Mom thinks she is okay home alone but I'm worried. Should I let her get her way until something bad happens?

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I want to work part-time. Mom needs help but won't accept it. Thinks she can walk the dog & drive. She has MCI & Dr. said no driving. Mom has mobility problems and I believe, early dementia or Alzheimer's. Not diagnosed yet. Refuses to shower or socialize. Says she is ok home alone, but I am worried. Should I let her get her way until something bad happens? Was thinking of life alert or something.

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Hire a pet sitter...not "permitted" darn these keyboards.
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I would talk to the dr privately about your concerns and or write him a letter outlining your concerns then make her another appt with the dr to get a full medical and mental work up. Let dr discuss his prognosis and see if his social worker at the office can help persuade her to let them help set up some services or get some inhome help.

If you want to work and are worried about the pet, then either take pet to doggy daycare or hire a permitted to come over and take pet out. You may have to give them a key if mom isn't cooperative about letting them in.

I would also tell mom she either showers and demonstrates she can care for herself or you will have to consider moving her where she can get the help she needs.

Definitely, if dr says no driving, then no driving. Lie if you must and say that the car must be sold, donated...if she refuses, then you'll have to take the keys or disable by pulling a fuse for the ignition.

I feel for you and wish you luck.
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I did look up on the MD MVA and if the Dr. won't report it I can report it anonymously :) the MVA will send her a letter. (she told me she doesn't care what the Dr. says)! I know I would feel bad if she did anything to hurt someone. As far as the caretaker, she refuses! I can leave her alone, but I am worried about the dog. (Haha!) she tries to take her out...I am thinking of one of those inside fake grass pads?! Any suggestions?
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I'm getting to a point where I feel it is the answer. My son is an EMT and each morning they get the call that someone fell in their home.

If the elderly are that damned stubborn, let them be. As for driving, I don't feel that a good thing. She could hurt someone seriously and I don't want that someone to be my beautiful young daughter with her two young babies in the car.

There's an excellent article in today's New York Times (I'd post the url here but apparently not taking it) but the title is Bracing for the Falls of the Aging (Google it, the Times allow ten free articles) there is an interactive showing what stairs and showers look like to people with glaucoma, cataracts, whatever. I just wish there was something that would show AMD. Excellent interactive. Hang in there....this is NOT easy. Right about now I'd love to bring my mom back to her 'home' and allow her to lay on the couch ten out of twelve hours, not eat properly, forget to take her meds, lose her meds, etc. But that ended her up in the geriatric psyche unit and I don't want to go through THAT again.
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http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/03/health/bracing-for-the-falls-of-an-aging-nation.html
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Excellent interactive graphic here about how the elderly see. The article is good because it features several stories of how the elderly refuse help and because of their not wanting to do certain things we see they need to do, they fall, injuring themselves. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/03/health/bracing-for-the-falls-of-an-aging-nation.html

I believe if you know your mother is a risk to others, it is your responsibility to put the brake down so to speak and take that car and license away whatever means possible. That may require a trip to the doctor and/or to the RMV. I never worry about the driver of the car, because they put themselves in that position. I DO worry about the people they may hurt or kill, someone like my daughter with her two beautiful babies in the car.

Right now I have my mom with me, but I can tell you there are days when I want to bring her back to her house (my son is living there) and just say, fine, lie on the couch and do whatever you want. I know she'll end up back in the geriatric psyche unit because her diabetes will go up, her BP will skyrocket, and you know the rest. They forget to take their meds, they lose their meds, and my God, driving! I didn't have that problem as she never drove, but I swear I would have just sold the car and let her be 'angry' with me all she wanted.
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we have similar issues with my dad. You almost want to say fine go ahead live by yourself and then when something bad happens you can say I told you so but I know that's not the answer. It's very hard to decide what to do. If we talked to my dad he yells at us and says I don't want to talk about you taking care of me. It's a battle I don't really have any advice for you other than what other said above about getting a companion to come in and help her hang in there
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No, you should not let her get her way until something bad happens. How would you feel if the bad thing was running into a mother pushing a stroller? As pamstegman says, she is not legally entitled to drive if her doctor says she is not. Prevent a tragedy. Don't let her drive.

As to whether she can stay home alone, what does the doctor say about that? A life alert system would be good, but may not be enough. How many hours would you be gone each day? How about having a companion come in while you are gone? Does her doctor think she needs it? Would he order some in-home care for her?
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If her MD said no driving, her license is legally suspended. Do not allow her to drive. Maryland law requires drivers to notify the MVA if they are diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
1.Cerebral palsy;
2.Diabetes requiring insulin;
3.Epilepsy;
4.Multiple sclerosis;
5.Muscular dystrophy;
6.Irregular heart rhythm or heart condition;
7.Stroke, ministroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA);
8.Alcohol dependence or abuse;
9.Drug or substance dependence or abuse;
10.Loss of limb or limbs;
11.Traumatic brain injury;
12.Bipolar disorder;
13.Schizophrenic disorders;
14.Panic attack disorder;
15.Impaired or loss of consciousness, fainting, blackout, or seizure;
16.Disorder which prevents a corrected minimum visual acuity of 20/70 in each eye and a field of vision of at least 110 degrees;
17.Parkinson's disease;
18.Dementia, for example, Alzheimer's disease or multi-infarct dementia;
19.Sleep disorders, for example, narcolepsy or sleep apnea; or
20.Autism.

A driver must report the problem when it is diagnosed, or when he or she is applying for a driver’s license or renewing an existing driver’s license. If doc said no driving, her license is suspended until she is cleared by him.
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