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So today I told my mom that she forgot her medicine the last 3-4 nights and she said that my sister filled up those days and that it makes it confusing when we fill it up (I guess more than once a week). I fill up her weekly AM/PM medicine so she doesn't have to get into the bottles. I called my sister and of course she hasn't touched the medicine. I am the only one who messes with her medicine. My sister said she was at our mom's house to give her insulin last night and said, Mom you need to take your PM pills...want me to bring them to you? She said, No I'm planning to take them in a minute. I had to get my mom a big clock, which has been great, that sets on the counter with her medicine. The clock is made for seniors and gives the time, day of the week, and date. She was having trouble remembering to take her medicine and she would say, How am I supposed to know what day it is! So the clock helps. My mom is 80, has vascular dementia, COPD, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Also kidney disease but that's probably the least of our worries. One of her night time pills is to help with depression and appetite. She has been underweight. She lives alone. Any advice on getting her to take her meds? I go over every day but I like to be home at night with my family and she doesn't live right next door. Now that I'm typing that it feels awfully selfish of me. Should my sister and I just take turns being at her house at night to administer the PM meds? Oh she also has blisters on the tops of her feet! Big blisters. Dr's won't tell us anything. Thank you all! I love this website and have gotten so much peace from reading about others peoples experiences as care givers for loved ones.

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If you do not have medical POA, I recommend that you make her doctor appointments on times convenient to you and offer her that you will come with her. Once there, ask with staff present if you can see the doctor with her. If she verbally consents then you are in.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Your mom definitely needs a POA and POA-health care. If your Mom gets any checks written to her, you can not sign your name on the back of the checks and deposit them unless you are her POA. You cannot make any changes to her health insurance or life insurance or withdraw money from her IRAs or Mutual Funds unless you are her POA or cash any CODs unless you are listed as co-owner or are her POA. If your Mom has a safety deposit box, you also need to be listed as co-owner of that also. If your Mom needs to sell her house, you will not be able to sign any of the papers unless you are POA.

Does your Mom have a Will? If not, then she needs to write one.
The duties of a POA end when a person dies and an Executor is assigned to take care of the Will probate process.

Here are some websites that you can "copy & paste" to your browser about POAs:

https://info.legalzoom.com/power-attorney-vs-durable-power-attorney-20053.html

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/difference-between-POA-durable-power-of-attorney-living-will-140435.htm

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/do-i-need-a-power-of-attorney

http://www.caregiverslibrary.org/caregivers-resources/grp-legal-matters/hsgrp-power-of-attorney-guardianship/what-is-power-of-attorney-article.aspx
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Have you tried calling your mother at the time she should take her evening meds and asking her if she has taken "tuesday's pm meds"? I have one parent that takes little reminders well and one parent that doesn't...
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Reply to TNtechie
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Why won't the doctors let you in the room?

You need a power of Attorney and a health care proxy.

Get a little book called Five at 55 and read it with your mom; it outlines the 5 docume T5s we ALL must have at age 55.

Is mom seeing a geriatrician? It sounds as though that might be a good change to make.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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CTTN55
First- thank you for taking the time to read about my situation and replying! Yes I guess she is still considered legally competent. Who determines that- the dr? I don't know if I have the authority to do those things but I did them. I didn't just take away her credit card. I explained that I would like to hold onto it for her and she gave it to me. She totally trusts me. 3 times in less than 3 years someone has called her and pretended to be a grandchild in trouble and she's gone to get money for them. After the 2nd time, she added me to her accounts as co-account holder. My name is listed on her checks as well.
She doesn't have a POA but I do have HIPAA access with her Dr and all the hospitals around here.
When I say the Dr's won't tell me anything- I mean they don't seem to know anything. I go to all her appointments with her. She just had her feet examined (xrays or something...idk exactly b/c they wouldn't let me know the room with her. I was in the waiting room). But her dr has seen her blisters and hasn't really offered any suggestion besides stay inside and let it heal. After a few weeks of staying inside she got real antsy and went outside to work in the yard. We have been working with a shoe pharmacy to receive special diabetes shoes since the end of May. Still waiting- that process has been down right stupid.

So- I need a POA, huh?
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Reply to imnotcrazy
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Is your mother considered legally competent still? You took her credit card away, and told the bank not to let her withdraw more than $200. Do you have the authority to do these things? Who is her POA? Do you have HIPAA access to her doctors and records? If you do, then I don't understand why the doctors won't tell you anything about the blisters on top of her feet.

Who takes her to doctor appointments?
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Reply to CTTN55
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The fact that mom deteriorated in the hospital does NOT mean that she will deteriorate in a good AL or NH. 

There will be a period of adjustment, certainly, but the combination of being ill and being in an overstimulating, unfamiliar environment like a hospital often causes confusion and even psychosis in some elders. Not the same thing as placement in an LTC facility.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I’mnotcrazy, you say you don’t want to put mom in a facility because you’re afraid her dementia will get worse. It will get worse if she’s in a facility or not, and at least she would be safer in one and getting her meds. No one delights in putting a loved one in a facility, but it’s very difficult being responsible for all Mom’s meds and her personal care and handling your own family as well.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Addendum, blisters on top of the feet are also common to diabetics which can add increased issues with infection, which is the reason why Dr's spend extra attention to the Diabetics feet. Keeping a close eye on these blisters is extremely important, so getting to the bottom of this issue is a good idea. She should have her blisters checked out by her Dr. Never pop a blisters, as they are sterile fluid inside, until popped, where the bacteria can then enter and cause huge issues, especially for the Diabetic!
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Reply to staceyb
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When my mom began to forget her meds, and I would realize the mistake a few days later, I hired a nice lady just to come in a couple of hours at night about 7 pm. to make sure meds were taken, get jammies on, potty done and ready for bed. It really was the beginning of her needing more hands on help.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Blisters on top of the feet, especially the toes can be from friction, if the covers on her bed are to tight, or if she moves her feet back and forth in bed. Another problem could be that the "toe box" of her shoes is too tight or too loose, causing her to bend or "grip" her toes, which I could see her doing, while out raking the grass on 5 acres. I would definitely check out her footwear, to see if it is something she is wearing, that is causing this friction.
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Reply to staceyb
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don't let it comfort you too much that family members say its normal to forget "stuff"

yes everyone forgets stuff.
but dementia - is more than that.

her forgetting her meds is probably just one thing she forgets. you just haven't discovered everything else yet.

re read what cwillie and previous posters wrote. "she needs supervision, probably 24/7 or at least for the majority of her day."



read these forums on the difficulties that dementia creates.
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Reply to wally003
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You could be surprised at how much better she might be both physically and cognitively if you can ensure she is getting her medication properly and that she eats a proper diet at appropriate times throughout the day, much of her frailty could be the result of those issues.
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Reply to cwillie
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Thank you all for your replies! You have no idea how much it helps me. When I tell family members stuff she has said or done they play if off and say everybody forgets stuff like that!
I just took her credit card away (last Friday) and have been to the bank and told them, if she tries to withdrawal more than $200 DO NOT GIVE IT TO HER! Last week she tried to withdrawal thousands- someone was scamming her. Thank God the teller knows her and told her it was not a good idea. Great thing about living is a small town I guess.
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Reply to imnotcrazy
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She has AM pills and PM pills which includes 1000 mg of metformin for diabetes twice a day. The metformin is pretty important but she is also on insulin and that dose could be increased. She's on the smallest dose. So I may talk to her Dr. about just eliminating the PM metformin. I check her sugar a few times a week and since she started insulin it's been very good.
I guess the issue, now that I think about it more, is more about the story she's telling rather than her meds. Because she is not and has never been a liar. So I know she believes what she is saying is true. Her dementia worries me the most.
7 months ago she was in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia. Her dementia symptoms got real bad because she called my sister and said she was NOT in a hospital but in a psychiatric facility and she told my sister to come get her immediately. So to keep her calm they gave her some sedative that had to out-of-it for days!
I'm afraid if/when she goes to a care facility it will be the end of any form of communicating with my mom. Like pulling the plug on her. I mean I would still visit of course but I expect her dementia symptoms to escalate and they'll just drug her.
BTW- her absolute favorite activity is raking leaves in her yard and she lives on 5 acres. She is strong. But she has fallen a few times. :(
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Reply to imnotcrazy
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She has dementia, that means her brain is broken and she can not be relied on to look after herself any more. Not remembering to take medication, to eat properly, no doubt not remembering a lot of things you haven't noticed yet are all symptoms of her brain dysfunction and it isn't going to get any better no matter how many gadgets you buy. IMO she needs supervision, probably 24/7 or at least for the majority of her day.


(edit) And she isn't lying, she probably believes she took her pills and confronting her with the truth just confuses her, makes her defensive and paints you as the nag who is causing her grief.
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Reply to cwillie
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that's not a good sign that she doesn't know what day it is. she may be doing "ok" at the moment, but things could go down hill before you know it. sorry, but the dementia really plays a big part in her safety.
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Reply to wally003
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I wonder if, and this is just my opinion, Mom should not be living alone even if you and your sister go over every day. She has a lot of health issues and I know in my husband’s case, the doctors have told him his medications are what’s keeping him alive. To forget them for 3 or 4 nights can’t be good for her. And, living alone with dementia could be unsafe for her as this only gets worse with time.

Would Assisted Living be an option for her? The staff could make certain she takes her meds every day and every night. Short of that, yes, you probably should go there and make sure she takes her meds and don’t let her tell you “in a minute”.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Is it possible that it's time for mom to be in a care facility? The items you listed are a challenge for a younger healthier person to deal with, let alone someone with vascular dementia. The rollercoaster will only get more hectic with poor diet, missed meds and who knows what else.

If she can't afford it, apply for Medicaid. Nobody wants to live in or place a loved one in a facility, but they are better then being alone in a house and slowly deteriorating for lack of stability. This is nothing against what you and your sister are doing, I mean no criticism. I too have elderly parents who by golly are going to do it their way, come what may. I personally can not have either of them live at my home, they are just to stubborn.

I hope you find a solution that relieves the stress, I know this causes. HUGS
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Does she absolutely have to take those pills at night? After many missed nights of taking Aricept, I just let my mom take it in the morning. (As she does anyway, because she forgets to take it at night.) I am not even sure if it was doing her any good either way.
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Reply to GAinPA
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