It never rains but it pours. You must be finding it difficult to look after your mum with all that is going on in your own life recently. It is never easy caring for someone with dementia. We cared for my mother-in-law for 4 years. She had vascular dementia too, but was also bed bound with heart valve problems. This all started after she had one of the first Tavi procedures (to replace all of her heart valves) available in the UK. Sadly, she passed away last September.
My 97 year old father-in-law looked after her for as long as he could. She didn't want carers in the house, but we eventually had to bring some in, as it got too much for him to look after her 24 hours a day. It did take a lot of pressure away from him once the carers came in 4 times a day to attend to her personal needs. This was all arranged once we brought in a social worker. We saw her on the Friday and, by the Monday, she had got a hospital bed delivered, arranged for build up drinks and puddings to be delivered regularly, along with a regular supply of incontinence pads, emollients, wheeled trolley, dressings for her ulcerated legs, medicines delivered to home by the pharmacist. We were offered someone to sit with mum overnight, to allow dad to get some sleept, but he turned this offer down. Living in sheltered housing in a flat with just one bedroom, it seemed too invasive in terms of his privacy.
Having carers coming in regularly meant that she could get things like her hair washed, as my daughter and I found this getting progressively more difficult to carry out. Mum was just skin and bone and got sore if we tried to move her. When the carers arrived we invested in a special basin which we could use while she was lying in bed. Dad went into a day hospital at the beginning of February for assessment. We were told that afternoon that he had cancer throughout his body and that there was nothing that could be done for him. Five days later he passed away. We have just returned from holiday and, towards the end of our holiday, we were informed that my youngest brother-in-law, who lived in Kuala Lumpur was found dead in bed. He had never been ill and the doctors think that he died of natural causes. This was quite a shock. All in all we have had 9 family funerals this year, so we haven't had much time to think about ourselves.
A scooter was something that my mother-in-law never got used to. She had never driven a car and, had a tremour, which made it difficult to manouvre a scooter. This is something for you to think about before you get one for your mum. If her tremour is only mild, she might be able to control a scooter, but if it is more severe, she may have difficulty. The pressure used on the scooter controls need to be fairly even. If too much is applied you may find the scooter lunging forward and presenting some dangerous situations. The other difficulty, especially as your mum becomes more frail, is that it depends upon what your local pavements are like, as to how well she'll be able to cope. Many pavements do not have a dropped kerb and, I have had a scooter toopple over on me before now. You can hire scooters in most town centres now and, this is a good way to let your mum try one out before you buy one.
A scooter opens up so many opportunities. I use one myself, as I had to have both knees replaced after my cancer treatment and have a lot of problems with my back. This makes it particularly difficult for me to stand for any length of time. I also use a walker and, find the ones with a seat are the best ones for me, as this allows me to sit in shop queues or when I tire, which I do easily.
Does your sister live any nearer your mum than you? It is a fair drive from Aberdeen to St Andrews, especially in inclement winter weather.
Only another week to go now before you get your results. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you.