We lost my brother and my father in the span of a year, and my mom now finds herself living alone for the first time in her life. She is drinking too much (she is scared at night to be alone, but will not entertain assisted living or living with anyone else), forgetting meds entirely or taking the wrong amount, and wound up in the ER last week because she had been skipping her BP meds. She walks 2 miles a day, exercises, eats next to nothing, and knows that she is "off." She is paranoid about my restructuring her meds routine-I bought 2 locking automatic pill dispensers. She thinks we are "attacking" her behavior and critical of her drinking and nutritional habits. She has been diagnosed with mild cognitive decline, but that was a year ago. Her short term memory is very poor. I'm trying to forge some level ground here, but I feel like I'm walking through mud. Anyone have any advice or similar experience? Thanks in advance!

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losing a child and hubby is hard within a year. can you spend time with her? drinking seems to help to an extent. not a solution. can you go on vacation or long weekend with her? are you two up to it?
meds can be sometimes overwhelming.... 79.. years old... lost 2 family members. 2 locking pill dispensers seems like someone doesn't trust someone. one seems overbearing... two seems like someone needs more care on a regular basis. Find a 6 pack near you. check it out, and look around. do your homework. Move her closer to you or another family member. I had mine within a 5-10 minute drive. I worked best for me to keep them close
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Reply to MAYDAY

intheweeds- My mother has Alzheimer's so I understand your struggle. Your mother is still cognizant enough to know she's off, but not enough to make sound judgments. The drinking makes everything much worse.

My suggestion is to distant yourself emotionally from what she is going through. Don't OWN any of it. Don't feel guilty. You can not force her to change. Do what you think is best for her . If she accepts, great, but if she doesn't, then let it go. Don't beat yourself up. This is to protect your emotional well being.
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Reply to polarbear
chillinwithscb Oct 4, 2020
Well said. I agree that you should do what you think is right. Your mother may not agree, appreciate, or like. But at some point there is role reversal. It's normal and natural.
Geeeze, this situation is not going to end well. She will end up in an accident.

You are waiting for the other shoe to drop and look out when it does.

I am so sorry that you are struggling with this. I have no idea how you can stop her behavior.

Wishing you all the best in this horrible nightmare. Vent here. Others understand what you are going through.

I wish that I had an answer for you. I don’t think there is an answer at this point. She is headed for disaster.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Well, drinking is going to speed up her cognitive decline and worsen everything going on right now. Alcoholic dementia brings with it additional headaches not seen with traditional dementia. Her acting all paranoid and annoyed that you're up in her business is also traditional dementia behavior combined with addictive behavior that a person is not wanting to change. Not eating goes hand in hand with drinking to excess as well. It's like a big stew pot of a mess you've got going on here, and I'm not sure what 'the answer' is. Trying to deal with a mother in this condition who doesn't want help is a very, very difficult thing to do. Dealing with JUST dementia can be like beating one's head against the wall........I know, because I've been dealing with my own demented mother now since she was diagnosed with dementia in 2016. I've seen her go downhill, sometimes quickly, other times slowly............with no rhyme or reason whatsoever.

Being diagnosed with MCI a year ago and then drinking to excess on top of it can mean that your mother has mentally declined quite a bit recently, which is likely what you're seeing. If she knows she's 'off', is she okay being off? Or does she want to do something to change it?

I know what you mean when you say you feel like you're walking through's a terrible feeling. It doesn't get any easier, either, unfortunately, so maybe you can have a talk with her. Let HER tell YOU what she'd like help with. What you can do to help her remember to take her meds, things like that. It may come down to her having a 'crisis' and being rushed to the hospital for intervention. That's often the case with elders who are very stubborn and difficult to deal with. It happened with my father who refused to use a walker and wound up falling and breaking his hip. That led to rehab forcing him to be placed in Assisted Living (along with my mother) and he died 10 months later. My mother is still alive, 5+ years later, and still living in the same AL, but in the Memory Care bldg nowadays. I'm lucky b/c I know that others are taking proper care of her, and no booze or meds are allowed inside their rooms in MC.

Wishing you the best of luck trying to forge an agreement with your mother about how much help she will accept from you.
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Reply to lealonnie1

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