Caregiver to my grandmother who now lives with us, I am Patient Advocate and have DPOA. She was diagnosed April 2009 with Alzheimer's and I have been active in her care for years now. Fighting her and family about "what's wrong with grandma"! Since the introduction of Aricept, Gram displays less forgetfulness and even she states the "fog has been lifted". There is an improvement but not enough that she baths, eats, or takes medication without support from me. Admittingly, I fail at getting her to bathe and eat. Spend my wheels attempting to be creative about every darn step I take. When she's charged up and fighting mad, she states that there is nothing wrong with her mind as she still chooses approriate clothing, does not suffer incontenience, and isn't wandering the neighborhood. She also feels she should live on her own again.
The medical report states that she "is in impaired range and that she meets MADRC psyhometric research criteria for dementia as a result sof impaired mental status, poor immediate verbal and visual memory and additional deficits in exectuvie functioning". These evaulation summary excerpts are from the Cognitive Disorder Clinic, Neurophyschology Section of University of Michigan report of April 2009.
With Alzheimer's and Congestive Heart Failure when does my Patient Advocate begin / start to allow me to make medical decisions such as introduction of a new medicine or changing doctors. Gram feels she is cognitive and hasn't lost her mind at all also states that the doctor's don't know crap and they're crazy. (Her mother and sibling died stage 7 Alzheimer's)The PA states that she is unable to make decisions, I will do thus and so...
I have to ask and be sure due to family issues that are brewing. Prior to diagnosis, Gram's children didn't care that I had PA and DPOA because they felt that I needed them as they all live hundreds of miles away. Gram chose to live by me a few years back and moved to an apartment in our neighborhood after all her children moved from nearby her previous residence. Now, after the dust has settled on her diagnosis; some (not all her children) are upset realizing "her own children" (specifically one daughter) won't be making her decisions. I always shared with Gram that my position in the family tree would become an issue some day and frankly, the "family" has dumped me with all her needs and appear perfectly happy to continue their own lives without supporting Gram or me. I'm really struggling with caregiving and getting support (ie a health aide for bathing, chore services like mowing the lawn, even fighting Medicaid system for benefits, finding money for private pay, etc.) - to the point that I'm thinking what alternatives does Gram have other than living with me and how would I get them rolling.
In light of all this that I had hope not to write such a long post but sadly I have... here's my question(s).
When do I have "decision making abilities" that Iegally I have been appointed to do? Is she now impaired legally? Can you be nearly stage 4 and be fully cognitive and trusted in your decisions? When is an Alzheimer's Patient with a MMSE (Mini Mental State Exam) of 19 deemed unable to make own decisions?
Lost in Caregiving, Presently Not LovingGrand