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Like many here, I am at my wit's end. My mom is going to be 91 and is physically in pretty good shape. That's the irony because she is in the mid stage of dementia. She looks great and can still carry on conversations with people and if you didn't know her you would think she was a charming older woman with lots of style. But.....she refuses to take the Namenda the doctor has prescribed and then says I told her to stop and then totally denies that she ever said it when we go for her checkup. She is in total denial that there is anything wrong with her. It's not she who has misplaced her keys but someone (usually me...I'm an only child of 61) who has stolen them. I think the constant accusations of stealing are getting to me. I feel abused. She is under the belief that the neighbor downstairs (who isn't really a very pleasant person) is controlling her refrigerator and turning it on and off and sending up bad smells to her apartment. I've told her that even if she's 100% correct, there's nothing she can do if she can't prove it. Her "rationale" is that when someone is there, he doesn't do anything. I've asked her to move in with me but she says she couldn't live with me because I'm moody and I steal. I don't know what to do. She lives a couple of buildings down from me but now I'm moving a mile away and I can't get anyone to "help" her because, as she says "there's nothing wrong with me". Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am so stressed right now since I'm in the middle of packing my apartment and there is no one else to help

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Okay. NO MOVING MOM IN WITH YOU!! If you have any doubt, spend time reading this forum and all the regrets family members have after having done so. Leave the day to day caregiving to the professionals and you just spend quality time as her loving daughter in the time left.

Agree with earlier advices posted.
Don't take any paranoia, accusations, anger or outbursts, lies, personally. We've all been through it and it's painful, irritating and sad --but I can tell you, it's a universal behavior of this disease.

Do some reading up on dementia and Alzheimer's --there are many good books and you will feel better and gain some insights into your loved one and gain handy tips on how to handle and react.
My mom has gone as far as calling police on me, threatening a lawyer etc. when she believed I stole some things, gas-lighted her, hired terrorist attack, etc.

Drs placed her on several meds over time including Namenda, Aricept, Antidepreesants, anti-anxiety, sleeping pills, etc. I felt she was over medicated and wasn't managing her meds anyway (she lives alone with no help) and finally she just stopped taking all meds and refused to take any. And, after about 6 months, her episodes, angry outbursts and craziness actually got better and less frequent and she improved alertness and personally managing herself. She's 92 and not perfect...but we all agree she is much better off these meds. I'm not advocating for everyone, just giving my experience.
If she is tired, stressed, malnourished, dehydrated, then yes, she may lash out at me, lie, accuse me of stealing, etc. I ignore the behavior, let her rant and I don't argue with her...I just tell her, I love her, wouldn't do the behavior she's accused me of and then I excuse myself away for the rest of the day or overnight and we start over the next day. Most times she doesn't remember and I don't bring it up. I consider each day a fresh start with her and it has changed my life. I'm much more patient and she is much less on edge since I'm not correcting her or making her second guess herself.
She knows she is slipping a little and I don't need to remind her. I try to make each day count and make her feel normal and important. After all, isn't that what we all want?
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My mother was in denial until the night before she died…I went with her to all doctor appointments and at one point the doctor was writing me notes on the paper that lines the exam table asking me if what my mother was saying ( about taking her meds) was true or not….I also called him privately as he knew I was her caregiver and she was living with me. Also my mother was on in home hospice for 19 MONTHS all the while denying that she was on hospice…maybe a little denial is what kept her alive so long? idk
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Your becoming the enemy is part of her disease. I realize that this is easier said than done however, I say to you~Attempt not to take it personally.
When one is a caregiver, especially 24/7,"Caregiver Burnout" is very real. VERY REAL.
Being a caregiver, a medical professional, & having the skills to deal with all this goes down the drain @ times. When you are told that your "nuts" all the time, what I call "being the enemy", I have found myself lost & alone.
This is a good site to share information on. This is a good site for compassion & relating to others who also are dealing with the same issues.
If nothing more~Know you are not alone in your journey, even when you're alone~you're not~
Blessings to you both.
It is a difficult path to walk~~Sometimes I RUN AWAY~not often but I have 3X over the past 14 years.
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I also have a mother in denial. Yesterday I was refilling her med and found that she on took 1 out of 30 pills for her dementia. I have tried everything; pill machines, envelopes, boxes..Now I think I might have it "fixed". The pharmacist is putting her meds in blister packs. Hope this works. I don't personally think it is to late to get POA's in place. You need as much control as you can get at this point. Her doctor and attorney can help you get the POS's. My mother had mild dementia and I was able to get the POA's and then I had her declared incompetent. I know this sounds harsh but it HAD to be done to protect her and me from sibs.
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obrok, someone needs to break this secret to her neurologist. I'm not surprised that an intern would miss this because they are an intern, but for a neurologist with a 91 year old dementia patient in front of them taking those answers at face value without asking you in private or looking over at you to see any non-verbal cues of "she's not telling you the truth look on your face" is unbelievable unless you did not go in with her into the appointment room with her.

While your hands are tired without a medical POA from having the doctor talk with you about her dementia, nothing legally can keep you from informing the doctor that she is not taking her meds. I would call the neurologist office today and tell them that your mother has stopped taking her meds.

Until you can get a neurologist and or a gerontologist to diagnose her as incompetent, you are not even in a position to file for guardianship which you really need to have for your mother now.

This is quite a mess and I wish you the best. Call the neurologist's office this afternoon and tell them that she is not taking her medicine. They should have some ideas about how to proceed. I hope they would have encountered something like this before.
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obrok2727, it's great that you're on the bank account-that will help greatly. Having POA and all of that paperwork is so critical; yet, now that your mother has dementia, she doesn't have the faculties to grant it to you.
I do have POA for my mother, thank goodness. However, like your mother, she refuses to admit there is any problem. One document that I worked hard to get was a simple letter from her doctor stating that she was no longer able to handle her daily finances, make decisions about her estate, etc. I think that once you have this, you can then discuss further with an elder care attorney, and he can direct you further. Good luck.
And Double-Dog-Ditto to Babalou -- Do NOT bring your mother into your home.
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Thanks for your answers. She has seen both her internist and a neurologist but she yesses them to death that she is taking her meds. I would love to take her to a geriatrician but she would refuse to go as "there's nothing wrong with me". Unfortunately, I don't have POA and she would never sign anything giving me any power but her bank account is also in my name so I would have access and she does have a LTC policy.
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First off, DO NOT have your mom move in with you, or vice versa. Not unless you have a very clear understanding that you will be hiring caregivers with her money to do the caregiving.

If your mom has dementia, you need to be clear with her doctor about what her impairments are and what level of care she needs. I'm hoping that this is a geriatrics doctor that is seeing her; many Internists are totally clueless about the needs of dementia patients. If you have a signed HIPAA form, you can go and talk to the doctor on your own about mom; otherwise, send him a note before her appointment about what you've observed and ask him to discuss with both of you what her needs are. Most elders will listen to what a doctor says. Us "kids"? what do we know? We're just trying to steal their money, right! Her suspiciousness and paranoia seem to me to be an indication that her dementia is advancing and she may need meds to address those symptoms. Take care of yourself, first and foremost. And call her doctor today. Good luck!!!!
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I assume that you have told her doctor in private about your mother's denial, refusal to take her meds, and the head games she is playing with you? Parents with dementia often try their best to come across as normal to their doctors, but as their medical POAs, we have to advocate for them by telling the doctor in private either in person or by letter what is really going on.

Have you called to ask the doctor's nurse what to do about the denial and refusal to take the medication? She just might need more oversight that you can realistically give her at this point..

I would like to hear what others have to say, but not many are around at this time of night.

Please keep in touch. I wish you the best.
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