My mother is in denial about her dementia and refuses to leave her home.

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Her doctor did blood test and she does not have a UTI. She makes up stories about her busy days.


Rae, where is it you want your mom to go?

It Is are usually diagnosed via urine test/cultures.
Memory care at assisted living. She wants to stay in her house. She Sundowns and gets argumentative
My suspicions are that she talks about her busy day for a couple of reasons -- her mind is still active thinking of the things she could do, and she is trying to appear as normal as possible. People with dementia don't want others to think things are off. Maybe they don't want people to think them crazy. Or maybe they are afraid of losing their independence.

My thoughts are that people with dementia often isolate themselves in their home because they feel safe and in control there. They are afraid of moving anywhere else that would be new and strange. I can understand that. I wonder if she might be able to stay home a bit longer with a paid caregiver coming in during the day. Or does she need 24/7 supervision? Let us know a little more about her and people could have some ideas.
I agree that she feels safer in her home. She has a caregiver comes twice a week and a housekeeper once a week. She was always a social person. Her doctor does not offer much help. He finally wrote a letter stating she needs to be with family or assisted living. She calls police to say someone tried to break-in but no one did. Her friends the neighbors have called about her behavior. She ask strangers to go get her food.
It sounds like she's really needing around the clock supervision. I'd explore what options she has. Are you the Durable POA? If so, I'd find some places and tour them.

With my LO, I found that she was quite afraid and confused. That's why she didn't venture out anymore. Eventually, with the help of her Primary doctor, she agreed to go to AL to help her with physical therapy, medication, meals, and improving her memory. I think she was actually relieved to be in a place where she was never alone too.   Her doctor was totally on board. I'd work that angle, but, if she still refuses, something still must be done to protect her. If it comes to that, I might consult with an attorney to obtain legal advice.
First, have you/someone obtained durable POA /Health POA from attorney and been put on her financial accounts as POA which require in person visits?

Next, write doc and enclose a copy of registered with the county POA document for their files. Tell doc that the family is unable to continue to maintain her at her home and that she needs him to tell her she needs to move, that she is hanging onto his words from the last visit - make it short and to the point. Then give doc a copy of that same letter when you bring her in again, along with the paperwork for whatever memory care home you have picked out for her. She will need a TB test, and he can tell her then. You will get your documentation at least!

Whether or not he tells her, at least you need to get him to sign off on the memory care placement. Then you set a date for the move and tell her the date and place, do not ask. That this is what needs to be done, doesn't she remember her doctor visit where she was getting her TB test and exam for him to sign off on her going?

Just do it. You are the adult now; her brain is broken and you need to take care of her like a little kid. You don't ask, do you want this medicine, you say, you are going to take your medicine now and you follow through. Be strong.
I have a POA. I manage her account and pay the bills at least the ones that take care of the basics, gas, water electrical. I am drafting a letter to the charge card companies.
Hi Rae,
My mom tested positive for Alzheimer's and willingly moved 500 miles to be near me, due to the "results" of the test. She lived in a senior's apartment building that offered 3 meals a day, maid service, transportation, etc. but they did not offer assisted living (for personal grooming). She rapidly went downhill with the dementia and within a year and a half, I had to put her into a memory care facility. This was no easy feat.
I already had her sign me on to her checking and savings accounts (a bit of fibbing was necessary) but she knew she could no longer pay the bills. I got her primary doctor to dictate a note stating she was mentally incapable of living alone. Next, I had a geriatric neurologist examine her and write a note also. I toured many memory care facilities and chose one.
The next hurdle I had was getting her into the facility. Her Alz. was making her paranoid at that point. I included an extra anxiety pill with her morning meds (I'm a nurse) the day we left and it made a world of difference.
I knew she would never willingly move, so I had to lie to her and say that we were stopping there for lunch. (Convenient that we came at mealtime.) After an hour, my husband left "on an emergency" and I explained that we would have to spend the night there. I had prearranged to spend the night with her. The next day I slipped out after breakfast. The staff encouraged me NOT to contact her for a couple of weeks, to let her settle in.

The next time I saw her, she attacked me physically and the nurse had to pull her off me. She started wetting on the floor in defiance but the staff reassured me that this is normal (Alzheimer's) behavior in the beginning.
We are now 2 years down the road and she is still there. She does not remember anything (5 seconds ago or 50 years ago), so it's all behind us.
It was the worst (but most necessary) day of my life. The ultimate betrayal- out of necessity.
I hope your situation is much less dramatic and flows smoothly. There will come a day when you will HAVE to remove her. The police can assist you and will remove her for her own safety. (I did not want to go that route.) Lying seemed, at the time, kinder. Good luck.
It is not an easy task ahead of you - most memory care facilities are private pay - does mom have financial resources if necessary ?

It may help to try and get mom on meds for her anxiety - my mom may have been able to stay home a bit longer but she ran outside with caregivers in the house and fell and got hurt and I placed her in memory care straight from the hospital -it has been a helluva year and she is nearly 94

I wouldn't expect her GP to be too helpful about where to place her but you should be able to get a referral to a neuro or geriatric psych -

Every journey is different but dementia is a long tiring one for all involved
I'm not sure what state your mom is in, but, some states have Medicaid type programs for the disabled and those with dementia. If the doctor says she needs AL or MC, she may qualify for state assistance. If finances are a concern, I'd explore that option.

Also, keep in mind that if she continues to call 911 for odd reasons, seeks food from neighbors, etc. Someone may report it to Adult Protective Services to investigate to see if she is in need of supervision. I'd keep that in mind. And even though, you think that she likes to stay at home.....I thought that about my LO too, UNTIL she started wandering. It's quite risky.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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