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I am so happy to read these replys. My mother, age 88 and half the country away, is getting obsessed with something called the Secret Society (or Neo Tech- I think is another name for it) that sends letters telling her she is extrodinary and has special talents and will soon be rich and meet many famous people.. hmm I say- sounds like elder spam to me! She saves each letter has sent aay for the book of secrets for over 100 $ and is now relating everything to people from her way past who will "owe her"- really difficult to follow her on the phone and my father won't be back from Florida until next week. She went south with him but felt the need to come back as none of her friends are alive there and she doesn't do the tennis/golf anymore. They have moved out of their home of 40 yrs (I am trying to sell it after major clean out and improvements made last summer during an extended visit there) and are in an elderly apartments that can move up to assisted living etc. She thinks they are following her and watching her- she says she is shaking with fear... but can't tell me of what? Has anyone else experienced this behavior?. She has always been a very very sharp and creative person (artist and historian) but does seem to be slipping with short term memory lately. She is obsessed with the mail each day and thinks it is all personnally addressed to her. A few years ago she got obsessed with Publisher's clearing house sweepstakes and boxes of "Clearing house" merchandise would arrive daily. I finally broke her out of it or so I thought.. HELP!
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I have all her mail forwarded to me. I have Power of Attorney and something we in Canada have which is called Representation Agreement from her. She doesn't wonder why she gets nothing in her mailbox. She is quite happy to not receive anything. Blessings!
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I think that has been the hardest part of this journey for me. Coming to understand that my brothers and sisters really just don't care. And you are exactly right and never thought of it, Mom can no longer help them! She was always the one that was there for all of us (10 kids) when ever we tripped and fell and believe me most of us were tripping fools. But after trying and trying to get some help and nothing I realized (with the help of my son) that I was becoming very bitter, something I never thougt I was so I let go. At least we will all know when the time comes for our loved ones to leave this world we can know we did everything we could to help their journey. Keep on trucking folks we are all buiding good Karma for this world.
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My mom is the same way! Thank goodness I'm a member of this site because I just thought it was my mom being possesive, or secretive. She even thinks the socks I may have on is hers. My younger sister may call my mom once every other week, but there is no intrest there. No one else calls her and that is really sad that people dont think past themselves when someone can no longer help them!
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i think thats an AMEN to all of us :)
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Amen to you Dmvgirl!
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Oh my goodness! Your mom and my dad with their sweepstakes...one wouldn't beleive the boxes and suitcases of sweepstakes mails my father had expecting to be the next winner. It's very sad but more so a lot of work hauling bails, boxes of paper to a recycling center now that dad is in long term care and could care less about his fanticism with sweepstakes. Just yesterday I had mom and dads phone number changed and unlisted, and will be opening a p.o. box by the end of the month once I turn int the keys to their apartment.
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Before I had a computer at home, I had my mom's mail sent to a PO box. Then I was able to get it, pay any bills, and trash any sweepstakes mail (she particpated in them). When she went for rehab after a another stroke, I also changed the phone number and had it unlisted, so sweepstakes companies would not call her. By the time she came home, she had forgotten that she used to send money for sweepstakes, and no longer had a pile of mail on the kitchen table that she threatened the police on me if I dared tried to throw any of it away (there might be checks inside). If I would have had used a computer at the time, I would have signed up for paperless billing and payed bills online. However, at that time, this was not available.
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I thought my mom was being a control freak. My parents have not only asked that I be their POA but now insist that I "handle" everything, however mom is constantly behind me asking did I do this or that repeatadly!! But when I try to voluntarily update her, she says I trust you, you know what you're doing, just do it! Well gosh doggit...not an hr later she sniffing me out like a hound dog checking behind me. Sorry for the ill example but for me, that's what it feels like. At least I can begin to see that it's not necessarily a control thing but more of an obsessive issue.
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The only things my mother-in-law gets in the mail now, are personal letters and junk mail. All her bills go to me. She and I sat down one day and I called anyone that she could possibly owe money to in the future (utilities, insurance, property tax etc) If they needed her confirmation, she was there to talk with them. Piece of cake.
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wmjcuba - great idea. My mom likes to get mail and I never thought to have things sent to her! Even if they are from me or my kids who she sees regularly. She will love that!
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wjmcuba I used to do everything I could to make her think her kids were involved. I would lie and say they had called or came for a visit, anything to keep her happy. But then I realized that all the extra work on me was just not worth it. She has already started to forget thier childrens names and husband and wives names. She still remembers all their names but losing what they do where they live, etc. Feel its their loss and a terrible lesson for their children(family is not important) to learn, guess they don't think that they to are going to get old someday and may need some help. So now i take care of Mom and keep her happy by keeping her world simple and organized. All I can do
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I also get the mail before she (mom) does, and have bills paid automatically from checking account. Or maybe get a stamp with a red stamp pad that says "PAID IN FULL" to put on all of those bills. For dmvgirl, maybe you could send her a card or two every week signed from "the family", or from specific siblings. This may please her if she could display her collection of cards from family????
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Yeah, I also feel bad that no one calls or visits my mom : (
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yes I believe that obsessive behavior is linked to dementia. My mother who lives with me now, obsesses over the littlest things. Did I take my medicine, what time is it, why doesn't any of my children come to see me(can understand that one, has 10 kids and I'm the only one she ever sees) I think its just her way to try and maintain some sense of control in her life. The dementia has really done a number on her self confidence and she doesn't trust herself anymore. Just try to take a day at a time, hard but sounds like it will get harder.
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I agree with dmvgirl. That's exactly what I did. And if anything does come in the mail that makes her obsess over it, I immediately take it and put it in my purse and tell her I've got it handled...its usually junk mail now anyway. But that brings another question to mind here...my mom doesn't just obsess over mail - it can be just about anything. Napkins, jewelry, tv remotes, folding a blanket a hundred times...Is obsessing common in dementia??
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Wha I did was have the bill paid directly from Mom' account and then went paperless with the companies. You can supply you email address and they will send all statements to you. I found that as soon as my Mom stopped seeing the bills she forgot all about them. Found that the less she has to worry about the calmer she stays. Good luck
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1) ask the doc for anti-anxiety meds. Is this new behavior, or newly severe?
2) do deep listening -- instead of telling her to stop worrying, say "You seem worried" as if it were totally completely reasonable to be worried and pursue an understanding of what her worry is , with acceptance and curiosity. If she hears herself explain what it's about, that is not guaranteed to have an effect but it is more likely to calm her down than anything else (except meds)
3) model calm -- don't get sick with worry over your mom getting sick with worry!
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