My Mom has beginning to middle stage dementia. At times she seems so much like herself. She still takes care of her own needs, I take her shopping and she goes off and we meet back. She will buy some things every week. I check her buggy and tell her we have 6-7 of those. She will reply well they're on sale. She insists on doing her own finances which she handles well MOST of the time. She will not ask for help and has gotten very secretive. I have always know her finances. She only asks for help once she has created a mess. I hear the same stories sometimes 3-4 times a day. How do you continue to act like you have never heard it. How do I reason with her? Since she was just told of the dementia a few months ago she has just ignored it. I have read up on ANOSOGNOSIA. I just don't know how to handle situations that happen over and over. She will tell me I can handle my own affairs. Family and friends don't see as much as I do. They only hear the same stories over and over. They don't seem to think it is so bad but they don't live with her. About a quarter of my day is spent explaining or fixing things for her. Any help will be much appreciated.

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Is there any reason why my husband and I can't refuse POA or any other formal responsibility for my mom? My own memory is getting pretty shaky (unable to find words, follow up on paperwork, etc.), so I'm really not able to cope with her finances, or medical paperwork, tho I've been trying.... and then she sabotages it by throwing away the replies. Hubby works in another state and many hours, so I can't ask him; he is already doing all of our stuff - except I'm paying our regular bills by calling and using a credit card - much easier, and we get points! Mom has a social worker, but he says he doesn't do these things. She doesn't have money, so no real nightmares, I guess, but Medicaid refused her for a little over the cap (common story, I hear), but said to reapply if she goes into a facility. I am trying to help her with her Visa, which keeps slapping charges on her for late payments, but can't get that figured out, nor the exhorbitant (I think) bills for doctor's visits for the last several years - she just told me about. Any suggestions? I'm trying to help, but it's not working; don't want her to just crash and burn.... Guess this should have been posted as a question, but the talk about POAs reminded me.

I want to respond to Shell's mention of POAs.

The POA paperwork should be held by the person who has been assigned. You are going to need the originals not the person who assigned you. I have both my Moms and my nephews.

Your situation sounds much like ours for the last 8 years. My husband's mother began showing signs of dementia while she was still living alone. She had been on her own for about 12 years prior due to the death of her husband. She managed very well and was healthy until about 88 years. Then, she began to become more and more repetitive in her stories, had trouble keeping track of finances, driving issues, etc.

Fortunately, she had all the proper legal documents in place for my husband to be POA. We have since taken over more and more care, and now she lives with us 24/7.

Even though, she no longer knows the day of the week, she refuses to see that she has dementia. I have resigned myself to the fact that she truly can't see it. However, it is an extremely trying situation.

Dementia is progressive and will only get worse. You need to have proper legal documents in place to be able to care for your mom. If she is still competent, get to an attorney now and sign the papers. If she has passed this point, it can still be done but will be more complicated. Also, you should contact Social Security to become the designated custodian for her benefits. There are forms to be filled out by you and also others who vouch for your ability to take charge of these funds. A POA is not recognized by SS for this purpose. We were told this step is necessary because once your mom is unable to speak for herself, SS will not talk with you if there is a problem with her account.

Best of luck to you on this journey.

Thank you Shell38314. I think in the beginning it is hard to learn what to do/say. I have told her I will help her with whatever she needs. She only asks for help when she has made a mess of things. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what she has done. As time goes on I have figured somethings out. It's funny we have many things in common. She makes her breakfast every morning, eats the same thing and makes the same mess. I come along and clean it up. She was always very particular on her house keeping. I wonder does she not care or knows I will come clean it? As I said she is in the beginning stages so it's hard to know. Countrymouse, I pay almost all of the bills. She pays the power bill and so far stays on top of it. I try to keep an eye on it. Her new thing is shopping on line. I do have a POA but not for finances. She is very protective of her money. Always has been. She really has no professional care plan. As I said she thinks she fine so it's hard to get her to agree to any care plans. Her primary care Dr. is the one that evaluated her. She was very upset but has now kinda just brushed it aside and just says she's forgetful. She has a reason why everything that is done wrong. I signed up for 2 classes and missed both. One was cancelled until Dec due to Hurricane Florence, The other Mom schedule a doctor appt. I will have to lie as to where I am going as she would have a fit. She really gets mad if someone calls me her care giver. She see's a care giver as someone that has to dress her, bath her and feed her. She gave up her driving all on her own. I think she may have known she wasn't on top of her game. What a blessing that was. She has always done email and has a laptop. I cannot imagine what she tells everyone. She emails about 6 people every morning. I really can't talk with any family members about her. They think I am complaining. So, I really like this site. At least now I feel I can vent. Thank you all for your advice. God bless you all.

As CM stated you can not reason with dementia.

I live with my mother as well. Like your mom my mother insist that she could handle her finances. She started to become secretive as well. Things would come up broken and she didn't do it (her words). But it had to be her. My mother makes a mess of things and I clean it up!
My mother has POA's but has hide them so I couldn't help her manage her finances.
But this is what I did: First, because we split most of the bills, I started having her give me her half of the bill money. I simply told her "mom it is easier for me to pay the bills because I am out running errands anyways. This took a few months, but she came around. I sold her the idea that this would take the burden off of her. That I wanted to help.
Secondly, I went online and looked up the taxes to see if she was paying on them. She made a few payments but still owed a good amount on them. I told her she hasn't been paying her taxes and owes for xx yrs. She wanted to argue about it, I pulled the records up and showed them to her. She started to cry (which sometimes she uses as the whole victim game she plays, and sometimes she crys for whatever is going on) I told her that we can figure it out together, which I did. I had her give me what she could and I paid the rest. She doesn't know it because she forgot about the full amount or that there were unpaid taxes. I'm not sure which it is. Doesn't really matter. With the house insurance I just opened up the bill and seen she was making payments. So, I just let her handle it, keeping my eye on it. This year she came to me and asked me "if she gave me some money for the house insurance if I would pay the rest and write the ck"? My mother is very controlling. But in time and in her owe way she has past things on to me. This forum tought me that I can't control every thing at every moment. That I had to learn to back off, but stay aware of what is going on. People with dementia are very unpredictable. I am a structure person, but with this disease I had to learn sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

My mother tells me the same stories over and over as well. I was a bartender for years. For whatever reason people tell their problems to bartenders. I don't know why, but I learned how to keep up with a conversation without really being involved in it. Basically saying phases like, oh really, you don't say, wow that was crappy, etc, now I do that to her. If she repeats herself I go back into bartender mode, unfortunately, this takes practice because you have to learn when to be keen when something is important comes up to not just say, "oh really, or wow I didn't know that". I guess, you can say I know when to tune her out and when not to.

I have given up on people seeing my mother the way she is vs the way she was. I read somewhere on this forum that it is called "showtime". My mother acts oneway in public but a whole another way in the home. I just stop wasting my time and energy on trying to get people to see it. In time the dementia will take over and prehaps then they will see it.

I guess, now it just doesn't matter anymore! I do what I can good or bad. All I can do is the best I know how, and leave the rest in God's hands. Which some days are easier than others.

May God guide you and give you wisdom in your time of need in Jesus' name. Amen

"How do I reason with her." Ouch. You can't. There is no reasoning with dementia.

I think you'll find Teepa Snow's advice very helpful. Also check out for resources.

Do you have power of attorney for your mother?
As you're living in the same house, are you able to take charge of the really important bills like utilities and taxes?
What kind of professional support or input do you have with your mother's care plan? - the reason I ask is, I'm sure you're aware that your mother's care is likely to become more challenging as time goes on, and it's no bad thing to check out your options in advance.

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