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It's taken me over a year and a new primary care physician's referral to finally have Mom's short term memory and confusion problems evaluated. She hated the process and was screaming in the car as we drove there...threatening to jump out of the car. (Thank goodness for automatic locks!). This is a huge event for me because I live 400 miles away from Mom (89) who lives independently and drives. Dad (93) is in skilled nursing care with Alzheimer's. She visits him every day. So on Monday, May 9 we go back to the memory center to meet with the neuropsychologist and review her report on Mom. Has anyone been through this process before? Will the report possibly include recommendations about driving and living independently? If not, I'll certainly ask in a tactful and caring way, since Mom will be there. For the past 14 months I've been traveling here every 4-5 weeks and staying a while to "help out." On Monday we'll receive a diagnosis, I suspect. Just wondering how specific it might be...and then how I should proceed afterwards, assuming there will be a diagnosis of dementia of some kind. I'm on all bank accounts, POAs, and they have trusts/wills in place. Mom, like others, resists any idea that there's anything wrong. I'm just hoping the evaluation report will give me some leverage to make plans for the future. Major goal: to keep folks in close proximity to each other and safe...either here...or move them to where I live. I don't feel I can return home and leave her here anymore without some assistance because of her increased confusion and occasional delusions. Sorry to ramble...but, again, any idea if the evaluation report will have specific recommendations?

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You are doing the right things. Possibly, since you have POAs in hand, you can talk with a social worker or someone on the medical team in advance and get an idea of what's likely to be recommended so you can prepare.
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Thanks. I will receive a paper copy and make copies of it. In addition, i plan to record the evaluation conference.

Also intend to let medical and other authorities take the blame.

I may be a 69 yr old only child dealing with all this, but to Mom I am merely a child who wants to take over. Oy! What a journey.
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Ask her primary MD for anxiety meds, because test result discussion is going to go ballistic. Get hard copy of those results, because our mom kept saying "The doctor never said that" and "He said I can drive just fine". We actually had to take the car away from her house. I guarantee you she is hiding the keys as we speak.
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As much as possible let the doc be the bad guy. Sometimes oldsters will listen to doctors. You and I are just the young stupid kids. My Dad has dementia but he'll listen to his doc or the police. The problem is, he forgets what was said 5 minutes later.

If she's getting lost while driving in her familiar area it's probably time to intervene. Search this site for scads of info on elders driving. But remember, if the driving ends someone needs to take over all the errands. I have a full service home care company on deck for transportation, home care etc when my dads driving ends. It's 18 to 20 bucks per hour depending on the type of assistance.
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Thank you, Windyridge! I always drive when I visit. Hoping the evaluation can help put a stop to that...which will then probably be an impetus for further change. She manages to get to and from facility where Dad lives...and to a few local spots like the bank or the grocery store, but she also says that anytime she gets lost, she just stops and asks for directions. Lots of folks concerned about her hesitant driving, crying spells, and nervousness.

I appreciate the perspective of someone in a similar situation. Yes, I'll need to rely on my own judgements...but will seek medical and legal back up because Mom is a hell cat on overdrive sometimes. Very volatile at times...yet I know her responses stem from fear.
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The evaluation will most likely give you an idea of her level of cognitive impairment. The doc may recommend she quit driving and get in home care but as you well know this is easier said than done.

I'm also a long distance cargiver with stubborn parents who refuse any help. Like you I make frequent trips to help out, have POA, take care of bills and do all they will allow me to do. You'll have to rely on you own judgement for most issues. Is her driving dangerous? Getting lost? Car banged up? Food in the house? Does she leave the stove on?

With dementia and stubborn elders major changes are usually crisis driven. We end up in the horrible position of knowing assisted living is needed but the elders are not legally incompetent and can't be forced. My folks are just barely hanging on and have been for a couple of years now. All I can do is wait them out and take action once there is no longer any other choice.
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