My Mom (90) has been diagnosed with MCI, and she recently had her driver's license taken away. Any advice?

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She is belligerent to me. help! I have reached out to Alzheimer's Society, and they arranged to have her tested by a geriatric nurse, and psychiatrist. My mother is quite able bodied, but very angry and mean spirited towards me, and others at times. Since losing her license, she expects me to be her taxi service. I am exhausted from all of this. She has so much to be thankful for, but all she does is whine and complain. I am on my own, and struggle in many ways. I feel depleted of trying to be the good daughter. I don't know what to do at this point.

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Jeannegibbs thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I think I know these things on an intellectual level, but it is good to be reminded of them by someone else.
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Tomorrow I am having minor surgery out of town. I have recently found out I have skin cancer. Yep...I have my own problems, and trying to deal with them on my own as well. ha! Sure hope I don't turn into my mother in another 30 years!!

Anyway, thanks for your input. It really does help to share, vent and hear other people's experiences.
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irishmaureen, this may be old age just intensifying Mother's baseline personality. "The older we get, the more like ourselves we become"!

But if she really is in the earliest stage of dementia then physical defects in her brain may be contributing to this problematic behavior.

Either way, it is not your responsibility (or within your power) to satisfy her, or to make her happy.

Taking a taxi or signing up for senior transportation are fine options. And really, they give her more independence than depending on you does. As long as she retains the ability to do these things safely she should be encouraged to do it. She gets mad? She sulks? She tries to play the Guilt card? All perfectly within her power to choose. But just be sure you do not agree to play the guilty role.

She gets a personalized trip to shop once a week? If she rejects that, would your granddaughter be available to take me out? I'd settle for twice monthly! (I hate the heavy chore of grocery shopping.)

Paranoia is extremely common in early stage dementia. The person if afraid of having things stolen. Often she hides them to keep them safe, then forgets she has hidden them and now really has "evidence" they are stolen. Sigh. It is common, but not enjoyable! Generally, treat the loss with sympathy and don't argue about the stealing. "Oh, I'm so sorry your favorite reading glasses are missing. That is really too bad. Let me help you look for them a bit."

It sounds like Mother is living in a very suitable environment that should be appropriate for some time to come. It sounds like you are looking after her health concerns. Even her great-granddaughter is in on the helping act. Mother is very lucky indeed, although it sounds like she isn't of the personality type to acknowledge that!

Be sympathetic.

Don't participate in pity parties.

Don't accept the guilt card.

Set your limits yourself. Don't accept the role a mentally impaired person insists on for you.

Continue in love.
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I'm rambling a bit...sorry. The Psychiatrist also asked me questions pertaining to things I had shared with the geriatric nurse IN CONFIDENCE. I couldn't believe he did this...I'm pretty sure that is why mother is so angry with me. She figures I am scheming with them. Well in a sense she's correct! I feel that if she cannot adjust to living without a driver's license, she needs to go into a home. Pure and simple! I have decided to no longer hide my feelings about this.
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My mother has never been particularly loving. I do not ever remember her saying "I love you"...or "how are you"... It just wasn't her nature. I accepted that a long time ago.

My mother also had breast cancer at age 65! She had a few lumpectomies, and finally at age 70, had a mastectomy. She has been cancer free since. She has Type II diabetes, but it is well controlled with metforman pills, 3 X per day. Other than that, the old gal is in pretty good shape. She has had a couple of flare ups with sciatica, but hey...MOST people have that from time to time, including myself. My mother seems to think she should continue driving, and even brags about how she drove herself to the emergency department while on morphine for back pain. She told all the health care workers that came to her home during this time, and she does not understand that it is NOT acceptable to drive while under the influence of alcohol/drugs/narcotics. She does not comprehend this.

I suppose what has me most upset, is the recent visit to the geriatric psychiatrist. They wanted me to be present during this visit. Mother did not do well at all...she did not know what date it was, and could not remember the interview she had with the RN just four days prior. This nurse had come to mother's home, and stayed for THREE hours! The nurse said she was VERY nice, clean, her home well kept (my granddaughter cleans for her once a week). I sometimes wonder if mother is putting on some of this? hmmmm I kind of don't think so, because she has gone for doctor's appointments on the wrong day, and confused many other events. I don't think she would do this on purpose!

Anyway, she has not spoken to me since December 21st. We all visited with her that day...gave her Christmas gifts etc.
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Irish, I have found that meeting my mom head on is the only way to go. Since way back when she was 65, discovered she had breast cancer and everyone was dancing around saying, maybe this and maybe that, I said " mom you're too smart to do something so stupid as what you're telling me". I no longer mince words with her. Told her, when she wanted to continue to live alone "mom, this isn't working out for us. You're going to kill your kids trying to be independent ". You need to make your own needs clear to her and quit being polite. Dementia doesn't b understand polite.
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Mother is on a list for "long term" care. She had been accepted for convalescent care a few months ago, because she was in a lot of pain from a flare up of sciatica. She suddenly recovered, and refused to go into the home for a month or so. It would have been so good if she had...I truly think she will like it in a home. If I dare mention this, she accuses me of trying to "get rid of her". Well I am definitely NOT, but I am at the point where I think a nursing home would be a better solution for her since she will not adjust to this new situation with no driver's license. She is now talking about travelling to a doctor out of town, to see if he will ok her getting DL back. I told her she is wasting her time. I'm not trying to be mean, I am trying to help her accept this new phase of her life. NO WAY!! She won't hear me at all!
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Yes, my mother is definitely able to take taxis, or any public transportation. She lives in a very nice senior's condominium complex. I have tried to get her to register with care-a-van, and Red Cross, which both offer VERY cheap transportation for seniors. She doesn't like them! She is also within walking distance to her drug store, some restaurants, hairdressers, etc. My granddaughter takes her grocery shopping every Sunday, but just doesn't satisfy her. My mother has always been difficult, but it is becoming increasingly worse with the onset of old age. I'm just burned out from the whole thing, and also feeling very sad.

Thank you for posting. I appreciate hearing from others. My mother is now "mad" at me...she will not talk to me because she said I am not "sympathetic" about the driver's license being taken away. She is also very paranoid...thinks people are taking things from her place, and at one point, she said the RN from CCAC had used her phone to make long distance calls to the license bureau. It's just getting out of control!
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I can't tell from your profile whether Mother is living alone. If her MCI eventually progresses to dementia (which it doesn't always do) then it is highly unlikely she will continue to be to live alone. Take it one day at a time, but start to think ahead a bit about what might be the next step for her.
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Can your mother safely take a taxi on her own? Can she afford to, now that she isn't paying car insurance, etc.

For many people having driving privileges revoked is a hugely traumatic event. My husband always said it was the worst part of having dementia. He mourned his limited edition Miata for a solid year.

Let us hope that Mother's belligerence eases up and she eventually comes to accept this huge loss in her life. Be sympathetic. Be patient. But be firm in setting boundaries about what you will do for her and how you are willing to be treated. It is OK to say, "I see that this isn't a good time for you. I'll talk to you later today and hope you are feeling more cheerful then."
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