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My mom moved in with me and she has been become very argumentive. Whenever there is a change or something is not going her way, she becomes very argumentive. She has no balance and must hold onto the walls, furniture, us, to get from one place to another. We have brought in a walker she insist she does not need a walker. My husband has been with her helping everyday for three months and just went back to work. I want to bring in somebody to be with her but she will not hear of it. She calls people on the phone daily and leaves messages sometime up to 10 phone calls per day. I have no poa and no guardianship, how do I get her to accept somebody to come into the home. I am exhausted from her unhappiness and controlling ways. I think she has dementia, but she refuses to go to a doctor to be looked at. Can I just take her and have her evaluated for dementia? I am so tired.

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With my Dad...he was just obstructing any and all efforts to help him...all while demanding non-stop help, of course.

I enlisted my brother to talk with him. My brother told me he read the riot act to Dad. Told him to knock off the sh*t or he could find himself in a nursing home without any autonomy.
Next day I spoke to Dad...and he said "I think your brother is right..I should see a neurologist, my pants don't fit very well any more". Wow, I almost busted a gut to keep from laughing out loud, That is what he got out of the conversation? Wow.

But, he got together with the lawyer... dad was pretty good back at the
At time to keep it together to convince people he didn't need a caregiver or POA...and, .he managed to hold it together long enough to get it all signed.

Amazing what you have to go through to get what you need to help your parents.
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onlyacaregiver, you did exactly the right thing and your mother respects you for it. She was just pushing back to see if you would take control. You did. Good for both of you!!
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You rock!!!!!! I'm so glad that you were able to see your way clear to taking charge and doing what is best for her. My feeling is....they showed us how to become grownups; now that they are no longer able to make good decisions, we have to do what they taught us to do when they were younger and stronger.
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Ok update: I just want to thank everyone for their answers and it took a couple more weeks but I put my big girl pants and got in charges.. I finally figured that she is just one unhappy person and no matter what I did she is not going to be happy. So I told her one day we go to the doctor to get help or choose another place to live. Boy was she mad but she walked out the door and went to the doctor. Within 2 days a health nurse came and we had therapist in here within five training her on using the Walker and she now uses it all the time. If she tries to go back to furniture surfing I tell her that it's my job to keep her safe it's her job to help keep it safe so we need to use the Walker. I get a tongue sticking out but that's ok. Social worker as part of this program is coming to the house to talking to her about POA and do a small competence eval on her to see if she is competent to sign POA. Also to talk to her and us about resources in the community and guardianship if she cannot take care of her own finances and she is not competent to make decisions. So then a doctor will evaluate for competency and I will go for guardianship. I took charge and she knows it. Doesn't like it all the time but oh well. These therapist are great and do not let her get away with anything! Thanks everyone. This is a hard job and have to accept there is constant change with their abilities physically and mentally. I am so glad for this site I've learned a lot of useful infornation. I find as we go along her argumentative ways are getting shorter and the she doesn't remember that she said some nasty things. When she has to do some new change like the people coming into the house I say "I know it's hard but you can handle this". It goes smoother and I always remind her it's not an option. Thanks once again!
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Onlyacaregiver, your description sure did sound familiar to me. It reminded me so much of my cousin when her dementia started. It was very frustrating. Thank goodness, she had appointed her Durable POA, Healthcare, POA, Will, etc. years previous, so that was not a problem. But, if you don't have it or can't get it....it will be very problematic. If you can't get it now, consult with an attorney about your options. Actually, you'll need an attorney anyway to get the POA's prepared and properly executed. If you get mom to a doctor before you do this, you risk him saying she's not competent to sign these documents.

Also, keep in mind that depending on how she progresses, assuming that it is dementia, a walker may not help her balance problems. My cousin's balance was so poor, that she would stand near her walker and fall backwards. I actually saw her do it and caught her before she hit the floor! So, don't put too much faith in the walker preventing her from falling. Keeping a fall risk patient from falling and getting fractures is a huge challenge, no matter where they live.

While she may get some satisfaction from calling on the phone, it may have to be curtailed. She likely doesn't remember the calls she's making. That's why she calls so often. She may not recall the one she made a minute previously. And, calling strangers could be risky, since she may still be able to provide sensitive info like SS#, dates of birth, bank accounts, etc. I'd ensure her phone calls were supervised.

I wouldn't worry about getting her to accept help, cooperate, do better, since, if he's dementia, they just don't go that route, most of the time. It will likely get worse as she progresses. I would consider what it's like now and what your options are, understanding that she's not likely to get on board with your suggestions.

Sometimes, medications can help if someone is depressed or anxious. You could discuss that with her doctor, if you are able to get her there.

Make a list of what you have observed and provide it to the doctor before the appointment, so he can see what's going on and know what tests to administer. He can do a mini eval in the office, but some people need more tests, depending on their degree of cognitive decline.

Oh, don't forgot to ask the doctor what else could be causing her to act this way. Just to rule out other causes.

There is a lot of work involved with this. Is there anyone else who can take over this responsibility? I'd think about a lot before volunteering. It will change your life. I'd read a lot of posts on this site in making that decision.
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NY daughter in law; not only are you right about setting the boundaries in YOUR home and sticking to them (how I wished we had done that more the 3 years my mom lived with us! She has her own little apt now and everyone is much happier (and speaking again), but you gave me a good laugh with the story about your mil falling into the closet! I know it wasn't funny at the time, but it is now.... thanks!
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onlyacargiver.....and you are not ONLY a caregiver bu the way.....
I wonder if it will help to tell your Mom that the person you are going to have some in to help is there to help YOU.
Your Mom might feel that having someone come in will be a financial burden and she does not want to think about the "added expense" that she is costing. So if you explain that the help is for you then she might be more willing to accept someone in. At first when the caregiver comes in have them do a few things for you then maybe help out in Moms room. Then maybe bring Mom lunch. Then ask if Mom wants to get out for a walk. Maybe even tell Mom that "the laundry is in the wash and there is nothing to do until it is dried so we have time to get some fresh air". That way the caregiver will little by little do more for Mom and you can get out.
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about 'CHAIRS OF DEATH' - take a look underneath and there should be a way to freeze the swivel whether with wood and/or glue - she will still have her favourite chairs without the danger win/win - good luck my mom is now in nursing home so I know what you are going through
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This will never be easy, but you just have to do what you needs to be done. My mom would argue with me about everything, the logic and reasoning are gone. You have to trick her. Don't worry - she will forget about it.

I took my mom to a geriatric assessment center at the local hospital they diagnosed her with Alzheimer's. It took 3 tries but I eventually got her there. Lie, tell her you want her to meet a friend of yours that is a nurse (that's what I did).

Then we took her to a lawyer, she was livid - but he was an elder care attorney and was extremely good with my mom. Her explained that he works for her, made his recommendation and her defenses went down. POA is essential - or you will not be able to help her.

My mom was never good with home health care- she never accepted it. Each time we tried it was awful. We enrolled her in an adult day care facility that specialized in dementia. She loved it - it gave her a purpose to her day.

Some places like that may even provide assessments - tell her its the local senior center. She may enjoy getting out of the house - and it give you a break.
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NYDaughterInLaw - you gave me a smile this afternoon - a sad smile but a smile nonetheless. My parents had two matching upholstered chairs - high back, swiveled and rocked. Because they were so highbacked they were very tippy. I can't tell you the number of times my dad fell using these chairs for surfing - he also tipped over backwards sitting in one a number of times. But my mother really liked these chairs so they stayed. My brother and I nicknamed them The Chairs of Death.
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Spot on, Katie. Responsibility without authority is bullshit (please pardon my language) and it just doesn't work.
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Since this is your home, you must insist that you will have someone come into YOUR home to help her. If this is not acceptable to her, then she needs to,live where she can dictate the rules.

I had to lay the law down to my Dad back in June. It was me or the NH...pick. I wasn't going to do this without the PoA and medical proxy. I was going to have in home care, and I was going to have all the authority to file for and receive insurance benefits for it. OR...he could go to NH.

He complains about it. Says he has no control over his life . But it was my way.

So..put your foot down. You cannot be left to have all the responsibility in this without the authority.
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Why did your mother move in with you?
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You need a durable POA for your mother. Expedite having those papers prepared, find two witnesses (not family), and a notary. Someone other than you should explain the document to your mother, preferably an attorney. You want full POA.

As to her refusal to use a walker, for example, you must be firm. Whenever she isn't using the walker, bring it to her. Every time you take her out, insist on her using the walker. Before my MIL agreed to use a cane, she furniture surfed a swivel chair and went face first into the closet.

In general, do not negotiate with your mother. Yours and hubby's home; yours and hubby's rules. When she makes bad decisions, you must reinforce. For example "Mother, your doctor wants you to use a walker and you are going to use your walker."

You do not need to ask your mother's permission to bring in help. Just do it. I don't mean this to sound harsh, but you need to separate your mother the needy patient from your mother the woman you love dearly. Do not make a big production about bringing in help and she will adapt. Act "as if" you are in charge and pretty soon, your mother will realize that you are in charge.
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Tell your mom that she needs to be seen by her doctor or she'll lose her Medicare, or some such therapeutic fib.

Have her doctor order a PT evaluation so she can be measured for a walker and shown how to use it.

Call your local area agency on aging and ask for a " needs assessment". Tell them (in front of mom) that she's so uncooperative that you fear you'll be found unfit to be a caregiver for her.
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You can not force your mother to see a doctor. In situations like yours it often takes a "theraptic fib" - creatively thought up, to get an unwilling loved one to go to a doctor. My mother had been having memory issues that she was openly aware of, so I was able to get her to go to a geriatric psychitrist by saying she would be evaluated for a new memory medication. Unfortunately, the other usual way of getting them to see a doctor is when disaster strikes and an ER trip is necessary. You should have some leverage, however - as your mother is living in your home. BTW - your mothers mode of getting around is often referred to as "furniture surfing" - it is quite dangerous as often they grab onto a piece of furniture that is light weight or unstable and the furniture - along with the person topple over. Best of luck to you.
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