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When I asked my mother's doctor (privately) he said " Oh she does have a lot going on right now." (Decline in health recently) If or when I need to have him to sign she is capable or not, I need to have it in her medical chart a head of time. I know what to expect from what I have read by some posted here but when does it start? Mother is generally a peaceful lady, but of late, she can ask me the same question an hour later. She has no UTI or nothing off on her blood work. Thanks

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Karazeeme - try posting your own question. See the box that says "Get Answers?" Use that. People who know the answer will answer you.

Also, give a little more info in your question. Were you the DPOA? For whom? How did you find out they didn't want you any more?
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Does anyone have to let the dpoa know when they dont want you to do it anymore.?
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My mom: left the car on a busy street, with the door open and the engine running and just started walking. Husband: starting talking funny, said schnow for snow. Said that heat rises in the mountains and that high elevations would need AC more than sea level, car wrecks.
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My mom is the queen of "coverup" when it comes to her symptoms - but even she can't cover them forever. She puts on an excellent show in front of others - including my siblings - and everyone thinks she's fine. She carries on conversation, smiles and laughs, and no one is the wiser. At home, alone with me, she forgets what I said we were having for supper just 2 minutes ago and asks again what we're having. She won't remember to change her incontinence briefs or to wipe herself when using the toilet - or she'll wipe and put the paper in the trash, dropping feces on the floor or smearing it on the trash can. If I don't stand right there with her when she showers, she will sit in the shower and just let the water run, then turn it off and get out - still dry and unwashed. She doesn't remember how to dress herself most of the time now - if I'm standing there watching her, she will look at me with this quizzical look on her face, like she's not sure what to do next - so I will tell her she needs to put her top on - and it's like a light comes on. She couldn't balance the checkbook if she tried. A voracious reader for her entire life, she now pages through magazines and looks at pictures, but doesn't really read them, because, as she's told me more than once, "I just can't focus on the words anymore." (That's one of the saddest parts of this.) If left to her own devices, she would not wash, eat regular meals, take her meds, or pay the bills - because she can't.

5 years ago, she wasn't like this. She became depressed when her sister passed away, and then when my dad passed 2 years ago, she started really going downhill, and it hasn't stopped. It's like a slow train going down a long, long slope.
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For my husband it was lack of ability to do the checkbook which he had always been in charge of. When I finally took over he had bounced $2000 dollars worth of checks. I knew. I have always read that if you forget something and then remember where it was, you are OK. If you forget something and never think of it again, you are in trouble
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You need to get her diagnosed. My first step though would be to find out what meds she's on, research them and how they interact. From there, MD and your PCP can recommend a psych evaluation. Something is very wrong. Some things are classic dementia (which can have a number of physical causes), but what you are describing goes way beyond that.
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My mother started having trouble with anything that had more than one or two steps in the process. It began with not sending birthday cards to my kids. She was saying things like "I just can't get it together anymore" or "I just have so much on my mind". I'd ask her what, since she was retired and nothing but free time every day all day long. She couldn't tell me. Another sign I missed. I just thought she was being dramatic, an attention-seeker, and weird.

She stopped cleaning the house. "I don't care. Nobody's here but me." was a cover up we all missed. She stopped washing dishes and cleaning up spills and doing laundry and taking out the trash. "Don't mess with that. It's mine!" She could no longer put clean things in the right place, so there were piles everywhere of mixed clean & dirty clothes.

She stopped being able to pay bills or communicate with the doctor and pharmacy. She started eating rotten food, leaving things out overnight to "thaw". Buying lots of the same thing over & over. Like 6 dozen eggs, multiple pints of collard greens, many rotisserie chickens.

House repairs weren't being made. She called me mad as heck one day because the gas station "ripped her off". She could not remember how to pump and pay for gas. She swore they charged her $50 for nothing and there was no gas in her car, yet the needle was on F. That was a scary day. I know she made a scene in the gas station.

She called me frequently at all hours with hallucinations that I was in her house (I was in another state), or that I was talking to her on TV. She asked me where I put her pants, when I hadn't been in that house for a couple years.

She was seeing men with red eyes in the windows of the house at night. She was seeing a squirrel on the mantle running around. She got her days & nights mixed up. She believed people were driving up into the yard around the house and tearing up the yard, but it was not torn up.

She basically got to where she couldn't follow instructions anymore and compensated by being loud, mean, and bratty to chase people off. She lost her social filter and would threaten to run around naked or pee on the floor.

She began to have temper tantrums like a little child if she didn't instantly get her way. Complete with kicking & screaming, swearing, spitting, and hitting.

Fear turned into paralyzing paranoia and anger. Everyone was out to kill her and steal her money. Especially me.

Even so, she was calling our names until just very recently. She knew what grade my kids were in. She would ask me if "I had found work yet". I've never been unemployed. She can be as lucid as you & me and then an hour later, she hears cats in the wall and sees some kind of cat/dog hybrid animal and holes in the ceiling & floor. An hour after that she's calling her caretakers the N word and duking it out with them. It's all over the place.
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Loss of not just memory, but loss of the ability to compensate for it, loss of judgement, inability to troubleshoot even minor problems in daily self care or routine activitites - those things indicate early dementia. Losing the ability to do something way easier than what you normally did all the time would be a tip off.

When my dad could not play a game of Solitaire on the computer and he'd even managed to e-mail me and used to program in Fortran, I really should have known. How he HATED the word "confused" when he got things mixed up, but he could often relate to "memory problems" OK and other times you just had to go along with him.

Forgetting where you left your grape juice is one thing. Calling a loved one who lives 30 or miles away and is at work to come find it for you right away, or calling the police or accusing someone of stealing it would be another thing altogether. Forgetting to turn off the oven happens, but failure to react to smoke or the burning smell is something else. (I use a safety tea kettle myself!!) Forgetting your house key is one thing, but forgetting what keys are even for is much more serious. Writing a shopping list and forgetting to bring it with you - happens all the time, but just buying one of everything instead of coming back for the list or texting a spouse for it could be more of an issue...or not. We frequently have a few extras of various items thanks to one of us screwing that up! Keyword though is "a few..."
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See kayBee58's advice.

I believe inappropriate behavior (which was uncharacteristic of the person in the past) can be an early sign of dementia.
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Also, check out the article "The Type of Alzheimer's You (and Your Doctor) May Not Know About" By Anne-Marie Botek, May 02, 2014 on this website. I found it to be very helpful and, finally, something *new*....
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Contact your local Alzheimer's Association. They are a great resource when it comes to all types of dementia & related diagnoses, behaviors, etc.
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Chris3265, I can't say whether your mom is developing dementia, but she is displaying symptoms that COULD be dementia. In any case it appears she is experiencing cognitive problems. That can be very scary -- terrifying -- to her. I think I'd rather deny that I'm forgetting things rather than face what is happening, if I were in her place.

Try to minimize the confrontations over the memory issues. Say, "Oh look! Here is that half-full glass of grape juice we were looking for!" and not "Well, here is where you put your grape juice." Avoid rubbing her cognitive problems in. At some point you may need to say, "I worry that your memory may be getting weaker. Let's have a doctor examine you and see what could help." I don't mean to go into denial yourself about her cognitive problems, but just to be gentle with her. She may be very aware at some level that things are not right.

Personality change can be associated with dementia. It can also be a result of anxiety and fear. Thinking that you might be losing your mind might tend to make one a bit crabby, don't you think? Try very hard not to take this new behavior personally or as if it really is directed at you. Consider that there is sometime going on in Mom's brain/body that is keeping her from being herself.

Be gentle with her.
Don't take it personally.
Bring her new behaviors up with her medical providers, and perhaps bring her to a specialist.

Will these steps improve her memory? Probably not, but it could improve how you feel about it and deal with it.

Best wishes to you, Chris3265. Please keep posting and let us know how this is going for you.
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Short answer to Chris3265: Yes, its the dementia, +/- depression. She can't reason her way around things that are increasingly difficult, and finds it harder to appreciate other people's perspective or to have empathy. You have to learn to do a lot less arguing and a lot more redirecting and A LOT more not taking it to heart when she seems mean.
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No, froggee631, I have no experience with these things, but I send you a warm hug and wishes of comfort!
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froggee631, I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's decline. It's especially hard when a parent is so young.

I hope they're able to identify the cause(s), then remedies.

Do you have any siblings or close relatives for support?
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Hello everyone,
It just breaks my heart reading all of your stories, as I am dealing with some of the same issues with my Mother of 69 years old. She is a type 2 diabetic with numerous medical conditions and was approved November of 2013 to have a gastric sleeve done. Ever since that surgery, she has been in and out of the hospital 10 times! DKA, recurring pnemonia, stroke and seizures in the brain. She has been through the ringer! After her stroke in January 2014, my husband and I moved her in with us. It killed her soul! In her mind, she has lost all independence and all control of her life. She is now in a skilled nursing facility from her last hospital stay and has totally changed mind wise. Has anyone ever had a parent that had brain seizures? I am still trying to understand what is going on with her, as are the doctors. This last hospital visit was for recurring pnemonia and sepsis. She became extremely confused and not herself, to which they did a brain wave study and found that she was seizing then. She was in a coma for two weeks due to the 3 seizure meds they had her on. She has continued crying spells with major memory loss (short term) and gets extremely aggitated! Any words of comfort? Thanks so much.
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Chris3265, please define cruel. One of my siblings recently asked our father when he got so "hard". He realized (more of) the damages some of his children have caused and he's reach the end of his patience with them.

I'm not saying anything like this is happening with your situation, but sometimes a person just runs out of patience in general, etc. Maybe the loss of independence or memory is causing anger or fear? Those reasons aren't signs of dementia, I believe.

I hope you're able to find the cause and a remedy!
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I have moved my mother in with my family because of other medical concerns. Her doctor said she had to have continual care an could not live alone anymore. How do you deal with the denial of the not remembering things or denying that she did something that you know they did. My mother has turned almost cruel and very judgmental She never use to be like that Is that a sign of dementia??
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The question is almost unanswerable, because no one really knows when it starts. We know when we begin to notice it. Then there are things we look back on and say, that was it too. I agree with others, if your mother will sign a power of attorney to someone, have her do it now. Get her medications evaluated, that can affect her mind. If she wants a Living Will, do it now.
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my mother also complained for 2 years about pressure in her ears. The ENH specialist suggested a procedure for sinus' ....sinuplasty. During this procedure, he removed a polyp on the left tube that connects to mom's left ear which was the ear that was giving her the most problems. He also corrected a deviated septum. My mother continued to complain about pressure in her ears for 1-1/2 years after the procedure. In June of last year, her focus switched to her vision. Mom is mentally incapacitated, and her vision could be helped by a procedure to one eye that has tinny tiny bumps on the cornea from irritations that cause blurry vision. Since the procedure would require mom to wear an eye patch for 7 days, we decided against it. She would not wear it, and would be rubbing her eye causing further problems since she would not understand.
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marym~My mother nor my father complained of headaches. However, I do believe the disease can cause them to focus on something that is a result of the disease playing havoc with their brains. My mother complains that her vision is blurred, she refuses to wear her glasses but does admit when she does wear them, her vision is improved. Is high blood pressure an issue, if so, maybe an increased dosage may help with the headaches. Something to think about. Hugs to you!!
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What about headaches? Have any of your loved ones with Alzheimers experience severe headaches?

There is a possibility that Namenda is causing the headaches. I have now started giving my husband a new Namenda, which is taken only once a day and is time released. I haven't really had enough days to diagnose if this new medication will help, for I suspect the Namenda given twice a day could have caused the severe headaches. marymember
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With my mom. There was normal age related forgetfulness, then she started getting info confused. When she got info confused, I knew she definitely had dementia. The forgetfulness started in 2008 and by Dec 2009, she was having confusion with forgetfulness.
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MYTHREESONS... when we had the DPOA drawn up, the lawyer had me leave the room while he talked to mom. He made sure she was comfortable with naming me. There's been a lot of confusion about when the DPOA should kick in in our state... I was told that a doctor needed to sign off on it. Regardless, I have been handling mom's business for years now and haven't abused my power, but used it to do the best I can for her and take care of all her business so she can be peaceful. I agree, you need to trust the person you assign, and it's a shame if you can't trust your own child : (
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In addition to dementia, it could be the early stages of a UTI. Most drug stores sell at home test kits for UTI infections. Also, D-Mannose is great for bladder infections. You can do research about it on-line.
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I would think poor hygiene would be one of the first signs.
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How to tell if there is a problem? Someone once told me that forgetting where you put your keys is a sign of forgetfulness.. Forgetting what you do with your keys is a sign of a mental disorder.
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My mom lived with me and seemed perfectly fine until she got the Shingles and was in so much pain they put her on the drug GABAPENTIN. Between the pain and the drug she literally "lost her mind" in matter of days. Within one week she went from (what we thought) normal to not being able to be left alone. With both my husband and I working full time I scrambled to get her into an adult day program, arrange transit to and from the program, and finding a wifi camera system so I could leave for work and watch her on my phone to make sure she was okay for the hour she had to wait alone for her ride. (Mind you this was in the very beginning - she can never be left alone now). Looking back now I realize there were a few signs that something was up that we just missed. For example, when doing a thorough cleaning of her room when she was away for a weekend, I found numerous copies of lists with the same info on all of them. Contact numbers for family members and friends, relatives names and how they were related (including sons and daughter) etc. maybe 20 of these lists all over her room. When she returned she was upset that I had cleaned and reorganized her room so she put her stuff "back where it belongs" with pens and forks together with tweezers and combs. All this was going on before the week that it all fell apart. So now I realize that things were already happening and the Shingles/Medicene just progressed into warp speed something that otherwise would have most likely taken months or even years to advance to that stage.
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That website is very helpful. It helps me understand where Mom is at in this process. I would say she's firmly in stage 4, headed towards stage 5. She no longer uses the phone unless I give her the number or dial the number for her - and she much prefers if I dial it - because she can't remember the numbers for family members who have had the same number for decades. She will ask me what day it is in order to take her pills and wants me to fill the pillbox each week now, because she forgets what to put where, and reading all the labels confuses her. (She recently accused me of giving her too many pills, saying she *always* took only 4 pills in the a.m., when the labels clearly indicate she should be taking 2 of one pill and 1 each of three others - so 5 pills total - which makes me wonder if she's been under-dosing all this time, or if she just doesn't remember how many she took before.) She won't touch the checkbook or finances, because she's afraid she'll mess them up because she forgets to enter things in the checkbook or if she's paid a bill. She forgets to change her incontience pad and drizzles her way to the bathroom because she's soaked it through.

This is so hard...and so sad.
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Have her tested by a pyc-neroligest who specializes in Dementia. Then you will have the documentation you need. Medicare pays for it.
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