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She is still living alone but we can't even talk anymore as she's fixated. She believes there are people living in her ceiling, (one story residence with no attic) she believes that they are making drugs and pumping them in. She believes they follow her around, come into her apartment when she's asleep and move things around. She has a dog and won't leave him because she believes they mess with him when she's not there. This is all she talks about, refuses to be diagnosed by a doctor or listen to what a doctor says. She isn't on any medication, still lives alone, drives, pays her bills, etc but she says she smells the drugs all the time and it makes her dizzy and loopy. This has been going on for 10 years now. She'll be 84 this June. Because of her fixation and this is all she wants to talk about, we rarely see each other. I pop in and take her prepared food I make extra of, but it's become impossible to take her out to lunch, shopping or have her over. On top of everything else, she has NO filters and talks VERY filthy to my 24 and 25 year old adult children. When I try to step in she just goes further and further.... I'm at my wits end and I'm the only one she has here. My brother and sister live in Ca while we're in CO. Any suggestions? The manager in the HUD unit mom lives in says she can stay there until she hurts herself or others; I'm just waiting for the phone call that says shes completely lost it. She has always refused to have a 'plan' for when she can't live there anymore. I envision some agency stepping in and having her committed. Scares me to think about it, but I know it's coming.

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Spooh1 - I am dealing with the same situation with my mom, age 79. She is was recently diagnosed with paranoia and shared many of the same symptoms - people living in non-livable space above her, hearing things, even believes she “witnessed” (heard) a murder. I am her only child and the only family involved. It’s really hard because like you said, if I don’t believe the delusions she becomes very angry and if I do, she is frustrated about why I don’t help her move. She moved into assisted living earlier this year and I hoped desperately that would help, but nothing has changed. She was taken to the hospital and they released her after the mandatory 72 hours because she isn’t a threat to herself or others. But I fear she will end up kicked out of the AL residence and homeless because her subsidized public housing will be gone. It has all taken a huge toll on our relationship - my mom is also engulfed by her paranoia. I wish she would try the meds but she refuses. It’s helpful to hear others’ stories about this. All I can do is hope she will finally cave and try the meds.
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So sorry you are going through this. All I can say is lie, lie, lie to get her to a safe place that will take pets. When mom's husband died (at home and mom found him) the fire department called me on my cell because my # was posted on her fridge.

I live in AZ and Mom lived in IL. I flew up and arranged her husband's funeral and saw there was something wrong with mom. She was hearing people singing, etc, etc. Somehow I got her to a lawyer to assign me POA (health & financial).

Anyway, it has been a long road and I first put her in assisted living, which she could not do and the assisted living shipped her off to the hospital. Put her in a nursing home and she was there 2 days and they shipped her back to psych ward for med readjustment then put her in a nursing home I did not like due to her behaviors. They promised me they would not ship her back to hospital. They kept their word but she was now in Missouri and I'm in Arizona. Long story short I kidnapped her from nursing home and brought her to AZ close to me. She is now in a facility that puts her meds in her coffee and food because she refuses to take pills. If I can help in any way please let me know.
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For me, the docs mom has seen are aware of her condition but because she refuses to go back or have a full workup other than blood; we're lost. If a doc says too much, she finds another. Our best shot was with Kaiser 10 years ago when they tested her the very first time, but then they said they wouldn't put a 'label' on her, (that could be hurtful to someone's psyche) They did try the risperdal but she took it once or twice and flushed the rest down the toilet. They didn't have the 'time' to follow up with her or try to help her in any other way. This was the FIRST doctor that indicated that she shouldn't be driving and was going to send a letter to the state; well THAT never happened. I'm going to try to reconnect with her today; see if she wants to go out to lunch or something. Public is generally better than one on one. And then again, it's just lunch. I just need to gird my loins and get after it. I just don't want to fight with her anymore and I feel it's unrealistic.
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Sounds like she could have some dementia. When did she last see her doctor? When did he do a complete workup? Maybe you could go with her to her next appointment. You can also contact your local area agency on aging and ask for in home help for your mom (if she will accept help), this will put another set of eyes in the home and ease the burden on you. It's only going to be a matter of time until she is unable to live at the apartment. Does anyone have a power of attorney? If not and she is still able it may be a good idea to have her name a representative for medical and financial, she can also name an alternative should the first one not be available. Have you spoken to her about advance directives? You can work this conversation in by talking; someone in the news has a feeding tube or is on a ventilator. Ask her what would she want if she were unable to speak, would she want a feeding tube, IV's, antibiotics, CPR etc. This is an important conversation because then you will know what kind of care she would want, even if it's not written. Either way, your mom needs an assessment, the doctor would be a good place to start. She couldn't have quality of life if she is so paranoid, perhaps some mild, low dose medication would help with this symptom.
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Paranoid delusions have to be treated like the mental illness symptom they are. Anything else is not going to help or solve the problem. Sometimes playing along can be a coping mechanism, but not a solution that can go on indefinitely.

Believing you are being poisoned is irrational and you can't meet that with a rational solution. 1+1 does not equal 2 in this world. Sometimes 1+1 = giraffes. A Big Mac yesterday does not mean a Big Mac will ever work again. Unfortunately!

That paranoid belief has to be nipped to fix the not-eating problem.

My mom's paranoia waxes & wanes without her meds to control it. Some days were AWFUL. She'd be violent. Some days could be close to tolerable where she's just using the N-word and swearing at anything that moves. Saying 90% of doctors & nurses are homeless people off the street who can't read or write. Or that the facility has imported all these N-s to work for free and they are trying to kill her when they change her or put clean clothes on her. Delightful.

When mom was between her apartment and memory care, in the nursing home unit, I brought her her own drinks and snacks to have if she didn't want the standard meal. She would eat & drink it, but accuse staff of stealing it. Then she got to the point where she did not recognize it as hers, and it had been planted there to poison her. Time to bring in the Geriatric Psych for another eval!
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Can you take things in that he can keep in his room? if you can take one main meal that he enjoys it will help till they get this worted out.
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kkinsel - my mother was paranoid too, though she never stopped eating for very long, but sometimes did think her food was poisoned She was put on an antipsychotic - risperidone and that has really helped the paranoia. Review his situation with his doctor/the facility staff and ask about medication to help him with these delusions. He needs to be treated for them. Let us know what happens. (((((hugs)))))
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KKinsel. Is this a new thing? When did he eat the Big Mac? Had he been awake a while? My mom and father-in-law, when hospitalized, after waking they were confused and thought they were being poisoned, but got better after being awake for an hour or so. Maybe the food at the facility seems unfamiliar somehow.
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Has anyone ever had a parent refuse to take medication and even refuse to eat cause they say they are being poisoned? My dad will not eat anything unless one of us kids brings it to him. He is in a lock down facility but will not eat their food all he has eaten in three weeks is fruit cups, candy and ensure. Now he says the ensure is poison too. Probably because the nursing home is furnishing it now. He ate a Big Mac yesterday but that's pretty much it. I can't possibly take him food three times a day. I tried taking him stuff and leaving it in their fridge but he says they poison it too. I'm at my wits ends, any ideas?
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It used to be that you could force someone or lock someone up for perceived mental illness, or hysteria or whatever you called it.
Remember ice-pick lobotomies and electric-shock treatment?
You don't want to damn someone to that, but unfortunately it's now gone to the other extreme. If someone is imagining people live in their ceiling or whatever, a solid mental evaluation would be nice, and some kind of confinement to properly medicate could be nice, too. I used to work with someone who thought co-workers were breaking into her house and stealing ceiling tiles and that ghosts lived in her phone. She needed help. Did she get it, though? No!
Now I'm not saying a prison situation, mind you, but some people probably could do with being in a clinic for a little while and taking anti-psychotics or being sure the anti-depressants or lithium or whatever is working!
And with life expectancies growing and the population aging (especially the Baby Boomers) the problem isn't going to go away. More and more people will get dementia or Alzheimer's, unless by some chance we do find a cure. And man, I hope they do!
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I hear delusional thoughts~Intrusive thinking.

It is a pity that one must injure oneself or another before steps can be taken to help. If it were I in your experience, I would call in Adult Protective Services. They are there to help.
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Documenting is a good idea. Plus she's been in the hospital a number of times and there's a record there, because doctors, nurses, social workers and psychiatrists have spoken with her.
Sadly she wants nothing to do with me right now, and I have to admit, I kind of don't either -- she has her own apartment nearby. As for guardianship, I don't really want it. She is super resentful of any and all family. She hasn't talked to many relatives for 20, 25 years, and still goes on about them, how they were jealous of her, ripped her off, deceived her. My aunt once said, ages ago, "we loved your mom, but never knew what to make of her." That always stuck with me. I think it underscores there have been mental problems for longer than I can even imagine.
I have to laugh at Sandwich's story about the guy hugging mom at the salon. Had that happened to my mom, she would have said the guy had fallen in love with her. Once, her neighbor parked close to her apartment window, and she thought it was a sign he wanted to court her! I had no words! But if he parks near her apartment, it's courtship, if I put my hand on her back to guide her which direction to go, I'm shoving or abusing her!
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Yeah, the lesbianism was because I had a best friend too. *sigh*.

Mother was smart enough to move to assisted living when the help we got her when she was in her apartment didn't work out - the lady recommended by a friend, followed by, a lovely gal from an agency, followed by a live in senior nanny who we imported.. Mother lasted 6 months in her first ALF and after I moved her to her second ALF, I told her I would not move her to another ALF as, if she could not manage in this one, she obviously needed another type of accommodation. I had visions of musical ALFs. She lasted there pretty well for about a year, though she was very political trying to get this and that changed, and then we started to see decline. I think the dementia set in and paranoia really became obvious as well as poor judgement, misplacing money etc. About the second year she was put on risperidone which helped her, but she stopped it after a few weeks as she felt funny. Someone else wrote about this and I agree - to them normal feels funny. And if you take meds like that, you are admitting there is something wrong in your mind and that was not acceptable to mother. Then a year in the hospital because of suicidal thoughts, and now, duly medicated with the antipsychotic, she is in an ALF which specialises in patients with mental health issues. A case worker who does regular evaluations called me and asked about verbal and physical abuse among other things, and concluded that mother gets a little manipulative. Yeah, at least! Mother had played the sweet little old lady to her. They will find out for themselves eventually just how sweet she is.

Sandwich - you are very resourceful. I think documenting is great. I was in contact with mother's case worker and her contact at the ALF and updated them regularly about what I saw and heard. It was my updates as well as the evaluation from the hospital when she tried to fly east without proper ID and initially refused to go back to her ALF, that got her to geriatric psychiatric hospital.

These transitions are very difficult.
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Heidi - keep a journal of every person you go to for help and assistance. What agency they are with or what office, their name, their phone number, and what happened (or didn't happen). You never know when you might need to produce this record of events.

Take frequent videos and pictures of your mom and where she lives. I documented the living tarnation out of mom's situation to monitor for change and to prove what I saw. I was visiting once years ago, and took advantage of her long shower time to take 100 pictures inside & outside that house.

I took pictures again the last time we were there.

Document, document, document. If not used defensively, you might need to use it in court to get guardianship. You never know.
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There are incidents where elder abuse charges were leveled against adult children who lived with or near the elder and let the situation decline without notifying anyone or calling in 911. I read one case that I would love to find again where the adult children had been brainwashed to "mind your elders, no matter what". Their mother had a couch spring embedded in her leg and her skin had bonded to the upholstery. She would beat anyone who got near her, so they stopped trying. The judge did not take this excuse as valid. They got in huge trouble for not using adult discernment to intervene and take appropriate action.

Emjo - I got accused of being a lesbian because I had a best friend. I had to ask what that word meant I was so sheltered. I too got the "God will get you" talks. Good times.

I think I got really lucky. Having my husband lay down the law was very effective. My mom was of the generation where the man in the family made the decisions and told you what was going on and you did it. I don't know how I got some of the progress I did when it was time to do the move. As hard as it was, it just could have been so much worse. I did not find any crushed dead animals in the house!

A couple days before we left, I took mom in for a haircut. There was a stereotypical Bubba sitting in the waiting area with us. He looked like he came out of central casting. Skoal and all. Mom was flirting with him and told him she was moving up north to be with her daughter. This guy - who we did not know from Adam's house cat - gave her a big old hug and said quite loudly "Well old gal, the place won't be the same without cha! We're gonna really miss you around here!" I almost wet my pants laughing, but mom ate it up like a honey covered biscuit.
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Sandwich - the visuals are hilarious, You get the gold medal for being creative with moving your mum.

Other than being that creative, or managing to convince them somehow, you pretty well have to wait until they are considered a danger to themselves or others. Mother mentioned suicide several times and that was enough for the geriatric psychiatrist to send her to hospital. She actually went voluntarily but they would have sedated her and taken her if she hadn't.

Your mum, and spooh1's must be cousins of mine. Oh wait, she already has some cousins who are tarred with the same brush.

The weirdest was when mother called me one evening and told me that she had opened the freezer in the middle of the night and when she looked in it she knew what was coming and God would get me for it.

sandwich - You are not alone. Mother was concerned that I would become a prostitute in my teens so she offered to show me how to satisfy myself so I wouldn't. I would probably have been voted by my classmates as the girl least likely to. What struck me most about her offer, apart from disgust, was the stupidity of it - the assumption of why women go into prostitution. It was later that I got "accused" of being a lesbian - which these days might not be a big deal, but on those days, in Scotland, where you didn't even wear slacks, it was a big deal. Fortunately, the people she shared with this knew me.

Heidi - looks like you are between a rock and a hard place.

There are times I wonder how we have survived.
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Heidi, are you her poa? Does she live with you, or vice versa?
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Can you be charged with elder abuse if the senior keeps pushing you away?
I've called the doctor, talked to social workers, had shrinks talk to my mom in the hospital. She is allowed to go back home, always.
Then she gets resentful, screams at me, threatens to call the police, says I do things to her like hit her or I'm stealing from her. I just leave. I should check on her more, but I don't because she always brings up everything she's imagined or everything she's not happy about (she's a classic narcissist, so there's a lot she's not happy about.) What do you do when someone constantly pushes you out of their life?
How do you help when they have everyone else convinced they're OK, even though these outsiders never hear the stories of people talking through heat vents or think being touched on the arm is an act of violence?
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Deceipt and Collusion. The only way I could get it done. Seriously.

There is no person, medication, or miracle that is going to make my mom wake up and see reason. Despite that obstacle, we still had to do the right thing for her or she was going to die in that filthy, nasty house a crazy old lady that nobody could or would help.

Playing nice by the book was getting me nowhere, so I took a different tact.

I played on all my mother's fears for about 6 months before we moved her. I talked about how much better it is to be in a secured building with a guard at the door and a nurse down the hall. Don't you want to be safe? I can't believe you are still living in that house by yourself. I'd be terrified if I were you.
I know, bad bad bad. I'm probably going to h3ll for it.

After about 6 months of that, I had my husband call and tell her how it was going to be. We did not ask. We did not give choices. We told and did.
And we only told her enough to get the action needed today, right this minute. We didn't describe the whole year long plan. We didn't talk about the step after this step we need to do right now. Just enough information to get the immediate need solution in motion. We are coming down to get you, so you can be near us. (Not a lie! Just not the full naked plate of details.)

We drove the 1800 miles to her house. The next day was bank day. We went to the bank to straighten out her money with the one person on the planet that mom trusts: a nice lady named Carrie at the bank. Carrie knew why we were there and played along perfectly. She told (NOT ASKED) mom that she was putting my name on some things so that I can make sure bills get paid. Since Carrie said it and not me, it was OK. Carrie printed out a form for POA we needed and TOLD mom we had to go to city hall to fill it out and be notarized.
So we did. We also found a lady who needed a piano who could come take mom's!

Then my aunt & uncle next door took mom out to visit her sisters & brother. They took her out to lunch. They tried to keep her out of the house as much as possible so we could pack. And pack and pack and pack for 5 days. We packed too much.

When mom was in the house, she was unpacking, yelling, complaining, berating, being in the way, and undoing progress. It was very disruptive to her to have her surroundings being changed and she couldn't handle it. If we couldn't get her out for an errand or food, we had a system to work around her. We had a room at the back of the house that was too far for mom to walk to, designated as the "Special Collections" room. It was for stuff we were not really taking with us. Mom didn't know the wiser. If it was some old cookie tin from the grocery store mom was refusing to let go of, we ran it back to the Special collection room to deal with later. (wink wink) Because you know, everything in there would have to be very carefully boxed up to move, right? All that precious, precious stuff. All the ungiven Christmas calendars from 1990. All the out of date clothes that aren't her size. All the kitchen equipment that doesn't work. You know, all that good stuff.

So we eventually got her stuff on a moving van through devious manipulation and probably 100 guardian angels looking the other way to help us. We got her loaded into the car and on the road. There was a LOT of theatrics involved, but everybody in the house working with us on this kept telling mom how much better it was going to be and to pick her up off the floor when she threw a toddler tantrum. You'll be near your grandkids. You'll be safe and never have to worry about men with red eyes at your windows again. You'll never see another bill or have to do your taxes. Somebody will wash your laundry for you, etc.

Mom pitched a real "mother" of a hissy fit getting into the car and for about 20 miles down the road. I stopped and got her a happy meal & strawberry milkshake, and she was fine. Then she fell asleep and I floored it.

Would I have preferred to do this like adults? Definitely.
Would I have preferred for her to make these choices with me 15 years go? Yes.
Would I have preferred for this to play out like a TV show where she sees reason and is willing to make good changes ahead of time? Oh my gosh yes.
Did I get that situation handed to me? No I did not.

I had to change the rules as I went. I had to overrule most of her theatrics and do what would keep her safe and clean. Not one person down there really got in the way. Her sisters were verbally difficult, but they never came over and actually stopped anything. Every single other person in town we encountered gave me a hug and told me I was doing the right thing. They told mom not to "show off and misbehave". Which is southern code for "Don't make a monkey's rear out of yourself."

When people say "mom won't let us ....." I want to challenge that and say that if there's a will, there's a way. You may find support where you least expect it. You will need a plan in advance though. You will need people to be in collusion with you. You will need to structure things so you can get the outcomes you need.

It's not for you anyway. It's for THEM. To keep them safe, clean, fed, and as well as we can for the time they have left.

Since I'm an only child, I did not want the authorities coming after me with elder abuse charges. I wanted every single person in that community to know that I tried. I tried hard.

My back up plan was that if it was going to be too impossible to do a real move, that we would throw some underwear in a grocery bag, hogtie her, and stick her and her Depends in the backseat of the car and drive until we couldn't drive anymore. It's just stuff left behind and I can always go back for it.

In hindsight, I should have moved her person before attempting to move her stuff. She should not have been present for the packing and sorting. She didn't need to see that happen. She had no productive input to contribute. It was like a scene out of the Hoarders TV show, with the old lady hanging onto her 1985 issue of Country House for dear life, verbally abusing everyone in ear shot and claiming nobody loved her.
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I agree with above posts...it's impossible to help someone or get any help for an elder that needs it if they are not agreeable to it. If they even make half an effort with the courts, behavioral counselor, doctors etc...they leave the senior alone and will not force a change or commiting to care. All that gains is a lot of heartache for you and the elder becoming even more distrustful and righteous...not to mention $$ loss to cover attorneys, court fee, professionals. --no doing until something bad happens. Very sad.

How do we change the thought pattern with seniors THAT they cannot live out their lives by themselves without assistance or at the very least a monthly check up from the county.
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Spooh1, your situation sounds so much like mine.
I've made calls to doctors, had shrinks talk to her in the hospital, talked to social workers.
My mom acts normal on the street, too, for the most part, and at the doctor's. Several doctors have seen her over the years, and nothing. My mom dumps a doc if she doesn't get what she wants, which really is only painkillers and xanax.
As for dementia, I told her, how about we try some meds? Nope. Doesn't she want to be able to have a better relationship with me or others? Nope. When the time comes she'll be too far out of it, she says it won't affect anyone, not even her. (um, not really!) Same thing with a hearing aid. Doesn't she want to be able to hear loved ones and friends? Nope. Everybody complains too much. Oddly she is the one who complains left and right.
I even called the court and asked about an evaluation. They only want to do something, it seems, if she's threatening suicide at that very moment.
So, you're not in an easy situation, but at least find comfort in knowing you're not alone and that others have a lot of good advice and insights here! It's such a comfort to know that.
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My only contribution is to record one of your interactions with her and play that back to the Dr., APS, anyone you can think of. It is probably illegal to do it but it is the only thing I can think of if she is still good at "showtiming" Hugs and sympathy.
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spooh1 - you are definitely not alone. My mom is not quite as bad, fortunately, but she has paranoid delusions and obsessions which she will not let go of. Her current obsessions include: the housekeepers stealing her clothes, her missing social security check and if her house was sold and where is the money and furniture (sold 10 years ago!) It doesn't sound like your mom should be driving. Can you arrange for a social worker, psychiatrist (or someone who can help you get legal custody of her) to come to her house with you (bring lunch or something) tell Mom she/he is a friend of yours and let the person question her. (That is how we managed an interview with the Assisted Living person who had to evaluate Mom. Mom never knew it was an assessment interview.) It sounds like you are not going to be able to get your mother on the drugs she needs until such time as you get her moved and under care, even temporarily until such time as she is stabilized. During that time you could sell the house and arrange for AL, or at least hire an aide to make sure she stays on the drugs. She is probably as unhappy as you are, but she no longer has the mental faculty to take care of her needs.
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The car should be disabled and keys removed. You certainly do not want that kind of tragedy on your conscience. She does need a psychiatric evaluation by a geriatric psych. If she gets aggressive or hurts herself, call 911 and explain she is a danger. ER will usually keep them for 72 hours for evaluation. Good luck!
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Wow, all this is great!!! FINALLY, I'm not alone! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! But to respond, yes she still drives and shouldn't; between dizzy and confused, the last place she should be is on the road. I was SURE her last two doctors would have taken care of that, (as they said they would) but didn't, THEN she went to the DMV last June and I thought for SURE they would fail her renewal just based on her vision, (has glaucoma and has completely lost the vision in one eye) but no, they renewed her for another 5 years!! She's 83, 84 in June.

I have spoken to her doctors, she's been through 3 in 10 years, as well as the police, the fire department, Adult Protective Services, (I believe they have a file on her) her apartment manager, her friends, my siblings.... there is nothing anyone can do until she hurts herself or someone else. Its a real catch 22. If you don't believe what she says about the 'people', you're a jerk because you don't believe and if you go along with her you're a jerk because you don't do something about it. It's completely destroyed our relationship. I talk to my siblings and where they sympathize with me, they make one or two phone calls a month to her and call it good. My brother who is retired at 57 is single with no real responsibilities has been 'trying' to get out here since the first of the year. He told me yesterday that he MIGHT have a window in May to come for a weekend. (geee thanks for your support!)

The first doc I was involved with gave my mom Risperdal and mom took it two times and dumped the pills down the toilet saying they made her feel funny, (which probably meant, felt NORMAL, and didn't know how to handle it) I guess there is comfort in her paranoid and delusional status. She just won't listen to docs. Everyone is a part of a bigger conspiracy. So doc's can see she has issues, her last doc indicated that she has an undiagnosed paranoia but wasn't sure if it was bipolar, or schizophrenia and without moms cooperation, there really isn't a hope of a true diagnosis. Combine that now with increased short term memory loss, and real old time senility, she's one hot mess. If you were to meet her on the street, she could have a normal civil conversation with you so she's still somewhat able to conceal her 'crazy' but I do believe it's getting harder over time.

She refuses and has from the beginning refused to take care of any future or final arrangements, saying "you can handle that when the time comes" (nice) . I told her that someone is going to wind up coming in and making decisions for her because she has no POA, for medical or financial issues. She says she doesn't care, by that time she won't know what's going on anyway. Sigh. I see her becoming a ward of the state and locked away somewhere which breaks my heart. I wish docs could really DO more, but saying that, I don't exactly know how that would even look. I can't imagine the fear she must live with thinking all this is real! How does someone live; accepting all this as reality?

So still there are no real solutions for her, given her condition and her resistance, (or me with exception of just smiling, nodding and attempting to change the subject) but thank you all so much for sharing. It helps more than you know.
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Sandwich42plus:
Your situation has some similarities to mine. My mother has long shown erratic behavior: Threats of suicide, making up illnesses (once, stomach cancer, which she was just her being eccentric), if a woman looked at her too long she was obviously a lesbian and into her (there were lots of lesbians), plus my mom cut off contact with her entire family, one by one, and it's shaky at best with me. She's done impulsive things like suddenly will make a big purchase or make a big move with no planning or foresight. ("I'm bored and unhappy, so I'm going to move to Mexico! Guatamala! Ecuador! Poland ...")
A doctor once thought my mom might be bipolar, and now that she's older and untreated -- she won't see a doctor for anything except xanax, vicodin and blood pressure meds -- it's just gotten worse, and she's gotten nearly impossible for me to deal with. I don't know how anyone has the patience to put up with years of accusations and being emotionally yanked around.
And as for driving: you can often turn someone in at the DMV or secretary of state. They'll usually call the person in question in and make them take a vision and written test, then a driving test (if they pass). I did that with my mom, and she actually thought the secretary of state was out to get her personally! (And she flunked, and lost her license.)
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I doubt that she is still safe to drive. That being said, taking the car away from someone who is unstable can be pretty risky. If she is on Medicaid, talk to her caseworker about having a county nurse check on her. They may need to seek protective custody or a court ordered evaluation.
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Risperidon was amazing. Within 72 hours mom was a different person. All agitated, angry person disappeared. But if she is refusing help- your hands are tied. You could call adult protective services and ask their advice. Sounds A-typical of early Alzheimer's disease. Its hard to help when they refuse- and it usually takes a serious event to help them. Just tuck this info in your brain when she is ready to see a doctor. Dementia is just a word that describes symptoms you see- including forgetfulness, agitation, uncooperative. There is always an underlying disease that is causing it.
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One thing that happened in our family was that we all thought mom's delusions were just manipulation on her part. She had always been the hypser-sensitive, theatrical, emotional one. If she were lonely, she would pull any kind of stunt necessary to get attention and bring the family running.

What nobody told us was that behavior was regular untreated mental illness. Bipolar and a host of other fun problems. She thought every man in 100 miles was flirting with her and wouldn't be able to control himself. She thought I was a prostitute in junior high school. (I didn't even know what a prostitute was back then.) Everybody was out to take her money, or out to get her. Living with somebody that paranoid starts to kill your soul. Family & friends abandoned her.

When dementia kicked in, mom couldn't turn it on or off anymore. Sundowners played a huge role after about 2 p.m. She saw animals in her house, dead relatives come to visit, my dead father in a white pickup truck doing donuts in the front yard. Me, who lived 1800 miles away, in her closet "plundering". Men with red eyes looking in her window at night, 20 feet off the ground. She would call my aunt & uncle next door at all hours to come down and shoo some invisible animal away or deal with some kind of delusion.

This is not behavior that should be ignored or minimized. It's a giant blinking neon sign that something in there is wrong. There is help. There are meds. This is also a sign that more is coming and to get your paperwork and care plans together NOW. And make lots of copies of originals!
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Seroquel and then later, Risperidone really toned down my mom's paranoid delusions and hallucinations.

These things are a sign of mental illness be it something that was always there or the impact of a degenerative brain disease like dementia.

You must speak to a geriatric psychiatrist to make progress on this matter. Not every doctor has the training to deal with elderly people, mental issues, and dementia at the same time.

Tell us what happenes!
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