• May 6, 2008 at 2:35 am

    I just wondered if anyone might have some ideas for us. My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with dementia caused by depression. She lives alone, in a small condo. The diagnosis was made approx. 2 years ago. The neurologist that she was seeing at that time tried to put her on antidepressants (tried a couple of different meds) but my mother-in-law always had some reason that she couldn’t take them (bothered her stomach too much, gave her headaches, etc.) She never took any of the meds for more than a day or two. Thus, her dementia has continued to progress because of the untreated depression. She has now reached a point that she should no longer be living alone. She does not cook or clean (really doesn’t know HOW to anymore), has to be reminded to bathe, and will wear the same clothes sometimes for days. Here’s the problem: when my husband or his sisters have tried to talk to her about moving (they have an assisted living apartment all arranged for her) she gets totally irate and verbally abusive with them and tells them she doesn’t NEED to move. They have tried several different approaches, but each time she becomes verbally abusive with them. Yesterday, she actually told my husband to go “F@*# himself”!! Much to my husband’s surprise. She has NEVER talked to him like that before!
    I just wondered if there is anyone that has dealt with a similar situation and, if so, what worked for you? We really need to get her moved – for her own safety and the safety of the people living around her! I would really appreciate any ideas!! Thanks! 🙁 😕 😕

  • July 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    hello i had to have my 69 year old mother removed from her home ,i didn’t want to but she wouldn’t cooperate with in home health care …..it may not be something that is desirable but it had to be done…….
    of course it is a legal process which a guardianship must be established and it costs money and comes with continuing legal liability in reality most persons progress to a state where they can not manage their own affairs anyhow …..so inevidibly sooner or later it has to be done …..
    in my case my mother was getting reported on to dss for self neglect and when i interviewed with them they said if i didn’t they might have to so ……i had no choice but to proceed ………
    declaring a loved one incapacitated is a painful experience……but ,
    you have to ask yourself …..what is in their best interest to be a ward of a family member who loves them or a ward of the state?……..
    as a person continues to decline they become a danger to themselves and their own safety …….a guardianship is a much better alternative than waiting until someone injures themselves somehow
    the hygiene issues most likely will not go away….medication will promote cooperativeness…….
    I obtained a emergency order and had my mother admitted for evaluation (16 days) the psychiatric hospital started on medication and adjusted it to meet her requirements …….
    my mothers condition was complicated by psychotic delusions and she was diagnosed with them and demensia not specifically specified ( meaning they were uncapable or uncertain as to calling it alzheimers)
    she now resides with me because her health directives state she is unable to care for herself which had become true she wouldn’t cooperate to pay her own bills ,bathe herself ,and could not remember to eat……
    if you attempt the guardianship as always with anything legal find the most competent attorney to counsel with and make sure you educate yourself to all the applicable laws of your area……..
    it is a long and complicated ongoing process that remains under the supervision of the courts……….
    unfortunately this type of illness isn;t just a caregiving issue but a very complicated legal concern as well and the sooner you start perceiving it in that manner the better off you will be !……..
    my mother had considerable asset to be protected and you have to look out for their best interests……..
    unless you want the state or some other iinterested party coming forward and taking control!……..
    i repeat contact an attorney immediately.

  • December 30, 2008 at 1:24 am

    I’m in a stunned state of mind after Tim’s comments. It really helped me to understand what I may need to do in the near future. My mother is 76 and is obviously suffering from Dementia or Alzheimers or something, but is in total denial and will not go to the doctors. She is declining quickly – we noticed this as we watched last years Christmas video. She was pretty normal then, but is now constantly in an instant replay mode and is angry one moment, paranoid another moment, then distressed because she can not find items that are later found in odd places. My mother has lived with me and my husband since her retirement at 62. We had a great relationship until these issues began to show themselves a year ago. It hurts to see my mother like this – she can be so hatefull at times. I don’t know where the anger comes from, but I’m trying to read all I can to see if I can help her. Since she is in denial and very stuborn about it I don’t really know what to do – I hate to get to the point that Tim mentioned – emergency order, but I may end up there. Any suggestions? How do I help her when she refuses to understand she is ill and getting worse quickly?

  • December 31, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    It is a difficult position to be in. Mom had been giving her income to a grandson that had been taking advantage of the situation before we realyzed she wasn’t capable of making money decisions. This went on for at least a year. At times she didn’t keep enough money to eat for the month. Then she had a mini-stroke and needed a pace maker, at that time we moved in with her thinking it was just until she recovered from the surgery and regained her strength. She has never regained her strength and we quckly realized her mental state was really bad. Because of the type of income mom receives she had to start depositing her money into a checking account, my older sister was placed on the account with her and keeps her checks to pay bills, food shop etc. Keep your eyes open to what you know is unwise decisions. We let things go on a long time not realizing she really didn’t understand what she was doing. Veda

  • January 2, 2009 at 5:04 am

    katt …i see that you just recently joined and you have been caring for your mother some time …….and that the anger issues are recent ……
    try to remember the anger is not your mother , it is the illness
    my mother never experienced real outward anger towards people ….she was always a passive acting person who was kind and considerate of others….
    but now with the illness these persons can’t even trust their own judgement or their own mind……. in reality they have a lot to be angry about because they are being robbed of their own minds……
    i can’t really even imagine what that must be like and i don’t think anyone who has not really can…..my mother never was physical with anyone and before treatment and medication she slapped me for trying to get her to see a doctor and take care of herself
    the denial is understandable logically understandable…..
    who wants to go to the doctor and say i am losing my mind help me….
    the fear must be immense…….they are uncertain as to what is to become of them ,loss of independence and being put on medications to effect the function of their mind etc……remember and ask yourself how you would feel if it were happening to you……nobody wants to admit to incompetence or being incapacitated……this type of illness causes people to turn against those nearest them and do and say things they would not in their right mind……but it isn’t them ..but the illness
    also…..it seems to help to let them think they are having things their way ……with my mother you can ask her to do things one moment and she may refuse or reject it and if you just say ok then go back 10 mins later and ask again she says ok……( after medication)
    anger and paranoia and associated delusional statements are very common from what i have seen , my mothers conditions are positively effected by aricept ,namenda and also an anti-psychotic called abilify ,and with low dosages of these she has remained mostly functional or (manageable) in a sense for the last seven months………she still has some nights when she keeps herself and us awake with her delusional arguing with non present persons……but before medication it was 24/7 , but she also turns it on and off like a light switch ……alone she can ramble on , walk into the room and she will just tell you she is talking to herself and stop as long as you remain in her presence……
    emergency guardianship is necessary sometimes when people will not cooperate ………to get medical attention and treatment and care that the person is self neglecting themselves by denying…..(an emergency situation exists by reason of self neglect)……

    be very careful that someone does not report this…….it happened to my mother and i was forced to act…….
    my mother was mad when she was forced to go but she got over it
    and it was for her best interest because she was killing herself……
    (not eating) etc.
    so emergency guardianship orders do what they are designed to do
    in our case i researched the best closest facility which could treat her respectfully and humanely and professionally,medicare paid for most of it,
    my mother never challenged the guardianship proceedings which the person has full rights to do…..
    my best advice is to seek adequate and experienced counsel costs are charged back to the estate of the person.