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My mom has dementia. I am her caregiver. She has lived with me for over a year. Today, out of the blue at her doctor appointment she made me leave the room then told the doctor I withhold food from her. I have never skipped a meal for her. She has been in good health this whole year. I was questioned by her doctor about this. I told him this is not true. He said he can tell she is eating because she is healthy. Now he is obligated to send someone out to question me. I am very upset by all this. Mom doesn't remember saying anything to her doctor nor does she remember asking me to leave room so she could talk. This came out of left field. We always get along. There has been nothing but love and understanding and excellent care given to her. I know it's her dementia and I dont fault her for this. It just is a horrible and sad experience both she and I went through today. Any words of support are welcome. Thank you.

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I see some responses from posters giving you advice on "how and when to feed her" and I know that is not your issue.  Your issue is that her dementia is causing her to say things to the doctor that are untrue which is prompting an investigation by adult protective services.  That is absolutely HORRIBLE and one of my worst fears, because I know what crazy crap comes out of my mothers mouth and I don't know what I am going to do if she ever points it at me.  I am so sorry you are dealing with this.  If it were me, I would sit through ONE investigation and if they didn't get that she is being well taken care of and that this is the dementia "talking", I would place her in a nursing home or memory care unit and become her child again who visits frequently.  It is not worth the accusations and stress of it all.
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Kittybee Jan 23, 2020
I completely agree. And ask the investigators themselves what to do about this - how can you document or otherwise protect yourself against this happening again.

The point is not how and when to feed her but that her dementia has her believing that, in effect, you are mistreating her. You could stuff her full all day long, and she might still say that.

It's a terrible situation and I can imagine it would be devastating. It does sound like time to consider placement in a nice care facility of some kind. Even if you're investigated and they determine there's nothing there, she might claim some form of abuse again in the future.
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I understand how you’re feeling. Last year, an overzealous caseworker for our local Department of Health and Human Services called for a well-check for my husband and me. The feeling I had when I opened my door and saw two police officers standing there is something I will not forget. I was livid. But, this caseworker, like the doctor, was a mandated reporter and they are obligated to report things like this.

APS workers are very experienced with investigating things like this. It will not take them very long to realize your mom is compromised and an investigation will go nowhere.

As for feeding Mom, can you try “grazing”? Give her a half sandwich, say, and then when she asks for more, give her the other half.
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Propstmnk10 Jan 21, 2020
Thank you so much for your advice and understanding. This is my first time using a forum and just wrote a reply to you in the answer section. Oops. Haha.
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Props, this is actually a good thing. Doctors are mandatory reporters and that they are paying attention is a good thing.

When APS comes out to check on things that is a perfect opportunity for you to find out what services are available to help you care for your mom. Ask them for names, numbers, referrals and anything else you can think of. There are so many programs that we never hear about until something like this happens.

They will be able to see that she is healthy and that her weight has been stable or improving and they will know that she is getting fed.

Don't fear this process, use it to get you and mom all the resources available for you both.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Try not to stress to much. I work in a dementia specific residential home, and atleast 1 person each day forgets that they ate. We usually just tell them that they had dinner etc not to long ago and if they still keep asking we l take it as a sign that they must be hungry still so give them a sandwich or biscuit or something. Dementia can be hard so you are doing a good job enough as it is with care at home :)
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Reply to Annasara
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When we were caring for my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s many years ago, she would eat dinner, walk down the hall to use the restroom and come back after washing her hands and say “what’s for dinner? I’m starving!” We’d tell her “Grandma, we just ate. see? We’re cleaning up the dishes.” She’s say “what did we eat?” And we’d tell her, and then she’d say “did I like it?” and we’d tell her “you sure did! you cleaned your plate. It’s almost time for “Wheel of Fortune”, so go watch that while we finish the kitchen and then we’ll have some dessert.” That always seemed to satisfy her. I think it was the distraction and the routine. 🤷🏼‍♀️
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Propstmnk10 Jan 26, 2020
Hahaha, that sounds like a normal conversation and night at my house. EXACTLY. Breakfast , lunch , and dinner. Too funny. Thank you.
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If Dr knows anything about dementia patients, they always eat & then forget they ate. If he’s not familiar w dementia, don’t go back to him. Period . My mother says that all day...that she didn’t eat & she’s hungry. I have to figure how much is a good breakfast, for example. Cereal, milk w berries, juice, coffee & muffin. Enough for a person who sits all day in a wheelchair. Then as soon as she finishes, she asks, “Am I going to get my breakfast today?” It’s about having a broken brain...just change doctors . Hugs 🤗
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gdaughter Jan 23, 2020
You raise a VERY important point...the consistency of an MD relationship with someone compassionate who understands and knows the patient over time. The heartbreak is in this day and age so many of the MD's go elsewhere. I am sort of looking because the new guy my folks got was thought well of and he is great, in a clinical sense. But I will never forget his questioning of why I needed/wanted to get a disable parking permit for mom, which just really pushed my buttons: mom has dementia and I was taking her for hair appts and I would not have wanted her to wait alone in bad weather so hoped the pass would let us walk directly to the car closeby.
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I’m so sorry you are going through this. My mom lived with us also until she died at 95 from Alzheimer’s. She would often do the same thing / just after eating say she had not eaten. My husband would sweetly make her a pb sandwich and she would be happy.

I would strongly suggest looking at getting her a new doctor. The best thing I ever did for my mom was ‘quit’ her longtime doctor and found one that came to our home. So much better!! They are out there!! Even did labs here. All covered on her insurance. I don’t know where you live but start googling! Good luck!
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Reply to Gomapettit
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What I don't understand is why a doctor who's versed in dementia would be 'obligated to send someone to question you', when he KNOWS your mother is well fed!? That makes no sense to me at all. Is this doctor a neurologist or just a primary care provider?

In any event, I know you will be cleared of any 'wrongdoing' when APS (or whomever) comes to 'question' you. I'm sorry you have to be put through such an ordeal, too, after being such a loving and caring daughter for your mother. It's nobody's 'fault' but dementia's......it's just a terrible disease to be burdened with, for ALL involved.

Wishing you the best of luck
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 21, 2020
It’s true. I would think a doctor would understand these issues.

I saw this at the nursing home when my mom did her rehab treatment. After I left mom’s room some of the residents wanted to chat with me so I would stay for 20 - 30 minutes more to visit with them. They would be in the television lounge area or hang out by the receptionist’s area. The receptionist was a doll and help the residents with certain things.

One man always wanted more to eat after dinner so the staff gave him a sandwich. Okay, he ate the sandwich and five minutes later he would go up to the receptionist and ask for another sandwich. She didn’t hesitate to tell him that he just ate one and would hand him a few cookies. He wasn’t a big man, either. Sort of thin. He completely forgot that he just ate. The receptionist told me that he did that all the time.
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It hurts when mom claims she hadn’t eaten all day. I had to learn to bite my tongue and not take it personally. There are also unexpected “grilled cheese sandwich days” which seem to take over. I witness 2-3 grilling episodes over the course of the day usually right after we have eaten. Instead of saying something I turn to gratitude- she is handling the need herself, she relishes the food, keeping her weight up and the A toasty smells stir a childhood memory.
At mealtimes, just the two of us, I set up two plates, encouraging her to help, and a smaller cereal bowl.
Later, when she begins to forage
for more food, the backup is ready in clear view— same spot on a uncluttered shelf in the refrigerator, next to her Diet Coke (which is another issue!).
Usually I have two choices always ready and wrapped with plastic - 1/2 sandwich, cottage cheese and yogurt, fancy oatmeal. For now, It gives me a gauge on
how and what she eats besides bread and cookies. When she is in a panic “I haven’t eaten” I can calmly direct her to the ready choices and I feel good that i already put the effort in.
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Reply to Begrateful
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Setup a video recorder and a sign with the time and date... save the videos for issues like you’er dealing with... my wife’s daughter accused me of the same thing... even went as far as posting it on Facebook... my son’s friend went to jail because his mother accused him of mistreatment... we need to keep written records of everything we do... if you have to go to court you will at least have documentation showing your actions...
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