Parent exhibits paranoia, weight loss, depression. Need guidance.

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Good day! My mother believes neighbors are somehow taking her condo and are coming in and stealing from her. She lives in the midwest; since I was home over holidays she has been to the doctor six times. She has lost 15 pounds and won't take meds for her thyroid and depression. She seems to be okay with hygiene and home cleaning. She has poor vision and cannot drive; she is essentially stuck at her home all day, which is in a neighborhood without sidewalks or parks or even public transit. My sibling who lives with her cannot cope and occasionally yells at her. She refuses to get assistance; she won't consider even senior day care much less assisted living. I sent FMLA papers to the doctor so I could go home and help move her but the doctor refused to fill out the paperwork. Another sibling is trying to get POA, but keeps dragging it out. I am not sure how I can help long-distance and am not sure what type of care my mom needs. The doctor just gave her a CAT scan but said he could find nothing. Could anyone offer suggestions or advice?

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I will add to taking your mum to a new doctor (s) that a family meeting with your sibs would be a good idea. You might want to consult with the local agency on aging and/or social services regarding developing a plan for your mum's care. Obviously with that degree of paranoia she is ill. It sounds like the sib living with mum, and the one dragging his/her feet on getting POA would benefit from advice from professionals with knowledge about senior issues. They seem to be in denial. If mum has dementia, it is important to know what kind, and that that all sibs become informed about it. You need to develop a team approach to her care if at all possible. The sib living with her needs support, and periodic help at least, at this time, so he/she can have some breaks. It is important to research local resources that may be useful now, and necessary in the future. Sometimes a person outside the family can present things like the need to take meds, or go to a senior program, better than family can. Untreated thyroid will lead to further deterioration, and cause depression in itself, quite apart from dementia.
I commend you for your concern and willingness to work at getting your mum the care she needs. Do let us know how it pans out. There is lots of information and support here. (((((((hugs)))))) and blessings Joan
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Berkeley, The best advice everyone has given is get her to a new doctor! And yes, have her checked for a UTI for sure! Mom got them all the time at the beginning of her dementia and it changed her personality so much that we had her placed in the psych ward for 2 weeks because we thought she was addicted to her Zanax. Turns out the main culprit was a severe UTI, but also dementia.
Find a doctor that will refer your mom to a neurologist, but also she needs a serious workup for her diabetes! Good luck!
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BerkeleyCA, so sorry to hear about the loss your Mom. It is sad to see them deteriorate like this but even sadder to lose them. Know that they are in a better place, at peace and full of eternal joy.
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BerkeleyCA, Your mom sounds like mine did about a year ago. She had progressive dementia, I say had because I lost my mom January. Mom fell and had to move in with me in July and it went downhill fast. Her dementia changed her so much. Please get your mom into another doctor and have a proper diagnoses. Have them check for a UTI first but she most likely has dementia. I hope you get some answers soon. God Bless
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I want to thank everyone for their answers. (Mom called today and thinks neighbors are going to move out her stuff.) I will work on getting her to a new doctor. I agree that she has not been properly diagnosed - whatever is going on. I just feel terrible that she is suffering. God bless everyone here and thanks you again for sharing your thoughts.
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My mother went through weight loss - down to 92 lbs, paranoia, memory issues, confusion, depression, anxiety, etc... my mother who just turned 74 had all of those symptoms plus aggressive behavior. Her regular gp who had seen her for over 25 years didn't see it coming (although he was deeply concerned about the weight loss), until one day i brought her in because she clearly had suffered a stroke (she didn't know what shampoo or a toothbrush was), then and only then did he say she had moderate dementia and needed 24/7 support. Further confirmation came after a neurologist did a brain mri and said she had a series of mini strokes and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He revoked her driver's license, put her on the medication known as Namenda and sent us on our way. Please take your parent to a doctor that you trust. Then if they instruct you to go to a Neurologist, do it. It is always better to know what is happening so you can handle it properly. Good luck.
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Yes, you need to get to another doctor. I know this sounds strange, but I have read and been told that something as common as a UTI can cause these sudden changes! An easy urine analysis can confirm or rule this out. Before you try to get help you need to know what's wrong. Contact the local area agency on aging on some similar elder care organization in the area. They may be able to help you find a doctor and eventually the help you need. Good luck and God bless.
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Wow, the same paranoia has hit my father in just the past 2 weeks. He thinks the neighbor took their house and they are now renting from him. He thinks people are coming in the house. My parents live together and right down the street from me. They are alcoholics and I think it has taken it's toll. After a few years of trying to get them to change, things have hit the skids and I believe some form of dementia has set in. He refuses to go to the doctor. He just says he is pretty much "done". We did end up in the ER three weeks ago - they gave him a CAT scan too, and things were fine. Somehow the blood work was good too. I think they will be unable to live independently soon, as my mom is an alcoholic too and is minimally able to hold it together. I have no advice for you, as I am just beginning to navigate this deal myself. I will follow this thread and see what is posted. Good luck. I take it day-by-day, check in with them every day, try to keep my chin up, and try to keep myself strong and ready for the next emergency.
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I agree, new doctor, especially one who specializes in geriatrics and will refer you to a neurologist who specializes in dementia and other cognitive/mental health problems in the elderly.
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sounds like her doctor is a quack, sorry but would take her to another doctor, sounds to me like she has dementia, which is what my mother has, there is no cure but there is medication that will help stall the disease, someone in the family either needs to get poa and mpoa or take it to court to get guardianship over her. in my case my mom before the diagnois of dementia had already made me poa and mpoa so I don't need to get guardianship as I already handle everything for her and she lives with me, will keep you in my prayers
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