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Yesterday I went with my mom to get the results of her neuro-psych evaluation. I have to say, I was amazed by the skill of the doctor in the way he explained things to my mom, listened to her input and yet kept control of the conversation when it was clear she was trying to justify some of her poor responses and basically bullsh*t her way through. And the test itself was amazing. It's obvious this test was put together by experts and people can not fool them.


Sadly my mom did poor (at the low end of the bell curve) on every category. The doctor explained what each one meant, and while my mom got a little defensive at times, she also seemed to take it in stride somewhat. Put it this way, she wasn't shocked or devastated which was a HUGE worry of mine going in. In fact in the area of "emotional intelligence" the doctor explained her low score and asked her about her prior socialization and how she is now. My mom readily admitted she has no friends here and only spends time with me and my husband. When the doctor prodded about that and pointed out contradictions in her excuses as to why she was unapologetic. She then stated very matter of fact that if she wanted to meet new people she would, but she doesn't want to because "I like my old friends, I don't like to be around new people". Alrighty then. Sigh.


He discussed safety concerns, and the importance of having measures in place, explaining why they were needed based on her scores. Poor executive functioning, slow processing, etc.... I sat there stunned at my mom's ability to bullsh*t and how this doctor kept pointing out the bullsh*t to her with facts and her own contradictions. It made me realize how she's been able to hide this for so long, why I was so blindsided after she got here, and that NO I was not going crazy when I started seeing things.


He really hammered on the fact that she should not be driving. She fought that big time saying "I will know when I can't drive and I will hand over my keys". Not good enough. The doctor explained while she still has good "motor memory" which is something like auto-pilot something like a detour or unexpected encounter could be dangerous. He flat out said he would not get in a car with her. I said the same. She still persisted, but then he informed her he would be recommending that she re-take her drivers test. So.... that will be coming.


He also brought up the DPOA. At first she said something about "I don't like people getting into my money". A little discussion and me pleading that I too want that in place she finally did say to me- Honey I'll do whatever you want me to do. That was a shocker!


We left and my mom was not in bad spirits. I was feeling a bit like a wet noodle. But we had some nice light conversation coming home and I went to her place for awhile. While there she went and checked a folder, and get this- she already did the DPOA and I am named on it. My sister is next in line if I am unable. She did that at the same time she made me her medical surrogate but never told anyone. So, thankfully that is already in place and my worries about it were a waste of time and energy.


Long talk with my sister last eve, and how to keep her safe at her cottage. My mom is really looking forward to going and I feel pretty confident enough people will be there for many frequent check ins. I still know it will be the last year and likely only a month or two.


My brother called this morning to see how it went, and of course his first question was about the DPOA. I calmly gave him the update including DPOA is already done and I'm on it. Didn't make a single request of him although he offered that he would stay in touch with all her neighbors. I kept it short and civil after his horrible call the other day.


The saga continues. Thanks to all who have listened and have given advice. It's very much appreciated.

Maybe the doctor made Mom feel better about what she has been experiencing. I would get those copies of the POAs. You are going to need them.
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Just an FYI in light of the mention of kidney issues...dad was (unbeknownst to me) taking Advil whenever he felt like it which was more often than not and it messed with his kidneys to the point of an "official" diagnosis (because they love to exploit every hangnail at the clinic) to kidney disease or failure of a certain level. He's fine and every 6 mos when they do lab work the figure gets better since he stopped taking it. In our area there is a program that I believe is national but the name is escaping me where someone will assess driving skills at home. Call an office on aging and they may know the name of it. It was started by an Ohio retired highway patrol guy. Your hubby may be able to discreetly disable the car by pulling a wire, and I read another hint about filing down the car key...This will, eventually pass.
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Oh no, so sorry your relief was short lived. That's how dementia is. You think things are better and then bam. I hate to be negative, but, it will likely be pretty rough as long as she is able to resist care. She may be better some days, but not others. Months or years may pass before they don't seem interested in certain things like driving, shopping alone, making unsound financial decisions, refusing medication, etc.

I would try to get the original documents in a safe place for sure. Some places require the original. Some places require that they be filed with court or county deeds office when you get ready to use them. An attorney can guide you. I'm no expert, but, relying on the attorney's office to provide you with a copy if you need it is risky, because, you are not the client and they may refuse, unless client consents. You may need your own attorney to help advise you on matters if she is resistant.

I'd practice how you handle her getting angry. It'll probably happen, but, if it means that her life is saved and the public is made safe, then, she'll have to be prevented from driving. Some families have a huge issue with this. They try different things to see what works. Can you make sure she knows that someone else will be made available to take her wherever she needs to go? I lucked up in that my LO got really scared one day when she forgot how to open the car door to get out! Her neighbor had to help her. After that, she handed me the keys and said the car is broken. Get rid of it. But, not everyone has it that easy.
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Thanks to everyone who responded. Unfortunately my thinking that my mom was mostly taking this in stride evaporated yesterday. She was angry and defensive all day. She has an appointment with her primary care doctor tomorrow and I was/am planning to go with her. Her recent blood work is showing some kidney issues and I want to make sure I know what is going on. She told me this is the last appointment I'm going to "because I'm sick of it!!!" I asked her sick of what? And she said Would you want someone sitting in on all your appointments getting all up in your business??? I said Mom I need to know your general health in case something happens.

I knew she was talking nonsense and managed to eventually calm her down mostly using distraction, but this is so exhausting. I don't WANT to go to ANY appointments! It's now clear she is angry that I know how bad her neuro-psych eval went and I really don't know what to do about it. She is absolutely furious about the driving. She was yelling telling me the doctor was wrong and she can still drive. I reminded her the DMV will need to retest her because he is making that recommendation and she blew up AT ME. I just calmly said- so just take the test and when you pass it the issue is resolved. That was a lie, but I didn't know what else to say at the time. I don't think she will pass.

Oh well, at least I had like half a day of thinking things were going pretty smooth all things considered. I was wrong, she isn't taking this well at all.

How have others handled the driving issue? My husband said as soon as her license is revoked he will take her keys..... but this anger is really hard for me to deal with and I fear it will get much worse.
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I'm so glad it went well for you! WE must keep the faith and remember sometimes things work out in spite of our knowledge and concerns. Mom did not balk and got along with the introductory visit of the aide today. Friday who knows, but today it was okay!
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👍
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Wonderful news! A good neurologist is worth her/his weight in gold.
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I am so happy for you!
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I am so glad the neuro-psych testing was productive and that the meeting with the doctor went as well as it could. Similar to yours, our doctor was very very good with the conversation after the testing. What excellent validation for you and what you've seen and dealt with.

And what a relief to have the DPOA in hand. When it was time for me to "spring" the DPOA, the neuro-psych doctor wrote a letter saying that Mom needed it.

If your Mom is like mine she will likely forget about the testing and the conversation, or at least any details.

Have you taken away the car keys?
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Thank you Sunny.

The DPOA was properly signed and notarized. She had it done at a lawyer's office in her old town along with the Medical POA.

I made a copy and gave her back the original. I know where the folder is where she keeps it, so I could switch them. I didn't think that I would need the original?.... that might be a good thing for me to do while she's away. I don't want to fuss with her about it right now. She's feeling a bit guarded about privacy matters right now - a bit defensive - so I don't want to push it. The DPOA isn't needed yet.

Also, if you know, since a lawyer drew up the documents, wouldn't they also have a record in case anyone called a copy into question? Just curious.
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Well, it sounds like it was a positive thing. I'm so glad that you both now have some resolution about it. And, that your mother didn't react as negatively as you had expected.

It's also great that she has signed the DPOA and Healthcare POA. Did you happen to notice if they were properly signed and notarized? I'd try to get them in my possession, because, she could misplace them and later, you might not be able to get new ones signed. Maybe, replace hers with copies, so you have the original, which is crucial.
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