When your parent is told that they now have dementia, you might assume that they will just forget a few things here and there like I did. I knew little about it, and my mom’s doctor discussed her diagnoses while I sat in his office with her as she was hearing about it for the first time, my first thought was that it would not be a big deal. But elder care in Queens is something I have needed to get for mom in the years that have come since her doctor first told us about what she is afflicted with.
When this all first happened, my mother said she did not feel any different. And to me, an outside looking at her each day, she did not seem much different to me either. Sure, she would forget to pay a bill or lock her doors at times, but that was about it. That went on for years, so I would come over to check things out and fix whatever she had forgotten to do. It was no trouble at all for me to do.
This year, things changed. I took mom back to see the doctor because of how much she was changing. She no longer knew how to tie her own shoelaces. She was not even sure of how to turn the lights on and off in her house, and she often sat in the dark because she could not figure it out. We were told that this is a natural progression of the disease, and that she now needed more help than simply being checked on from time to time.
Knowing that I work full time and have a part time job on top of that, I felt that I could not keep up with what she needed. Even if she moved into my place, she would be without help all day long. So, hiring a helper who could show up each day on a schedule to be with her when I could not be there was the best thing for mom.
When my mom started showing signs of dementia, we talked about what kind of care she would want as it progressed. She was adamant about not wanting to be in a home until it was absolutely necessary, and I could not agree more with her. I asked her to move in with me, and she agreed after we talked at length about it because she did not want to become a burden to me. She would never be that, no matter what! It helped that I had looked into dementia care in Brooklyn before asking her to come live with me, and that is what finally convinced her that this was a good move.
I am not married, nor do I have any children. I knew that my mom and I would both benefit from having her live with me. Her dementia was not at the point where she was a danger to herself at all. She was just forgetful at times, and she needed help with some basic things like preparing a meal on certain days. We agreed to give this company a chance, and we are both so glad that we did.
She has someone come in once a day. Sometimes they may stay for just an hour, but at times it will be longer. It just depends on what she needs done that day. I can go to work and not have to worry about what she is doing, if she has remembered to take her medication, and if she has eaten well that day. The caretakers who come in to help her with these things also keep her mind active with a lot of conversation, and I think that is probably the best part of having this company as part of her health care team. She is smiling more, and I don’t see the disease progressing any at all right now!