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My 86 mother is extremely intelligent (PhD with top honors) but is showing increasing signs of dementia. Not just random memory issues, but, for example, she rages that I've never told her things, although I have at least 10 times before. She has trouble with simple sequence instructions. My younger brother is MD with no bedside manner (probably on spectrum) and doesn't want to deal with her. Older brother is across the country and they don't get along. As a result I, the daughter, get all the calls. She has insisted that there was an "emergency" and I had to go over immediately; I work full time and was out of town on business... She calls me about junk mail wanting me to tell her what to do with it. She almost fell for a scam when someone called claiming to be her granddaughter who needed money sent to Peru (!) because she was imprisoned there and needed bail (fortunately mom checked with me and her accountant, but even then kept insisting we might be wrong that it was a scam). When I gently suggest she has cognitive issues, she insists that it is just "you kids" who think that and her doctor "knows" she is fine. Recently third parties are commenting to me about it ranging from a nurse (who was helping me post-surgery) to my mom's accountant. If I knew her doctor, I'd call him/her, but I don't have a name and I'm pretty sure my mom would not give it to me. I have tried to ask about POA but she shuts me down. I've tried to talk about where she would like to go if she needs care but she insists she wants to stay in her home (she could afford 24 hour care for a while). She shouldn't be driving, but she does although I refuse to let her drive me. (I've tried to set her up on Uber.) My real question is how do I convince her to let me talk to her doctor? Or is there a way for me to find out who her doctor is (she is with large HMO)? I realize that the doc cannot talk to me about my mom, but assume that I can provide information to the doctor.

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Oskigirl, here's one thing you might try. My folks refuse any outside help. Especially Dad with his dementia. He's living in 1960, everything is fine, if you mom can't get up anymore I can take her pills to her, don't need no nurse round here.......

So I went looking for home care services and found a very good local company that does everything from welfare checks and companionship visits to driving and in home skilled nursing care. I met with the owner, worked up some simple theater for Dad and she met with them as an old girlfriend of mine who it just turned out had this in home nursing business. Mom also bought the ruse.

They thought she was great (they always liked all my girlfriends) but said they'd call if they ever needed help. They could use help now but it's not critical yet, but at least I've got these folks on deck. They charge from 18 to 25 bucks an hour depending on the service. I manage all this from 600 miles away so it is good to know I can call these guys when things go down hill.

The point is, I'll still have to keep the theater going with Dad, make him think his insurance covers the cost, she just happened to be in the neighborhood etc.

Your situation is going to get bad pretty fast. Mom is in clear danger of being scammed, leaving the stove on, wrecking the car, or God know what. As I said earlier don't hesitate to do what has to be done. If I had not become an Oscar winning actor with Dad nothing would ever get done.
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You are in a difficult phase of what could be a multi-year situation especially if your mother will not allow help to come into her home - best to try and start with at least a housekeeper or a caregiver a few hours a week. It is not easy to let a stranger into your home

You should be able to notify DMV of the situation and they will send her a letter with a questionnaire which must be completed a signed by he Doctor
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Thanks for the help. I think I'll do the prowling next time I'm over there. Very good ideas. It is, as Windyridge says, that no man's land of dementia but not legally incompetent. I think I'll also talk to the accountant; he is the executor of her will, so maybe he knows about the status of her POA.

With regard to the driving, it is harder than it seems to stop someone out here. She got her license renewed last year but I think she only had to pass the written test. They put her through hoops because she has almost no vision in one eye, but got her ophthalmologist to sign off on her driving! Her comment: "He knows I can drive fine!" to which I replied, "Um, has he ever seen you drive?" SMH She actually started talking about buying a new car, which would be funny if it weren't serious. We did convince her that was not a good idea.
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Don't try to convince her she has dementia. It's a waste of time. My Dad is very similar. I'm in the no mans land of dementia but not legally incompetent. I have to roll with it, answer the same question over and over, divert him and to get anything done it takes a little fibbing and behind the scenes work.

Lots of good info above. Don't be the least bit shy or guilty about going through her stuff to get a handle on medical and financial stuff.

Brothers a doc huh. Screw him. It's his mom too. I think you ought to haveva come-to-Jesus meeting with him. Don't accept full responsibility. This coukd really impact your life going solo.
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Oski, we get in the uncomfortable position of waiting for things to fall in line. If your mother has not been deemed incompetent and wants to remain in her home, then we can't make her move or make her accept a caregiver. Does she have a housekeeper? If she doesn't, maybe she would accept one who will help to keep an eye on her.

These things do work out. We just hope that nothing really bad happens while they do. It does sound like she is having cognitive troubles, which puts her at a lot of risk. I hope she allows for help to come in soon. Really, in her position, assisted living sounds ideal. I wish you could talk her into it, but I know how hard that can be.
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You said that she should no be driving. Get it stopped before something bad happens. There are ways to do this - people on this board will help.
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Most insurance carriers send EOB (explanation of benefits) statements periodically. You will find those in her trash. They will show what doctors she sees. Check for unpaid property taxes and water bills at city hall.
Get the siblings together and agree on who will be the Guardian and standby Guardian etc. Then meet with YOUR attorney and get it started. She will be entitled to have HER attorney at the show cause hearing.
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Next time you visit do some detective work..

Check prescription bottles for a Dr name..

Check hanging calendar for up coming appts..

Ask to use her phone and check for info..

Do what you need to keep her safe...

Unfortunately it may come to an emergency before she realizes she needs help..
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