This last month has been one of the toughest so far. My emotions have been on a roller coaster all month beginning with the cleaning out of Mother's home. I am not sure if that weaken me and I was less able to deal with the issues or if the issues were just so overwhelming. Mother had declined to a point that she was in her own world and wasn't aware of who I was or what I was doing during my visits. I am not so self centered that she has to know who I am but it was scary to me that she was in such a fog. She never really spoke directly to me but would speak to no one in general. I still sit with her and drink coffee and occasionally ask her about her day with no acknowledgement. But she did allow me to paint her fingernails or comb her hair and seemed to understand the procedures. She sits during meals and doesn't eat unless I feed her or the staff assists her. Her appetite has diminished greatly and I have been involved enough with other residents within the facility to know these are not good signs. These declines just seem to happen overnight not as we would expect a gentle decline but a complete free fall downwards. We had made the decision and had the opportunity to move her from a private room to a semi private room recently but this in itself didn't explain this decline. I was beginning to second guess our decision but I knew in my heart and in my head that having a roommate in an awesome facility and having the opportunity to stay in the facility longer was better than having a private room. Yes, it is a sad fact that money has to be an issue with long term care. My mother is very fortunate that she was a hoarder of not only items but of money. We have been very lucky to have the necessary funds to take care of Mother but it will not last forever but it is a constant balance. We see the bank balance not in dollars but in months.
I was devastated when I was told it was time to call hospice. Of course it really was not unexpected to me but I just didn't wish to face it yet. But as with all Alzheimer's patients there is not a expectation or a graph or a chart on normal decline.