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My 93 year old mom lives with my brother. Due to swallowing problems she only takes ensure. juice, and water. She will not drink well for him, she also will not get up and walk around in the house for exercise, she just sits in her chair or lays in her bed When I am there she will drink what I give her and will walk through the house with me. I use the approach of here is some juice for you to drink now, and I say here's your cane let's take a walk through the house. The minute I leave she goes back to just sitting there. What can I do to get her to listen to him?

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Lana, nothing you can do to get her to listen, or maybe she does but just plain does not want to cooperate. Brother needs to come up with things for her to do or help with to get her to move. Simply telling her will not work. Give her a reason.
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Hmmmmm. Your question prompted several questions for me. What are you doing differently than your brother? What specific behaviours? Body language? Words? Tone of voice? Do your reward her in different ways than he does? My experience is that it's more productive to find ways to help a person with dementia do what THEY want to do rather than to try to make them do what we want them to do.

A lot more information about your Mom's capacity, her relationship with your brother, the environment, etceteras is needed to come up with potential solutions to help your mother live as fully as possible :)
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My mother used to complain that her 102 year old mother (she lived to 104) would not exercise. She wanted to take Granny on a walk around their farm house yard every day and Granny balked. Granny kept her mental capacities until about a month before she died when the dying process had started. Granny had raised a family, worked hard on the farm, cared for her in-laws and her own parents and by gum she was through. She just wanted to sit in her chair, walk to the kitchen for her meals and back to the chair again. She used Bruton Snuff and had used it since she was 20 years old and enjoyed it very much. She couldn't hear well and had lost almost all her vision and undertaking an exercise program was of no interest to her. Leave 'em along. Let them do as they wish I say. I am 76 and don't relish the thought of my kids coming in and saying "get up mother, and get going"...lol. I know, you think they will deteriorate faster if they don't do something, but, come on...they are old. I say if mom wants to walk and is willing fine, if not let her alone.
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I feel so saddened with your challenges with your mother; however these above comments are straight on. Tough love is something to think about for your own sanity at this point. It is very hard to realize that she is not rational and "not doing what others want her to do" is the only independence she has left. Like a two year old, sometimes we have to make people do things whether they like it or not because we really do know what is best for her. She is not really mentally healthy as she is paranoid and other shut down mental processes. She is amazing to live this long and still be a vibrant angry citizen; however, when a person is self destructive to not do what he/she needs to do, the choice may need to a hard one on your part. Dehydration is a serious issue for older people. I am 74 and am always having to watch becoming dehydrated. Maybe she does not want to keep on living. Ask her. Maybe she needs to be in an adult day service for a while, but for certain, she does not want to be cooperative. I guess we adult children need to make her unhappy by having a caregiver to make sure she does what she needs to do, and/or go someplace to where she will get the help she needs. Always making our parents happy is not part of growing up. Step back and work on your letting go to the point of what you can do and can not do. She may need some medication help to help reduce her anxiety so that a good caregiver can be effective with her. Try to focus more on her physical health to help her or to get help for her. Sometimes, home health workers can be relatives who are paid to stay with her and she has more confidence...... but please try and remember that her old self is passing and do not expect her to be rational. These comments are supportive. Wishing you the best... trying to make some changes for her is better than not doing anything but worrying.
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Yes, it sounds to me that you are using strategies of aligning with your mother, where your brother is giving her directions. Teepa Snow, an Occupational Therapist of many years with elders, teaches strategies - and many include simple communication like hand gestures, pointing to the direction, and just saying, Let's go here... while also affirming that you enjoy them and are glad to be with them. I find if they complain, I can say, "yes, isn't it a Pain to have to do these things!" Laugh, and just continue by offering whatever it is right in front of them. If you ask them anything they are not looking at, they will often say no, their capacity to imagine is diminished a lot.
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My Mom is 92 and I have experienced the same issues as you. When physical Therapy was here in December she was walking, not much but a least a little each day. As soon as they left she reverted back to doing nothing. Now her muscle tone is so weak that she can't even stand for more that a few minutes. I've tried pleading, begging, bribing, bitching and threats all to no avail. I really believe at that age they just don't care anymore. I would never have believed anyone had they told me twenty years ago that my Mom would act this way, especially to me as we were always VERY close. I feel your pain because I have gone through this also. I would like to tell you that there is a magic cure for this type of behavior but I have yet to find it.
As for the swallowing I found several exercises on the internet to help older people improve their ability to swallow. But again you'll need to have her actually do the exercises for this work. I found Boost VHC, (very high calorie drink) on the internet. It packs over 500 calories in an 8 ounce container. I highly recommend this as it is tasty and is well received.
Sooo, tell your brother to take deep breath, remain loving and supportive and pray for the best. My prayers are with you both!
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Amazing susan is onto something. Its not your mother but your brother, that needs the personality change. Your mother is elderly, she does not need to listen she does not need to be reminded or told, its a case of just do it.
Her memory, her desires, her what to do now, has all gone.
Your brother needs to realise that he is caring for a doll, if you want it to move, then move it, if you want to feed it then feed it. approach.
It is not his mother needing the care and attention , the one who nurtured him for all those years. but this 'doll'
That is why so many folk put their loved ones in rest homes, or that need to be in rest homes. They are living beyond their capabilities of independence.
Whether that helps or not, but yes a wee bit more info so we can help .. good luck
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Is he offering her a choice? "Ok Mom, would you rather walk around outside, or inside the house?", Would you rather climb steps or do these exercises?", "Do you want to walk the living room today and the basement tomorrow, or the other way around?". Questions like these gives her a choice. Do it for food, television choices, times for activities, ("Do you want to walk in the morning then do your therapy exercises in the afternoon, or the other way around?"}, and so on.
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My experience with my own mother is much the same. I think you or someone just has to keep reminding her. As soon as you leave or stop she will not do anything on her own. They need someone to make them come alive, to think and remind them and hopefully to feel. Her brain needs to be jump started. It gets to the point where they will just sit there until they die if not.
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Reading all the comments and want to add what I've learned from coordinating care for my two parents the past three years:
1. Your responsibility becomes, NOT making them happy or doing what they want all the time, but KEEPING THEM SAFE
2. You get farther by giving choices, as you would a small child. If you want her to walk....find something she wants or enjoys...a certain treat that is in the kitchen...it then becomes, walk with me to the kitchen and I will fix you......whatever that treat is.... Or, as one suggested...a choice...walk now or in an hour...walk here....or walk there. Wear this or that? Do your exercises and then I'll massage your feet afterwards....if the massage is a big reward.
3. Do things 'because the doctor wants them to do it'....that line works wonders with my parents. They won't do much of anything that, I, their daughter who is a retired RN thinks is a good idea.....I am just the 'dumb kid' still, even at 71....but if I say, the doctor recommended it during the last visit....it will be acceptable.
4. Any big change...like bringing in a care giver, or trying day care program or new exercise or routine....tell them or ask them...to try it for a month to see if it helps and promise that if it's not helpful, they won't have to continue (of course depending on what it is .....). That is still a 'choice' for them....and with my folks and their dementias, I found that by the time a couple weeks went by, they were used to the change and forgot they had not been doing it forever. I was amazed at the first time I tried this, which was about bringing in a caregiver. My dad wanted no help...needed no help....and Mom wanted no other woman in her home doing anything, even though she knew she couldn't deal with Dad. But after a couple weeks, they were both in love with the woman we hired 'for just a month to see if it would help'.
5. I sold my parents on lots of things by telling them that if we came up with the plan and had an outside agency involved, it would keep the control with them, whereas, if someone in the neighborhood complained or had concerns about how they were functioning at home, and might call Adult Protective Services....THEN all control might be taken away....so we needed to agree on OUR plan to assure that THEY would stay in control of staying at home alone. These ideas have worked out pretty well for me....not perfect....and not all the time, but better than never getting something done that should be done!
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