She recently had a CVA followed by a UTI immediately followed by dehydration and hypokalemia. She suffered both physical and mental losses and is depressed and doesn't seem to want to get better. she is cooperative with my efforts for her but pretty unresponsive to my encouragement. She is being seen by rehab team twice weekly and health worker, also twice a week, but in 30 days, I'm on my own. I intend to care for her as long as her health and my ability will permit... just wondering what preparations I should make!
My advice to you is to get help even before you think you need it. Get your wife accustomed to a good aid or 2 and make sure your own social enrichment isn't compromised. Blessings to you!
I commend you for wanting to care for your wife yourself. Please take this advice I'm going to give because I'm an in-home caregiver by profession for nearly 25 years now. Most of my clients were elderly and suffering from some kind of dementia.
While she is still in rehab, ask them to send someone to your house to assess it and tell you what needs to be done to make it possible for your now handicapped wife to safely live there. Then have those renovations and equipment put in place.
Arrange for homecare services now. Please don't make the mistake in believing that you should be doing all of her care 24/7.
Your wife has Alzheimer's. DO NOT allow her to form a "shadowing" habit which means that you will have to be with her every moment 24 hours a day. Force her to be alone at times (when appropriate). Make her stay alone with hired caregivers. Go out when they are at the house no matter how much she cries or how upset she gets when you leave. Make her go to adult day care a couple of days a week whether she wants to or not. Everyone needs socialization and doing these things will help to prevent a "shadowing" habit forming. This may seem cruel to you, but it's not. It must me done.
You must also make her do for herself in whatever ways she can. Any level of independence is a positive and good thing. Even if it is small things like feeding themselves or combing their own hair, that's independence and it's important. If she can still walk, make her take her meals at the kitchen table. Do not bring it to her.
My last care client was a total invalid bedridden with LBD. She still fed herself because I insisted. If the meal was something like soup or a dish like that, I'd help her. Otherwise I made her do for herself. Yes, things got messy and I would clean them up. She was still able to get food into her mouth and able to lift a sippy-cup and drink. Friends of hers were shocked by this and couldn't believe that I wouldn't spoon-feed her or hold a baby-bottle for her to drink like an infant. I wasn't going to take that last bit of independence she still possessed away from her because seeing her eat was absolutely disgusting to witness. Be prepared for this. Be prepared for incontinence and the stubbornness over hygiene and washing up that often follows it.
Good luck to you and your wife, and I sure hope for both your sakes you take my advice here to heart.
She also keeps the focus on CARE & what's still possible, rather than what's lost. I really like this.
But these are just guides. People are individual.
"but in 30 days, I'm on my own". Ask the rehab team to connect you to services run in the community. Don't stay alone! Completely agree with BurntCaregiver here, add & keep adding visiting health people, house cleaner, sitter, shower assist person - whatever will help. Avoid being a 'Lone Wolf' caregiver - add others to your pack.
Sooner or later your wife will need care from other people, whether it’s at home or in a facility. People who earlier could see the logic in all this, become more and more resistant as they get older – to ‘strangers’, to ‘homes’, to any changes at all. If your wife adjusts early it will be less stressful for her when there is no alternative. If you keep your own life reasonable, and yourself as happy as possible, it will be better for you and better for her too. Best wishes, Margaret