Where can I find inexpensive early evening help/companionship for my elderly mother who has dementia?

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Mother, age 76 with early-mid dementia made worse by wine. Behavior goes from depression (weepy, sad) to semi-violent agression (shouting, yelling, cursing, out-of-control). Lots of lies, believes stories she makes up.

She just lost her husband of 40+ years 2 weeks ago - right after the drivers license & keys, followed by loss of financial independence (being controlled by my sister who resides in the same town). Unable to take meds for depression due to drinking. Takes Namenda, was taking Aricet, but will have to stop re/cannot afford both drugs. She has acute migraines, never wants to leave the house (makes up excuses) even though so many people invite her to church, counsel meetings, the Y, to lunch, class meetings, etc. Just stays home, gets drunk and cries or rages. Walks to drug store (approx 1 1/2 mi from her house) through bad territory to get wine - sometimes on a daily basis. Basic health is good...for now, except for the dementia and spiraling effect of the wine. Cannot afford assisted living - looking for inexpensive early evening help for companionship? Comments are appreciated.

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
Hey mothersbane, under your discussion heading go down to "submit your comment". You can type in the nature of your problem there and get a thread started. Hope this helps.
I do that and I get an Invalid Data Error about ">", which I am NOT using! Is it because the message is too long? I cannot even find a "help" tech department.
Thanks for trying to help, but it is just not working.
It worked! Try again. I've seen some pretty long posts on here. Good luck.
Your mother's drinking is certainly a problem. However, don't ignore or downplay the depression, either. Depression is very common among the elderly. She may be trying to mask her symptoms with alcohol. Take a look at our health conditions page on depression -- and keep your eyes out for symptoms. Perhaps if you address the depression, it will help with the wine.

Top Answer
Tread carefully with this. You need to work closely with your mother's doctor (the one who is treating the early-mid dementia) on this. That is the root cause of most of your mom's problems and if not treated properly it will lead to more problems then you can imagine. Depression will be the least of your worries. (There is no cure for some forms of dementia but Aricet has shown promise in halting the deterioration of memory. It worked for my mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's) However, thanks to our Best-in-the-World Health Care System, few doctors have time to follow-up on treatment and are forced to see patients in assembly line fashion. Unless, you take the time to ensure your mom is taking her medications properly and you keep a journal of how different treatments affect her; ensure that she is eating properly, is getting enough physical and mental exercise etc. Unless you accompany mom at each visit to the doctor prepared to discuss your observations and concerns, the doctor will prescribe the same medication as last visit and send you on your merry way. That is all Medicare will pay for. And if you cannot afford the medication he/she prescribes, that is not his/her problem. It is yours. But if you inform him how well X medication worked and underscore that your mom cannot afford it; then he/she will be more disposed to help. He may give you free samples or tell you where to fill the prescription at the lowest price. MY point is YOU have to do the legwork and be prepared to give the doctor information that your mom will not or cannot provide. Trust me. It makes a BIG difference.
Thank you all for your help. My sisters are diligently talking with Mother's doctors and I'm doing most research and calls & such. The doctors have finally listened (as of today) and signed off on the paperwork for her to be re-evaluated in an institution with a hospital setting. She will remain there for two weeks. My stepbrother will be taking her as my sisters are the "enforcers" and are the enemies right now. To her, they stole her keys, her license, her checkbook & credit cards, and most of all, her independence. He just lost his father (Mother's husband of 40+ yrs) and made a promise to him to take care of her, which he is trying so hard to do. He is her favorite at the moment. A neighbor and good friend took her to the store yesterday and she purchased 3 HUGE bottles of wine. The doctor is aware and admits that she needs more care and this is the best way. We'll see. I know that we have to have faith, but she's been intent on destroying her braincells with wine for the past year or so and now it is showing and totally out of hand. Such a sad, sad situation.
Thank you so much for your thoughts and guidance. I've known that depression is bad, and they've been giving her something for it, but she cancels that out with all the wine. If you ask her, she'll swear she only has one glass, even when proven wrong. She'll not accept any criticism of any kind and gets really angry if you even try.
I hope she detoxes while in the hospital and has enough braincells to come back to us for a little while. I miss her so much. I call her on a daily basis and my sisters are there (they administer her morning and evening meds due to medication abuse), but she swears we never call and they never come by.
Not to me, of course. When we talk - everything is okay and she's going to do this and that with her friends...but it never happens. I'm sure this is all classic - it's new to me because I live away and have been in somewhat of a denial about her condition; but my sisters have endured the most - and all of the abuse. I'm there 3 to 4 times a year for about a week each time because it's all the vacation/sick time I can muster...so I'm in good graces (the entertainer, they say), but my sisters are so frustrated. Long distance support is the best I can do, and it is okay for now. But it's not about me or them....it is about her. We're all trying to have faith. Thank you again for your time and invaluable support.

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