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Mom is 80+ and thinks all the food is poisoned and she is refusing to eat (much). She also thinks we are recording everything she says in the house, and she's scared to go to sleep. I don't know how to tell if she is "hearing voices"

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Okay, the doc finally came though with a name for the neuro-psychologist(?)

Meanman, it may be time for both of us to get lawyers. I spoke with one today and he comes recommended.

I have 2 or 3 things in mind. One is to take care of Mom. Two is to protect her from those who would pick her clean. Three, her money is there to take care of her! ...however long that needs to be, whether she's at the house or in a home.

Greed is not an option. I need money, I get Mom protected first and I go get a real job!

I welcome the input!
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When anyone of any age hears voices and demonstrates some of the behaviors you have mentioned, he or she needs to see doctors for a complete physical workup and a psychiatric workup. These two workups do not have to be done by the same group of doctors if you or your family do not trust one of the doctors. If the first answers do not make sense, keep seeking help. I feel so much sorrow for you and for your mother. She must be miserable and afraid. Would a dog that could be her "protector" be of any help? I know I am just reaching for straws but I wish I could help. Take care and stay in touch. Rebecca
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I guess my post was deleted so I'll try again. I followed what the psych center told me to do. My Dad had edema in his foot, They suspected poor circulation, possible DVT/Blood clot and said bring him to the ER for ultrasound. Then, on the side tell them my concern about his mental illness, exacerbated (sp?) by signs of dimentia. So I did. Well, a TONY award is what my father should have earned. "All I can think is my children want me found incapacitated to get my money..." They wheeled him away after he said he wanted to exercise his HIIPA privacy rights. So the mentally capable father came out from - get this - XRAY !!! and said "my knee is fine - nothing broken"...I told him and the doctors and the social worker HE'S HERE FOR A FLIPPIN ULTRASOUND ON HIS OTHER LEG - DVT...BLOOD CLOT - EDEMA - CAN'T YOU SEE HIS FOOT LOOKS LIKE A MUSHROOM FARM? WHY DID YOU DO AN XRAY ON THE KNEE? "Well he told us he thought he was here for his knee..."
Hank, my point is that it WILL blow up in your face. I followed their instructions to the letter...go to the ER, tell them on the side the symptoms, they'll run tests - "who's the president... what day is it? (he looked on his cell phone) - he really turned it on - they say they even ran ct scans and said - "well he's had a few small strokes, but we told him he's fine, he CAN live alone - we told him
" H E D O E S N ' T N E E D Y O U "
So Hank4422, the deck is stacked against you and your desire to get your mom help, at least per OUR experience. We returned my Dad to his apartment in one of the worst neighborhoods in the USA this weekend, and he was extatic to have his "clean bill of health" with his edemic foot and his xray'd knee. When he got home he checked his mail and the social worker from the hospital had already sent him information on meals on wheels, social clubs, and the phone# for the Dept. of Aging.

Hank, good luck. Hope this helps. It seems no matter what best intentions one has, the afflicted one will view it with paranoia, and the "professionals" will believe it, if they are allowed to be conned by the afflicted one. If it comes down to passing a quick test and having a quick conversation, and your loved one can hang on for a few hours during an interview, what you obseve regularly, they'll never even see, and you - like us - will look like the fool trying to take advantage of your loved one. In the case of my Dad, he's been practicing for 80+ years on how to mask his symptoms and behavior, can really fool em when he needs to, and has many years of experience on how to appear "normal" and victimized. He's a pro. I don't know how - short of recording him - and he believes he's always being recorded - to get across to these "professionals" what he's really like - talking to the TV, crying, talk of suicide, etc.
I wish you luck, let us know what works - how you were able hopefully - to have someone see through the facade, and get her - and you - the help you BOTH need.
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I've contacted both of Mom's doctors and they're not too excited about getting back with me. (I wonder if I should do an "end-run" around her docs and just take her to a psych-hospital myself???)

There's a LOT that can blow up in my face right now. If I keep playing my high cards and the doctors, paramedics and police keep blowing me off I'm gonna lose leverage.
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Hank, has your mom always been like this, or is her behavior something recent. The elderly get frequent bladder infections, and this can affect them mentally? Or her meds? Sometimes there are side effects/drug interactions to all their meds. Or has she had surgery recently? Anesthesia has been known to cause halucinations, even more than a year later.
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meanmancare@ I've seen the people out for mom's money (among other things), and they don't give a rat's backside that Mom is in mental torment and needs some kind of help!

I don't have to just take care of her, I have to fight off the wolves and vermin that would bleed her dry, too!
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HANK:

To me, Mother's Day should be every day. But it's so commercialized! ... There definitely were all kinds of people "fronting," particularly an African-American mother promising her children anything they wanted. (As if that was supposed to make up the poor critters had to do without for a whole year.)

One tall, beefy Puerto Rican woman couldn't care less it was her day and smacked the living daylights out of two 3 y/o boys who couldn't keep up with her as she ran to the Key Food in the corner. I stopped and stared at her, and she screamed "What the f__ you looking at?" ... All I said was "Happy Mother's Day."

Be proud of yourself Hank. You're one of the few that actually honor their mothers every 24 hours.

Wish you the best my friend, and stay in touch.

-- ED
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I took mine to the hospital as directed - for his edemic foot, where they told me they would do a complete psych workup. By the time we left the social worker and doctor said he's "fine" there's nothing wrong, and I'm just out for his money. How can they perform so well in front of the "professionals" and become completely crazed ONCE IN THE CAR HOME? Why can't the "pros" tell theyre being had? Are they that frkn incompetent?
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Yeah, I found myself envious of all the happy people out and about today, with healthy, sane elderly relatives and small kids running around without a care in the world.

Then I remember: many of them may just be putting up a good front, too!

Dad died of cancer. I'll take that any day of the week compared to this!
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HANK:

I've never shared this before, but I have a 52 y/o sister in Newark, NJ who thinks people are trying to poison her and listening 24/7 to everything she says. I taste her food before she eats it; and we whisper a la Goodfellas or speak in codes. Cellphones are tracking devices, so I leave mine at home. (I tend to agree with her on this.)

She has a dog that doesn't bark, tiptoes around the house when he isn't scurrying like a mouse, and freezes at any sudden sound or movement. Poor thing is a complete basket case resigned to a life of total helplessness and silently hoping death will take him away one of these days. I can see it in his eyes, and there isn't much I can do about it. I can't do much for my beloved sister either, except listen to her and play along for the 3-5 hours my visit lasts. ... Back at Newark's Penn Station, I space out; as if I've dropped my brain somewhere along the road. I sit on a bench lost in thought, watching NYC-bound trains pass by.

The voices she hears are still considered by her shrink and psychiatry in general as auditory hallucinations and symptoms of her schizophrenic disorders, manic depression and psychosis. Unfortunately, the so-called "tranquilizers" she's taking don't get rid of the voices that tell her to come to the window, make sure the stove is off and the toilet is flushed (every 5-10 minutes), and that Mexicans aren't hiding in her closet ... again.

I dread the 15th and the 30th of every month, but I love her so much I have to check up on her. So does her ex-husband. Her two sons -- and everyone else -- have fallen off the map. The time will come when she's taken away, as the people she once knew have become "enemies bent on her destruction" and she must prepare for battle.

Will I be one of them? No doubt. ... But until then I can't give up on her.
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Yes, the doctor. My mother is now on medication to control this. It took a while to get the dosage right, but she is so much more peaceful now. She even smiles now and then. Reassures me that we are doing the right thing. She was in torment before.
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Is this paranoia a new thing or is she a little high strung normally? I think I'd be taking mom to her doctor to see what's wrong either way.
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