Thinking about quitting my job

My mom is getting worse, she was diagnosed with dementia about four years ago. The past four years have been challenging but nothing compared to what it has been these past nine months. She is what I would describe as “pleasantly confused” She is truly a wonderful mother. She has begun doing things that scare me, like leaving the stove on, unplugging all the phones. I cannot get in touch with her when I am at work anymore.

She seems so unbelievably restless, she is up and down all the time, its like she has an uncompleted mission every day. I put up cameras and check on her from my phone when I am work, it just seems like she needs more structure or assistance. I don’t really know what she needs. I can take a leave of absence from work and float my family for about 18 months. Not sure what to do here…

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  1. It is not uncommon to be seeing a progression in the Dementia such as you are describing, but in some cases there can also be a medical change that could explain some of the increased behaviors you are seeing. Please make sure you have consulted with her physician to make sure there is nothing medically going on to attribute to these changes.

    It is extremely important to ensure the home is safe for her. You may have to consider unplugging the stove or purchasing oven safety knobs to prevent her from operating the stove without assistance. With her unplugging the phone, it could be the tone of the phone bothers her (i.e., too loud) or she has forgotten how to operate the phone and is frustrated. Consider checking the volume on the phone and if the ring tone is appropriate, they do sell baby proof covers for phone jacks that may prevent her from pulling the plug out.

    Patients living with Dementia do thrive on routine. If a consistent regular schedule could be arraigned for her she may have fewer feelings of being “lost.” Also have a box full of favorite activities such as coloring, newspapers, puzzles, etc. may also help her feel less agitated.

    Other options for mom that you may want to consider is having an home health aide or companion to stay with her during the daytime that can keep her to an established routine, or enroll her in an adult day program where they specialize in working with patient who are living with Dementia.