Nancy Wurtzel

Nancy Wurtzel is a public relations professional and creative writer, who recently returned to her native Minnesota after living on the West Coast for many years. Read about her midlife journey on her blog, Dating Dementia, as she navigates through divorce, restarting a career, dating, empty nest challenges, moving home, baby boomer issues and caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s. Follow Nancy on Twitter and Facebook.

Helping My Mother in Her Final Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Posted by: Nancy Wurtzel Updated: November 20, 2013 - 8:17 AM

So much has happened since my last update about my mother.  If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know my mom, whom we affectionately call Mummy, has Alzheimer's disease.

You may also remember that late last summer my sister and I moved Mummy to an assisted living facility in our small hometown in central Minnesota.  We quickly grew to love the staff, the residents and the homey atmosphere.  For the 15 months she lived there, it truly became Mummy's home and our home, too, since my sister and I spent so much time with her.

However, life changes and Mummy has progressed much deeper into the disease.  While the assisted living staff gave her plenty of love, Mummy needed more personal care than they could provide.

After much discussion, we decided the time was right to move Mummy into a facility near me in the Twin Cities area.  Together, my sister and I looked at a number of places and decided on one that centered on memory care and had great staff to resident ratios.

With mixed feelings, we gave our notice at the assisted living home and started packing.

I'll never, ever forget the dreary, cold morning we left our small town for the Twin Cities.  Mary Jo, the director, and Sheril, the nurse, were out with us in the parking lot helping to bundle Mummy into the front seat.  We were all crying.  Suddenly, I had a huge sinking feeling that we were leaving a really great place for a total unknown.  I was already seriously questioning myself.  Had I made the right decision?

Sadly, I had not made the right decision.  The move was a disaster from the start.

After only 35 days, we moved Mummy again, but this time it wasn't into another "facility."  This time, she moved into a real home -- my home.  No one is more surprised about this turn of events than me.  This was not something I had planned.

My hope is that with the help of part-time caregivers, I can provide care for my mom through the end of her life.

Naturally, I'll be blogging about my new situation.  In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for me, and I wholeheartedly welcome your suggestions, especially if you cared for, or are currently caring for, a loved one at home.


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