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Mom started showing beginning signs of dementia around 72. She was aware she was "not the same" and knew something was going on. A few red flags here and there, little fender benders occuring, forgetting where she parked and panicking. I took her to get tested and she failed miserably. I got the call from her PCP, with the dreaded "D" word diagnosis. She is now 81, as of somewhat recently, I have noticed she is moving into a new phase from what I have researched as Agnosia. Her short term memory has become progressively worse, there are no more cognitive conversations happening, she is on the defense about everything and there is no reasoning with her. The simplest things are now arguements. She denies anything I point out that could be a danger to her if she continues, she flatly denies doing it right after she did it. I feel like I am on the Merry Go Round and getting nowhere. Things went from being frustrating to wanting to bang my head against the wall. Yes I know she can't help it, but this is the latest "new normal" and I am having a hard time adjusting to the new stage of dementia. I am wrestling with how much more I need to "watch her" since she is still totally mobile and can handle getting dressed, showering, etc. I don't want to overly monitor her but is she more a danger to herself in this new phase? Any words of wisdom would be most appreciated!

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Jessiebelle,
Once again, you nailed it! I am the one having the hard time dealing with her new memory/time collapse and new denial on anything she does and the constant argueing. This morning as I was going over to check on her as usual, I announced to my husband, "I am going over to the insanity lounge, fastening my seatbelt!"
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No help. All me. Help costs 30 an hour where I live! I know as I became a caregiver to learn how to handle her as she advanced with this disease. They bill out at 30 an hour and pay the caregiver 12.00. She is not loaded with cash. I did not want to see what little savings she had get eaten up because all that adds up very quickly!
So I am not green at this, and she had memory issues when she was first diagnosed at 72 or 73. It's just advancing now and it is not a UTI, already went through that with her and know her symptoms. Last one was a real battle because she did not respond to several types of anti-biotics for any length of time, symptoms would return. Finally got an internal hormonal cream and that did the trick! I take her to the doc regularly for check in's. When it comes to dementia and how long she has had it, they will shrug their shoulders and tell me that there is nothing to be done. I put her on Aricept in the beginning, doc said it only lasts about a year, I asked if anything else new is out there but they are not suggesting anything this far into the progression of the disease.
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Rainey, I understand exactly what you're talking about. I've been going through this the whole time I've been with my mother. She has no reasoning ability and no sense of time. Things that happened years ago were yesterday, and what she did yesterday or years ago never happened. My mother does not recognize that anything is wrong with her... or at least she won't admit it to me. This is torture for the caregiver after a while, because there is no correct reality. It is what she says at the moment and whatever she says is right.

Last evening she lost her slipper and came up with a story of how she got it stuck in mud and threw it in the ditch when she was working out in the yard. She was going to throw the other slipper away. Well, I know she hadn't been working in the yard for 2-3 years, and that she had worn the slippers last week. I knew the lost slipper was in the house. So do I let her throw the remaining one away? I let it ride and figured I'd rescue it from the garbage.

When the conversation was over, I thought about how strangely calm I was reacting to her. It is an everyday thing with the twisted reality and time collapse. But this has come at a huge cost to myself. I wish I could just say Mom, you have dementia and that's what all these problems are. She would just get mad and say that there was nothing wrong with her.

Have to add that she found her lost shoe later last night under the covers of her bed.

Rainey, I don't think there is any way to fix it. The only thing we can do is put on a helmet so we won't hurt our head when we bump it on a wall. It is a very unfair circumstance and I know exactly what you're going through. They are not disabled enough to go to a NH, but not able to live without supervision. I've not been able to find any answers besides just walking away from it. But personally I can't just walk away. I'm not that person.
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Oh, I know that it's so disheartening. I can barely imagine if it was my mom. What you describe could be from a number of things. Of course, check for UTI or other ailment. And, has she been diagnosed with a definite condition? Has she had more tests than what her Primary gave her? I ask, because, there are varying reasons a person may develop dementia. Those conditions may have some features or symptoms that are not common to other conditions. For example, I've read that Lewy Bodies causes more of a personality change than memory at first. Alzheimers also has a projected course of progression that is gradual.

My LO has Vascular and that can be very unpredictable, because it's based on how much damage there is from strokes and that can vary greatly.

You might read about the varying types of conditions and then talk with her doctor or consult with a neurologist. Has she had an MRI?

I think that the behavior of a loved who is not able to process information, recall information or who repeats all the time can be very overwhelming.  It's good to take breaks. Do you have help? 
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The odd part with her is that she has gone through some of the things mentioned already and we have addressed them. When we first moved in here, I was a kitchen and bath designer and also had training in ADA design so things were very well thought out and built with great consideration to make things safe, easy for her to use, no way possible with the cooktop she can accidentally leave on, accidentally turn on, etc. No open flames, a built in bench in shower area, etc. She is not prone to wandering but if she does, the entire property is gated and she cannot get out. So many safety issues have been addressed and in place. She even has a sprinkler system inside her cottage and a fire alarm. It's the mind now that has gone into the phase of denial with what she does, memory lasting less than a minute sometimes with a current discussion and the constant argumentativeness. These have really peaked up in the last few weeks. Is it strange to have things occur in a different order of progression? We have gone through the incontinence stuff, now she is more prone to constipation, so now I have her drinking plum/prune juice daily, this seems to be doing the trick! Already experienced her with dehydration, that seems to have stopped, I have her add Elete, electrolytes to all her beverages to help give her most benefit and so far, so good! So most any problem I see, I have been able to figure out the solution to, except this, there is no solution to a new decline in her cognative abilities. As I said, we are almost at the 10 year mark with this disease, she is very independent and has been Queen of Denial her whole life so that IS something I am used to 😊. This is an escalation that I have never seen. I cannot have a conversation with her anymore where she (a) Remembers what we were talking about in a short span of time and (b) Comprehension of what is being said is declined significantly because she keeps going back to the same replies that have nothing to do with the main point of the conversation. It is so heartbreaking I can't have a real conversation with her anymore that she will understand or remember 😥 she is dissapearing right in front of me. I know many of you have been through this awful situation and bless all of you for your understanding and suggestions!!!!
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It really is necessary to proof everything and even then, watching constantly is needed. I think there are some sites on line about what needs to be done, with checklist. With my LO I had to remove all things that she could ingest that were harmful, like cleaners, insect spray, detergent, medications, etc. They may even drink things like liquid soap or mouthwash, so you have to be careful. I'd figure out how to protect them from something like a stove or electrical appliances. Security locks on doors. Also, knives, scissors, sharp objects can be risky. Eventually, bathroom issues and hygiene become problematic. I wouldn't worry about being too observant. I'd just watch for signs that she may need help with bathing or changing clothes. She may seem bothered, but, it's really necessary. Eventually, she may not notice that you are there. If you feel that she's unusually agitated, I'd discuss it with her doctor. Sometimes medication can help if she suffers from anxiety.

I'd also keep in mind that sometimes being disagreeable and resistant passes and it may not always be something that they exhibit. My LO passed through that phase. Of course, she also began taking a med for anxiety and depression, so, I"m not sure if that was the reason or not.

I don't see any need for an argument. I'd read about ways to approach her so that you really don't need to argue, which serves no purpose. She can say what she wants, but, that doesn't mean that you have to argue with her. Teepa Snow has some good videos on You tube that offer techniques to work with dementia patients. I find them helpful.

It does often feel like you are on a Merry-go-round, but, I don't think there are any ways to avoid this. As she passes to other stages, there may be other issues, like falling, eating and drinking difficulties incontinence, mobility problems etc.

I would focus especially on the security aspect. My LO was a big homebody. She was not one to explore, but, man, she started to wander. I would never have expected it.
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My mom became pretty much immobile long before she became confused so thankfully we never had to deal with any of the maddening behaviours so many on the forum are facing. It can be hard to wrap your mind around the reality that your parent can not be treated as the competent adult they once were, you may understand that intellectually but....
Others on the site have had to systematically go through their homes to dementia proof them, much like new parents go through a home to child proof it. Escape artists need door alarms. Those who are a falls risk need hand rails, perhaps chair and bed alarms. Over eaters may need the food locked up. For many there comes a time when you may need to disable cooking appliances because the danger of fire and burns is all too real. Eventually incontinence will creep in and all the headaches that go along with that, and they are are many and varied. Fortunately for most of us it happens one step at a time so there is a learning curve , albeit a steep one, and time to adjust.
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Would strategically placed baby monitors help? Then you could keep an ear on what's happening without intruding into her bathroom or bedroom.

Hugs for the frustration. "Mother, why didn't you use your frame just now?" "I'm sitting down." "No, I mean when you went to get your book." "I didn't." "That book, there." "That was here, on my table." "Mother - !" [groans and gives up].

Are you going to need pressure pads and door alarms before too long, do you think? There are some helpful systems around, might be worth researching.
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Bumping this up
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