Can I force my 94 year old mother to live with us? She lives on her own but is suffering from dementia.

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I'm the official caregiver and am planning on moving out of state within 4 months. Want to take her as well. So she would move in with us now and make her move with us when we go out of state. Need to advise. Thanks

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Expert Answer
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There are medications that can help your mother's paranoia, which is, unfortunately, a "normal" phase of many dementias. She needs to see her doctor (or a different doctor) to see if medications can help her.

Any transition will be hard on her, thus hard on you. The fewer changes the better. I'd get medical help for her now to help with the transition.

Carol
I agree but have one problem. She won't take the medication. Her Doctor prescribed Aricept and she refuses to take the drug. She tells me there is nothing wrong with her memory. Gail
If she lived with me I could trick her. But only drive out there once a week, unless I'm taking her to various Doctors. My niece goes out there once a week as well on diff. days and takes her grocery shopping. She also drives and my brother wants her license taken away, but HE won't do, wants me to take care of the problem. She has mentioned even if the Doctor told her to stop driving, she won't. She drives to the drugstore, bank and grocery story which are in her neighborhood. So far there hasn't been any accidents and I hate for her to lose her independence. This is such a mess, because we don't feel she's ready for Ass't Living. Still cooks and is healthy. Yes she takes blood pressure medicine. Now she wants to have a colonoscopy, no problems, but think she should have one.
Let's see if I can rememmber all the ideas that floated through my head.

1. Re colonoscopy. Why at 90 plus? I just had my last one at age 81. Next was due in 5 years, and what if they found a polop? Takes 5 or 10 years to grow. Will I be alive then? Checked with the doctor. He kind of started. I could see him check my age, do the math and agree with me.

2. Driving. please, Call the State police or licensing agency. They will call her in. Some places there are agencies who will do the evaluation. Have you watched the HBO tapes on Alzheimer's? Find them on line either through HBO or Alzheimer's sites.
Do you want to feel responsible for her killinng or seriously injuring another person?

3. Aricept. Sound have been started years ago. Find out at her stage, what exactly is it expected to accomplish. Then yes, if you judge it's needed. It's a very tiny pill, easy to call whatever and get her to take it. Watch for side effects. Diarrhea is one that got me. A lactose free diet, with acidopholous in the morning and yogurt with evening meds has eliminated the problem. I also had insomnia, but another med I was given for something else took care of that. There are some natural remedies at the health food store. Check with her doctor first.

4. Assisted Living. There are some wonderful ones and they do allow her to take a roomful of her things. The socialization, physical and mental stimulation that should be available are very important components of a good regime. Will it provide a Meditterean diet? Another important component.

Since any move will be traumatic at her stage, you might want to find a facility where you are moving. Any other sibs beside your brother or close relatives involved? Can you conference, with or without a mediating soical worker, and come to some decisions.

5. Combativenss. yes, meds can help. Have you read The 36 Hour Day? It has so many helpful hints on that subject.

6. Unless your mom has been declared incompetent, I don't think you can force her to do anyything. Has she given her Medical or Legal Power of Attorney to any one? I did that when I was first diagnosed. It hasn't been needed, but it's in place for when ever it's needed.

Good luck. You dod not face an easy task. Try the Alzheimer's Assoc. Boards for help and support.

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