Mom is distrustful of everyone and I can't seem to get through to her. Advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom is distrustful of everyone and I can't seem to get through to her. Advice?

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Mom is a widow of about 10 years, mid 70's. She thinks she's on my husband and my mortgage and house seed. Bank says she's not on mortgage and is sending paperwork regarding so, yet she says the bank is wrong. That "anyone can print anything out on paper". I told her she's only on deed and that signing a Quit Claim Deed will remove her. Says she won't sign anything. How do I get through to her?

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Oh, I almost forgot. If it is dementia, don't try to convince her. It won't work. She can't help it.
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It sounds like she's not thinking clearly. I would certainly have her evaluated for dementia. With dementia, you can't convince the patient of something that they believe. They have delusions and are suspicious.

This sounds a lot like your mom. When my loved one was concerned over things, I would tell her I had taken care of it all. (Never mind that she never could say what the problem was, just that it was a terrible problem.) I would tell her that we were going to celebrate with a party, since the problem had been solved. She was so happy and the problem would be over, until later when she forgot that I had solved it. So, I repeated the story again.

If the worrying continues check with her doctor on anti-anxiety medication which will usually help eliminate the excess worrying. Cymbalta helped my loved one a great deal. She doesn't worry over things much any longer.
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Byrdie, I think there's another question you should be asking here, and that is "why is my mother so paranoid and not trusting what we tell her"? You say "dementia-like. Has she been evaluated for cognitive decline? Is it possible she has a uti?, which can often cause psychiatric - like symptoms in an elder?. Believe me, if this is dementia or its beginnings, your mom will find other things to be paranoid about, even if you convince her about the mortgage . In my experience , only medication works for this. The "organ of reason" is damaged and does not operate properly.
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Errata- I don't really see the need to involve an attorney.
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Maybe there's another way to approach this...make a general list of house expenses alongside those you and your husband pay, including your incomes if you think that might help.

The goal would be to create a pro forma budget, with contingencies for expenses, and show that you have enough to take care of the home without your mother's funds.

IF she can accept that, and the IF would be the unanswered question, perhaps she could become less worried. But I do understand that as a mother, she still; feels responsible for caring for you and that's an innate instinct that she may always have.

If that's the case, can you find other ways for her to participate in caring for you and your husband? Helping with the meals, for example? Something to allow to still like a parent, and to still feel needed?

It may also be that the paranoia is an aspect of her age and dementia and there's nothing that can be done to address that underlying condition. But I would try to get her to focus on something more positive, things you and she or all 3 of you can do together, relaxing things such as walking (if she's able), visiting a dog park and petting the frisky dogs, going to an free open-air concert. Maybe if she has additional mental stimulation of a soothing nature it might lessen the paranoia issues. ....just hoping and trying to think positively here!

On the other hand, you could be more forceful and after assuring her that she's done a great job taking care of you, that you know she'll continue to do so, then just change the subject and keep doing so, through action, listening to music, watching tv, or doing something that can force her to concentrate on her action.
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Thanks for response. Yes, mom thinks she's financially responsible for my home and she's full of anxiety and fear about it. I'm trying to explain dad had her on our deed not mortgage loan. She so stubborn but as she's aged is more dementia-like. Some days she's lucid and makes good sense. This paranoia that nobody is trustworthy and everyone is out after the elderly widows is difficult to deal with. She has an attorney but not a real estate attorney who may help, but I hate to see her pay for something unnecessary. Bank paperwork should arrive this week, maybe she'll be in a better frame of mind...
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Byrdie, the question might be what the importance is of convincing her she's wrong. I'm not dismissing your concern, but suspect that your mother is focusing on a specific area to challenge. The concern I would have though is whether she perceives the issue of title as a threat to where she'll continue to live, or if for whatever reason she's just fixated on this. If the latter, can you redirect her attention to something else to worry about, such as the weather, which no one can control.

See if you can figure out what her concern is, whether it's as I suggested above, or perhaps she might feel obligated for your house and mortgage.

If she would sign something, you can create a fictitious document that relieve her of responsibility. If she's worried about the future, think of some way to reassure her.

This happened to my mother once; I don't recall whether she claimed she and Dad weren't married or if she was claiming that Dad wasn't her husband. We had to locate the marriage certificate, and show her Dad's ID to prove that he was her husband they were married.

I don't know, nor am I sure even experts do, why this can be an aspect of dementia.
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