My Mother is showing clear signs of Dementia. Not only observed by me but other family members. She has not really gone to the Dr. in over 20 years. Her reasoning is that neither her Mother nor her Grandmother ever went and they lived long healthy lives. She takes no medications and is basically in overall good health. It wasn't until recently when her dizzy spells began that she agreed to go. The Dr. said she needed to be seen by a Neurogoligist, that "recently" was now 1 year ago and she has refused to go and still suffers from dizzy spells. She shares no health issues with me. Tries to protect me from these things. I am 54. Everything is always "fine". Today I went to her Dr to share what I have noticed most recently, low an behold my Mom had just been there to see the Dr. The Dr informed me that it was simply a follow-up appointment that should have taken place 2 months ago but Mom fails to make and has to re-schedule all the time. Dr. took time to listen to me and allow me to speak out all of my concerns. Then says that since the first time she saw my Mother she knew she had this issue starting. She preceded to show me the authorization form that was issued to send Mom to the neurogolist a year ago and at the top in big red letters is said "URGENT!!!!" Mom never told me this, nor has said anything since. Dr said that when she saw Mom today she was even more scattered and confused than before and was shocked that Mom had not followed up on the requested treatment. Although I believe that my Mom senses that there is something happening to her, she is in great denial. At this point after my detail conversation with the Dr. I know that Im not imagining what I have watched progress over the past years. I know I must talk to Mom and help her see that she needs to be checked. It is not something we can let go any more. Its very hard. Mom is 75, yet so young in attitude and looks like shes maybe 45. She loves Lynard Skynard and can find the "glow" in life no matter what the circumstance. Except this one....she will not listen, hear or even discuss this and I haven't tried for quiet some time now. I have no choice now. Dr said she shouldn't even be driving.The time has come, I cant wait any longer. Please help me with my words to her. They must be the softest furriest kit gloves ever, yet have the strength to move a mountain. Thank you LG

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In many ways your mother sounds like mine, other than Lynard Skynard. Honestly when my father was ill and in the last years of his life he noticed that my mother was losing her memory, I didn't. He had a wonderful recollection of most everything until he died but Mom was losing her memory.

Mom was always very healthy with a great immune system. After Dad's death our focus turned to her and we took her to USC to see a Neurologist who ran some tests and assured us that she had Dementia. He made an appointment for her to have cognitive testing and as the day approached she wanted it cancelled. We treated her with kid gloves and went along with her wishes and now hate ourselves for not making her go. It could have given us a baseline as to where she was back then. We now have NO Neurologist and just the mention of one sends her into a tantrum.

I have to ask you if you have a Trust or Will? Have you obtained or any other sibling obtained Durable Power of Attorney from her? This is something you absolutely MUST do before she declines mentally and is then legally unable to give it to anyone. You need this to make Healthcare decisions for her, because if she does have Dementia or Alzheimer's you are going to need her Power of Attorney.

I approached my Mom when I found out that she was giving money away to everyone that called on the phone, and one day I had left for a few minutes to return home to a young man on her doorstep and she had signed a form allowing his organization to deduct money from her checking account every month. That is when I realized I had to take immediate action.

You must not say Dementia or Alzheimer's but may say Mom I need you to sign over your Power of Attorney to me, just in case something happens to you down the road and you cannot make some decisions and you need some help, I will be legally able to step in and help you. If you don't sign one now, Mom, and you get ill none of us will be able to help you. **Never tell her it is for use NOW because if you do she will balk at the request....It is always in the future or down the road.

The bad part of all of this is that as part of this disease, she is going to fight you and continue to insist that she is okay. You are not an idiot, you can clearly see she is not okay, but she will swear on her life that she is. My own mother was just admitted to the hospital for Arrhythmia of 180 beats per minute which was not allowing her heart to beat properly or send blood through her heart to her vital organs/body. She fought us calling 911 and was storming around the house screaming at us that she was FINE, she just had heartburn!

This disease is a liar, it allows them to believe and fight everyone else, screaming that they are okay, fine, never been better, but they are drowning and each day they are getting worse. I have to say that I can understand why they would not want to believe they are losing control of their brains, their life, and losing all memories that make us all who we are. No one wants to live this way and they are in the ultimate denial and it really never gets better at least not with my Mom it has only become worse.

At some point in her care, after you have obtained her POA you will have to take the kid gloves off and flat out begin to insist that she receive care. You need to get all siblings and relatives on your side for this. I let my Mom lead me around by the nose and I was just "pussy footin around" for a long time letting her have her way, but a time will come when you will have to stand up against her and tell her that no matter how much she screams, she IS GOING TO THE DOCTOR AND RECEIVING CARE. You just get to the point where you cannot let them continue to lead, they have lost the ability to do this, their judgement is impaired and although they may not like it, you have now become the grown up and you must make sure they are well cared for.

Your Mom may be of the belief that she has a type of "mind over matter" control of her body to heal herself, or she just figures that if she sticks her head in the sand it will go away or it is plain old denial, but you have to find the right way to get around her and get treatment for the dizzy spells and dementia/Alzheimer's. Be aware that they slip in and out of "reality" and may agree to something now and tomorrow not remember that conversation at all.

It is imperative that you or a sibling obtain her POA immediately to have control of her Health and Financial issues. Failure to do so will result in a long and costly battle to obtain guardianship. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THIS WAY AT ALL, SO WORK YOUR MAGIC NOW TO OBTAIN HER POA WHICH NEEDS TO BE DONE THROUGH AN ATTORNEY.
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I am not too good with the soft and furry approach, so not much help there from me. Certainly you can gently point out that you are aware of her dizzy spells and are concerned that they might happen while she is driving. Would she rather go to the doctor to find out what is causing the dizzy spells or ignore it and possibly endanger herself or others while driving? Nobody has a crystal ball, and can she honestly say she does not worry about that herself? Try to work the conversation so it becomes her decision to see the doctor (neurologist). I would suggest that you ask the primary doctor to speak to the neurologist about the driving concerns, and have him send her his report, including his opinion on the driving issue. After she (the primary care doctor) receives neurologist's report, she will then have his opinion as a back up. There may be several neurological tests on your Mom. Perhaps he can write a script stating the need for a new driver evaluation test
to prove if her symptoms are affecting her driving. Once the MVC fails her, the license is revoked. You should probably be prepared to reassure your Mom that you or other family members or neighbors will be available to drive her wherever she needs to go, and then try to arrange who will do what with her. Another option is to disable her car so that it won't start when she attempts to drive, as she probably will. Then you can call the towing service to take it to the service station, where it will be several weeks to figure out what is wrong with it, and then they have to wait another couple of weeks for a special part, etc - all stalling tactics. In the meantime, she will be getting used to having rides from family and friends. and may forget about the car before too long. There is no easy way to handle this, unfortunately. Good luck!
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Avoid the D word. Ismiami is correct. The only reason she would want to go is if she could get medication to make her feel better. Don't tell her anything different. The reason for her to go is so that she can continue to live safely by herself, as she prefers.

Trying to think of leverage you could use. To stop you from worrying? Nope. So the two of you can have a nice lunch somewhere special near the doctor's office? I bet she's a clever one, not easily fooled. Good luck.
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First of all I love the fact that your mum loves Lynard Skynard...that's hilarious!
As for your mum's dementia, I'm not sure how it works in the U.S.A. (if that's where you are?) but I am in Canada and last year my mum was given an oral test by an occupational therapist and it was that therapist that concluded that my mum needed to have a live-in-caregiver (which is me). My mum got many answers wrong on the test, didn't know what year, month or day it was and there were many other questions she got wrong. Also she was double dosing on her meds at home. So I'm wondering.. is there any way you could have her see an occupational therapist to be tested? Have you ever asked your mum questions such as what year is it? what month? etc. Could you tell her that her memory has to be tested in order for her to keep her drivers license?
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Avoid the D word it is scary. Testing is for the dizzy spells, emphasize the great meds thy are available to deal with all sorts of things. Stay vague.
Above all pray for patience and strength so to you can persist, this will not be easy.
I will pray or you and yours as well.
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