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OT says she's strong enough to pull up pants. shirt also open. She lives with us and personal habits are in decline. At doctor's office says mental state is ok. At home, food on floor, eats with hands, constant dirty hands and clothes, has excuse for all behaviors that are not safe. Should I just let her be herself or continue to redirect and cue.. When PT, OT and home health nurse are around she is perfect. Around us she does her own thing (everything the therapist have shown her how to be safe) and walks without her walker, falls, spills, messes etc,. I can't watch with eyes on her 24/7 and if I hire help how long or when do I get help? She goes to a Sr.center 2 days a week and looks good and most time they say she's cooperative. She refuses to go additional days which would be safer for her.

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I share a lot of experiences in these posts because I live in my 94 yr old mom's home, with my teenage daughter, and my soon-to-divorce husband.
Recently I read a suggestion that really sounded helpful: as caregivers, to do our best to see the world from their point of view, not our own point of view. There are huge hygiene issues with my mom, and I cannot cope. Sometimes I'll think of something as simple as: bring her a small dish with warm soapy water and an nail brush, and a towel. I hold the bowl, she scrubs her nails, and rinses and dries off. It's quick and easy for her, and added bonus: no lecture from me about "go wash your hands". Thanks to all for your posts; I am desperately hopeful to see I am not alone.
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JohnJoe, I can tell you love your mom, but love is not always just letting people do whatever they feel like. You are right, harsh reprimands in this situation are not good, but course corrections delivered kindly and appropriately - you should pick your battles, so to speak - harmless things can be let slide. But, think about if a person has very unsanitary habits they might not stay safe or healthy as possible, and if they were otherwise able to be social outside the home it could be a problem worth correcting. For some people, the need to get a dementia diagnosis is pressing so that care can be provided, too, and documenting those behaviors help that process as well. the people posting these concerns here are not necessarily lacking in love and tolerance!
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Hi Only, It sure sounds like a dementia to me! Please accept the very good advice that has already been given to take Mom to a doctor specializing in dementia diagnostics and treatment, an especially good choice is a neurologist with a specialty in dementia and Alzheimers. I know exactly what you mean about her being able to pretend she is normal (for awhile) but they can't do this for an extended period of time, especially during a long diagnostic exam. My mom was a champion at this and I used to get sooo mad at the doctors that fell for this act. In fact there are quite a lot of doctors that know little to nothing about dementia! Please try to hang in there for this is a terrible disease. I found the middle stage to be the worst as many become mean, aggressive and some even violent. I was accused of stealing from her, lying to her and was even (on more than one occasion) physically hit by her. There is no reasoning with them as that part of the brain just doesn't work right. This site is especially helpful as we all can vent, get advice and even see what is happening in all stages of dementia from the people who are actually living with it as caregivers. Blessings to you and, if she'll let you just hike those pants up for her :-). Blessings to you, Lindaz.
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Yes onlyKay My Mom does this too sometimes, especially after being to the LOO, I never say a word..except..here Mom let Me fix You up, to Me it's no big deal..sometimes She eats with Her fingers, what ever Mom prefers..why would I reprimand My Mother...never. You see in Mom's case I know that it's the Alzheimer's. I find tissues every where, the other day I did the laundry and of course Me being an Idiot I never checked the pockets in Mom's tracksuit pants, to find white bits all tissue paper stuck to all of the clothes. We must remember WHAT IS NORMAL TO US MAY NOT NECESSARLY NORMAL TO ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENSIA SUFFERER'S, + We will not have Our love One's forever so We must love Them while We have Them, because We will miss Them when They are gone from Us. I'd advise to just let Your Mom be Herself, and not to re direct. When You think of it She's doing no harm, and You will be much happier too.
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My mother walks around in bra and panties for a good 10 minutes in the morning. I told her it is not very ladylike and she said that I live in her house and am not a guest. True, but I do not think it is good behavior anyway. So, yes, I think dementia does this. A few weeks ago too, her elderly boyfriend almost choked to death and she did not react at all and now does not remember it. So, sad but true, she is down a very bad path.
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Your mother is strong enough to pull up her pants. OT says so, and that is one of the things OT is qualified to determine. Your mother is not mentally sound enough to know that she should pull up her pants, or perhaps even to realize that they are down. OT is not qualified to make that kind of judgment. You are. You live with her. You see her behavior day in and day out, not just for 15 minute segments in a doctor's office while she in on her best behavior.

I suggest two things:

1) Treat her based on your own observations. For example, gently reminder her to pull her pants up in back, or say "Here, Mom, let me help you with your pants. It is hard to reach around an get them up in the back, isn't it?" Take more control (kindly but firmly) with other problematic behaviors. In spite of what her doctor thinks, she is not mentally fine and she needs help and supervision now.

2) Take Mom to a specialist with expertise in dementia. This might be a geriatric psychiatrist or a behavioral neurologist. If there is a teaching hospital in your area there might be a specialized dementia clinic associated with it. Once you know what you are dealing with it will be easier to determine appropriate ways of dealing with it.

A woman who walks around with her butt hanging out does NOT have an OK mental state. Finding out exactly what is wrong will be useful.
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The doctor is a total idiot, or nobody is telling him what is going on. Bear in mind that dementia patients can "showtime" and act perfectly normal for a brief time. Get a nanny cam and show him concrete evidence.
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yes a second opinion my mums OP told me mum walks up and down stairs very well???? I lost it with her after and told her that she walks up and down the stairs at night with cups in her hands,one time with knitting needles,oh and this is an hour after taking her sleeping tablets?? I told her I was worried that she was a professional OP and cant see beyond their lies and acting, everything ive done for mum has been a huge long battle with docs,nurses,etc... this forum has helped me more than any doc or nurse they should really wake up and listen to what the cargivers are saying.
If my mums doc had listened to me years ago we may have prevented her dementia I begged him to send her to see a shrink over ten years ago as her behaviour was strange even then but he knew better?
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Time for a new doctor - one that specializes in dementia-related diagnoses.
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Of course her mental state is NOT ok, HELLO! ARE YOU KIDDING? It is so frustrating to see and hear the disparity between what the doctors think vs what the caretakers live with on a 24/7 basis. My aunt, who had alcohol dementia, was so clever when talking to people (unless they talked to her long enough to pick up her constant repetition of stories as well as re asking the same question over and over again), that in the short term, they thought she was fine. Until
she fell and the paramedics found and reported her living in squalor, pet everywhere and warped hardwood floors from urine soaking through the carpeting. Do I need to mention the suffocating smell she had been living with? I put her in a neuropsychiatric evaluation program. The doc said dementia patients in the early stages can be in harm's way because they have forgotten how to take care of their daily living needs while, at the same time, being very good at covering up that anything's wrong. Smart like a fox is the term he used. The psychiatric PRN likened it to a child with dyslexia who learns over time how to accommodate to the disorder, thinking it's normal for them, but when the perception becomes that its not normal, they move on to camouflaging the condition.

What is your goal here? If the doctors and the therapists were to diagnose her consistent with how you already see her, would you have in home help, send her more often to daycare, or want to locate her in a facility?

I recently checked out "nanny cams" and found they have mini versions, such as a motion activated audio/video cam recorder invisibly located in a small
portable alarm clock. You can position it so it would be most likely to record your mom in a general location where she frequents (bed, favorite rocking chair, etc.), you could probably even follow her about with it unobtrusively. You can get a USB connector to download it onto your computer and burn a disc, which you could then show to outsiders who would not likely see the behavior unless you do something like this. The little setup I found was under $100. I have recommended nanny cams to others when there are family members who don't believe that an elder patients behavior is as bad as it is. Yours seems to be the perfect situation for you to record and demonstrate to others that your mom has some serious behavioral issues. Once documented, you can proceed to act in whatever way you think is appropriate.

Please keep posting.
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Im sorry but this sounds like she is declining mentally I battled with docs to get mum diagnosed with dementia i even went to see a nurse about her personal hygiene she said "its her house and its depression" bullshit I knew my mum was always so clean?

I think you need a second opinion sounds like she dementia could be starting although I dont know about parkinsons? is this normal behaviour for them I dont know I doubt it.
My mum walks around and looks like the back of a hippo from behind as she wears her depends with no underwear?? Its so hard to see them lose thier dignity like this. Hugs to you.
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