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And when should she stop driving? My MIL has dementia and can no longer: manage her own medicine; remember appointments; remember that she has groceries in the house. She uses the newspaper to find out the day of the week. She lives alone with her dog. My SIL lives in California and we live about 20 minutes from my MIL. My FIL is in a nursing home.
She forgets to let the dog in on cold nights. She denies that she's sick when she's very ill. I've taken her to doctor appointments and she doesn't know why she's there.
Her cooking is reduced to frozen dinners, although she continually thinks she doesn't have food in the house. Her pantry is overflowing with the same things over and over: oatmeal, crackers, coffee....She doesn't seem to see it.
I'm concerned about her driving. I'm concerned that she's given up all her activities and sits in front of the TV all day. And I'm concerned that she doesn't really take her medicine every day.
Last week she went out, got a flat tire, and walked with the dog in the rain to a gas station. She has AAA and a cell phone but forgot about both of those. We were home and could have helped; no call. Thankfully the gas station manager helped her with a ride home.
We've installed security cameras to make sure she's safe. But it's as if every time we put a good system in place it falls short.
When do we seek help through in home care? When do we keep her from driving?
I work full time and so does my husband. He also travels 3 weeks per month. My SIL comes 4 times/year for 2-3 weeks. But it seems like we are on a slippery slope.

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No more driving starting NOW

In-home care starting as soon as you can possibly arrange it.

In-home care may be sufficient for a considerable time, especially if she can afford to keep increasing it. Or the dementia may progress rapidly and in-home solutions not be adequate for long.

Start considering now how you will deal with the situation when in-home help is not enough. Explore all the options. Explore financial options for paying for it. Be prepared.

But, no more driving starting immediately!
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Take the keys.
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I work as a homecare provider yes need to take car keys yes minimal homecare on checks with medicine keep dog for companion there are security system with your phone can check on her while at work can talk to her too ♡
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This story is very familiar. My cousin did many of these things when dementia hit her hard. I would act now. Don't wait. If you delay, you may see things go downhill quickly, such as calls by her or neighbors to 911. My cousin, even thought she had a kitchen full of food, would go to her neighbors and tell them she had no food and ask them to give her some. She would call 911 because of her sudden fear of not knowing what was happening to her. She may wake up and not recognize where she is. Dementia can be gradual or go down in steps. I would get her assessed immediately to see what care she needs, probably regular Assisted Living or Memory Care.

I would get the car from her. It's not just the risk of getting lost, but she may confuse the gas and brake pedal and have an accident.

Ref. her medication. I would be very concerned, because they may forget they took the meds and then continue to take them throughout the day.

Also, be careful about her dog. With dementia they may love the animal, but not realize that the dog can't eat 10 cans of food per day or that the dog isn't happy in the same room all day. Their bizarre behavior can also stress out a pet. I wish you the best. There is a lot of good information on this site as you start your journey to help. Lastly, I would say that you can't debate or convince someone with dementia of their condition and need for intervention, most of the time. Even if you do, they will likely forget it in an hour.
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I feel your pain as we are in almost the same boat however she was in an auto accident that totaled her car and we refused to get her another one so at least she has not been driving. I do agree though I would have to hide the car keys or say the car broke to keep her from driving! Unfortunately the area we live in only has Assisted Living that is private pay which she can no way afford so she has been living with us which has a become another issue in itself. We have younger kids and she is constantly yelling at them for something or another to the point that will not even ask friends to come over for fear of being embarrassed. We have been in touch with some social service agencies but they say she is not really a candidate for a nursing home since she can still for the most part take care of herself which leaves us sort of between a rock and a hard place. Good Luck in your search.
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You stop her driving NOW. You also start looking at Assisted Living facilities for her, many will take the dog too. Your story is very familiar to me, a carbon copy of my MIL. She should not be alone anymore. She will actually enjoy the ALF, the social company, the bus trips and her meds will be given correctly.
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