We had a meeting with the director of the memory unit yesterday. There's no getting around it. If we can't hire a caregiver for her, she will have to move. We now pay about $7,000/month and a caregiver will add an additional $20/hour which will soon break the bank.
But what to do? What to do? People recommended the other facility in town, The Carlton. I hoped to get information from a friend who lives there, but have not had a response to my email (and I don't have her phone number).
In the meantime I called The Psychiatrist (remember him?) hoping he might have some suggestions. He suggested a board and care home and told me about one in nearby Woodland (~10 miles away). I checked it out and it looks nice.
(love the turkeys!)
I checked the web site and signed for additional information.
Within 10 minutes I had a call from a guy named Mark who works for an organization called "Seniorly," which I gather is similar to "A Place for Mom" that I see commercials for, a free service that helps people find places to put their older parent. He asked if I'd like to tour the place and we set a date for next week.
As you can see, it's a house and it has only 6 residents and perhaps with such a small group she would be less inclined to get angry with people because she would probably have better care.
They have both single and double rooms and if she were to have a single room the cost would be $2,000 less than we are paying now. Sounds wonderful. But with only 6 available places, how long until someone dies and leaves a vacancy?
This morning Mark called and says they have a vacancy now, a single room, but another family is coming to check it out on Sunday, so we made plans to go and see it tomorrow. Mark will take us.. He also said that a new physician's report needed to be filled out and it just so happens that we were going to see my mother's doctor today, so I printed the form to have her fill out.
My fingers are crossed so tightly it may be difficult to drive. I am very hopeful that this might be the solution to her problems. The Psychiatrist also suggested that the medication she is on now, to calm her down, tends to be "disinhibiting" in older people and suggested a substitute.
The doctor's visit was interesting. It seems that more and more my mother talks not gibberish, but things that make no sense (she asked me if I had finished bombing the baby, for example). So spending time with both her, speaking Mildredspeak and the doctor, who is from Bangladesh and has a very strong accent that I often can't understand is enough to give a person a headache.
For example I thought we had agreed they didn't need a urine sample since it was just done at the start of the month and was clear and that it was difficult to get her to give a sample, and easier to take it by catheter. But when I got to the lab, they asked me if she was going to give a urine sample. I just said no.
But she did agree to change the medication, as The Psychiatrist suggested. We'll see if that helps.
I was unhappy with the attention she got from the (new to me) Atria staff, who didn't watch her coming out of the building and didn't realize that she walked off the path, onto dirt and then off the curb at the bottom, nearly falling until I steadied her. It was a relief when we got back and the director was there, grabbed my mother by the arm and guided her up to the door, which the other aide should have done.