My aunt is getting in the way of care/diagnosis for my elderly mother with possible dementia. What can I do?

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My siblings and I all agree that my elderly Mother is showing signs of dementia. We have been trying to get her into a Doctor to be diagnosed. Our Aunt who lives 9 hours away keeps trying to micro manage the situation. She feeds into my Mother's paranoia and has created an "Us vs. Them" situation. She also helped my Mother cancel the appointments that my Mothers Doctor made for her with a well-respected Neurology group. I don't know what to do! This Aunt is making this so much harder on my siblings and I. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Don't tell your mother and your aunt will not find out. Come up with a reason to leave the house that day and tell a therapeutic fib about remembering her appointment suddenly.
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LRubery, make another appointment but don't tell Mom when it is. Make up some excuse, tell her you are taking her shopping so be ready to go.... then pop into the doctor's office... make it sound like you had forgotten until just then. Some times we need to use "therapeutic fibs" to get an elder to do something that is important.

Your Mom's sister is probably in a panic thinking if her sister has dementia, then that means maybe she will get it, too, which is not always the case. My Mom was like that about her sister who had died in her 50's from cancer, my Mom obsessed over that even in her 90's, never thinking that none of her other sisters came down with that type of cancer.
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So, here's the thing. Will mom go to lunch/breakfast whatever?

Something that gets her out of the house? Where sis can say, mom I have to make a stop here to pick up some paperwork?

Make sure that you send the office a bullet pointed list of your concerns before the appointment. Sis shoukd take a copy of it with her. Emphasize that mom is not recognizing her deficits.

I wouldn't expect much out of this first appointmnent.

Most neurologists will so a mini mental status exam ( what day is today, who is the president, etc) and have patient draw a clock with hands pointing to a certain time.

You might get a recommendation for further testing, Mri, etc. Which mom might refuse.

If this appointme t doesn't work out, you simply wait for her to fall (that's sounds awful, I know).

When she falls, you call 911. You let the hospital admit her ( don't let them "hold for observation"). Admission is key.

Then you get a full work up at the hospital and perhaps rehab.
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Geez, I think I'd put mom on a plane to aunt's home.

Will aunt come for a visit?
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LR, I'm not being facetious about this.

If your mom still has capacity, then she can refuse to go to any doc she chooses not to see.

You, as a family, can also refuse to provide whatever is keeping her "independent". If she's endangering herself or others, you can call APS and report her as a vulnerable adult.

There are many folks on this site who are "waiting for a crisis", so that they can get their parent the help they need.

But to get your aunt on board, she's probably going to have to see the situation up close and personal.
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What CM just said.

Lying to your parent never feels good. Think of it as a fib to protect her well -being.

I told my mom neuropsych appointment was to obtain a baseline measurement
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I agree, don't tell her until you are out of the house. Maybe you and sis take her out to lunch.
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"Agree to go"?

You don't "ask" her.

Who is taking her?
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How do you know that your aunt is doing these things? Are you taking Mom's word for it? That may not be an accurate reflection of what is really happening.

Paranoia is very common in early-stage dementia. That can and does happen without any outside influence or encouragement. I'm just suggesting that even if you were able to get auntie on your side, your mother might not be any easier to deal with.

I certainly hope that this next appointment works out for you all.

If your suspicions are confirmed, then what? If the neurology clinic says more tests are needed but this looks like dementia, how will that change things for you and your sister? Mom will presumably still be resistant and paranoid.

What kind of help does she appear to need? Is she messing up her finances? (Often an early sign that something is wrong.) Does she have a fridge full of spoiled food? Is she falling? Does she wander out of her house without a destination in mind? Does she dress appropriate to the season? Does she repeat herself a lot? Is her memory poor? What kind of help would you arrange if she allowed you to arrange something? In what ways is she at risk now?

Even after a diagnosis (assuming it is dementia) she will still have the same needs and risks. Don't wait for the appointment to start reading up on ways to help those with dementia.
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LoLo1169--I just wanted to mention that I'm thankful you keep in touch after having made your original posting. There are so many "hit and run" posters on this forum--someone asks a question and then we don't hear from them again, which is especially frustrating if more information is needed to allow those responding to provide the most relevant answers. (Sometimes I wonder if the original poster has even bothered to read the responses!) In any case, I hope you have gotten something helpful from all the suggestions here--if not, just clarify your needs further.
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