I know my 91 year old mother needs help. She has a clear change in mental status, but has refused medical care for years. Where do I start? - AgingCare.com

I know my 91 year old mother needs help. She has a clear change in mental status, but has refused medical care for years. Where do I start?

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Thank you both. She does have a history of bladder cancer, so she may indeed have a UTI. She has been progressively deteriorating for years, but this weekend she was very bad. She is not a nice person and calls me names and tells me to get refusing to go anywhere. I will try the "therapeutic fib. I am her healthcare POA as well as Financial POA and take care of all her needs, although she still lives alone.
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Your profile says that she suffers from dementia. If that is the case, then, she may have progressed to the point where she's not able to call the shots anymore. Do you have Healthcare POA? If so, I'd contact her doctor and make the arrangements. Also, check to see if she has an Advance Medical Directive. Some people, make plans ahead for what type of medical care that they want or don't want. Maybe, she's made it clear in that document. I'd explore that and discuss the options for medical care for seniors in their 90's who have dementia with her doctor. It may be different from that of a young healthy person with no cognitive issues.

If you don't have authority to act on her behalf, I'd consult with an Elder Law attorney to get information on your options and the details of how to proceed.
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First place to start is to see if your Mother has a Urinary Tract Infection [UTI] as that can mimic mental issues.... it can be controlled using antibiotics. If your Mom still has memory type issues than she could be going down the path of dementia.

As for getting an elder to the doctor's office, sometimes we need to use "therapeutic fibs", such as you can tell her that she would lose her health insurance if she doesn't go twice a year. You know that isn't true, but Mom wouldn't, but if it gets her to the doctor, bravo.
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