How can we step in to help mom if she refuses to be helped? - AgingCare.com

How can we step in to help mom if she refuses to be helped?

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My Mother is starting to lose her memory and repeating things over and over again. My brother lives with her but is having a difficult time stepping in and taking care of what needs to be done. She will agree to do things like calling a serviceman to fix something but when they arrive, she does not remember calling them and sends them away. She has always been a woman that has to be in control but her decisions lately are making no sense. My brother says he is having trouble stepping in to help. This is all new ground for us. How can we step in to help if she refuses to be helped?

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With love, someone has to step in and take "firm" control. It will not be easy in the beginning, as your mom will be experiencing a loss of control over her affairs. My experience with mom ....it took about a year to put things in place as she was unable to care for herself.
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We sort of had this issue with my parents. But, not due to memory problems. They would want/talk about sending a helper/fixer/serviceman away because they didn't think it was necessary and/or it cost too much. How our family dealt with it was...we actually scheduled the service call, according to my schedule or my siblings', and then would make sure one of us were there when the service was scheduled to arrive. We usually also paid for the visit to prevent finances from muddying the waters further. This worked well for everyone involved. However, it doesn't answer the issue of your mother taking the initiative of calling to have something fixed and then forgeting about it and sending them away. Because memory could still be a problem. You could try explaining to her what's been happening with her arranging a service call and then sending them away (hope she remembers) and then make a policy with her that YOU will make the phone call and schedule service or whatever, if something does indeed need to be fixed. You show up when service is scheduled, so that they are not sent away. This measure may not stop her from making an initial call unbeknownst to you, because she may not agree or remember the new policy. But, it will insure that if things need to get done, they will. In addition, it will add a sense of security. You know it is a possibility, at least in part, that your mother sends people away at her door because she doesn't know them or doesn't like how they look. Being scared of things and fearful of the unknown, especially those outside of normal routines or environments, is also quite common with dementia. If you make appointments and then you, or your brother, are around during the visit, that could calm her fears of strangers in the house, if she has those fears.

Not to add to your concerns but to offer guidance....have you considered how your mother has/will respond to telemarketers on the phone or door-to-door salesmen...when she is alone?
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Gradually introduce the next chapter of her life to her. She needs reassurance that you will help her with things and her denial of reality should change as she allows more help.
What is wrong with your brother? Get communication coming from him and work as a team. Eventually--and hopefully sooner rather than later for your sake-- you can transition her into a A/D care home where she can be safe and in a controlled environment without YOU getting burnt out.
Sounds easy, huh? No, but stay calm, make your plan, get brother to cooperate, and pray a lot. If she is already very confused, I recommend bypassing losing your own mind, sleep, personal life, health, etc. and find a nice place for her where you can visit and be a daughter. Take care.
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This is difficult. Get her Doctor, be totally honest and ask for Demntia/Alzheimers test. It may just be Meds. Get on internet, research your area for help available. Social workers are a great help in this area. Also support groups are helpful. Just remember, someone must step in and assure that her needs are being met. My Dad was test 5 years age, he has Alzheimers. He also has several physical issues along with Alzheimers. He is in DENIAL ! ! I live with my parents and help Mom take care of him. I am also a personal Caregiver, most of my clients have Alzheimersand or Dementia. Last but not least "take care of yourself" Be Calm, Patient and understanding.
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Good question. My husband is the same way. He thinks he can take care of himself but even though I have shown him time and time again with real life examples how he can't, he refuses to accept the reality. Maybe someone else can give a suggestion that will help all of us. One thing I can say is to get her to a doctor...geriatric or neurologist for diagnosis so the right treatment can be found.
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