Finding it extremely hard getting Mom ready for appointments even starting hours in advance. Any advice?

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My mom is 81, living with me and has dementia. She feels like we boss her around all the time but it's only that we're trying to help her with the things she can't do anymore. She was very independent. Now when she has an appointment, she just seems to dig her heels in and get stubborn. Everyone knows you need to be on time for appointments whether it be doctor appointments, hair appointments or church. She doesn't understand and just thinks we're bossing her around and ends up getting very hateful.
Any words of wisdom?

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ask the doctor for an antidepressant.

I just tell mom we're going to run errands and don't mention the doctor. When we get there I just say we're going to stop in for a second while we're here. I also try to do something a little fun while we're out. Either visit with a friend or relative, or eat lunch, or a trip through Dairy Queen drive through for a cone. (On the way home, because it will drip on her) But I don't bother her with the details because she will argue with me and deny the need for an appointment.

You know what, if she's in her gown when you need to leave, put a duster over her gown and go. The doctor needs to see her as she is. Make sure, too, that you are not insisting on a daily shower before dressing. Sometimes, rather than go through all that, they will find it easier to just not get dressed at all.
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She used to get dressed every day but now she'll have days where she sits around in her gown all day. I wish she still did get dressed every day. I've said something about that too but she says she just doesn't feel like it sometimes. She's really got no other serious health problems other than high BP, cholesterol and A-fib. It's just she doesn't like to be told what to do and when to do it and how to do it, but we have no way around all this.
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Does she not get up and get dressed every day anyway? Why make a big deal out of appointment days? Just tell her "put on your shoes and coat, we're leaving NOW for your appointment". The docs don't need her to be primped and in her sunday best, in fact better that they see her as she really is.
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It's not that she doesn't want to go to the appointment, it's when we tell her, she'll get up and start getting ready, get distracted, we'll start following her around to make sure she gets dressed correctly, brushes teeth, etc. She'll takes pieces of clothing and throw them across the room. This is even if we start 2 hours in advance. I try to do most of this myself, but as I work, my 20-year-old daughter helps me. Sometimes her grandmother doesn't even remember who she is and is so mean to her and it hurts my daughter so much. I ask mom not to do this and she denies the whole thing. I guess there's really no answer for this, just the way it is. I just wish she could understand that we really are trying to help her and not just bossing her around.
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Dementia patients lose track of time easily. This is frustrating for those that were very independent and just beginning the dementia decline. As things can take them longer to do (tangents) they end up being late but not understanding why. We don't have appts any more (Hospice) but when we did; I would make the appt for 2:30pm and tell her the day before. Then I would write it on the kitchen blackboard (or post it on the refrigerator w/magnet) for 1pm. That way she had a reminder and felt a little more in control, but it gave me time to prompt her as needed. Depending on when we got back, she'd have ice cream and I'd have wine. :)
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I do understand her resistance - she was (I'm assuming) once independent, now she's not only able to drive herself to where she needs to go but someone else is managing her schedule. It's as if she's a child again.

I've seen these kinds of "dig in the heels" attitudes as well.

Can you think of ways to sugar coat the trips, as Pam suggested with outings before, or even afterward? Expand the needed appointments to include a pleasurable activity.

We now stop at man caves, Dairy Queen, or something pleasant after boring medical appointments. So we can look forward to a treat once the ordeal is over with. It helps both of us relax.

Another tactic is to wait until the appointments are off the schedule and have a heart to heart talk with your mother, explaining that you understand how difficult it is for her and you really don't like to have to control her schedule or boss her around. Ask what you can do to help her, but be prepared for no response as she eventually thinks over the situation.

I think the primary goal is to come to an acknowledgement and meeting of the minds that she needs your help and you want to provide it but want to respect her independence, and preserve as much as you can of it, in doing so.
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Pam that is so Good! I love it! Going to try this with my mom, but in reverse.....when I need to be gone to a client meeting by a certain time I am going to get a little creative with the actual time frame, and allow myself time to eat change clothes & be in a business frame of mind.
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Yes, be sneaky. We would make a 1:00pm appointment and not tell mom. Then at 11:30 we would ask her if she wanted to go out to lunch. She was ready in no time at all. After lunch, in the car, we would remind her of the MD appointment and go straight there instead of home. Works every time.
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