Do I show my mother the doctor report outlining her mental condition? - AgingCare.com

Do I show my mother the doctor report outlining her mental condition?

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My mother lives with my husband and me. She has alzheimer's dementia, and is in a wheelchair. She's had a life-long habit of giving her money to my brother. Now I have control of her money, allowing her spending money. When I refuse to give my brother money out of her savings account, she gets angry, mean, and declares she wants to move out to an apartment. She is on the waiting list at the nursing home, but she says she's not going there, she wants to live alone. She clearly cannot live alone. When she leaves here she will go to the nursing home. We are in the process of getting papers filed for guardianship. In the meantime, do I show her the doctor reports stating she in incapable of living alone, or of making decisions? Do I just tell her the doctor said she can't live alone? She knows about the guardianship proceedings, but she doesn't understand them. She thinks a guardian will be another person at her beck & call - she will tell them how she wants her money spent & they will do it. She had extensive testing a year ago, and the neuro-psychologist went over the results with her. However, she doesn't believe she has dementia. The report had a minor error about her circumstances, so she uses that to mean none of the report is correct. I'm looking for some way for her to have peace with the decisions my husband & I make. We are not going to bow to her bullying. So, if she reads the report, which states in black & white she is not capable of making decisions for herself, will she back down & accept her circumstances, or am I in for a continual battle with her for the rest of her life? My brother knows we don't want him to ask her for money. He is too selfish to consider how it affects her & us. So talking to him won't do any good.

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Hi. Here's my experience. It won't do any good to tell her or try to prove her wrong. I've been there. I was with mom when her trusted long time dr told her she had mild dementia. He prescribed aricept and namenda. When she read the info packet on the new meds she freaked out and said she didn't have ALZ etc. and stopped the meds. She went to a neurology follow up and they confirmed but she just shut down. That was almost 2 yrs ago. Her dementia has progressed but she will not listen to the dr even when he has tried to help explain. She won't even see a dr anymore for fear of this diagnosis. My point is that she may be in denial and doesn't want to lose control. Fighting or arguing will get you no where. All I can advise is "change the conversation". She may want to give brother money. Maybe say, "ok mom, let's talk about how much you want to give Timmy". Hear her out. Then say, how about we compromise mom. You want to be sure you preserve your assets in your retirement, so how about we give Tim $100/mo for now and see how that goes?" See what she says or if she'll agree. You could consider increasing her allowance and then let her give him what she wants out of that.

I don't think she will accept anything you show her in black and white. The guardianship proceedings are likely to make matters worse emotionally between you as she will feel you are taking total control where she will have little to no input. And then you will place her in nh. This will be upsetting for her. I'm not sure about the legal ramifications but you can check with your attorney to make sure you will have both financial and medical guardianship. If she is relatively coherent and capable, the court could assign a separate guardian for her finances especially if mom says she wants brother to have some control. Not to scare you, just be aware that these legal proceedings can turn messy.
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Sadly, there comes a time when talk is pointless. Why get into arguments with your mother or brother when you know nothing will change? It just saps your strength, doesn't it?

If your mother starts to carry on about giving money to her son, maybe it would work to just tell her, "We can't do that anymore. The money is needed for your care." And then drop it. Keep it light. Smile. Nod. But subject closed.

Blessings and good luck.
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1. Put yourself in your Mom's position. Her diagnosis is a terrifying one, and neither she nor anyone else can fix it. Don't complicate her confusion with information she can't handle. In any case, it won't fix the problem with your brother. Know that (sadly) her denial will eventually fade as she loses mental capacity. There is no way around the difficult move to a care setting, but she will eventually get used to new circumstances. (I know, I've been visiting my dear wife in a skilled care center every day for two years, and have seen many people go through that sad transition).
2. Get someone else to intervene with your selfish, useless brother. An authority figure (lawyer, judge, pastor, priest, trusted friend) needs to bring him up short, face facts and help with her care rather than being a perpetual parasite.
Best wishes.
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I would not bother telling her or showing her, she has dementia and won't remember it and will not be able to process this information for future decisions she can't make. As financial POA, pay her bills for her, tell her you'll give the brother money and she will be fine, just don't pay him anything.
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I don't know if it comes in time with all forms of dementia, but my Dad, who knew, early on, that he had dementia, got on the meds and basically kept it to himself for several years, DID, when he started to need help with paying bills etc, get into a 'fighting and denial mode' after he signed over POA and their trust to me. It was difficult for a while dealing with him, but since then, as his dementia (and thus his memory ) has gotten worse, he's now in a place where he doesn't fight much of anything. Occasionally he asks why he is living where he is or why he cannot go home and I find the best, most acceptable answer that works for him is to say, " Doctor says you need to be here, while they get your meds straightened out and help you with your memory problem' Then, its 'OK....if the doctor thinks so. I know my memory is bad now...." and we just start talking about something else. He cannot remember a conversation for more than a little bit, so it gets forgotten and it will come up again, but the same answer makes him happy again since he doesn't remember the previous discussions anymore. And re: giving money to someone else, I would suggest you just say that you have paid all the bills and you are taking care of him too....whether or not you give him anything. My Mom is in early dementia now, and still at home. Her memory is still pretty good, but I am noticing that when she's angry and being a 'pistol' about something....ordering me what I should do to take care of it etc....if I just keep talking until we go on to something else....Mom is starting to forget about the thing she was fighting and arguing about. I think the 'practice' I've had with my Dad is making it easier for me to recognize, NOT comment and get into the issues Mom brings up...and just move into the diversions better with her. Which is good, as I am TIRED! Sometimes, I just say that did what she wanted me to....when I really did nothing about it, and don't worry about it anymore, because she is not remembering to come back to it over and over and over....or check on if I did or didn't. It's like she wants the control 'right now'...but as soon as I say I'll do whatever she thinks should be done....she's on to the next thing in her mind and never remembers to come back to the first thing. Much easier when you start getting to that point and can recognize that diversion works OK. When the same issue is brought up again, don't mistakenly think they are on it again because they are insistent and keeping track of things....because they aren't really....they just don't remember it's already been dealt with. And don't argue. Just say OK...I'll take care of it....and either do so if it's important or let it go and divert to another issue.
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I agree with sunflo2. I was in the same situation. My bro would constantly call my mom for$$. Until she was sick to her stomach receiving calls. I also refused until I was blue in the face. She went and did it on her own even after she agreed she would not. She cleaned out her account. After that I realized that can't happened again. I told her flat, when all your bills are paid then I will decide what$ should be sent. Clearly it was never enough. I made sure she did not have the statement in her home.(I started paperless banking. ) for my peace of mind. I never said no after that, I just said when I say so. I d get it done and it went on. For 6 years this bro has not contacted my mother, his mother. For whatever reasons, I am glad. She's in an NH now and aware of her environment.Always asks about her baby. It's sad. Compromising is a good thing. The medical report may not bring you satisfaction to show her. It's negative. Keep the positive in her life as much as possible. So you can sleep at night. I'm sure it's hard on you as well.
Take care of yourself.
Equinox
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Um. I don't know how well off your mother is. But if it has been her lifelong habit to indulge your brother, and if she has sufficient funds to continue to do that without placing her own financial security at risk, and if she still feels and expresses the wish to do so - regardless of anything your brother might say or do, or your own opinion of his behaviour - then you have no right to prevent her. You cannot countermand (or fail to act on) her wishes simply because you disagree with them. You can only do that if to enact them on her behalf would jeopardise her own interests. Be very careful on this point. Be especially careful precisely because it IS so incredibly frustrating.

But to return to your question: yes, you ought to show her all medical reports, allow her to read it for herself, don't interrupt her or challenge what she says, but offer any help she asks for to understand it and encourage her to ask questions. You will need to do this on innumerable occasions and it will get tedious and frustrating - but it's still worth the effort. Do not expect her to agree with it, or to like it, or to accept it. It would be wonderful if, given time and your endless patience, she came to trust your and your husband's decisions as being simply devoted to ensuring her ongoing welfare, comfort and happiness; but she's a long way from that, by the sound of it, so all you can do is make the best choices you can and meanwhile accept her unhappiness with her situation. Thwarting her wish to indulge her spoiled child is not a good start to helping her relax, by the way; so don't unless you have a genuine duty to do so. It is her money, always remember that. I'm sure you didn't mean how it sounded, but the phrase "allowing her spending money" made my antennae twitch. It's ALL her money. Your role is to protect her from theft, abuse, insane reckless spending and all the other potential adverse consequences of losing mental capacity; but once that's achieved you must do as she wishes.

What you seem to be longing for, understandably, is that you will somehow be able to make her at peace with what is a terrifying, imprisoning condition. No, almost certainly she will never "back down and accept her circumstances." Would you?
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Sure. Let her see her medical report since it is about her. I showed the EEG results to my husband and once he saw the "abnormal" findings he now admits he has a problem with his memory. If your mom is in the 80 yr. age range, she is going to have resolve like you have not seen before and therefore, yes, she probably will continue to deny she hasn't a problem until she really gets more memory loss. As the disease progresses, she will lose the ability to form sentences, and therefore the ability to talk. There is relief on its way, just be patient with her and know this is a horrible disease, one I wish no one had to endure. Give her a hug, when the time comes put her in the nursing home, and after she is there she will forget you eventually. That's the way of the disease.
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I don't know if showing your mom it would help. My mom is getting dementia from PD and she can look at a piece of paper with words on it and I dont' think she can make heads or tails out of it much of the time. Words and numbers swimming on a page is what I think it looks like to her so even if your mom did comprehend it -- for how long or how it will be interpreted. My mom tends to remember or dream what she wants to believe -- not reality. Your mom sounds stubborn like mine. Mine won't listen to the drs either. But in giving her some slack I don't think mom processs all of what the dr says or forgets what isn't pleasant to hear.
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My own mother is 79 and has had what all of the family but my dad has been willing to call 'some kind of mental disorder' all her life. I believe she is most definitely NPD and that has made her very mean when she feels like hurting someone. She has always done what everyone refers to her "Lucy" things - little hit and run in a parking lot, walked out of stores when kids were little wearing the outfits she tried on them, ended up somehow behind the register with the employee telling her 'you have to get out of there'. Some of these things have been humorous in the telling but others are darker, won't go into those now. Lately at my father's birthday part (80) she walked around and told everybody what she planned to do 'when Daddy dies' and thought it was funny. Caused a huge family fight with one brother and his wife getting thrown out. There has been drama all my life involving her. In the past few years, my Dad, who is the son of a loving Alcoholic (so his dirty habit was hidden out of 'loyalty' or so my grandmother thought), mentioned that he 'thinks she might have Alzheimers'. She is constantly asking things like 'have you ever taken a cruise' when she knows you just got back from one. Some of this, having seen her behavior all my life, seems to be that she is so totally self centered that with aging, she has just gotten worse. She MIGHT have Alzheimers, but there is no family history that I am aware of and most of her side of the family lived well into their 90's. My point here is that when I have said to my father, when he says that, is "take her to the doctor". He says he will, when she gets 'worse'. I tried to explain that to halt any progression this needs to happen sooner than later. But he knows she will flip out, probably refuse or forget to take her meds. He doesn't WANT her to have Alzheimers so going to the doctor would be confirming something she doesn't want to know! He mainly uses it as an excuse for her very bad, very mean, and sometimes erratic behavior. With both of their personalities, and with the enabling my siblings do with her (all her life no one has EVER set her straight) I am positive nothing will be done. I have had a real long journey trying to separate '__it from shinola' with her, because if you just met her you might think this is a change. To me, she is just doing more of what she has always done. And I am sure she would never stand for complying with treatment. She would be vindictive and hurtful while you are trying to help her. BTW, both my sisters are nurses and I am not. So, even though they are not doctors and do not even deal with Alzheimers patients, I am discounted because as nurses, obviously they know more than I do. I am a person who wants a direction and then wants to be proactive. Most of the rest of my family are enablers. My parents have money and that plays into it too. If you don't stroke them, they will threaten to 'write you out'. It has happened to me three times and none of them want that. I don't need their money and don't care so I have no ulterior motive and they cannot work me. I have reached the point of deciding that what will be will be. I know things are getting 'ugly'. But I personally don't believe there is any way to make a person with a history of NPD behavior all of a sudden accept that you have their best interest at heart or make them be nice and compliant. That is just who they are and it can go hand in hand WITH Alzheimers. If you are the primary caregivers, I guess you just have to accept your mom is not going to appreciate or like what you are doing or what she may need to do. But was with a child, her judgement is not that of a grown up, functioning adult and you have to do your best to keep her safe. Harden up a little, seek help and support if you need to and do what you have to do.
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