My mother is 79 and lost her vision to glaucoma about a year ago. One day she decided to hang a picture and fell which resulted in injury to her shoulder. Since the shoulder surgery she has become verbally combative, paranoid , and often refuses to allow anyone to help. She has accused my older sister of theft at least 5-6 times this year. My family has a history of schizophrenia on her side and I’m concerned that she may have dementia. She has days where she is very logical and normal and other days where some of the things she says like “That she used to be a Nurse” are completely without merit. I have extremely limited finances and don’t know where to turn. Please help! Thank you so much! Signed, No idea what to do.

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Right, I'd report any change in her mental status to her doctor. Perhaps, they can examine, run tests and do mini eval. That would help lead me in the next direction. IF she's needing a higher level of care, then, I'd explore what is available. Since, it's her income and assets they rely on, it may be that she would be eligible for something. Some states, provide benefits for those who need AL or MC, if a doctor prescribes it.

I'd try not to argue with her and keep her calm. I hope they can figure this out and get her some relief.
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Well I see she is living at IL. Are you thinking it's time for Memory Care or AL?
Does the facility where she lives now offer these additional living arrangements?
Have you had her tested for a UTI recently?
Has she seen a geriatric psychiatrist? Perhaps an adjustment in her medication would help.
Remember that your funds are not what is keeping her from receiving the help she needs. It's her funds that must be considered.
Start with the basics. Taking action will make you feel better. The symptoms you mention sound like dementia but a UTI can mimic dementia. Side effects from medication can also cause problems. Let us know what you try and how it turns out.
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