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My grandmother is displaying signs of dementia and the doctor who did her EKG test after she had a stroke six months prior said she wasn't having seizures, but he wants her to see a behavioral specialist and take a test for dementia based on things my mother and I told him and what he observed. She went off, according to a nurse whose mother had dementia. She told the doctor no, she's done, she's not doing any more tests, she's not seeing any more doctors, nothing's wrong with her, something's wrong with him. She told my mother, who told her when she asked for her car keys that she needed to take the test, that she (my mother) is trying to have her (my grandmother) declared demented and that nothing is wrong with her, something's wrong with my mother. I told my grandmother that she should just have the tests done and see the behavioral specialist, just to rule it out if nothing's wrong. She got defensive and told me no, that she shouldn't have to, why should she have to? They're the one's accusing her of having it so they need to prove it, not her. Then she compared her having to take the test to having an alleged murderer locked up. She even compared having to take the test to torture and then claiming she's allergic to the glue they used in the EKG (she's not, she was itching before it). Then told me if they think something is wrong with her behavior it's only because people keep trying to test her and take advantage of her insurance. I didn't even know how to respond to all that and at 1 in the morning.


She's not listening to anybody and considering what's happening now it's even more unlikely she's going to relinquish control to my mother. Her partner died a few days ago and he hated his daughter but because he never got around to signing over things to his sister in the case of his death his daughter was able to gain control of everything and do whatever she pleases against her father's wishes. Knowing my grandmother, she's going to compare the situation in all the wrong ways to her own and probably due to all the wrong she's done to her kids financially based on her past comments and actions. She's already called the sheriff's department on my mother twice about her keys. She doesn't know we know and is demanding then pleading for favors from me and my mother like she never did a thing. And some of that is her. Doing someone dirty then acting like you never did a thing and asking them for favors while they're left in the dark, that's totally her. In fact it's like her personality has increased in its intensity tenfold. She's always been selfish, manipulative, and a con artist (which I hate to say but it's true), but then there's the things that are just so unlike her we know something's wrong. Calling the sheriff on her own daughter, that's not her. And maybe it's because she's hurt but some of these things were way before the man she loved passed away.


She can't keep up with how much money she has on her, she's deeply in debt, has put my disabled aunt's account (which she views as her second account) in the negative, she spends her money on unnecessary things like large orders of fast food for herself and countless QVC, HSN, and Avon orders. She refuses to take care of her personal hygiene beyond body wipes and an old travel toothbrush. She's been saying and doing weird things like asking me if her favorite chicken place has gravy or if she should write 1916 or 2016 on paperwork she filled out last year for when she files her taxes this year. She's been doing the things she taught my mom and uncles not to do like walking around with large sums of money hanging out and not locking car doors. One time she thought she was about to be broke after paying her bills but she had $300 dollars more than she thought when she let my mother count it. She's never been off about her money. She may spend it all and need more, she is a shopaholic, but she's never been in the negative this often before.


My mother wants to start by gaining control of my aunt's disability check and multiple people told her to call before the 15th and they'd investigate and let her take over. When she called SSI for our state they said all my mother would have to do is go down to an office in the city, show her ID, and they'd do it. When she got there they wanted either my aunt, who doesn't have the mental capacity to know or understand what's going on, to come in and say she wants my mother over her check, to have my grandmother come in and sign it over, or to have one of my grandmother's doctor's say she's incapable. The SSI office won't even look at the proof we have; bank statements, statements from check advance places, etc. Her pc is, quite frankly, a sucker who falls for her act every single time. The neurologist won't sign off until after she takes the test for dementia and scheduled her a follow up appointment for next month but that means another check or two my grandmother has to blow.


What can we do? This needs to stop.

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@Eyerishlass I'm wondering if that's what my grandmother meant during one of our talks. She didn't go into detail, but we were talking to her about all the things she needs to start doing and things she's claimed for years she was going to do to make things easier when she transitions. She kept going on and on about her stuff, this was after her partner was hospitalized the first time. I was taking to her about priorities and she told me in regards to my aunt that my mother would have to do that, she couldn't do it when I asked had she made sure my mother was my aunt's overseer should something happen.

Yeah, I've seen the things a UTI can do when my father was hospitalized with one. I was shocked. He'd also had mini strokes and began having seizures along with his high fever. I knew he'd been looking off some months prior at my paternal grandmother's funeral but he claimed everything was fine. 2017 was a rough year.

My mom was on the phone for about an hour and when they told her what she needed to do it sounded too simple to be true. Simply brining my aunt to the office and just having her say that she wants her sister to control her check seems too simple. That city offices, whether it's the SSA, the DMV, you name it, they just act incompetent. Then we moved up to another county and they are like a breath of fresh air. They've even said about their city counterparts, "I don't know what they're doing down there, but they could've been had this done."

Oh, we know we're not going to convince her of a thing. My mom thinks she'll listen because I'm the grandchild but she won't. She'll think about it, she'll even appear to be siding with it like she did when I had that talk with her about her priorities, but nothing will happen. When she compared her taking a test for dementia to being an arrested alleged murderer I knew nothing I said was changing her. She won't listen to us, she'll only take to heart the advice of one person I know and they're working on it, but they said she has the infamous family hard headedness. I agree though. We all need a break. It's going to snow tomorrow, my grandmother isn't here and won't be until the weather gets better so we should just take some of this time to calm down. My aunt and I can sleep more, my mom's blood pressure can go back down and my sister can stop worrying with all the tension and intensity in the air. Our household is back to normal for now.
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@Countrymouse I'll mention that to my mom. Currently my aunt lives with me, my mom, and my sister. We didn't realize that my grandmother had let things for her fall to the wayside until my grandmother and aunt moved in. We learned my aunt has no health insurance and because of the mass accumulation of junk at the house my grandmother used to live in, my aunt social security card and important documents are either lost in there or were lost when her original house was demolished. I was wondering if they would also have records on her health condition as well just in case we may need them because we plan on taking her to a pc doctor and a dentist.

Yeah, we know she's terrified and in denial about all of her health problems. We also know she's mad at herself for letting everything get so far. For some reason she ignores all warnings, advice, and offers of help until it's suddenly raining down upon her then she demands help, asks for advice, and gets angry when it's just not as simple anymore. And she was doing that before the stroke, the CHF, the ESRD, and learning she had diabetes. Ironically enough she was telling her partner last year when he first went in the hospital to listen to the doctor's, they only want to help you. My mom and uncle told her that when she was in the hospital and she said they were just trying to ride out her insurance.

She had two massive blood clots on the right side of her brain. I kind of zoned out after that so I'd have to look in the paper work but she is high risk for blood clots according to her neurologist and heart doctor because off the way two chambers in her heart are beating and they can't give her blood thinners because she had multiple GI bleeds throughout last year. Her blood is also really thick. In the past when she's been in the hospital they've had to draw blood multiple times because her blood started clotting immediately. They told her she needs to stop worrying and stressing and she claims she doesn't but she has always worried over the littlest things as if they were big, life changing things. Right now the biggest worry is her stuff. Since her partner is deceased his daughter can by right go in that house and take whatever but he didn't have a lot of stuff, 85 to 90 percent of the things in there are hers and most of it is trash. I'm talking a bunch of those big plastic containers filled with food that expired in 2010 or before, countless Avon products she never used that have dried up, old fast food that's molded over, random used tissues strung about, old prescriptions she never used. Not to mention the critters roaming about. We did not know it was that bad. This is why I think a behavioral specialist will be helpful, if she'll see one, because long before she ever got sick she's always behaved questionably to the point my uncles, my mother, and even my aunt would feel alienated.

I just talked to her a couple of hours ago and she was telling me about her record player, her TVs, her food. I told her what all I'd seen in there and suggested she should just let it go but she's determined to save what she can and buy a third storage facility (the first two are packed) and if she knew we went down there in that hazard of a home last Saturday morning and saved what we could, she'd convince someone to drive her up here and drag all that stuff in the house. Whenever we have a dry day we plan on going through it but she doesn't care anymore about what can be saved she wants it all. She keeps calling and pestering family members about her stuff. Like her social worker at dialysis said, once she gets an idea in her head she sticks to it.

I can't say her personal hygiene has gone down because even before the stroke I can't recall a time when she took a bath or brushed her teeth with water on what appeared to be a regular basis unless I go back to 2012. Any time after then she was in the hospital or rehabilitation and they aided her in doing that but if we try that here she says she'll just take a wash up and uses wipes. I used to see her lug around body wipes and alcohol pads all the time for years and I thought it was odd but she is messy so I thought it was because of that. She would just say she has dry skin and that's why her skin is so flakey.

She lives with us now, but since New Year's she's been staying at her friends house in the city. She wanted us to come get her immediately after her partner passed because she wanted to find her title to do a loan. We explained that it was too dangerous due to the weather and that we had no running water at the time. We tried to get her two days ago but when we got there she said she'd stay because we're forecasted for bad weather again Thursday so she's there until next week unless the forecast changes again. So usually we see and talk to her every day but she's made the household such a tense place, it's like everyone is walking on eggshells.
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Thanks for the responses!

@97yroldmom they tested her for a UTI when she was in the hospital a few weeks ago and said she doesn't have one. They also said she's not having seizures so the next step is the behavioral therapist which her doctor plans on bringing up again at the doctor's appointments. At first she said she wasn't seeing him again, but then at the start of the new year she said she had to make a follow up appointment but now that she's on our cases about her car keys and my mom and uncles' keep saying she really needs to do the tests she's defiant. She just learned my mother doesn't have her keys when I was on the phone with her and threatened to call the police on my mom and my uncles.

I wish I knew a better way to explain my aunts mind but I don't think it's ever going to stick and I was taken aback as to why, if they know her medical history, they would say bring her in and let her say it when she can barely comprehend things a kindergartener or a first grader can. My sister didn't want control of her check and understood exactly what she was doing when she went in and told them she wanted our mother take over it. We're going to try though. I wish they'd just investigate. The account my grandmother has with my aunt's check is already in the negative from flex pays. Hopefully all goes well and it will only take the fifteen minutes the man at the office said it would minus the hour wait time.

Unfortunately, she already has an account balance in her own account of a negative $150 and want to do a title loan on her vehicle. She has done enough shopping from the months of October to December alone, but QVC and HSN aren't blocked down there so she's window shopping I guess? And she managed to find an Avon rep while at dialysis and has placed an order. Her partner's sister, brother, and niece have also been taking her out to do things while she's staying with his sister.
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I agree with Countrymouse about guardianship over your aunt. It's what came to mind as I was reading what you had written.

The drawback to guardianship is that it can take a while and it's expensive. If your aunt has the funds she ought to pay for it but since your grandmother has control over your aunt's finances you may not be able to use your aunt's money in which case your mother would have to use her own money. Being awarded guardianship costs about $8,000.

I also agree with testing your grandmother for a UTI. Get a kit from the drugstore and buy a couple of extra ones to have around in case you need one. UTI's can cause bizarre behavior that's similar to dementia. If your grandmother balks at having to take the kit into the bathroom with her to do the test tell her the alternative is going to the doctor. Her choice.

Regarding calling the SSA that's a lost cause. They won't do anything over the phone and that's if your mom can even get them on the phone. The average wait time when one calls them is over an hour. It's a broken down behemoth of a gov't agency that moves at a snail's pace if they move at all. However, their website, www.ssa.gov , is very comprehensive and someone can usually find the forms they need there. Nothing they advise is ever as simple as what they say and one issue can take months to right itself.

You and your mom are not going to suddenly convince your grandmother to do anything. And your grandmother's been very clear about how she feels. For yours and your mom's own sake leave her be for now. Just take a step back and take a breath. I understand you're juggling a lot of things right now and stepping back may feel like you'll lose your momentum but it can also provide some clarity. You know what the issues are and they'll still be there after you've taken a breather for a few days.
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Your mother should apply for guardianship of her sister.

Because this will take a little time, meanwhile your mother should call APS. Is your aunt living with your grandmother? If she is, and is totally dependent on her, then the call to APS should describe this as an emergency because your aunt, as well as your grandmother herself, is at risk. Control of your aunt's income is important and will eventually find its way into your mother's hands but there are more immediate concerns. I'm sorry your mother's been given the runaround in trying to deal with it - the problem is almost certainly lack of communication between the agencies involved, and having to repeat the key points time and again to individuals who may or may not be paying proper attention. Intensely frustrating and I sympathise, but perseverance will get her there in the end.

Then there is your grandmother's welfare.

She is very upset. Wouldn't you be? You and your mother have been bending over backwards to persuade her to be assessed and accept help, and *of course* you are doing this for her benefit. But if you look at it through her eyes, and imagine how terrified she must be, you can see why she is running scared and hiding.

She is also ill. What information have you and your mother been given about her stroke and any underlying conditions? - it's just it sounds as if her doctor is investigating possible vascular dementia; and if so, and it stems from the classic combo of heart disease and kidney disease, then the poor lady will be feeling not only frightened but also bone tired and... just really, really ill.

And, yes, if her personal hygiene has gone off the boil and you've noticed any sudden deterioration in her behaviour then u.t.i. is always on the list of Usual Suspects.

So what to do... Very, very difficult. How often do you see or speak to her?
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Lostleader
Has your GM had a test for a Urinary Tract Infection?
This type infection, UTI, can cause dementia type symptoms in older folks.

The test can be taken at an Urgent Care, her drs office, an ER. A kit can even be purchased at a drug store. However a prescription wouid still be needed for an antibiotic to clear it up.

The Social Security clerk has told you what you need to do about the check. I think I would try taking the aunt in to the social security office.

If your GM is conducting herself in a way that is harmful to herself or others you could check into having her taken in for a psych evaluation.

Start with the UTI test. It’s a simple pee test and if that’s the problem she will be better soon after getting started on the antibiotic.

Consider that she is also grieving and perhaps trying to make herself feel better with the shopping etc.

Tell her she doesn’t seem herself. You are concerned and maybe it’s a UTI.

She might be relieved to learn that something like an infection can be causing her to feel contrary.

Most of the time the older patient with a UTI doesn’t have symptoms like burning when she pees. It will be dementia like symptoms instead.
UTIs can be fatal left untreated.

Come back and let us know what you find out.
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