Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday update

Merry Christmas,
We are watching A Christmas Story and waiting for our baked breakfast to be ready. All of us are setting around in our pjs today. Mom is so enjoying the movie. We just laugh!!!
Yes, I have just received some information to get in touch with a VA man to see if because mom and dad were married all of his military years and not divorced until I think 2yrs. after his retirement, maybe 3, if somehow she could get some help.
Anyway it's a good day for mom today.
God Bless,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Memory Care may be a no go...

Mom has been having several good days. I call her almost daily. Ladybug and I are going over for a visit next Tuesday Lord willing. Gave her number to a cousin in Florida and she called and had a good visit with mom on the phone. Here is the latest update from Snickers...
Hello All,

Sorry I've not shot you a note lately, but I didn't have anything to share. Waited and waited to hear back from the memory care community (MCC) I called again today and wow the manager answered the phone. Well, here it is. The Orchard Pointe' MCC is in transition with a take over by a new owner...go figure, so at this time they have put a hold on any new Medicaid residents to be allowed into the facility. We will not know anything until Jan and then they may not even take Medicaid at all. No mom is not Medicaid at this time but she would be able to go into a facility as a private pay but only for one month. Then she would have to be Medicaid and that's how they do it. Anyway with January coming and the Medicaid cuts that are coming things look pretty sad for any help. I am going to see about the military help since mom and dad we not divorced till years after his retirement. Have a few things in the works to find help with that. Any suggestions would be great to hear on how to get help with the military.

Mom has been doing very well. Most of her days are pretty good. We went out shopping for her some new cloths and shoes a few Friday's ago and we had a great day. Mom talked about how much fun she had for days. Made me feel really good. So we put smileooooos on her daily record and frownooooos when she doesn't do very well. It helps her and us see that she has more good days than bad. :)

Dinner time....salmon tonight.
Take Care,


Monday, December 6, 2010

Update from Snickers

Here is the latest news from Snickers:

Good news here. Yesterday (12/4/10) mom was doing wonderful, (clear of mind) so I took mom over to the memory care community for her first time visit. She loved it there and seemed to feel right at home. So funny, we hadn't planned to go do that yesterday, it was a last minute thought. So as I took mom around touring the place, it was brought to our attention there was a single room/bath just made available and only one left. Mom and I went to see it. She fell in love with it and wanted to put her deposit down right then and there.

We've made plans for Monday to talk with management and see what we can do to help mom get in. Although last night at home I reminded mom that Popcorn and I always sleep on our big decisions and we'll see how she feels in the morning when she wakes up. I just kept thinking how our Lord orders our foot steps and leads the way for us. Praise His Holy name. I have done a lot of home work on Orchard's Pointe (the Memory Care Community). I've found nothing but good so far.

Please keep us in prayer as we consider this change for mother. It seems mom realizes her need to not be left alone but doesn't want to be a burden to Popcorn and me even though we
have reassured her the Lord has planned this season of life for us all. Yet while she is clear of mind and wants to be where the Lord will use her best, it would appear He is leading her and us to help her in this change. I pray the Lord will bring her to your minds and hearts as we travel this road. This world is not our home we're just a passing through...


Saturday, November 27, 2010


We had a nice Thanksgiving here with our daughters and their families here with us. Mom is usually here too but this year she was with popcorn and snickers. We had to move Mom out of her apartment and she is now living with popcorn and snickers. Things are going fairly well most of the time. She has good days and bad days. At least now we know she is eating right and taking her medication properly. That helps a lot. They have her lined up with a local MD that is closer than our family doc. Mom seems to like him.

Follow up with the neurologist confirmed the AD and he said there was no need to schedule another appointment unless there is an emergency of some kind. At the last appointment Mom said she thought this was the year 1996. She broke into tears when she could not remember the names of her grandchildren. Popcorn, Snickers, Ladybug and I all attended an all day seminar on Dementia and AD in Bremerton and it was outstanding. We all learned a lot. They told us about a good book called "The 36 Hour Day". Snickers bought it and we have it checked out of the library. It is very helpful too.

Unfortunately, as a result of Mom moving to another county and due to the infamous "Healthcare Reform" Mom lost her HMO with Secure Horizon (no monthly premium) and now has to change insurance. The best we can find at this time for her is a Human Gold Choice policy that will cover most of what she had before but it will cost her $52.00 per month now plus co-pays for Dr. visits and for Rx. Mom lost her old phone number when she moved out of her apartment but now has a cell phone and I call her every couple of days rather than twice daily.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Mom seems to be adjusting to the fact that she cannot be left alone anymore, fairly well. Snickers said when she affirmed to Mom that she was going to be staying with her and Popcorn for now and that she would be safe with them, there was a look of peace that came over her that showed that she was comforted and reassured by this.

Due to a trip to Eastern Washington by Snickers and Popcorn for a funeral, we had Mom stay here on the hide a bed for a couple of days. Generally speaking she did well and is adapting to a more regimented schedule for her medication and all. We did notice that she is in the wandering stage now and was up several times in the night walking into bedrooms, etc. She was constantly opening closets, cupboards and drawers as if she was looking for something.

Snickers took Mom to see a new Doctor over near their place and it went well. One thing he suggested was that Mom cut the dose of one of her BP meds in half. So, Snickers has started cutting that morning pill in half. So far so good. Monday we have an appointment with the regular family Doctor here in town.

Ladybug and I went over to Popcorn and Snicker's place Thursday night and attended an all day Seminar at the Kitsap County Convention Center on Friday about AD and Dementia. It was an excellent Seminar and very informative. I saved some extra literature to hand deliver to Bailey-wick. Afterward, we visited an adult Day Care center that specializes in "Memory Loss Patients". They also have full time residents. It has it's pros and cons. My feeling is that Mom is not ready for a move to a facility like this at this time but it might be worth a try to see if she would attend some of the classes or activities they offer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giving up the apartment

I messed around and got a late start the day of Mom's last Dr. appointment and we had to reschedule it for the next day. Well, they wound up canceling that appointment but we did not get the word so it was a very frustrating day, especially so because Mom was not feeling well at all. The Dr. was going to be out of the office for a week attending a conference so I got Mom's appointment rescheduled for Monday 10/11 at 2PM. This is the Family Doctor follow up after the referral to the Neurologist.

Mom's symptoms today were: headache, stomachache, weak, dizzy, nauseous, feeling like she is going to pass out. When I got her home I took her blood pressure (117/60) and gave her a 500mg generic tylenol, a tumms, and got her a Wendy's regular hamburger with a small order of french fries. She had a half glass of milk with it. By the time she was done with the hamburger she felt better than she did all day. While she was eating I observed on her "Medication Tablet" that it appears as if she took her medication TWICE this morning. She had logged in "5 pills and spiriva" on Friday morning (that day) AND "5 pills and spiriva" on Saturday morning (but it was still Friday). I showed Mom on her calender and on her special digital clock that Snickers got for her that it was not Saturday yet and explained that if she took a double ration of her Blood Pressure medication, this is probably why she felt so bad all day. The food, tylenol and tumms seemed to have solved her other symptoms but she was still fidgety pacing and anxious.

Snickers came over the next day and took Mom and Bubba her bird, over for a visit at her house for a couple of days. I made sure Mom's rent was all paid for the month of October. There were other concerns raised while Mom was staying with Snickers. We have all concluded, Mom included, that she cannot be left alone anymore. Ladybug and I have started scouting Adult Group Homes that take AD patients. So far, the cheapest is 4000 per month. I will notify the SHAG apartment manager where Mom lives that she will be moving out. We will tie in with a social worker to find out the best way to make this move financially. Snickers made an appointment on 10/4 with a local Dr. near them to do a double check on Mom's medications. At one point her BP dropped down to 85/43. Our regular family doctor will fax over the latest blood work report to this other Dr. also. So..... on we go......

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The day for the appointment with the neurologist came and Mom was resistant about going. She is becoming more and more fearful about things as time goes by. There continues to be problems with memory but perhaps it is not going down hill as fast as it was before the family Dr. got her on the Namenda prescription.

Snickers came in for the appointment at the Neurologist and it went fairly well. The Neurologist interviewed Mom and determined that she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, AD. He also ordered some blood work to check some things like thyroid for other problems and prescribed another medication to complement the Namenda, Aricept. After we had the blood work done at Lab Core, Snickers took Mom home to stay with her for a couple of days.

It looks like we need to start looking at available Group Homes for AD patients but we are hoping that Mom will still be able to stay in her apartment for the time being without any serious incidents. I call her every morning around 9AM and every evening around 9PM to make sure she has taken her medication and has eaten something. She logs in what and when she takes for medication on a tablet on her kitchen table. We continue to take care of her grocery shopping and deliver the groceries weekly. Mom is starting to be a little more sociable we think with the other residents at the apartments. She attends a Bible Study on Monday evenings, watches a dance group on Friday evenings, and walks with a friend periodically. We still take her to church services on Wednesday nights and on Sunday when she feels well enough to attend.

Her new glasses were ready to pick up at America's Best so I took her in to get them. They look real nice and she seems to like them. We are trying to encourage her to start reading again. She used to be an avid reader. Also, we suggested that she start playing solitaire again. She used to enjoy that too. We try to remind ourselves to be patient and remember that she really is not what she used to be mentally and it is not her fault.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Waiting and Hoping

Still waiting to hear from the neurologist for an appointment and Mom's evaluation/interview. She is doing well with taking the new pill every morning with her BP meds and Spiriva. She seemed to enjoy attending prayer meeting with us Wednesday night. I went over once last week to help her balance her check book and double checked to see if the right number of pills were missing from the starter packet. It looked OK. I helped her write a couple of checks to pay a couple of bills. She had great difficulty getting the stamps out of her wallet so I removed one for her and when I gave it to her she said, "Where does this go?" I told her on the envelope so we can mail it. She called Saturday night to say that she had a bad head ache and would not be able to go to church. I suggested that she take some Tylenol and go to bed. When I called Sunday morning she sounded OK and her head ache was gone but she was too tired and winded to get ready for church. My contact at "A Place For Mom" finished her research and found that there is nothing available for Mom in the area we desire and within the price range affordable to us. She sent me an email with a link to DSHS that might have some other options. Hope so.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A ton of bricks.

OK. Pressing on. Mom continues to go down hill health wise. At her last Dr. appointment she had been sick more than well for quite some time and the complaint at that time was "sick to the stomach". Snickers was the one that took her into the Dr. office while I stayed out in the waiting room and straightened out a billing error on her last "Lab Work". The Dr. told Mom to stop taking her aspirin every day and gave her a Rx for an anti-acid type of medicine with instructions to take it once a day in the morning. He also ordered a cat scan, an X-ray and a consultation for an endoscopy. He scheduled a follow up appointment for today. I got her X-ray taken care of that day scheduled her cat scan and consultation appointments and took her to both of them. The cat scan showed some diverticulitis near the colon area and the PA at the Digestion Clinic said that since Mom was feeling better the day we were there, that the endoscopy might be postponed for later if problems persist.

In the mean time, I continue to get calls from Mom where she seems stressed out about something but cannot remember why she called me (sometimes as many as three calls in a matter of minutes) and I had to reset all her clocks as they had all somehow gotten out of whack. She has called me several times to ask what day of the week it is even though she has a clock there that actually tells her this information. I saved one of the voice mails from her and played it for the Dr. today. Mom was having a fairly good day today except for a coughing attack at the front desk of the Dr. office where she panicked due to not being able to get enough air. She was not carrying her inhaler with her. She did not complain about her tummy or her dizziness or lack of energy or any of the usual things. Then the Dr. opened up the "Ton of Bricks" discussion.

Mom is very close to the place where she needs to rethink things regarding her living conditions. Her memory is failing her to the place that it is time to take medication for it and set an appointment with a neurologist for an evaluation. Paperwork will be sent to a neurologist and I will get her started on this new medication (Namenda). Snickers is doing some research on places available for assisted living at times like this. The problem with this new medication is that it is for her memory and there is concern that she won't remember to take it as instructed in addition to other possible health and safety concerns. For now, I will be calling her every morning and evening about the medication and pop in once or twice a week to double check that all is well. I will take her in to see the neurologist when that appointment is set and go back to the Dr. for a followup before the four weeks of the new medication are used up.

Monday, May 3, 2010

No ride?

Maybe it is time to have another in home evaluation for Mom. The latest news regarding the Domestic Help is that there are no volunteers available for her and Cope doesn't view her as qualified for the services that they offer. The suggestion from Cope is that we look into hiring one of the employees that work at the Shag Apartments where she lives to come in at an hourly rate periodically to help with some of the household chores.

Mom's TV picture was getting to be very BAD so I went to Best Buys and replaced her old unit with a new flat screen model and she seems to like it. I used the same remote that she was used to using.

We had another stressful event regarding her perscription medications where she did not get them called in properly for renewal.

Mom still complains of being "sick" almost every time I call her in the morning. Sometimes she seems to feel a little better later on in the day. We had a good time taking her out for lunch to the Country Buffet for her birthday (87th) and Snickers and Popcorn were there with us along with a dear friend from church. One of the things she got for her birthday was a clock that not only tells the day, month and year but also the "day of the week".

She called tonight to tell about the Bible Study she attended in the community room there at the apartments. It went well. But then she said that she canceled her appointment with the Dr. this Thursday. I asked why and she said that she didn't have a ride.

Ladybug and I always take her to all her Dr. appointments and do her shopping for her and everything and if for some reason there is a schedule conflict we always make other arrangements for her but she said that she thought Ladybug told her we were not going to be available. This is either a total fabrication or she is imagining things to be real that are not. I asked when she cancelled the appointment and she said today.

I told her to call the Dr. first thing in the morning and see if she can get the appointment back again if nobody has already snatched the time slot up and then call me and let me know if they can do it. She said she would.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What day is this?

I suppose all of us at one time or another have lost track of our days, right? How often has this happened to YOU? I'm just wondering. Where is the line drawn when we should start being concerned about the mental cognizance of someone? How many times a week is a person allowed to ask, "What day is this?" What if they have a calendar on their table and a tablet next to it that tells todays date and when they took their medication this morning and they ask the question anyway on more than one occasion in the same day? This is happening more and more with Mom.

Mom had a savings CD at the bank that matured and they changed the interest rate for it to less than 1% so I cashed it and put the funds in her checking account. It pays interest too and at least the funds would be available to her if she wanted them. Her TV was going out. The picture was all distorted on the lower part of the screen. She is quite the penny pincher but I talked her into letting me go buy her a new flat screen TV with some of her savings so she could see the Mariners better when their games are aired. I found a good deal at Best Buys and got her all rigged up with the new set and removed her old set to the dump. Fortunately, the new set came through the ComCast Box and she can use the same remote control that she used with the old set. Life is good.