Over the last year my mother has been reviewed my the doctors as they think she may have Pick's. But she has destroyed letters so hasn't had a lumber puncture to determine if she has & on last hospital visit (hospital phoned to remind my dad about appointment, thankfully as she had binned that letter also) they brought up the procedure & mum said no. My issue is clearly she has major issues as doesn't talk majority of the time but points, totally ignores people if she doesn't like what they are saying, convinced someone is hiding in the loft or someone is at the door, acts like a child when doesn't get her own way, her personal hygiene has majorly gone down hill. I'm worried as my dad who has ME constantly gives into her. They are constantly out and about as my mum won't stay in house & when she is she bakes for neighbours (I wouldn't eat anything she makes as not sure it's been made correctly as she has no concept of times/weights, but my dad lets her deliver them to neighbours). My parents have never really been the type to eat out at fast food restaurants or visit cinema all the time but last few months they are constantly eating fast food (not happy about this as she won't eat proper meals in the house but will snack on sweets constantly) & when my dad says no she needs something proper she will either eat a portion of food a small child would eat or starve (she actually goes up to bed & eats sweets, on average she gets 4/5 bags of sweets a week) So my dad feels guilty & gets her fast food as he feels that it's better she eats fatty food than none but I argue the fact that she is aware he will give in & plays him to get her own way, once she gets her own way she sits & smirks, also if my dad decides they aren't going out she just puts her coat on & stands in front of the door, if he still says no then she just ignores him & starts walking out the house, so he says ok we will go out. I feel that if we constantly give into her we are making the situation worse, you wouldn't constantly give into a child and she acts like one. Could someone who knows about how to deal with a situation similar give me advice

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For my mom who has dementia (who is single so different situation) I used to tell myself that it is a balance between her independence and her safety.

Take a step back and think of the advantages to your situation. Your dad is there and at least he will monitor your mom's comings and goings. If she is eating (even if it fast food and sugar), if she isn't wandering, and she can still bathe then I say let sleeping dogs lie.

I say what is the worst thing that can happen if you keep giving into her. She may be like a child but if her demands are just sugar and junk food , perhaps let her be??? It is probably a lot easier for you to give in to her than to spend hours and hours making a bunch of healthy food for her that she probably won't eat.

With dementia it is a moving and changing target that you constantly have to keep up with. Some people say it is like chasing a dragon.

For me and my brother who take care of my mom, wandering at night has always been the main concern. If she seems safe, let her be. Your dad may be like the men in my family who would rather be in denial and do nothing about the situation.

If that is their choice just try to let go and admit you can't control the situation. As time goes on I have learned I can't control dementia the only sure thing about this disease is that it will only get worse with time. It may sound depressing but there is comfort in this, it is a process of letting go...Letting go of control and letting go of the person our loved ones used to be.
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If your dad is so stressed that he can't put a sentence together, I would seriously try to get him some help. It sounds like he is already overwhelmed. That can bring his health down.

Are you located in the US? I couldn't tell from your profile. I'm not sure how it works in your area, but from my experience, the patient is entitled to certain benefits depending on their disability and/or financial status. This varies by state, but I would start with the diagnosis of you mother, but a general diagnosis is normally acceptable.

Most doctors can diagnose dementia, because it's based on things they can see for themselves through an office exam. They may not be able to say what is causing the dementia, but they can diagnose it. I've never known any recipient of benefits to have to prove what kind of dementia they have, such as Alzheimers, Vascular, Frontal Lobe, etc. And your mother certainly has very pronounced symptoms. It doesn't sound like a close call at all.

Do you have a local counsel on aging, social services dept, or some other office that provides information on what is available for in home care for seniors or the disabled? I'd check with them immediately and try to get your father some help. In the meantime, I'd get dad some temporary help with her.
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One other question... is your DAD entitled to help, given his condition? Check out that option - try to get around the "rules" any way you can. Get some help in for your dad to cook or clean or sit with him, so that he can relax a bit...
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Thank you to everyone that has commented. Since my mum hasn't been diagnosed both my dad & I have been told he isn't entitled to any form of care help (he desperately needs it as constantly feeling tired & sometimes it's so bad he struggles to string a sentence together). I have set up with an organisation some classes that he can go to & find the best way to calm her & deal with the tantrums as he readily admits he's struggling with her behaviour (he is worried as they constantly go out that one day he will just faint (prone to fainting when he's tired)). However until he can get someone to officially diagnose her he can't get anyone to even pop in for 10 minutes. The eating is a big problem for both my dad & I as when my mum was in her early 30s she had a heart attack, she has high blood pressure, on heart tablets & getting vitamin injections. Doctor has told us that she needs to improve her diet as it is effecting her in other ways. The house is full of fruit & vegetables and healthy food (don't get me wrong, my dad also has some junk food in house it's only natural) but she won't eat it like she used too. As I work during the day I usually see my parents at night or weekends, it's when my dad gets a chance to talk. Tells me about what's been going on & what he's tried & bounces ideas off me. Unfortunately he forgets what has worked due to his illness. Thank you once again for your comments
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Col2015, I'm so glad your mom has gotten some medical evaluation since your earlier post. The news is bad, but knowing what you are dealing with should help.

Here are some things to consider:

You mother has many child-like behaviors, but she is not a child. She is an adult with a lifetime of experiences and she has a damaged brain. Raising a child is about growth and progress and learning. Consequences have a part in this learning process. Giving in to a child all the time teaches them inappropriate behavior. But your mother is not a child with a healthy brain waiting to learn cultural and social norms. Her brain is damaged. Instead of learning she is "unlearning" -- she is going backwards.

Because she has childish behavior it is tempting to think you can treat her as a child and help her to learn more appropriate behavior. That simply isn't true. Forget about "tough love" or "consequences" or "teach her." Her brain is damaged.

This doesn't mean she should be allowed to do everything she wants. She needs to be protected from herself if what she wants is dangerous, harmful, or abusive. If her behavior puts her at risk or is demeaning to your father, no one should give in to her. But that is different than expecting her to learn and improve. It is just a matter of preventing danger.

As for her nutrition, it is true that staying physically healthy is helpful for people with dementia. Good food, adequate sleep, and especially regular exercise are as important for them as for the rest of us. So is having pleasurable experiences. But here is the thing: if you could somehow magically get her to eat wholesome meals and give up the sweets, it would not improve how her brain works. It would not stop the inevitable downward progression of this horrible disease. It might keep her a little healthier, but it would not make her well. In my opinion this is not a battle worth fighting. If she is going to eat fast food, just hope she enjoys it. Hope it is a Happy Meal!

Progressive dementia progresses, and they all end in death (unless some other condition causes death sooner). Your mother has damage to her brain, and it is a fatal disease. That will be the outcome whether she eats 3 bags of sweets a week or none. Picks (if it turns out that what she has) can progress very fast, or fairly slowing. Death can come in 2 to 10 years, with the "typical" life expectancy of 7 years. Those are "averages" and "typical" and don't take into account progress that may be made in treatment over the next few years. Life expectancy for other types of dementia varies but they all shorten the life span.

I agree with the others -- this is your dad's call. Be there for him. Support him. Comfort him. Help him if he wants you to and you can. The time will most likely come when he cannot manage the situation even with your help, and other arrangements will be needed (especially since he has health issues himself.) You might start researching what options there are -- not necessarily even sharing them with your father or trying to persuade him to use them, but just to be prepared in case that type of help is needed down the down.

This is SO hard for your entire family. I can tell that you care deeply. I'm sure you wish that there was more you could do. The feeling of helplessness in the face of dementia is a very painful one, as many on this board know. It is especially tragic in a woman so young.

My heart goes out to you. Keep in touch.
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It sounds like your dad is in denial and just trying to keep them both afloat. I see from a previous thread your wrote in February, your mom has had some very troubling behaviors for quite some time. Here's the February thread, for the rest of us.

It sounds to me like all you can do is support your father, because ultimately he'll be the one who will have to decide to get her some kind of care beyond what he's able to handle. Don't push him too much to do something, as he'll unite with your mom against you (like Pam has suggested). Be his listening post and offer support, so that when he's ready, he can turn to you for support in getting more help for your mom. You're a loving child, trying to do the right thing, but your dad holds the cards in this situation, from what I can see. Please keep us posted, this is so troubling for all of you!
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Just a word of generic advice: never get between a husband and wife. The result is that they will BOTH be angry with you. If you interfere, they will toss you to the curb. Let them enjoy what little time they have left.
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From the description, it sounds like she does have dementia. Have the doctors said that, but they just don't know what kind. It sounds like they think her symptoms fit Pick's or Frontal Lobe Dementia. Here's a link about it.

I'm not that familiar with Frontal Lobe Dementia. Maybe those around here who are will respond. I'll tell you what I have learned about dementia in general.

While her behavior may be challenging, I think I would look to your dad for his lead. He's the primary care provider for her, right? I say, whatever works for the two of them. If it's easier to eat fast food, then, I'd go that route. If your dad wants better food for himself, then I might make arrangements to have his meals delivered or go over and prepare them for him.

I would take care to keep her safe from things like the stove and supervise her cooking. From I have read, with FLD, the person's ability to continue doing things like cooking, may remain for awhile. I'd just keep check.

If your dad is comfortable with taking her out in public, then I say fine. Anything that will keep her content would work for me. If her demands are unreasonable and your father is not able to control her, then you might have to bring in a caretaker in the home to help or make other arrangements for her. From my reading, this condition will deteriorate.

Keep in mind that supervising a person with dementia can be exasperating and exhausting. With Frontal Lobe, it appears that early on there is a loss of inhibition and inappropriate conduct. Your dad will be in charge of monitoring her. It's a very demanding job for a senior to do. I'd check to see that he is not overwhelmed. I'd also read a lot about this condition so you and your dad will know what to expect down the road.

Trying to correct her or scold her won't work. I don't think that giving in to her is a good or bad thing. It's whatever works and keep you all safe. She cannot be in charge of the household, due to her condition, but I would try to accommodate her while she is able to be mobile. The brain is damaged and they cannot process what you might be trying to do. You just have to redirect, contain and protect. You might talk to her doctor about medication that might soothe her anxiety.

I'm sure you'll get other perspectives here on this site.
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