It has been a long week with my mom watching the ravages of time take hold of her mind. It is painful to watch her slip away from me and my family. On the bright side, she is still here with us, even if her short term memory is approximately 1 minute. However, you can see the panic in her eyes when she realizes she has misplaced her purse, or wallet. I can hear the panic in her voice when I have called to follow-up on something she was supposed to do. I worry that the anxiety will be too much for her heart or nervous system.
Whenever I bring up the subject of her poor memory and my concern for her safety, she is quick to recite a litany of facts she believes proves that she is safe. "I pay my bills, I take a shower and put on clean clothes every day, I eat when I'm hungry." NOT! She has quit paying her bills, although she says she hasn't received any bills, 'cause "I always pay my bills on time."
Well yesterday, the City of Jacksonville turned off her water and electricity. When we tried to pay by phone with her credit card, the card was denied, and then we spent the better part of an hour trying to find her purse, which she reportedly always puts in the same place. NOT! To make a long story short, we did get the power and water back on, but not without a great deal of drama and angst which, of course, causes stress for both her and those of us trying to help.
So, to reduce her stress, we will make all of her bills auto pay. To reduce my stress, we will contract with Life Alert ("I've fallen and I can't get up) so that there is always someone available in case there is an emergency. We'll see how that works.