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The ONLY thing she will participate in is shopping. Shopping of any kind. She wants to go everyday, all day. We work and cannot accommodate that kind of demand. And of course with the memory problems she wants to go to the same store over and over and over. It is truly a fight to get her to do anything. And I can't stress enough that I am not exaggerating. She is not combative but mean and very stubborn. We have set a schedule and stick to it, so Wednesday's are shopping days. Diversion and all other tactics usually don't work. We are grateful when they do. I guess my bottom line question is...should we just let her sit and do nothing for the other 6 days in the week?

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I think you are doing remarkably well, Macandle! If she is going to a day program five days a week and shopping one day, she is probably getting as much stimulation as she can handle.

She is on medications her doctor deems appropriate. It can be very hit-and-miss to find the right antidepressant. Talk to her doctor about her current behaviors. Perhaps an adjustment to the medications would be helpful. Or perhaps you need to adjust your expectations of what a person with her diagnosis can be expected to do.

If Mom is paying you for room, board, and/or caregiving (and she should be if she can afford it) there should be a contract in place spelling out what you provide and what she pays. Otherwise, the money she gives you might be counted as "gifts" and incur a penalty if she ever needs to apply for Medicaid (for example, if she eventually needs to be in a care center).

You are really doing great as caregivers!
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My mother has dementia & yes she seems disinterested in doing anything unless it's a trip. She won't do puzzles, play cards or color. We sit & look through photo albums but she's rushing through it. She reads the newspaper, watches tv & sleeps. She will also eat everything put in front of her. She'll mindlessly eat crackers, nuts, fruit til it's gone & then ask for her next meal! I think she's bored & doesn't remember eating.
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Xinabess...you are absolutely correct. In comparison to what your mom does, our's does get around. It is a constant fight and struggle though. Thanks for your time and response.
JessieBelle...that's one thing we don't have to worry about (meaning diabetes). We have had to childproof one of the cabinets and keep the "extra" snacks locked up and we too ration. Even with all she is bingeing on she has actually lost weight only because when she was alone she ate nothing but sugar or sugar based items and since living with us we have taken that away so she's actually loosing. I am concerned though that it will catch up to her. I just wasn't sure if bingeing was part of the dementia or if this is a baseline personality trait. I do appreciate all the responses I have received. Thank you both again.
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Macandle, It sounds like your mother does get around, though, if she goes to Adult Daycare for 5 hours 4 times a week plus going shopping! My mom lies in bed almost all day and does nothing except "cogitate," as she says.
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Macandle, my mother has also gotten to be a binge eater. It is a huge concern to me, because she is diabetic. I get caught between letting her have some pleasure through munching cracker snacks and worrying about her sugar. What I have begun doing is only putting out as much as she should eat in a day. That way she doesn't feel deprived, but doesn't have her sugar go up to dangerous levels. The only problem is that when she runs out of something, she tells me I need to go buy some more. She doesn't realize that I'm rationing.

It's hard to do. If I give her a small can of pecans, she'll eat the whole can instead of taking a few. I have to keep chips out of her sight. She'll munch the larger part of the bag of tortilla chips. In my mother's case, I think her eating has gone back to how it was before she was diagnosed with diabetes. She was a binger and gained to over 250 lbs. I don't worry so much about weight gain now, just the blood sugar, if she keeps eating the same way.

My mother also likes the cheese sticks. I like that, because at least she is getting some calcium.
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I want to thank everyone for their responses. I do feel better on how we have set things up around here. She is a wanderer so we pretty much live in lock down. This seem to agitate her, but it is for her own safety. We do take her to an Adult Day Care set-up 4 days a week for 5 hours each day. Then Wednesday's are shower/shopping day. If she showers we will take her shopping and out to lunch. We do limit the amount of time for shopping to the same 5 hours because of her fatigue levels. If she refuses to shower, she doesn't get to go. She has gone an entire month without showering thus no shopping. We can pull parts of each of your answers and they certainly apply so we feel validated in the choices we are making. She has been diagnosed with Moderate Dementia with Severe Depression. She has been placed on the medications the Dr feels is appropriate. Her money does pay for all her care. I was unsure what the one reference meant to Medicaid about the tracking of expenses. Does that mean ALL expenses (like Depends, Adult Day Care etc)? We do limit the sweets that are in the house too because she would eat nothing but sugar if we let her. We found, or at least it seems, that she has the inability to actually stop eating snacks. For example, if we have a box of crackers in the cupboard and she can get to them, she will start snacking on them and will not stop until the box is gone, no matter how large or small the box is. This behavior is kind of confusing to us also. I haven't been able to find any explanation for this. Thank you again, to all that answered. We have only been doing this since December 2016 so are quite new to all of this.
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Stick to your guns about shopping only on Wednesdays. Is the shopping an all day thing or just for a set amount of hours? Does she have some cognitive decline or Alzheimer's or dementia? If it's some cognitive impairment, let her know that it is up to her to find her own amusement when she can't go out and shop, then walk away from her.
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While it is true, Macandle, you can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do, there are options. There are adult day programs that may help if you can get her there. You can hire someone to take her shopping everyday if she wants. If shopping is the only way to get her moving, I would definitely start there. Keeping her moving is so important. I cared for a woman that only wanted to attend activities with her church, so we started there.
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Macandle, I have a very inactive mother. I could nag all day and try to get her involved, but that would be miserable for both of us. So I just let her sit. Really, looking back, she has never been very active. She has always loved to sit and watch TV. So I let her do what she wants and try to keep life going around her. The truth is that, although we can help them, we can't live their lives for them.

Chances are that our parents end up where they are because of choices they've made during their lives. For example, my mother and father were hermits and stayed in their home of 70 years, while everyone else moved. So they ended up alone in a community of strangers. My mother still refuses to leave her home. There are a couple of people who want to visit, but she pushes them away. This is not my fault and it is a problem I cannot solve for her. She prefers watching TV reruns. As odd as it seems, I think the characters are her friends. Sometime she tells me what John-Boy is going through and what he's about to do... like he's real.

We can do the things that are possible, but we do have to limit things so that our own lives are not ruined by trying to be their entertainment committee. It doesn't work, anyway. If you're like me, I just end up feeling like a nag.
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Macandle, I don't see that you have any choice. You can't "make" someone do something. by all means talk to her Dr and see if he/she thinks there are any medications that might help. This is a common problem with dementia patients. they seem to loose the will to do anything. So for your own piece of mind choose your battles carefully as you are never going to win the war.
Keep her mobile if possible, clean and eating a healthy diet. If she eats a lot of things like ice cream and cake limit the amount you have in the house
The obsession with shopping will probably pass and she will go on to something more annoying but be thankful she will at least do this one thing. Just make sure she doesn't squander money that is needed for other things. I assume she is living in your home so she should at least be contributing to household expenses even if you can afford not to ask.
Remember that the expenses of her care will increase dramatically as her condition deteriorates. As long as you keep good records of what she has contributed towards her living expenses that will satisfy Medicaid if she needs that for Memory care later on. If you don't actually need the money now you can regard it as money that can be spent on luxuries for her later if she is in memory care.
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