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My 77 year old mother has Dementia. Diagnosed in November 2012. She is on Aricept since January 2013. Tonight she called the police because her drivers license expired in October when she was in the hospital of an accuse UTI, a TMA and signs of altered mental status. She says we are preventing her from driving. Her Doctors have all recommend she can no longer drive due to her Dementia. She refuses to try to understand that she is sick. She is also a fall risk due to her bad knees and requires 24 hours care. She refuse any outside help. I had to move back home after being gone (living over 1000 miles away)for 30 years to be her primary care giver. My brother lives in the same city (but has his own apartment) as my mother, but had been in denial about her mental decline until asked by her neurologist in December. I am 47 years old. Single. No kids.
The police came and said it was a civil manor. They understood she's sick but there was nothing they could do. She of course will refuse a power of attorney and is asking us to move out of her house. HELP!

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It's probably time to find out what the rules are about Medicaid eligibility in your state when she's underwater on the mortgage. I assume that she will run out of money sooner rather than later, and you don't want her to use her money in a way that might delay her eligibility.
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I would honestly suggest bro get DPOA, then incomp when necessary. you will be the ones filing for guardianship anyhow, so DPOA is same result but cheaper. You can court challenge if she tries to change it. As long as you two have no reason not to be guardian (ie no felony, gambling addiction, etc) there is no reason not to be DPOA. I don't think the courts want to do an unneeded guardianship. DO KEEP GOOD $ RECORDS!!!! pretend that every dime may have to be accounted for to the courts...it might save your derrier later. STAY sqeaky clean on the $ so if she says you are stealing you can prove to courts that you aren"t (it may come to showing to acct statement & asking if you are stealing why is nothing missing?)
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If she tells the police she wants you out and you do not have a right to residence, are on the deed of the house or have a lease they have to remove your from the house regardless, she owns the house.
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I had a similar situation, but it went more smoothly. Thankfully, it was a perceptive cop who answered her call.

I went out to do an errand, came back 1 1/2 hr later. She didn't know where I was, so called the cops to report me as a missing person. I was home again when the police arrived. She couldn't remember why she had called them, so said I was stealing from her and she wanted me to leave. He asked "what did she steal?" The answer was "stuff". She couldn't name anything. The cop was great. He seemed to see what the story was, and worded things to give me hints. I got his his hint , and said to my aunt. "ok, I'll leave, but can I stay tonight?" She said ok. The cop looked pleased and left. By morning, she had forgotten all about this. It had blown over.

Oh, and BTW, the policeman also contacted the town's Dept of Elder Affairs. They dropped over to see what support services they could offer.

Wish I could have told you my story before this happened to you!

You have my prayers and good wishes.
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I guess it is not unusual for an older person with some form of dementia to be in denial. My mother is in her 90's and over the past 5 years had progressive dementia. She is the same, refusing help, resenting people doing anything, insisting she can it it herself (which she can't and doesn't) Fortunately we got her to sign paperwork when she did her will, so we have control of finances and medical. I would suggest taking your mother to a doctor and see if he can confirm she shouldn't be making decisions and maybe you can have her legally declared incompetent, which would at least give you power to control when she needs to be moved to an institution and you can take care of her finances.
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New2Dementia-First may I say as a nurse you have a long road ahead of you. Secondly, get a letter from the neurologist stating your mother's condition is memory deficiency and you can file for guardianship with the Probate Court. Aricept is not a drug that will change the dementia diagnosis, and many people taking it experience aggressive behaviors, so talk to her doctor about decreasing the dosage or stopping it altogether. My husband could not take that drug at all even in the tiniest of dosages. The stages of dementia are different for most depending on the damage in the brain, but usually the aggressiveness diminishes given times. But, it only goes downhill from here. This is a terminal illness and start preparing yourself for the eventual outcome. Notify your motor vehicle dept. she has a medical condition which would make her a danger to herself and others if given another driver's license. Also, the police who responded after she called them probably checked her license and found out it was expired. Any domestic altercations are civil matters, but if she injures you physically you could press charges if you wanted. You are to be commended for moving back to care for her, and I wish you and your brother the best!
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You can not get a POA if your mother is deemed incompetent, if this boat has sailed you have to get a guardianship. I would work on getting a POA while she is deemed competent enough to deal with her affairs. She will get over wanting you out unless she is not as demented as you think. I would be careful what paperwork I initiate about her competence before you have legal action covered.
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My mom also was found to have had small strokes, and bascially vascular dementia. She also would get worse with UTIs or cellulitis or anything. She once started hitting people at the assisted living with her purse and they were smart enough to realize it was medical and got her to the ER without even needing to ask me. But another time, Mom was having fits over nothing and they wanted to take her to gero-psych, and I insisted on the medical ER first and was very glad I did, as she turned out to be having a heart attack and just could not voice what she was feeling in any way they could understand, until later when she finally mentioned, "Yeah, my chest hurt." OK, how does "it's scary, it's spooky" and "everybody is talking too much" translate into "my chest hurts and I need medical attention?" It doesn't. I put it on her care notes that seriously aggressive behavior usually had a medical cause and to always think of that first.

That problem of decompensating and getting combative with any infection or illness was what finally made me realize there was absolutely no way Mom could go back home and live on her own as she so deeply wished, even with a LifeLine and the world's best neighbors.
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My mother turned 94, shortly after she began this journey of hospital, rehab, nursing home, and assisted living. Mine would not have been able to be out in the yard. She stayed in her own home, up to the very last day that she could get out of bed on her own. Medicare paid for a lot of her hospital, etc.
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OUCH! Been there -- the dementia patient DOES NOT SEE THE PROBLEM. They sometimes know (subconcously) that something is wrong, but fight/deny it with all kinds of crazy logic (carried a flaming pot of food through a hallway full of paper-filled boxes rather than simply putting a lid on the pot? I found the char marks on the boxes..."you should have seen the flames---it was the only way to take care of it" - YIKES!!!).
You and your brother need to have a talk ASAP. Your mother will fight you.
One of you may have to play "bad cop" in order to get her to sign DPOA with the other. This needs to be done before she is OFFICIALLY declared "incompetant", so you need to move fast fast fast! Make sure that your brother knows you will support him/assist, & he can be a figurehead if he wants (be prepared to allow him to make decisions that you disagree with -- if they don't actually endanger your Mom or others (driving!) decide ahead of time that you will give in.
Be sneaky with the car (remove the distributer cap and it "won't run", disconnect starter wires, whatever), sabotage her key so it won't work (hide the working key), when the car "doesn't work" offer to drive her where-ever. (if she has a mechanic, let him in on what/why if it gets that far, so he can delay by needing to order parts, etc..

Don't argue with your Mom's bad logic, as this will just make it worse. From experience it's hard as heck, especially at the beginning of this when she SOUNDS normal. Don't know how much you can tell family members (ie her sister), as they may be at the beginning of this.
Also, if you CAN do DPOA it is much cheaper than conservatorship (by at least $25k in lawyers fees alone if you are the conservator, plus book-keeping, court fees, investigator fees etc.. etc. etc. that can easily be $5-10k/year for the rest of your Mom's life)
You DO probably need help, but please don't let yourselves get talked into a professional conservator--hire things done if necessary, but keep control of your mother in the family.

The "good kid/bad kid" thing -- your mother needs a scapegoat to blame for why people are trying to stop her from doing things, & it sounds like she's decided it's you (could be less afraid that you will abandon her, may think she can manipulate your bro more easily...).

Please be sympathetic with the terror that she will be for the next 6 months -- she is likely to know in some part of her mind that she is losing one of the things that she values most --her mind. It's like the worst sort of death sentence for someone who is very bright.
I don't know what state you are in, but in CA a Dr. can contact the DMV to have a lic. suspended for medical reasons that create a danger (black-outs, dementia, seizures, etc). , but no lic. may not stop your Mom.
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Of course your nerves are shot...you are only human. Sounds like your brother needs a wake up call...HELLO!! Your situation is a little different from mine as you are living with your mother. When my mom would start with accusations before she was incapacitated, I avoided contact, would not return her calls but I still kept a tight watch on her with the help of a couple ladies mom was in contact with. My mom doesn't just have Alzheimer's...she also has a personality disorder (mental illness). With the support of this site and these two ladies who knew my mom had Alzheimer's, I was able to get through 2012. My mom would get so angry with me and sis accusing us of stealing her money, etc. While she was still competent we limited contact during these tirades. Eventually she calmed down just like your mom has. You will get through this so vent away, it helps and the feedback from others helps to ground you too. Hugs!!
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Mom is still out back gardening. I walked to the CVS to pick up her prescriptions. I am glad I got out and got the exercise. It's about a mile but I took my time and was walking for about an hour while talking to my girlfriends that live in other states on the phone.
I told my mother my blood pressure was up and that I had a migraine (white lie) and that I needed to relax and rest in my room for the say. She said do you want to go to the doctor? I said no I just need to relax. She said you go on and relax then. She was talking with a neighbor (they know her condition) so thank God the guy was patient with her. She was sweeping and planting her flowers she purchased from home depot. Hopefully she will have a good nights sleep AFTER a bath tonight!
Thanks for letting me vent.
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Chicago1954,
How old was your mother when she went 'away' did she have advanced Dementia? Is she in a nursing home? My mother has no savings and cannot afford an assistive living facility. She also has a mortgage. Her house is "underwater".
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Not sue if the Aricept is working but she is calmer except when she has rants about her not driving or not being able to be independent...stuck in the house....she seems the neurologist in August after being on it for 6 months.

My brother takes her for outings in is car and to the movies. I can't drive with her because we will argue and I am afraid I will have an accident. She does nothing but criticize me because my life didn't turn out like she wanted it to.
Her girlfriend tales her to the hair salon twice a month and she has monthly bridge clubs (but I doubt they will let her host again since she's not always herself.
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I would leave and let the pieces fall where they may. We had to do it with our own Mother - but she wasn't trying to drive. In our case, we had a new care giver and she called an ambulance the first morning that she worked. Mother has not been home, since - because neither my sister or I live within 1500 miles of her. Your mom would be much safer in a home for people with dementia. Oh, and disable that car, just in case she would find the keys or has others, somewhere.
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Also the neurologist waited until all test came back and UTI was clear and her kidneys were back functioning (she has kidney disease due to her high blood pressure but is not on dialysis). The ER pumped her with haldol and all types of sedatives and they wanted to clear that out of her system to get to the root of the problem.
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sunflo2,
I too have mourned the loss of "my mom" or wishing her to thank me, be grateful for all I've done or apologize.
I am waiting for the next event where she ends up in the hospital and case manager or social worker makes her move into a care facility.
Thank you for your reply. This really makes me feel better and not alone.
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sharynmarie,
Yes, she had a mimi stroke i Oct/Nov that are not detectable easily but not a major stroke (brain bleeding) and she was confused so her doctor had her pre-admited thinking she had a stroke. Turns out she had an ACCUTE SEVERE UTI that caused the confusion.
She is still mentally competent but her short term memory is declining.
Her Neurologist said it was caused by Metabolic encephalopathy, but now that my brother admitted that he thought it was due to old age and perhaps it's dementia.
She was driving had her bridge club noted at her house the Friday before she went into the hospital the following Thursday...and refused to go. Her doctor had to call for 3 hours straight to get her to go. My brother was at home with her. I was spending the week with my father in Arkansas who will be 81 and is active and sound mind.
The neurologist prescribed the Aricept because she said if its given at the early signs, it can slow the progress. Of course there is no cure.
Today she is gardening so she's calm, but yesterday she had my brother drive her to her doctor with no appointment. I have no idea what happened or what was said and I just can't take calling him to find out. My nerves are shot.
The nurse called me on my cell phone because my brother just dropped her off and went to get gas. She told me that one of us has to escort her when she goes to the doctor and they were wondering how she go there.
He finally went up to the office but I didn't even ask or wanted to know if she created a scene.
I took the bus downtown because it was a nice day yesterday only to have it ruined by getting the call fro the nurse and my brother getting mad at me because he felt he did nothing wrong.
Let's hope she tires herself out gardening this afternoon. She loves her flowers. I'm in my room decompressing and will go pick up her refill meds later this evening to get out the house. I don't want her to see me driving the car out of the garage because tthat might start an episode.
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Jeannegibbs gave the best advice. I felt your story was similar to mine. Its a battle and my mom is staunchly defending her independence (90, dementia). She has called the police several times on various matters (4x in one month recently) and they would call me (i live long distance) and I would do same as you, talk to them about her dementia, give them her drs diagnosis, contact info, etc; even the community services board (who has a record on her) and the police comment same thing and don't need to take into account any background info. They compartmentalize the situation. My mom refused all help, then was ordered to have in-home care which we put in place and she fought tooth n nail for weeks, then locked them out and called police on them. The police asked if I hired them or my mother; I said I had as part of a care plan agreement; they asked my mother if she wanted them, she said no and wanted them out of her house. Police sent the CNAs home and that was that. My mom has refused any additional services or care.

You said license is expired. Write the DMV and explain her condition, and provide dr contact info; tell them you do not want them to renew her license. There is a form on the DMV website that you can download and fill out. They won't reveal a relative so she won't know it is you. Tell her she can't drive on expired license, then take her and let DMV tell her they can't renew the license without her doctor's signature. That should stop this.
Sell the car so she doesn't have to look at and be reminded its one more loss of independence.

You will have to come to grips with her wanting you to move out. Tell her you are looking for a place, and cut back on some of the things you do for her unless she asks for your help. You may have to move out if that is her decision. Yes, elders make bad choices -- my mom is one and I've finally "cried uncle" and am leaving her alone. I call her 1x per wk and have mourned the loss of "my mom" or wishing her to thank me, be grateful for all I've done or apologize. Its been a long road; but I have decided to respect her wishes to live as she pleases. I still worry about her falling, starving or getting food poisoning, but I can't control and legally don't have the rights and I refuse guardianship battle. I'm waiting for the next event where she ends up in the hospital and case manager or social worker makes her move into a care facility.

Good luck to you. Don't fight with your brother, work together on a united front to protect your mother and others (with the driving danger). In the end, you need each other.
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New2dementia~By early onset, do you mean early stages? Early onset is when a person is younger than 65 and develops dementia. Did your mom have TIA...mini stroke? I ask because it sounds like your mother is still mentally competent which would explain her continuing to fight for her license after many months. My mother forgets right after you tell her something.
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I don't argue. I do't try to debate with her. I just keep to myself and limit conversations with her. I have to maintain my sanity, mental and emotional health AND physical health.
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She started Aricept in January and the neurologist said shed said wait on the the Namenda after 6 months to see how the Aricept is working.
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She is fighting hard to keep her independence but she is so head strong and wants to drive!
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My mom is on Aricept and Lexapro anti depressant--- along with blood pressure meds & potassium (she is a stroke risk and has very high blood pressure controlled by meds and we try to with diet but its HARD). She is also taking folic acid iron, b12 shots every few months and vitamin D. They discovered she had several TMI/TMA stroks but can't tell when they occurred during her hospital stay Oct/Nov. The last time she has a MRI EKG and CAT scan was in 2010
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sharynmarie,Thank you for your reply.
Her neurologist and doctors and doctors in the hospital all suspect early onset dementia. He doctor told her the other day she could not drive because she has dementia....it's been going on for months with her calling him and asking him during her visits why she can't drive.
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I understand what you are going through and my breaks for you. T his is very difficult as I have been there. This is what I suggest you do. Do not argue with her, do not tell her she has dementia, redirect her thoughts to other subjects. If you have taken your mother to a neurologist, what was his/her diagnosis? Did you ask straight out, is she mentally incapacitated? My mother lost her drivers license in early October last year. She refused all medication for dementia since the diagnoses in Dec. 2009. After losing her license, she declined rapidly and was determined mentally incapacitated in March of this year. We went through all the similar frustrations you are going through and Jeanne is right, if your mother is still considered competent, there is not much you can do but distance yourself. I am concerned that you do not have DPOA and I suggest you seek the advice of an elder law attorney because you may need to get a guardianship/conservatorship when your does become mentally incapacitated. Attorney's generally do not charge for the first consultation so take advantage of it arm yourself with information so you are prepared for the future. My mother has a DPOA, she has a living trust. We could not use the DPOA until mom was diagnosed as mentally incapacitated. My mother still insists there is nothing wrong with her...this is normal for dementia so please do not spend your time trying to argue with her or convincing her she has this. Let your mother take care of her personal care as much as she can do for herself. My mother is taking Namenda and an antidepressant. The antidepressant has does done wonders in calming her down so she does not panic as badly as she was back in late December. I had to lie to her about what the medication was for or she would have refused to take it. Take care and keep us posted. Hugs to you!!
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Anyone, absolutely anyone, can develop dementia. In my local support group we have had caregivers of clergy (2), police, architect, lawyers (2), engineers (3), and housewife, to name what I can remember off the top of my head. And I can tell you this, a lawyer with dementia is no more logical than a housewife with dementia. Previous education, experience, degrees, and occupation do not insulate one from the impairments dementia inflicts.
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BonnieW,

Yes, an educator up until 75 or 76 years. Everthing she says is right and if you don't agree with her the you are wrong. Plus she has 3 masters degrees.And of course I am still 12 in her mind.
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Thank you for all of your feedback and suggestions. Please continue to throw out suggestions as they come to ind.
I have no car, so I have to use hers. I f I could I would sell it and rely on Zip Car...seems as if it would be less drama....but then again...she would wonder where her car is :/
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Yes, an educator up until 75 or 76 years. Everthing she says is right and if you don't agree with her the you are wrong. Plus she has 3 masters degrees.And of course I am still 12 in her mind.
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