Mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's and was prescribed pills but doesn’t take them, what do I do? -

Mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's and was prescribed pills but doesn’t take them, what do I do?


She says it's just more pills she has to take. She was diagnosed about 2 years ago and since then her memory has gotten worse. She misplaces things and quickly blames others for taking it. My sibling and nieces and nephews no longer come around because of this reason. I am the youngest of four and have no help in caring for her. Mom is 65 and is still capable of doing for herself somewhat. Still drives (which I’m scared as hell). When I try to help her do stuff, she says I’m treating her like a child. I’ve had to start therapy sessions recently because I am stressed out. Any advice on how to cope? I am 36 years old and I feel like my life is over.



Taking a medication for Alzheimer's forces her to acknowledge that she HAS Alzheimer's. Maybe she's in denial and doesn't want (or can't) cope with the fact that she will be mentally declining as time goes on.

Medication for Alzheimer's doesn't stop or cure the disease, it only gives more time before the person looses their abilities. (It did nothing for my mother who progressed 2 stages in a year and a half while taking Aricept.)
I'm with JoAnn, if she doesn't want to take it, I don't think she'll be loosing much.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to SueC1957

What pills was she prescribed that she doesn't take?
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Reply to jeannegibbs

Taking the pills are only going to prolong the inevitable. There is no cure for Dementia/ALZ. So, don't stress out over it.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Are you living with your mother?
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Reply to Countrymouse

As long as your mom is competent, she may decide on her own if she wants to take certain medications. I'm not sure if she's really considered why that medication could help her. What would really concern me is if she is able to drive safely. Do you have reason to fear that she is not driving safely? If so, I'd consult with an Elder Law attorney about your concerns and options. If your mother is resistant to care, not using good judgment and not able to live safely on her own, it may time to seek remedies, like guardianship. An attorney could provide you with guidance on that.

Are you able to get into the house and see first hand how she's really managing her affairs, household, health, etc. Do you have contact with her doctor? Does she have a Durable POA or Healthcare POA?

It's such a stressful, thing, but, getting therapy for yourself is an excellent idea. I might also try to find a support group for family members of those who have early onset Alz. My LO got Vascular Dementia at age 62 and it has been quite an ordeal. But, this site has given me much hope and support. Let us know how you are doing and what you find out.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

Dear darkandluvely,

I know there is a lot on your shoulders. I'm not a doctor but maybe let your mom's doctor know she is not taking her meds. I'm not sure if she would accept counselling or some home care to help with the meds. I know taking meds can be a struggle. And some have side effects so its hard to know if its the meds causing more memory loss or the failure to take them properly.

Maybe consider talking to a social worker and see what options are available in the community to support your mom.

I know its hard. I too was the one that had to take care of my mom and dad. Recognizing you are stressed is a good first step. I hope the counselling will offer some additional supports. Remember you are human and doing the best you can.

Thinking of you.
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Reply to cdnreader

It sounds like your sibling and nieces and nephews need to be educated. The hiding and accusing is just a common dementia behavior. No one should take it personally. And no one should argue about it. "Your nice red scarf is missing? I'm so sorry to hear that. It is a great scarf. I'll help you look for it."

Often this behavior ends (but not always). It is cruel to reject Mother/Aunt just because she has a broken brain. It is much better to gain some understanding of the disease.

This particular behavior may fade away, but overall mother is going to continue to get worse and worse. That is how dementia works. This could go on for 20 years (or might end much sooner), and the sooner you can start planning for that future, the better. Does Mother need 24 hour supervision now? What does her doctor say? Do you work away from the house? Is Mother in denial or does she accept that she has dementia?

Whatever plans you and Mother come up with for the future, they should NOT include you being her sole caregiver! You deserve a life. One possible source of information on options is the Area Agency on Aging.
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Reply to jeannegibbs

I am so sorry for your situation. Oh my, your mother is really young to have Alzheimer's. It is very stressful being a caregiver to someone with this disease. Your mother being so young, she might need care for several decades.

You can not put your life on hold for that long. You need to work in order to save to take care of yourself when you get old.

You need to have a life outside of caregiving or else your life is really over. You should not be the sole caregiver. Enlist the other siblings to help your mother. As her disease progresses, she will need even more help. I think now might be a really good time for her to move into an Assisted Living facility.

Does she know she has Alzheimer's? Or she has forgotten that? If she knows, then get her to educate herself on what to expect, that way she will be more cooperative in making plans to help you to help her. You can find info about Alzheimer's on this website or others.

Again, I'm so sorry for your situation. Other posters will have more advice for you. Check out the thousand of threads on this forum. There are many of us here in the same situation.
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Reply to polarbear