Your Help & Suggestions, Please!
Although I am no longer my mother's care-giver, I still, basically am, in some ways. Unfortunately, it all became way too much for me to handle, a year ago last June 1st, and currently my mother is residing in an assisted living facility. She is on a waiting list for a wonderful Alzheimer's special care facility and is number 6 out of over 100 on an extremely long list, so hopefully she will have a much better situation soon.
She is at an extremely small facility: maximum 14 residents and one staff member daily on duty during the day, then after 9 p.m. someone is there in another section for emergencies only. My mom is quite the character now, to say it gently, and will argue and get nasty if she doesn't want to do something. She now cusses at people regularly.
My mom is still ambulatory, but her Alzheimer's is definitely increasing fast, making her more and more dependable on assistance. Her personal hygiene habits are taking the worst hit right now.
She is scheduled to take 2 showers a week, and the rest of the days, sponge baths in the evening. The staff got tired of arguing with her and only force her to shower once a week .....one fact that has me pushing to get her out of there ASAP.
She has top and bottom dentures and used to be meticulous about keeping them clean. Over the last couple of months, she's been having occasional recurring sores in her mouth without any explanation other than "possibly she had gotten some food particles hung under her dentures and that irritation created a sore."
Cutting to the chase .....turns out she is no longer cleaning her dentures, or even taking them out at night! The worst part, is that when they ask her for her dentures at night to clean them and let them soak overnight, she argues as usual and they give in.
The only way I found out anything about this was I was appalled at her breath odor and one thing lead to another and I finally found out what was going on. She is refusing to "turn her teeth in" at night because in her mind, (1) someone might steal them, and (2) she doesn't want anyone to see her without her teeth.
All residents teeth are locked up so other residents can't get to them, and the staff gives them out to the residents upon their wake-up call in the morning. Most residents have false teeth, so most are without their dentures at night.
I/we have tried everything: logic, reasoning, health issues, guilt, even threatening and she still won't turn her teeth in at night. She no longer has the mental ability to understand good hygiene and will often lie that certain "things" have been done, but they haven't. My mom, even at 85, is an avid smoker and I even went so far to threaten to not buy her any more cigarettes unless she abides by the rules and turns her teeth in each night. (I was desperate!) But all that caused, was a huge tantrum and getting cussed at, etc., etc., etc.
Does anyone have any suggestions of something I can try? No, moving her to another facility temporarily is not really an option: neither financially and the simple fact that most facilities won't consider a temporary resident. I have to make the best of things and hope and pray that she can get in that other facility fast, as they are much better staffed and more professional.
Moving her back in with us is no longer an option: there is no room and my DH had a heart attack last year and I am really trying hard to watch the stress!
I am praying for some answers, some guidance, but I really don't know what to do and would so much appreciate any suggestions.