Some tough decisions ahead regarding medical care

I got a call from my dad today, and it seems my 88 year old Gram’s memory is going faster than any of us care to admit. Over the weekend, my parent’s were paid a visit by the Manatee county Sheriff’s department. A local patrol officer picked my Gram up on Saturday afternoon – she was driving the wrong direction down a busy one-way street. Which in and of itself, while dangerous, is an easy mistake to make…I’ve done the same thing before. However, in this situation, she thought she was in a town in southwest Kansas and she was trying to find someone to give her directions to the town in which she now lives. She was disheveled, disoriented and belligerent. She was a total mess and couldn’t understand why the officer’s were unable to assist her with directions.

Needless to say, I’ll be making a quick trip down to stay with her for a week or so to see what, if anything, I can do to ease the situation. I have been saying for the past year that we need to get her moved into some type of assisted living facility where she can be monitored. She’s very independent and has lived on her own for the past 10 years since my Grandpa has been gone, however in the past 3 years, and this last year for sure, we’ve noticed her memory has been slipping. Sam and I have suspected Alzheimer’s as it seems to be more than just dementia, and I would suspect that if she’d let a doctor see her we’d get the same diagnosis from him.

Unfortunately, this is going to put our family through some stress as I don’t see how we can allow her to continue to drive and live alone. She could have hurt herself or others, had she been in an accident. I love my Gram too much to allow this to just unfold. I know she’s going to be angry with me, but I’m going to push the issue of an assisted living facility while I’m down there. Someone in this family has to be proactive about making sure she’s taken care of and safe.

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