It seems that time I have dreaded has come. Mom's dementia has reached its near-final stages. She no longer talks, pays attention, walks, or eats by herself. She is, for all functional purposes, already not present with us, though her body, wisp thin and inert, is there.
It happened really quickly, the final changes taking place overnight or over the course of a day. I had worried that not being able to go to the Center had brought on this sudden change because all she was doing was sitting in front of a television she couldn't hear with people similarly out of it. No one talked to her, and she spoke to no one. No activities were going on around her. I was occupied with dad, and the caregivers took care of her physical but not her mental needs.
But I really don't think this alone could have wrought these changes, turned her from a person who actually walked pretty fast and read the paper from cover to cover, watched the news on top volume and spoke to people on the phone, though not very well, to what she is now. It makes me sad, and my father frantic and afraid.
The immediate problems this poses are several. For example, how on earth will I get her to the doctor's office. I do not have the strength or the room to pick up and heft a wheelchair or pick her up. She weighs more than I do and is taller, slightly. I cannot possibly take care of her as I have been doing up to now.
She has a doctor's appointment on Thursday at 3:20. Jeremy is in class till about 3. I don't want him to skip classes; he has already done too much of that. Richard has to work. I don't know what to do. Perhaps I should call the doctor and ask the nurses for advice. Perhaps there are programs I can take advantage of. I hope so.
By the way, on another topic, when I came home today, there was a big bag of dirty laundry on the couch with a note from Jeremy that he'd like to pick them up about 7. That's the first time he's done that since he moved out. Last week he did his own laundry. Maybe he's been storing up these sheets and towels since he moved in. Why wash his clothes and not his own towels and sheets when they are far easier to care for than clothes? Oh well. I'll have to discuss this with him.