Mom demented- what now?

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summerbreeze 

normal Mom demented- what now?

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Hello to Everyone -

What a helpful site this seems! I live overseas and just got the news that my Mom ( who has Parkinson's) has deteriorated to the point where she is demented most of the time.I am still figuring out what that means in terms of my responsibilities.Would love to hear how others cope and where to find a forum.I want to get my life in order here so that if necessary I could fly to the USA for a visit.On the other hand I had a painful relationship with my Mother and feel very sorry for her, but i detached from her a long time ago due to her abusive behavior (she hit me, berated me whenever I was around). Yet I feel very sorry and would appreciate suggestions re what should I do first?Thanks summerbreeze germany


Posted on 2009/6/28 14:10




none Re: Mom demented- what now?

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Quite a regular
Joined:
2002/12/10
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Sounds like you are trying to deal with quite a lot of issues right now. Starting with your question about dementia and what this may mean to you - I would suggest that you talk with your family and some legal counsel about completing appropriate documents that will allow one member of the family to make medical and legal decisions on your mother's behalf when she is no longer competent to do so. Your mother may already have impairment relating to dementia that would make her unable to make sound decisions, so it is important that you take care of this as soon as possible. Are there other family members who are involved with your mother's care now? If she is living in a nursing home or another type of facility, you may want to talk with a social worker there that can help answer some questions.
There are some really good websites about Parkinson's disease that you may find helpful:
http://pdf.org/en/about_pd
http://www.parkinson.org

It also seems that you are struggling with feelings about your mother - dealing with relationship issues from the past. Please know that you are not alone with this struggle! Many adult children try to cope with caregiving issues while providing full-time care for their parent - especially hard when they don't have especially warm feelings for that parent! You may want to find a caregiver support group, perhaps from one of the Parkinson's site that I mentioned, where you can talk or chat in an online forum with others who have many of these same issues . . . you may also seek out a counselor to help you deal with those conflicting feelings regarding your mom. One thing that helped me when I was caring for my mother (with whom I also had issues) was asking myself how I wanted my last days with my mother to be - did I want to continue an on-gong struggle or did I just want to deal with the present and do what I could to help her before she died. Not an easy question but one that may help you as you prepare for the future.

Lastly, trying to deal with these issues from a distance is always hard, so it's good that you are getting as much information prepared before you travel to see your mother. Again, I would begin by focusing on the legal aspects of your mother's medical and financial care. As her cognitive impairment progresses because of the Parkinson's Disease she will need more and more help - deciding on who will be providing that help, how financial issues will be handled all need to be considered now . . . please take care of yourself while dealing with all this because there's so much that you are trying to take care of right now!
Barb


Posted on 2009/6/30 10:04




Susan 

none Re: Mom demented- what now?

Hello,

My husaband and I want to bring my mother-in-law home with us to live. She has been living in an independent senior home with an aide staying with her during the day. She now has to go to a facility. My husband and I do not want this to happen,but his sisters do. Who has the legal ability to make this decision?

Thank you


Posted on 2009/10/23 15:04




none Re: Mom demented- what now?

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From: Dallas
Posts: 262
Hi, Susan:

Really an attorney needs to clarify this for you.

There may be some general guidelines for most states, but overall, the state in which she resides determines Who is the legal next of kin on the basis of its laws. Was a medical power of attorney or medical surrogate ever named? Generally, legal decision-making goes from the person himself/herself to the medical power of attorney/surrogate (if one is named), to the spouse, to an adult child, etc. Again, the rules vary from state-to-state.

Some other questions you may want to consider is whether you have the resources to care for her in terms of finances, availability to stay with her, ability to manage her care and manage your own lives, etc. Presumably,she has reached a different illness status. This would mean that her care will of necessity be much more medically intensive. Typically, the move from an independent living facility occurs when someone has much less ability to manage their ADL's (Activities of Daily Living)and/or their care has become much more medically intensive.

But, basically, we can't answer the question you asked us with any clarity. An attorney familiar with the nuances of your mother-in-law's region will need to address this issue.

I hope this helps. I hope you also are able to get wise counsel to direct you.

Mike Davis


Posted on 2009/10/25 4:23




shari t. 

none Re: Mom demented- what now?

my mother in law is 96 years old and lives in assisted living. she has been well mentally until recently and has had an ongoing uti. she has been on medication which has increased her confusion and recently is convinced she lives somewhere other than her apartment in this facility. (she has been there five years.) she says she is ready to go home. my husband, an only child, feels hurt and saddened by her remarks. he gets upset when he talks to her and isn't sure how to handle the situation properly. she is very persistent and "changing the subject" doesn't work. what should we do to help her understand she lives there?


Posted on 2009/12/3 21:22




none Re: Mom demented- what now?

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Quite a regular
Joined:
2002/12/10
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Your mother in law's UTI is probably adding to her confusion right now. If this confusion persists once her UTI is cleared and she is off of her medication, she may have some other issues with her cognitive functioning or maybe has some other physical issue causing her confusion. Or, it may take a little more time for her awareness of time and place to get better.

For now, at least - if she is still agitated and saying she needs to go home, just try to reassure her that she is at her home and that she's not been feeling well recently and that her medications were causing her to be more confused. Reassure her that she will be feeling better soon and then she will remember that this has been her home for the past 5 years. Trying to reason with your mother-in-law may only increase her agitation. However, reassuring her that you both will continue to care for her until she is able to go home, may lessen her anxiety (or not!).

If her confusion is related to the UTI and the meds for the infection, she may already be doing better by this time. If, however, you continue to notice agitation and confusion, you may want to bring her back to her physician for another check up, blood work done, review of medications, or whether she has possibly had a TIA or something else - just to rule out other causes for her confusion.

Hopefully, your mother-in-law is better by now - if not, just try to help your husband understand that his mother is dealing with some health issue that is causing her confusion and that she isn't really aware of what she is saying or thinking right now. It's just hard to change the way you communicate and relate with a parent, especially when you've had good communication over the years . . . take care and I do hope that she is or will be better soon!
Barb


Posted on 2009/12/8 13:45




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