So, my mom, who has Alzheimer’s, is now living with us. She’s mid-stage, so pretty aware more than half the time, but unreasonable, angry & depressed 100% of the time.

So...A few things...(answer what you can, but today #1 is priority.

1.she’s a hoarder or just severely messy. I’m not sure exactly what I’d call it. Her room is an absolute mess. Her home (shared with a sibling) was the same way and that’s one of the reasons I brought her here. I have more time to care for her. Safe and sanitary has been the issue and it was ok at my house until I got super busy with work over the holidays.

I try to be respectful and ask her when I could go into the room to clean floors. I say floors to hopefully keep her calm, but the entire room is covered with food wrappers, papers, a pile of used pull up diapers, things she’s ordered online, old boxes and more. I’ve also offered to help her organize so she can more easily find things. The answer is an adamant the point where she’ll bully talk over me, threaten to leave, start to cry and so on.

Today I thought I’d go in while she was in another room and quietly start to clean without her knowing. Of course she caught me and it turned to her sobbing and saying how horrible I Am. Shes very depressed this evening, but mellow at least.

How do I manage this? She’s too aware to consider a nursing home and I don’t even know if she can afford one anyway. The room has to be safe and sanitary. No bribing, explaining, anything will work.

She says when I hang her clothes or put them in the drawer that’s she can’t find anything. I’ve offered to put labels up (which I should just do and see if she takes to it) but she says no. She has ordered snacks (junk mostly) and other items and stores them in her room...on the floor or anywhere int he room, but not in an orderly or neat way. She won’t let me touch and organize.

2. Bathing...this happens maybe once a month. I’ve tried bribing, pretty soaps. Nothing works.

3. Social media and her phone (Lord, help me): She managed to get herself kicked off of facebook (thank goodness), but keeps asking me to help her get back on. She takes my FB photos of my kids etc or anyone’s FB photos and shares them (via private message)with strangers or friends of mine or even someone (that she doesn’t even know) who works at our church. She’s posted pictures of strangers on her FB page, joined our community page and says rude things on all the public pages. She’s also friended some of my friends. She was posting photos of male models (GQ type, not chippendales:) a while back, so I explained that that was embarrassing. So instead of stopping, she just Unfriended my in laws and continues to share . Funny. Not funny.

PHONE: she says her phone numbers are messed up because she dropped the phone. She has been calling all sorts of random numbers because she says they’re calling her. She also texts ALL night long...sharing amazon shopping items etc. I’m willing to deal with that, but I think she’s texting it to everyone on her phone list. Strangers and all. In the middle of the night or any time of day. Don’t see how she’ll give up the phone at night. I’ve deleted a few numbers, but she is aware enough sometimes to find them again. How do I take the phone?

She was also lured into a scam, though I don’t know if she gave any money. This man (or men or whatever) kept writing to her on FB and they even spoke on the phone. This was just before she was diagnosed, but we knew something was off. do you handle social media in this situation.? She craves the interaction, but is not social in real life.

4. Doctor: is a geriatric doctor that beneficial for someone in her situation or is an internal med doctor ok? We’re having a hard time finding one who’s accepting new patients.

I actually cut out more questions and will save them for another day. Just tired. Thank you!

You can apply for Medicaid any time she qualifies and use it for other medical issues. For instance Medicaid pays for diapers (with an rx) but Medicare does not. MediCare doesn’t cover dental while some states do with Medicaid. It will be the same Medicaid you’ll use for a home.

At our house, my mom’s house, I repeat the litany: SAFETY FIRST!! Nothing gets in the way of safety. The used diapers fall into that category because it can make you sick.

My 93yo mom decides to cut back electricity, but safety first overrides her. I insist on well lighted paths around the house.

Your mom shouldn’t have her room too cluttered to walk in nor should she have any food in her room if she won’t even let you clean it up. Safety first.

My mom does not have dementia but she has given me the biz before and I tell her she’s going to get me arrested! If I don’t keep her safe, fed and clean I’m breaking the law of elder abuse and then who will take care of her? (She was refusing to get out of bed with soaking wet clothes and diapers.)

Face it, when she became needy your roles reversed and you now have to stand up to her. Especially in your own house.

To me that would include turning off the phone for the night since it’s become a problem, as well as blocking outside numbers not on her contacts list.

Rules, or conditions, need to be in place for people to be able to live together with some respect and harmony. Her behavior, in general, sounds like she doesn’t much care about disturbing anyone. I hear that Alzheimer’s behaviors are hard to control but I also hear people talk about boundaries. It won’t be easy but I think that’s what you need.

It’s not like she can find someplace else to live where she can run amok.

Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CharK60

Absolutely! She is ruining your home, and soon it will be your life/marriage.... You do what you have to do; let her cry, it can't be helped. She really needs to be somewhere else; if she doesn't have money, and can be put on Medicaid, a nursing home - most of which have memory care wings. You don't know she won't adjust and end up content there - many people have.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to mally1
Sarahk60 Jan 14, 2020
Thank you! I need to find someone to help with the Medicaid info. Just not sure she qualifies.
I don’t know if this could work for you but I think u have to do something like this: tell her u r the boss now. She was when u were little but now she is sick. Now u have to take care of her. U have to make the rules and she has to live by them. She can cry and carry on but your job is to protect her and u r gonna do the best job u can.

I have found doctors of all kinds useless. All they want to do is give another pill; pills can be causing the problems in a fragile brain. I have turned my mom vegan (don’t tell her) and sooo many of her issues have disappeared.

good luck Sarah!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Deb2018
Sarahk60 Jan 14, 2020
Thanks! I’ve been pretty firm and direct with her. Safe and sanitary is the rule. I then hear how horrible I am and how it’s the end of her life. However, she eventually quiets down, but the huge blowup is draining and I swear is taking years off of my life.
You know, if it's your house, it's your rules. She sounds like she's in that awkward stage where she's not quite ready for memory care but she's unbearable. It would be helpful to get an attorney (or from a free site if she's poor) to draw up a durable power of attorney, will, and advance directive for her. Mthr was much more responsive to my husband telling her to do these things - part of the generation, even tho she was a feminist!

Next, subsidized senior housing for mom in your area. Find it, get her on the list. "Mom, hubby and I found out that we cannot have you living in our house. We think we can get away with having you until (date) but you might need to leave sooner. We'll help you move, but we have to do this quick before there's trouble. There's these apartments here, and there's this independent living place here, and there's a place that's **licensed** for a lot of people called a group home here. Let's get one picked out for you." Yes, be a pushy brat as she will call you, and blame *regulations* - it's regulations you and your husband made that she cannot live there.

You may be puzzled why I'm not trying to change your mom's behavior. You can't change her behavior! You can only change your response. You cannot live in an unsanitary home with used depends or where vermin will be attracted. Your mom is choosing to not play by the rules, and that means she gets the natural consequences.

A GP is fine, but he'll try to guilt you into keeping mom at your house and has no idea how you are suffering. If mom doesn't want to go, I say fine. It will be easiest to get her into memory care when she fails sooner rather than later.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to surprise
Sarahk60 Jan 14, 2020
Thank you! I know that I’m the one who has to change. I have PoA and the advance directive all taken care of.

there is no way she’ll go in a home right now. It’s just too soon.
Question...can I apply for Medicaid now, but not take advantage of it until it’s time for her to move into a home?

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter