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A widowed elder of 5 years finds herself alone, having memory issues, basically healthy, not allowed to drive, @ least 2 miles from nearest store, can't afford to stay in home of 40 years, and is resisting all change. 75 years old. Very combative about any thing different. what to do? The house needs to be sold. 2 sons live in town and daughter lives 1200 miles from home. Suggested 6 months North and 6 months south, but, doesn't want any change. Also, many negative attention traits such as not eating unless others present, won't take pills, etc.

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Your mom is young to have these symptoms, though dementia can occur at any age so it's not out of the question. I would have her checked for all mental and cognitive health issues.

I do think that assisted living could be very helpful. She sounds like she does better with people around. While she resists change there really is no choice but to change her living situation. I'd check into a local assisted living arrangement and ask advice about how to get her moved. Expect resistance even if she learns to enjoy it since that seems to be her personality.

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Carol
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Gosh, lltravels, your Mom is young, only 5 years older than I am. Sounds like she needs to be around other people of her own generation, but would she be able to afford Independent Living apartment in a senior living complex, if she sold her house and had enough equity?

Yes, downsizing is a good idea, but it will be difficult for Mom to part with her things. I was lucky, after my Mom passed Dad said to just bulldoze everything [I didn't] as he only wanted a few things from his home.

It is great that you and sibling are willing to take Mom in to care for her but if Mom is having memory issues, moving her every 6 months is not a good idea as those with dementia/Alzheimer's do not like change, as you are now noticing. They want the same routine every day. That's why I was suggesting senior living, as an option.

I feel so sorry for your Mom, so young, and her husband has passed. That is not how she had envisioned the rest of her life. No wonder she is grumpy, I would be the same way, too.
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Seek guardianship immediately. If she is on pills she is not basically healthy. You need to list her diagnoses and medication list for the court to consider what she needs. Get some neurological evaluation documented for the court as well.
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My husband has alz, 86 & healthy. We go south for 6 mos & i think the sun warmth help him. He loves the beauty of trees h clouds. Suggest a vacation for month & maybe extend to where she loves it. While she is south start boxing up stuff in closets marking contents & what closet. We moved a year ago 3 hrs closer to kids & now realize whats in the closets or bxs i could get rid of & not really miss. We no longer do dinner parties or have company like we used to. What about school annuals? He no longer knows who his grown kids are or me,wife of 62 yrs. Times change & so do we. Its not easy to give things up but store for a while until not missed. Make sure to keep things special to her even if a brush. We could not have moved w/o help of our kids. I moved us to visit our son while kids packed & moved us to condo I bought. He loves the view & never mentions former home. Love your mom & shower her w vacations away from home.
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So who are you? Your profile says you are living in the home with your mother. If two siblings live in town where you live, why do they not help with shopping, house chores? If she has lived in her home for 40 years I am assuming this house is paid in full, unless there is a second mtg. on it. Why can't she stay in this house she knows and loves? Just because you may not like it, a person with dementia feels very safe around familiar surroundings. Seventy-five is still pretty young, and she might need company especially when she eats. Because my husband was a pilot who flew worldwide, he always wanted to eat with me at home because he would have to eat by himself in restaurants. We seldom eat in restaurants...Try to compromise with your mother instead of imposing your likes/dislikes upon her. She has a right to not want to take pills or eat alone. There is no law that says a person has to.
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I can understand her resistance, at least the emotional reason for it. Her world is crumbling around her, she's alone, she's physically limited...she's lost or losing what she needs to be comfortable and survive.

So she clings ferociously to what little she has left. To me, that's very understandable.

I echo the concerns of others as to what your relationship is, and what role you're playing. I don't have the impression that you're a relative, but rather are a neighbor or friend and are concerned about this woman.

Whether you have authority, or can influence the family to help out would be a critical factor in making recommendations, unless you have some other authority to act.

But, either way, I think anyone who tries to help needs to frankly assess what she can do, and build on that. E.g., you wrote her house has to be sold; who made that determination? I assume the 2 sons locally aren't helping to maintain the house?

Perhaps they could at least step in and do that so she's more comfortable, which might eventually allow her to see the wisdom of alternatives. But if people continue to tell her what she can and can't do, I can understand that she'd be resistant. They need to work with her, not against her or to try to control here, and that's the impression I get - decisions are made but she's not a part of them. It is, after all, her life, and she has a right to a say in what happens.
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Please tell us what relationship you have with this lady and what right if any you have about her. As Ferris suggested notify the sons of their mother's living conditions and behavior and if necessary notify elder services in our area.
I have a friend who is being very stubborn about taking sensible advice but is still independent at present and seems able to manage her own affairs and ignores any advice. Her solution is to do nothing and let the card fall where they may. All the friends are just stepping back there is nothing else we can do.
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It sounds to me like she may be spending her money in other places other than her rent or property taxes. Sounds like someone needs to take over her financial affairs and even become her guardian. She may have to have a live-in caregiver if moving would be to catastrophic for her
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Depending on what you're changing versus what she's enjoying will depend on what I should being combative. Let's say she likes her bed she slept on for so many years and it happens to be a very comfortable bed for her. I don't blame her for combating anyone's effort to change her bed if it's working for her. Trying to rip someone out of their home is a very serious thing and there will most likely be very serious consequences because the person has every right to put up a fight and I don't blame her, so would I! I wouldn't be a bit surprised if she happens to be in the violent stage and even if she's not, she may have a violent streak in her, leave her alone! Find some way to keep her in her home and make it work.

As for eating alone, my foster dad was the same way you're describing. Dad didn't want to eat alone and I'm thinking now he may have been starving just because he didn't want to eat alone and he would eat as little as possible just to survive and keep going. He really didn't want to eat alone and he would only eat if I was there. However, despite his efforts to fix us dinner, there came a time when I realized his hands were never clean. Despite my best effort's to try and offered to help with dinner and to even get him to wash his hands, I had to stop eating with him because I didn't want his dirty hands touching my food and anything else that would go in my mouth. Who knows what all diseases were lurking on his hands. In your case though, there should be a live in caregiver who can take over meal prep and a guardian to take over all affairs and most likely the live in caregiver should be the guardian
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Have you talked to the family? Are they aware; how are you involved? When my mother started having memory issues; everyone called me. The neighbors, the police, family members. She wouldn't eat, she got down to 90 pounds; I thinks she would forget to eat. My cousin insisted meals on wheels - she refused.

Sounds like you need to get the family involved. My mom was combative about everything at first. But as the disease progress so do they and what was once a problem may no longer be an issue.

She is not going to help herself, family needs to intervene.
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