Frank from Arizona

My Lupe will be having her 91st birthday on October 17th. My aunt is now in a more comfortable setting because I found I could not provide 24-7 help that she desperately needed. She started to become disoriented several years when I noticed she was confused about days and nights, getting up at the middle of the night and literally getting herself ready to go to work at 2 and 3AM. You see she was a housekeeper for the Phelp's Dodge Guest House. She retired after being the main housekeeper after many years. She was ultimately diagnosed with dementia about three years ago. Sure I took care of her in my home in Tucson for three years until she needed around the clock help. IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO PLACE HER IN A HOME. All my family urged me for this to happen. Finally I was advised by my own doctor that I was in bad shape not getting enough sleep because I was making sure she did not fall or leave the house in the middle of the night. After a fall in her bedroom, I brought into the emergency room where it was determined that she did not suffer a stoke but was not able to walk because she was just scared that she might fall again. After three days in the emergency room, the doctors there told me that I had two options (1) take her home and deal with her dementia or (2) send her to a care facility where she could get physical therapy. I chose the latter. At the Care center she was there for two weeks and was doing well although they used the word "sundowning". This was part of her now diagnosed dementia After consultation with Mercy Care, I decided that the best thing for my Lupe was to keep her at the long term care facility. The professional people at the care center have provided the medical help and social activities that I could not. She loves bingo and she loves her ice cream social. She never really liked ice cream. Now she looks forward to see me when its ice cream time. I manage my time to visit her at least three times a week. She now looks forward to see me knowing that I am her nephew and proudly tells everybody around, "this is my nephew and I love him"!

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