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We've noticed mom going downhill FAST. Wants to sleep constantly, extremely quiet, refusing to eat or take meds. When I first noticed this change (I'm there every Fri and it was like night and day difference in that one week time) I asked sitter where the notebook was that I have her keep notes in so I could try to figure out what might be making her so different so quickly (blood sugar, blood pressure, etc) She immediately cut me off & said 'It ain't nothing I done!' I told her I didn't say she did anything, I was just looking for anything that could be wrong with my momma. The thing is, when she does talk, she sounds just as 'sharp' as before this dramatic turn. She doesn't seem like someone in final stage Alz. Long story short, I've noticed for awhile her she had candles in different places, in fact at first I was irritated she was burning my mom's candles & it wasn't something my mom was enjoying. We also put up cameras at Christmas and realized she would spend all morning 7-12 in kitchen and leave mom in her recliner alone, or get in the other recliner and sleep until noon herself! Told us she was just sleeping. Then in afternoon she'd do a little light cleaning and again just leave mom in living room alone. Well, this past Tues she needed day off for a funeral so I stayed with mom. In the afternoon I walked into one of the bathrooms and noticed something on floor. It was a partial joint and a rolling paper. Then I got a flashlight and looked closely at rug. There was loose marijuana all over. We called the police to come out and verify what it was and fired her the next morning. Since she's been gone, mom eating great. She's staying awake most of the day and even talking and laughing some. I also noticed a box of benedryl behind something on counter with only a few in it. I can't say 100% that there were more before but I'm 90% sure that only a few were missing. It hit me tonight my mom was scratching a lot up until
Mid Nov when this sleeping started. Before she even scratched her face in her sleep. At min I'm wondering if she's been giving her the Benadryl so she wouldn't have to deal with her & could sit around and do her drugs while getting paid. Also, she stole my moms old pain pills and a few Xanax from her MRI. Any input on this would be appreciated. And if mom were to continue to improve, can she be tested for drugs at a later time? IF she was drugging her, I hate to think of her getting away with it and/or doing to someone else!!!

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She was not allowed to give her any med without asking us first. Mom was taking Allegra for allergies already, so if she was doing this, it was in a sneaky way. I have actually read Benadryl not good for someone with Alz. "Physicians also recommend that individuals with dementia avoid over-the-counter sleep remedies. The active ingredient in many of these preparations is diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), an antihistamine that tends to make people feel drowsy. Diphenhydramine further suppresses the activity of one of the main brain cell messenger chemicals whose activity is reduced by Alzheimer’s disease." That's a short version I copied from Alz.org. When we found the pot this week, several people asked if we thought she'd been giving mom a little & that's reason for her sudden decline. I'd love to think no one would do that, but you never know. It was a few days later when I saw the benedryl box that looked hidden and tonight it hit me about how she hasn't been clawing at her skin like she was a month or two ago.
She was independent, self employeed. I actually wrote my parents homeowners insurance and because she's a self employeed contractor, she is responsible for her own workers comp, according to the claims adjusters and underwriting dept, but every state is different. Also, my mom was a school teacher and this girl worked at the school, that's why we thought she would be a good choice. Everyone who worked with her said she was sweet and a hard worker, even one of mom's best friends. Also, the school system does background checks and drug tests upon hire. In the last few weeks, once I could see the recordings, I thought maybe mom was isolated and depressed with all the time she was alone, so we decided to work on a schedule and activities for her to do with mom. She said she thought she was doing the right thing letting her sleep while she sat in kitchen(yeah right)
Also, about agency. My dad's best friend told him in his experience, the people that work at local agencies rob you blind. He said he had so much stolen, he'd report it, they'd rotate a new girl, and she'd do the same. I think he even switched to at least 2-3 different agencies. The last girl we had came from an agency before she worked for us. She told me they gave her zero training, just told her where to go and when. We had to let her go because she started stealing. Even stole mom's $20 bill she kept with her at all times, that was her last day! It seems impossible to find good help.
Lastly, the police said nothing they could do. We haven't said anything about wondering if she drugged mom. It's only been last few days we've seen her more alert that's really made us wonder and I don't want to sound crazy with an accusation like that if she's right back to sleeping all next week. I thought I'd heard before of drug tests on hair, or 90 day drug tests? Of course, I don't think benedryl
Would show up, but if illegal drug were to show in her system, or even a pain pill for that matter(she hasn't needed one in over a year) I would want her arrested!
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HelpnGa, I would take Benedryl on those nights when I couldn't sleep. Couldn't imagine taking it during the day, it would zone me out big time. I wouldn't be surprise if that is what happened to your Mom.

Did you complain to the Caregiver's Agency? Or was she an independent contractor? I have always used a professional Agency as they are licensed, bonded, insured, and have workman's comp [if your hire independent, your Mom would need to get a "workman's comp" rider on her home insurance].
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I'm curious (a) how you found this person and (b) whether or not she was working independently or through an agency, and (c) if she was independent, what kind of background check did you do?
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The spontaneous denial was a clue. And the candles were covering up the smell. Glad you caught her and gave mom a chance to have a little life again.
I'm sure you're right. Honestly, you waited too long to fire this person!! Whether you can initiate an APS investigation now that Mom is out of danger, I don't know. They say some drug tests for marijuana will be positive for a good while, but this turkey probably was not sharing her joints, and mom only got second hand from that if anything; the other things will be out of her system by now so hard evidence would be lacking. If she was with an agency, you can file a complaint against them and make sure they have the facts as you have laid them out. The appropriation of the narcotics and Xanax is considered criminal too.
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If you want to determine whether or not your mother was drugged, ask a physician to test her now when the possible presence of drugs might still be in her system. I'm not sure that kind of testing though would be covered by Medicare, so be prepared to pay out of pocket.

The sitter might have been giving your mother Benadryl for the itching, and the side effect was drowsiness. It's not unusual for that kind of medicine. I can't say for sure, but you should check the side effects. I only took Benedryl once; it caused double vision so that was the end of it for me.

You should ask the police who are investigating the pot use about these other concerns you have; they would be the ones to take action.
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