Hard day

Today we got a call. My mother in law has been in the hospital and they wanted to know if we were open to considering hospice. She’ll return to the memory care unit where she’s been and hospice will come and give additional support, if we’re open to it.

I told them yes. I didn’t have to think about it. Both my husband and brother-in-law have trusted me to handle the overall, day to day decisions on her care, making me the medical power of attorney. We’d all talked about the hard decisions early on. None of us want to do anything that will draw this out for her.

Dementia is a miserable disease and all we want for her is to keep her as comfortable as we can. The relief with hospice is that we’ll be able to get her on medications that will help more with her anxiousness, the fear and paranoia that seem to be her most common symptoms. Some people with dementia have these symptoms only occasionally, some never have them, and others, like my MIL, they become a part of daily life.

So, thankfully, we will soon be able to get her more comfortable.

Folks, I’ve said this on twitter and facebook, and I think I’ve mentioned it on my blog before, but I want to say it again, because it can’t be said enough. Treatments for Alzheimers and dementia had progressed remarkably in recent years, but they are most effective when you start treatment early on.

There’s no cure, although I hope we’ll see one, if not in my lifetime, then maybe in that of the next generation. Current treatments can help with memory and thinking, but again, they are more effective when you start early on.

If you have a family member… urge them to get evaluated. It’s been ten years, easily, since I first noticed the subtle changes in my mother-in-law and I tried to talk her into it, tried to convince my father-in-law to talk to her. I did what I could and sometimes that is all you can do.

If you think you have dementia…get evaluated. Don’t let fear talk you out of it.