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My best friend's mom has dementia. The mom is 98 years old and lives in her Brooklyn apartment with 24/7 aides.


My friend's mom is increasingly agitated, disoriented and fearful, calling her daughter 25 to 30 times a day recently, asking when her daughter is coming to see her. And if she knows where to find her.


Daughter, in her mid 70s, visits several times a week. According to the mom, she hasn't seen her in months.


I have encouraged my friend to reach out to the mom's doc for an evaluation for psych meds. " But we reviewed her meds in February". Could it be a UTI? "It wasn't last time." Is it time for a facility? "My mom has a bad back; she must be able to sit on a couch, not in a wheelchair".


When I suggested today that there are reclining wheelchairs and that surely her mother is not the only old person with a bad back to enter a facility, my friend seemed incredulous that there might be any other solution than keeping her mom at home.


My friend is going to become ill from the stress of this situation. Do any of you have any ideas of how to break through her resistance to change?

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So, last year, when this "plan" for her mom started going south, I suggested a psych evaluation and perhaps meds for depression/anxiety.

My friend's response was to decide that her mom was on too many drugs and to dc the valium. (Okay, it's a terrible drug for someone with dementia, but it's the ONLY thing calming this poor little old lady down.)

I'm just venting at this point. Going to visit the LOL this week and see what's going on for myself.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Has friend seen a therapist? Attended caregiver support groups?
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Reply to gladimhere
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BarbBrooklyn Apr 6, 2019
Friend has been in therapy in the past. I don't believe she's going to any support groups. I will try to find one and point her in that direction. Thanks.
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I would ask her what is the plan for when she drops dead from all the stress? Explain the statistics of caregivers dying first. Without her for an advocate what will happen to mom.

Then try telling her that she is not providing the best care available to her mom, nor is she providing for her social needs of interaction with her peers.

Perhaps explain that she can put a lovely sofa or chair in moms room at facility or maybe even in a common area.

Denial is so very sad to behold.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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There is medication for the agitation. Its not good for Mom to be this way. I can't believe she can use a phone but I would ask the aides not to call unless its an emergency. The phone calls would drive me nuts. My Aunt told her sister no one had been to visit her. Her sister said "I just saw Peggy leave". In those few minutes my Aunt forgot. If Mom has a cell, then I would lose it. If the aides are helping her use the phone, stop them.

Mom nedds to be somewhere where Professionals are caring for her. Aides are not RNs. Believe me, so much weight is lifted off your shoulders. Moms needs LTC not an AL, they are not equipped for the later stages of Dementia. All Moms needs will be met in a NH. She will be clean, fed, clothes washed. They have Geri chairs that my Mom sat in. Looked like a beach chair made of those plastic slats. The seat could be angled back making it hard to get out of. Mom was able to scoot all over. The headrest had cushions on each side of her head in case she fell asleep and the back reclined. Her personal items were provided, Depends, toothpaste, soap, shampoo. All I did was visit.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I've suggested a geri psych eval in the past. Told her today that she HAS to call her moms doc about this recent change in her mom's mental status.

She keeps saying that her mom still knows who she is, as though that makes everything okay. My mom knew us all until the day she died; it didn't mean she didnt have a broken brain.

I'm so frustrated that I can't help this frail old woman, who I'm so fond of. Her daughter is a good person and a good daughter, but she's just not getting her mom the care she needs. All in the service of " keeping her in her home". Rubbish to that.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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JoAnn29 Apr 6, 2019
I know we have to get away from "we want to keep Mom in her house". It is just not possible. And the cost of 24/7 care. Her Mom is showing anxiety and that is not good for her.
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Suggest a Geriatric psych assessment? They could try to find med combo that will work for her, or not. Then a facility. Friend is feeling guilt, I would think, and is probably considering placing mom and just has not told anyone yet?
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Reply to gladimhere
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Barb, something we see again and again here on the forum is people who reject every solution offered, I don't know how to break through other than giving them the information in as many ways as possible - testimonials, videos, internet links, books... perhaps one will get through.
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