Dangerous mother

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My 81 year old mother has turned for the worse mentally in the past 2 weeks. This has happened very quickly. She doesn't want anything to do with me and my brother (her main caregiver with whom she lives) and wants to give away all her things so that no one else can have them when she is gone. She is remembering horrible things that we did to her that never happened. She is also having lengthy conversations with pictures or with her eyes closed. She knows she is not supposed to cook, but recently has left frozen pizza burning in the oven filling the house with smoke or leaving soup to boil to nothing on the stove. She has an appointment with a geriatric psychiatrist and social worker and doctor in a week, but I'm worried now. She lives with my brother who does the best he can; makes her breakfast and dinner and tries to come home to make her lunch. My dad is going to move in with me tomorrow because she is so mean to him and his presence makes her worse. What options are there if she becomes dangerous by threatening my brother or by accidentally starting a fire? She has always been a very tough cookie, but now she is getting dangerous.


This sounds like you might have to make a decision on putting her in a home. Before she hurts herself or others. This happens sometimes with this that they just get so lost in their own minds that you just can't deal with them anymore. You do as a person all you can and when that just don't help the person your helping then its time to let others deal with it. You did good, and should not feel bad about this. With my grandfather we were lucky, he was easy to manage and he went through the stages so fast and passed away peacefully. But now with grandma I know that day is going to come where we have to do the same. Good luck to you and I hope it all works out!
3930 helpful answers
If you can't get her to a doctor (she could be having a medication issue, an infection reaction or dementia symptoms from Alzheimer's or another dementia, or another mental illenss, but she needs tests to tell), then call your local Social Services. Get your dad out of there and let them do a welfare check on her. They may have legal "teeth" to make her get some help, though it won't be pleasant.

Try to get a third party, like an old friend, to get her to a doctor, if she won't listen to you or your dad. But that doesn't work, you may need the intervention of social services.
Good luck. I don't need to tell you this isn't going to be easy.
Carol mentioned "infection reaction" as one possibility, and I'd like to second that. Please get her checked for a UTI (urinary tract infection).

These are very common in older women and will cause sudden onset of ALL the symptoms you described. My mom gets UTI's and admits she feels like she is losing her mind; she gets mean and can't think and snaps at everyone around her.

If she won't go to the doctor, get the supplement "D-Mannose" in powder form and put a teaspoon in water or other liquid to give to her once every 2 hours the first day and twice a day after that. It won't hurt her if she doesn't have a UTI, but if she does have a UTI, you will start to notice a difference by the second day. Look it up on amazon.com and read all the reviews.
Thank you for the very helpful feedback. My dad moved in with me today and my mom has an appointment on Tuesday with a social worker, geriatric psychiatrist, and doctor. I'm getting that D-mannose tomorrow first thing in the a.m. This sight is wonderful. Thank you for all your help.

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