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Please help me understand what is going on here. My mom has called an ambulance to go to the ER 3 times since July. All she says that is wrong is nausea, which is mostly due to going long periods of time without eating. She has had every test in the world and the dr's say she is the healthiest 91 year old ever. However, here is the problem: she will tell me that she is suffering from nausea or feeling faint (she never vomits or actually faints), but hours later, she is FURIOUS that I am misunderstanding what is wrong with her and then later (like after she's not in the hospital anymore), says the problem was really pain in her head, which was never mentioned. This goes on and on. She gets so mad and I am really the only person in her life because she is so hard to be around. what is going on here? She talks constantly about being found dead from whatever is wrong with her. I had a very long conversation with her doctor who thinks this is all for attention.

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heather62, you can get a court order for the psychiatric evaluation. Ask APS to help you with the right form to fill out.
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Heather, I'm glad to hear that you are reading and are in touch with her healthcare providers.

While your mother may be doing these things "for attention," it is important to realize that that no longer has the same meaning when someone has dementia. Behavior is controlled in the brain, and her brain is damaged. Maybe there is a nasty ol' tangle or plaque or body of protein in the area of the brain that controls the need for attention.

I wonder if it would help if you found other ways for her to have lots of attention? A manicure? Pedicure? Massage?

What is her present living arrangement? Does she live alone? With you? What?

Here is something to know right from the start: You are not all-powerful. You cannot cure her dementia, or keep her happy all the time, or prevent bad behaviors. You cannot stop her decline. All you can do is your best. The goal in caring for someone with dementia is to help them have the best quality of life they can have under the circumstances. And sometimes that is far less than you'd really like.
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You "can't" reason with someone with dementia, that should say.
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Heather, this is really tough. You can6reason with someone with dementia. I think the best you can do is " therapeutic fibbing". " Mom, dr. X wants you to go see dr y about your nerves/memory/ whatever. There's a new vitamin that is showing great promise in clinical trials." Who sets up her pill box each week?
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The dr has ruled out UTI's, infections, medicine interaction - all that. She takes very little medicine. As I said, she is very healthy. She is not officially labeled as having dementia but everyone, including her dr, feels that she does. Her dr is a geriatric internist. When she was just recently in the hospital, it was recommended that she see a geriatric psychiatrist but she refuses. She refuses to take any kind of medicine that might be for something psychiatric in nature. I am in close contact with her dr and nurses. I am trying to read all that I can. I am the only person who is willing to deal with her because she is really difficult (this is not new) and she is very harsh and yells a lot. It is difficult.
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Your profile says that your mom has dementia. With that being the case, I would consider your mom's statements with that in mind. I'd read a lot about the condition.

Often people with dementia are not aware of what they are saying. AND they often forget what they have said. She may have actual pain, but she also may have delusions of pain. I'm surprised that her doctor would not have explained this to you about dementia. Of course, he should also rule out other things like UTI, infections, medication interaction, etc.

I think I would get a second opinion from a Primary doctor who works with senior patients and ask for a referral to a geriatric psychiatrist. Perhaps, they can figure out what is going on with her.

I would try to step in on these 911 calls. Who's paying the ambulance bills? Those bills can add up and if not a true emergency, it's a waste of resources. It's like allowing your young child to use the phone without supervision. It can get them into trouble.
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