We suspect my Mom has dementia, however, she has banned us from obtaining any information from her doctors. What do we do? - AgingCare.com

We suspect my Mom has dementia, however, she has banned us from obtaining any information from her doctors. What do we do?

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She is very combative, has been recently diagnosed with lung cancer and refuses to let us talk to her doctors. We believe she may have been diagnosed with dementia over a year ago. She cannot get along with any caregivers and will not let us help her. She is trusting strangers over her family and shutting my brother and I out from obtaining any information. We are certain she has it, but she refuses to go for a test and let us know the results are. We've tried to talk to her and she tells us we are "sick" and need help. What do we do?

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Good advice here. I unfortunately live 2000 miles away so I am not able to do a great deal daily for her. Here's the real kicker. We have suspected now for nearly a year she has a problem with pain medication. The last care giver was fired for keeping track of her pills! The other problem is, the finances. There is a good deal of concern on the accounting side. Last year's taxes have still not been filed and the caregivers have admitted she's behind on her bills (and yes, she has plenty of money). I've offered to help with the bills, and she absolutely says NO! My husband and I recently spent a week at her home working on the house, making a variety of home made soups for her because the radiation was going to cause her esophagus to become very raw. Her home looked like a foreclosure with overgrown bushes and weeds. We worked tirelessly to get the weeds and bushes cleared so that the house didn't look abandoned, cooked for her, cleaned, etc. and let the caregiver have a break. She seemed grateful for the soup, but said, "I didn't ask you to clear out the brush and weeds, maybe I wanted something else done instead!". The other problem is, she can't keep a caregiver. She hires them, has them move into the home for the caregiver on her property and then fires them within a couple of weeks. By this time, the caregiver has given up another job, moved their things in at THEIR expense and given up a place to live. She demands every time she fires one to "get out today". If they can't afford to, she calls the police and tries to get them removed. Fortunately the police do not remove the broke caregiver, but the last officer called me and said, "your mom is very confused and doesn't seem to understand the nature of this situation". We are afraid she's going to get sued or worse, hurt by one of the care givers who gets outraged with what she's done. She simply disposes of them like they're trash. I have asked her to come live with us and she emphatically says no. She lives in a rural community about five miles out of town on 5 acres. She is somewhat isolated and does not like to get out AT ALL! In fact, the only time she removes herself from her recliner is to go the bathroom, bathe, get dressed or go to the doctor. Her expectations for the caregivers are unreasonable and she treats them just awful demanding that after they're off, they don't go any where and remain at the house if she needs them. She pays them so little, I'm amazed she's actually found anyone to work. Unfortunately, many of them have been inadequate too. She refuses to let me "screen" any of the candidates and has a lot of them come out to her house. While we were there, there was a woman and her boyfriend in my mom's home. I asked for ID's and told them I would be running a background check. They were not happy about that, but did finally give up their identification. After they left I ran the check (I'm a licensed PI). The caregiver was a meth addict and had been convicted five times for meth possession and controlled substances and the boyfriend had four outstanding warrants for similar offenses. So yes, there is a reason why we need to have that diagnosis. Once I have it, I do have to take over conservatorship and guardianship to protect her. The bloodsucking lawyers want 10K as a retainer to move forward. If I can get a diagnosis, then I can most likely go to court without an attorney.
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Share stories old family photos fun times. Be happy with her. Time is short.
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she has lung cancer... LOVE HER.. BE THERE FOR HER...PERIOD.. Give her things she loves to eat. Give her things that make her happy...Be happy with her...NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.
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Let her go. If she has dementia you'll know it soon enough.

My mom had lung cancer as well. After the initial diagnosis she was never the same mentally again. She died a very sad woman.
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She's being difficult but you haven't said she's doing anything that is harming herself. I assume no one has a POA for her from an earlier time? I would contact the doctors anyhow...who knows maybe she put one id you on the HIPAA firm. Just be supportive and wait for the crisis.
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Leave her alone.

If she has lung cancer, you're all in for a tough year. Don't compound it by pressuring her to confirm she has dementia. Love her. Respect her wishes. Bring her flowers and candy. Take her out to lunch if she's able.

If she continues to shut you out, wait a while. Send her well-wishing greeting cards with love. She may become more receptive if you back off about contacting her doctors.

Now is absolutely NOT the time to get on her case about anything.
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