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My mother (who has dementia and needs constant supervision after a recent sharp decline) has this best friend she hadn't seen/talked to in a month or so, so I called the friend yesterday so mom could talk to her. After a few minutes, I got on the phone with the friend to update her on mom's condition - during which she mostly talked over me about her own cognitive problems, the multiple medications she's on, and other health issues. The friend wanted to schedule some time to hang out and became very argumentative and hung up on me when I told her I'm not comfortable with leaving mom under her supervision at this point.


When she and mom hang out, the friend takes my mom around on numerous errands and doesn't stay with her the whole time, which mom finds scary, especially in the crowded big box stores the friend tends to frequent.


I don't feel the least bit comfortable with mom spending time with this friend anymore. I'm legally responsible for my mom now, and though it bothers me that I would have to restrict who mom hangs out with, I don't trust this friend to make sure my mom is safe under her watch.


Before the friend hung up on me, she said she was coming over anyway next Saturday to pick mom up, and I just need to deal with it. I'd prefer not to escalate the situation, but mom's friend tends to make scenes. How do I handle it if the friend shows up to the house demanding to take my mom off with her somewhere?

Tell the woman that mom has incontinence of bowel. That just might take care of it, I know it would me.😉😣
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birchtree8 Sep 15, 2019
I started to discuss mom's bowel problems with her and was interrupted by another rambling anecdote.
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Another option.

Call the friend and tell her Mum cannot go out, but you would like to have her over for lunch or coffee at Mum’s.

That will allow a supervised visit.
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gdaughter Sep 17, 2019
Although, once inside, if she comes, it may be a witch to have to tolerate and get rid of her...but maybe not. I think I'd ask friend for her car keys or snitch her handbag and get out of their space...in our house...I might even dare to think of deadbolting the doors so no one could leave without my knowledge:-) Then no worries about the friend hijacking mom off...
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You tell her what you told us. That Mom has had a decline. That your experience in the past shows that this friend has left her on her own; that you feel this is no longer safe. That, therefore, the three of you can go on an outing when you have time to do so, say a lunch, but you can no longer allow her to take Mom out alone. That you are now the one responsible and you cannot risk it.
I doubt she will try to PHYSICALLY intervene, but it may be necessary to ask her to leave if she makes a scene. Should it escalate at all you can tell her that she will no longer be welcome to come to the house if she cannot maintain civil discussion and gentle manner, as this, too, would be upsetting to her good friend.
Dependent on her own level of mental impairment it will go one way or the other. It IS your home. And you are correct; you now are responsible TO and FOR your Mom.
When she is rude do the grey rock thing. Answer briefly and gently and repetitively with only the gentle facts. Do not argue. Do not defend. Do not explain.
Just as a side note you say SUDDEN decline. When was the last urine test? You know how we jump on this one here. A bladder infection can cause sudden, profound and unpleasant behavior changes.
Good luck. Update us how it goes for you.
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birchtree8 Sep 14, 2019
Thank you for your help, AlvaDeer. I've seen your responses to a lot of questions on the forum and they're very helpful and encouraging.

My mother did have evidence of a UTI, so I took her to the doctor and then a urologist, they found a UTI, which they treated, and quite a lot of kidney stones, so they did two "non-invasive" surgeries to remove them, during which she was under general anesthesia. We were aware of the risks the anesthesia could pose, but it was between surgery and mom being in constant pain and having to pee all the time, so they went ahead with the surgery. Mom's advance directive specifies "comfort care," so that's what I tried to provide. Her neurologist agreed that it was a tough choice but that it had to be done. The anesthesia, according to medical research and her neurologist, is what caused the sudden decline. She was still in the mild to moderate stage before the surgery, but afterward was when she started to decline quickly.
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I would think of your Mom and how she would feel if she was younger and sharper. This was a friendship she cultivated, that endured because (at least some of) your mom’s efforts. Support your mom in trying to continue what she started, do it for her, even if this lady isn’t your type.

Ask to tag along, just to keep your mom safe, Sit back, let your Mom’s friend take the lead in the conversation and be a “fly on the wall.” If they need something, help them up- jump up to get that napkin, drink refill, steady them when walking on uneven sidewalk, carry a heavy package. Let your Mom have a swan song experience. Let her safely feel some “independence” and a slice of her former life. You may find that your Mom is a bit sharper and happier after these visits.

My mom had a similar friend. I didn’t understand how they were so close. When I started spending time with that friend, I grew to realize why mom loved her. She loved mom deeply. After mom died she told me hundreds of stories that filled my grieving soul with new memories of mom.

Now I visit Mom’s friend when I am In Mom’s town. She now is a widow living in AL. She welcomes me, and hugs me, and shares her precious stories again.

If this lady abandoned your Mom, you would be upset about that. Think of her side, like you, she is probably grieving these changes and it is natural for her to be in denial.
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birchtree8 Sep 18, 2019
I feel you, and that's how I've wanted to approach things since the beginning. I don't dislike her friend, she's been friends with my mom for years. I've continually thanked her for being a good friend to my mom, but things have changed. The friend hasn't been calling as much for several months now, and hasn't been trying to hang out with mom as much. I asked the friend if something was going on between them but she just told me she was super busy, which could be literally true or it could be something else that she doesn't feel comfortable talking about. I suspect at least part of it is grief.

The bottom line is that they're both cognitively impaired now, and it's hard enough taking care of one person with cognitive impairment. If the friend is cooperative, I will gladly facilitate visits, but if she's going to create drama, I simply don't have it in me to put up with it nor do I think putting up with it is good for any of us in the long run.
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Birchtree I would file this under that heading "more decisions I have to make for mom's own good." I completely understand your plight. My mother's friends have for the most part all passed but her core group, the ones who used to get together on a regular basis are still around and suffering from their own varying degrees of cognition. Her one friend would call weekly to beg me to take mom to her house even after I told her my mother hasn't left the house in 2 years. Then she would get on the phone with my mother and ask her if she could come which of course my mother would say yes. Then she would hang up and be upset because she didn't know how she could go, didn't want to leave, etc, etc, etc. I finally got to the point where I didn't let her talk to her anymore. Did I feel bad? Yes but it was better than my mother obsessing over it.

The moment I read "....doesn't stay with her the whole time.." I was out. If your mother "needs constant supervision" then she doesn't get to leave the house with anyone but you (or a professional caregiver) because you are the only one who truly gets what that means.

While it sounds like this woman has plenty of her own challenges that doesn't change the fact that your mother needs constant supervision and she won't be able to provide that.

If you feel like you absolutely have to have this woman in your mothers life, invite her to your house for lunch this way you will be there. Just know if she is this much of a bully she may say push the issue of taking your mom out while she is there for lunch. Just hold your ground.

Good luck to you, these situations are so hard. You're doing a great job.
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birchtree8 Sep 18, 2019
I want a Panini now.

But in all seriousness, thank you for your supportive reply.

It's unfortunate that things have gone the way they have with the friend, but I try to stay as matter-of-fact about it as much as possible. I hope the friend will be able to cooperate with the reality of the situation, but if not, I really don't have the energy for the drama.
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WHOA! You know I read the summary before even reading that the FRIEND has COGNITIVE issues and I already had an issue with that friend. What a nightmare on wheels! So your mom gets distressed being abandoned in the big stores...gosh, doesn't that make us all remember losing mom when we were kids? And probably mom can't remember being scared/upset from the last adventure? IF she does, then she probably wouldn't want to go. My greatest fear is if your mom is left alone, that the friend could show up and take her! So my thoughts are, you're the one with the power/control as well you should be, i.e. you are POA and have legal authority. This boils down to friend taking mom against your consent being (am I being too dramatic or wrong legally?) abduction or kidnapping, which if I confirmed as accurate, I would not hesitate to inform this "Friend" of. If you ever see her and her vehicle again, I would note her car make/model and plate, just for safekeeping. I think I would inform the friend in advance and let her know you are POA and will not hesitate to call the police if she makes any attempts. Seems sadly like it is another episode of "no good deed goes unpunished." It was such a nice idea of you to put that call in for mom. Some days are so much harder than others to be a good daughter...
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birchtree8 Sep 18, 2019
Yeah, definitely regretted placing that call, lol.

Good thing is mom is under either my supervision or in-home care at all times.

I think the friend means well, but..."the road to hell is paved with good intentions" as they say. I'm waiting on the friend's diagnosis. She's supposed to go in pretty soon for her evaluation (it's scheduled, just takes forever to get neurology appts around here) and it's quite possible that she won't be driving anymore so that will eliminate most of the problem immediately if that ends up happening.
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Maybe you could tell her that your mother is frightened in the big stores and she may wander off and get lost. So, she won't be going out with her anymore. You don;t have to totally shut her out, just certain things. She could come over to visit maybe. And you don't "just have to deal with it", she is your mother. You are concerned and have the right to be. Don't let this woman push you around.
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Tell her NO and if she insists, call the police and have her "removed". Tell the facility that she is NOT to leave with your mother. If you have legal paperwork putting you in charge of your mother, the facility should have a copy of it for their records and that gives you leverage. If you don't, then you should contact a legal adviser and tell them of the situation and see if you can get the paperwork.
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birchtree8 Sep 14, 2019
I am POA and we're working with two excellent lawyers. Mom is still at home, and we have home care coming in seven days a week. The home care will be here on the day the friend says she is coming over, and I don't want them to have to deal with this friend on their own, so I will be staying home that day in case something happens so I can deal with it.

Thanks for the heads up about the facility, that will probably be happening soon.
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The friend said she has some cognitive problems...she may not be able to make good choices now. You r the POA. Your job is to protect ur Mom. Just tell the aide who the woman is and the car she drives. To make sure the screen door is locked so she can't barge in. All the aide needs to say is that its not possible that the woman visit. If the woman says she is there to take Mom out, she says that she has gotten no such instructions to that effect from family. That because of that, she can't release ur Mom to this woman's care. If the woman won't leave tell the aide she can call the police.
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gdaughter Sep 17, 2019
Oh yes, lock the screen/storm door!!! OR don't answer the door at all! Maybe with the other person's impairment level she'll forget all about coming to begin with. Does the other person have family that could be contacted??
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Morning: YOU are in charge of your Mom, and what you decide for your Mom, and who comes on your property.

Call the friend back and tell her she is not to come to your home for any reason, ever, and if she does, you will call the police, as she will be trespassing! If she does show up don’t answer door or converse - call the police.

Do you know BFF’s family? You may want to advise them what is going on.

You also should call the local PD and speak to an elder advocate. They can come to your home. They will also contact this friend. Your Mom’s BFF sounds like she has “issues” and may need serious intervention by both PD and her family.

Good luck and hang in there.
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