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My mom will be 91 in a couple of months and lives across the street from me.
When she first moved here (at the age of 86), she purchased a little maltese puppy. It's a great dog, but the problem here is mom.

Mom says "Bella" refuses to eat dog food and she literally sustains her on 'treats'. I know this is not good for the dog's health. While the dog is not overweight, (Bella eats healthy expensive treats) I go in mom's house and find pieces of dried chicken on the floor, dried bits of banana slices, bones, etc. If I look in the kitchen I see 4 bowls filled with dry and wet dog food (thankfully mom changes this every day or two and the dog always has fresh water) - but I explained Bella is not eating because she is like a guest on the Carnival Cruise line with a buffet before her 24/7. In order to train her to eat real dog food, mom must TAKE UP those bowls and ONLY put them down 2x a day for 1/2 hour each, according to the vet and the groomer.
Mom refuses.
Additionally, the house stinks like piss because mom has pee pads all over the place and bella is one of those dogs, where if you come inside the house and lean down to pet her, she squats from excitement. Not only has mom drenched her booty socks walking on her slick white tile floor from the pee, but she doesn't always see it to pick it up.
Mom spends quite a bit on treats for Bella, and grooming 1x a month for her as well.
I don't know; I am venting today. She never should have gotten the dog. She would have done better with a cat. I have 4 cats myself and I certainly can't take her when 'the time comes' and I feel overwhelmed that mom will not listen to the vet or the groomer.
She considers Bella "A Person" in her eyes with her mild-moderate dementia and frankly I worry she is going to trip over Bella someday, as her gait is unsteady (like a drunk) at times....she gets dizzy and lately has been weak. Mom also has about 7 DOG BEDS scattered all over the house. One is a big bed like a victorian dog sofa bed and mom put a pillow down for bella to jump onto her bed... the pillow was on the floor in the living room and don't you know mom tripped over it, fell flat down. Thankfully she wasn't hurt.
I go in there, move the beds out of the walkway areas. I come back the next day she has re-placed them all where they were; right in the walking areas.
What to do ?

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As this progesses I think that is a great idea, LivingSouth... I didn't know there even were geriatric social workers..
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I would bring someone who could be objective, like a geriatric social worker. My aunt did this for her older brother because his place was really a mess also. Tell her that her doctor wants this person to come and check on her living arrangements - at least you will have someone else on your side.
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LEP what you say is true, but the technical hitch tends to come with that 'have the doctors sign off that she is incompetent' bit. And if they don't think she is..?
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The person who said you cannot put her in ALF has a couple mistakes (in my state, at least). If I have the doctors sign off that she is incompetent, she can be put in care. It is a bit of a process, but less work than what you are doing now.
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CM, you know what I have been to this doctor for a decade for myself, and i know his patterns but today I am going to say, hey there bucko, wait a darned minute (lol) and tell him in the friendliest way I can that I need 5 minutes of undivided attention and stop shaking your leg like a go-kart ready to take off at the flag. :)
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lsmiami, well she will not allow ANYONE to walk Bella besides her. She is convinced beyond reason that the harness which is velcro will give out and Bella will escape, scurrying happily into the abyss.... My 13 year old daughter has asked more than once if she can walk Bella, and the answer is always "oh, absolutely not... she could get loose..." (groan)... Bella goes out into a large screened-in pool area to chase lizards, but it ends there...
As far as mom's hygiene, it's great.. (probably better than mine lol) she always smells good, always takes a sponge bath. She is a lady where, even if spending the whole day home alone, is wearing costume pearls around her neck with lipstick on and I am not exaggerating. So far, so good on that count.
Getting her to bingo for socializing with other people her age so far is not working well, since her hair appt which is weekly is a set appointment. She changed it once, then lost our bingo markers and forgot we were going.... then she said she wants me with her. I said I would stay for the first few times... it's a 1x a week thing, but once she made friends I would just drop her off and pick her up. She was less than enthused and said, "Well, if you don't WANT to go, we won't go..." (another groan)...
oh, and pee pads in the main bathrooms? oh how I wish. There is one in the dining room, one in the den, one in the walkway of the hall. She has no problem stepping on them as if they are little carpets until her slipper sock gets wet (gross)...
The compulsive shopping is the only thing that makes her happy. Thank God we always have garage sales here so at least she can get 3 bags of 'stuff' for only $10 or under.... plus for what I do I have to go to the estate sales and garage sales, and she tags along like nobody's business, enjoying every second. The main issue I had wasn't QVC or the TV; it was the mailers. I got them now (wink) and they are trashed before I even look at them.
I know ALF would break her heart as she loves the home and has painstakingly decorated it to her personal taste. I love that she is across the street, but at the same time I didn't sign up for this much supervision and I didn't foresee this a few years ago when I begged her to come... I envisioned a whole different scenario of her being...who she used to be... not who she is becoming with this dementia. Who knew....
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Nikki, I don't know if your doctor's practice works like ours, but when we've got something complicated coming up our (very helpful) receptionists book us in for a 'double appointment.' Would something like that get him to hold his horses for a second?
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I would not worry about the dog's diet, he is not being starved, he is happy....it's a dogs life...sounds like a good one at that.
Hygene and fall risks would be my top concerns. Can you have someone come in to clean once or twice a week? Unfortunately what is require is probably daily. Is there a neighborhood kid that can walk Bella twice a day so the pee pads are not the main bathrooms?
Can you get mom to got to adult care or any sort of activity to keep her occupied and away from the compulsive shopping? Can you channel block QVC, if that is the problem?
If you need to go to ALF and if you can afford it, some allow pets, of course they charge a little more, and they walk the dog for you.....else he would be a fall and hygiene risk as you have today.
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AK it's just a slippery slope to know when it's time for outside help... The doctor sees her a 3-4 times a year anyhow... and he is a great guy, i really like him, BUT he is one of those doctors who never keeps you waiting, always on time, BUT again he also flies in and out the door. He's literally like on roller skates and many times I have had to say, um, hey wait a minute we forgot to ask you something, etc etc... I will talk to him today and beforehand call the nurse to voice some concerns, but ultimately I don't know that she's at the point yet where her choices are incompetent. I think (guessing) she is in the mild-moderate stage of dementia, with a short time span for memory, and yes she spoils the dog silly, but she's still fully able to cook pasta and sauce with meatballs (yes from scratch lol) and she's able to wash her own clothing, take her own bath, even make her own bed. I think I will be hard pressed to deem her "incompetent" at this stage, and I wouldn't want to. A few months ago she put the dog in the bedroom and shut the door since we were bringing something big into the front door, and 10 minutes later called me at home hysterical telling me the dog was missing... until I told her it was in the front bedroom... lol...
I am in the middle-ground area here where everything is turning gray, but it is neither black nor white... it's a weird place to be for me because it's like am I not doing enough, am I doing too much.... what is it she needs, etc. I can tell you she loves her house and I wouldn't try to get it away from her and sell it until she can no longer function and do her daily routine. Until then I am just worried about things like falls, or her getting hurt.
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Nikki, would it be possible for you to call the doctor you will be visiting tomorrow and clue him/her in to the conditions in your mom's home? If the doctor knows about your concerns, he may take a little more time to evaluate your mom's mental function and move a step closer to getting her declared incompetent. He might even refer her for a more thorough evaluation with a specialist. It sounds like she is not able to make good choices for herself (or her dog), and changes need to be made. In my opinion a good ALF that would even allow her to keep her dog would be a good solution. After she is settled in, you can clean out her house, sell it and use the money to pay for her care. You can then choose how much time to spend with her and reclaim part of your life.
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paps I am not talking about a sleeping disorder here...
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Thanks Veronica... thank you to all of you.
It just never ends lately with her... and the scariest part of all is that when it does finally end, I am going to feel guilt, relief, sadness, and I know I will miss her like crazy...but only parts of her, you know what i mean... like my mom how she used to be when she was beautiful (and she was a knockout Liz Taylor lookalike her whole life) and when she was 'there' for me... mom was always cooking, always taking care of me, very domesticated, always shopping.... now she is alone, full of self pity, full of loads of self-entitlement.... scared, paranoid... ugh. Dad was opposite... not one for domesticated duties but now that I think back, he was ALWAYS my go-to guy. For any problem. So I guess looking back if I could make it without dad (since 2009) I can do almost anything.
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Nikki.
First thing stop and take a deep breath. You are like a runaway freight train.
Check with your or Mom's lawyer and make sure you do have the power to do everything you think you can.
The next thing is make a list mentally or written of all the things you can change and then those you can't.
Top of the can't list is her treatment of the dog so ignore it unless she is being neglected or abused.
Top of the can list is financial control. Remove her credit card if that is the way she is buying junk. Give her a set amount each week so she has money in her purse but anything over that you have to supervise and pay the bill. if she is asking others to buy stuff and she or you will pay tell them this can no longer happen. I think you said all mail now comes to your house so that is something good you have already done.
Talk to your cousin in Florida so she knows what Mom is proposing and that you are not going to allow it. That way you are both on the same page no matter what arrangements the twins think they are making. chances are high her sister is as demented as Mom is.
Now about the respite. Do not allow Mom to prevent you from doing things for yourself alone. Just hiring some one and telling them where to go is not going to work you know that. You have to find a caregiver who is very experienced in care of dementia and you may have to interview a number. It can be an older Aide because there is no actual care at this point. Tell don't ask you mother what is going to happen and go with the caregiver to your Mom's home. You must be prepared to stay for the whole visit. go in and introduce them and when Mom tells her to leave tell her firmly this is not going to happen and would she like the Aide to do any cleaning, laundry etc and when mother becomes pouty tell her you have brought over two games you know she likes playing and which one would she enjoy. If she refuses choose one and set everything up for the three of you. If she won't play include her hand and play it for her. let her win most of the time. " Oh mom you just brought the White House" Have the Aide make a drink of choice for all of you and produce favorite cookies. After the visit see the Aide out and tell Mom you are going home but will look in later. Do not comment unless she does. If you are not comfortable with the Aide try another one till you are satisfied. If you can run home during a visit just go across the street for a few minutes then go back. Don't tell mom you are going to leave her alone with the Aide but when you plan to have some time off go over with the Aide and tell Mum you will be home before the aide leave and make sure the Aide has your cell number.
Try not to let the threats get to you, stay calm and non committal. you have got the control, if she contacts a realtor which she might she can sign all the papers she likes but they won't be legal and you can call the realtor off.
Don't worry about her never speaking to you again that's not going to happen.
You certainly need a break and time to collect your self to be able to continue with this madness. As others have found you have to wait for something to happen before changes can be made. Learn what you can about the disease and really step up into the drivers seat. Reversing roles is never easy but it has to be part of caring for a parent with . Blessings and come back often it never hurts to vent and everyone understands
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If she ever does 'decide' to sell the house, there's no way I can allow her to move 5 hours away. As it stands, I am basically the only person who makes her phone ever ring. She may get a call from someone up north who's checking in on her, but not a soul in this state knows her, much less is friends with her; as she 'wants' no friends.
So if she tries to sell someday to "make a new start" down in Miami or anywhere for that matter, it may come down to her going into a close-by assisted living or memory care. I have no problem selling the house but if I am here taking care of her household duties, bill paying, cooking... then I don't see why we should put her in a memory care unit yet, or even assisted living where they will charge upwards of $3000 a month from her savings... I'll stick it out as long as I can but I have to bite my tongue when she says she is bored and lonely and threatens to move. She often says, "I have to do what is right for me" and "I will decide".... ugh
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Nikki the thing about Miami, you're quite right, the folks who were there then have likely either passed, gone into care or are too frail themselves to help anyone else. I don't know if it's wishful thinking or the dementia but they seem to think if they go back somewhere it will all be there and the same. My mother is convinced if only she can go back to her former city her house and furniture will be waiting for her and life will again be what it was.

Re selling the house, even if she tries to hide an attempt at sale there will be a "For Sale" board out front and you can contact the realtor, show him your POA and get the name of the attorney dealing with the sale. Here in Canada you would provide the attorney with a certified copy of the POA who would then register it on title to the house. A prospective purchaser's attorney will search title and see the POA.

I was a legal assistant/paralegal here my whole career but I don't know how such things work where you are. Contact your local Bar Association and see if they have attorneys who will give a half hour consultation pro bono so you know where you stand. Forewarned is forearmed!
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Well, I'm taking her at 1:00 tomorrow to the doctor to discuss this tipsy weakness and fatigue she's been having this week. Every time I think I get one thing under control with her, I realize another will be created.
It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better, and I don't know how equipped I am to handle it all as it progresses.
I have a lot of my own problems (not physical yet, but family issues with kids, etc) and I feel like someone has a work boot and is just pressing down on the top of my head with it (figuratively speaking).
I am going to call the Alz Assn to see what help, if any, they can offer... just to get information if nothing else, for the future.
I need a day; a break. She will NEVER allow a companion or anyone into her home or to take her out; she distrusts all strangers, and even though she has the money to pay for a respite for me, she will never pay it because "I" am home all day anyhow. Thing is I am only home all day because of her needs. She tells me I can't get a job because I have kids, and I just look at her like she has 3 heads.... I mean seriously I wonder how all the other single moms out there "have a job" with 2, 3, etc children.... please.
The kids are not the reason I cannot work.
To push the envelope and tell her this would (and has) result in a threat that she will sell her house and move to Miami to live in the same condo as her twin sister. Well, the twin doesn't drive either, and more so has her own companion to come in and cook. The twin is picked up every Fri - Sun by a cousin of ours to spend the weekend at her home..... and during the week this cousin pays out of pocket for the twin's companion to come in (because the cousin knows that she is the sole beneficiary anyhow of the twin's estate...)
So I tell mom, stop the threats. Nobody there is going to help you. I really don't think my cousin wants mom added onto the responsibility she already has, and I would highly doubt that she would take mom under her wing too. Mom says that's ok there are people in their 60's and 70's there who always ask if we need something from the store.... they will take me to the flea market, to bingo, etc.... i know them.
But here's the thing: Mom and DAD owned this place 10 years ago. THE SAME PEOPLE ARE NOT THERE ANYMORE. There is no guarantee mom is going to have the same help she would have 10 years ago. For all I know, there are just strangers there now.
Plus, she would be almost 5 hours away from me. The level of "help" she needs to do everything from go through the mail to write bills to socializing and getting out..... there is nobody there to help her.
She lives across the street from me in a paid for home. I AM THE POA of everything! Far be it for this to come down to the wire where I put my foot down and say, um, NO you are not selling the house. I think I have the authority to nip that in the bud if she tries to make good on her threat, but I'm sure she would never speak to me again!
UGH! I am not helping today... I know that, sorry. I am venting!!
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Your mother sounds very much like my mother who is 92 with dementia. She has always been a beautiful and talented woman but could never figure out basic stuff. Her stock answer for anything she couldn't fix or work out was always, "I'm not good at electronic stuff". Now, she can barely write a letter. She has to ask me what to say on a birthday card. She was never like this before. And she gets certain things (never the things you want!!) stuck in her head and will keep bringing them up.

At first, I really tried hard to get her to STOP feeding her dogs from the table. Now, I realize that that is never going to happen. So instead of making myself even more nuts, I try to find something for them that won't hurt them and that will make her happy. I just do the best I can. She also moves their food bowls into the middle of the room and I worry about her tripping over them too, so I always move them back without saying anything as it doesn't do any good.
Have you tried calling the Alzheimer's Association? They are very helpful and knowledgeable and can give you some good advice on how to deal with her. Best of luck!
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My apologies to all, I just lost it yesterday. Unfortunately this obsession with buying another house and having nurses 24/7 (which we can't afford anyway) has to be stamped on immediately otherwise my mother will be trying to find a realtor. She's always causing some chaos which I then have to undo.

Nikki my mother also wants to go see her old doctor who at her last visit 2 years ago said he could do nothing more for her. He's an hour drive away now, she can't get in my truck and I can't lift her. She always referred to him as "the idiot" anyway.

She recently asked for my full address, with a little sort of manic smile, but I'd only give her the name of the nearest village. Many years ago she called the cops on me when I didn't answer the phone. If I'm to rebuild my life I must distance myself as much as possible.

Nikki I hope this resolves itself sooner rather than later for the sake of your health. Driving locally last week I got a sort of hot flash and for a few seconds my eyesight went blurry. It really scared me and I take it as a warning sign.
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I walked into mom's house last night with her dinner plate and almost fell over the damn dog bed. I realize more and more now that she really doesn't think; she's not placing the 2-1/2 foot bed in the walkway area of the living room on purpose...she forgets that I moved it and explained to her that it's a hazard (for anyone; not just her!).... I asked her again; 'mom, why is this back in the middle of where you walk?' and she said, 'i don't know... that's where it goes.'.... so what can you do. I'll just kick it under the coffee table from now on and not even ask. It's going to come down to not driving myself crazy trying to use logic on her by just shutting up and taking care of things as I see them come up, I guess. My mom, being almost 91, definitely has the dementia thing going on... I've seen it gaining speed here in the last 2 years or so. I took her to the doctor for a written cognitive test about 2 years ago, and the doctor told her to write by hand 4:15 on an old fashioned circle "clock" on paper.... she couldn't do it then. Of course you don't know my mom; I wonder if she could have done it at 45, you know? She was always the kind of person who didn't 'get it' and you would have to explain things to her layman's terms a couple of times... she's not slow though, not a dimwit, but just... and i mean this in the nicest terms; naive, clueless, simple minded.... stupid like a fox though. It's hard to explain. And 2 days ago mom bought a pair of navy blue pants. She insists now they are black, despite the fact that I compared them to a pair of true black pants to show her the difference. She says they are black and doesn't want them, and lo and behold, she found another pair of navy in her closet... so now the burning question in her mind is, when are we taking these back? When can we go back? I said mom it's ok you have 30 days. Leave the package in my car on the floor so we have it and we'll go this week one day when I have time. Well....yesterday after we got home she called me FOUR TIMES between 3:00 and 8:00 asking where the package was.... Just saying... more a vent than anything, that it makes me wonder what STAGE of dementia she is in. I've looked at all the websites on it to figure it out, but she seems stuck somewhere between mild and moderate. I wish I knew. And forget taking her to the doctor to see; she still tells me he is 'not' her doctor and wants the doctor in CT she is 'used to'..... ugh
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Ashlynne I am so sorry. I can not say that I have been there and done that. My mother found me a nuisance but I did not endure the abuse you and others suffered. I could never have taken care of her and I was saved from having to care for her. I dread to think what she would have been like with dementia.
I can totally say that I fully support you in no longer wanting to be around her.
Your original post simply concerned the care of the dog and as so often the first question is just the tip of the iceberg. Very understandably a first post often does not tell the whole story - a kind of trying the water with one toe. As you will find this is the most caring group of people you can ever meet. there is no law that says you have to take care of a family member so supervise from across the street and wait for the inevitable. She made poor choices when she was in her "right mind" and as the saying goes her chickens are comming home to roost. her little dog is quite happy being spoiled rotten and a rescue will have no problem placing her when the time comes. There is a good demand for these little purebred dogs. Blessings
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Oh Nikki, how I feel your pain!! My 92 year old mother has two Dobermans and they are her kids. She insists on feeding them every night from the dinner table. When I make her dinner, I have to make an additional 'dinner' for the dogs. After dinner she has to check to make sure they have plenty of dog food in their bowls and water. She covers them all the time, and will use whatever is around to do that, including any clean clothes or towels. I have even caught her feeding them butter and also letting them eat out of OUR dinner plates. It's horrible. I love and adore the dogs...they are great...but I can't do a thing with my mom. I'm sure it must be due to her dementia. For years I have tried to get her to stop doing this, but I can't. It's just futile to try. And she loves them so much and they love her. They are all so attached! My heart goes out to you!! I understand your frustration, believe me!! And believe it or not, my mom used to not even let our pets come into the house sometimes!! It's a total change. Best of luck to you!!!
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Broken hip then another stroke, she`ll never walk again per her doctors
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Thanks Veronica but my mother has been the bitch from hell her whole life. I learned to avoid her at an early age - knocked me about and put me in hospital when I was 6. She totally destroyed the life I built alone through hard work and I`ve had enough. She starts on at me when I visit I`ll just walk away and I`m getting my phone number changed as well so she can`t get at me on a daily basis. After a lifetime of stress from her I`ve aged terribly and my hair is falling out. I can go no further. Going along with fantasies is great if you care for someone. Me, I`ve always hated her and only cared for her for 4 years out of duty. I`m almost 65 and I need to rebuild my life. I will never be really free until she dies, and good riddance.
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Ashlynne you are in the same position as many dealing with this awful disease. At least you do have your mother in a safe place now even though it took an accident to get her there. Try and go along with her fantacies. tell her the answers to her questions over and over if necessary. if she talks about another house even if you know it is never going to happen let her talk about it and find pictures for her to look at and plan. It will be much easier if you enter her crazy world while you are with her. Find magazines with pictures of furniture and interiors. Even find samples of fabric she might like for drapes and upholstery. After all it is something to talk about. You are not making her worse by indulging her as you say she will have forgotten all about it by your next visit. There is nothing wrong in encouraging her to get better and walk again, stranger things have happened
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Nikki everyone else has really said all there is to say. There is no changing mother at this stage. So maybe a little mopping up with disinfectant when you go over and put down clean pads. Maybe you could take the little dog for a walk sometimes. I think getting a behaviourist is probably a wast of time because Mom will go right back to her old ways as you said yourself she can't help it. how does she do her shopping? Can she still go out independently or does she order off TV or the internet? there really is nothing you can do until she falls badly and so far it sounds as though her bones are strong or her dementia becomes so bad you can have her declared incompetent and placed in a Memory Care Home. I know it is hard but try and not let it get to you. It sounds as though she is happy doing her own thing and that is all you can hope for at this stage and don't fall for the manipulation
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Nikki dementia is the most awful thing to deal with and it only gets worse. I had no idea until I cared for my mother. I know only too well " I can't talk to her; #1 she wouldn't care; it would be about her, and #2, she would not understand. Plus, this isn't her fault. She can't help it."

200 flower arrangements plus, plus, plus other stuff? OMG! That's hoarding. Out in the middle of nowhere I don't have cable but I used to watch the show "Hoarders" and it can quickly become dangerous for whoever hoards.

My mother called me from the NH this afternoon wanting to know how much her house sold for, who was the realtor and where is all her furniture. The house was sold a year ago, the furniture went to auction and she was kept well informed. Come spring "when I can walk again" - she'll never walk again, had a stroke a few months ago, can't sit up or stand alone, been in a wheelchair since breaking a hip 9 months ago - she plans to buy another house (got to be big and fancy) and new (expensive) furniture in the city where she lived and find someone to live with her to care for her. Resisting the urge to scream and bang my head on the wall, I just said something about we're all looking forward to good weather and doing things. This utter nonsense ruins my day and probably the next day as well. She can't help it but I feel I'll never be free until she dies.

By the time I visit again she will likely have forgotten all about it or she'll do nothing but keep harping on about it, in which case I'll walk out. Things will only get worse. As her speech is so slurred she decided she didn't want her phone any more and I had it cut off. Now she calls me every day from a hallway phone. I may get her phone put back on so she can drive anyone else she can think of batty and change my phone number. No wonder my hair is falling out!

I feel so badly for all of you in this situation but all you can likely do is wait it out. As far as the dog is concerned at least it's getting groomer and vet care. The elderly tend to allow their furkids to do whatever they please and my mother's little dog, Sue, bit her to the very end. Older with physical issues, I've always had big rescue dogs and in my house I'm the pack leader, the Head Wolf. Sue bit me once and immediately figured out it was a bad idea. It's taken over a year to get her house clean and she's turned into the sweetest little thing.

You've obviously done everything and anything you can do for your mother and kudos to you! Mine destroyed my life and, close to 65, I have to start rebuilding it but I will! Need to talk or vent, we're here for you.
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Hm. I don't know how this would go down with your mother, or whether there's money to spend on it, but the other line of attack could be on the dog - in the shape of a local Barbara Woodhouse type figure. There's also a sexy lady who dresses like a stormtrooper but is fabulous with dogs - can't remember her name.

The thing is, it would be a bit like getting a canine SuperNanny in to read your mother and the dog the riot act together. These people CARE ONLY ABOUT THE DOG'S welfare, and would turn blue in the face if they found out how the dog was living. Not for your mother's sake, oh no, but because regular appropriate meals, proper exercise, proper discipline and a proper sense of their place in the 'pack' is crucial (we're told) to a dog's wellbeing.

So. Enlist a canine behavioural specialist? Any around in your area?
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Thank you for answering.... yes I was afraid of this; that basically I need for her to really get hurt before I can "remove" the excess clutter of knick knacks and serving plates; candles and papers... I counted over 200 flower arrangements in her house, and we are not talking a huge house here... it's avg size. It's just overwhelming for me... She relies on me socially and tells me that she can hurt people "with her tongue" so like others have said, the good qualities intensify with dementia, but so do the bad ones. When the time comes (if it ever does) to do something with Bella, I will look into the rescue option.... Just super tired today as she tells me I let my 2 kids run me over and yet she is the one making me lose it... I tell her to come visit me over here at the house and she says, "oh, I don't want to be a burden..." Does she really have no clue? thanks for letting me vent. I can't talk to her; #1 she wouldn't care; it would be about her, and #2, she would not understand. Plus, this isn't her fault. She can't help it.
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pstegman beat me to it while I was typing ... I do tend to ramble :) When the time comes please do look at rescue for the dog. I've had big rescues life long and at my age only adopt seniors now so I don't leave anyone behind. My lab came to me from rescue in April of last year at age 7.
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I doubt there's anything you can do but wait for the inevitable - a fall that incapacitates her requiring care 24/7 - which sounds like it may not be far away. My mother was a shopaholic as well and put her dogs on a pedestal while she treated family like dirt. Eventually needing 24/7 care my mother went into a NH in October 2012 and her dog and cat now live with me. It's taken a long time but her little dog is now pretty much house clean, going to the door and following my big lab outside to potty.

Threatening you with things is just manipulation. Before I sold my home, quit my career and moved to care for her my mother's favourite was "you just want my money". Sometimes threats are all they have left and they are increasingly fearful of what may lay ahead. Of course, unbeknown to me at the time, she'd had increasing dementia for some years. I can only speak of my own experiences but there are many wonderful people here who I'm sure will chip in and make some suggestions. Hang in there!
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