How do I help my mom?

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My mom is 67 years old and has been having some memory loss for awhile now (i.e. forgetting children's birthdays, recipes). Over the last year she has been progressively more paranoid. She thinks my dad has been rearranging her stuff and hiding stuff from her. I didn't think much of it since I thought normal aging would cause lack of remembering birth dates and she has always been a bit paranoid about people touching her stuff. Since I was a child, she has always kept her pocketbook right next to her even going as far as sitting on it. In the past month, everything has gotten way worse. She started thinking that her next door neighbors are fighting at night and that the husband is abusing the wife. She tells these elaborate tales of him making his wife dig medication out of the ground and the girl running down the street screaming. I know none of this is true because I live across the street from my mom. That has progressed within a month to her believing the man is saying her name and is going to burn down her house. In the past 2 weeks, she has started having more hallucinations. She calls me every night around 10pm saying that people are outside. The other night she thought someone was trying to steal their truck. Last night, she thought my brothers ex-wife was outside saying that my nephew had died. She even asked me if he was dead today. My brother called saying she was talking to a woman through the vent today as well. When I asked her about it, she said it was the woman next door. I asked her what she said. She told me that she said she was from my mom's childhood neighborhood and that she has a child by my dad. I have tried to convince her to go to the doctor, but she says she doesn't have the money. I have offered to pay for the visit, but she makes other excuses. I have begged her to let me go to the doctor with her when she has her regular checkups, but she won't. My father will not listen to reasoning and help me out. He just says she's a liar or says he will tell the doctor, but never does. My brothers have issues with drug abuse and are in and out of jail, so there is no real help there. The only reason my brother told me about the vent talking today was because he was afraid my dad was going to throw him out and he needed a place to stay. So, here I am, asking for help. I don't know what to do. Today she barely even seemed to know she was talking to me and only wanted to talk about the woman in the vent. She has had issues with pain pill addictions in the past, but has never had issues like these arise with them. She recently had an issue with really low potassium and had to take pills for it. Maybe she is having that issue again? Maybe it is dementia? Lord, I hope not. I love her so much and don't want her to go through anymore pain in her life than she already has. How do I help her if she won't let me go to the doctor with her? Could this be something besides dementia? Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any help would be appreciated.

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I'm so used to thinking negatively, that I didn't even think about that positive Sendme2help. Thank you for showing me the positive. *smile* Mulata88...I must admit that I never went to my PCP. My blood pressure has dropped to the 130-150 on top and 80-90ish on the bottom. I probably should still see the doctor about it though. Thank you for your concern and caring. HUGS I told my husband that you guys are like family to me even though we don't personally know each other. You have helped me through the hardest time in my life so far and you all have been so kind and caring. Thank you sooo much.
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I do appreciate the update, take good care of yourself. Did you get to see your Pcp, re... your blood pressure? Important! What happened?

M88
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Mom walking across the street to check in and get her meds sounds like a perfect plan! Proof she is doing better.
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I am soooo, sooo sorry that I have not responded to everyone's thoughtful suggestions and responses. My mom was released on June 10 and it has been a crazy ride since then. She was suddenly released. The only thing they did was give me a set of papers which states that her diagnosis was psychosis with no known cause. They had set up an appointment with her physician the Wed (June 15) after her release. The physician and I agreed at the appointment that something more seems to be going on (possible stroke). She is no longer hallucinating, and according to the staff at the facility, has not hallucinated since that first night. But, there is a huge difference in her short term memory since last month and it seems to be getting worse. Her PCP sent her for a CT scan last Monday (June 20). They called Wed (June 22) stating that they found that her myelin sheath has been damaged. The nurse said that she was not getting enough oxygen to her brain. She said that there was a possibility of vascular disease or multiple sclerosis. She said a neurologist could tell us more. She sent the referral out last Wed. (June 22) to the neurologist. The neurologist had not contacted us by Monday. So, I contacted her PCP who said we just have to wait for the neurologist to call us to set up the appointment. The neurologist still has not called. In addition to all of that, my dad has been causing problems. He does not want me to administer my mom's medicine, even though he is incapable of doing it. (She went back to live with him. They released her completely and said she was free to do what she wanted and she wanted to live in her own home.) He says she is a grown woman and should be able to take her own medication. It's as if he doesn't realize or doesn't care how much her memory is affected. She calls me at least 3 to 5 times a day to ask if she has taken her medicine or when she needs to take it. She has been letting me give her medications to her. But, she has to walk across the street to my house to get them at 6am and then 6pm because my dad will not allow me back in the house or yard. It is pure hell (excuse my language) sometimes. I am trying to do the best that I can for my mom. My dad is playing interference. My mom is most likely facing a long road of deteriorating health. I am already getting pretty depressed from all of the stress and the "what ifs" about the future. All of that to say, that is why I have not been on here. I am very sorry that I have not responded recently. Thank you all so much for checking in and offering your suggestions. You are so much help and you are a comfort in these dark times. Hugs and love to all of you. I will try to get back again before weeks and check in. I hope all of you are doing well.
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Perturbed, You stated that your Mom, knowing she needed help, called the ambulance herself.
This fact may be vital to her attorney who will work for her voluntary placement or release. What is important is the difference between voluntary and involuntary.

Even when involuntarily committed, her advocates (you, an attorney, patient's rights advocate) the goal should be change her status to voluntary. That determination opens a whole lot of choices for care, including transfer to the private facilty nearer you.
Keep trying.
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NAMI click on GETTING SUPPORT
Click on Families and Caregivers
Click on If your family member is arrested.
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Agree with getting the Hippa form signed, bring a Notary? Due to her possible incompetent to be signing (for now), that is why seeing the Patient's Rights Advocate (the hospital must provide the contact info by law) would be helpful.

Be sure to explain she is at a disadvantage because of her education and communication issues. If she speaks english as a second language, the hospital is required to provide an interpreter in her native tongue-or try the Dept. of Social Services.
Don't panic, because under the right treatment, and the passage of time (48 hrs., 7 days, 14 days, 21 days) Mom will be getting much improved and better able to pass the tests and interviews necessary for helpful placement.

How are you holding up? Don't feel bad if you cannot visit daily-patients can actually improve better in the absence of family. Ask the staff about this.
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How are you doing today?

M88
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Has your mother signed a HIPAA release which allows the doctors to talk to you? If not, download one, print it out and have mom sign on your next visit.

If mom is psychotic, her perceptions of what is happening may not be accuate re: the judge, actions of others.

It is really important for the evaluating doctors to know that your mom only has a 3rd grade education and appears to have had liifelong cognitive challenges. Meaning that she probably would have had difficulty counting back by 7's from 100 before this recent episode. Even with the hipaa release, you can GIVE the docs and social workers information. Good luck.
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Hi Pert!
Instead of phone calls, write them.

Send registered letters to all the people who are involved.

Social worker

Advocate

Doctor(s)

Chief Nurse over the ward.

Get names, last names, addresses, and communicate in writing, registered letters, with recipient SIGNATURE REQUIRED.

Post Office will return those signed cards, and that's evidence of what you're trying to accomplish.

Phone calls....... sadly, "words that are gone with the wind".

They have to know that you mean business and if there's a judge, write him too. It can be the same letter, just print out as many copies as you need.

Ask if there is an OMBUDSPERSON=a neutral party that assists both sides, to obtain a goal.

I would do that, if I were you.

Did you get into the doctor? What happened?

Hugs, x o x o,

M 8 8
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