Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Elderly Parents and Their Medications.

My mother with my daughter, Christine, 2 years ago,

When my mother turned 88 and started using a cane, I asked her to move in with my husband and myself. She told me she loved her neighborhood and her independence and she didn't want to. As she grew weaker, I asked again and again if she would move in. She finally said to me, "Are you asking me because you want rent money?"  Well, that made me quit asking! Lol

We used to pick her up to visit and have dinner with us, but I rarely went up to her apartment because I have fibromyalgia and was feeling very bad that year. One day, I did go up and was shocked by the kitchen. All the counters were covered with dirty dishes. I could see she hadn't washed any for at least a week. I asked her why and she said, "I keep wanting to, but when I leave the kitchen, I forget." The rest of her apartment was a bit messy, but not too bad. I had also noticed her memory was failing. I finally told her, "Mom, you must move in with us as soon as possible."

Since she had been feeling quite weak that month, she finally said yes. I was relieved. She was very upset at moving all  her things into one bedroom at our place, but I tried to cheer her up and we picked out her favorite things and packed them. I became too sick to finish and so did she, so my daughters came over and did all the rest of the packing.

As my mother became more ill and more forgetful, I asked her if she had been taking her vitamin B12 shot regularly. She swore she had, but I looked on the bottle and it was still almost full and it was a year old. I finally realized why her stomach was upset and why she was so weak and forgetful. She kept asking the same questions over and over. I thought she was getting dementia.

Mom has pernicious anemia, and if someone who has that doesn't keep up with the shots they can become very ill and even die. Mom became pretty angry when I told someone she hadn't kept up those shots. She insisted she had.  I took her to the doctor and yes, she was not only anemic but her iron was too low. This all happened in December of 2015.

I wanted to share this experience with others because I wish I had kept my eye on her medications even when she didn't live with me. Her sister, who was 10 years older than her, had had the same thing happen except she was taking too much medication. This can be a real problem when older people become forgetful.

My mother is very much improved now. Her stomach problems went away and she eats more. She is still weak and she bought a travel chair because she can't walk far. But she is very happy living here now. We have great days together. We watch Joyce Meyer every morning after breakfast. We play Scrabble, if we are up to it. We talk about God, the family and politics. She loves to read so we got her a Kindle so she always has a book. She plays word games on a laptop. She is glad she moved in and so am I. My husband is very good to her and they joke around. They are always excited to order in Chinese food. Lol  I'm sick of it now!

I'm very thankful to God that I can be here for my mother. She is always saying, "What would I do without you?"  And I tell her, "You would have to live in a nursing home and you would do what you always do - be happy. Because that's the kind of person you are; you make the best of everything and are always happy." That is true. No matter what happened in her life, she tried to make the best of it. I've always admired that about her.  Oh yeah, and the rent money comes in handy. lol