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My 84 year old mother is definitely showing signs of dementia..forgetfulness; paranoia; delusions, etc.


She continues just fine with caring for herself, cleaning, laundry but there is clearly something wrong. She has hardly any short term memory.


I pay her bills and get her groceries because she’s horrible with losing or hiding money.


I would like to have her evaluated so I would know what’s going on. Whenever I suggest a checkup she flips out and says she’s not going. She doesn’t have a family doctor..she hasn’t been to a doctor in 45 years or so.


Shes very narcissistic and says she’s very healthy and doesn’t need a doctor and would never agree to it or taking any medications.


I cant see putting her in a nursing home because she does so well caring for herself..but her mind is gone.


Any suggestions how I can get her to be evaluated?


I have durable POA but an attorney told me I still can’t force her to go the doctor.

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Hi Kateann, sorry about your Mom. Is it possible to disable the stove? My Mom forgot many pots burning on the stove so I unplugged it and said it was broken. My Mom also left the water running in the kitchen sink with stopper in the drain flooding the kitchen. I threw away the stopper. Is she aware that anything is wrong with her memory? If you can get her to open up about it then maybe you could mention that a friend of yours Mom started forgetting things and they put her on a medication to try and help. That could possibly get her to an appointment. Good luck.
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Reply to Sweetstuff
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thanks for the responses and suggestions. My mother lives alone. I’ve asked her if maybe she would like a “companion care” worker to visit with her a few times per week and she’s totally against that idea..she’s paranoid and says they would steal from her. I thought it would be nice because I can’t be there all the time and she’s lonely since my dad passed nine years ago.
I did report this situation to our local aging agency and they visited once but did no evaluation. They pretty much say the same thing that they can’t force her into care or an evaluation. I too worry about her leaving the stove on, etc.
i just get so worried and upset because she’s not in her right mind. She gets so delusional sometimes especially after a nap and calls me screaming about something that didn’t happen. Then she doesn’t remember calling me at all if I ask her about it later. She’ll scream at me that she needs groceries when I had just gone two days prior. Her cupboards are full, her fridge and freezer are full.
This is such a tough thing to go through-I just wish she’d agree to be seen by a doctor so I could be sure what’s going on. Not thinking that’s going to happen until something unfortunate happens.
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Reply to kateann
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Does your mother live with you? Or, do you live with her? In either case, is there homeowner's insurance? Or renter's insurance? If so, perhaps you can go to a doctor with her, and each have a basic cognitive evaluation, and tell her it's necessary because the insurance covers fires (like kitchen accidents) and you want to make sure that the insurance would pay out if either of you inadvertently caused such an accident.

It's actually not an out of the ordinary occurrence with older people; they forget they left the oven on, or the stove with a pot on, or forget to turn off the toaster or toaster oven. I'm only 64 (yeah, I guess that's old) and I forgot a few weeks' ago that when I use the "oven" function on my toaster oven I have to turn the dial down to 0 when I'm done......that thing practically burned up, luckily I smelled burning. I was so freaked out that I unplugged it for a week.

And, I lived in one inner city high rise many years' ago with a mix of 20s and 30s and 40s and 50s and even 80s and every Sunday morning we had full-on fire alarms; we called it the Burning Bagels Day. No slight against bagels.....or religion....it's just what was REALLY happening! The eldest residents were putting bagels in the toasters and forgetting about them, and those toasters did not have auto shut-offs.

I know. As far as the insurance ruse, not a very honest approach. So, please......I'm admitting it's a trick. No clap backs please.

Is she on Medicare? Part A and Part B, and even Part D?
If so, you could explain to her that it might be less expensive, premium wise (since she won't care about anything but the premium) to switch to a managed care plan that covers A, B and D, but that you could not possibly choose the right plan without a general physical evaluation.

That would not be dishonest. It's true. To switch, you would want to know which plan to choose, and what was covered and for how much.

Do you know if your mother would be eligible for Medicaid "at home?" Please explore the assets and income tests -- and the Activities of Daily Living. If she is eligible, it won't provide much, but it will require someone to come to where your mother lives and ask her questions and you will end up with some level of evaluation. And, once qualified for Medicaid at home, it's so much easier to switch over to long-term care nursing home Medicaid if necessary. And, just a note: no nursing home will admit her without a physician's statement.
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Reply to anonymous903302
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If she's narcissistic it's unlikely that you can reason with her so I agree with the others, there isn't a lot you can do. You could try Adult Protective services and they might have ideas to help.
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Reply to faeriefiles
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kateann, sometimes we need to wait for a medical emergency such as an illness or a fall where 911 is called. Then and only then will they get every medical test in the book.

Also, there are times where "theraputic fibs" will help. For those who hadn't seen a doctor in a couple of years one could say "you will lose your insurance if you don't see a doctor at least once a year". But with your Mom having a 45 year span since seeing a doctor, your Mom would just poo poo that idea.... [sigh].

Hmmm, you can make Mom an appointment with your doctor and tell Mom the appt is for you, but you want Mom to be there as you are worried about your own health. But in reality, the appointment is for Mom. A clever doctor would be able to work around this situation.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Unfortunatly some situations only change because there is an incident that creates a trip to the hospital. This sounds like one.

As long as she is safe and taking care of herself, try not to worry to much.

I know it is hard but you can't force her to do anything right now. So keep helping anyway you choose to and pray that the incident is nothing terribly serious.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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