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Old 11-09-2009, 07:50 AM   #1
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Just got results from Doctor

I just got back from the doctor. Mom had blood work, an EEG and an MRI last week. The doctor said all of her tests came out fine. No strokes, B-12 & thyroid were fine. The doctor gave Mom a 1 month supply of Aricept, said she has MCI. And told her not to drink. My Mom admitted to me that her great grandmother had dementia. Her Mom had parkinson's disease, and the more I think about it, I am sure she had dementia with it. My Mom heard the doctor say her tests were fine, so she thinks nothing is wrong. I told her that the tests ruled out other causes for her memory problems and that if there were no problems, she would not have given her medicine. I don't know what I was expecting, but I dropped her back off at home. Back to the 2 drunks that live with her, back to her bills that she can not pay. Now what do I do??? I am scared for her.

 
Old 11-09-2009, 08:21 AM   #2
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

Just get rid of the two drunks who live with her and get her into an Assisted Living environment.

Or

Don't do anything and just keep praying?

Truly, help us to help you.. . .You're there we're not

What options do you have?

 
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

One one you understand that Mom will probably never understand what is wrong with her... but you know and it is up to you to be her advocate.

You can have her referred to a geriatric neurologist or geriatric cognitive testing. Her general physician can rule out things it might be but if you want a diagnosis you need to go to the next level. Did the doctor give her a mini mental exam? Do you know what she scored?

Are there possible other living arrangements? Is she supporting the drunk? Does she have money to go into an assisted living? Does she drink regularly? You didn't mention what country you live in so is their help available for her if she can't afford the help she needs? Does she drive? Do you have a durable and medical power of attorney on her? (absolutely necessary to deal with her financial and medical issues). Do you have siblings that can help?

There are other options! She does not have to stay in that house with the alcohol and be unsafe. She is not going to be able to make the decisions necessary and will probably resist them but it is up to you to see that she is in a safe environment for her condition.

I know that's a lot of questions but they are each very important on your journey with your mom through this disease.

Love, deb

 
Old 11-09-2009, 09:36 AM   #4
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

My Mom is 67, retired 3 years ago. I noticed her memory was not good about 5 years ago. Last month I realized that she was having financial trouble - paying bills from credit lines. The lines got maxed out and all of a sudden, she says I can't pay my bills. My alcoholic brother and her alcoholic boyfriend have been living with her. They do not work and up until last month did not help her at all financially (my brother just got on disability and he is paying for his own booze now). I know they were giving her drinks so she would loosen up and buy more, or give them money. When I saw that Mom was not processing things correctly, I gave her a clock test. She failed miserably. I didn't know she was that bad. She was forgetting entire conversations, repeating herself, and of course, losing things. It is so easy to brush that off to old age though. After knowing she had real problems, I got her to the doctor who referred her to the neurologist who just put her on Aricept but did not formally diagnose alzheimers. She is impaired and has made some terrible money decisions - gave her "boyfriend" $20,000 for a legal problem he had, and I am sure there have been other times he has asked for money. My plan is to have an attorney get her affairs in order - a POA, health directive, etc. Then do something about her finances. As far as the boyfriend, I plan on looking into her checkbook and bank account to see how much she has given him and tell him I plan on going to the police if he does not pay her back. I think she is still ok to live at home. Most people do not know that anything is wrong with her, she looks fine. I hope I can do all of this, I just want her safe and no so scared about her future. Sorry this is so long!

 
Old 11-09-2009, 11:18 AM   #5
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

Those alcoholics living with her have surely taken adantage of her dementia to steal, take or waste whatever assets she may have had. In one way this is good: if she has less than $1200 to her name, she is eligible for Medicaid, which pays for nursing home care.

My advice it to kick the bums out, get her on Medicaid, get her in a nursing home, and let the rest work itself out.

Good luck!

Love,

Martha

 
Old 11-09-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

You are on the right track except for one thing JLR... She is probably NOT ok to live alone. She repeats stories because she can't remember that she has told them to you. She burns supper because she doesn't remember she put the pot on the stove. She doesn't take her meds because she can't remember to take them or takes the twice because she can't remember that she has taken them. She will repeatedly buy some things and never get other things that she needs. She will start eating cereal for supper because she can't remember how to cook.

I was where you are. Mom seems ok... she's just getting a little forgetful and repeating herself, oh and she can't pay bills and is being irresponsible with money. That was until I looked a little deeper and realized that it was actually dangerous for her to be in the house with Dad (He has had dementia for 10 years) because even though Mom appeared to be functioning... she was NOT.

The worst part was that she have NO clue what to do in the case of emergency or if something out of the ordinary happened. Smoke fills the house and instead of calling 911 and leaving the house she's wandering in and out trying to find the source of the smoke. When the door key can't be found, she just breaks the glass and reaches in to open the door. YIKES! So don't trust that she will be ok... know that she needs help!

As for the mooches... find out what they owe her and see what you can get out of them.... after you kick their sorry butts out!

Love, deb

 
Old 11-10-2009, 05:22 AM   #7
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

I know she can't live alone. I called the doctor a little later to get a more detailed explanation of the results and she said my Mom does have alzheimers, she did not want to scare her - wanted to let this sink in a bit (maybe for me too). I woke up in the middle of the night thinking how I am losing my Mom. It is scary and overwhelming. My younger brother may be ok to live with her if he can clean up his act. He has his own money now. I haven't told him the diagnosis yet. He sleeps all day. I hope to talk to him today, and I will have another talk with her boyfriend (who has been in her life for 3 years & she has had symptoms the whole time) I need my older brother to come with me on that meeting. I do not see any reason for him to be there. He starts drinking at 7:30 in the morning and passes out by 7. I never thought this would happen to my Mom. She was such a great business woman, and my friend. How is you Mom now Deb?

 
Old 11-10-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

When ask how my Mom is now I answer on two levels. She is safe, well cared for and happy which means she is doing well. She seems to like the new facility they are in and is always involved in something. She no longer feels responsible for Dad's care and I have seen a bit of her light hearted self come back.

Her cognition has taken a tumble. She can no longer make a complete sentence and doesn't understand what is being said to her. She responds to non verbal cues and does try to communicate. She needs help with showers, dressing, and grooming but she still feeds herself and for the most part is continent. She has lost the desire to go "home" but I think that's because she doesn't remember home. Most days she knows who I am but there have been days she had no clue. She has totally lost her ability to even know what a number is despite the fact that she was a bookkeeper, financial wiz, all of her life.

So for the condition she's in, which is not goo.... she's doing great I just tend to look at the She's doing great part!... because I can't fix the other.

Love, deb

 
Old 11-11-2009, 08:26 AM   #9
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

How long after you found out about the AD did it take for her to go into a facility? My Mom has been on her aricept for 2 days now and she has called me more in the last 2 days than she had in the last month. And she is talking to me more. Did your Mom have aricept and did it work for a while? Our Mom's sound similar - my Mom ran a successful real estate office for 25 years - I knew there was a serious problem when she did not understand the mortgage finance process. Then I found out she was having financial problems. Anyway, I appreciate your feedback and help. Thank you.

 
Old 11-11-2009, 01:14 PM   #10
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

JLR, My Mom was actually diagnosed in October of 2006 but I know that was not the beginning of the disease. In hind sight I think she knew something was wrong at least 3 years before that. She did all the necessary legal paper work (POA's, wills, etc) sometimes repeatedly and got the house ready to sell. these were an obcession and she over did both. About the same time she was diagnosed with depression. My Mom had never ever had depression in her entire life. She was the most positive person I knew. I am not sure if she was looking for a reason other than ALZ (which her Mom had) or the doctor, who was a close family friend, didn't want to admit the obvious. With Dad's Vascular dementia anything that Mom didn't remember she just blamed on Dad. What a convenient excuse!!!

When she was diagnosed in October of 2006 she was put on aricept and namenda. We also insisted that somebody come in to stay with them during the day. We rotated weekends going home and a cousin stayed with them one day a week. They were alone Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night. You can not imagine the disaster they would create, especially when they were there alone so I ended up at home a lot more than one weekend a month. Mom hated having somebody in the house all the time. She was in constant rebellion about something. I truly don't know if the medication was any help to her at all. Her diagnosis was moderate to sever dementia consistent with ALZ and we were told at the time that as late in the disease as she was, it might not be helpful. Her cognition continued to decline and so did her angst and agitation. She finally hit the caregiver a second time and that was the end of that. She and Dad, went that day to my sisters, and were in an Assisted Living situation within a week.

They were there for 18 months. I don't think the facility was a good fit. Mom's felt bound to Dad having been his caregiver for so many years and their room was at the end of a long hall on the upper floor which isolated them. Mom just stayed in the room and got worse but in cognition and temperament. Dad was having delusions and wandering. He started going down a stairwell and out the back door (which stayed broken). He was found wandering the street at 6 am in 13 degree weather. SO they tried to move him to the locked unit. Mom refused the separation and went off the deep end. She was running out the front door screaming about their abuse. So needless to say that was the end of that and we were ask to move them.

That is when I found the locked ALZ unit here and moved them again. At first Mom was ok but then she decided it was time to go home. She would become aggressive and combative. She packed constantly with an obsession even moving furniture out of the room and throwing her belongings over the court yard fence. She would agitate Dad until he became combative because he wanted to make her happy and she was NEVER happy. That is when she ended up spending 10 days in a senior behavioral unit. She came out well medicated and at that point it was obvious that she had taken a major turn for the worst in her cognition. That was about 6 months ago. Yes, her cognition is much worse. She cannot form a complete sentence and she does not understand what is being said to her. She needs help with just about everything but..... she is happy. She has not even ask to go home lately. With Mom happy, Dad is happier as well

So did the aricept help? I don't think so. Even if it maintained her cognition for a brief period of time that was not best for Mom. Alz was her worst fear. She watched her Mom die of the disease and had told me for years that she would rather battle cancer again then to have ALZ. The few times that her diagnosis registered in her mind she would tell me she would rather be dead. It was not an irrational statement but rather a heartfelt one. She fought against this disease with all that was in her and her depression and angst were all related to the fact that she knew. Even on the Alz medication her cognition (measured by MARS where she was diagnosis) dropped dramatically in the first 9 months. At the end of the 1.5 years in AL she had taken another major drop. It was at that time they decided to take her off the meds to see if the medication itself was causing some of the angst. There is also some evidence that these medications can cause increased angst in some patients. If so Mom was probably one. After that she took the sharp decline but I am not sure that was because of the lack of medication. I truly don't know if that medication did anything for Mom. It was only after her cognition declined to the point where she truly doesn't know anything that she got better.

A couple of points... the psychologist told me that it was not unusual for very intelligent individuals to maintain a level of functioning beyond their ability and then take a very sharp decline downward. From her progression he thinks this was what happened to Mom. He also said that as late as she was started on the meds that they probably did her no good. Her declines were all related to moves and changes in her life rather than medication related.

One thing I will say is that I truly wish I had moved them to a more appropriate facility that they could have stayed at much sooner than I did. Each move was traumatic. The lack of adequate assistance with Dad made a difference. The lack of adequate assistance for that year at home made a difference. Having to move then twice made a difference. But that's all behind us now. They are in a great facility that they seem to have adjusted.... and it only took 3 years

love, deb

 
Old 11-11-2009, 03:57 PM   #11
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

Thanks Deb. My Mom drove her next door neighbor to the Mayo clinic 1 hour from here today. She told me she would call me when they were on the road, but she never did. Her cell phone (which she can do hands free in the car) did not pick up either. I have been worried all day. I do not think her friend would have asked her to drive if she knew my Mom's diagnosis. My Mom does not know she has AD because the doctor told her she had memory problems (the doctor told me she did not want to scare my Mom). Anyway, I am just venting a bit. Not sure what to think about her driving. I know I do not want her to take my kids anywhere!

 
Old 11-11-2009, 05:06 PM   #12
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLR23 View Post
Thanks Deb. My Mom drove her next door neighbor to the Mayo clinic 1 hour from here today. She told me she would call me when they were on the road, but she never did. Her cell phone (which she can do hands free in the car) did not pick up either. I have been worried all day. I do not think her friend would have asked her to drive if she knew my Mom's diagnosis. My Mom does not know she has AD because the doctor told her she had memory problems (the doctor told me she did not want to scare my Mom). Anyway, I am just venting a bit. Not sure what to think about her driving. I know I do not want her to take my kids anywhere!
We just had my father-in-laws driving evaluated after the doctor told him he failed the tests having to do with driving. He failed that too, but we felt it was important for him to see that he really wasn't driving well. Like your mom he is lucid enough to think he is fine with driving.
Your biggest problem is that the doctor isn't supporting you by letting her think that she is fine. If you can, see if you can get another evaluation for her. It may take time. We started by making an appointment at a teaching hospital that has an institute on aging, after his doctor refused to help or believe that there was anything wrong with him. Not sure where you live but there may be some kind of program in your area like this. It sounds like your mom trusts you so hopefully she will listen to you.

Love,
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:30 PM   #13
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

Tell your Mom that she has the start of Alzheimer so she knows what's wrong is not that she's going nuts.

I would also take away her ability to drive by whatever methods you need to employ -- disable the car by disconnecting the battery or pulling the distributor wires

Your mother SHOULD NOT BE driving period

CaringSister54

and please don't say she's fine driving around town. if she had an accident and hit someone, you'll feel guilty forever.

 
Old 11-11-2009, 10:25 PM   #14
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

Lizzie, you now have your proof and I hope your FIL will abide. I do think the new driving evaluations are phantastic. They take the pressure off of you to make that decision. When he failed the test does the state take away his driving privileges? On of the problems here is the lack of coordination between the physicians and the state. Dad had been told almost 5 years previously that he should not drive, and my sister took him to the DMV and got his license renewed. He can see and sign his name.

Liz is right JLR. You Mom will think she is fine driving right on. It has been 10 years since Dad has his privileges taken by the doctor. To this day he still thinks he is a perfect driver even though he has not been behind the wheel of a car in years. Mom ran over a yard statue, backed into a car, and left numerous other dents and dings in the van that are still unexplained whlie she was proclaiming to be a good driver. Your Mom may be ok for now but there is no way of you knowing except by taking her for diving evaluation. I say when in doubt... stop the driving. In the case of a 1 ton guide missile, it is better to be over cautious than not cautious enough.

One think I did was let my Mom drive with me in the car. That was just days before I tried to convince the first doctor to take away her driving privileges. I swore if I ever got out of that car I would never let her drive again! You also have to remember that the actually function of driving is so ingrained that they will not forget how to drive. What they do lack is the ability to respond appropriately in the case of anything unusual. When mom backed into the car she just drove off. Yep, she was reported for hit and run. She had no memory of running over the yard statue. I am just glad it was a statue of a little girl and not an actually little girl. The day she got out of the van and left it running was probably the last straw. When she looked for the keys and was told she had left the van running... she assured me that was ok because it would eventually run out of gas Get the drift?

Love, deb

Last edited by Gabriel; 11-11-2009 at 10:26 PM.

 
Old 11-12-2009, 03:44 AM   #15
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Re: Just got results from Doctor

You rightly don't want her to drive your kids anwhere. And I do not want her on the road any time MY grandkids are going anywhere, whether on foot or in another vehicle. My kids are just as important as yours. Get her off the road!

Love and prayers, Martha

 
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