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Mom had a lot happen in last year, kidney removal due to a mass, gallbladder removal, then she let herself go completely in a matter of 3 months she wound up on dialysis after being in full kidney failure. I found out she has a fantasy relationship with a Nigerian scammer who is catfishing her and she is sending money, she knows the truth but is still sending money, she lies all the time, tells me one thing and siblings another. Then she made up stories about me keeping her prisoner and hostage and want to keep her off the phone and facebook. She was seeing people in her house before she got really sick. But she remembers other things clearly, things from 50-60 years ago. She figures out how to download new chat apps to keep up her fantasy relationship and download zelle app to send him money. She's back living at home alone and I don't know how to help her. I was so stressed that I backed off and told my siblings I can't do it all anymore. Is any of this a sign of cognitive decline or is mom just depressed and desperate? She does say weird things sometimes and she will get mad when I don't know what she is talking about.

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I am sorry that you have some much on your plate. However, it does sound like your mom has dementia. Dementia in my experience may come off as things that we might see as just our parents getting older with little things...forgetting a word or getting words confuse...maybe a little white lie...calling something by the wrong name than being able to call it by the right name. In the beginning dementia comes and goes like the wind. Very hard to pin point it in the beginning. But like all things time will show its true form.

You should see an Elderly Lawyer about getting POAs and what needs to be done with Medicaid rules if mom has any assets. Start asking mom what she wants as far as what is her medical plans. For example, my mother had a feeding tube after she had a major surgery in 2012 for something unrelated, however, she has made it clear that she doesn't want a feeding tube and because she has had 19 surgeries and beat cancer 3 times she has opted-out for anymore surgeries and cancer treatments (if her cancers come back), which I understand. Sorry to say, you must start getting her and your ducks in a row. Like us here you will have to figure out just how much care you will provide your mom. How much of your life are you willing to give up? Start planning! This site and the people here are a God send; I wish I would have found it a year sooner it would have saved me much heart aches, time, and money. When I first found this place I read everything I could and I was able to get my mother Dx with vascular dementia, unfortunately, my mother's finances were already a mess, which now I am in the process of cleaning that mess up. No one ever wants their LO Dx with Alz/dementia. But it is what it is, so we do the best we can. You can always come here for answers or to vent or just read the posts. Some how this forum makes you feel like your not alone.

Moreover, depression and anxiety can company with dementia.

Good luck.
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StressedOut44 Mar 7, 2019
Thanks, I need to figure out how to start the conversation with her because she doesn't want to talk about anything difficult and wants to pretend that its all okay and she is the same person as always. Her mind wont accept her bodys limitations and she gets angry if you challenge the idea.
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Hi stressed.
I know this is all just tooooo much.
I think we would all agree though it hasn’t been said.
Dont try to discuss this with mom. It’s more stress and won’t help. She doesn’t sound able to comprehend.

Make an appointment with a certified elder attorney well experienced in Medicaid law in your state. You need the legal authority to act for your mom. She will either have to sign to give you or a siblng authority while she still can or you will need to file for guardianship.

Just tonight there was 95 yr old former director of the FBI (or was it CIA) targeted for financial abuse. Even after the scanner found out who he was they threatened to kill his wife if he didn’t do as they demanded.
Your mom is not alone. Imposters call pretending to be from Microsoft or Apple or the IRS and pretend to be someone helpful. Don’t answer the phone from anyone you don’t know was the advice. Don’t open an email from strangers. Don’t respond to pop ups. Elders are targeted because they have money.

Take her to a neurologist for testing. It does sound like she has the beginnings of dementia. I’m sorry to say that. I have seen the tv shows where elderly women have been catfished by Nigerians and they don’t seem to have dementia, just terribly lonely.

But your mom’s health issues would make the sanest among us want to escape into one fantasy or another.

There are several types of dementia. Some are as you describe. One day there and the next day, not so much.

I am sorry you are so overwhelmed. Dig deep and get your mom’s situated looked into.
It’s not likely to get better on its on.
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Yes. Dementia's start very subtly. But your Mom seems to be further along especially if seeing things. Going under for all her operations doesn't help either. She needs to be evaluated. Short term goes first and then longterm follows later. You r probably noticing she is hard to reason with. Hence thinking her and this man are having a relationship. She probably needs time to process what you say. I would get her to a neurologist. Hope someone has POA.
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StressedOut44 Mar 6, 2019
I think the seeing people in her house was due to kidney failure, I asked doctors and they didn't really know. Shes not admitted to it since then because she knows we look at her as if she was crazy. I'm not prepared for this, shes already on dialysis 3 times a week. We have constant appointments with vascular doctors and normal appointments. The thought of now adding on - go see primary to get referral to Neuro, wait to get an appointment with neuro, do more tests and follow ups on test results. Sorry, i'm venting, my life is so busy with my family and i work a demanding full time job. I guess i was hoping for a different opinion that would make me feel like I didn't have to do anything more. I don't even know where to start on a POA. Life sometimes just piles on heavy :(. Thanks for the advice.
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I don't want to be alarmist, but has your mother had her head examined? - literally, I mean. If it were my mother I think I'd be asking her doctor if an MRI or a CT scan might be a good idea, if only to rule out certain possible concerns.

Was the kidney mass analyzed?
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StressedOut44 Mar 7, 2019
No she has not been examined. I guess this means another group of doctors and tests. The kidney mass was RCC (renal cell carcinoma) however because it was contained and margins were clear, she didn't need chemo or radiation. Unfortunately on one of our recent ER visits for stomach pain (unrelated), they did a CT scan of abdomen and found small nodules on the lungs and peritoneum. Have a follow up scan this month to see if they have grown (3 months later). They suspect it is mets of the RCC. So if we are really dealing with dementia or some other cognitive decline, its just more on top of the already large pile of issues. This one though is causing a severe strain in our relationship. Gosh, I am tired of me and my complaints, scratch that I'm tired in general. thanks for the advice, i'm glad i found this site so I can vent and get advice from others who have gone through similar things.
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In the very short term I would disable her phone. Either hide it or take the battery out and say it’s broken and you have to get it fixed. If shes going online on a computer, remove it or make it password protected. Hide the checkbook.

Your Mom is doing more than “losing it a bit”. Since you see her every day, you may become a little conditioned to her behavior, but it’s not normal. She needs to be seen by a doctor.
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Cherrysoda Mar 8, 2019
If mom here is living alone though, the daughter trashing moms phone or internet would actually be a criminal offense!
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Dear stressedout,
You don't need to do anything that you can't handle!
But, your family needs to step it up & help.!!
You should however make the money giving stop because it's so wrong & she is going to need her money . Break that computer. I don't know how, take battery out, or go to settings * click do you need password to log on* click yes* & make one.
These stories just burn me up...
We all need help when our parents get old. Both my parents got I'll, at the same time. It took 9 siblings for us to get thru it. We divided up tasks. Health, wealth,
Ccaregivers, elder law, TO POA,
& eventual death. Bury both. 2 funerals, a will, sale of delapitated home, remodel, ($60k) taxes...
It's a long road.
Goodluck.
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JanieR Mar 8, 2019
I was going go suggest the same thing or maybe get rid of the internet. Maybe you could get an authority figure (like someone from the state atty generals office) to write her a letter or make a visit to her about that scumbag that's catfishing her.
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I remember looking at my mother's pills and wondering why there were big one's and little one's in the same row. She said, "that's how they are". Well, being a big dummy, I believed it, because mom never messed things like this up. Hey, it's mom. A few weeks later I stopped by and found her staring at her keys in her car. She couldn't start the car and it was like she couldn't figure out what the keys were or for. It was really weird because she was just sitting in the car staring at them. Needless to say, the car officially stopped working at that point and I started doing her meds for her.

It can be hard to believe what you see. Thing is, what you are seeing, probably isn't even the worst of it. She may actually believe all of that stuff she's saying. And remembering 60 years ago, well, that's kind of normal. My mother knew her SS even as she seemed not to be able to tell the difference between me and my father later the same day.

Anyways, you've got a problem, but then you knew that, I think.

Good luck!
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Reply to dontgetthechees
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IF it is metastatic cancer, consider it is also in her head.
From your other question my mother was also scammed. If yours is able to get to a bank even if you tied the purse strings, then you are screwed...even if you got guardianship. You have to stay a step ahead. The only thing you can do is take her checkbook away and prevent her from getting to the bank.

However if she is determined to be incompetent, and you can gain power over her then she may be eligabe for a lockdown assisted unit.
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listed Mar 8, 2019
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I found out you really have to treat dementia patients like little children. Never argue, just go along with their stories. Which are sometimes very entertaining! Get power of attorney and find a good elder lawyer to help. If she's not on Medicaid, start looking around, sooner or later she will. Just been through this whole thing.
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Oh my. Something needs to be done immediately to protect her (from herself) if that makes sense. If you're not able to, please let that part go and find someone who can. My Mom can be incredibly lucid at times, and my niece and I look at each other like 'Maybe it's us? And not her?' Are we overreacting? Give it five minutes and she says something else. Yep. It's not us.
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