The reality of “don’t wait for a crisis,” is-most people wait for a crisis. It is not a natural thing to think about all the issues and problems that can arise on a whim. But, the reality is that being prepared with a crisis plan will put the caregiver at ease that there are options and support.
A son has POA for his mom. Mom is independent and lives in her own condo. She drives around town, but just needs assistance with her financials.
The son goes in to pay her bills and one month and notices a few cab rides….to the casino. This is a red flag because mom normally doesn’t take a cab, let alone to the casino. After asking a few questions, they realized she did not remember her trip to the casino and blew it off like it wasn’t a big deal.
Do you think this is a crisis?
Well, for starters she didn’t remember. She is considered vulnerable and she is now taking an hour cab ride in each direction by herself. Thank goodness that she found her way home safely.
This could have ended up in a definite crisis had the family not realized that spending habits had changed, and the decision making is not there. Add that she didn’t remember the outing-she is not safe at this point.
The family went into overdrive and started doing their homework, trying to determine what the next steps were for mom.
This woman was well groomed, well polished, very eloquent-and to speak with her you would never know she had memory issues. What she knew how to do was “Masking.” She knew how to cover up what she could not remember.
The top ALF that they chose wanted to meet her, but she couldn’t know that they were from an Assisted Living Facility. The family and facility planned on meeting at her favorite restaurant close to her house. And it was perfect-her favorite waitress was working that day. After sitting down and everyone had ordered except her. She looks at the waitress and says “I will have the regular.”
She moved into a Memory Care Community shortly after that lunch. She did not remember meeting the rep at lunch the week before. And then she told her she couldn’t do this today, she had a date that night. When asked what her date’s name was, she responded with “Honey, his name doesn’t matter.” She was masking—- and yes, it was time for memory care.