Mom has CHF and had both knees replaced and has degenerative disc disease. I know its painful, but I am not being mean when I say my mom can get up to get a popsicle or dish out her own ice cream. She would NEVER clean her own room like let's say hang a blouse or pair of pants. When I hang her clothes she pulls them down and says I was looking for a shirt so I have to do it all over again. She hollers at me EVERY TIME I straighten up her room. I hate to even do it because I know shes going to be all upset for a week!! I tried letting her do it her way but then she fell because of the things on the floor. No matter how hard I work on her room she messes it up! I'm beginning to think it's on purpose. I just need some advice PLEASE, at my wits end and my mother is 100% with it. She still does her own bills and everything...

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It sounds really difficult. Regarding the purchases, can you ‘lose’(ie take away) her credit cards so she can’t order more? Or check the mail box and remove any catalogues? If she still does her finances, would she know if is she running out of money? Would you know? If she needs to go into care, the cost is frightening.

Regarding the rest, you may be right in thinking that her behaviour is on purpose. Hoarders don’t necessarily leave things on the floor. It’s either deliberate or dementia. If it’s dementia, have you tried to get her to a doctor for a test? You need to write in advance to the doctor so that more questions will be asked – many people are expert ‘fakers’. It may be a good idea to take photos or videos of her room and all her purchases, to make the problem quite clear. People with dementia show it in different ways, and many carers are quite surprised to discover that the disease has progressed quite a long way, even though some things (perhaps finances) are still going fine. If possible, while she is legally competent, check that all the paperwork has been done – Power of Attorney, will, HIPPA so that you can get medical information, even End of Life care directive.

If her behaviour is on purpose, the only way to deal with it is not to jump to her orders. She doesn’t have to have a tidy room. Her clothes can stay on the floor. If she gets tired of the mess, she can pick it up herself. If she falls, it’s her fault, and it might be the ‘crisis’ that leads to a medical evaluation.

You might like to think again about whether you should be living with her. If you find her behaviour really stressful, perhaps you need to get a separate life. How many more years of this would you be willing to take? Even if you are living in her house and it is a good deal financially, it may not be a good way to spend much of the rest of your own life. You could start by discussing with her the terms on which you are prepared to stay. Even just thinking about the future could be a good step to take.
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The buying things she doesn't need and will never wear, is a hoarding thing. I agree, maybe an eval is needed.

You r taking care of an Aunt too. I think her I would place in LTC if I have POA. Not fair to u taking care of two people.
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If she's not normally disagreeable and agitated, I'd explore a medical explanation, like depression, anxiety, OCD, medication reaction, etc. Or, it could be early dementia that has not made its way to her math functioning yet. Sometimes, it's personality and judgment that are affected, before other areas are affected. Odd quirks can suddenly appear too. My LO ran her own household until a few months before she was diagnosed with dementia. The early symptoms were agitation, argumentative, lazy, insistent, etc. I would never have guessed what was coming.

I suppose that she could just be selfish and ungrateful. Does that sound like her? If so, I'd do what you have to do and leave the rest to her. I'd also discuss it with her doctor. Does she see a Geriatric doctor?
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Lorraine12 Oct 2018
Yes she has a great Dr. And 7 grandkids they also see how mom can be with the way she always puts everything surrounding her , on the Floor I know its so she doesnt have to get up and move .I want her to do more for herself .if you dont use it you lose it ! But I cant say a thing to her about exercise she thinks going to the bathroom is all the exercise she needs unless it is getting popsicles or ice cream We Laugh about it but I get so fed up the laundry thing is driveing me nuts ....ooh and she orders clothes from catalogs i counted more than 25 pairs of pants and an entire tall laundry basket full of SHOES she doesnt even wear!! Tops maybe about 150 un real I almost want to take her clothes away & only give her about 7 outfits ..will that be wrong??and the catalogue ordering she has about 10 items she hasnt even opened to wear yet I think I will throw them all away before she sees them and adult color books and markers she has about 50 cases of markers and maybe 75 books ....also her crossword puzzels I think there is 100 of them I want to sneakly throw them away (the old ones )I want her to give her colorings to her grandkids , Some grandmas crochet ours colors very intricate beautiful pictures ....I want her to have that to keep her sharp and buzy but does there have to be sooo many Im just venting now ....but thanks so much for any suggestions and yes I have taken the dementia issue into consideration,I hope not but yes I have often wondered ....Thank You from Lorraine
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