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That's where I am. I don't live with my mom, she lives with a roommate of 10 years. They bought a house together, and were able to pay off the mortgage with their retirement money. They had alot of savings and their social security and were living a great life. Both lost their husbands and they were dear friends, and thought it was a good plan ... since neither of them wanted to live alone. My mom has had significant memory issues the past 2 years. I talk to my mom 2-3 times per day, and live in the same city - but the other side of town (35 minutes without traffic). I have two young children and work full-time. My husband also works full-time, but I have taken nearly two months off work these past several months due to drama in my mom's world. Her and her roommate, I will call her "B" have been fighting. I have had to intervene each time. Each time B threatens to move out, and mom's is scared to death, and doesn't know what she will do. She has no money to buy B out of the house. They have started a reverse mortgage (I didn't know about until 6 months ago) - so they would have more income, and owe almost half the house's value on that, and will each walk away with about $150K if they sell the house. Discussing options with my mom a few months ago in one of these fights was when I realized how very sick she is. She can't add, she can't remember ANYTHING - I knew there was a memory issue, but when we would discuss options, she could not grasp ANY of them. She kept thinking she could buy B out and stay in the house. She can't. There just isn't enough then for her to stay in the house on the reverse mortgage, until her death. Incidents happened too, she got lost on the way to may house - went to my old house (that I moved from 2 years ago) and called me and asked where I was. I said I was standing with the front door open and she said it was closed, and she said she was parked in my driveway. I don't have a driveway anymore. She then realized her error, and said a profane word, and found her way to my new condo. Lots and lots and lots of these types of events. I finally convinced her to go to a doctor and she wanted to go to her sleep neurologist, hoping this was from her sleep apnea. He was great, gave her a Sage test, which she failed, and referred her to a memory neurologist. We went to him together, he ran a cat scan, MRI, and lab work. All 100% normal .. , excluding vascular dementia, oxygen deprivation (from the apnea or stroke), brain tumor, or any other reason for the memory issues. His conclusion was "likely Alzheimer's" - explaining that a definitive diagnosis can't truly be given until death thru brain tissue, but if we rule out everything else, logic has us here. And we are here. He said he would give it two more months to see if we have any improvement - if she moved, and eliminated the roommate stress of fighting ... and that also became my job, to help her figure out where to move to. I showed her 30+ homes, retirement communities, condos, and she could not remember any of them after we looked at them. We went back to a few a 2nd and third time. They she would call me at 5am, and say she didn't want to move, she wanted to buy B out of the house and stay there. I would go thru it all again. I kept telling my brother (out of state) I needed his help, and he never came, and he does not believe mom has this. Now, the blow - my mom made an appointment with her primary care doctor of 10 years, and dolled herself up in her suit (like she used to do) - and did her hair and nails, and told her doctor she was fine, and that I am pushing her to admit she has alzheimers and I must want her $. B went to the doctor with her, at my request, so that she could get a list of the medications mom is on. B does not think mom has Alz either, she thinks mom has short-term memory issues, and confusion issues. So, the primary care - called me, and told me she is in charge of mom's care, and that she is going to stop the forward action with the neurologist, and stop the Aricept RX in May. She said, "your mom is fine - she is depressed and stressed from the roommate situation." They never discussed her medications. She still does not know what she is supposed to be taking every day. I wanted to go with her on this appointment, but she never told me about it - and she is paranoid I will steal from her. I have never stolen from her, or anyone, and there is not much to steal if I were a jerk. I guess I am going to surrender this to God, and hope I will still have some time with mom - I have cut off all communication with her.

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yes, I worry about that as well. Thank you for your wisdom. Sending prayers to you and your hubby
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Oh my. It almost sounds like "B" might have some impairment as well, if she is near your mom's age. Is there a written report from the neurologist that states what tests were run, what the results were, and how he came to his conclusions? If so, sharing that report with her PCP and your brother might be a good next step. If you don't have a copy of the report, ask for one.
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Jeanne - thank you SOOO much, I have reached out to a few people that have had similar situations. I have told my mom, and will tell her daily via text, that I love her, and I am here for emergencies. I have cut off all other contact, because yes, she is paranoid that I am trying to take her money and "lock her away." Yes, the roommate issues are indeed from mom's illness. Mom is mean, and they had a shared bank account, because mom kept forgetting to pay the bills. The roommate offered to take on the bill paying because she didn't want the issues of bills not being paid. She ended up paying all mom's bills too, for $25/month. This has been going on the past few years. The roommate tells me - "your mom has significant short term memory issues, and can't do math anymore, and she is confused often, but it's not Alzheimer's" - she says to me time and time again. So everyone is mad at me for coming to this conclusion (I didn't - without a respected Neurologist specializing in "memory care" putting us through months of tests, and HIM coming to this conclusion. My brother an I are no longer speaking, he told me I was sick, and needed professional help, since I think mom has this. Oh, and when the roommate took a recent vacation, my mom went into her room and took the checkbook - had a friend go to the bank with her and order bank statements as far back as possible and checked for stolen money. Mom could not figure out the numbers and math. That particular friend agrees 100% with me and the Neurologist, but is supporting mom ... telling her she will be there for my mom, no matter what mom thinks. Thank God for her, she calls me and updates me. She too, is concerned something really bad is going to happen to mom (she gets lost, etc) - because she just refuses to accept she is sick. She will admit "something isn't right with me, but it's nothing serious." Or some days she says she is fine. I am furious with the roommate, who I think actually realizes the truth, and is just such a trouble maker (she always has been) and I think she just wants to make this the most difficult she possibly can for all of us. I think she giggles to herself as mom does silly things. One thing she did - she went with mom when mom forgot where her hair and nail salon was. She never offered ideas - like, look in your phone for your hairdressers name (that was how she eventually figured it out, reading through all her contacts). Instead she let mom drive all around an area of town, searching for it. She got out of her car at several strip malls and walked all around. She called me crying that she could not find it so she missed her hair and nail appointment. I asked why she didn't call me or her roommate, and she said - "oh B was with me!" Things like that - I just think this woman is evil and conniving. I wish she was NOT in the equation. If I had a different primary care, or she had a different roommate, this situation could be so much better. It has just made something already so horrific, ten times worse. I appreciate your response SO much. Thank you and God Bless you and your husband.
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From your description, Mom has something wrong with her. You can call it short term memory issues, mild cognitive impairment, dementia of unspecified type, or Alzheimer's. It could also be some other type of dementia, such as Lewy Body Dementia. But it is clear there is something wrong with her.

Unless her primary care physician has medical power of attorney for Mom (highly unlikely) she cannot "stop the forward action with the neurologist." If she thinks Mom is depressed, what is her treatment plan for that? But even if she does not have the legal authority to step in and "be in charge," if that is what your mother wants it won't do you much good to be "right" in this case. I am sorry about that for you.

Rather than assume that the roommate issues are causing your mom's problems, I'd be inclined to think your mom's problems are causing the issues with the roommate. It is difficult to live with someone who has dementia (no matter what it is called).

If this is dementia, it will progress. As it gets worse it will be more difficult for Mom to put on "showtime" for doctors and others, and it will become more apparent to all that she has a problem that needs addressing. If you want to step out of her life for now, please keep an eye on her as best you can, and be ready to step back in when things get even worse and she is more likely to accept you.

Early in the course of his Lewy Body Dementia my husband became paranoid and often accused me of stealing his money. Sigh. This was very definitely not a fun stage for me and I was very glad it only lasted a few months. If this is how Mom is treating her housemate (and you) it is no wonder the housemate wants out. Do you think housemate would be more patient and accepting if she understood that her friend has a disease that is causing this behavior? That is one of the advantages of having the disease diagnosed and out in the open -- people can make allowances when they understand.

I am very sorry that you are going through this, and sorry, of course, for your mother and her friend, too. It does not sound to be like her PCP is helping matters, and I am sorry about that, too.
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