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.