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Prior to my mom being in the NH she lived alone. She was managing but all of a sudden she started calling me a lot at work asking me names of places and phone numbers...having trouble remembering. She didn’t pay her bills for a month so I took things over online. Did what I could do from afar. When I came to visit, I made sure I had doctor appointments lined up. They put her on antibiotics for a UTI but she also wasn’t taking her medications for thyroid, diabetes & CHF. Her endo was not surprised by memory issues as well as her increased swelling in legs and the more health problems rearing their ugly heads. I got mom some home care as I live in another country. She was all of a sudden having trouble standing up and walking. The home PT came in and found her on the floor. At the hospital they discovered she had a brain bleed from the fall. After all of this...now mom doesn’t seem to remember who is passed on and asks about her mom. She forgets I don’t work or live in NJ anymore. A friend called her and when I mentioned it must have been nice to talk to said friend, she has no recollection that they spoke yesterday. The friend even said she sounded good up until she said my dad hasn’t visited her yet (he passed in 2016). Some days she’s more orientated and other days it’s a battle to get her to understand why she can’t come home. She does not seem to recognize she can’t stand up on her own, or walk. She doesn’t try but in her head thinks she can go home and do all these things to take care of herself. The psychologist and doctors have said she is not capable of making decisions on her own anymore. But no one has told Me if this is dementia that has set in or if this is from the brain injury. I want to read up on dementia so I know how to handle my mom as she was never really a truly nice person before but with dementia if that’s what it is I have to handle things differently. She doesn’t remember disowning me 5 times and telling me not to call or visit and when I told her this, she asked me if I was still mad at her. It broke my heart because maybe she doesn’t mean it now but it is so hard for me not to get mad and angry when it’s happening like when we use to fight prior to all of this. Should I treat this as dementia anyway?

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Thank you, i hope so too! I agree she isn’t “lucky” and I always hated saying this to my husband but as I watch my mom being miserable and deteriorating while always knowing she was a confrontational person, I felt at times she’d be better off is she passed peacefully in her sleep in her home but I’m not going to get to see that happen. Jeanne I’m sorry about your husband. i haven’t honestly seen any improvement in moms memory or physical capabilities. My father was in a nursing home for 3 years before he passed but he was totally competent he just had both legs amputated and seem to have accepted what help he needed and enjoyed the activities of the nursing home and I loved talking and visiting him. My mom is so much different, and as you say her brain is broken and no matter what caused it, I have to make sure she is safe.
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Erica, you wrote, "I was told by the doctors at the hospital and at the NH my mom cannot afford another fall like the one she had, that she got lucky but probably wouldn't survive another one." In what sense did she get lucky, I wonder? She doesn't sound like she thinks she's lucky. She wants you to kill her. She hates her life. This anger and distress may diminish. She may actually forget it. Maybe some day she'll feel lucky, too.

We were lucky that neighbors were around when my husband fell in the garage. And lucky again that his injury healed. He had another 9 years of a pretty normal life. But what if he hadn't healed? Would living that befuddled life, in a care center, have been "lucky"?

After he developed dementia, he asked me to kill him. He made sure all his paperwork stated no heroic measures of any kind. He even had his defibrillator removed. He thought his brothers who each died of a heart attack at a young age were lucky. Why did he have to suffer dementia? But after the worst of the symptoms diminished he did have some quality to his life, things he looked forward to, things he enjoyed, people who loved him. I felt we were lucky for that.

You have no control over the "luck" of situation. All you can do is advocate for
care in your mother's best interest. At some point, that may or may not be attempting to extend her life.

The NH will do their utmost to prevent Mom from falling, and to minimize the consequences if she does fall. They are good at that. But they have no control over "luck." A person prone to falling can fall at home, alone in her room, or with 2 people next to her.

Let's hope your mom's view of life's value improves when she gets into the long-term section of the facility.
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One day while I was on errands my husband stood on a ladder in the garage and fell, landing on his head on the cement floor. Neighbors called for help and performed CPR. I came home to find a police officer waiting to break the news to me. My husband, Coy, was delusional, had no memory, couldn't understand instructions -- his brain was broken. Would it ever heal? No one knew! If these symptoms were from lack of oxygen to the brain, they were permanent. If they were from the swelling in the brain, they would improve when the swelling went down. The fifth week he was in the brain injury ward in the hospital they advised me to start looking for placement. And by the end of the week, his brain cleared!! He was coherent. We could explain why he was there and he followed the explanation. I brought him home. The only lingering "broken brain" problems were lethargy and lack of energy. A psychiatrist explained what part of the brain controlled that, said he'd need to be on an antidepressant the rest of his life because that part had been damaged. That gave me back my "normal" husband, and so we continued for 9+ years.

And then, on a Saturday morning out to breakfast, he had a complete meltdown. Within weeks he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. Once again his brain was broken. His symptoms were severe. He seemed to have dived right in to the advanced stage. But within 6 months his symptoms moderated considerably. Dementia never gets better so I asked his doctor (a researcher) what was going on. The theory was that the original symptoms were not all from the dementia -- some were from inflammation as his brain fought off the foreign bodies. When the inflammation cleared up he then was left with the early symptoms of LBD. His symptoms stayed relatively mild for 10 years.

So, once his brain was broken because of a fall; it mostly healed. Once his brain was broken because of the presence of protein bodies associated with dementia. In each case there were other things going on in the brain -- swelling, inflammation.

Getting medical explanations was very interesting! But, EricaMagoo83, I had to cope with the symptoms that presented themselves, regardless of their cause. Paranoia is paranoia, whether from a fall, an inflammation, or Lewy Bodies. Difficulty in swallowing needs to be evaluated and planned for, regardless of what the underlying cause is. Belligerence can be dangerous whether it stems from a brain bleed or dementia.

Keep up your research into the cause. It makes life a tiny bit more predictable if you know. (Realize that you may not know unless an autopsy is performed.) And ways to deal with forgetfulness (as one example) aren't really different no matter what caused that particular "break" in the brain.

Stay in touch here. We want to go beside you on this journey.
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Erica, you’re doing good. I don’t think it ever gets easy, but having these guys in care is such a relief. It’s good that we can trade our war stories. I wish you the best.
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Thank you both. I was originally calling every other day and crying ever time we got off the phone. A friend told me to pull back and i really only talk to her once a week maybe twice on a good week. Like you windy, i keep contact with the doctor through email so I know what’s going on. I also realized when she didn’t remember talking to our friend the night before she probably doesn’t remember talking to me either. She asked when she’d see me again but couldn’t remember the last time she saw me (about 2.5 weeks ago). I haven’t seen a lot of activities there which bothers me but she’s been in the subacute area and I was told the long term area is where they have the activities. Right now no bed available so hey keep her where she is until one is available and I hope then maybe she will want to keep busy although her new thing is “I hate people.” My mom use to be a social butterfly but the only one she wants is me unless she’s disowning me. I feel a little weight lifted now that i have the lawyer and started the process of liquidating things rather than worrying what my next move is.
I keep saying one day at a time and take deep breathes. I think this forum and you all have a tremendous help as well.
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I agree with windy.

Erica -your mum is where she needs to be. Her brain is broken and may not have been wired normally to begin with. It is good to learn about the characteristics of the appropriate dementia so you know what is coming and how to deal with what is right now,

However, the managing of your day, your tomorrow and your week is also very important. You need to protect yourself from the stress too, as you can't fix your mother's problems. You don't have to take all the calls. You can let some go to voicemail. I found my mother would forget that she had called, even though at the time she called, it was very important to her. My heart goes out to you (((((hugs)))))
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I don’t know if it would work for you, but I’m not talking to my folks right now as I’m just the bad guy. I check with staff, keep up with things. My folks are kept pretty busy, see lots of people throughout the day. With all that and their levels of dementia, they’re not missing me.

And you can rest easy now. Your mom is safe and cared for. Deal,with the financial/house stuff or delay it if possible and take a breath.

You mom may be more connected however, but you still may want to pull back a bit if possible. She’ll be fine.
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Wow, good thing you caught that! My mom has trouble calling my number and has the nurses do it. So again, doubt she’d be able to pull off anything but the only way for me to communicate with her in there is by phone so i have to have it because I can’t get down to NJ except for maybe every other month...becomes expensive with flights and time off work.
My whole ordeal with my mom began November 27th. So as of tomorrow she will be long term care. I’m in the process of liquidating assets so I can pay the lawyer to help me get her on Medicaid, pay her funeral, and pay the nursing home so she will then qualify for Medicaid. I hope when this is all said and done, eventually i will empty her house although I’ll lose the house to foreclosure but then all will be said and done and I can rest easy knowing she’s safe. It’s a hard road
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It’s been just over a month since I got my folks in care. I purposefully did not put a phone in their room. By about day 2 mom was getting her bearings and was making noises about calling a lawyer. I don’t think she could have pulled it off but I was taking no chances.

Oddly however, she has never mentioned not having a phone. At home it was a huge problem. Crap scam charity calls all day and they got caught in the the GRANDKIDS IN JAIL scam. I caught it just in time. They had gone to the bank and withdrawn $1500 but couldn’t figure how to get money orders the scammer was demanding. The teller and manager at the bank tried to dissuade them but they wouldn’t listen.  I found the cash in a drawer while cleaning out the house.  It would have been just a matter of time before they’d have been wiped out.
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Agreed. I try not talking to her but she had the nurse call me and the nurse told me she was cursing her out. For once I was able to calm her down. But for the most part it’s the same convo. My mom also thinks the insurance is covering which they are up until tomorrow. I haven’t told her. There is no point. I just keep saying the doctors will not discharge her and there is nothing I can do. She told me she was going to get on a bus & go home but she isn’t capable of planning mentally nor physically making the escape. I hope you and I get through this with decreased stress and everything will work out
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It is very hard, I know, but you have to try and look at it objectively.
I haven’t spoken to my mom for several days. Just no point, same conversation over and over. It’s better for both of us if we just detach for now. I tell her nothing about finances. She thinks her insurance covers everything. That’ll work.
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Windy, I can relate to so many people on here it is unbelievable. I am so glad I found this site. I don't want to put her through more unnecessary testing. I found out through our department of health that my mom was calling the EMS 8 times in one month for lift assists and falls, refusing each time to go to the hospital. I was reading up just now on vascular dementia and I'm like wow! Diabetes, atrial fib which my mom has/had but had a pacemaker put in a few years back. I felt like my mom really let herself go after my father passed. She wasn't taking her medications which are so important for diabetes, CHF and no thyroid! I'd call and remind her every day, so sometimes I don't know if it was forgetfulness or just noncompliance. I also hear so many people talk about difficult and narcissistic parents, and my mom was or is one of those as well. At one point she asked me to kill her rather than let her stay in that place, I told her I couldn't do that, she wouldn't want me to go to jail. She told me she didn't care what happened to me or my life. I know some people would say that is dementia talking and yes sometimes it is, but my mom has been physically abusive in the past so very hard for me to mentally separate now!
I was told by the doctors at the hospital and at the NH my mom cannot afford another fall like the one she had, that she got lucky but probably wouldn't survive another one. The other scary part is her difficulty swallowing and the risk of her choking to death. I've had to come to terms with that she is right where she needs to be as awful as she says it is, at least I get to hear her say it. I am just in awe of the fact that she cannot understand how her body is failing and the disconnect with her brain and understanding to her physical disabilities. I feel for you Windy. It has been the hardest thing I've had to do and act as the parent to do what is best for her. I also hate having to dabble in her funds to eventually get her on Medicaid. I just don't have the heart to tell her, it would only upset her more.
I'm just still getting use to having to manage my mom's new mental status. I honestly think that is the hardest emotional thing for me right now. I wish she could just understand.
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Erica, our moms are very similar. I just got my folks in care a month ago. Mom is usually in the here-and-now but her executive reasoning is gone. She’s had a series of bad falls, which are continuing, but thinks she should be home and is just fine.

I think mom has some dementia, she’s 86, but each fall seems to set her back a little more. She gets weaker and more confused. I’m working with the facility to try and cut down on the extensive ER visits, transfers to other hospitals for yet more tests etc. after each fall. They have their protocols, I understand that, but so much of this is not necessary, hauling a poor beat up old lady all over the state.
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Thank you everyone. I'm going to read up on vascular dementia and also speak with her doctor. Although I doubt they will want to perform more tests, only thing she had was her CT scan in the hospital after the fall.
No one prepares for this but I'll be honest my dad was in a NH but mentally fully functional, and I thought with my moms health problems those would take her before dementia started to arise. She's the oldest at 74 that any of her immediate family has made it. Thank you all again for your support ad help
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I think that's because vascular dementia is characterized by mini strokes. It's these mini strokes that lead to the loss of function. Strokes can be detected with a MRI.
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Sudden declines followed by plateaus are typical in Vascular Dementia.
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I believe in the beginning they had a neuro psychiatrist to see her becaue it was approved by her insurance for evaluation. Then the doctor mentioned a psychologist. It gets confusing talking to them and who she’s actually seeing. I live in Canada so I’m a 9 hour drive away so a lot of my Communication is through phone and emails but I make sure i am a firm presence in her care.
I agree that dementia is usually a slower onset that’s why i mentioned the forgetfulness that started before the fall but how much worse it got after the fall.
While I was writing this, I looked up the name the doctor gave me and the other doctor is a psychiatrist not a psychologist, sorry my fault for the misinformation. I just want to make sure I advocate for all that she needs. I think it is her mental status that distresses me the most even with all of her deteriorating health issues.
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I think no one will ever know for sure if it's dementia or from the brain injury. Although dementia changes tend to be gradual and not acute. If something happens instantly, then more likely it's a brain injury like a fall or a stroke.

You might have her see a neurologist/psychiatrist instead of a psychologist. A psychiatrist is a MD that specializes in mental health while a psychologist is not a MD. In the case of dementia or brain injury I think a psychiatrist is more apropos than a psychologist.
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Barb, the doctor does have a psychologist coming in and seeing her. She’s depressed, agitated, has poor concentration, didn’t do well with clock drawing and does not seem to acknowledge her physical limitations which makes her a danger to herself. They say she isn’t grasping the situation. When you tell her, the next day she soon forgets.
I know she’s agitated she is there and wants to go home and she gets so angry and nasty when she doesn’t get her way which isnt that different from how she use to be but now there is no sense of filter.
I just keep wondering if this is progressive from dementia or from the brain injury. I’m not sure I’ll ever really know.
I’m trying to learn the fibbing trick. I feel bad lying to her making her think she could come home or whatever & i have to get use to the fact she won’t remember anyway.
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Anosognosia is a condition in which the dementia sufferer does not recognize the fact that they have cognitive limitations.

Is there a geriatric psychiatrist who visits the N H? It sounds as though your mom is somewhat anxious and agitated. Meds sometimes help.

" I'll check into that, mom" became our response to lots of stuff.
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Thank you freqflyer! I did suspect some delirium at first (I work in the health field) but the fall was Nov. 27th and even though she’s in the NH l, i thought maybe some
Improvement would happen but it hasn’t. As I said...good days & bad days. She can still walk but needs a walker and moderate assistance because of her swollen legs and balance issues. The doc said she’d manipulate the situation and kick care givers out if I ever brought her home so there are no options but to keep her in the NH to receive the medical care she needs and the safety precautions. Did I mention she’s lost the reflect to swallow properly so she’s on a modified diet and requires monitored eating of minced food.
it’s only me in her life so i take the brunt of her anger. I’m trying to agree with her but her biggest thing is “I feel fine, I want to go home” and I’ve explained to her the doctors won’t let her and she asks why. It’s like she can’t see all the issues wrong with her or that she’s unsafe. Then She pulls the you “you don’t love me, after all this time this is what you think me”. It’s so hard because I’m trying to keep her safe. My
Grandmother had Alzheimer’s according to my mom, I never met my grandmother. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised my mother having it at 74, I just feel the brain injury increased this dementia quickly!
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I remember back when my Mom had a serious fall at my parent's home. EMT's came and took her to the ER. Sure enough a brain bleed was found. Home stayed in the hospital a couple of days as she was dealing with delirium. Once back home she was once again her self. Mom refused the doctor's orders of having a caregiver as she said her husband [my Dad] could take care of her, well she and Dad were in their mid-to-late 90's. Dad was also a fall risk along with other age related declines.

Then came a second serious fall, also with head injury, back to the hospital, another brain bleed, then to rehab, and then into long-term-care. Mom forgot how to walk or even stand. It was like all the sudden she was in late stages of dementia, which surprised me as she was pretty sharp for a person of 97.

Thank goodness I learned a lot on this website here about dementia so I just followed the recommendations. And I also taught my Dad how to relate to Mom whenever he visited her, just agree with everything she says, do not try to correct her. Surprisingly Dad did quite well. Except for times when Mom said she walked for 20 minutes [which never happened] but Dad believed Mom and wanted to bring her home.... [sigh]

To learn more about dementia, scroll down to the bottom of this page to the blue section. Click on ALZHIMER'S CARE.... there are excellent articles about both dementia/alzhimer's. Plus you can ask us any questions here on the forums.
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Diabetes, CHF and a brain bleed all predispose someone to Vascular Dementia, if I were you I would start my research there.
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