My problem is that she doesn't want to go out at all anymore and she doesn't want to bathe. She has a caregiver during the week and the caregiver has the same issues with her. She has lost all sense of trying to keep herself clean and she was 180 degrees opposite from this her entire life. She doesn't want to occupy her mind with anything. She doesn't like TV. She doesn't even try to read the paper anymore and she used to do word search but wants nothing to do with that anymore either. Also, when she says she wants to go lay down for awhile she gets back up within 5 minutes. She can't relax it seems. Does anyone have any input or advice on this? I feel like it would do her good to get out more with assistance of course and she never has any social interaction with anyone anymore except for me and her caregiver. I feel like she needs this too. Any input would be appreciated.

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It is very disruptive and confusing for people with dementia to be moved from place to place. They need structure, seeing familiar things, walking the same path to the kitchen, bathroom etc. She may be so needy because her routine is disrupted and the sights and smells are not what she’s used to. Also have her eyes been checked lately? Perhaps she’s having vision problems. What other feedback do you get from the caregiver? You may not like this suggestion, but as a test would it be possible for you to stay at Aunties house on a weekend and see how it goes? Is she at least getting sponge baths and cleaning of her lady parts? The big fear with lack of bathing is the chance of UTIs which puts a whole other dimension to the issues.
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pookie2360 Sep 2019
I’ve thought of staying at her house on weekends as she does seem to do better when she is at home. It has always been just me and her so when she’s with me at my house she wants me right there with her at all times. If she knows I’m around, she wants me near andwill call out my name and then when I ask her what she needs or wants she said she doesn’t know. Her condition is definitely declining and I feel that she now needs 24 hour care which brings up another issue of whether it’s time to put her in some sort of assisted living that has memory care support. I’m just at a loss as to what to do at this point. She could come live with me but I work during the day and I have two dogs that the caregiver that is normally with her during the day says she is allergic to which means if I continue to use her during the day then I will have to take my dogs somewhere every day. I just need some advice because I’m really at a loss as what to do right now. I’m considering 24 hour care at her home now but of course that brings up a whole host of other concerns. The caregiver seems to think that she is ok for now but I don’t think so. My Aunt is like my Mom and I feel that I know her better than anyone. She has gotten progressively worse in my opinion and it’s very very sad.
I have 2 aunties who raised me with my mom in a house together as a family. They are now 97 and 100-1/2 :-) The 97 yo has full dementia. Good suggestions have been given. My question to you is, if you are her durable PoA, is your plan to keep a full-time caregiver and not have her come on weekends, as this may be too much for her? Do you think it may be better for her in a LTC facility where many people can keep a good eye on her? My MIL is in one and has the same behaviors you described. She is on meds for her mood and it has helped her a lot. They are able to get her bathed and to the social gatherings there. Just saying that having her holed up with a single person is a sterile environment, plus you won't know if there's anything inappropriate going on as your auntie won't be able to tell you (physical, sexual, financial abuse, theft of property, etc) as this occurred in my family. Also, what happens when her caregiver is sick and goes on vacation? Just some food for thought so that you won't be forced to make decisions in a crisis. Blessings!
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Sorry that she is getting worse. That's great that you can take her every weekend.

Will she allow a sponge bath? That might be the best you can hope for. Dry shampoo powders?

I don't think that getting her out more would really be of much help at this point. I think it would be confusing. Going out for a ride and to look at pretty scenery, etc. might be fine, but getting her more social interaction might not be what she needs at this point.

I agree that her lack of interest in reading, word search and not being able to relax all have to do with her condition deteriorating. If she is VERY agitated, it might be good to talk to her doctor about this and she might benefit from a little bit of something to take the edge off.

Good luck!
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pookie2360 Sep 2019
Thank you very much. I hate to sound so selfish but It is just so very confining for me every weekend. I work all week & then I have zero time on the weekend to do anything. She wants me with her every second it seems. It’s very hard to even go to the store. She also wants to snack all the time so I find myself in the kitchen all of the time. Every time I go to another room she is hollering for me and then when I go to her she doesn’t know what she wants. I just don’t know how much longer I can do this. I’m getting very depressed. I love her so much but I need more help I think. Thanks so much for your advice and response.
OK, my advice is to educate yourself on dementia, you can start by reading the articles here

and watching this video series

Your aunt's aversion to bathing is common. There may be good reasons - she is afraid because the bath/shower isn't accessible with bench, grab bars and hand held shower, or it is too cold, or she is protecting her modesty - but sometimes there is no easy fix. Given that she is only with you on weekends I'm wondering why does this even come up?

She can't watch TV because she can't follow the story, the same applies to books. She's jittery and agitated because at some level she knows something is wrong but she can't articulate what it is or do anything about it. Leaving her familiar home only makes this worse, people with dementia do best with order and routines and change can be very upsetting.
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pookie2360 Sep 2019
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