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Details are provided, then decisions get made. Then a week or two goes by and then...


Why this ...?


How come that...?


What about the...?


How to stop the Groundhog day circle?!?

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We went through this when Mom (with dementia) broke up housekeeping. She gave household items she no longer needed away, which of course was her prerogative. Unfortunately, she was promising a dresser to John on Monday, then giving it away to Mary on Tuesday. And so on and so forth. You can imagine the fracas over these decisions. We all kept our heads, except for one instance. Oh, well.

In the end, Mom blamed it all on me. (Of course). Telling all I had given away all her things without consulting her. Sure, Mom. Whatever you say.

Shell is right. Nothing you can do, really. As a family, we've united and refused to allow Mom's misfortune to divide us. So far it's worked pretty well.
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Reply to CantDance
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You really can't hold somebody to their word if they don't remember.

I have no idea how to stop groundhog day circle.


Good Luck!
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Reply to Shell38314
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If the person making the agreement has ongoing memory loss, they are basically unable to enter into such an agreement - if the person has no such memory issues but is just regularly “forgetful”, have the agreement done in writing so that they can reread it to refresh their memory of said agreement.
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Reply to Stilltired
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My 93 year old Mom who has vascular dementia asks me the same questions every single day and also repeats the same stories. 

Because I have accepted the fact that her brain is broken I just answer her and/or try to distract her. 

Good luck to you!
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Reply to JennaRose
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You discreetly take the important decisions off their hands. Do you have power of attorney for one or both?

With the less important decisions - I hate turkey, I want beef, I hate beef; I do want to go/I don't want to go - you go with the flow. And just occasionally, when it's really important to you as a normal human being, this may mean they have to go to a family lunch that they never agreed to, except they did the day before; or can't go to something because you didn't get tickets because they didn't want to until five minutes ago... and TOUGH!

But hold them to their word? They can't give their word.

Is there a particular major issue behind your question, though? Plans afoot?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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faeriefiles May 14, 2019
Perfect answer, can I just say Ditto?
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You're not going to stop it as each time she discusses it's all new to her. Just don't stress over it. Don't go into a lengthy explanation, just give her a breezy answer and some assurance that it is all taken care of. This is much more about changing your reaction to her continuous questions and worries than getting her to remember things she can no longer remember.
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Midkid58 May 15, 2019
Replying to the bedroom set situation:

Mother had seen this little toddler on Saturday and I guess she wasn't as 'nice' as mother thinks she is. (She's 3, Just 3 and so acts 3 and I guess was scared of mother and refused to talk to her. She also has no clue as to who mother IS)

Mother's Day mother asks me out of the blue if I want that set. I said, VERY HESISTANTLY "ONLY if you write it down have 2 of the kids who live at home ( all adults) notarize it AND you tell all the other sibs you're leaving it to me. I do NOT need the hurt that comes when you tell me my home is 'not nice enough' for your treasures".

Yes, it is the only thing she has that has ANY sentimental value. I used to have sleepovers with GG (her mother) and she would let me sleep in her big bed. I learned to play poker in that bed.

I did remind her, gently, that she has to stop pulling the stickies off of all and sundry things she's promised people--to make things clear for us, I told her that Sister will come out and catalog everything. Nothing can be changed out of that catalog without 2 of the sibs 'watching'.

Again, not that she has anything of value. Just so there won't be hurt feelings.

YB is the executor and is the MOST waffly man I know. If his wifey wanted everything, he'd give it to her b/c he will NOT stand up to her. We call him Dr. No Shot.

He's a good and honest man, but cannot do conflict resolution. Why they didn't pick my OS as the executor is beyond me, but she is a 'girl' and we all know girls can't DO things like this. (Except my 3, who are executrixes 1-3. And my son is an attorney. Go figure. I picked the people who will do the best job)
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Any chance of getting it written down? Or taking a video on your phone of the final decisions?
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Get a white board or chalk board or bulletin board and write out the answers to the Groundhog Day circle of questions so that s/he can read and reread them as necessary.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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disgustedtoo May 14, 2019
Those can be erased, and most likely will be. I would do it on a computer and print copies. Let them have a copy and when it gets tossed or lost, provide another copy. Even better is video record it. A lot does depend on whether OP lives with them or not. I do have questions about these "decisions", which I will address in my full comment.

No matter how you try to document anything, it likely isn't going to work long. I do write appointments on a 2 year pocket calendar mom carries around with her. When I can, I remind her by showing it to her. It sometimes "helps" to get her out the door with less balking.

She used to "live" by a full-size calendar, keeping it on the kitchen table (shortly before we had to move her to MC, I found it several times buried in the pile of newspapers - I think the one I gave her at Christmas got lost that was, probably around March - no idea what calendar I was talking about!)
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Interesting a lot of the responses here are about things to be inherited, which can also be a problem for sure when talking about memory problems after a long life. But the way I read your OP gooutinstyle was that your problems were more about current events if you will, agreeing to a procedure for instance or hiring someone to mow the lawn or come in and make dinner. More important concepts of course too and I can only imagine how hard it must be to have to reintroduce them all the time. I know how hard these things can be with my mom and it often takes several conversations and giving her plenty of time (days sometimes weeks) to process new important concepts and get her to see them our way or just acknowledge them at all. Sometimes she looses them for sure but with her it often seems like selective memory, frustrating in itself but having to go through everything all over again multiple times...and then not have her prepared when she needs to be even though we worked hard to make sure she was? Ugh!

I will say that there are times more and more often when I think mom really doesn't remember a conversation/topic when it used to be she had conveniently forgotten and it came back to her but I take the same tact I always do treating it casually like something that will come to her, we all forget. So "oh I thought you said you wanted to do this or that" "Last time we talked about it you said..." "R (my brother)said you decided you wanted..." or "I was understanding...when R explained it". We also often say "I know I don't understand either but Dr X said...remember? He is the expert" Also saying "maybe we should ask Dr Y" often works too because even if she doesn't remember she will fake it like she does when we sell it that everyone was on the same page, you kind of give her a way to appear with it, feel ownership of a decision without the option to change it all around yet without calling her out on not remembering. It's hard to explain and a bit of a tightrope but so far it works. We also just made up a few Q cards of sorts that list the things she needs to do in order each morning when she wakes up (Blood sugar, pills, weigh herself) and that seems to help so I love the idea someone else mentioned with the dry erase board. Maybe you could put options down for instance or concepts your talking about so she can glance at it and know that you did discuss this even if she doesn't actually remember it. This way she isn't feeling challenged. You don't have to be recording things because she forgets, you could be making lists or writing things down so you don't forget it just happens to be in a place where she can always refer to it as well. Then when she starts asking about something you just discussed or you know it's coming you could even ask her..."did we write that down on the board, I forget" My brother is much better at getting her to laugh at herself when she forgets or is having a hard time doing something she has done a million times because her BS is off or something, I'm not as good at that. It has to be hard for them when we are insisting they made some major decision or said something and are following through but they have no memory of it at all, I can see why that would be frightening, we all worry about "loosing our minds".

Lol, now all of that said you probably were talking about passing items on as others thought and I'm way off base!
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Reply to Lymie61
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Interesting stories here. My mom gave MY house to my son because I was living with her to take care of her, so she told him I didn't need my house any longer and he could have it. Hmmm. He thanked her and he and I laughed about it. She and I would go through closets at her request and put items on her porch for charity pick up. Before the truck came, she would take back most of the items. But to your specific question, you cannot hold to a decision made by someone with dementia. Suggestions to have decisions in writing didn't work with my mom. She would just say, well, I changed my mind, or that someone forged her signature. Her world and my world do not have the same truths.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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