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My very independent, healthy 92 yr old mother has some Dementia. She is no longer nice or sweet and I am her only care taker. She won't take or do anything that might be helpful for her. I am her only caretaker and she refuses any outside help. She can still drive very well and needs no assistance in walking or doing tasks.

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u should put her in home-its verbal and emotional abuse cuz ur a family member if she does it to a staff member its just a grumpy old person and they wont take it personally
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Katydid,
Sometimes the worst person to care for a senior is their children! Not because their children don't love them and want the best for them but because it will destroy their children! Some diseases, mental health issues, personalities and the combination there of are far larger than any person with the emotional ties of childhood can possibly manage. Have you considered investigating a geriatric case manager who can manage your mothers life while you continue being her daughter? If resources are truly a challenge many social services agencies offer various levels of case management. Consider talking with Adult Protective Services for insight into what facets of your mother's life you have any ability (right) to attempt to change. Having POA for your mom may be the worst thing you can do for your own mental and physical well being! This DOES NOT make you a bad daughter in any way. A child is not obligated to sacrifice her own health and well being to care for an aging parent. A child is only obligated to do what they can within appropriate reason for their parent. Just like it is sometimes best for a birth mother to allow her baby to be adopted, it is at times best for an adult child to allow another to care for their parents. God bless you for your loving heart.
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Why thank you thank you on behalf of the great caregivers here.
Drop on over to the Grossed Out thread because that is where we all are hanging out on a daily basis. If you want, copy and paste your stuff into the box over there and hear more ideas and encouragment.
they are a wonderful group of people and some of us have actually met!! and more of us are planning to meet in the future!
lovbob
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I have already told my sons I am signing a POA soon. I am sooooo fortunate to have such honest and loving young men. They would do anything in the world for me and I told them if I get like my mom, just put me in a home! I'm sociable and really like friends! My mom was never like this. She scolded me a lot and told me that I was too friendly to people. (I thought she was weird then). I am in perfect health and shape except for osteo-arthritis that hit after mother got so bad. Most people don't know I am only 62, cause I sure don't feel it! My hair is beginning to turn a little gray and I know that my mother is part of this. I plan on starting swimming aroebics to help with my arthritis. At least it has not show up on my body yet. My mom only has about 20 gray hairs to her name at age 92 1/2. Her health is good, just not her mind. Dementia does take tole on one's health though.
I would love to have read the document that lady attorney wrote for your mom. She sounds like a real jewel.! Lucky you.
I had to laugh at your stating, "bring on the Meals-on-Wheels!" and lets go to the Mall. Hey, I'm for that too. LOL. All of my mom's lady friends have all passed away, so she doesn't have any anymore and she absolutely will NOT go out to a store to buy clothes, or go get her hair done or anything that is positive. She wants to stay shut in her house and looks like a 'bag woman' that digs in dumpsters and collects cans. Even when she drives herself to the grocery store, she looks awful! It's embarrassing. She does not want me to go with her and never lets me know when she is going. She refused to let me have a garage sale for her several years back to get rid of the boxed up items in her garage. I'm trying to be positive about this and find some joy somewhere in here. I don't know what I would do if I had not found this site and all the wonderful sharing and encouragement I have received. At least I've discovered that I am not alone and everyone here has their share to deal with too. You all are just GREAT!!!
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Awww Katydid...
that's what Dementia looks like. I am so sorry.
Ow on your knee and yes the stress is not what you need.
glad your bro has the POA. could the both of you take a day and handle the 'recycling'?
Him working while you sit with your leg up and point?
She is going to fight just like you said but there will be a turnaround point and you can only do what you can do.
I would hate to call the state because that is a slippery slope to get involved in and if your bro and you can show up and just do it, without warning, she will yell and freak but when it's accomplished she will probably love it because so much crap will be gone. they really act out and look like they're going to achieve liftoff but that is the disease talking.

Have you tried telling her that she has Dementia? I know that's a WHOA!!! but I did do that with my mom. I told her that I could bs her or I could tell her the truth and this was in the period of time that I describe as a turnaround. she was beginning to understand that what she was doing was not 'normal' and that I was going to help her and not run. She was able to relax a little because I told her that I would help keep her 'safe and sound'. their fear is for being unsafe more than the loss of independence I think. they're scared because they know something is not right and what will happen to them if someone figures it out? They want to stay in their home, that's the end all be all, so if you can get her to accept help in order to stay in her home......
Tell her you've already figured it out and that you want to help her stay in her home and have a good time and be 'safe and sound'...
at the end of the day, what have you got to lose? It will be as uncomfortable as all get out but it may work. Everybody's Dementia is different.

I know that there are answers to the thermostat issue....
Try: alzheimersstore . com might have to Google to get the correct web address... online store and they will send a catalogue out to you. i got some stuff from them for mom and it's good stuff!
I think that there's a thermostat that you can program by phone but I'm not sure. love Google.
When person has Dementia they have to be very brave and when someone is caring for a person with Dementia they have to be very brave also.
Stay here with us on the site and we will be brave together.

lovbob
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Jeeze, I didn't think about the legality of it all. Wow.
and Crowe has a good point with getting the Power of Attorney and Medical issues ironed out.
My mom thought she was never going to die and that made it so hard but I did find an older lady who was an attorney and the 3 of us sat in her office and she was great with mom in explaining the whole process. The POA that she wrote up was a beautiful document and it was a contract I willingly signed even though it bound me hand and foot to my mom. It made my mom feel good too and that was the beginning of the turnaround with the difficulties of caring for her. the rest of the difficulties were just the disease itself and that is hard enough without all the rest of the drama.
Man, when I get old I am totally looking forward to the meals on wheels and taking the old people's bus. what a luxury! Let's go to the Mall!
With all the budget cuts I bet there will be no meals on wheels. I'll set up the grocery delivery and as long as there's peanut butter.....
I'm not a senior yet but I will totally tell them I am at the movies and Denny's to save a buck. I don't dye my hair and am just about totally grey after caring for mom.
Mom also wouldn't let anyone come by to visit because she didn't want them to see the house and put 2 and 2 together.
I've always been a great fan of your friends being comfortable enough to 'drop by'. that way if you're getting too out of hand if they are decent friends they will help you get straightened out.
these days if someone drops by over here they go home with knick knacks and some books!! Anything to move some of mom's stuff out of here!
lovbob
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My brother just recently got POA and was allowed to be put on her Bank Account. He is always on the up and up with her and did tell her that she could legally revoke it if she felt she needed to. I don't think she will remember this though. What she truly needs is someone to come in and check to see that she is getting proper food and see that her house is not stifling hot. She can't regulate a digital thermostat, but does know how to turn it off by pulling the plug inside the A/C unit. I have osteo-arthritis and have a badly messed up knee that needs surgery. I have to get around on crutches and live across town from her. So this is my problem. She can hardly hear her phone, so usually does not answer it. I have to get myself in the car and go see if she is alright. The stress is what is causing the flare up of arthritis. She wants me to do so many things that I am not able to do and she refuses to allow anyone else to come in and clean or change light bulbs, gather up all her recyclables that she insists on doing. She totally refuses to throw things in the trash because 'Katy can do all her recycling. 'In the mean time, her walls are stacked with, tin cans, papers and plastic water jugs. I have to have her car washed and serviced all the time, but that is going to stop shortly! A near 93 year old does not need to be out driving! She thinks new neighbors, repairmen, even me, are stealing from her. I keep telling her, there is nothing for them to steal! i told her there is nothing they would want. She refuses to update anything, I can understand that being her age. It's like I was told, just let her piddle around with all the mess and her old bills stacked all over the place. She only wants to stay shut in her house, by herself and has made that very clear.
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You pointed out something that I did not recognize Bobbie. The fact that my mom is suspicious is because she knows she's getting away with stuff. I know that"s why she puts up such a fuss to keep people away, so they won't know how bad things are. There is a driving service (a Senior Bus Service) but perish that thought! She'd never stoop to riding a bus. She needs Meals on Wheels, but same thing, "what would the neighbors think" and thinks he is capable of cooking for herself (NOT!) and she wouldn't dare let anyone see that car drive up and bring food to her door! SIGH! I don't want mother to have an accident or cause one.........that's my fear. Did you know that legally, as her only caregiver, I could get in trouble if anything happened to her! The legal services could charge me with neglect! This was scarey when I read about it. I plan on busting her taillight out and then call the Police and tell them she's not safe to be driving on the road. When they hear she is 92 1/2, that ought to get their attention!
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The fact that she can't remember what day, week, month or year it is means the geriatric doctor is no good. Take her to a neurologist to an examination. She'll flunk.

Before, I did that though, I would get medical and durable POA over her if you don't already have it.

If she needs no assistance in walking or doing tasks, then what are you having to do that makes you feel so trapped?

What are you feeling guilty about?
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I have yet to walk that path Carol but reading what you said has given me such clarity and I do know for a fact that God allows deception at such times to provide help those in need. She is so healthy except mentally but this deteriorates a person rather quickly. I like the way you answered your parents questions. Thank you for your reply and I pray that things will run even smoother for you. : )
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My parents refused help from private caregivers, too, in the beginning. I am their primary caregiver with no real help from family here in town. Knowing I could not do it alone, I told Mom the help was for Dad and vice versa --- of course I felt guilty I was being deceptive but now I realize the priority is safety. Whatever creative reason you can give for care is better than pointing the finger at our folks. At first, it was ok for a caregiver to come in for a couple hours per day once a week and we gradually increased the time until now it's a 40 hour week. It took a couple of years but now they both ask for help from the caregiver when needed and realize they can still be independent but ask for assistance from others from time to time.
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yay. keep us posted!
except for the driving and putting others in danger, she is able to stay in her home and I would imagine that would work. It's the driving that's the rub. Hard on you tho.
She is suspicious because she knows she's getting away with something she shouldn't I bet.
There should be a driver service with the Seniors but I know my mom wouldn't do any of that either. She was 'above' all of that and besides... she had me to run to pieces.
She's gone and I miss her terribly but what damage her dementia did to me is incredible. I am still not right and am suffering from PTSD after almost 6 years of caregiving and all of the insanity that comes with straightening out the life of a hard core hoarder.
Mom had papers and bills stacked up like that too and that was her deal. Every day it was papers papers papers and woe to me if I touched them. I had to because I had to live with her because I wasn't going to rent an apartment to take care of her when there was room in the house. would have been way easier if I had lived here in town but I didn't.
you just might have the best of the game here with her fine so far on her own except for the driving and you just across town. Might work out ok
for awhile!
Can't argue with what makes someone happy and if she is happy screwing around with her papers and not hurting anyone else then whaddya do?
I totally understand how hard it is for you to not know if she is ok on a consistant basis.
My mom called me every name in the book if i said hey, I'm coming home to visit and I didn't understand Dementia and had no idea that she was sick until I showed up with no announcement and saw how she was living. She always came out to see me saying, oh I'll fly out and she would get off the plane with no baggage!!
I just thought she wanted me to take her shopping so I would and we would get some new outfits and undies, etc. had no idea that she couldn't shop for herself anymore. she always used the same travel agent so she got her tickets ok and she used the Shuttle van to get to the airport. She amazed me when i finally figured it all out. I was clueless.
thank God there are more resources now for caregivers and Dementia and AD is in the news so more people know what's what.
I thought I was going to die doing this, no kidding. Still kicking tho....
glad you're here, this place is a life saver and I look forward to the tactic you use to get her off the road.
Cops and DMV should help. I almost had to call them for mom. She got a suspended license after the second accident and her idiot friends got her scheduled to take a test behind my back and I was able to eventually explain to her by 'practicing' for the test that she was not going to be able to pass it and better to cancel than to be embarrassed in front on the panel at DMV. She finally gave up and then all I had to endure after that was her friends calling me every name in the book! lol.
Those old ladies would come over here and I would make tea and serve and wait on them and they still skewered me. My mom was proud of her house when i got it finished and I would still invite those old biddies over so mom could strut around and be the GrandeDame. that part of it I wouldn't change for the world. It made her so happy.
lovbob
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HUGS! Thank you bobbie, calling the cops sounds like the best thing. I would have to be very crafty about busting her taillight. She is so suspicious of everyone and everything and she looks and looks for things that might be or go wrong. It's like she is in a Fort, fighting off the enemies! I know for a fact that she could not pass a written test, she couldn't remember all the instructions. Thanks again Bobbie for the technique to use. I will try this!
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Oh Katy, she sounds just like my mom!!
man oh man oh man.
the fact that she won't listen to any kind of intelligent reasoning tells you she's demented right there. sux.
my mom didn't believe there was anything wrong with her either. thought she was going to live forever and didn't care if she used me all up doing it. Demented.

can you contact the mechanic and let him in on it? If he's not an idiot he may be able to help..... I am continually surprised, though i shouldn't be, at the idiots out there who enable the demented. what to do what to do.....
How about calling the cops and telling them that she's demented and shouldn't be driving but won't give it up? they could pull her over with the broken taillight that you have caused...... and get the ball rolling with a suspension of license until a written test.... hard to find allies because people don't understand the severity of it all... until it's too late.
whaddya think?
lovbob
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I wish I could disable her car (and I do know how) but she still has enough sense to call a mechanic and have them come out and fix it. She's very crafty and is going to fight to the very end! I find this interesting that she can barely hear her phone ring and usually can't understand a person she has never talked to (she hangs up on them because of this) but she can call a service man and really try hard at trying to hear them and make an appointment with them. She was given meds for memory, but she read the side affects and threw the meds in the trash. She was given a mild anti-depressant and read the side affects that teenagers might commit suicide from this, so that went in the trash too. Her reply was, "well I'm not going to take something that makes me commit suicide!" We have just about run out of anything to talk about, because I will not argue with her at all. She does NOT want me to live with her and she said she would NEVER, EVER live with me in my house. I have hit a huge stonewall and don't know what else to do. Thank you so much for responding to me and all of your suggestions are still with me. I'm willing to try any and everything. Thank you so much.
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She's current and good with her medications, checked for strokes, clear on that, great 20/20 visions without glasses and she can draw a clock just fine. She can read, but does not retain it for very long. I have not been able to observe her driving in the last 6 mos. She lives on the opposite side of town and i would have to do a stake out. She would see my vehicle though. It's her memory and sometime delusions she thinks up. She knows her immediate family and close neighbors, just not always the names. She's had some very mild depression all her life, yet she chooses to stay in her house with all the drapes and blinds closed tightly and the lights on dim. She can not operate any remote or digital appliance at all, only the dial type. She is almost deaf and totally refuses to wear any type of hearing aide. Better not talk to her about it or she will go off on you! She's still good with her hygiene and not other physical problems. She doesn't sleep well at all. She gets around without any assistance from any walker of cane very well. It's mainly her memory that is so bad. She balks at doctor appointments and if she doesn't like what they tell her, she will get her purse and walk out on them! She does NOT want to socialize with anyone at all and does NOT want any type of visitors. She can't remember what someone said or did from 5 minutes to a day. She has notes ALL over the place and her furniture is stacked high with newspaper ads and old bills. She moves them from one place to another and this is her daily routine. SIGH! She does NOT want anyone messing with her stuff!!! She is nice for maybe one day out of 2 weeks and then very tacky the rest of the time. She has a psychological appointment in a month (it will be for 6 hours) but my hunch is she will not go after she reads all the paperwork and questions they ask her. She WILL NOT take any medication that suggests a bad side affect. She absolutely refuses to take it. Do I have to wait until I find her dead someday? It's so totally frustrating and I am the only one that she will allow to be around her, except for my long distance brother who comes in once a month to try and help. He lives 4 hours away and has a recuperating wife with breast cancer. I feel like giving up. She won't go to a home and she is also afraid of that. She is happy in her own house. I don't know what else to do except wait for the inevitable.
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hey there katydid,
You are a good daughter to step up for your mom.
These folks are right! No more driving and it's not up for discussion with your mom. Disable the car if you have to but keep her from getting behind the wheel. She will kill someone and it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.
Her Doctor is not up to speed with Dementia just like my mom's Dr wasn't. Mom ended up with 2 accidents and the second one she almost killed herself and thank God no one else was hurt. That was when I intervened by quitting the job of my life and moving across the country to care for her. BTW, I would not do that again... I would figure out another way rather than lose my job and life. that being said....
I can totally relate to the trapped feeling and you are here amongst friends so vent vent vent to keep yourself sane.

the demented are experts at masking their condition and when it's your mom she has a hard core psych advantage over you that you have to shake off. I did it and believe me, you have ALL of my empathy because I know exactly how hard it is.

If you don't want to hear her gripe about the car, simply disable it when she's not looking. Go out and get groceries for the week and whatever you're going to need and get the car out of the picture even if you park it around the corner and tell her it's at the garage getting fixed. This is the most serious part of dementia and if you google dementia related car accidents you will be appalled.
not fair to put others in danger.

another caregiver here mentioned the clock test and that is a great way to get a grip on what the situation is. It's a down and dirty fast cognitive test and will tell you how far along she is with the disease. And this is a disease and it is progressive, as in it gets worse. Although Dementia is widespread it is not a part of healthy aging.
I'm not here to scare the sox off of you and we all want you to keep coming back to get the support you need, but the next little while is really going to be tough.
You have to intervene, change her life around to protect the public and yourself and you have to go through things you would rather not.
I am an only child and this was crazy making but I am living proof that you can do this, live through it and pop out on the other side maybe a little bruised, but still able to live and enjoy your life.
The secret, believe it or not, is this website and the caregivers that are here and in various stages of the process. You will find out that you are not alone and you will find that some of us are here all the time so when you reach out and yell, someone will hear you and respond.
this site, and the folks on the Grossed Out thread saved my life and that is why I am still here even after my mom has died to support the new and seasoned caregivers who are adjusting to this life.
ok.... no more mom driving! that's the first and hardest task! don't let anyone tell you different! my mom's 'friends' tried to keep her driving even after that incredible accident and of course I was the bad guy. Too bad, I sucked it up and did not relent. Somewhere I know that there is someone alive today because I didn't listen to my mother or her friends. AND, mom had some good years left with some fun and adventures that she wouldn't have had if she had continued to drive.

Good luck and you can do this! We'll be here to cheer you on!
lovbob
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Agree someting is not right. You can't "pass the tests" if you don't know the year, month, day and date or at least come very close. Has something changed acutely? Medications? Depression? Any suggestion of a recent, subtle stroke - e.g. decreased vision to one side. Ask her to draw a clock, it may be very distorted if she has. How about reading? Have you observed her driving directly?
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Katydid, I know its hard, but if she dosnt know what day it is she shouldn't be driving. This is a big deal many cargivers go through. They are physicaly able but not mentaly to drive. My uncle was physicaly able to drive, his wife thought as long as she could give him directions it would be fine. Very shortly they had an accident, he was never the same. Please encourage her to give it up. I understand when they seem fine to the dr. But you see them day in day out and KNOW somthings not right. I'm going through the same thing. I'm lucky mine has never drove. Hang in there. Mine still can figure out what day it is.
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Katy, It sounds like she has more than mild cognitive impairment. Did you tell the doctor that her personality has changed and she doesn't know what month it is? She needs to be reassessed by someone else. Her personality change could be problems with the front of her brain. There are many forms of dementia that cause that. I don't know that you can get her to accept outside help unless you are firm with her or you get a new evaluation and you become her POA. Good Luck. PS. The elderly are good at faking 'normal' at doctor visits.
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I agree she does not need to be driving
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Her Geriatric doctor does not say she has Dementia. She's been tested and passes their tests. Her personality is not at all like she used to be though. I think she has MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment).
She can't remember what day, week, month or year it is.
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Whoa, if she has dementia she shouldn't be driving! Talk to her doctor. Have you read the articles on this site that deal with dementia and AD? They are helpful.
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