I am an only child and my mom has dementia what can I do? - AgingCare.com

I am an only child and my mom has dementia what can I do?

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She forgets money matters and daily activies such as getting gas ,paying for it and not pumping it then swearing they ripped her off. Forgeting bank accounts she has. talking to dead relatives. Wanting to help me finacially but always changing her mind. Theres more that I can not think of.

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Good advice is already given. I personally avoid guardianship, because it is expensive to get and comes with additional paperwork. Guardians are accountable to the courts. If things can be done by getting the POAs and adding a name to the bank accounts, it is so much easier. Guardianship is good if the person is incompetent to name a POA and if the court won't appoint one, or if the person is so combative that no one can do a thing with him/her. To me, guardianship is a last resort.
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First, if your mom has dementia SHE SHOULD NOT BE DRIVING, let alone pumping her own gas. Many of the helpful things she rejects might only impact herself, but driving puts innocent bystanders at risk. Whatever else you manage to do for her, get her off the road! (There are many posts on this forum about how to do that.)

Do you have durable power of attorney? Medical power of attorney? If she can still understand the concept of allowing someone else to act on her behalf those documents are relatively easy to obtain. Guardianship is not so easy.

When you have DPOA, then take over her money matters. Perhaps she would like you to pay bills with her, at least to part with.

Dementia is a progressive disease. Monitor her closely to keep track of how she is doing. Most people with dementia cannot live alone beyond the early stages. Start thinking ahead for how you will recognize that and what you will do.

Has she been diagnosed by a doctor who is now following her? While I think that many of us can recognize dementia as well as a doctor can, there are other cases not so clear-cut, and getting professional insight and support is worthwhile. Various scans and tests can be helpful, but ultimately observation of symptoms is a key factor.

In some ways, being an only child simplifies things. There is no one to fight with over whether in-home help or moving in with a child or going to assisted living is best for her. But there is no one to consult with, either. It is what it is.
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vin,

Are you her caregiver or are you about to become her caregiver?

There are a whole host of behaviors (obsessions, compulsions, hallucinations to name but a few) that can accompany dementia. It may not be safe for your mom to drive anymore.

You asked "What can I do?" Can you be more specific? What are the biggest issues you face with your mom right now?
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@ terrim,
i dont think guardianship is all that easy to obtain. as long as an elder can answer basic questions pertaining to time and spacial awareness the doc might determine that shes capable of making her own decisions. i could be wrong but ive been told that such a determination must be made by two docs and with all involved in front of a judge. i wouldnt want someone taking control of me just because i done stupid s**t. if that were the case id have been a ward of the county 30 yrs ago..
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If she has diagnosed dementia, apply to the court to be named her guardian. Move her in with you and look out for her.
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Cap'n!!! lol
Vin555moto- Capnhardass is right about the brain scans. If there is plaque on the brain that is a good indicator that Mom has Alzheimer's . But , I think I read on here, owith a lot of dementias do not get fully diagnosed or recognized until an autopsy is done.
The are some good meds for Alzheimer's now-you need to get your Mom to the doctor and see if she could be a candidate for one.
Do you live by her? With her? Is she alone? If she is alone you probably need to address that. She could be a danger to herself if she is alone. ( I am thinking of driving and stoves)
Is she under an extremes amount of stress by any chance? That can cause thinking issues. I would imagine that would explain our Capnhardass's answer above! ;0)
Basically I think you need to get your Mom to a neurologist sooner rather than later and go from there.

Good luck !
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dementia has to be diagnosed by ct scans of the brain and even then dx is difficult. hell i do all of the above on a daily basis except talking to dead relatives and thats just cause i dont like them. i block their emails too..
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