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My aunt has dementia. I’ve been caring for her for about a month now. Most family doesn’t believe she has dementia and that she will get better. I have two family members who come and go and think they’re helping but they’re doing more harm than good. Since they don’t believe her diagnosis they continue to text her asking her things like what do you need from the store. She tells them what she needs, which she doesn’t need, and won’t use. We, as in my mom and I, have tried to get her easy food to warm up or put together but she can’t do it. The thing that worries me the most is they picked up ground beef for her. The last thing my aunt needs to do is cook. They think she will get better because she tells them that she is getting better. They don’t believe she needs a caregiver or someone, as in me, over at her house everyday. Since they don’t believe her diagnosis they ask her what she needs instead of asking me. If they want to spend their own money for food that will waste then they can go ahead and do that but I get annoyed when they bring her food to cook and food she already has. Something similar happened 3 weeks ago. They came by and brought groceries when I just went 4 days before. My aunt doesn’t remember of course so she tells them things she thinks she needs but doesn’t need. I could’ve told them that but they don’t want my input. What do I do? How do I handle or address family members who think they’re doing good but they’re really not? Especially considering the fact they bought food she actually has to cook and she could very well try to cook.

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It really sounds as if your great aunt shouldn’t live alone anymore.

I agree that the others involved aren’t helpful and are actually a possible hindrance.

Have you called Council on Aging in your area? Have you contacted the social worker at the hospital that she goes to?

So, who is helping her the most? Your mom? You? She needs someone that can help on a regular basis or to go into a facility. Are you looking? Does she have Medicaid? Can she afford a nice assisted living facility?

Best wishes to you and your family. You’re very sweet to help your aunt.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Raw meat?? for someone who cannot and should not be cooking? And how old is the food she has stored? This sounds potentially dangerous. Can you send a picture of food that had to be thrown out? You know, make it look very gory.
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Reply to rovana
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If you could video her in a moment that demonstrates her cognitive state and send that to her sisters, maybe then they'd believe you? You could have her take the dementia test (drawing the clock) and video it, show it to them. They won't believe you without clear proof, because they don't want to believe it. Does she know what day it is or who the president is? Ask questions that you know she can't answer correctly and video it. Other than that I don't know how else you can convince them.
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Reply to Geaton777
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katmac18 Oct 9, 2020
Thank you. All of this is still new to me. I kind of just fell into this roll to help my mom out. I guess I should’ve clarified that the aunt who has dementia is my great aunt and the aunt and uncle I referred too are my great aunt’s nephew and niece in law. My great aunt has no kids and never married. Anyway. I haven’t heard of the clock test. I’ll have to look it up. I have been trying to video and record more. She is on a memory pill which helps her some and I know she can “put on a show” to make it seem like she’s better than she is. I’ll do the things you suggest. Thank you. I appreciate all help.
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I would get her diagnoses in writing from her doctor.

"Clara Strong has been found to have Dementia which has no cure. It will continue to progress to where she can no longer care for herself"

Someone is cooking for her correct? Then as suggested, use the food to make her dinners. Bake. Do you or they put the food away? If they do they should see you have already bought stuff. If you, then show them the pantry is full. Or call them and tell them you buy groceries and you are finding between you all there are duplications. Since Aunts freezer holds only so much, we all need to get together on what to purchase because food and money are being wasted. Explain that Aunt is no longer doing her cooking so she has no idea what she needs.

I hope you realize that your Aunt will not be able to live on her own eventually. Dementia is unpredictable. You never know what the person will do. There are good days and bad days. Sundowning. Someone is going to need to make a decision to either bring her into their home or place her in an AL if she can afford it or LTC.
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katmac18 Oct 9, 2020
My mom and I are working on getting something in writing from her doctor. We’re both just overwhelmed with different things including our aunt and haven’t had the time to think about messaging her doctor.

No one is really cooking for her. I sometimes do but she has OCD and I try not to make too much of a disturbance in her home. Food is brought to her. She hasn’t talked about cooking until earlier this week then she forgot about it. She doesn’t eat a whole lot. I’ve tried putting food in front of her and she won’t eat it. I’ve done the grocery shopping and brining her food everyday for 3 weeks. My aunt and uncle put her food away. I had no idea they were grocery shopping for her until they showed up. My aunt and uncle will continue to do what they want to do no matter what my mom or I tell them. They listen to our aunt. She says she’s getting better and can sound fine on the phone. I even texted mg uncle pictures of her clean fridge after my mom and I cleaned it out and told him what all we threw away. You would think that alone would point them too she isn’t fixing herself food. It’s his wife that’s mostly the problem. I’m trying to record videos and voice recordings to show them. It’s just so frustrating.

Yes we know she won’t be able to live on her own eventually. I go over there during most of the day. My mom and I are alert to changes. We’re looking into options for some in home care right now. She was recently diagnosed with dementia. My mom and I thought she had it but her doctor confirmed it at her last appointment. Her situation is more complicated too. She’s in kidney failure because of chronic kidney disease and hypertension.
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Do you think that you could use this as a way to educate them to the fact your Aunt is failing? Have you told them the facts as you told them to us, telling them that you know they are trying to be helpful, but that the food is going to waste and you hate to see them waste their money?
Does your Aunt continue to live alone? You said that the last thing she needs are things to cook. Is that because you think she no longer is able to cook? Is she safe alone?
If basically everything is good I would just explain to them that Aunt's memory isn't very good and you are shopping for her weekly, that they may want to run her "list" by you so she doesn't end up with too much of everything.
Other than that I don't see what you can do. Stick things in the freezer until it is full, then take them home and make her a huge pot of spaghetti she can freeze up?
It seems they are well meaning. Good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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katmac18 Oct 9, 2020
My mom and I have told them the facts but they don’t listen because my aunt sounds normal on the phone and through text. They don’t spend enough time with her to believe otherwise. My mom and I have told them and even sent them videos. So they just don’t believe it. They think my mom and I are overreacting. They know food goes to waste because I sent them some pictures of her fridge my mom and I cleaned out. They know what it looked like beforehand because they had been over a few days before. The fridge was packed to the brim and had so many containers of food people brought that she didn’t eat. So they do know food goes to waste.

She does live alone but I’m over there most of the day. This is very new to us so we’re looking at options. She does not need to cook. I don’t trust her to cook. She is safe alone for a certain amount of time. We know that won’t last forever and we’re figuring things out. She’s been going downhill for a while but her memory started getting bad this year. She’s had chronic kidney disease for a while and hypertension. Then in September she fell and ended up in the hospital and then I drove down once she was released and somehow took on the role of caregiver.

I did bring beef home. I asked her if she wanted me to grill it on moms grill and she said yes. Thank you for the help.
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Am I missing something here? If your aunt can’t cook, it means someone is there cooking for her. So why is it a problem if someone brings her food that needs to be cooked? How else does she eat if someone isn’t cooking for her? Why can’t they cook the ground beef? Why can’t the ground beef be frozen for later? It’s one less thing to buy later. they don’t ask you what she needs. Well have you told them to stop bringing food?
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Reply to worriedinCali
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katmac18 Oct 9, 2020
She got released from the hospital a few weeks ago. She fell and all her vitals were low so she went to the hospital. Her doctor just told us a week after her hospital release she has dementia. My mom and I guessed that but never had a diagnosis. So all of this with her memory is new to us. She’s been going downhill for years but her memory started going this year. She has chronic kidney disease and is in kidney failure and has hypertension. My mom and I realized she needs help. We’re working on a better solution and doing the best we can. My aunt is really independent and refuses people telling her what to do. Our family knows her diagnosis but they don’t believe it because she can sound fine on the phone and through text.
I go over there during the day. I leave at night and make sure she’s okay and has everything. At first people were bringing her food. Now it’s my mom and I bringing her food. She doesn’t eat a lot. I’ve seen her go a day or two without eating. I try to get her to eat but nothing works. She does what she wants. She doesn’t need to cook. I’ve tried bringing her foods that are simple to eat like salads already put together just put it on a plate but she won’t eat it. They can’t cook the ground beef because they don’t believe the diagnosis despite videos we send them and daily reports. They’re also just selfish and do the minimum. They think she can be by herself all the time and she can’t. I think as I said this is still new and my mom and I are trying to figure it out. We have explained to them about the groceries but again they don’t believe because they believe her. I hope that helps your questions. My mom and I are doing the best we can. We have talked to family and sent videos and other things but since she sounds normal we must be overreacting.
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