What is the best way to approach a paranoid, elderly parent to seek treatment for suspected Alzheimer's/dementia?

Follow
Share

Our 82 year old mother has been going through worsening dementia that started almost three years ago. She believes that her old neighbors (she has since moved) are out to get her. They come to her house and throw rocks at her windows, play music on her balcony, put dirt on her car, etc. She even believes that the ex-neighbor has convinced the man downstairs to move in with him, so she can harass my mother more easily! She often describes laughter directed at her because her old neighbors are getting the best of her. The police has also been called numerous times to 'catch' these people in the 'act'. She is angry, judgmental, has a flat personality, hangs up on her sons, and trusts no one. She thought the couple who lives on the end of the building were in her condo when she went out! We have suggested taking her to get checked out, but she violently refuses. When we express doubt in her auditory and visual hallucinations she lashes out. She still lives by herself (and is still driving). We believe she can benefit from therapy, and most likely, medicine. Question is.....how do we go about getting her to a doctor without alienating her from the family, or causing her paranoia to completely take over?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
6

Answers

Show:
She still drives and lives alone. Really??? And then you ask how to get her to the doctor without alienating her. Really???

She doesn't need a doctor as much as she needs a family who will take away her car keys, arrange assisted living for her and keep her safe.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

At this level of dementia is she safe driving and living on her own. Sounds a lttle scary to me.

I wouldn't waste time arguing with her about her visions and craziness. You won't convince her of anything. Just try and deal with her reality. Tell her anything she's wants to hear to keep her calm. You may have to use a little trickery to get her to a doctor. Or wait till she has a real injury or health crisis. If her mental state is this confused and paranoid she should probably be on some sort of calming meds.

With my Dad who has dementia and is stubborn about going to the docs, we don't even discuss it with him, we just make the appointment and mom yells at him "YOURE GOING TO BE LATE FOR YOUR DR APPOINTMENT! He says HUH! Yea Dad we talked about it. And off he goes. Works most of the time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

marc, I finally got mom to go the Dr when her back was hurting. Maybe tell her that they called and said she needs to come in for a flu shot. Tell the Dr in advance what's going on. Some are very helpful. The car issue was a year long battle and very stressful. Good luck to you. I have both my parents hanging on to me and my sis.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Call the police, explain the situation (paranoid, accusing neighbors of things that are not true), let them know that you no longer believe that she can care for her self, an asked them to have her transported to the local emergency room for a psych evaluation. The evaluator and doctor in the emergency room can help you from there if she needs to be admitted for further evaluation. I understand your concerned about upsetting her, but would you rather she hurt herself or someone else driving her car? I have evaluated many elderly people, an most don't recognize when their mental functions have decreased to this level. Sounds like she needs someone who cares about her to do what's right for her. Just my 2cents.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Marc, some elders have been gotten to go in for a checkup when told it's a requirement of Obamacare, of that the insurance company requires it to maintain her Medicare policy. Does she have a doctor she "used to" go to? Sometimes you can ask the doctor office to call and express concern that they haven't seen her.

Will she go for a ride in the car with you, say out to lunch? Can you "stop by" the doctor's afterwards ?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. My mom was telling me wild stories and I believed a lot of them at first. They believe these things in their minds and it really is so sad. I know this might be somewhat odd, but they do have "housecall doctors" now that will come to your home for a flat fee of about $100. It is a lot of money and I don't believe medicare / insurance is usually covered by this service, but when it's a desperate measure, it might work? Just make sure to check them out good! They should be able to talk with your mother in a way to make her feel safe with them, especially if they have geriatric training.

Another really strange thing and I never tried it with my mom because she would NEVER try it, was putting coconut oil, a tablespoon a day, in coffee, tea, or oatmeal, and it supposedly helps with dementia and making them feel more calm and in control of their mind. My friend did this to her mom and it was amazing. I got caught trying and OH BOY!
As far as your mother's hallucinations, as I have learned from others on this site, just let her know you "understand" your mother and let her know you are going to "look into it" for her, so she feels safe. It sometimes works like a charm.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions