Mom has dementia, and will not go to be tested for treatment. What to do?

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She believes nothing is wrong with her. Health is fading. Mom lives alone in her 3bedroom house. It has been a struggle getting her to see the need to move,(ICL). She is not sleeping, believing someone is coming in moving, hiding, and taking her belongings, (paranoia?) She also say sometimes she sees the person but will not say anything to her when she speaks,(halucinating?) I have changed the locks for her several times, put cameras up inside the house. Nothing is satisfying her. She is losing weight, her health is failing. How do I get her in for treatment when she thinks nothing is wrong with her? Need to get medication!

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Often the only way to get someone to go the the doctor is to think up a reason for a checkup or renewal of medications. The suggestion of going in because of "a suspicious mole" on her back is genius! Write the doctor ahead and tell him or her the real reason that you are there. Often people will take direction from a doctor when they won't listen to the family. Just staying away from the idea of a mental evaluation until you are sitting with the doctor may help.

Read the whole thread as there are some other excellent suggestions.
Please update us when you can.
Carol
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I once told my dad that he had a suspicious looking mole on his back (where he couldn't see it) to get him to the Dr. I had called the Dr.'s office ahead of time to make the appointment and told them of my fib to get my dad to the Dr. The Dr. took a quick look at his back and then we got down to the real business of why my dad was there. It worked like a charm.

I've seen it posted here where other people who can't get their elderly parent to the Dr. tell them that because of insurance reasons they have to go in for a check-up.

If you do get your mom to agree to a Dr. visit have a brief list of your her symptoms written down to give to the Dr. or the nurse prior to the Dr. coming in.
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I see many posters here wanting to know how they could convince their dementia' loved one to go to the doc for a diagnosis. Honestly? I've always thought, Why?

You have just given me the reason. I've rarely read a post that so clearly shows us why a formal diagnosis is so important. Your mom is miserable. She's lost in her own world of paranoia. She needs medication to relieve these obsessive thoughts.

If your mom goes to the doc regularly, go with her. Don't worry about talking in her presence. Talk away. If she doesn't go regularly, find a geriatric primary care doc and make an appointment for her. Go with her. Same plan.

How to get her to go. Try this: "Mom, your brain is playing tricks on you. Your thought process isn't normal. You know I love you to bits, and we're going to get you help. I think you might have a bad infection. We've just GOT to get you tested." It's no lie, since a serious urinary tract infection in older adults can cause bizarre behavior. The doc may want to rule that out.

Tell her this tale on the morning of the appointment when you arrive to help her get ready. "And after the appointment, you and I are going out to lunch."

If that or some other cooperative plan doesn't work, wait for some particularly bizarre behavior and call 911. When you get her to the hospital, tell them you're afraid for her safety because of her thoughts. I think they will help you.
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My wife from the first day that I realized that she was having problems remembering things or remembering that she had told me things many times before would never admit that there was anything wrong with her. On wednesday I was able to get her into a NH were she'll get help and care that I can not give her anymore. I took care of her for 4 and a half years and the dementia just took her over. Val is healthy as a horse. Val became bad with her behaviors and threatened me with harm many times and I had her down to the hospital and told them what was going on and the doctors had her put into a seior psych unit and got her meds tweeked where she is good now It was hard on her and me but that's what I had to do so she would be safe and taken care of her.
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What makes you think there is a medication that will solve dementia? Who has power of attorney, and medical power of attorney for your mother? The only way to handle her is if you have the legal power to do so. She might do something outside the house where neighbors might call the police and they will take her to a hospital where they will do an evaluation. Judges and courts are not keen on taking away a person's right to do as they please, no matter what their mental state is, UNLESS they are a danger to themselves, or others. If the cameras you installed show video of her behaviors, perhaps you could convince a judge to grant an evaluation.
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Getting her evaluated is just going to confirm what you already know. If you can somehow pull it off, good, but I don't think its worth having world war lll with Mom. From you're description she is already pretty seriously affected. The classic sign of dementia is losing the ability to reason. This is common to all types of dementia. You will not be able to convince Mom of anything.

At this stage she needs either lots of in her care and supervision or to be in a memory care facility. It can be tough to do but sometimes it has to be done regardless of her complaining. She will adjust.

As for dementia meds. There is no cure but there are several meds pitched to patients and families that claim to slow down and improve dementia. I have seen no evidence that any of them are very effective and many can have crummy side effects. She may benefit from medication to calm her down. There's a wide range of anti depressants docs will recommend.
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While there are no meds to "cure" dementia, there are meds that will decrease the hallucinations, so please do try to get her to the doctor, whatever reason you give her. After we had my dad to his GP, who thought he was doing okay based on a ten-minute visit where Dad was really on his "normal" game, I made an appointment to go by myself, writing him a detailed letter beforehand of all the troubling behaviors. I pleaded with him to help our dad. He was very cooperative when faced with a full page of single-spaced explanation of incidents and issues....we were able to reduce the horrible hallucinations, but a month or so later, we finally got Dad into a memory care center by telling him he was going for some live-in physical therapy and to get some weight on him. Taking care of my rapidly declining and difficult father who had serious dementia plus would NOT discuss leaving his home, where he lived alone, was hell for us 60+ year-old kids! Be gentle with her, and do not be afraid to "go along to get along" when she is difficult. We learned that trick almost too late.
For my own children, I am giving them ideas on how to take care of ME when the time comes. I don't want them to go through the things my siblings and I have had to deal with. At least they will be educated on how to trick me into Assisted Living! ;-)
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Something no one has mentioned....No, there isn't a cure for dementia, medications can sometimes help alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety, depression, etc. And, as important, getting a diagnosis is so important. You have to have that to get her the care she needs through medicare or insurance. Just thought I would mention that.
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The true answer to this dilemma is that you are the one in control now and not the elder. They don't get to make the decisions.
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Sherry you are correct as a possible uti too. Are you the dpoa,just call the doctor. Mine knows us so well i have a standing rx for uti in case i think she has one.she used to always test negative yet meds worked everytime. There can be bacteria way up hidden that doesnt show on a culture. My moms only been to the doc 4 years ago, we treat on phone if needed. You could collect her urine at home on a toilet bowl attachment too but not too sterile. Once only did my mom have congestion and the doctor sent over a visiting nurse. My mom doesnt walk/talk and is 94. There us help for stubborn or housebound people. Most times it takes an emergency to get them help, like a broken hip etc.good luck
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