What can I do now that my mother has told me to stay away from her?

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My mother has dementia. She is not at a point to have her declared incompetent, but she is easily confused, asks the same questions over and over, She has always been difficult. We suspect she has a Schizoid Personality Disorder on top of everything else.

The other day while at the Dr.'s office she refused to take a memory test or to see a neurologist and accused me and my sister of trying to have her committed to a care facility and steal all her assets. Her Dr. agrees with us that her memory is very impaired and when he talks with us he uses the word dementia but when my mother is present he takes a very neutral stand. We feel he is not supportive of us, Since this appointment, I mother told me to stay away from her because I am trying to take away her rights. How can I know she is staying safe now? She started a kitchen fire recently by heating Vicks Vapor Rub in a pan!! Her Dr. is also my dr. Should I find another dr. for myself?? Soon we will have to have her driver's license revoked and her dr. doesn't want to be the one to do it, so we will have to report her to DMV. Are we expecting too much from the dr??

Her personality disorder makes it so much harder to deal with her and sometimes I want to resign my duties to her. She has always been abusive, name calling, accusations. She never formed a bond with any of us. She is never wrong, impossible to please even when to give her what she wants or do what she wants it is never good enough. She is a walking contradiction. How do I know she will be safe now that she doesn't want me to come around??

Answers 1 to 10 of 14
If she is living alone it sounds like she is not safe and she should not be driving-I might look around for another doc for her-one who deals with elders. I would disable her car if she were to have an accident you might be the one to get in trouble-DMV may not be able to do anything if a police officer sees something being done wrong he or she can have them taking a driving test which she probably will fail but can not do anything if she seems to be driving correctly. My feeling is no one should be treated badly and I would stay away but report her to social service if she does not have someone with her-you need a doc who will support you while helping her to come to grips with her declining memtal status-she is not going to start treating you well just because she wants to-because she does not want to what she is doing works for her she has everyone bending to her wants-even her doc seems not to want to deal with reality. She will not be safe living alone but why put yourself through misery trying to placate her.
If the doctor says her memory is very impaired - he should stand by those words and help you keep her safe; especially driving. She could hurt herself or others. My MIL was very difficult to deal with - having many of the personality traits you mentioned. Her doctor gave her subtle test during visit by just asking her questions she could not answer - proving impaired memory. She didn't even know it was a test. We were fortunate enough to have her doctor supportive of what we had to do. He told her at an appointment that she was not to drive anymore. She questioned it at first, but then said she wouln't drive. Only to get outside his office and rant on and on how she is still driving and won't listen to him. So, we disabled her car, only to have her call AAA. Next we took away the keys. Called doctor and he agreed to send letter to RMV to revoke license.
It is difficult for the elderly to give up independence; I understand, but knowing she could hurt herself or others - we had to take steps. Long story short, she was relentless with telephone calls constantly - mean ones about the driving. Learned to have a tough skin through all this as we had to keep her off the road. Reasoning with her made no difference. Does the doctor know that she started a fire? I agree with above post and recommendations.

Please know, I realize how difficult this is; especially with this type of personality disorder. Elder Servies in the town where she lives might be helpful. I had to resort to their help with my MIL and mother. They were amazing and helped me keep my sanity. Hopefully, this agency could help you too. My heart goes out to you - take care.
Top Answer
Contact your local Area on Aging for help with this. On the driving, you can always make a "fake" car key to give your loved one, she thinks she has the keys to drive and then take the battery out but be careful she does not call a car service to help.
You also have to remember to breathe and realize she is sick and probably does not know she is being mean and rude. Her brain is not functioning well. You have to take her as she is and accept all she can give. Know she probably does not mean to be this way but it is ALL she is capable of at this time. I would suggest you contact a new physician who specializes in Geriatric care or a Nuro specialist. If she will not go, check into your local resources and see if there is a Mobile Doctors that will come to the home. You can have them come into the home as a “guest” and she will not know that she is really being monitored for possible dementia. She could be at the stage where she knows something is wrong and it is scaring her and she does not want to admit it.
SharynM - as someone who has gone down this road, it is only going to get more intense and ugly. My suggestion really is going to be dependent on what you are able to do with what you have.....

if you have a DPOA, MPOA, and Guardianship in Case of Incapacity done from years back, then whomever is listed as that person can have her move to a Independent Living situation. It won't be pretty and she won't be happy but then she likely is never happy is she (this was the situation I went thru with my mom)It sounds like your mom is still able to do for herself and still lives in her home so IL could be good and it is NOT PUTTING THEM IN A HOME nonsense she might throw back at you. My mom's IL was about 1,800 a month: she got lunch every day and dinners on Sat nite and SUnday was a brunch, driven to medical appointments plus arts & crafts, exercise classes, movie night and lots of other things she could dislike and complain about. Apt was about 750 sq ft with smallish kitchen, big bath with grab bars all over and 3 emergency pulls. The selling point on this is INDEPENDENT, no one is telling her what to do if she wants to go to lunch fine if not fine, if she wants to go to the Wed 10AM weekly grocery run fine if not too bad. After a couple of weeks of being a martyr my mom got with the program. Now she is in NH and complains that there is no Wed 10 AM run to HEB and no every other Thursday Target run and no visits to Luby's either.

Can you find a gerontologist to see her? Her doc sounds worthless. She really needs to be evaluated to see where she is on the dementia scale and maybe what type of dementia. My mom has Lewy Body Dementia and it is very different than the ALZ pattern. She is mid 90's and still very cognitive and ambulatory but has episodic hallucinations and constant paranoia. Her meds are different that would be given to a ALZ patient.

On retrospect, I wish I had forced her to move to IL a couple of years earlier.
Being in a community with others - even if they are not social - is better for them, imho, in that they whether they want to or not start to realize how much better off they are than others and it gives them whole new situations & people to b***h about. That alone can be priceless.Good Luck.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions, it gives me somewhere to start looking for additional help for my mom.
I just got back from the Dr. He explained to me that my mother is a very grey area right now and all we can do is wait. As she progresses, we can call Adult Protective Services to evaluate her. His last memory test on my mother was last year in January. Normal is 27-30, my mom scored 23. We know her memory has declined but the Dr. says she is still at a mild dementia stage. Because she knows she started the fire shows that her cognitive recognition is not bad enough to force anything with her. All we can do is be available to her, watch her etc. I am staying positive!!
Your doctor is correct. All you can do is be there for her and try to remember she knows something is wrong and she is scared and takes it out on the ones she loves. Put yourself in her shoes and you will have a better understanding. Do some research on Dementia and maybe find a local support group so you are ready for the journey you are about to take. Do not "baby" her, let her live like she wants to and make simple changes to assist her in living like she always has. This journey can be long and your mother is scared, be gentle with her and take care of YOU while taking care of mom. Make sure you have secured a durable power of attorney; get on her checking and all banking accounts. This will help in the long run when she can no longer make proper decisions. There are some great articles on here to help you know what paperwork you must have to help your mother as she progresses in this journey.
I would recommend you follow the advise provided by Bridgett. Use the resources in your area to help you such as your local Area on Aging, Adult Protective Services, or your local Ombudsman. As for the driving situation, in some states you have to contact the DMV and in others it is the State Police. In either case they will evaluate the situation and help you.

I know these actions are hard many of us have had to do this with our own parents. For me it was my father. Most likely the hardest thing I ever had to do was have his driver licenses taken away from him. He felt that was his last little bit of independence, but you have to consider the safety of the parent and others on the road.
Check with the police depart. -in many states nothing can be done unless the driver is seen by the police doing something wrong and seems confused or inpaired then they would only have to take a driver test if they pass they get their license back
I think you are in a very tough situation... It sounds to me that your Mom and mine are related... I would encourage you to do what you know in your heart is right. Your Mom is not capable of being alone all the time. Have you considered assisted living or senior housing? My Mother was just lost when my Father died. She was not eating she was calling me 10x a day and just not doing well. SO we moved her to a beautiful senior housing complex. She has her own apartment and she gets one meal at noon,( which is served in a dining room) and housekeeping. She is doing better. She still gets nasty and angry with me but she is NOT as bad as she was. I would encourage you to take some steps toward moving her. She will be mad for a bit, but she will get over it and she needs to be safe!take care and keep in touch...

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