My mother has undiagnosed dementia. What can I do to get her diagnosed? - AgingCare.com

My mother has undiagnosed dementia. What can I do to get her diagnosed?

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As far as I know, my mom has dementia or worse. She will not allow me to talk with MD and won't allow me to help her with money. She has recently, for no reason, developed a mistrust for me and called police when some jewelry went missing. (She is constantly hiding it in different places) she is implied to police that it was possibly me. I'm an RN and am afraid of loosing my license if the accusations don't stop. I've had to cut myself off from her and will not see her alone. Also, all conversations are recorded. I just don't know what else I can do. She forgets most everything short term and does revision on history. What can I do to get her diagnosed? She refuses to go to doctor. She will not allow me to be on her account to write checks to avoid late fees. I can't help her but what can I do to protect me?

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You poor thing. I am in exactly the same situation. I have been accused of stealing from her on a daily basis. Hides the checkbook all over the place then says my husband and I are thieves. I used to help her look for things but then when I would find them she would say that proves that I stole them. Recently she does not speak to me but has been walking around with 911 and the number to the police station. Makes me wonder what she is up to so I am also terrified. I also work in a hospital. So I was told that I would have to wait until something like a fall or illness where she would go to the hospital and then something could be done. I hope you don't have to wait that long. The fact that you are an RN tells me that you care about others and that you are a good person. Maybe there are support groups in your area that can help you find out what your rights are. We hear about elder abuse but what about those of us who are being abused by the ones we care for???
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We had a similar situation in our family and what we did worked wonders. Generally individuals who are in your mothers condition will have a "catastrophic event" at some point. A catastrophic event can be caused by many different things but what happens is the individual begins to act out irrationally may holler and scream or rant and rave about a specific issue. When this occurs simply call 911 and tell the operator you have a senior that is out of control and they need to be transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. At the hospital they will do a full evaluation and probably call in a geriatric neuropsychologist for further evaluation.
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You need APS to step in.
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It's possible that a geriatric care manager might be able to help--as a daughter you could look into it. Good ones are licensed and bonded, and know how to deal with some of the issues you're facing. Worth looking into...
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I assume you have no power of attorney. That's sad. I don't know if she's refusing your help and your state refuses to help just let her be and eventually she will need help due to some catastrophe. For sure get a police report tell them she is a danger to herself and keep it to DOCUMENT your tried your best to get her Baker Acted.  Insist on getting a police report. I guess if that fails, talk to elder services in your state and if nobody wants to help just keep your family notified. If they don't want to help I guess all you can do is leave her alone because that's what she wants. and your family won't help.
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I live in Oregon..........dad's primary car doc said beginning of alzheimers, he should not manage money, he can't use the remote, or have one cup of coffee. He is 96 - I was the successor trustee from 16 years ago and dad and I always got along..."until" a predatory lady changed his accounts out of the trust and put things into his brain that "I" was not to be trusted.....yes paranoia (common) . And, the attorney that "she" found canceled his capacity check two days before the apt. In Oregon there is a 2-4 month waiting list for a geriatric psychiatrist. She and this attorney rewrote the trust....and she knew him for only one month one month. My problem. But APS did a visit and dad just nodded his said and said he wants his sweetheart...(didn't work) I got an attorney for conservatorship - she physically fought him off. (didn't work)

Depending on your judge in your county a doc report might work - but our judge here needed a "geriatric psychiatrist" and nothing else. I agree, don't count on APS or the government....unless there a third party that might sneek in with fraud.

I would try to get a pill into the mix.......antianxiety or something appropriate.....the past memories of her might make her very possessive and suspicious. Even memories before you were born - my dad lived through the depression.

I wasted 15,000 on an attorney but since she was using dad's money she did not have to pay - just feed him suspicious comments about his daughter. Painful because I have never asked for money and supported myself all my life. Past collage I never asked for anything.

Good luck............this is common but difficult..............
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Dontask4handout is correct! I have seen predatory guardianship and it is more prevalent than people realize! At all costs, it is best (in my opinion) to keep the courts out of the vulnerable adult's life. The vulnerable adult will become lost in the process and really is not protected at all. Unless there is a lack of food, unsanitary conditions or a bruise on the vulnerable adult, APS (adult protective services) will be of no help. (Sorry my comments are regarding dontask4handout rather than the RN directly.)
As for the RN, let your mom's doctor know what is happening with your mother. When you see her, always have someone with you so you have a witness to the visit and what happened. Document all your financial transactions regarding your mother and keep a clean paper trail. Place the jewelry and valuable in a locked safety box. Good luck.
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Don't take any chances by not speaking to local authorities and I'll explain why:

When my elderly friend was alive, there came a point when he was mentally declining and just not himself. One time he got crazy on me and I had to leave. This angered him but what I didn't know is the cops would later pay me a visit. I don't answer the door to unannounced company, but one morning someone came knocking when I was still in bed. I didn't answer. Whoever it was left. The next morning about the same time another knock at the door and this time I was up. When I picked out to see who it was, much to my surprise it was a cop who knew me. When I ask him why he was there, he mentioned the name of my elderly friend and thought I had his oxygen regulator. It turns out that everyone knew who he was and I told him that obviously I don't use oxygen and I never would've borrowed his regulator, what would I do with it? He understood and said sometimes close friends borrow stuff but he understood I don't use oxygen and I would've had no business with an oxygen regulator of all things. I explained the inside story of what was really going on and how he was always misplacing stuff due to macular degeneration which causes blindness. Me and that officer ended up having a very long heart-to-heart talk about my elderly friend who was declining and no one was doing anything about it. I told him everything that was going on up to this point, I mean everything. I had to give as much information as possible because it seems like no one knew what was really going on in secret. I'm glad this was a cop who knew me but no, not because I was ever in trouble, I was never in trouble. They just see me out and once you get to know one of them, you pretty much have a group of friends as long as you keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble. Sometimes if you get to know one, you may as well get to know them all because they're all like family. You just can't meet one person in the family without expecting to meet the rest of the family and getting to know them, it just don't work that way. I'm just glad this was someone who knew me and fortunately they already knew a little bit about my elderly friend and now they knew even more which was helpful in eventually getting him into a nursing home where he could get the right help. I think he was actually nearing the end anyway because he was sleeping more than usual and this has been going on for quite a while. He was also speaking to people in his dreams who had since died and he was even speaking to people he knew was still living. The bottom dropped out when I realize he was in the dying process and he said he thought one year would be his last Christmas and he was just about right. He ended up living another several months or so passed the Christmas he thought would be his last, but he crept through another Christmas and died in January shortly after New Year's of that next year. Miraculously he had one more Christmas left past the one he thought was his last, that was a miracle he live that long. I must wonder though at some of the things that came out of his mouth that were so convincing, only to be disappointed to find out that for one, there was no boat and he thought someone stole his boat. At first I didn't know why he became combative and very resistant when I offer to take my binoculars to the lake where the boat supposedly was and watch for it and call him as soon as I spotted it. Had he cooperated, I could've spotted the boat and he could've called his lawyer he said he had investigating the theft at the time. I regularly visited the lake in question anyway and would have been happy to use my binoculars and watch from land to see if I spotted the boat. We also have a boat launch by the bait shop up the street and I would've been happy to watch for the stolen boat and I explained I could watch for the boat and call him as soon as I spotted it on that lake. When I asked for the boat's description and whether or and registration number, he got very defensive, Which really puzzled me and started ringing some bells that pointed me to a possible red flag. At first I didn't know why he got defensive when I offered to help until I later found out through a reliable resource that there really was no boat. This came up in conversation when I told this resource about the incident and how I offered to help since I visit the lake anyway and needed a description of the boat and registration license that all boats are required to have. This is when I learned the real truth that there really was no boat. I found out that the rest of my elderly friends story about the boat being in storage connected to when the boat was discovered to not be there that my elderly friend thought the boat was stolen and taken to one of our lakes. At some point even the resource found out there was no boat because they were able to tell me the real truth. He had everyone convinced there was a boat but it was later discovered that really wasn't, which really shocked me. Now hindsight has shown me great insight and taught me a great lesson. Anytime someone makes a claim like this or something similar and they refused to cooperate, you must sound the alarm and raise the red flags that maybe they might be lying. Yes, this is when you must start asking very serious questions because this is only one way to catch a liar who also may be abusing the system by misusing resources. When my elderly friend was finally admitted to a nursing home, I don't know how it was done since his son wouldn't get involved as far as I know and no one had custody of him, I guess you could say some of the men at our local fire department who had frequently tended to him had a very serious talk with him and now I wonder if social services may have also gotten involved because he eventually ended up in a nursing home where they took away his power chair and returned it to the veterans who lent it to him and they also sold his mobility scooter and made him use a walker. It turns out he didn't really need a wheelchair or mobility scooter that bad, he could easily do with just a walker. I think they also started him on PT and started building his strength back up. I think when they got him in there he must've been steaming mad when they intervened and took away his freedom. At some point he ended up at a medical facility where he died. I don't know what all happened but I know he had COPD. He smoked for 50 years until he had to quit and start COPD treatment. COPD doesn't mean to not exercise, which is what the PT was for, to get him fit again through gentle exercises that they put many patients through to help them regain strength and balance. Anytime you do something good for someone, one of two reactions will happen, they'll either thank you and appreciate it or they'll fight you all the way and hate you for it.

It's really true that you can't reason with some types of people, there are certain types of mental issues involved but that doesn't stop you from trying. They may not be receptive, but that doesn't mean you should ever give up. In some cases though it's actually best just to wash your hands of the situation and let someone who can deal with it until they burn out and must wash their hands of it. It doesn't mean you don't love them but they're just not that person you once knew, they're just not that person no more. In fact, they've become a total stranger through the disease, someone you don't even know or want to know. It's not the person no more, but the disease but you know there's a person in there. As much as you may love them sometimes you just feel like you just want to wring their necks, I know the feeling all too well because my foster dad ended up b*tch away driving me nuts at some point. At first I was shocked and confused at what was going on because I didn't know how to spot dementia. I now sit back and wonder from hindsight if he may have actually had  dementia all along and was being treated for it until he dropped his doctor. I can only wonder what kind of medication he was really on before he dropped his doctor or vice versa. I know he was on something for his prostate but I don't know what his other medications were, there were about one or two others. I never knew what they were, I don't recall ever checking. All I knew is shortly after he said he had no doctor anymore, he started declining mentally, which made me wonder if he was on something for dementia and I never knew

What I would do is just dump her into a facility and walk away but make sure she's in a safe one where she won't be abused. This is how I would handle a difficult case instead of trying to keep her out in the community and keep bad behavior going because she's only going to become a big problem. 

I personally would not give up my job if you got this far as a nurse, you need the retirement benefits for later in your own life. Don't throw that away! In fact, I have a nurse in my foster family as well as a lawyer and they desperately need to prepare for their own futures after retirement because one day they're going to need that money for their own care. I can tell you that the benefits are great, don't throw away your future as a nurse. I can tell you as a close family member that you may go through a lot now as a nurse, but until you've known one personally or had one in the family, you'll never know the benefits of keeping your job and being able to go beyond your own support and start helping others in need. My foster sis has such a big heart she'll even help her local shelter with food. Last I knew, she would take a carload of food to her local shelter and there's a reason why she hits sales like a bus, every 15 minutes! Yep, she's in a position to not only stock up for her own needs and support her own household, but every 15 minutes she's at a different sale in her free time, this is something she does. This is just part of the benefits of putting everything else aside and keeping your nursing job, the benefits are wonderful because it's not just about you, it's also about others around you and in your community. If you want to really leave a legacy when you're gone, you may also start a family and leave the legacy with your children. A legacy is something you instill in them, and your memory will live on if you set a good example and lead by example, not just by speaking. Your actions will speak much louder than words. Even if you don't go on to have children, you can adopt a needy family or even a needy single individual and take them under your wing as a brother or sister. If you happen to be the right person, you may be surprised to find out there are some people who will stand up and be protective of you and if you're really the right person, they'll even put their lives lay down their lives for you and put their lives on the line to protect you. Yes, if you're the right person who ultimately fits the profile, there are just some of those kinds of people who would ultimately take a bullet for you but you have to be that kind of person who deems worthy of such a place in another person's heart. My foster sister and my brother-in-law are such people that if they were in danger, I would definitely come running and intervene and I would bash some heads together if anyone ever touched my beautiful loving family. In fact, I'm very glad my sweet innocent foster sister no longer uses the train, that really worried me because if she were to ride alone during the day, that's what all the creeps are also most likely to be on that same train. In fact, I warned her about that and told her when the absolute safest time to take the train was is actually in the middle of the night and where to get on, what time to get on and how long that empty train runs for. At first she was shocked that anyone would ride in the middle of the night because she thought that's what all the creeps would come out but that's not necessarily so because i've actually written late at night when everyone has gone home and the mall closed. Someone who took me up there knew the area so well and that's when we rode the train, when they were pretty much empty between certain hours, which would've been pretty much up until somewhere around dawn, maybe sometime before. Fortunately though, sis hasn't used mass transit for years, and I'm very relieved knowing she's safer in her own car.
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I went through something very similar. I wouldn't worry about the accusations, my mom called the local police for years - it's very common in the elder community and most health professionals and local law enforcement are familiar with this behavior. When I called the police, they knew exactly who my mom was - "oh yeah, the lady on .... Ave". Contact the local agency for the aging, her doctor, the local police. That will be documentation to show you have her best interests at heart.

Don't argue with her, don't try to reason with her. It won't work. Get that diagnosis first. Where my mom lived, the local hospital did geriatric assessments, it took me awhile, but I finally got her in. I had to trick her - she wasn't feeling well and I told her I wanted her to meet a friend of mine that was a nurse. It worked.  Find out what organizations provide this service, a geriatric care manager may be able to help.

So sorry, you have to go through this.  It's going to be a long road please take advantage of all the resources out there to help you.
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It sounds like you've taken the first step in the right direction. Given your situation, I personally would not see her at all. What you're describing sounds like my foster dad before he was finally caught and put under a court ordered guardianship that actually turned out to be predatory abusive guardianship. What I would do is see if someone can go for guardianship, that's the only way you're going to be able to get more involved.

As for the money, it's really not a good idea to write checks anymore or to even carry cash. Just gain access to the account enough to set up online auto bill pay from your end with the help of the bank.

As for the jewelry, I would put it in a bank safety deposit box for her so it can never get lost again. These safety deposit boxes may be free for customers, at least they are at my bank last I knew. Definitely check into a safety deposit box and keep all of her stuff there.

Another thing I would do is either call or pay a visit to whoever issued your license and tell them what's going on, but you'll probably need the help of an eldercare lawyer on your side. You should also be able to speak privately with your boss with any witnesses you have who are with you when you visit your mom. Take them with you where applicable. Also alert the cops in your area to what's going on in case she one day decides to call them. See if you can speak with the chief of police, they will probably be your best bet and can alert all the other officers to what's going on. At least if you give everyone a heads up through the police chief, at least the right people will know what's going on before something has a chance to happen. Getting the right people involved ahead of time is in your favor. I wish I only knew the ropes better before I was faced with a similar situation of my own. Learning from my own hindsight is how I can guide you because I wish I knew then what I know now and I wish I would've thought of all of this much sooner. At least when dad put me on his account, I knew enough to set up online auto bill pay. One good thing for sure is he always carried a nice wad of cash on him, it was his norm to withdraw cash each month, so nothing really came of it when cash was withdrawn each month, it was his norm and something we just did until there came a time when something happened and it was interrupted. We didn't know what was really going on and if anyone tried to get a hold of him and contact him about a pending case regarding him, he never said nothing about it. That's why neither of us saw it coming when something was going on in the background but we didn't know what was disrupting our usual norm. We just tried the best we could to go on with our usual lives as we always did until respiratory illness put him in the hospital and a court ordered guardianship came out of nowhere and put him in the nursing home is Alzheimer's ward where abuse was discovered and as soon as it was reported, I was cut off from ever seeing my foster dad after reporting what I saw going on. I now think he saw something coming before I did because he looked an elderly friend in the eye and firmly told him to take care of me. I think he knew something we didn't because that day shortly after dad told my elderly friend to take care of me, I was called a side but not without my friend right there to witness what was really said so at least I had a witness. That's when I was told that dad's guardian said I was no longer allowed to see him. It was right after I reported the abuse I witnessed against another patient. As soon as I went to try to talk to the guardian about what was going on, she would not even talk to me anymore after milking me for information. Had I only known what was really coming, I never would've been so helpful. Next time I won't be so helpful in sharing information. Sometimes giving too much information can have negative consequences as I found out. She got what she wanted out of me only to cut me off from my foster dad. This is a form of isolation that is clearly described in other nightmare videos on YouTube regarding predatory abusive guardianship. They target people with money and rip them away from everyone they know and love and stick them in strange surroundings and cut them off from people they know and love. Yes, this is a sign of obvious abuse with an agenda. Isolation of the victim, cutting them off from friends and family. Yep, there's abuse going on in the nursing home and the guardian is right behind it and when you get abusive nursing home staff and a corrupt court ordered guardian together, there's a recipe for disaster. I think people knew they couldn't mess with me, and once you see send someone else being abused, if you happen to be at abuse survivor yourself, you must speak up. Once you see something, you can never unsee it because it sticks with you, especially when you yourself have already experienced years of abuse at some point in your life. You automatically know what to look for but you must be the kind of person who advocates for others, and being cut off from my foster dad actually interrupted being able to advocate what was going on in that nursing home. I think they knew if I caught them abusing my foster dad that there would be serious trouble because I would've stepped in and beat the crap out of them if they ever touched my dad and I saw it
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