My Mom is anxious, overwhelmed and loses things all the time. Any advice?

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She is 85, has lymphoma (but is healthy), and widowed 3 yrs ago. She is forgetting things, losing things, distrustful of everyone, kind of angry, and overwhelmed about the slightest thing. She doesn't understand a lot of financial things any more either.

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Thank you so very much for your help! I feel so blessed to have found this site! I will keep you posted
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Take a good look at what supplements she is taking. Some can be over-stimulating. Green Tea can set you into overdrive, so can Guarana and Ginseng. Lisinopril makes your body conserve potassium from grape juice and orange juice to the point of having too much in you body. Hi potassium can set your heart racing (anxiety). Once the anxiety kicks in, your mind races, you are overwhelmed and distracted. All things in moderation, please.
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minapane, I think you need to tell the doctor about this and have the doctor evaluate your mother for Alzheimers/dementia. IF your mom has early Alz/dementia, then it may help to have labels for where to put things. The problem is that part of dementia is paranoia/distrustfulness which causes the person to being to hide things. With my mother, who has dementia, she would hide her purse all the time, then panic because she had no short term memory and didn't know where she put it and we'd have to search for it, sometimes for hours while she became more and more agitated, frantic and upset, screaming and crying unnecessarily, even if I reassured her that I knew she had the purse in the house because I saw her bring it in. She would just freak out totally. I began to purposefully keep my eyes on the purse at all times in the hope that I could find it more quickly. It was really a sad situation and very distressing to me to see my mother like that. After all, there wasn't much in her purse, but she wouldn't believe us and would just totally panic. Her purse was a curse to the entire family and we wasted many hours constantly searching for the purse! Anyway, if your mom is hiding things, the best thing to do is simplify her home. Get rid of any extra stuff so that it is easier to find things when she hides them - because there is nothing that can be done about them hiding the things. People with dementia will continuously hide things. I would find mom's purse in any number of places such as her suitcase, behind a curtain, under a pillow, in a drawer, and so on. Also get into her wallet and purse and make a list of everything that is in there and copies of important items such as her medical insurance card, medicare card, drivers license and phone numbers for her credit cards. Mom also started hiding the mail. This became a problem because my dad would be paying bills, but he never got all of them. To this day, I am still finding old mail at my parents house that mom has hidden in various places. It is unbelievable the number of hiding places mom had for mail. Dad walks slow, so he would let mom go get the mail. Then she would forget she got the mail and would go to the mailbox repeatedly. Sometimes 20 times a day. When she got the mail, she would hide it. If your mom starts doing that, reroute her mail to your house so that you can pay her bills. If you live with your mom, get a PO box and reroute her mail there. The most important thing to know is not to disagree with your mother, even if what she says is completely and obviously false. She is going to believe things and they are very real to her, even if you know they are false. It's best to say things like "OK, I understand." or "Oh, that's too bad. I'm so sorry that is happening." You can't really reason with someone who has dementia, so it is best to validate what they say and then change the subject to try to redirect them - often the offer of something they really enjoy works well - "How about some ice cream?" Otherwise it causes great distress and agitation to the person with dementia if you contradict them because they feel they are not being believed. They may be hallucinating or have had a very vivid dream and what happened in these instances is as real to them as you or I are.
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Thanks for your answers. She remains in stage 2, in that it goes into remission after radiation. She feels nothing from it. She does tai chi, eats healthy and is active with friends, church and the arts. She just came back from Cuba. I did not mean to paint her incorrectly. But-she does have the issues I described. She will not take anxiety meds. At all. Her Dr says he is amazed at her health but taking a wait and see stance on her anxiety. She takes supplements, vitamins, and lisonopril. I was looking for ideas on how to maybe help her organize things, etc. In her house to help her keep track of things and sta calm. What are words I can use. Oh and I have POA.thanks!!
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Your mom may be angry because she's realizing that she's slipping a little.

Take her to her Dr. and have her evaluated for dementia. But at 85 it could just be age-related memory loss. Regardless, I'm sure she doesn't feel well when she becomes overwhelmed easily and maybe there's a medication the Dr. can prescribe that will help keep her anxiety under control.

Do you help her with her financial stuff? Now would be the time to go over everything with her so you can step in when it's time. Do you have POA? If not, get it now.

Most folks here know how difficult it is to watch an elderly parent decline. It's definitely sad and scary. I hope you come back here for support. You're not alone.
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Anxiety meds for a start, like Xanax or Ativan or even Klonopin. Hopefully you have good rapport and can report these changes to her MD.
"She has lymphoma but is healthy" tells me you may be in denial about her condition. You need to know what stage she is in, what drugs she is on and what side effects to expect. That way you know the difference between an approaching dementia and a temporary effect of chemo. Have a long chat with her MD.
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