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Author Topic: Difficult Mother with Dementia  (Read 23511 times)
mschnapp
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« on: January 21, 2007, 11:56:58 AM »

My mother has midstage to advanced stage dementia and is living at home alone.  When she was healthy, we all sat around the table and discussed her wishes and agreed that we would try to keep her at home for the rest of her life.  Now that she has dementia she has become extremely difficult.  We have tried several different in home care scenarios over the past year and a half and nothing has worked.

1. My sister and her husband moved in for 6 months but my mother dislikes my sister's husband so demanded that they move out.

2. My mother moved in with me (eldest daughter) for 2 months but she does not like my husband or my children and made life so difficult for all of us that we moved her back home.  I live several hours away so can't visit at the drop of a hat.

3. We tried three very nice private pay caregivers to come into the home and help my mother.  She fired all of them.

4. We hired a full service in home care agency.  They sent three different care givers, all very nice, but my mother fired all of them.

My mother is now not safe.  She doesn't know what day it is, is either over taking or undertaking her medication, she has gotten lost three times and brought back home by complete strangers.  The only acceptable method of care my mother approves of is for my sister to move in without her husband, me to move in without my family, or my brother to move in without his family (he lives in Taiwan).

When we tell her that her doctors say she can no longer live at home alone and we push for her to accept more help she has a temper tantrum and refuses and threatens to call her lawyer and file an elder abuse complaint or change the locks.  She says she doesn't like women and now claims she has two men that will come in and take care of her and she doesn't need us.  

What rights do we have?  I have a durable power of attorney covering health and finances and will shortly have two letters, one from her primary care physician and one from her psychiatrist, that document that she is not capable of handling her affairs.  Where do I go from here?  How do I handle this?  We'd still like to try and keep her at home but so far nothing has worked and now we feel she is really close to harming herself or others.
 
HELP!!!
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Chris
Guest
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 10:58:01 AM »

It sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place that will not get better on its own -- and threatens all those who love your mother and have been trying their best on her behalf.

Unfortunately, the advance of your mother's disease may mean that you simply are not able to keep your well-intentioned promise of keeping her home for the rest of her life. People with dementia and Alzheimer's are absolutely the most difficult elderly to care for.

You may want a legal opinion on this, but it seems like the best course of action for all concerned (including your mother, of course) is to find an appropriate care residence for her -- and taking as much comfort as possible in your knowledge that you tried your best to keep her at home as long as you could.

These are very tough decisions, but what you've laid out is pretty much an untenable situation. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.
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Gerry
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 09:24:58 PM »

Suggest you talk with an Elder Atty and consider filing for guardianship.  This will give more help than a DPOA
Good luck
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Ellen Hartley
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 09:07:33 PM »

I feel very sorry for you!  Your mother sounds like my mother.  We actually moved her out of her house and into an assisted living home.  That was a mistake on our part as she has demetia & was asked to leave as she kept trying to escape & go home.  We looked for a locked faculity but there were no vacancies.  So, we moved her back into her house & insisted she have in home caregivers come.  Before the move she was just like your mom.  She would not accept any caregivers.  This time around she loves having the company.  I am not sure what caused the change. Could your mother be given medication to calm her down? It would be so much better if your mom would settle down and accept the in home care.  The lockdown places seem like a nice mental hospital.  What about a good foster care home?
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Christine Canavan
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 11:21:04 AM »

HI,
 My name is Chrissy. I know what you are going through. It is so hard. I cared for my grandmother for 10 years with this disease. I want you to know that there are many options to help. I have a non profit service called
A Granddaughters Promise" I help with elder needs. I had to place my grandmother in a large assistied living facility just for a short time when we were moving in a new home. She was killed from abuse in just  27 days. It was heartbreaking!!!! I have spent the last 3 years looking in to programs and funding to help caregivers make good choices. I also help  to find small care homes with 24 hour care rather then large care homes for seniors. They are half the price and they get much better care because they only have 5 or 6 residents. It is a blessing. If you ever need advise please get in touch.There is no fee,just someone who cares and knows what you are going through.

God Bless
Chrissy Canavan
www.agranddaughterspromise.com
 
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Caregiver
Guest
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 01:32:06 AM »

YOU COULD BECOME YOUR MOM'S CONSERVATOR. THE COURT NEEDS TO APPOINT YOU FIRST.  YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE YOUR MOM TO COURT AND DEMONSTRATE THAT SHE CANNOT LONGER TAKE CARE OF HERSELF, HER FINANCES AND HER PERSONAL AFFAIRS.

FIRST, YOU NEED TO CALL THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT OR THE WELFARE OFFICES AND REPORT YOUR MOM CASE.  ASK THEM TO SEND AN OFFICIAL OR A SOCIAL WORKER TO ENTERVIEW HER AND FILE A REPORT ABOUT HER CASE. IF SHE REFUSES TO TALK TO THEM OR OPEN THE DOOR TO THEM THEY WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO. YOU COULD WORK TOGETHER WITH THE SOCIAL WORKER SO YOUR MOM CAN BE ADMITED TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL FOR A MENTAL EVALUATION. THIS PAPER WORK AND THE SOCIAL WORKER AS ONE OF YOUR WITNESS COULD HELP YOU TO GET YOUR MOM'S CONSERVATORSHIP. YOU MAY NEED TO GET A LAWYER TO HELP YOU WITH THE LEGAL ISSUES. IT IS NOT AN EASY PROCESS.
BEST WISHES
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Debbie
Guest
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2007, 01:26:21 PM »

Boy your not alone!  I'm am forced with the same situation however I am caring for my Mother-In-Law as a outsider so to speak.  If you feel that your loved one is not safe then you have to take what ever messure you have to take to make them safe.  You will sleep alot better at night knowing that she safe in a locked down dementia unit.   It's so hard to care for someone 24 hours a day and not to mention what happens to your life!  Caregivers at a facility only work 8 hours shifts were doing it for 24 hours a day with no breaks.  Look into finding a facility that your comfortable with and seek immediate placement.

The only suggestion I have when looking for a locked down facility for my Mother-In-Law that I missed was finding one  with out side access.  It was very important to her to be able to get fresh air and to have a meal outside and I missed that in the last facility she was in.

Well, I actually have another suggestion, Fing a facility that is a locked assisted living also with an attached nursing home facility.  For now other then dementia mom might be medically well, but later on down the line she might require other care.  This way you won't have to start your search again.  

Another thing you might try is a 30 respite at your top 3 facility choices just to try them out and to see which one is the best fit for you and your loved one. There is not deposits required for the stay!

I hoped my 2 cents helped.  I'm learned by trial and error myself.
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Jan Traller
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2007, 01:17:57 PM »

I, too, have been down the road you are on and am presently still traveling.  I turned myself inside out for over a year trying to take care of my mother and work and take care of my family.  NOTHING that I did pleased her or was acceptable in any way.  It was taking a toll on my health and on my marriage.  My husband and I sat down and together made the decision to put her in assisted living.  We did not include her in this decision because at this point the only thing she wanted was to stay by herself in her home which was not safe at all for her.  In my state, the power of attorney you stated you had is all I needed, in terms of legal papers,  to take my mother to assisted living.  The things that I have learned from my experiences with my mother is that there is no perfect answer to these situations; I have to make decisions on what I know (facts) not what I feel (emotions).  You have to look at what is best for ALL involved and for the unknown that is coming down the road.  Do not let yourself feel guilty for letting someone else take care of mom - you are being responsible by seeing that she is being cared for.   Much like you, when my mother's memory was working , we bought a LTC policy to have when this day came - my mother is now in complete denial that anything is wrong with her and has "no memory" of that conversation involving what would happen to her when she got old.  I also told my mom that I would do what I could to take care of her, but that if she lived long enough there would come a time when it would take more than me to take care of her - and she agreed to that.  You have honored the committment you made - your situation has reached a level that you need help.  Also, remember what your mom told you before the dementia set in.  I draw on the conversations we had when she was well, not the ones we have now filled with dementia and confusion.  She has now been in assisted living for 3 months and I am more than pleased with the facility and their level of care - there are good, caring facilities out there.  You will have to shop around, ask lots of questions, show up when they are not expecting a visit.  There are plenty of on-line guidelines available in what to look for in a facility.  Mother is, of course, not pleased with this either and I did not expect her to be.  However, the ball is now in her court as to whether she wants to sit and sulk and blame me for everything or she can begin a new stage in her life with things that she can handle.  She has 24-hour care, assistance with what she wants help with, meals and snacks, and her medicine is administered properly.  There are also plenty of activities and outings that she can choose to participate in or not.  You will never be able to change your mom, you can change how you respond.  I hope this has been of some help - I know that I have never been in such a trying time as this and there are many others walking the same walk we do.  I ask God's blessing on you and your family and the decisions you have to make.
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Ellen Hartley
Guest
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 08:20:50 PM »

It is a year later & my mom is now living in a foster care home.  This has been life changing for me.  I have my life back.  There are many medications that can be given to dementia patients when they are in a secure setting.  We let mom bully us into what SHE wanted for 7 years & finally we had to move her for her own safety.
If I had only known how good the people were at this home & how in the right hands drugs can help so much.
She is now living in a very nice house with 4 other roomates & a good caregiver.  It has become her little family.  She has her own room and her cat.  I am her legal guardian so that may help you too.  Good luck!
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stressed
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2008, 08:49:34 AM »

I have never heard of foster care for the elderly. Can you tell me more about it? My husband and I have had his mother for 7 years. The stress is getting to me and to him. His health is not good and he doesn't take care of himself because of the time he spends taking care of her. My health has taken a turn in the past year and I believe it's due to the continued stress of taking care of her and watching what the situation is doing to his health. He won't talk about a nursing home but I would love to know more about foster care for her.
Thank you so much in advance.
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jo ann hayes
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2008, 04:23:56 PM »

my mother also has dementia we have a durable power of atty. you should seek an atty to obtain one for you  often we as children proomise our parents we will ccare for them but many times it becomes impossible my mother's doctor but her on aircept it made all the difference in the world but sometimes the only answer is a nursing facility it can be a hard choice but for her safteyit may be the right choice good luck
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Ellen
Guest
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2008, 06:41:51 PM »

My mom's adult foster care home is a house in a neighborhood that is owned by a nurse.  She has a full time live in employee that stays with the residents in a nice home & totally takes care of their needs.  I feel better that my mom is living in a home.  But you have to be very careful to find a good foster care home.  Plus, my mom's home does not accept medicare as many do not.  
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Rachel
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2008, 09:37:44 PM »

I work at home and care for two elderly parents.  This is such a wonderful board and website.

On my street we have a private home that cares for Alzheimer's and Dementia patients.  I see visitors come often, they appear to stop by to visit their parent etc.  I recall a check in my mailbox by accident meant for that home, it was just a loose check, for $3000.  I assume its for the care of one of the guests.  I never see any guest out.  Only once in 20 years have I seen a guest out, an older gentleman wandered down the street, I approached him in a calm friendly mannor as I could see he had Alzheimer's (it was a good guess)  I didn't want to alarm him and didn't know if he would become combative.  He was confused but enjoyed taking my arm, I began walking him up to the house when a car and van were rapidly driving around looking for him.  He went with them and they took him home.  He was well dressed, clean and seemed well cared for.  He was happy to see the two attendents who got out of the car.

If that is an option for someone and you can check it out, That might help.  It is a home setting, live ins to care 24 hrs.
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lincolnn
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 04:34:09 PM »

Have you ever considered hiring a care manager to assess your situation?

Lincoln
http://connectingcaregivers.com/blog/

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familyman3rd
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 04:25:17 PM »

You need to file for Guardianship thru the courts, so you will be responsible for all of her needs, medical, household bills, living, etc. Thats what I had to do, but I requested for a bank that has a trust department  to be the guardian of their estate.
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