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The Dr asked him if he wanted memory pills. He said no, I don’t have dementia. He keeps trying to argue this point with me. I read somewhere we aren’t supposed to convince them they have dementia but goal is to keep them safe. Not sure how to convince him he needs memory pills. I did say it will probably help you to keep your independence as long as possible. He said I don’t care I don’t trust the doctor, so I’m not going back. He keeps trying to convince me that the girl down at DMV said he seems fine to her so the Dr. is the one that’s wrong. Anyone else feel like pulling out some hair? I need to ask my husband to sit down with me and convince him to sign a power of attorney. The rest of the family throws it upon me, but he either argues or walks away. I guess I can explain it’s in his best interest or the state will appoint a guardian and may not abide by his wishes?

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What the heck are "memory pills"???

Lots of people with dementia don't think they have it. It's everybody ELSE in the Memory Care that's "stupid" and "crazy", just ask my mother and she'll tell you all about it. Over and over again until you DO rip your hair out.

I work as a receptionist in a Memory Care community. 3 residents are allowed out to the front desk area, for some odd reason, unfortunately. One woman hounds me continuously......didn't anyone tell me that SHE doesn't have dementia and doesn't belong there? No.....only SHE has told me that, about 4 million times already. A doctor and his wife are also residents who are "leaving tomorrow" every single day, because they don't belong there either and are "checking out". So, can I please call them a cab for 9:30 am the next morning? Sure thing, no problem. I shake her hand every night and tell her it's been nice knowing her.

So yeah, it goes with the territory for dementia sufferers to not believe they have dementia.

And if there is such a thing as "memory pills" please do let me know what they're called because I know a lot of people who'd benefit greatly from them, including me, because then my hair would start growing back from where I've pulled it out!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Dear Martz06,
We can so relate to what your are going through.
My very independent and prideful 83yo Mom-in-law has been suffering with short term memory loss that is progressively and quickly getting worse. When it became apparent something wasn't right with her we followed up with her GP (who has been documenting her memory loss which we discovered at the appointment).
Bottom line is her brain does not work like it used to anymore, and what her brain believes is that she truly has nothing wrong with her, and she would not believe what her doctor was telling her. She also couldn't understand why her friends and family thought there was something wrong with her memory too. She refused seeing her doctor anymore and planned to change doctors and get a lawyer to get her car keys back (we had to take her wheels away to protect her). She would tell us her neighbor thinks she's fine and that meant to her everyone else was wrong.
We went through the frustration of trying to convince her of her memory issues and that we love her and want to keep her healthy and safe.
The solution for us?: Time and the adjustment in her routine (no more driving) seemed to be our only ally so far. She still lives alone and manages well enough, but is now being cared for by family and friends for her social and grocery needs. She seems to have gradually mellowed and has acknowledged her memory issues more and more.
But each day, hour or minute it can change. As I write this she just called to say she can't find her car keys, and in hearing why we have them, starts the resentment all over again. sigh. begin the hair pulling...
I wish there was an absolute solution regarding medicating and protecting our loved ones when they are half reasonable articulate intelligent adults and half not themselves anymore.
The waiting game is not an easy thing to do but perhaps a little more time and your parent will be more accepting and open to medication and POA. Mom refused signing a POA at first but is now willing. This little window of opportunity needs to be acted upon. This disease progresses and that window will shut without warning. Keep offering up suggestions that are going to be beneficial to him. Don't give up.
To say this disease is frustrating and devastating is an understatement.
Best wishes
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Reply to JenLake
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What exactly are "memory pills?" There are some medications that can *sometimes* alleviate some of the symptoms exhibited by those with dementia, but memory pills? There is no such thing that I am aware of.

It does appear that he has dementia, at least the early stages. Doctor appears to be aware of it. People like the DMV "girl" wouldn't know - she doesn't see him for more than a few minutes! Very often, esp in the early stages, people can pull up their socks and appear "normal" - it is referred to as show-timing. Generally this only lasts for a short while, but it can be long enough to fool those who don't spend much time with them, including their own doctors!

It isn't really a matter of being wrong trying to convince someone they have dementia, but rather that the dementia isn't going to accept it. Dementia meant, to our mother, that you were 'off your rocker', or in other words crazy. That isn't what it means, but there was no point trying to correct her, even before dementia. We have NEVER used the "D" word with her. When getting a new doctor (the planned move was too far from previous doc and pleading with them for about 9 months to have doc send the letter he promised was more than enough!) to examine and write up a letter, doc made the mistake of telling mom it wasn't safe for her to live alone - oh boy, she was already testy enough just being there and that set off the fireworks!!

You really can't reason with dementia. Arguing accomplishes nothing other than to upset one or both of you. Explaining the issue really doesn't help either. Our mother's mantra to everyone was that she was 'fine', 'independent' and could cook. In her mind, she was/could. But a box in the microwave isn't cooking. She WASN'T cooking anymore (she lived alone, so after we took the car away and I had to go take her grocery shopping I discovered she wasn't cooking - tons of chicken in freezer and shriveled up veggies in the fridge!) There was NO way to get her to understand what was going on or how it would impact her. She would also says sure, she forgot something, but that she's old and entitled to forget sometimes! Try ALL the time mom... Thought this but never said it. No point.

If he gets on a jag about something, it is recommended that you be agreeable (as much/safely as possible), assure him whatever will be taken care of and then try to redirect him, change his focus onto something else. It doesn't always work, and sometimes it takes time/different approaches to get it to work, but it is better to try this than to get frustrated.

Does he live alone or with you? If alone, that could become a problem sooner rather than later. It sounds like he is in the very early stages, so he may be okay for now, but you are wise to plan ahead and ask questions now. Was his license revoked? Car taken away? If he doesn't live with you/you with him, are you close enough to be able to monitor things? If he has his own place, could you install cameras, perhaps surreptitiously or telling him it is now required by the town, insurance, or something?

Getting him to sign financial and medical POA would be good, but as you know that can be difficult. From what you have described, it doesn't sound like having your husband there will change anything. His mind is set and as far as he is concerned, everything is fine. If you can get an attorney to discuss the topic with him (one on one, without you in the room), someone unrelated, he may see the sense in having this set up for FUTURE issues, not that he needs it now. Many people don't understand that signing these doesn't mean you are giving up authority NOW. He doesn't need to know it *may* be now. Also understand that having DPOA gives you power to make financial decisions if they can't, and to sign documents, as well as participate in medical care/decisions, but does NOT allow you to force him to do anything he doesn't want to do, like move to a safe place or take medicine.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Even with DPOA you can’t force your dad to take memory pills. He doesn’t want them and obtaining POA won’t give you control over him.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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You need to be his agent before he gets any worse.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I am in a similar situation. I am a POA for someone for about l5 years and have known him for more than half of my life. I have always looked out for him and have the highest respect and commendations from many professionals who know what I do/have done, etc. All of a sudden, he is doing things behind my back that are having a major impact on my life and future (can't go into details). It would be o.k. if these sneaky actions were based on fact but they are as a result of his mental issues. I have done everything in my power to get him back on track based on professional advice but he is digging in his heels and making things impossible. I don't want to do this but I am seriously thinking of severing all ties forever and let him lie in the bed he has made. Enough is enough - I am honest, ethical, loyal and trustworthy - but his deeds are off the walls. Sometimes one has to walk away forever and I am seriously thinking of doing that in the near future. You may have to consider doing the same - if they don't cooperate and won't do the right thing and you can't get things fixed, then move on and leave them behind and never feel guilty. You have no reason to feel guilt.
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Reply to Riley2166
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disgustedtoo Oct 19, 2019
FINALLY you are getting a taste of someone with cognitive issues!

In other posts you have made, it is clear that you have not dealt with dementia before and even though you are starting down that path now, you are CLUELESS as to what it means. Agreeing to be POA for someone is kind of like taking wedding vows - in sickness or health... YOU want to ditch this wonderful person because they are exhibiting behavior that is NORMAL for those with cognitive issues? Just like you recommend others to do. You can't understand it, PITCH IT OUT! You are really a piece of work. His deeds are "off the wall" because his brain no longer functions properly. This is why you read so many stories on this forum about all the odd things people are doing. They are NOT doing it to be bad or irk you, it is a dysfunction of the brain and THEY CAN'T HELP IT, no matter how you try to force them to comply (which is one of your suggested "methods" - if that doesn't work, you say, kick them to the curb.)

Go away from this forum for a while and EDUCATE yourself about all forms of dementia. If you can't hack what this entails, don't accept POA for anyone else. We have no crystal balls to know who or when cognitive issues might rear their ugly heads - no one needs you in their camp if you're going to throw them to the wolves!

In this case, I WOULD suggest you resign your POA and leave this person's care to someone else, otherwise you might take your own ridiculous, ill-advised advice and end up tying him to a tree out in the woods somewhere.
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It may help to let him know that if he should have a sudden heart attack or stroke that you will be able to help him make as long as you have POA.
Explain that you can help with paying bills, etc., because you want to be helpful whenever needed.
i knew I could not tell my mother she had dementia, because to her everyone else was wrong, but not her.
Without my mother present, I told her Dr. all the odd things she said and did so he knew she was having trouble connecting the dots, like she would get angry whenever she was frustrated and accuse the bank or me of taking her money, etc., etc. Patients put on their best show when they visit the Dr., so the Dr. can’t see the struggles a dementia patient is having during a short visit
The Dr. then put her on an Antidepressant/Anti agitation pill. Or “Happy pill” as he called it. I let him know if I saw improvement and once she was on the right dosage, she was at last agreeable, appreciative and pleasant.
i am SO thankful that help was found for both her sanity and mine.
God bless you and guide you.
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Reply to ConnieMH71
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Make a lawyer's appointment for DPOA and say it is "in case" you can't take care of yourself and I need to. Leave "dementia" out of the conversation entirely.

When folks have dementia they get to a point that reminds me of toddlers and being stubborn. Saying "no" is a way of asserting independence. Dad needs to feel like he has choices, so give him appropriate choices- what to drink with meals, when to have a bath/shower. which shirt to wear... never about care he needs to have.
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Reply to Taarna
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Well as for getting him to sign the POA, I managed it by having the lawyer do the talking. At the time Mom was the one with the worse mental status. Told Dad, he need to protect his house and money since Mom would likely need a nursinghome soon, and that that would eat up his money, if he didn't qualify for Medicare. Told him that the lawyer woudl arrange things so that he would keep as much a possible. This elder law attorney came to the house, and talked to them both in very simple terms. Got them to update their will, and sign durable power of attorney AND medical power of attorney. I don't think I'd ever have talked them into it without that lawyer. And it was a darn good thing we got that done when we did, because Mom fell only a few weeks after it was done. And like so many dementia patients, she had a major, sudden mental decline with that hospital stay. So , I recommend you call a lawyer who specializes in these cases and ask for advice. It costs a lot, but totally worth it.
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Reply to DoingbestIcan
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martz, it sounds like you are just at the beginning of this ‘journey’ as they call it. Could be a great time to look through all the materials on the Alzheimers Association website then see what meetings there are in your area. It’s kind of normal to be resistant to what could be called psychiatric drugs. Is he on any other meds, and can you get him using a pill case that you help fill? I put a few vitamins in with mom’s Rx meds and now (many months later) I can add or remove anything and she doesn’t think about it. POA is only for financial stuff, and yes if he can acknowledge that you help with anything like paying bills or changing services he’s sending you out there without a leg to stand on unless you have POA. Underline again and again the POA means nothing so long as he’s competent. For medical I simply started (asking to) going to all her doctor, dentist, etc. appts. and one by one having them add my name as a contact/permission to cooperate on her stuff.

It sounds like you’re at a stage where you could say to him, no you don’t have dementia yet so let’s get some things in place. I agree about conveying regularly that it will be the state if not you. So do leverage the Alzheimer’s Association and local Agency on Aging for the various things you want to be looking at and talking to him about. I wouldn’t go in assuming he’s going to shoot you down, you just address one thing at a time. GOOD luck!
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Reply to Zdarov
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This is what is hard about the whole Dementia thing. They can no longer reason and I think its the first thing to go. My Mom took in my disabled nephew when he was 18. I ended up with all the responsibility. First, she believed him over me. This is someone who has a neurology problem with the maturity of a maybe a 14 yr old. Brought up in a very regulated enviroment. I could jot reason with her. I would take him to the doctor's then "try" to explain to her what was going on. I stopped doing that. Early signs of Dementia are very subtle.

Pills for Memory I think is still up in the air. They may help in the early stages but do nothing in the latter. Yes, you need POA but you can't reason with him. He is in denial. For your own sanity, you have to let him do what he wants. Will need to keep an eye on him and when u feel he can't do it on his own anymore, call Adult Protection Services. Tell them there is a vulnerable Senior who has not allowed you to be his POA. They can step in and evaluate the situation.

You may have to wait until he is in the hospital. Let him go to rehab and ask for an evaluation while he is there. If its found he can no longer be on his own, have him transferred then. Either to an AL, which would be private pay, or to LTC where he can get on Medicaid. If possible, I would not take his care on.
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Zdarov Oct 3, 2019
Great point, I only really got a leg up once Mom went to the hospital for a TIA. I had learned enough by then and knew what I wanted, I could leverage the event to do more financial stuff and send people to check on her which she would refuse before then.
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Can't argue with crazy.

I know that is not helpful, but I understand your frustration.

Of course your Dad is going to accept a comment from anyone that he seems fine, over a doctor who is telling him there is a problem.

About 7 years ago I went to my doctor scared silly as I was doing odd things, like forgetting I was cooking. Forgetting entire conversation, not just what I had said. I was in my late 40's but we had a family friend who had very early ALZ and I was so afraid, I was losing my marbles. I burst into tears as I recounted my symptoms to the doctor. He reassured me that it was likely something treatable. He said that the ones he worries about are the patients who are convinced they are ok and the family is certain they are not. It sounds like you Dad is in the second camp. As is my Dad. Oh and it turned out I had B12 anemia.

My Dad passed his driving medical earlier this year. His metric for determining if his driving is OK? If other drivers are honking their horn at him.

Has your Dad been seen by a neurologist?
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Reply to Tothill
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Keep in mind that there is little black and white with dementia or in most aspects of life for that matter. Just because you read "somewhere" that you aren't supposed to do XYZ does not make it true. Sometimes reorienting someone is necessary. Sometimes therapeutic fibbing is necessary. It's a balancing act and it's hard.

In my opinion, taking on the responsibility of caregiving for someone without having the authority i.e. durable power of attorney is a bad idea. If your father will not sign a POA there will likely come a point where he will be in a situation and unable to give consent and he will be at the mercy of strangers.

The rest of your family has already walked away from him. Just because they throw you the ball does not mean you have to catch it. You and your husband need to sit down together and discuss the reality of you becoming your father's POA. It is a hard job and I have watched my husband, who is POA (medical and financial) for his dad and was for his mother before she died, want to pull his hair out.

If you find it difficult to make hard decisions - often there are no easy decisions when it comes to Alzheimer's and stubborn parents - you may want to reconsider accepting the responsibilities that come with being POA.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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It is really tough. Even if he signs the POA, will he allow you to act on his behalf....really act? (Although, I realize that medication for conditions that cause dementia is controversial. Some people don't wish to take them. The results vary, I suppose.)

I'd consult with an attorney about the options. It seems like when people really need the help, they are are very resistant, won't listen to sound advice and end up doing things that are not in their best interest. Is he at least listening to you about financial matters?
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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I find it odd how many people are afraid of drugs are treatment for their medical situation. I suppose all of us question and to a certain extent that is normal.

I hope that you are able to resolve this problem soon. There are others who have experience with ALZ that can help you further. I just wanted to offer empathy and support. Hugs!
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