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6 comments to Family stuff (My grandfather)

  • slg

    I know exactly what your mother is going through and it’s tough. My mother-in-law had Alzheimers and we tried to keep her at home as long as we could. It’s a 24-7 job and 24-7 worry. My husband and I moved in for a year and took turns staying up all night with her because whe would wonder and get into things that may hurt her. We would only get sleep every other night. It’s so sad and so tough. A real help would be for people to give your mother relief each week.

  • Aurelia:

    Mom only has power of attorney over his financial affairs.. not legal prower of attorney to be able to move him into whatever institution. As I said, the doctor overlooking him has to rule he’s lost his capacity to take care of himself before that 2nd step can occur.

    Thanks for the offer…but as I said earlier, there are plenty of people in my family with a medical background (2 of them being senior nurses at facilities taking care of the elderly), so that part of the equation is covered when it gets to that point, but I do appreciate the wish to help.

  • These things are always very hard to deal with. My grandmother has been getting progressively worse since my grandfathers death a year ago, last weekend when my dad went to visit her she said “oh you just missed your father, he just went out to the store”. Needless to say that was particularly hard on my dad, who was already finding things tough as she didn’t recognise me or my brother when he brought us to see her at Christmas.

    Best wishes to you and your family Scott.

  • I agree, do not feel badly for thinking this Scott. In fact, it may be possible to achieve a compromise for your family now, by moving your grandfather into a senior’s apartment that is attached to a LTC home. Many of these are graduated living facilities that will alow your step-grandmother to live with him for now safely and near him later, but on different floors as he requires more care. This also the eliminates the worry of waiting lists, and lets you guys pick a really nice place now instead of being “stuck” with whatever you have been assigned in a crisis.
    He would be eligible for this kind of caregiving right now, if your mom has power of attorney. As I said before, the offer to help is there…and if you’re okay, nevermind, just know I’m wishing you well.

  • That is so well put, knb.

    My best wishes to you and your family too, Scott.

  • knb

    Do not feel badly for thinking that Scott.

    My grandfather lost his wife and was living on his own. He was fine mentally. One day, two teen’s followed him from the elevator, pushed him into his apartment, beat him up, tied him up with telephone cord and left him…after they took things that only meant something to our family.

    That was over 30 years ago. He just went out to buy groceries for heavens sake. After that, things went downhill.

    After many falls, etc., my Dad, (his son), went to visit him in the hospital. My Grandad started screaming, “it’s him, that’s the guy who beat me up!”. Imagine my Dad’s surprise and horror.

    That I think is the shock of this disease. It is progressive, there is no context, but we love them.

    He never knew me again, though I visited and was his first grandchild.

    There is a need for deep breath of acceptance I think. There is no room for ego and should be’s, IMO. This is real, this is his reality, not your’s or your parent’s. I do not mean to sound harsh, quite the contrary. This is about loving who is there now and knowing that may change tomorrow…then loving that person.

    Wishing you and your Mom the very best.

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