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On several occasions her mother has turned on the electric range and started small fires when my friend was home. Her mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

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Vstefans: You're right. Get the friend on here.
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Arianne's friend may not know what to do - I know when it started to happen with my husband's folks we did not know! Again, get her on here, give her the numbers for Area Agency on Aging, let her know that it is hard bu she may have to make decisions that will keep her mom safe even if mom does not agree.
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arianne: You are going to have to be blunt with the friend ESPECIALLY since there have been fires started! The friend should already know what to do.
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Arianne - here's a thought - maybe wait and see if admin removes the ugly post from meoldmanj and then get her to join this site. Or print it out for her. Do what you can, true you can't "make" your friend do what needs done, but realize that your friendship would not be worth a life of a fellow human being and if you have knowledge that the conditions in the home become an imminent threat, you could call Adult Protective about it, though you are probably not a mandated reporter.
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"We can't force the issue when it's not our situation," sounds right to me.
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Now, to address Arianne's problem. I have a friend with this same situation. Up until recently she was working full time and her grown son was home occasionally with grandma. But mostly her mother, (85, diabetic, very poor eyesight and beginning dementia) would be left alone for many hours a day. My friend has reported upon arriving home that the stove was on and other times the water was running from the faucet. My friend is an intelligent gal and she's the one telling ME about these incidents. I have opened my big mouth and said that this could turn into a very bad situation and my friend acknowledges that, but then does nothing. She has not checked out all the resources I have given her (A Place for Mom, social workers, public library for a copy of the Seniors Resources booklet, VA for benefits, etc.......nothing. OK, THAT tells me something. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink! For some unknown reason, my friend is not acting on this. I remind her about it once a month to start checking around for her mom, but her answer is always, "oh, I'm going to." I need to STOP here. I have done all I can. This is not MY responsibility. My friend is now home on disability so maybe she'll have the "time" to check into things now. At least she'll be there (maybe) as the house catches on fire or floods. We can't force the issue when it's not our situation.
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meoldmanj, Your ignorance is showing!!! I don't appreciate your vulgar and sarcastic words and have reported your post. Please learn that dementia suffers can't help their condition and aren't "mental". They are afflicted with a disease that eats their brain cells and robs them of thinking normally and rationally. Another way you COULD have posted is; Hey friend, if you leave your mother in the house alone, something bad might happen. She doesn't have the capacity to realize what she's doing and it might hurt her and/or your property. Enough said.
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Arianne, this is happeing with a family I know. My friend J took care of her mother before she died. Jan and husband are retired with health problems of their own. Husbands sister has never left home, still works at age 68. Her Mom owns the house and is living there. (Js MIL) Mom/MIL has been diagnoised with Dementia. SIL has been told that Mom will need supervision sooner or later. Even with no Dementia the elderly can forget to drink and eat. The brain no longer sends the signals. Worsebwith Dementia. MIL could be in the hospital for dyhydration. That makes Dementia worse. SIL refuses to retire and brother has been asked to back off. What I'm trying to say, is your friend is in denial. And because of that ay not listen until too late.
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KellyJ, I am so glad someone has taken a stance like this with their parent. But...she may forget what you have said at sometime. It works so long with my Mom then she forgets. I do not like being the"boss". The mean one but being sugar sweet does not work. I talk to Mom likee I did to my girls. I have her look at meand sternly tell her what she needs to do or not do. I have not threatened her with a nursing home but that doesn't mean it won't come. I don't think any one wants to threaten but they no longer can reason. My Mom has been refusing to shower at the Daycare. New aide. Told the staff that I understand they can't by law force her but....I'm paying for it because I physically can't do it. I tell them don't ask tell her. I have told her for me she needs to shower when they tell her to.
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I'm going to mention something that hasn't been mentioned before.....your friend KNOWS her Mom doesn't need to be alone. But she's scared. She's scared of what to do, how this is going to affect her, how Mom will react, etc. You would have to be a moron these days not to know a little something about Alzheimers/dementia. So, she knows. I'll give you an example. My Mom never drove so totally relied on my Dad. After Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers and as his disease progressed she refused to think that he couldn't drive, because, you see, if he couldn't drive what would she do??? Not selfish....just survival denial. One day he left to run an errand to a place he had literally been thousands of times--his old work place. I received a panicked call from Mom telling me he was missing. He had been gone half a day and she was worried sick. She had called his old work place and he had been gone over 2 hours. I was jumping in my car to go try to find him when she called and said he had just turned in the driveway. After that, she decided he could only drive when she was with him. Then one day I asked them to follow me to the mechanic so I could leave my car. This was a place we had been to many, many times. Mom said he would be fine and I’ll have to admit I thought as long as he was following me there wouldn’t be a problem. But, when I turned my blinker on to turn, he turned a block earlier than he was supposed to. And when he tried to correct it, he drove on the wrong way on the wrong side of the highway. Scared the you-know-what out of me. When we got home I told Mom what happened and that he shouldn’t drive at all, even with her in car. Still, she couldn’t hear it. I don’t know what happened to change her mind because she never said, but it wasn’t long until she began asking me to do the driving for them. I share this just to say this is a very hard and scary place to be for your friend. As you tell her that her Mom needs help know that she may not want to hear it. And, as her friend, as time goes by all you can do is gently encourage her to do the right thing. She’ll hear it when she can. Sad to say but true.
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Just say hey friendo. If you leave your mum alone in house there's a very good chance you'll end up coming back with her head stuck in oven pal.
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Thank you. Sounds right to me.
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Arianne777, I will also add that a person with dementia cannot be relied upon to tell you if they are using the stove or not. They may promise that they won't do it, but they forget and do it anyway. They forget what they said, promised or did, so their verbal commitment cannot be relied upon. They brain renders them incapable of keeping promises or accurately reporting what they do.
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Thank you for your thorough response. I will follow through.
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Arianne, I'm going to assume that you are good friends with her or you would not be asking this question or for help from all of the great caregivers on this site. If she told you that her mom has started several fires or burned pots please follow the advice that has been given and tell your friend that her mother needs NOT to be able to use the stove/oven/microwave/electric pot or whatever as it is just to dangerous to everyone. My mom had Alz. and burned up at least 3 microwaves re-heating her coffee, she burnt at least as many pots on the stove when she decided to try and cook! My dad and I disconnected the fuse that ran to the stove and the microwave so everything looked normal they just wouldn't work. We also got rid of the electric teapot she had, hid the mixer and any other electric item that she could hurt herself or others with. You just need to be honest with your friend, if you like use my mom as an example. My mom stayed home with my dad and I throughout her 'battle' with Alz. She died here at home. But just like with an infant we had to secure the house so she could not hurt herself or us by burning down the house or poisoning us with 'strange' ingredients in the food. This disease is so awful. We told her that she had spent enough of her life cooking and cleaning and that it was now time to rest. We would take care of all of this for her and we did. We took really good care of her and there came a point when she no longer was a danger as the Alz. had robbed her of her ability to walk or talk or even recognize us. Your friend needs to keep her mom safe and you are a great friend for trying to help! Blessings to all of you! Lindaz.
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My 90 yr. old mom has lived with me for five years and today is my first day on this sight. Boy, what a relief to know that I am not alone. I share with all of you the frustration, loneliness, fear, pain and, yes, joy. There are times when you just have to laugh (like when I told mom it is time for her shower and she came into the kitchen buck naked) because if you don't, you really will fall apart. Before my mom moved in, she too was burning food in her stove. I warned her then that if it continued I would UNPLUG the stove. Then she came to live with me, and fortunately she was too confused to figure out how to turn my stove on. But one time she left a sauce pan out and when I asked her about it she replied "I had to cook the top ramen". Although she really didn't cook anything at all. But it frightened me so much I told her very passionately that I will not allow her to destroy my home and everything I've worked for or to injure my dog, who she adores, and I will move her into a nursing home faster then she can turn around if she ever even tries to use that stove. I was intense. I asked her if she understood because she just stares with eyes glazed over, and she did. She's never touched the stove since. Or so far. You may not have a loved one that you could trust even when they say "I'll never do it again" but I'm thankful that I do. She's used the microwave to heat soup or chile and that confirms it. I always have food that she can just grab and eat. That helps a lot. I'm also fortunate that my mom is very compliant and very very grateful.
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The thing is.........you don't want anyone getting hurt. That is the bottom line, and the friend will understand that. WILL THE MOM? Probably not. That is where the difficulties arise. We had spoken about this topic on another thread, and I chimed in saying: If the stove has electronic IGNITER, disconnect it = unplug it. It is under the cooktop.
Pam, I know that some of the things we try for our parents to do, they DO NOT WANT TO DO AND THEY FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL ABOUT IT.

Maybe it could be put like a "Guess what happened to Mrs. so-and-so in the news, bla bla the stove, bla bla unattended, bla, we don't want that to happen, so instead, how about using the MICROWAVE?"..........................
I just got done cutting mom's toenails and I am trembling..........she uh's and ouch's and ay ay ay, until I said: FIRMLY...............GRRR, almost meanly, I could feel it in my stomach: MOM, please I am not hurting you. The noises you make are scaring me, and I may poke you if you keep doing that.
S
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is bliss.............................................................................................
Well..........I ran to another room after I was done, hahahaha had to.
M88
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I'm aware of at least two elderly women living alone who should not be. They are both fiercely independent and have bullied their kids into letting them stay independent. Both have 5 adult children. Both are strong-minded women.
The children keep hoping their moms will give in.
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I'm glad you asked how and not if. But you said your friend was home so this is happening on her watch? Is she the one telling you about the fires? Could she remove the knobs until she is ready to cook or secure the kitchen in some other way? Put an alarm on the door?
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Is your friend not aware that there have been fires on the stove? That would seem to be a big alert that more care is needed.
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Thank you, jeannegibbs and Windyridge, for your helpful advice.
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Your friend needs to wake up and smell the coffee, or possibly the house burning down. This lady needs 24/7 supervision or facilty care. At least disconnect the d*mn stove.
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I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the "best way" to tell her. I assume as friends you have a language in common. How do you talk to her about other things?

You might start out more generally. "You know, persons with dementia reach a point where they cannot be safely left alone at all, not even for a half an hour. That is really such a big burden for the caregiver." If you have any personal experience along these lines insert it. If you can offer any specific help, insert the offer. "Would it help if I stayed with your mom two hours on Thursdays so you could run errands?" or "If you can make a detailed list, I'll do your grocery shopping when I do mine."

In certain levels of friendship it would work to say, "I'm really sorry to say this, but it seems to me your mother has reached the point of needing someone with her all the time." In other kinds of relationships a direct statement telling the friend what to do may not go over so well. Then more gentle hints might work best.

Be gentle. Be polite. Be sympathetic. If you possibly can, offer help.

Perhaps tell your friend about this website.

If you are asking whether you should tell your friend, yes, I think could be a kind gesture from a true friend.
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