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My mom (moderate dementia) cannot understand why she can't get a Covid vaccine. Her older brother and his wife got theirs. Their daughter signed them up online. I tried to do the same, but I don't have her insurance or license, both of which were required. She is incapable of giving me the info over the phone, and she is 90 minutes away. By the time I was able to go there, all of the appointments were gone. She got very upset and I could not get her to understand WHY she couldn't just walk into the pharmacy and get one. She thinks because she is eligible she should get one. I try to explain supply and demand and she just wants to blame everyone from me to the government. "They are doing their best" doesn't cut it. Obviously NO ONE is doing their best if she can't get a vaccine. It's a small town and I'm surprised the pony express has found their way there with any vaccine at all. Between the crying and the finger pointing I want to jump off a bridge.

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She is incapable of finding this information? Why is she living alone? Is she safe? Does someone live closer than you to make a visit. Once you get her info, you should be able to register her online.
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Reply to MACinCT
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bolliveb Jan 18, 2021
Thanks for your reply. Yes she is living alone. No she is not necessarily safe. If she would allow ANYONE to help her, it would be easy to get someone to do so. She shoots down every idea or scenario, including more in home help. I had a good dialogue going with her PCP, but during her last visit he let it slip that I have some concerns, so she forbid him from telling me anything more about her medical issues.

She needs, in no particular order:
More help and supervision at home (she doesn't want assisted living, and it IS possible for her to get the care she needs at home, she can afford it)
A diagnosis from a geriatrician
Meds for dementia, anxiety and depression
No more driving
To sign a HCP which she refuses to do. She has signed her POA (me)

She refuses any change at all and will NOT talk about it. I can't even get her to tell me if she would prefer burial or cremation. She does have a will and a trust. COVID doesn't help, as many avenues that would be open are just not currently available.

My brother and I (it's just us) have decided that rather than fight with her, we are just going to wait for the inevitable and react. We do have plans in place for WHEN this happens.

I know the advice here is don't get permission, just do it. That's easy to say until your mother is crying and refusing every suggestion, as it "won't change the past", which is the root of her depression. She does not understand mental health, and is from the generation where even discussing it is shameful.

We are between a rock and a hard place.
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Have your tried emphasizing with Mum. Gee Mum I understand how upset you are that you were not able to get the vaccine right now.

Now that I have your insurance paperwork when more are available I will make sure you are registered as soon as more spaces come available.

It sure if frustrating, but there is nothing more I can do. Go ahead and blame the government if that makes you feel better.
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Reply to Tothill
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I signed up on my County Public Health Department's page to get the vaccine. They have established a page containing a "waiting list" so you can see where you are on the list to get the vaccine. I am #72,351 on the list! Doesn't look like I'll be getting the vaccine any time soon.
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Reply to texasrdr22
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Alva--I am always right behind you in comments! We must have similar morning routines.

There are vaccines, and it is truly a miracle that they were able to OK 2 ( with several more coming in the next few months)---think last year when they were saying it could easily be 2022 before ANY vaccine would pass muster---and here we are, barely into 2021 and I know personally about 80 people who have had their first shot. My DH got a letter from his liver transplant team yesterday telling him he was high priority and what he needed to do to get 'in the system'. He'll take care of that tomorrow and we hope he gets his first shot before he needs to travel again. (we are expecting at least a month's wait and he is about as high risk as they come)

Some states have botched this whole thing, which is mighty discouraging, but even my kids in CA say it's bad, but the news hypes it to the sky.

We're not a very patient people. I'm really still amazed that vaccines were so quickly created (on the shoulders of great scientists who went before!!)....

I DO KNOW that we have to be our own advocates. If you want to wait until your local CVS is offering COVID vaccinations, it will be summer. I'm in touch with both MY oncologist and PCP to see which clinic can get me first.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Right now there is a problem with we were lied to and told there is vaccine in reserve. It has proven to be a lie and there is, so Biden likely cannot release the vaccine here to all, as some is reserved for second shots until another shipment. The incoming administration intend to use the Act that can be invoked (Defensive production act) to ramp up the amount of vaccine produced. The outgoing administration had decided not to invoke that. We will see if it gets more vaccine here quicker. It's too bad you could not use the online until too late. We used the phone number but had to wait for 3 hours on phone (on charger) to get the appointment; we go the 28th for number one. My daughter, a teacher, got hers yesterday in Washington State. So it is happening.
I will say this....we have waited since last March. The Warp Speed or whatever they called the act to get us a vaccine got us a vaccine faster than any such thing in the history of the world. That is in itself amazing. It usually takes years to test and approve a vaccine.
We can all rage, cry, and point our fingers all we want. Meanwhile, we will have to make our best personal decision whether to get a vaccine not yet approved other than emergency approval, and have to sign up when or where we can. We often like States Rights and so here we are, with each state making its own rules. We are now, in California anyone over 65, but we are also in SF close to out of vaccine other than needed second doses. Logistics have been difficult but our city finally has it worked out for three locations on top of the known ones we have now.
In short. Doing the best we can. Nothing in real life is perfect. Not everything can be quickly or easily fixed; that's life.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Because the handling of both testing AND vaccination have been so abysmally addressed in this country there is a major difference from state to state and communities within state.

Have you tried simply telling her that you don’t KNOW why there’s no vaccine for her, and that you have done everything you were able to do?

Personally, and from our family experiences I think she’s absolutely right, so why allow yourself to even become a part of the discussion? Is it worth trying to persuade her that THERE IS NO MORE VACCINE?

In the state I live in (Confusion USA, at present) you CAN walk into a pharmacy and get vaccinated but here’s the joke- THERE IS NO VACCINE HERE EITHER!

THERE IS NO VACCINE. Anywhere. That is the truth. Feel free to pass the blame squarely to where it belongs!
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Reply to AnnReid
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I think you need to develop a thick skin, a couple of stock phrases (I'm sorry mom, but I didn't have the information I needed; I'm sorry that you have to wait, but you will get it when more vaccine becomes available). Leave the room if she becomes abusive.

This really points up the need to have those numbers on hand!
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Isthisrealyreal Jan 17, 2021
My thought exactly.

This is a perfect opportunity to drive it home why having this personal information is so important.

If you are not allowed to have it, then you have every right to tell her to hush up the berating words. She doesn't get to have it both ways.
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