My mom finally went to a dr, what now? - AgingCare.com

My mom finally went to a dr, what now?

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The dr did a ct of her head and found small vessel issues and sent her to a neurologist. She refuses to go. He said she needed to trust him and the team to help her live independently otherwise she many not know her children in 6 months and be in a nursing home. My mom refuses to go the neurologist. The dr sent a letter stating if she was not medically compliant and followed up with the nero, then he would be forced to turn information into to the state because she was not safe to drive. He also said to get a POA, which of course she also refused. She is still driving and living alone. She said she would run away if we tried to take her to another dr. I'm lost. I don't want my last memories with my mom to be arguing She swears I want her dead and her money when I bring up the subject. Please help. What should I do?

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I wonder how long her doctor has treated people with memory problems. The reason I ask is that his comments sound rather odd. Still, if he thinks it's not safe for her to drive, I'd appreciate the report to DMV. What is the procedure in your state? If the doctor files notice with DMV do they in turn require her to show up for some tests? If so, this might be a good opportunity to explain that the DMV is requiring tests and doctor visits. See if that will get her to cooperative. I might stop driving until it's sorted out, explaining to her that there are paperwork issues that have to resolved.

You don't have to know what condition that is actually causing the decline, but for many family members, they want to know so they can plan and know what to expect. For example, the life expectancy for Alzheimers patients is much longer than someone who has Vascular Dementia. Other causes of dementia vary as well. I was fortunate that my cousin's primary diagnosed her from a physical exam and a Mini Evaluation done in the office. We followed up with an MRI and neurologist, but the initial diagnosis was correct.

Since your mother is so young, I think I might seek legal advice from an Elder Care attorney in her jurisidiction. I would inquire about what options you have to step in. Since she is refusing to sign a POA, then something may have to be done through the courts. I'd find out in advance, so you know what evidence might be needed, costs involved, etc. You can then decide the best route to support your mom, even if it ends up being over her objection.
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It is not true that your mother cannot assign a POA just because she has suspected dementia or memory loss. It is also true that you cannot force her to do it, but if you (or someone) could talk her into it, it probably could happen.

As for the not driving, ask her doctor to go forward with informing the DMV that she is not competent to drive. Better it comes from the doctor than from you! But you will have the burden of enforcing it.

This is so sad and so hard. Your mother has what she has, whether it is confirmed by a neurologist or not. And even with a more detailed diagnosis there is no fix. It would help with a treatment plan and planning for the future. It would be worthwhile, but not as critical as her doctor made it sound. I suspect he was doing what we encourage each other to do -- fib a bit if it helps our loved ones do what is best for them.

If your mom is going to not recognize you that will happen. It does not happen in all kinds of dementia (not usually in Lewy Body or Parkinson's Disease Dementa, for example) and unless she is already in a very late stage, it won't happen in six months in any case. Seeing a neurologist wouldn't prevent it from happening if that is part of whatever disease she has.

I wish you luck in dealing with your Mom (who is younger than I am!).
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helpmom2371, oh good heavens your Mom is young. As for memory issues, there is nothing that can be done to correct it, but there are ways to help with the side effects that come with having memory loss.

Why I was questioning your Mom's doctor is when he said "trust him and the team to help her live independently otherwise she many not know her children in 6 months and be in a nursing home." There is no otherwise. Memory issues will take their course with or without help.

I know from your post you said that your Mom won't go to the neurologist, that doctor would prescribe meds to help with Mom's anger. Your Mom probably knows her memory is slipping and she is scared, thus the outbursts. If only there was some way to trick your Mom into going to the neurologist. Some times we need to use therapeutic fibs to get someone to comply.... such as telling Mom that Medicare will cancel all of her insurance if she doesn't go... make an excuse, tell her everyone who turns 70 is required to see a neurologist.
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Thank you for quick responses. My mom is almost 70. She also has liver disease. Her levels are through extremely high. She claims she doesn't have anything wrong with her liver and she was diagnosed over 10 years ago.

The primary care dr didn't specifically diagnose her but after reading the ct results tried to explain the importance of her following up with the neurologist. His office made the appointment. She didn't go so then he contacted her about the drivers license. AS for the POA, his notes to her said to meet with family and determine POA.
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This is a very tough love situation, and whatever you do your mom is going to hate you (or so she will say for awhile). While my mom was in skilled nursing care after a hip replacement, her car was parked at our house. When she left there to go to AL, she begged to have her car parked in the AL parking lot. There were times she visited at our house or we went shopping, and she never ceased to want her car parked there. One day, she asked if something were in her car and I said I didn't know, but I would get the keys. By the time I got the keys and returned, she had used her SECOND SET of keys to open her car. If I had given in and parked her car at the AL, she would have been driving it! So, my husband and I decided to sell the car and put the money in her savings account. The next time she and I came to the house together and she noticed the car wasn't here, all hell broke loose! It didn't matter that the money was in her account and that the doctor said she couldn't drive any more; she could drive as well as she ever could and that doctor was full of sh--!! My husband made himself scarce, and I just let her get it out of her system. She went through the whole gamut of emotions. As pfontes 16 said, unless you get a set of keys and remove the car, I don't know what to tell you to do. Be careful, though, the law could get involved. (For other readers, the benefit of having POA and having your name on elderly parents' property, including vehicles.) It depends upon whose name is on the title of the car. You said you don't have POA. My heart certainly goes out to you, and I wish you well.
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helpmom2371, sorry to read what is happening to your Mom. Curious, how old is your Mom? And what type of doctor declared your Mom has serious memory issues, as that doctor had recommended your Mom see a neurologist? I would think only a neurologist could give the correct diagnoses.

Also surprised that the primary doctor would recommend a Power of Attorney as from what your wrote, your Mom wouldn't be able to appoint anyone to be her POA, no attorney would allow her to sign any legal documents without her understanding what she is signing.

Have your Mom checked for a urinary tract infection [UTI] as such infections will mimic dementia.
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Is there a clergy membe she trusts? Another adult --- sibling, long time friend etc? Perhaps they can calm her down and her her better reason. After many issues I have learned (perhaps not accepted, but learned) that we can't fix all of the problems in the world. So the best alternative is to do the clear thinking and the best you can.
How old is she?
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Wow. That's a hard one and I wish I could give you a great suggestion....Have you talked to the doctor's office yourself to see if there are any steps you can take to be able to step in? You also might want to call your local area agency on aging to see if there are caseworkers or counselors that can help you figure out what to do to get guardianship before Mom goes down a path nobody wants her to go down. If she's not safe to drive - worst case, I'd either take her keys or have the car towed to my house in the middle of the night.

My best to you, helpmom....I'm sorry you've got this load....
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