My Mother denies she has Alzheimer's, and just wants me to go away. How do I help her? - AgingCare.com

My Mother denies she has Alzheimer's, and just wants me to go away. How do I help her?

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Dr, family, friends cannot persuade her. She insists that everyone is just wrong, and that she only has some age related memory problems. I cannot get her to take any action necessary to manage her affairs, and she is increasingly angry that people are bypassing her and talking directly to me. I have been staying with her since August and have resigned myself to the idea that I must remain with her. One of the many problems is that I am still paying for an apartment in another state where I was living, and I am afraid to leave her alone while I go wrap up what had been my life, and collect my car and other stuff. I have no friends or local support, and my inability to cope with the stresses of trying to care for someone that resents all my efforts is taking a substantial toll on my own health. I thought about petitioning for guardianship, but quite frankly, I cannot afford the legal fees. Any thoughts or ideas about how I can create an anchor point so that I can begin to help her and myself will be greatly appreciated. I am feeling overwhelmed and helpless.

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Mrs. Humpty Dumpty is another way to say that his mother may have an emergency or crisis force changes on her that are ultimately good for her, even if they are unwanted.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
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Jimtodd, I haven't read where you give the age of your mother or you or whether you have siblings or not. Also, does your mother have Medicare or Medicaid? If it were me, I wouldn't uproot myself just yet to take on this until you've done a little bit of research. You can either talk to an Elder Care attorney to see what your options are and if there are siblings, how they can help you, what the obligations are with respect to all of you, not just you. In theory, you want to just take care of her and nothing go wrong but it can quickly. Have you had a diagnosis from her doctor about Alzheimer's yet? Do you know for sure she has it? Sometimes, other causes can look like Alz but really isn't. A thorough test is required so you will know what you're up against. If she does have Alz. decide whether you want her to live close to you in the other city or do you want to make the move here to be close to her? You'll have to check all options, like apts, houses, jobs, etc. if you decide to move close to her. Then, check out either Medicare or Medicaid to see what is required to qualify and who will pay. If it's you that has to pay, make sure you can afford the extra costs for AL before you commit. Do what the attorney tells you in regards to a DPOA and her meds, decisions, etc. If you can, try to do it without moving her in with you or you with her. Let me tell you from experience, moving a senior in with you if you are under 60 will change your life in ways you wouldn't believe. After it's all over, you will ask yourself, where did my life go to? Make sure you mom gets the best care you possibly can give her and live your life as best you can. If she HAS to be in your home, have the CNA's and/or caregivers on speed dial. You will need it. Good luck in finding all you need to for the best possible outcome.
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Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. I found once good professionals got involved things started to go in the right direction, but we had a year or so that was extremely stressful. I so agree that you look at various options - not just moving in with your mother. 40% of caregivers die before their care receivers. Many of us suffer from stress related health issues. Make sure you look after yourself throughout this.
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I went through an agonizing phase like this with my mother. With dad, too. Within a year or so they both got so much worse. My sister and I took over more of their safety and care.
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You may be OK with just a POA, unless Mom is not only unreasonable but very much able to take unreasonable actions which both of you would regret terribly. It is a steep learning curve, and a sad journey with hopefully a few rewards and good memories along the way. She is lucky to have you even if she NEVER quite realizes that.
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If there is an estate you can pay for guardianship out of that. However if for some reason you are not appointed guardian you would have to pay back those funds. Depending on what state you live in you can get the initial paperwork online. The more stuff you fill out the less money the attorney costs. Are there siblings involved? If not guardianship should be a fairly easy process. You will need a diagnosis, a court visitor would visit your mom to determine if she needs and/or wants a guardian and file a report with the courts. I just went through it in Colorado.
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What's Mrs. Humpty Dumpty?
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Thanks for that advice. It is easy to get trapped in a particular mindset.
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Also, you don't have to stay with her. Be careful of making rules in your head that have no legal reason to be true. These statements will paint you into a corner and remove options you will need to have.

Staying with an aging parent can often times be a total disaster, especially when it comes to dementia. It's not a good idea sometimes. You have to be really honest & aware of what the care work will really entail, and if you want to take that on full time plus. If you wouldn't choose to move into a dementia unit yourself, then think about what life will be like once you've turned her or your home into one.

Maybe a better way to reframe that is to say mom can't live alone anymore. What are other options? Lots!

It's a fantasy these days to think that by moving in, you will save any money. That is a total myth. You'll pay and you'll pay dearly. Your money isn't involved in funding care for mom, so avail yourself of what this site has to offer in the way of instructions and tips to obtain and pay for different care options.

In my opinion - the only things you "have" to do are to ensure your mom is safe, clean, fed, gets adequate medical care, and that YOU have a place to rest and find respite from all of this.
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I do appreciate the advice and references. I am reading and attempting to educate myself as quickly as possible. I understand the futility of arguing with her, but I must admit I get drawn in when she obstinately refuses to make a decision or take action on critical matters. It is a relief to know there are others out there to whom I can turn.
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