How can I help my mother with dementia who has depression?

How can I help my mother? She is 88 yrs. old. She used to be a really sweet lady and down deep is still is. She was a great mother while I was growing up. Now she has dementia. These are her symptoms: she repeats herself all the time, she won't wear decent clothing, she wears dirty clothing, she lives by herself about a mile from me. She sits in her house all the time with the drapes pulled and the lights off. She won't water her lawn, she has ug sprinkling and has disabled it. She has so called caretakers come in every morning. She has turned the ac off and won't use it. The house is hot! She is nasty to the caretakers. She used to wear makeup and took pride in her looks. Now she won't put makeup on. She still goes to the beauty shop but apparently not enough because her hair is not good lately. She has stopped driving and rarely goes anywhere and no one visits because she is so cranky. I visit once a week.
So this is what is going on. I am old as well. She had me at a young age. My husband has dementia as well. His driving was so poor that he drove me in the path of a big truck and I became disabled because of the accident. I had to go to part time work. I just don't have the energy to do much for my beloved mother, nor can I tolerate the stress. I am in constant pain which the doctor says will not be going away.
My sibling is in charge of Mom. She is not doing much for Mom and rarely goes to visit her. She lives in the same town. Mom has plenty of money.
I would like to see Mom open the drapes, put makeup on, listen to music, quit being so cranky, get her hair fixed, wear nice clothes, use the ac and sprinkler. I would like her caretakers to take her to outings. If I suggest this to sib, sib says no. Mom has essentially given up. I just can't help her much. I have a lot on my plate, a job, a husband with dementia, and ailments.
What should I do?

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You have some major issues to deal with. First and foremost you need to take care of your own health. Then you need to care for your husband especially since your sister is the one who is "in charge" of your mom. Dementia is a cruel disease and your mother can really no longer be responsible for what she does or doesn't do. First and foremost, it's not her fault or anyone else's. Blame it on dementia. You indicated that she has caregivers. If the caregivers are not taking care of brightening her life, getting her outside, helping her with water the yard and overall, making her life better...my question is why are they getting paid? Maybe you and your sister can spell out exactly what you want them to do. It is natural for a dementia patient to say no to everything and often will pitch a fit when you change the plan or push something new...but it has to be done for your mother's well being. Do you and your sister have the same agenda regarding your mother? Do you both want the same thing? Do you both want to live in dignity or are you the only the one who wants this. You don't have to physically do for your mother, but you might want to consider taking some action with the caregivers to improve her quality of life. I agree that your mom might benefit from going to an adult daycare facility. Good luck with this. Let me know how this goes.
Your plate is full! I own an adult daycare which is opening August 1st, 2011. I don't know where your located in the country, but it sounds like your mother would benefit from an environment like this. What I have created is a home like environment with the social interaction needed to enhance ones quality of life and also the supervision one needs to be safe. Please let me know if I can provide you any infomation on one in your area.
Your plate is definately overloaded! Has either your Mom or your husband been to a neurologist (brain scan)? For a diagnosis? Have they been medicated, if so meds for anyone with dementia should be given routinely and supervised or there is a risk of not taking them properly which could cause a worsened condition. I would love to help! I'm here mainly to help people in the careing position and confusion you are facing but one step at a time. Once stabalized with medication a routine can be easier to figure out.
Husband has been to a neurologist and was taking acricept but stopped taking it bc of the cost. Mom has not been, just her primary doc sees her. Sib says no to a neurologist. Mom only takes her blood pressure meds. The caretakers see to that. Sib says no to any other meds for Mom.
Sib says no to everything that I suggest.
Ok I can help with clearer picture now. Once someone has taken aricept is not a good idea to stop. I have a basic idea of what it does to the brain function and chemicals. It works well if taken properly but the abrupt discontinuance causes greater malfunction. A downhill spiral even faster than before (chemicals go haywire) I am no expert on the matter but my Mom was diting her pills and it screwed her all up (she's like houdini). I know there is a generic of Aricept now and if you can use resourses or ask the DR for info on how to get them cheaper he might help you. Namenda is usually used in conjuction with Aricept for dementia. If money is an issue and income is low you may get aide for meds somehow. It makes a world of difference for my Mom. As for your Mom if your sibling is letting your Mom live in a bad condition than that is elder abuse and should not be ignored Senior services should be notified. She sounds mentally unstable to me if she is in harms way, even left unshowered that's abuse. Does anyone have POA?
savinggrace this is great My Mother in NH is always best during the busy entertaining times during her day. Although she was always on the go and loves partys and music. Unfortunately change of scenery at this point is very confusing to her. For someone in early stages will benefit a great deal from this.
Mom showers everyday and her house is clean. They clean her clothes, she just won't wear them, she digs into the drawers/closet until she finds something off. As for the adult daycare, I am sure that won't work for 3 reasons, sib won't allow it, Mom wouldn't go and we live in the sticks where there are very few services. We are hundreds of miles from any large population area. savinggraceadc you are probably thousands of miles from us.
Brandy, I'm wondering how our sister became the one that calls the shots with your mom if both of you live close? Is it because you relinquished that to her because of all the things you're dealing with at home? Or was there never an agreement and she just took over? My mother-in-law has dementia and now the doctor is saying that she is officially in the Alzheimer's end of it and constantly repeats herself. BUT that's the only similarities she has to your mom apparently. Like you first stated, keeping the blinds closed, becoming a recluse basically is more depression then dementia in my opinion. She needs to be seen by a doctor for this and the doctor can recommend that she not live alone anymore so you can move her into an adult foster care, nursing home, asst living whatever. Is there anyone else beside you two sisters in the family that can intervene? How about an older person closer to your mom's age that can go see your mom and then be willing to talk to your sister? I know you said you don't want the stress of this, but it seems to be you already ARE stressed out about it so you may as well bite the bullet and jump into the fray. Once your mom is being taken care of properly then you can go back to be less stressed. What do you think?
Sib has always been the one to make the decisions, starting when she was 2 weeks old. She is in charge and she will not give up the control. She would definitely not let someone else take control. And yes it was bc I have so much to deal with and Mom will only listen to her. She is quite a bit younger than me. Mom does have the agency people coming in about 20 hours a week. But it seems to me they don't do much except watch tv. Thank you for the your kind words.

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