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My mother is 87 with Alzheimer's and lives in her home where I moved in with her with my husband and grand girl almost 2 years ago. First, she refuses to believe she has Alzheimer's. Second, she refuses to believe she is no longer able to manage her medications on her own, live independently, or drive her car. Recently, my mother thinks that (lately this changes every few days) she's living in a group home and that her mother dropped her off and now she wants to go home and can't find her mother or dad. Since she's started "looking" for her parents a couple of months ago, I've taken her keys and told her that the car is broken (I probably should have done this a long time ago). Some time ago when she had her first delusional episode, I took her prescription medications and started leaving them on the breakfast bar for her as I left for work every morning. My husband would show her where they are and would keep reminding her, (she hated when he did that) and then I would give her evening meds to her at night after dinner. She became very uncooperative and demanded that she take care of her own medications. I then started filling her medication pill boxes in her room with her prescriptions every Sunday and she would also fill them with her tylenol, vitamins, etc. She does not even remember she has prescription medications and thinks all her pills are on her vanity in her room (with her vitamins, etc.) Some weeks she takes all her pills, other weeks she skips doses or takes too many days and it's empty before Sunday rolls around. How do I handle this? Her new PCP mentioned that she could have a home health nurse come to the house to help her with medications and I didn't think that was necessary when he said it. Mom doesn't get out of bed till around noon, and I'm not sure how receptive she would be to a home health nurse waking her up early. I'm getting to the point where I avoid talking too much to her because I never know what she's thinking or if she'll be combative, I don’t want to fight with her, I already feel like I’m being too bossy taking over the bills and other things. Besides, she usually forgets all about what we've talked about a few days later anyway. So, since she has Alzheimer's, which is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and she’s not really living the quality of life we all imagine, is it all that important to make sure she's taking all her prescriptions exactly how she's suppose to take them? Is this wrong to want to keep her comfortable but not try to extend her life with medication? Or should I ask for the home health nurse to drive out to our house to make sure she takes her morning meds and I give her evening meds and risk a possible blow up?


(For reference: the meds include a low dose blood pressure, cholesterol, lasix every other day, a pill for nerve pain, antidepressant, antacid, thyroid medication (which all the blood tests never indicate a problem) and donepezil.) Thank you!

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Thank you, yes, I am her healthcare proxy and I have durable POA. Mom has already told me she's not going to have a colonoscopy (a couple of years ago), or go to a kidney doctor and undergo treatment for kidney disease we recently found out about, etc. Yes, diagnosed Alzehimer's, everything else was ruled out but I did not ask for a written diagnosis at the time. Her new PCP suggested I take her to a new neurologist, to help with any thing we might need for her care. The neurologist we saw didn't offer much help, just a long explanation why he couldn't 100% confirm it because the only test for confirmation was a brain biospy. I've hired a companion for 2 afternoons a week and she's to ask her if she's taken that day's morning meds. A nurse made me feel like I was wrong for letting her still handle her medications.
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Reply to SandwichedGirl
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I might follow the doctors advice about a med tech and discuss how many of the meds are really necessary in light of her condition. Has she been diagnosed with dementia? Sometimes people accept the doctor's orders better than a family members suggestions. And, the med techs often have experience in getting non-compliant patients to comply. Are you her Healthcare POA? If so, you might discuss it with her doctor. When my LO went on Palliative Care, some of her meds were discontinued. We went for comfort care only, since that's what my LO had said she wanted years prior.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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