Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Caregiver's Dementia

They call it Caregiver's Dementia and I've got it.

I lost my Barnes & Nobel Nook two weeks ago and my glasses and debit card this morning. Fortunately, I "remembered" where the latter two items were, but not the first. The thing is, I'm getting shaky and flustered when this happens, which makes it impossible to remember what I'm trying to remember when I'm trying to remember it.

This feels more like a panic attack.

I think the first step towards swimming my way out of this raging ocean is to stop reading books about dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. I feel like I did in college when I took a psychology class and thought that I had contracted every malady mentioned in the text.

I think the second step is to practice some sort of meditation or relaxation exercise. I know that forced thinking of any kind just makes my mind go blank. Things start to "pop" into my head only when I'm feeling calm and confident. My state of being during these times is the opposite of confident. That doesn't portend well for my job performance either. Fortunately, mom is not at the office.

The third thing I should do is to get some rest.

Today I came home to a mother who thought I owed her $10,000 (again). These sorts of accusations just compound that quaking feeling I have inside. Rather than put her rants in their proper place (which is to set them aside and in a box somewhere until I can muster the energy to deal with them) I began digging through her bank accounts, my bank accounts, and other assorted accounts, printing off materials that would show her where her money had gone (she transfers money from one account to the other, sometimes between as many as 3 accounts in the same day). This took most of my afternoon, somehow exhausted me more and probably won't do me a bit of good in reasoning with her.

Now I have to look forward to figuring out how to deal with her in paying her caregiver directly (which we will eventually be reimbursed for) which may require us to issue a 1099 and pay payroll taxes. I could deal with that. It's just dealing with her confusion over payments and reimbursements that is sure to push her over the edge and cause me more unease.

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