Watching a Parent Who Has Pick's Disease Slowly Slip Away - Part 3
Mom Loved the Mountains of Colorado
Hard Decisions are Inevatiable
My mother's behaviors have continued to decline and she is becoming much harder to control. In February of 2007, my dad is having a very difficult time keeping my mother inside the house. She loves to try and sneak out of the house. If she does manage to sneak out of the house, she will go and walk up and down the block, as if she is looking for someone or waiting on someone to come home.
The daycare has noticed the same issues and are having a hard time keeping her from trying to escape from the facility. She has to be closely supervised now as her attention span is steadily decreasing. She is easily distracted at meal times and will often get up and wander off from the table. She has to be redirected back to the table to finish her meals. Luckily, she is cooperative and will go sit back down and pout.
At this point, her verbal skills have diminished and she no longer can speak. One day on her way to daycare, she happened to forget her purse at home. My dad didn't realize that she forgot it until he was already at the daycare facility dropping her off. Mom was steadily whacking him on the arm and appeared to very anger. He couldn't figure out why she was so upset for but the nurse said she knew why she was anger. "Her purse has her money for her daily Dr Pepper."
In March of 2007, she managed to sneak out of daycare once again and was standing outside on the front porch waving her dollar around. She was looking for the Dr Pepper machine (notice a trend here...she loves those Dr Peppers and will do what it takes to get one).
My mother is now having issues getting all of the shampoo out of her hair when she takes a bath or shower. She will get out and get dressed with shampoo still in her hair. So my dad would have to send her back to the shower and help her get it rinsed out. My dad also has to help my mother monitor the temperature of the water, as she doesn't realize that the water is too hot. (Important: for safety reasons set your hot water heater to 120 degree to prevent major burns)
In March, the doctors and director at the daycare facility determined that it was time for my dad to look into long term Alzheimer's care. My mom was placed in a full time care facility in April of 2007. My dad choose a Alzheimer's care facility because they had the resources available to keep my mother from sneaking out of the facility.
Tips and Tricks to Help Prevent Injuries
As you can tell from my mother's habits, it is important to help keep your loved ones safe and secure. They don't understand what is happening to them and they don't realize what they are doing. I will share a few tips and tricks to help keep them safe. Some of these my dad used with my mother and some tips will be similar to baby proofing your home.
Hot Water Heater - As I previously stated earlier, it is important to set your thermostat on the hot water heater to 120 degree Fahrenheit. This is temperature is hot enough but not so hot that it can cause burns.
Double Sided Keyed Locks - Install double sided key locks on the dead bolts that lead outside of the house. This will help keep your loved ones from sneaking out of the house.
Install Oven Locks - Installing oven locks will prevent them from using the oven. If they use the oven unsupervised, they could burn themselves or burn food because they forgot about it. Microwaves can also cause potential problems as well, because they can just as easily burn foods.
Baby Gates- Put up baby gates in front of stairs so that they don't fall down the stairs. Also, when used at the bottom of the stairs it can prevent them from going up them as well.
Hide Spare Car Keys - Hiding the spare set of car keys will prevent them from trying to take off with the car; especially, if they don't realize that they are no longer capable of driving themselves anymore.
Safety Cabinet Locks - Install cabinet locks on cabinets that you don't want them getting into. This is important for medications and chemicals. Without supervision they could easily take too much medicine and overdose without your knowledge.