My mother is having early dementia and we had to push dad to get her help. It is very hard to get info out of them - how do we?


We talked to my Dad, not my Mom. She is too embarrassed. He finally told her we know, but she still won't talk about it. She doesn't have ALZ, but is on 2 ALZ meds and B12 injections. We don't know dosages, and that is bad. They got in a horrific car accident last year and in the emergency room, Mom did not tell the nurse she was on Aricept - I had to go back in and tell the nurse. My Dad was injured very badly with fractured pelvis and my brother and I had to care for them for 3 weeks. Most of the time was trying to stop my mom from trying to do things she shouldn't (like carry heavy recycling out the night of the accident / using a chair as a step ladder, etc). She has fallen and broken her arm and her foot. she refuses to act her age, which is great mentally, but damaging physically.

Sorry for ranting, but it is so hard to pry information out of them and her kids really need to know, in case, god forbid, something worse happens to my Dad and he isn't there to care for her.

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Thanks to all who offered advice. I think the hardest thing for my mom, and well, all of us, is she watched her sister lose her husband to ALZ - to the point that she had to put him in a full-time care facility.

Last night, my parents gave my older brother power of attorney (should they become incapacitated), their wills, trust, etc. That was a big step for both of them. The B12 shots seem to help a lot too. She is still struggling, but will joke about it now with us, which is an acknowledgment she didn't / wouldn't do before.

She has to take meds with dinner, and now we joke together "med time" and I get out my asthma pills so she is not the only one having to "remember" to take her meds.

This year they celebrated their 50yr anniversary, and we are having a family reunion at the end of June in Maine (we rented a big house) and then they are off on a cruise to Turkey. They have always been avid travelers, but I think this year is their last "horah" and we will make it the best for them.

On a side note, I moved back to FL about 1 1/2 yrs ago to help my brother and spend time with my parents while I have them in my life and I am so blessed to have been able to do so. I ended up working in marketing at a power wheelchair company, and through that had to research caregiver sites, seniors, etc. and was so much more prepared when the accident happened.

Fate, or faith, or blind luck - I'll take it anyway I can.
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I had a conversation w/my Mom & told her I wasn't able to do some of the things I could do when I was younger & give her examples. From this, I explain to her that I don't want to get hurt myself, so when I ask her to allow others to do things for her, I am only requesting this for I don't want her hurt. Also, you can point out, if she gets hurt, where will her husband be w/out her? From that stand point, you may also be able to get info from your Dad to help both of them down the road.
My Mom was on Namenda, then it stopped working. She won't take all her other pills, so I find ways to gradually get them in her. The things that have surprisingly got her dementia to LESSEN( yes, believe it or not!) are fluids, vitamins & walking &/or light exercises. I get bread that has lots of nutrients listed & give her diabetic boost "milkshakes", she's not diabetic, but, the nutrients are more & the sugar is less. I also take her out for ice cream & then stop by Walmart to get something & have her walk with a carriage. I don't tell her I need to go to Walmart ahead of time, for I don't want her balking about going there. If she wants to stay in the car, well, there's the "white lie"......."it's illegal to leave people alone in the car"........if your father's w/you too, then it can be "you can't leave elderly people past a certain age unattended in a vehicle". I also have my Mom playing cards & going to the senior center now. This has done an INCREDIBLE thing for her, as she has to use her brain. This particular sr ctr will allow me to leave my Mom there for either the morn or afternoon & they will help her participate in activities. One thing I want to get for the house is the wii bowling.......getting up & down off the chair is exercise in itself for them. I also don't hide the dementia w/my Mom. I ask her does she know she has dementia & she acknowledges it. This helps me to help her & also review thing's w/her that she may forget or get wrong. Good luck & hope some of this helps.
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My mother-in-law was just diagnosed with early Alzheimers. For the last 2 years since her husband died, she's had a terrible memory. It seems like the shock of losing him threw her headlong into it. At first it was 'dementia' and the Dr. put her on Aricept but that caused diarrhea so she's on Namenda. She has no clue when we mention Alz to her, she only knows her memory is in the crapper these days. The word itself means nothing to my mil, so I just don't mention it. Why bother? I don't have any magic for you, but maybe it's time for a family meeting. The trick is to NOT get your mom defensive about her condition so she'll have to deny it. Make it sound like no big deal, cause actually if she does have Alzheimer's, no one knows how long between stages right? From what I know about it, people can hover at one stage for a pretty long time, so don't borrow trouble by painting a bleak picture of her possible future. BUT you stress how everyone gets old and someday you'll be facing your own old age problems too. It's just a fact of life, and you yourself are going to have to think about the future one day, but right now she and your dad are there first. It's like needing reading glasses, hear aids, walkers, insulin etc. it's getting old and being prepared as much as you can. I'd take the emotion out of it
(if possible) and come up with a plan for both of them, with their input, as to what they'll need and what they want. You want them to be as independent as possible still, but also be safe. You all want the same thing, so get the family on the same page.
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