Mother's dementia is worsening but she won't go to doctor.

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Our mother began showing signs of dementia two years ago but our father became ill throughout the year and then passed away. Because of my Dad's condition, my Mom's mental decline was put on the back burner because my Dad was the best one to talk to her about it and we were waiting for his health to improve to do so. Now, no one has approached our Mom with her obvious decline because of her hostile moods and withdrawal when it's brought up. We had her scheduled to see a geriatric psychiatrist to make a diagnosis and hopefully, use some meds to slow her progression, but Mom refused to keep her appointment. Now, it's not safe for her to be driving and we're concerned about her safety with living alone. Is there someone available to give us some professional advice about how to handle this situation and what would work best?


Please contact your local Agency on Aging in your area to get the help you need. There should be services available in your area that can help you get the help you need for your mother.

I am sure that one of the resident EXPERTs on this website will add more information. I am not an expert, just another caregiver such as yourself.

It is imperative that you get some help for your mother. Have a family meeting (with ALL available family members... sister... brothers... cousins... aunts... uncles) and discuss what should be done.

Please. God bless.
I like MiaMadre's idea of having a family meeting. You need to take charge here. You are observing significant cognitive changes in your mother and it's time to speak to a doctor and work up a plan. It is not easy as you are finding out, to persuade our elderly parents to make certain changes. It requires lots of patience, love, and tact. But I also found out (as I went through something similar with my parents) that I needed to make some tough decisions that didn't always make me "popular" in my parents' eyes. I would say to listen to your gut and to your intuition. And to coordinate with professional people, like doctors, nurses, and social workers. It will help to have a doctor backing you up when you and the doctor are presenting necessary changes to your mother.....regarding her driving, her living situation, etc.

You mentioned your mother's "hostile moods". I would advise you to not allow such moods to intimidate you into backing down and not doing anything. We were afraid of my father's combativeness and potential for rage when it was time to tell him he needed to stop driving. But we had to have courage and tell him anyway. Predictably, he became very angry, but he eventually calmed down when he realized we weren't going to be changing our mind. It was the right decision and safer for him and everybody else on the road when he stopped driving.
Good luck to you.
family need to try to work together, sometimes it does not work, it turns out to oly one that is the true caregiver. If you can not get the family to meet maybe you can set up a appointment and tell mom some family member are taking her to lunch and also see the docotr as a family, if this does not work have a social worker or elder care make a visit.
I agree with Patricia.... even though families do not agree... they should be advised of the situation and TRY to make them contribute. I know that most of the 'care' falls on one person's back, but we all want to HOPE that if others are made aware of the situation, they will TRY to help!

I am hoping that IHERZING1 will be able to get the help needed from local agencies, and that "Mom" will not be left alone OR able to drive. God Bless.
Thanks for everyone's advice and wisdom. We have a large supportive family that will give the necessary help...that's not a problem..... we are just floundering on how and where to start. I've got a call in to the Alzheimer's Association to speak with a social worker and will take MiaMadre's suggestion about contacting the Agency on Aging. Our question do we start the ball rolling when our Mom won't agree to be tested or to even go to the doctor with any of us present. Maybe a social worker can give us a chronological timeline of what needs to happen .

It seems the first thing is to contact the Secretary of State about requesting a driving assessment but when I look at the web site they say they won't take an anonymous referral. That's worrisome because we don't want our Mother to start out in all this being furious that we've taken her license away but as many of you have said, we'll do what we have to do.
The most important thing is I hope there is a durable power of attorney and health expoxy. Call up ELDER care, get the banking account set up as pesonal rep. The social worker or even her doctor can get you set up with a program called meals on wheels and up north it wass called access a ride. Someone needs to be charge and have all the paper work in order. I took the keys away from my mom ten years before the docotor told me what wass wrong. Some of the programs have pick up which are set up 24 hrs in advance for pick up to doctors office visit. Please be care full there is always someone out there looking to take advantage. Mom moods are part of the illness. it gets worse. Since you are the main person doing it all you see alot. The person with denemtia can also get very mean and hurt you. Say things. Check around there may be a assiting living Day care, for a few hours. But be careful. Demand a meeting with her doctor and find out what is really wrong and get back with a social worker. you may have to even call in protective services is and always 24/7 Alterzimer's hot line. if you ever have to take mom to the hospital make sure you or someone is there that knows her history, most people with a form of dementia tell the hospital staff there is NO Pain. Tell them to look into her eyes. You will know what I mean. God bles you and your family, it is stuff battle. If your dad wass military and never remarried, you mom may also be able to get benefits. I did it for over 12 years, not knowing much about it until it got so bad. No one would listen.
Lherzing1, how I can relate to your posts. It reminds me of what I was going through about ten years ago. I found that when our elder is at the beginning of dementia, he/she still has the energy to "block" us (the adult children/potential caregivers) and give us real trouble when we try to help. It sounds like where you are at with your mother. It also sounds like you know in your heart what needs to happen here. But you are feeling tentative because of your mother's moods and potential for becoming "furious" , as you said. We can be manipulated by those least that's what I found. I do think your best bet is to get professional help with this.....from people at the Council on Aging, from the Alzheimer's association, from your own doctor, from an affordable social worker. I worked with a social worker all through the most difficult period of assessing my parents' decline and setting them up with the proper living changes. My mother could be a real bear to deal with, but I searched my mind and heart to determine what was the right thing to do, and then I did it. I was sometimes cast as the "villain", but only for a while. Just before my mother died, she thanked me in a big way for all I had done for her and my father, to help them move to assisted living, etc. Oh yeah, I also prayed! God will guide us and see us through the tough times, I found.
Dear Ihesing1, Anne123 posted a message that I do agree, I myself went through alot taking care of mom. It does not get any better, sometimes your own health and well being sufferrs, ( and don't even know because you are taking care of someone else). After I did find out how bad my was I made up my mind to bring her to live with me in Florida. No family members or firends or neighbors would do anything. She was able to every day things but not pay bills, take medicines, would fight with the nurses. But when the not being able to control her urine it was bad. The smell when you opened the door. She was strong and did not want any one to help. She even went out and got kotex and used them and used over ten pair of panties a day. I did look aroung like I stated before for day care. but i did not know How much medicine she was on myself. they train me up north on the insulin, but when i got mom to florida she fought with me. I am 5ft 8 but weigh only 120, mom was short but had weight on her and her hit me and fought so much I was knock down once and stuck with a neddle by her. I did search 10 places and found a near by assisting living. She went for a meal one day and visit with some people in a couple of days I had to place her since fire resuce was called to the house for an emerency. they also advised the best thing for myself and my health and mom's was a assisting living. they knew of the place I had in mind. yes you will fell guilty, but sometimes it is the best thing. Do make sure you visit , be a friend and a daughter, bring music, pictures stuff animals, go and visit and bring a coloring book and color together. I even did sleep overs when mom wass in the assisting living. I looked over mom ten years and 2 years in Florida. She did know me until her time came only last year about this time of year. This website got me through. As Anne stated God will guide you, make sure you check things out first before you place your love one anywherre or if you have someone come and help you. Even realitives can be mean.

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