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Hello. My sisters and I have been taking care of my mother, diagnosed with dementia. Since 3 of us are still working full-time and mom's memory is decreasing, we are finding it more difficult to ensure her safety and make sure she is eating properly and taking medications. We want to bring in a part-time caregiver and she is very adamantly against it. She does not believe she needs this assistance and we cannot seem to convince her otherwise.


Has anyone experienced this and how did you overcome it?

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Good luck to you! I spoke with family and children’s services, and guardianship is very expensive and requires a court date, which could take a long time to obtain. In addition, I was told that in NY, the guardian is required to come back four times a year for “checks and balances” meetings to make sure the power is not being abused. It makes sense, but it is extremely hard across state lines... especially working full time.
Power of attorney is an absolute necessity for ANYone who has any form of cognitive impairment! Get it before it’s too late. It’s basically free, and requires a notary. Once your loved ones bills and credit cards go awry, utility companies and financial institutions will NOT speak to you to resolve any issues without their permission. If you can become a “signer” on their checking accounts, that’s very helpful too. It takes a tremendous amount of trust for a Senior to do this, but surprisingly, both my parents agreed. When mom died, it was too hard for dad to keep up with things, so it made it much easier.
Its not fool-proof, however. Some banks have their “own” forms, but so far, it’s been easier to get bills paid and reconciled with POA. Just do yourself a favor and learn to use a scanner because you will be sending it often.
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Reply to Dadsakid
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Mrsox, my experience is much like that of rattled. I dealt with both parents from 3 states away who would not even accept meals on wheels. I tried to very deftly work in home care aids but my folks refused. Had the crazy driving issue, falls, trips to ER the whole 9 yards.

Sometimes an elder will warm up to a hired caregiver if done gradually. I had no luck but you might give it a try.

Finally, after a horrible fall, I moved mom directly from the hospital to assisted living then tricked, fibbed, and cajoled Dad into moving in a few days later. It was 6 kinds of hell for a few weeks but they gradually adjusted.

Its not always this way but seems pretty typical. It takes that big crisis to force the issue.
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Reply to Windyridge
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mrsox1, my Mom was the same way, refused caregivers. Elders want to hang onto whatever bit of independence they have left. Actually Mom would have MORE freedom if there was a caregiver. They could go out to the stores together, the caregiver could take Mom to the doctor appointments, to the hairdresser, etc.

I never tried this, but I have seen this suggested here. Tell Mom the caregiver is for you, yourself, that you are concerned with Mom being on her own. Then find an Agency where you could find a caregiver that has a similar childhood background as Mom. That worked great when I needed to get caregivers for my Dad. Dad had these two caregivers for over a year. Similar childhoods and both understood Dad's sense of humor :)

Then again, your Mom may still refuse. It won't change until Mom has a 911 issue at home. Even then, it may take two 911 issues before Mom will change her mind.
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Reply to freqflyer
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I think most of us have dealt with this situation to one degree or another.

It is so frustrating that you have no power and as adults they can do as they please, until the doctors declare them incompetent. Trust me, by the time that happens they are usually almost dead. I get it, abuse of that power is the reason it is so challenging, I would rather it this way then anybody being able to say I'm incompetent because they don't like my decisions.

You will have to accept she can do as she pleases. The flip side of that is, you can do as you please as well. Set boundaries, let her deal with things not getting done and tell her, this is what you refusing outside help looks like. Very hard to do, but sometimes pain is the only thing that teaches some people.

I don't understand why my parents generation thinks they are going to do it their way, regardless of how it effects others. I have had to step back and say, okay, do it your way.

When you have no authority you have to be careful about taking responsibility.

Set boundaries and pray that she does okay and there is no tragedy. Sometimes that is all you can do.

My dad said he would rather die in a parking lot then live in a facility. The ombudsman told him he could make his own choices, so no more gentle guiding, he bought a truck and left state.

This aging parent journey is tough at best, so for your own wellbeing, set boundaries, stick to them and love her the best way you can as you step back and let her live with the consequences of her choices.

Hugs 2 u!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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my Father (cognitive impairment, normal pressure hydrocephalus with dementia symptoms) was adamant, irrational, and made poor decisions. He refused any type of help, including a driver to take him on errands. He had his driver license suspended by his doctor due to fluid on his brain, and he decided he’d rather continue to smoke/drink than get his shunt surgery. (Doctor insisted he was nicotine free and detoxed) He decided to continue to smoke and drink and live his life the way he wanted. Our hands were tied, and POA did not give us the authority to force Home health aides on him or take his car. We took his keys and he had new ones made.. we flattened tires and he called a flatbed tow truck! He continued to drive, knowing he had no license. We involved local police since we live 3 states away- and they said they’d “look the other way” (so he continued to drive!) I warned him that due to his NPH, he was going to decline - becoming confused, urinalysis incontinent, and having changes in his gait to the point where he won’t be able to walk or stand. He didn’t seem to care, and insisted and bullied those around him to “LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Our only salvation came when he fell in his bathroom, got stuck for 8 hours, and was convinced to go to the hospital by a neighbor he trusts. The hospital detoxed him, he hasn’t smoked, he was billigerent, uncooperative, argumentative, and irrational at the hospital- saying he’s going outside to smoke and signing himself out. They deemed him “incapable of making decisions on his own” THANK GOD!!!! He is there currently, and I will be speaking to social services about a placement. So, instead of being able to choose his adult resort, his intimidation and bullying tactics have resulted in a hospitalization. He will not be able to return to his house because he will not allow anyone to look after him. I cannot “parent him” from 200 miles away, and his antics have literally torn apart our family.
Sometimes the best alternative is to take a step back and wait until the “18th emergency” occurs, and the next step will determine the path of care. Our first priority was to make sure dad and the public were safe. Now that he’s off the road, that has happened.
my doc said that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help...
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Reply to Rattled
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As someone with dementia, she may be at the point where you cannot reason with her because her reasoning ability is gone.

Has she been evaluated by a gerontologist (doctor for older people) who can tell you if she has reached that stage. If she has reached that stage, then whoever had medical POA needs to step in about her care and the durable POA pay for it with your mother's funds.

If you don't have POA already and your mother can no longer be reasoned with, your up the creek unless you file for guardianship. That is costly, involves a trial with 2 doctors declaring her incompetent to manage her finances in a business like manner and other family members are invited to the trial.
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Reply to cmagnum
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