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My mother is 75 and has Parkinson's. She's had it for about 7 years, and her mind is really starting to fail, to the point that she no longer remembers her medicine, when I will come to her home and call her (I come every other day and call every morning at 7 AM), stumbles to remember words to common objects and forgets how to operate the telephone and television. Physically though she is in excellent shape (except for the Parkinson's tremor). Her balance is great, and although her walking is slow, she gets around the house well and is still able to dress herself, use the facilities, and even make the bed. When I come over I do her cleaning, cook her fresh meals, and do her gardening and bills. I take her to the store and out for breakfast. Everything has been going fine, but I've seen a huge downturn in her mind lately. She is becoming more and more confused and it alarms me. I have brought up trying to get extra help (I am the only family in the area), and she keeps saying "we'll see." When I brought up how worried I am about her and her mind slipping, she said "I thought I was doing great!" My home is not safe for her to live in (and after caring for my severely disabled father who passed away two years ago, I am mentally burned out), and I just don't know what to do. My brother lives across the country and has told me he thinks I am doing everything I can since legally I can't force her to accept nursing help or go to an assisted living facility. He said I should just let her be and keep helping her how I am. But I worry about her all of the time. After a recent visit to the ER for a UTI, the ER doctor told me she shouldn't be alone because she was dehydrated, and she probably was forgetting to stay on top of drinking water. She's also lost 6 pounds in the past 6 months, and that might not sound like much, but she is only 95 pounds (5 feet tall). I would very much appreciate any advice or support. I just feel hopeless.

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Thank you blannie and BarbBrooklyn. I really appreciate your input! I actually just saw the needs assessment when looking online earlier. I didn't even know that was an option. I am confused as to what Medicare and Medicaid will cover as well and I think they will be helpful for that too. I wish this ER doctor she just saw had told her she couldn't be at home alone, but he didn't (he pulled me around the corner to talk to me). We see her regular doctor this Friday so maybe he can talk to her. Blannie, I have had the thought of an emergency on my mind as well. She had a major health scare about 4 years ago when she came down with pneumonia. After a long hospital stay and rehab she came home again, but I have been thinking lately that something like that was probably going to happen again and that she would not be able to come home this time.

Thank you both again for responding. It helps to know I am not alone!
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Sometimes we have to wait for an emergency to make any changes. In my case, my mom lived in Independent Living but was forgetting her meds. She was adamant she was doing fine and remembering to take them and wouldn't allow me to get her help. She forgot her blood thinner for three days and we wound up in the ER with a blood clot in her foot. At that point, I put my foot down and told her we were getting in people to give her meds daily. She knew I was fed up and didn't fight me. From that point on, she was fine.

So you may need to wait until mom winds up in the ER again and then put your foot down and get some help from the medical professionals too - with them telling mom what she needs to do. But if she's like my mom, she'll forget it all in five minutes. But if you've instituted the changes in the meantime (getting more help for mom), then you're where you want to be. It's just excruciating waiting for that emergency.

In the meantime, research assisted living facilities if that's what you want to happen so that when the time comes, you're ready with your selection.
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Did the ER doc tell HER she shouldn't be living alone? What does s/he think YOU can do about that?

I think you should call for a " needs assessment" done by your local Area Agency on Aging, or perhaps her regular doctor can order one. Sometimes out parents have to hear " the news" from professionals, not from " the kids".
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