My Mom is fairly low-maintenance as housebound elderly folk go. She needs to be weighed daily, medicated twice daily and bathed weekly. She fixes her own breakfast, finds her own snacks and comes over here for dinner. I have to be vigilant about odd things: Keeping wastebaskets emptied so she doesn't simply drop trash on the floor, keeping the cat boxes cleaned, and keeping the bathroom well-stocked with 'panties' and other supplies so she doesn't run out, forget she needs to wear them. I do her laundry, order her medications, pay her bills, sort her pills and make sure her house gets cleaned. I do her grocery shopping for her and periodically make sure nothing in her fridge is going to kill her. Add in the odd doctor's appointment and pacemaker check and you've got the whole package, more or less.
And this is an easy-to-care-for old person.
I estimate that this takes me no less than three hours a week spent on her side of the house, and she spends at least half an hour a day on our side, frequently more. We are blessed in that a good friend of hers comes and makes dinner with her on Friday evening, so she has 'company' and we have an evening to ourselves.
When we have guests, they learn to deal with her dementia. At first, everybody stops the conversation every time she interrupts to change the subject, or tries to bring her up to speed when she is six sentences behind. After about half an hour pretty much even the politest person realizes that this is futile (although sometimes entertaining) and just glosses over the confusion as best as possible. The problems is that she appears to love to hang out in crowds of people, so unless I point out that total strangers are going to see her in her nightie and she should get dressed (a sure-fire party-buster in HER mind LOL) she'll just hang out. This wouldn't be SO bad, but she'll criticize other peoples' manners or my choice of guests. To their faces.
I know it's easy compared to having to keep the house locked to keep her from running away, and shutting down the gas, and having to do more daily personal care and things like bedsore prevention. But 'easy' and 'never-ending' don't seem to sit well in the same sentence, do they?