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I need to update my profile so I don't repeat myself so much. In short, my dad died in 2010 and mom was depressed and lonely, I visited six months prior to his death to visit him in the nursing home, he did not know me, he had alzheimers, I was also shocked to see the state of my mother. I was in the US and she in Ireland.

I talked to my mother at least twice a day every day on the phone. I knew she was slipping, repeating herself, and since I had been helping from afar with her finances and other matters, I noticed I had to really explain more and more to her about writing numbers, I knew this was not good and I would have to be with her sooner than later.

I gave up all I owned which was a great deal, sold my car, shipped things at a great expense that I just did not want to lose and jumped through hoops with USDA, customs, etc to get my cat over to Ireland. The red tape was paralyzing.

When I arrived in Ireland, the car service man, a friend of my mothers, told me to be prepared because my mother was not quite the same. We called her to let her know I arrived, she said she wouldn't be home because she had to go to my dad's anniversary mass. This was in April, dad died December, yet she was thinking it was Christmas, so I was stunned.

The next few months I spent trying to figure out what was going on with her. The neighbors insisted she was fine just old age, and still yet, I said why didn't you let me know how bad she was getting, they said we didn't want to alarm you since you were in USA, yet they in the same breath say it is just old age and she is fine. I found out it was more than that with all the crazy things she was doing and saying.

It got to the point where she became at times hostile and accused me of being a bully. She told the neighbors I was hitting her. I was serving her all her meals, doing everything I could to make her feel comfortable. She refused to go out with me to get her hair cut or get a manicure, pedicure, lunch, anything to make her feel good. The neighbors said I was keeping her from going out?? I tried to wash her clothes, she refused to dress just wear pajamas, I tried to wash those and just washed what I could. Whenever I told mom she needed to try to bathe, go out, she said I was yelling at her. When I told her what she did not want to hear she said I was yelling at her. The house was ovewhelming cluttered, I would plow through a pile and move to another to go back and see her filling it up again. She would take piles of garbage into her room with various things, pictures, her handbag, and put under her pillows. When I told her this was not good, she said I was yelling at her and being a bully.

The long and short of it came to this, she went out to go to the neighbors house and locked herself out, I did not hear her banging on the door. The cops came and she started screaming that she didn't love me and to get me out of the house, I spent a few hours in my pajamas being detained in station while they arranged for me to stay in a homeless shelter. The next morning they let me call her and she said where have you been all night, they talked to her and she told them she missed me and wanted me home, they let me go home.

When I got home traumatized, she smirked at me telling her what happened. I couldn't believe it, she had been talking to the neighbors and her doctor who insisted she come in that day. The public health nurse came by to as she said, check on us. She said she thought my mother should go into a respite care for a few days, mom didn't want to go, I didn't know what to think or say. Off she went to doctors, the nurse said she would call me and let me know what was going on. I heard nothing, it was Friday, I couldn't find out anything, Sat or Sun. Monday, I am freaking out, what is happening, should I find out or am I supposed to wait and not interfere with her diagnosis, get her excited and upset. Tuesday, I find out she is in respite care 160 euro ride from me and I can visit for an hour. What the heck is going on, I am led to believe they are waiting on diagnosis by consultant, I wait. Then I find out my neighbors knew where she was right away and went to visit her without taking me, they ripped into me saying I didn't love my mother and should be ashamed of myself for abusing her and that she was in there because they wanted to keep her safe from me??? I can't describe how broken hearted all this has made me. Right now they are getting various people together to meet with me and find out if they can release her to come home with me here. They are trying to get her to remove me from the house, I have nowhere to go and am at wits end. I continue to pay the bills online the way mom and I agreed to do it. Do they have a legal right to keep her, she is crying to come home to me, telling them I didn't do anything to her. Could a lawyer help me, I don't know what to do, I am sick to my stomach over all this. This forum is my only help.

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Thanks, Madeaa. As you mentioned, you are aware that it will progressively get worse. The neighbors are a catch-22 situation. Bad association can spoil useful habit. If you can just find a way to be NEUTRAL with the neighbors. If you can find a truce in your relationship with them, it will be soooo much easier to discuss mother and the need to keep her stable emotionally/physically. Because it's like Eddie said, in the long run further down the road, you WILL be needing others. And your neighbors are the closest.

I understand what you're feelings are about the neighbors - somewhat. I have my oldest bro and his family living right next door to us. I have spent the past 23 years angry and resentful towards them for not helping father and I physically with mom's care. When father had the stroke last year, I assumed that they would step in. They didn't. Brother only started helping, when he found out that his younger brother (competitive brothers) was helping me financially. I found this site just this year. I had soooo much anger, resentment and bitterness towards bro of next door. I learned from others here the importance of letting it go. Accept it "as is" and as "my siblings rights to NOT help with the parents." It was something I had to struggle Within Me to let go of all that negative emotions. But I did it. And if I can do it (23 yrs of resentment/anger), I'm sure that you can, too. No need to be bossom dinner guests to one another. Just be friendly enough that they will be there in your time of need in the distant future. And if this is something that you're not ready to do - then so be it! Go with what you are comfortable with. So far, your guts/instincts have gotten you this far. Don't hesitate to update us or VENT here if you need it! HUGS!!! Book
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Kate, there's nothing incoherent about your words. The only thing I recommend is not to alienate the neighbors. It seems they look out for one another, and will be very supportive as your Mom declines. I apologize if my words don't seem uplifting, but I like keeping things real and try not to sugarcoat anything. Not when you're dealing with Alzheimer's / Dementia.

Anyway, the Seroquel will alleviate the mania and stabilize her. In the meantime, do your best to find out the Irish way of coping with this kind of situations. I think it's a blessing in disguise that there are concerned neighbors who might be willing to share the responsibility of caring for Mom. Their ways are a pain in the a__ while you adjust, but in the long-run they'll be a support system for your golden years.

Our hearts are with you.
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(((((((Madeaa)))))) Thanks for lettng us know what is going on. Sounds like you have made the best of it you can, I am so glad that they have arranged for help for you - finally someone gets it, but not the neighbour, apparently. Your mum will need more care as time goes on, and maybe more than you can give her, but you can cross that bridge when/if you come to it. You certainly are a survivor. Wish8ing you a merry Christmas and all the best for the new Year. Be sure to take caree of you! Love, hugs and prayers, Joan
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Blessings to you and keeping you in our prayers.
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Do they have restraining orders in Ireland? Get one against your mother's neighbors. It should forbid them from coming around your mother and interfering in your care of her.
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Hi my forum friends, I am so glad that I have you all to help me, I would be lost and alone without you all, knowing that I am not alone and that I do have people who understand makes a world of a difference.

The update: Well you all know what I went through, the jail, the homeless shelter, yada yada. On October 12th my mother went into Respite Care, supposedly for two weeks. I was glad because it gave me time to regroup and I hoped that a diagnosis and bloodwork check would be done. She was diganosed with advanced dementia and they said that she needed to be put in a nursing home since it would be too much for me to take care of her alone. Of course you all know how conflicted we become, plus how do I come up with the exorbitant amount for care with no income myself, they insisted there is some help available to apply for it, still it would be at least 400 or 500 a week! I don't know about you, but we don't have it, I was frantic. They said if It comes to push to shove that she would be made a ward of the state and they would take over her bank account and sell the house, which I found out would be difficult since I do have the right to life in Ireland and they can't remove me from the residence, but could collect the money upon my death from my estate, well all is bad in my book. I intend on leaving my money if I have any to an animal agency of my choice. They kept her for two months, I spoke to her everyday, and for God's sakes she sounded normal, go figure. Apparently she was getting lavish attention that she had sought in a negative way before, was on an antidepressant, and said she was eating well, the food was good. She implored me to get her home, despite saying she was happy there, she wanted to come home and be with me and be in her own home. Of course she emphatically stated that she never had said anything bad about me, did not know why the police came, etc. I just went with the flow. In this time the neighbor across the street, who knew where my mother was before me, who visited her without taking me, knowing fully well I have no transportation, don't know where the hell I am, and this place is about fifty miles away, a short trip of 180 euros by cab which is way over 200 dollars, this was the woman who insulted me by telling me I had to make amends to the nursing staff to get my mother home. I told her that I did nothing to require making amends, that I was the one abused and hurt in this situation. She came over my house and I told her I did not want to talk to her, her son had told me that I didn't love my mother because I left her in this respite place, and if I loved her I would go and get her. I was hurt, stunned yet again, I told him they will not let me take my mother home that they have a mandate to ensure her safety and she is diagnosed with advanced dementia. He continued to tell me this was nonsense she is fine just age. I looked at him, and said, you just don't believe me, I will not hurt myself trying to convince you, I am done with you. His mother came by my house at 10PM as I said above drunk. She stunk of wine, it repelled me. She said she wanted me to get my mother out of the home for Christmas and she wanted me and my mother over for dinner. I was disgusted because she did not hear anything I was telling her, so finally she left. She called again, and I told her to stop bullying me, bye.

On Friday, after many daily calls to this home, the nursing director agreed to a trial home placement, she said she MIGHT consider it. I went and met with this panel of social workers, doctors and nurses and told them among many things that I knew it would be most challenging having my mother home, but she is 84, I have no idea as we all have no idea how much longer I will have her around. I want to be with her for the time she has left, warts and all, and realize the work, but I also need help to do it.

They agreed, they arranged for my mother to go to a senior day center a few hours five days a week, she can get showered there, they will pick her up, she will get tea and scones on arrival, can socialize, they have activities and she thrives around people like she did in the respite center. They will give her a three course meal, and she will have tea and cake before she comes home. This will cost about 80 dollars or 50euros a week, so much better than the money we don't have for a nursing home. So, I won't have to worry about making a big dinner for five days during the week. Her medication was reworked, she is no longer on antidpressant, but is taking dementia meds. They said they want to ensure that I don't get worn out and go down hill, they want to remove as much of a burden as possible, I am open to help,all and any.

I told them there will come a time, when she will have to go in the nursing home, when I can no longer help her, but for now it is what it is. I told them I wish I had come back sooner to see my father when he knew me, yesterday December 23rd was his two year death, hard time for me and mom. When I came back to see him from USA in 2010 mom was wearing pumps and cooking, after he died she went teetering down hill.

It has been really hard, exhausting as a matter of fact like you all know, and some of you have so much harder circumstances than I do have. I just am now trying to work on establishing a routine. Today, I seem to have got it going better, I get up at 8AM and get dressed, showered, etc, give her a pre breakfast pill while she stays in bed till I am ready. I get her up have breakfast ready, she had cereal, sausages, toast, juice, coffee, fresh fruit ( this is the lady who says she does not have much of an appetite LOL), then I gave her my first shower of my life. We did well, I was surprised. She got fresh clothes and is sitting watching her crime shows on TV with her Christmas sweater on looking happy, comfortable and clean, me I am exhausted, I think once I have my routine down, it will get easier, like starting a new job.

During the time she was in the respite center, I started to declutter the place as best I could, I had to regroup, rebalance, process, grieve. The episode of Hoarders is looking better, I can breathe again in here, I just get nervous around dirt, clutter, I just can't think in such chaos.

So, that is what is new with me, I am doing it one day at a time, it is a great deal of hard work, but I am ready and willing to accept whatever help I can get.

Merry Christmas to all of you and God's speed to all of us that have chosen to take on the most difficult of jobs with so very little to no support, and no thanks. Hope there is a Caregiver's unit in heaven for all of us.
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Hi Madeaa, sounds like they will take the house for her care. I wonder if her neighbors believe that this is best for her. If they do, I wonder what you will do? Please try to figure out how to get out of this all in one piece. Very difficult situation. I will wish really hard that something good happens for you. HUGS!!!
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Okay, I am somewhat stronger than the day I was waiting for the doctor who said she is lucid and clear. No sleep, can't eat, sick to my stomach, my eyes are sore, my whole body aches from my heart to my toes. So, here goes, the doctor calls the next day to tell me my mother has advanced dementia, hello, I was astounded by him. I said I can not believe that you did not see this in her, would not address the two times I talked to you. Frankly doctor with all due respect I have no confidence in your abilities to take care of me or my mother. He said, umm, well, sorry, it was a surprise. I said well I want my mother out of this respite place, he said he is no longer her doctor, she is now under this place's charge. WHAT THE F.

So, I get several calls from the respite center after pulling teeth for each tiny piece of information. It went from the Tribunal panel, to it has been cancelled, you don't have to come all the way out here, it is far, I have ankle osteoarthritis, if I jam my foot or walk to much, I am on crutches, I can ride my bike, I just got to be careful with it or I am off it for a week or two. I know it gets better each minute.

So, I am what the HELL, Limbo, I call the lawyer that did the will, no response, I have been searching for an elder care lawyer, found one in Dublin east coast of Ireland, hundreds and hundreds of miles away, I am on the south west coast.

So, apparently, here they think it is fine for the public health nurse or social workers to just show up without even calling.

I get a visit from two social workers, who want to hear my story. I gave it to them, it almost killed me the emotional wringer they put me through. They said they would get back to me with some financial worker to tell me my options, I said fine. I am afraid that they want to take this house and use my mother's money towards nursing. What is going on.

Next day the social worker on the phone, frankly, I don't have an ounce left in me, I said, you need to back off and give me some space, I can't meet with you right now, I am not emotionally fit to go through this right now, she said fine I will give you a couple of days.

I don't want to talk to her or him right now, I want to get my spirit in balance, I want to emotionally and spiritually get myself in balance, I want to strenghthen myself and untagle this victimhood. I am a fighter not a wimp, but they got me against the ropes, like the Knights of Nee in Monthy python, they got me down to just my head, I cry out it is a mere flesh wound, come back you coward. I got to find that spirit again, I feel bullied by these people and pressurized.

So, I will take my time and talk to them when I am ready. I call my mother at this place to see how she is every day, they have her on seroquel. Oh Lord.

Thanks for listening to my incoherent rant, you guys help me so much.
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My first take is that your mom is Maybe having dementia. It would be best to have her diagnosed. The neighbors view you as an outsider – therefore they will believe your mother all the time – blinded by the truth. You may or may not be able to persuade them. If anything, they might think you are trying to persuade them to join you against her. If your religion does not forbid you to mix with other religion, are you able to attend their church? This way, you get to meet the locals and they get to meet you? Don’t be disappointed if the locals consider you as an outsider. Here on island, an outsider is finally considered a local when he has stayed long enough to embrace our customs and not try to force us to accept HIS. They talk like we talk, eat what we eat, and do what we do. I have known some “white” people who have been on this island and have done lots of good things for our island. But, you can tell that they have NOT accepted this island as their home. Those people, in our eyes, our outsiders – even if they’ve been here for 50 years.

As for the medical community, your mom made claims that you abused her. Of course they will NOT say anything to you. Even if she’s diagnosed with dementia, there will be still be some doubt in there. Just as here in the states, if you go to any doctor and try to get a parent diagnosed with dementia – they will shrug it off as “old age.” But if you find a regular doctor who Knows something of elderly care, then you are fortunate. For example, I just took my bedridden mom to meet her new doctor. I knew from the onset he has No Idea of elderly care! I had to give him some pointers…When I came home, I told father that we will need to find another doctor. A doctor familiar with Current Elderly issues will be able to spot the “unusual” behavior and not dismiss it as “old age.”

Therefore I agree with JessieBelle. It’s best to find an eldercare lawyer. Not just any lawyer. For example, a corporate lawyer specializes in corporate laws, a divorce lawyer knows the ins/outs of getting the best for their client when it comes to divorces. There are different kinds of doctors but there are those who are specialized. That’s what you need with your lawyer – one who specializes with elders or is familiar with it.

But my most Important Advice to YOU: PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH WHAT LITTLE YOU HAVE IN YOUR SAVINGS! You will need this money for EMERGENCY. Please, find a job as soon as possible. Even if it means waiting on tables at a Decent restaurant. Please do not be desperate and find a job at a "unsavory" or "disreputable" place. Try to build up your savings. I am soooo sorry that you're in this situation. HUGS!!!!
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what i dont understand is that i hear the same thing, elderly often say caregivers are abuseing them and people still belive the elderly person without even checking if the claims are true!
'oh, mr. so and so is so nice, how can you be so mean? or he wouldnt lie, thats not like him, umm, hello, the older they get the more their minds go, the more they blame the caregiver but people get all up in arms without even checking to see if its abuse or lonley elderly wanting attention! all claims of abuse should be checked out, but CHECK OUT ALL SIDES before running a poor , frazzled caregiver into needing care themselfs! pretty soon nobody will be a caregiver if were going to go to jail everytime an elderly parents says abuse when its never been true.
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thats horrible! you were in jail? man! if i were you, id go to court and ask a judge what to do, you know you havent harmed her but you dont want to go back to jail next time shes in a mood! i put a camera up in the house. sounds extreme, but it shows all whats happening in the house. but i sure wouldnt want to be in a position your alone with her, she probably thinks its funny you got in trouble because shes looking at it like a little kid would look at it, she doesnt get that this is JAIL you went to!! id ask a judge to appoint someone to help you in her care.
i feel you, dad loves to say im abusing him when it wasnt me that used to hit him, but my brother , whos now in prison. elder abuse is no joke, but she may not understand fully that its not a joke to cry abuse..
'abuse' to her could be because you wouldnt let her do something dangerous, ( my dad climbs ladders to mess with me because he knows im not gonna let him, but i cant stop him either, and he says my nagging him is abuse. so now, ladders 'disappear' rather than fight with him) stay one step ahead and anticipate times you know shes gonna be grouchy and take her to the park. or get her coloring color books ( dont laugh, it works) anything to get her mind off the angry track.hope that made sense...
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I can sympathize! My mom has told people I hit her, belittle her, etc. Fortunately it has been people who know me well enough. The sad thing there is you are probably a stranger to most people if you have lived here in the US for long.... My heart goes out to you. I can't offer much for advice other than prayer. Please except my prayers and understanding. I would probably seek a lawyer/advocate of some kind. Perhaps arrange a sit down with the neighbors, etc. ??? I pray this is cleared up quickly.
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Genealegal, Thank you for the statement that yelling can be a feeling & not volume. My mother told the social worker I yell at her. Actually, it is the other way around and always has been. My sister, who is not in a position to help out, warned her of the consequences of making such statements. Yet, the next day she repeated it to the nurse. I have given up my life to care for my father & mother and I'm tired. However, I will try very hard to consider what & how I am asking. Again, thank you for that thought.
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This is especially helpful. There is no one "right set of answers". As kids grow up, there is an expected path of development. Not so with growing old. Behavior patterns are very helpful to notice and to work with--and can/will change in a heart beat. The unpredictability can make the care-giver crazy! Viva la big headphones!
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I am so sorry you are living through this, it isn't as rare as we think.
My MIL become suddenly ill and in ICU 3 weeks ago. In the waiting room we learned that she had been telling family members and neighbors the most awful, and untrue, things about me....and she loved it!
Some people must be a "victim" in their mind, to get the attention from others. In my MIL case, she had spun such stories to deflect attention from herself and her horrible living habits of hoarding and poor hygiene. When she started feeling better, guess who she requested to be her caregiver and POA...yep, me...the awful daughter in law. She said to caseworker, Dr, even her daughter and other son that I was the only person(other than my husband) she could think of that didn't get caught up in badmouthing others and she knew that I would take care of her without fail and I wouldn't let anyone stand in the way of her care. She told all of them that she was lying the last 7 years about me, but THEY (always someone else to blame) should have not been so happy to fall in with her stories, after all, my husband and I kept the county from taking their home away (hoarding/safety) by renovating. SORRY to ramble, my point is that there are many of us in your situation and it is more common for older people to do this to the people who love them than most think. It may be hard, call a lawyer, if she has any money, pay yourself for all you've done and move out. If the neighbors want to be that involved, let them be. I wish I was there to offer a hug.
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Getting a part time job over there could be good a source for an outlet to relieve some stress. Poor dear one, my mother has been declining as well and thankfully she is in ALF so I can go home each day and not have to be concentrated on her 24/7 but I find myself in my "away" time not really! Because during that time I've been on the internet constantly trying to learn about dementia!! It is a crash course...I have found two things that have been a great help, the first is walking our dog is a break and since it is a necessity for the poor puppy I have a few minutes then not to feel guilty being away from mom. I have been using that walking time to exercise my body and to pray for wisdom and help in serving my Mom, Bless her - yesterday when I arrived she now is not remembering to take her medications. She is insistant that she is reliable to take her own meds, and even though they are delivered to her at each appropriate time frame we find now that she puts some in her pockets "for later" and pulls them out later when the nurse returns with the next meds and asks when she should take these? (the ones in her pocket!) OR she leaves the morning meds on the counter and at lunch time she insisted that she took all her meds, yet she is in so much physical pain and is asking what she can do to get some pain medication, that what she has been given is not working. I walked in at lunch time and she was in an angry mood snaping at me. When I discovered the meds from breakfast still sitting there she said why isn't anybody trusting her? Oh poor mom. The meds aren't working because she is not taking them either on time or not at all. That leads me to my second thing that has been a great help...the people that are employed at the ALF along with my mom's new aging health doctor and that staff!! Almost all that I am meeting as I take mom to scheduled appointments I have found to be sincerely caring and a great support!! I should write that in ALL CAPS. I will pray for you to find a supporting group of professionals that will help you care for your mom!! and also, you ARE important for your mom so please remember and TAKE CARE of yourself. If that means getting another pet, even though that seems opposite of keeping stress down, you would be required to provide care to an animal that loves you back unconditionally. Does your mom like cats or dogs? If so that new "distraction" could be a blessing for you both. My mother has had cats most of her life. I brought our kitty for a visit, both of us had a good hour of pleasure rather than stress because the kitty came to her and did the kitty kneading things as well as rubbing and laying on mom's lap. Latter the kitty explored while mom watched and she saw the kitty even roll on her back which was very familiar to mom since her long term memory still works pretty well.

I learned from that experience to try and make conversations about the past as if they were recent. This seems to be a way that she can also be distracted if something in the present is a point of contention..redirect rather than fight and live with her present by keeping the past the reality...praying for you all.
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Everyone has given you some great advice-legal counsel, new doctor, help in personal care, etc. The only other thing I can think of that might help is to get your mother's priest on your side. If your mother has been a regular at the church's social events, he may have noticed her "oddities of old age." Let him know what is going on with the neighbors and he may be able to convince them that you are trying to do what is right. They may back off if they hear it from their priest.
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((((madeaa))))) what a horrible situation! I have lived in Scoland and in England for some years and the culture is really different. I do think the neighbours are suspicious of you for several reasons, not that you have done anything wrong , but you are different and that will makes things a little more difficult everywhere you go. Thank goodness you have gotten through to her doctor. Please be sure to follow-up, and with an attorney. I think you need legal advice, or at least a clued-in lawyer in case things get bad again, Let us know who the meeting with the tribunal and with a lawyer goes. I know the medical system over there is not the same as here. Are there are support groups in the area? Public health may be able to suggest resources for you and/or your mum. I like the idea of having someone come in to bathe your mum - she may well respond better to an outsider. And also that you educate yourself about Alz. Oliver North wrote about this - "The ancient Chinese warrior Sun Tzu taught his men to "know your enemy" before going into battle. For if "you know your enemy and know yourself," he wrote, "you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." Alz/dementia is the enemy.
Geneagal has some great suggestions, too, and i think what igloo said about chosing your battles is very wise.
Is there any chance of you getting a job over there. Being self-sufficient, and among normal people could only be good for you.
Do let us know how it is going. (((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) Joan
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Sounds like Mum needs a new doctor; one that is more in tone with the elderly at the very least. At least you got one huddle jumped. How difficult for you and Mom having to deal with a doctor who doesn't know "what is up".

Hope it all goes better for you!
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Okay so an update. I finally got to speak to my mother's doctor today after another sleepless, anxious night full of fear and uncertainty. The doctor said my mother was in convalesence?? She should be home and he felt she did not have dementia but was depressed??????? I told him some of what she does, and asked him is this depression? He said he must have her see a specialist, he didn't know this. I reminded him that I spoke to him twice about her odd behaviors and he sloughed it off as old age. He is checking to see what is up, I am waiting for what is up. What an awful mess.
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thanks again, it is so right about yelling can be a feeling not just a volume. I didn't think of that. It is most definitely a power struggle now I see, she does not want to do anything I suggest, but will listen to anyone but me. I could never take her out of Ireland, she fares better here. I am both an American and Irish citizen. I gave up everything, I have nothing to return to in America and I know no one in Ireland, and do not have a job here. I am beyond frazzled and upset.
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I'm assuming you're a US citizen or legal resident, if so, I'd contact the US Embassy to see what they can suggest you do or have with you before you go to the tribunal panel and then paperwork you will need to get your mom back with you so that there are minimal issues with customs when you both leave, if that is what you decide to do.

Genealegal - your behavioral level observation is so spot-on correct! Choosing the battles are a key to sanity in dealing with dementia.
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I understand your frustrations having given up so much to help your mother. Nobody seems to address that until it becomes caregiver burnout and then the agencies want to help so they don't have to take over. However, it is what it is. You will fare better with the authorities if you take the high road and speak only about what is best for your mother and make it clear what her wishes are concerning having you in her house. You have your hands full, but if you can find a class on Altz/dementia you can learn what is expected from you. Here in the US the first thing asked: Is there a danger to self or others? Every dr. visit, my mother is asked if she has fallen and they check her arms for bruises. Whose fingerprints do you think they are looking for on her arms? It's called Mandatory Reporting. These safeguards are there for a reason, but we have to live with them too. If your mother was being abused by a caregiver, this is how they protect her. You have to speak their language. It's a foreign land.

If you are going to continue to live in the same house together, you may need to stop all forms of telling her what to do. It's a mother/daughter thing. My mother will cooperate with the prt-time caregiver and not me. When I tried to insist on anything, she felt I was yelling and a bully. Yelling can be a feeling, not just a volume. You may have to lower your standards and expectations to unbelievable levels. At this point, I don't ask my mother to shower. I just make sure she is scheduled with home care staff to bathe on certain days. I'm looking at getting one of those bidet fittings for the toilet.

I "disappear" things around the house to keep up with the clutter she creates. I have created an account with a secured card with a small limit so she can purchase what she wants when out, but won't be ruined if somebody finds it. I pay bills from a different account. My current challenge is getting the food back into the fridge after she makes a snack. Warm food that sits out gets tossed for safety and is getting expensive. I'm thinking of bringing in a "snack" fridge for single serving items and locking up the regular one. I don't want to start a battle, so I will absolutely need to come up with a story to blame the fridge, not my mother. I have discovered that some packages are hard to open. This helps me control what is opened and when, but I couldn't understand why she wasn't eating her favorite foods. Now I open new packages ahead of time. The buttons came off the stove long ago. I keep them in a cup on an upper shelf. Shhhh, don't tell. She will tear the house apart looking for candy if she thinks it's here, but if she finds remnants of previous packages in a few places, she seems content without eating an entire bag in one day, getting a sugar high and stopping up the toilet later.

Please, everybody, don't take offense with my next statement. Folks who lose their mental function are working on a behavioral level. It's sort of like training a pet. I know, they are not animals. Even animals have different types and levels of intellegence. Training somebody and expecting them to remember or get better at it won't work if they have memory loss. However, routine, visual cues, avoidance of power struggles, all those strategies used for horse training or dog training are on the behavioral level. Just don't use food as a reward. You don't want to take away power and control any more than you absolutely have to or you will get more unwanted behaviors. It's always safety first. Then find ways to avoid the power struggles. Try to adjust your attitude (yes, it's hard) to keep yourself from saying "she's just looking for attention". Of course she is. We all do. The question is why? What is it that she needs or think she needs? Above all, find a place where you can go and close the door. We have two tvs. I can go to my room and watch a different show. Get it? I'm not telling her I have to get away from crazy town, just watching a show she doesn't like. Sometimes I have big, visible headphone on while working on the computer. I am visibly present for comfort, but tuned out from nonsensical chatter and not expected to respond. It takes some practice to act like I can't hear, but it keeps her feelings from being hurt and my frustration level under control.
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Thanks so much for your responses, it does help me somewhat. Yes mom has been close to these neighbors who are in some way related a cousin of some sort. I was so happy she had them when dad died, they helped her through it when I couldn't fly out of NY in snow storm week. Despite this, they have proseuted me, indicted me and persecute me. One thing quite interesting is what Jessie Belle said, she has been fighting me since I arrived, I didn't think of it but this is true. She wanted not to be alone but definitely resents the intrusion into her space. I sure would have not gone through hell to find a new fresh hell here waiting for me. A woman with an eleven year old cat that moves heaven and earth to move with her and that gives up everything to me does not fit an abusive profile. I am devastated, they are trying to put me out in the street and bring in a home care worker, where the hell do I go, I spent a fortune to get here, have no where to go and no income just remainder of my savings. I will get in contact with a lawyer next few days after going to see this tribunal panel.
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Nancy, this is exactly what I was thinking. I wouldn't know exactly how to handle this in another country. It is difficult enough when one is in their own country. Madeaa, it may be that people don't really believe your mother, but they have to be sure. One thing that does seem apparent is that she has been fighting you being there since the time you came. I wish that you had known how it would be before you made all the changes in your life. I would consult with a lawyer there who was knowledgeable about elder affairs and figure out what is the best way to proceed. I do not envy you this situation. What a nightmare. Please let us know what happens.
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My first knee jerk reaction is, just come the heck back to the U.S. and let the neighbors take care of your mother. But I suppose that isn't going to happen (sigh) so I guess you're going to have to work within whatever system they have in Ireland. Are there services for seniors like there are here? What do they do with old people in Ireland who have dementia/alz? Her neighbors are hiding their heads in the sand so to speak if they think it's just 'old age' your mom is suffering from. Sounds like from this end, that your mother and her neighbors have been living close to each other for a VERY long time, and been looking out for one another for as long. Are they also seniors, and cut her slack because of that? If that's the case, maybe it's time to make nice with her neighbors and get them to see this from your side. And not as some interloper that has come to upset their poor aged friend. It's bad enough to have to deal with this sudden decline in your moms health, but then have to deal with it in a different country.
Wow.
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What a hearbreaking and frightening situation. I would contact a lawyer and try to sit down with her doctor for a heart to heart talk. I would even go and talk with the folks at the respite center. Surely they have evaluated your Mother and understand where all this trash talk is coming from.

I really don't understand how neighbors would know more than you do. Who are they that are getting people together? The nurse took her to the doctor and they put her in respite from there without calling you. Why were you not able to go to the doctor with her? I know medical services are different in other countries but this is beyond my understanding.

Hopefully once you have the group meeting, this will all get settled. It may well be that the neighbors just don't know you and are trying to protect your Mother.

In the meantime, call a lawyer, call the doctor and try to talk to someone at the respite center. Make a list of all your questions, explain how you are helping your Mother and find out how to get some help in caring for your Mother at home.

I wish you all the best! God bless.
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