Mom's dementia is worsening and she refuses to go to the doctor. I'm so scared for her. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

Mom's dementia is worsening and she refuses to go to the doctor. I'm so scared for her. What can I do?

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My mother's dementia is worsening and I can't get her to a neurologist. I can't get any help for her unless she sees a neurologist. I can't get her in my car at all, not even for an ice cream. She knows something is wrong and she's afraid. I can't get an ambulance out here to take her to the hospital unless she's sick or injured. She's refusing any help. I'm so scared for her, what do I do?

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I can't say anything is perfect. I have been dealing with progressive issues with my Mom since 2003 and ten years later it is finally getting significant enough for other people to see it. I too am an only child and have two children. My husband is amazing and has a disability and helps me with her a great deal but my children are "over it". She has become so self centered and hateful from times it is horrible. She recently had a meltdown and believed that she couldn't stand or walk. I managed to get her to the hospital by ambulance and it took me 11 1/2 hours to get her admitted. I have found out that you need to first contact her Doctor and ask him to send in "in home health care" that will put a nurse in the position of coming into the home and seeing her situation. DFACS has an adult division and if your Mother is in trouble and you know it you are at risk of being held responsible. So if nothing else contact Adult Protective Services and give them a file so that they have to send a Social Worker out to evaluate her situation. As bad as it sounds if they clear her at least you are off the hook legally. I know from personal experience that doesn't help with the guilt. But sometimes we have to hope that God will step in where needed. I managed to get my Mother into Assisted Living and felt more relieved than I had in years. Then my Aunts conspired to get her home and move her home while I was helping a friend move. Unfortunately your POA doesn't help if she decides she wants something different. You are going to have to petition for a Guardianship and a Conservatorship to handle the money. Then your decision trumps hers and you have a Judge to back you up. Refusing medical care is not acceptable and you are going to have to take control. I am in exactly the same situation. I don't want to make it any worse for my Mom than it is already is. But we really can't be the kind of daughters we are suppose to be if we don't protect them. Even if it is from themselves. I will pray for you if you pray for me! Good luck and many blessings on you and your situation. Sincerely hope this has resolved itself since your last post.
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For less than $100, you can get a nanny cam, record her behavior, put it on your computer and burn it onto a disk.

Show the doctors you have seen, they may be willing to prescribe a small amount something like ativan to calm her down and get her to agree to get in the car and go to the neurologist.

Either way, since you don't have a health POA, you are most likely going to have to get a conservatorship. An eldercare attorney is the only way to go - make sure s/he is NAELA certified.
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Journal it all too. Keep a directory on your computer and when you see something, document it so that later on you can refer back to when the episodes started occurring.
My mother used to leave the burners on the stove on, hide her purse and keys and forget where she put them. She often woke up at night and wandered around looking for people. Those were the early signs of dementia. Her primary doctor determined that she had dementia and wrote a letter stating that fact.
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The suggestions made by ek are great. I would also suggest that if you have a video recorder on your phone that you start to record some of these episodes for later on in case you need them.
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My husband and I experienced a similar situation. My MIL refused to see any doctor and refused to even go outside while we were there. She had been the nursing director at a nursing home and I believe she thought we would just drop her at a nursing home. I have several suggestions. First start documenting everything regarding her actions and who you talked to for help. That will help later on if you have to go to court. Contact the area office on aging and explain your situation. Ours was a great help and hooked us up with a social worker who gave us a list of eldercare attorneys. Did the attorney you spoke to specialize in elder law? I think it makes a difference. Contact the doctor and psychiatrist and let them know what's going on. If you do have to go for guardianship their reports on her dementia will act as expert testimony.

As far as her hiding things and lying my husband and I thought my MIL was doing the same thing. But we read a book called "Speaking Dementia" by
Frena Gray-Davidson which explained Mom was not lying but really couldn't remember doing things as her mental capactiy dwindled. The book helped us tremendously to understand what was going on in her head and gave us suggestions on how to communicate/deal with her.

Burning things on the stove and wandering are major red flags. You may have to get guardianship of her (go to court and have her declared incapacitated - she can no longer safely take care of herself) to protect her. From what you described I don't think you would have a problem getting guardianship. We did it and are very glad we did. It is a process but it is worth it to keep her safe. Best of luck
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Oh, and this morning I caught her mixing Windex with her hand lotion to thin it down. She lives alone in her own home, which is next door to me. Sometimes when she's having her mood swing she won't let me in the door.
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Ok, She was seen by her regular MD and the psychiatrist ant the Doctors office and they both say she has dementia and needs to see a neurologist. That's the last time I got her in the car. She won't go see the neurologist, I keep making up stories about where we are going and she won't even go the store with me now. She senses something is up, and she is paranoid. I am her only child, and there is no one but my husband and my son. She won't have anything to do with them either.

Symptoms: Agitation, forgetful, mood swings, wandering at night on occasion (this just started), hearing voices, thinks people visit her, burning stuff on the stove, doesn't remember my name occasionally, threating to drive, wants to go home, hides things and then accuses me of hiding it, obsessively lies to hide mistakes, etc.

I am her DPOA and have been paying her bills for awhile, but don't have medical or guardianship. I have been to attorneys, Doctors, talked to the police, and dementia support groups. I am told there is nothing I can do until she gets sick or hurt. One attorney told me if she gets hurt, I could get in trouble!
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Graciesgirl..do you mean you can't physically get her in car or she is too fearful to go? Has she seen her regular physician? Has he/she recommended that she see a neurologist?
Maybe you can trick her into car..go outside for a ride but you did say you can't get her in car for an ice cream. The dementia won't let you reason ..you'll just have to say something like come on mom..we need to go out for a bit... Then get there and then inside..she asks..say something like we are gonna gets up some help.
My mom is fearful of everything..but she doesn't have dementia..daddy did but he was ok with everything we did...as he got worse.. I would just get him ready and if he asked then I would tell him..I had it easy with him.
Mom wants to hear everything from doctor..even if doctor tells me and I tell her..
Is there a friend of hers that can help? Maybe to encourage her to get in car and go see doctor? Wish I had answers for you. Prayers
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graciesgirl, I know what you are going through. I went through it with my father. He was very ill, but refused to see a doctor. In the last years of his life he wouldn't leave the house. There was really little we could do except be there for him and wait for opportunities. You can't make someone do something unless they have been deemed incompetent or you have guardianship. You have to meet them where they are and care for them the best you can under the circumstances. If things become too bad, you can call in a county social worker for an evaluation.

How serious are the dementia symptoms now? Does your mother have anyone living with her to make sure she is safe? Please tell us a bit more and someone may have some good suggestions for you.
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As far as the ambulance goes she is sick!
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