How to deal with an elderly neighbor with dementia?

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I have a neighbor who lives two doors away. She is in her early 80's or so and has always been a little odd. We have 'known' each other for ten years and her reputation is that of having always been difficult. Lately, though, she seems to have singled me out and approaches me or stops her car to talk to me if I am outside in my yard talking with another neighbor. She will act peeved that I don't drop what I'm doing and engage with her, although I really do barely know her. The other day when I was walking my dogs, she ran out of her house and asked me "are we ok?" "are you ok?" "where do you go to breakfast?" "we need to go out together", etc. I suggested we go, the three of us, for something to eat with another neighbor whom I thought was sort of a friend and who is a good friend of mine. She began saying this other person owed her money (I talked to the other woman who is a good friend who explained how 'crazy' this lady is and this is not so and I do believe her), rolled her eyes about her and clearly didn't want to do that. She also recently got married to an elderly man who had been living with her for a while. I suggested then that maybe 'the four of us' (my husband, her husband and we) go out to eat together. She said she just wants to 'leave them at home and we can call them later'. I said, well, we'll see and then another neighbor drove up and it broke up her ability to engage me. I told her I had to go inside. As I said, I barely know her but she clearly has dementia and at the same time, seems very manipulative and smart enough to 'triangulate' situations. I am feeling stalked in a way. She will drive down the street, see me, and stop and roll down her windows and just kind of stare at me, waiting for me to say something. I keep it short and polite and keep walking most of the time. I do not want to be cruel or rude to her but I also do not want to encourage her. She seems hell bent on us being friends and I have never given out the signal that I want that. Not sure how to handle this. I have been thinking about talking her her husband but I don't know him either and just by virtue of the fact that they recently married, I doubt he thinks she's mentally not 'there'. Other than hiding in my house I don't know what to do with this. I really do not want to go 'out' with her and will have to just tell her that, I guess.

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Just wondering if she has Dementia, why she is still driving. Where is the family? I don't think you need to put yourself in a situation where you are having breakfast with her if you don't want to. There are plenty of ways to be friendly without going to breakfast and eating together. This will only bond her closer to you and she will expect more. If she indeed has dementia you might want to give someone a call to come evaluate her before she puts herself or others in danger in a automobile.
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high everyone, I live next door with a lady with dementia and sorry to say they can be very difficult. last year I had 3 months of h*ll. only wanted to be my friend nobody else could speak to me. threatened me was aggressive. know she has started again. it is very difficult to advise anyone in that situation unless you have personal knowledge.
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I believe she may have some dementia or cognitive impairment and may still be driving and out and about. She obviously is lonely and maybe has alienated everyone else and for some reason feels like you are friends --obviously you are kind and maybe the only one left who has given her the time of day so she feels compelled to latch on to you.

If you don't want to go out to lunch or socialize, then don't. You don't have to be mean, just keep it short when you run into her and go back in your house to attend to something. If you want to, then offer to come over for a short visit with her AND her new husband. Then do coffee and cake or whatever at her house so you can conveniently leave. MY advice however is to just give a neighborly hi or wave and stay away from getting involved. You can always keep your eye out and report anything if you suspect they need help, etc.

This could be my mom at times. Hates all neighbors but then when I visit talks about a neighbor across the street like they are friends and wants me to go over with her but doesn't know his name or anything about him.
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Not mad. If it helps someone else to discuss this topic, it's ok with me. I feel kind of like I left a lengthy voicemail that I wish I could erase and can't! What has become clear to me here is that there really is nothing to do. So, I guess that's my answer.
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frustrated, you would be doing the world a favor if you turned her in to the Florida DMV for a driving test. On the other hand, then she will be home all the time and bugging you if she can't drive. Tough decision.
It might help you to talk to your RN about how to draw boundaries. NEVER make the offer to go out with her. Make excuses, say you have other plans, tell her you have something on the stove, you're expecting a call, whatever it takes.
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frustrated - what Jeanne wrote. I have followed this post and taken what you say seriously. I agree this lady is obsessive. Your neighbourhood should feel like a safe place, and now, due to the inappropriate intrusion of your neighbour, who you have not encouraged at all, it does not feel as safe emotionally/socially.

I have taught mentally and emotionally challenged and "normal" young people and adults. You fairly quickly get a sense of who feels "safe" though may be uncomfortable to relate to at times, and who feels not safe and is difficult to deal with. This lady is difficult to deal with and gives inappropriate questions and answers. I understand why you suggested lunch with your husbands as a way of "saving the moment." Having her drive by and stare at you must be quite unnerving.

You have various options in terms of your responses to her. You could ignore her completely or give a cursory "Hi" and/or a wave. Conversations can be cut short by saying you have to go, you are busy etc. I would try to leave out anything that would encourage her - like "Nice chatting with you." In terms of any requests one neutral answer which can be useful is "I'll have to think about that." Or you could be more blunt and say that you don't have time for lunch dates or some such comment. If she says "We need to go out for lunch I honestly think after the number of encounters you have had with her, I would say "No, we don't." It is a matter of drawing and maintaining boundaries, with someone who does not understand boundaries. There are articles online and also books on boundaries that you might find helpful.

Bottom line - look after you. "Soft" answers may not get your message across. I am not suggesting being rude, but perhaps being firmer if you are comfortable with that. Think about how you will respond to her next time - have a plan. ((((((hugs)))))
A call to your local Agency for Aging or similar agency may be useful for you and for her, especially if you have a concern about her driving skills. Her behaviour is not in the normal range and may indicate dementia.



This lady has a husband who is the first person responsible for her should she need help. To me it sounds like she does need help and he may be in denial.
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frustrated2, if everyone thought the same and lived the same identical life, we wouldn't need these forums.
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frustrated2, You can contact the administrator and ask if the thread can be removed. Since there is no malice in it, I don't know if they'll do it, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Dealing with someone that "odd" makes me uncomfortable. I can relate to your discomfort in talking to her. (When I encounter someone like that in my mother's nursing home, no problem.) I think most of us don't want to be rude or unkind to people who are retarded or autistic or cognitively impaired. (I'm probably using obsolete terms, but I think you know what I mean.) Being the object of this person's attention, though, or obsession as Jessie describes it, would be very uncomfortable for me. How do you be kind, polite, not condescending, but not sending signals of encouragement? I sure don't have that mastered!

I think this is a valid topic for discussion. There are many people around who just don't "fit in." How do we judge when they might be dangerous? If we suspect they are, what do we do about it. It is scary to think of this woman driving. Who can you tell?

There are probably responses in this thread that are unhelpful to you personally. Complicated issues often take lots of back-and-forth to discuss. But this is still a very valid topic.

Please don't go away mad. Disregard the responses that don't fit your situation, consider the other responses and see if there is anything you can use in them.

And do keep us informed how this unfolds. We learn from each other.
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Jeez! When will this end! How do I get rid of this question? What would it take here to be succinct enough! freqflyer, we - this person and I - have never been friends. AT ALL. Her behavior his beyond strange. She behaves as if we talk all the time, on the phone, visiting etc and we don't. When I say that I mean in front of other people, out of the blue. The person who told me she can't remember her name is a person whose name she should know. Who she also believes owes her money for an imagined reason. I know weird behavior when I am around it! I was in sales for years and couldn't recall names a lot of the time. Clearly, that's not all I am saying here. I think it is probably best that I removed my account. This seems to have become a nitpicking contest for a lot of people here which seems at odds with actually contributing something helpful. But, hey, thanks for your unhelpful two cents!
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frustrated2, you wrote that your neighbor "not being able to remember names".... oh good heavens, I and my significant other have never been good at remembering names :P
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