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My step sister in law (who has not been involved with my mother's care) ever, has decided that my mother has a UTI instead of Alzheimer's. My step father thinks mom is doing well and is only concerned with his arthritis of the knees. He does nothing to pick up her meds, keeps her awake all night and has her change his clothes for him. She has lost from 135 lbs to 104 lbs and still uses her to help him. She has had cancer twice in her life and heart issues. Prior to her "symptoms", she had not been to see a Dr in 3-1/2 years although he goes to Drs all the time. When I asked him why he did not make sure he took her to her Drs he said "she's a big girl". We did not know she wasn't seeing her Drs because she told us she was. Since she moved within 4 hours of me I have been taking her to the Drs she needs to see. She was recently diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer's. Now my step sister in law wants her and my step father to go see her doctor because she is "fine". I don't agree. She still does not know that she moved from Orlando to Atlanta area, she still thinks she is going home, and she thinks the president is Bush and this is '02. My SSIL is a hairdresser and has talked to her "clients". She told me on the phone the other day that that she "knows everything there is to know about Alzheimer's". I told her well that's good because not all Drs know everything about it". She said she called that neurologist and WILL be going to mom's next appointment with me, my mother and my stepfather. She said that my stepfather doesn't think she has it either. My thing is that since she has not cared or done anything for mom, can I tell her I will take my stepfather and she can stay home that day? She wants to go on the premise that my stepdad needs help getting out of a chair. With the Drs and nurses there, can't they help him? I'm frustrated with her and her controlling ways.

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You need to talk to the doctors office and let them know that you are managing your mom’s care, that you have scheduled her appointments within your schedule and would appreciate them working with you. If you get push back then you may have to move your mom to another doctor from SD. Don’t put off getting your mom’s DPOA for medical and financial.
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97yearoldmom- thank you about the meds comment. I hadn't thought about her meds. Countrymouse- up until the last couple of weeks we have all gotten on well. We live 4 hours from them. They talked mom and sd into moving from Fla to Ga to be near them. They are in AL and I go over every two weeks to make sure mom gets to her drs. She has cancelled mom's appts with her primary care and put my sd in that appt instead.
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Never mind the "if you've met one person with dementia you've met one person with dementia" point, no matter how valid it might be - SSIL hasn't even met that one person with dementia! She's been a caregiver to a lupus patient and to a cancer patient. And although that does give her experience points in some ways, the fact that her diagnosis of Mother is "brat" does kind of give the game away... hairdresser lady hasn't got the first clue about dementia.

So nuts to her.

More happily, or it will be, she has also made herself very plain - not to say downright unattractive - on her attitude to involvement in mother's care. She doesn't want any. Good!

Trust me, SILs who a) think they know everything and then b) MEDDLE are a flaming menace. Count your blessings that yours is aiming to opt out.

So her "involvement" is limited to protecting her father, by which she means demonstrating that your poor mother is just as horrible as SSIL has always believed her to be.

This is going to be ticklish. How have you and your side of the family historically got on with your stepdad, apart from when SSIL is involved I mean?
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Wanted to mention that if you tell a hospital intake or ER that mom is on a dementia Med , Aricept (for instance) they will report her as Alzheimer’s. Or at least they did that to my aunt and it’s stuck.
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A person with Alzheimer's can get a UTI.
A person without Alzheimer's can get a UTI.

What I am trying to say is, it is NOT either/or. 
Misinformation coming from your S-Sil should be banned. imo.

M i s i n f o r m a t i o n. is a pet peeve of mine. Life is hard enough without having to wade through all the BS.
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An Alzheimer's caregiving quote:

"If you have met one person with Alzheimer's, you have still only met one person with Alzheimer's".

Tell S-Sil to shove off, back off.
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Dsigno,
There is a husband/wife relationhip. That includes financials.

If/when that starts to unravel, the whole relationship changes. Both medical AND financial.

When S-Sil said she will take care of Dad, and you take care of Mom's medical, she did not factor in your involvement in the whole picture. Maybe she is trying to take back control. Because, knowledge is power. She is an enemy to your mother. Look at who has the financial control, imo.

Your Mother needs only one caring medical POA.

Maybe I am wrong, I wouldn't mind being wrong. I hate to see a marriage unravel because the adult children enter in and divide loyalties to protect their inheritance.

Sorry you are facing this and I hope you can protect Mom's health in spite of what others say.
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Dsigno, this is a great place to be for anyone involved with any level of caregiving. The early years are especially hard as there is no education to be a family caregiver. There are many here with many years experience that are happy to help by sharing their knowledge. Keep coming back.
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TY gladimhere. I'm also glad I'm here!
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If she understands the POA purpose it can still be assigned. That is for the attorney that prepares the documents to determine. Heck they probably have a POA form in the doctor's office that would be legal in her state. Then doc could determine if mom is able to sign.
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I feel ignorant here, but how do I go about a POA? I was under the impression that once she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's that she was incompetent to sign one. Sorry, new to this.
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Sounds like you had best get POA's in place, or are they? For now mom is competent to make her own decisions. What does she want, who does she want there, for this doc appointment?
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Countrymouse, she is my step brothers wife (he is the youngest in our family) and since she took care of her mother with lupus and her father with cancer, she is now an authority on caretaking (her words, not mine). She has also told us that SHE will take care of my stepfather and that WE should take care of my mom. I'm bitter, yes but she has never liked my mom and my mom doesn't like her. I'm not sure why she all of a sudden has to get involved when neither her or my stepbrother has not cared. What could be driving this all of a sudden?
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I should have mentioned, my mother has been in the hospital 2 times since Jan 1st. Both times they have checked her for UTI. They also mentioned in her records that she has dementia. I don't know if they are just using the neurologists diagnosis or came up with it on there own. I guess my concern is that my S-SIL has been "talking" to her clients and has self diagnosed my mom and is trying to prove the neurologist wrong. My husband says this is out of my control and that I am upset about this because I want to be in control. I just don't want her to be taken off her meds because she has determined my mom is "fine" as she says and that she is being a "brat" (as she has told me quite often).
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The OP's mother is now seeing doctors at need; that's very good progress. I would expect any doctor considering a diagnosis of moderate Alzheimers to exclude uti's, among other possible causes of the relevant symptoms.

This step sister-in-law - sorry, I'm finding that title a bit confusing. Is this your stepfather's daughter-in-law? Your step-brother's wife? I'm just trying to gauge the approximate age and proximity of the person.

Well.

Your stepfather is your mother's next of kin.

If, as part of the dementia diagnosis, your mother is not considered capable of making medical decisions, then ironically enough the man who doesn't think she has Alzheimer's disease... you see where this is going... as her next of kin, assuming your mother has not appointed a different health proxy, he will be in charge of deciding who attends appointments, for example. And if he wants his ?DIL there, she can come. And if he doesn't, she can't.

But, okay, so let's untangle that; because he can't have it both ways. He doesn't think your mother has dementia? Fine - then it's your mother who's in charge, and I'm sure you can persuade her that she only wants two people with her, her husband for moral support and you to take notes and ask intelligent questions.

If you don't include the husband, by the way, you can be absolutely certain that Ms Scissorhands will start rumour-mongering about how you're sneaking around trying to undermine the marriage. So take him. Just make sure the doctors explain everything to him Slowly and Clearly.

The big temptation is to tell meddling SSIL to eff off. Tempting, but don't. Thank her for her concern and tell her you will value her input once the diagnostic picture is clearer. Thank her again for the recommendation, and say you will bear it in mind for future reference.

And if time wears on and she's not getting the hint or things get worse, then tell her to eff off.

Is she married to someone with more significant family status, by the way?
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Just a couple of thoughts. It’s doubtful your S-SIL will be that much of a bother as she hasn’t been involved. If she now gets involved, perhaps she will learn a few things.
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Dsigno, an Urinary Tract Infection can, if fact, mimic symptoms of Alziehmer's.

From what you wrote, does sound like Mom has some type of memory problems, don't know if the UTI is causing it or manifesting it. It is worth having checked out.

My own Dad was clueless about my Mom's health, what surgeries she had, or even what pills she was taking. On the other side of the coin, Mom knew about every health issue and surgery Dad had, what pills he was taking, dosage and when he should be taking them. She could rattle off the dates when Dad had his flu shots. To her, that was the wife's "job", which was typical of her generation [my folks lived into their 90's].
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