Wednesday, October 24, 2012
What do I do, what am I to do?
I don't know what to do. After Mum's latest rampage, the damage to the car door, the broken window, the upended furniture, the broken door knob - what do I do?
Virtually everyone is saying, "Put her in a nursing home and leave her there. You can't manage this behaviour." Well, we haven't even tried risperidone yet. Shouldn't we try everything first, before putting her in a high-security gaol?
She's still in respite care. They aren't having much trouble with her, other than her wandering out of her room in the late afternoons and getting lost, wandering into other people's rooms and demanding to ring me all the time. When she rings, she asks me when I am coming to get her. I tell her I'll see her on Saturday.
I think she's being a bit of a pest to my aunt (Dad's sister) who is in there due to bad arthritis, not dementia. My aunt wants to look after her and entertain her but I think she'll soon tire of that. I hope Mum is never nasty to her. At first she wanted to use her phone all the time so she had to say it was disconnected or something, to stop her. Now she rings from the nurses' station.
Last Saturday I took her to the shopping centre. I'm not bringing her home - I'd never get her in the car to go back again. She was pretty awful at the shops. She just kept saying she was miserable, wished she was dead and why didn't I take her to see her cat. She ranted about changing her will so I won't get anything since I'm so nasty to her, allegedly.
The cat is the very thing I want her to forget. I can't stand her obsession with cats any more. I'm hoping maybe three weeks in the pokey will cure her of obsessing over real and imaginary cats.
I think if she were in respite care for longer, she might decide these people weren't strangers requiring good manners and courtesy any more and start being just as nasty to them as she is to me and everyone here. I think maybe she's not too much trouble because she still has the idea that you have to be polite to strangers.
I rang the government advisory service on dementia behaviours. Their advice was that they don't think this behaviour is manageable at home. But what if the behaviour can be stopped with anti-psychotics?
If Mum goes back into the nursing home system, it will be a financial disaster for both of us. They will take all her money (the small amount left will have to go on her private health insurance) and I won't be able to afford to even take her for a long drive, without her helping out with household bills and petrol. There will be no more holidays - ever. I don't get enough casual work to take anyone on a holiday. I will be back to living in poverty most of the time and the nursing home will be wanting me to give them money for day trips and wanting things purchased for her (the last thing the other nursing home wanted me to buy her was a walking stick - which she certainly does not need and which I could not afford).
I guess I will have to have her back here at least for a time, even if she's going into full time care. During that time, I hope to be able to give the risperidone a trial.
What a choice. Incarceration in a miserable place for life, or possible death from risperidone in a few months. I know I would choose the shorter life and stay home. I think she'd feel the same. It might work, or it might not. Valium and Ativan had absolutely no effect on her psychotic rages. So I can only hope.