She recuperated quite well thanks to therapy and started speaking and walking and doing things by herself, then all of a sudden she began acting in a way that had us both confused as she seemed to live in her own little world, she didn't want to talk but kept on doing things by herself. She began to wear dark glasses and a hat all the time, day and night and would just rock from side to side for hours on end. As she had had a cerebral ischemia (stroke) a few years back she was under constant supervision and we were told that she was doing very well and to keep her on her medications. Whenever she goes to her medical check ups they say she is fine and she acted normal while at the doctor's, then when we got home she'd start acting up. Anyway, she has completely taken over our lives especially as my partner seems to obsess over her and even though a few days a week a lady comes in to help, he insists on doing everything himself, like bathe her and clean her after a bowel movement. I try and let her do things on her own as I feel it is better for her to keep that up as long as she can by herself, but lately, all she does is sit wherever she is and rocks from side to side or backward and forwards and she keeps her eyes closed and says yes to everything.She has some books which she draws in and if I ask her to read a word she does it perfectly well, but can't identify the object The only time she opens her eyes is when she is eating and I put her to look at books, but if I leave she closes them again and she will eat 24 hours a day if you allow it.As she can't speak, it is very hard to know what she wants, she just moans and groans and one has to guess what she wants.Just recently she has taken to getting out of bed at night and last night she took off her clothes and always has a terrified look on her face. This has all affected our relationship and I am becoming a nervous wreck with no time to myself as he doesn't want her to be on her own so he always sits her in the sitting room with me in an evening which is the only time I feel I get some time for myself or want to at least.We live in Mexico, (I am English and they are Mexicans) and there is no way she can be put in a home or rather her son would not allow it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I am from the city of Puebla, just S.W. of Mexico City.
Dear Miss,
You are dealing with a tremendous amount of stress, 1) Culturally speaking, what you feel and understand as normal care of the elderly IS NOT, I REPEAT, IS NOT WHAT THE MEXICAN culture goes by. In Mexico, putting someone in a home, (asilo para ancianos), is just about the worst thing you can do to a parent, grandparent, etc.
2) The medical care in México isn't what you and I would like. You must seek another opinion, ASAP.
When mom came to live here to the USA, she was being treated for Parkinsons disease... which she had, and has NOT!!!
I took her to MD here in California as soon as I could see something was awfully wrong with her.
I looked up all Mexican medicines on Google, showed the Psychiatrist the list, he took his pencil and said: This and this are the same thing.... this and this one do exactly the same thing. Uh oh... mom was hypermedicated, like a zombie, fell and hit her face so hard, she still had bruising on her face. FIVE YEARS AGO, mom wasn't how she's now, superior health, but forgetting to excess.
Doctor changed all, yes ALL meds, and she got much much better.
Being in Mexico City is very challenging. Must find a second opinion. Does she have access to the Hospital del Seguro Social?
Nothing to do with our American Social Security.
Ask your partner if she does.
Miss, I feel for you.
You are trapped in the middle of emotional and cultural challenges. Please take care of yourself!
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Here's a link for an article about how it might seem that a dementia patient is being manipulative, but they really aren't capable. I'd consider that information and not hold your partner's mom to a very high standard, considering her condition.

If her doctor says she has dementia and that the medications she is taking are necessary to prevent further seizures, I'm not sure what you can do. If your partner is determined to care for her, then it may be something that he will do for the rest of her life. It is a huge undertaking and it may become more difficult as she ages or her condition progresses. Have you explained to them how hard this is for you?

I have a family member who takes medication for seizures and this person often seems tired and groggy. They may also sleep a lot.

If your partner's mom looks frightened, then I would insist that the doctor consider this and if he didn't, I'd get a second opinion. Keeping her comfortable would be my priority.
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Thank you for your answers, her Dr. has been kept informed of all these changes and says she must have the medication otherwise she could have another seizure which as some of you say, she has done in the recent past. We live in Mexico, just on the outskirts of Mexico City and no, there has been no new faces in the house for a long time, once in a while her grandson comes for a visit but apart from that, no one. She was very religious and went to church, but now she doesn't seem to even remember that. The Dr. has said basically that the dementia will just keep getting worse and that is all we get, Sometimes I do feel she knows exactly what is going on and acts as if she doesn't to get attention,her strange behavior doesn't seem to be unconscious especially when we go to see the Dr. All very confusing and very hard to deal with day in and day out. I've told my partner that we have to find out more but he says she will bew fine as long as she gets her medicine, that may all be well and true but I am also worried about my health and seems like we can get no real answers.
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Report her behavior to her Dr. That she snaps out of it when faced with the Dr. makes me think her strange behavior isn't unconscious. Could she be soothing herself with this rocking back and forth? Could it be due to anxiety of some kind?
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While I could never tell you why this is happening, I can tell you that any major changes in function should be reported to her doctor. If someone goes from basically functioning, talking, interacting to the activities you describe (which would terrify me to be honest) a visit to the doctor and a re-evaluation is in order. Many things could be could be a bad mix of medications, a change in her level of dementia, additional strokes or a series of TIA strokes, or many many other things. This type of a change needs a doctor's diagnosis and treatments. It's possible it is something easily fixed...or at least explained.

Helpful Answer (1)

Well that is a very tough situation and i feel your pain. From my own experience with my mom a lot of what you are describing sounds like my mom when she was mega dosed on pain meds - closed eyes rocking etc. Of course she could "act" perfectly normal for a half hour doc appt. It took multiple falls and broken bones before the doc figured out she was overmedicated. Now that shes been cut down those behaviors have stopped, unfortunately the drugs seem to have masked her dementia...
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