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My mother is changing, loss of judgment

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My mother is changing, loss of judgment

Postby DawnG » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:30 am

My mother is only 67. In the last two years she has changed dramatically. I'm desperately worried and I don't know what to do. I don't know how to say to her that she needs to see a doctor, because any attempts to interfere in this way are met with hostility and resistence. I've started telling my brother about instances but he's just not getting what I'm telling him.

My mom has never what you could consider a gullible person, right? She's showing signs of being extremely gullible. Here's the latest incident--

She never buys computers or other electronics without asking my advice because I'm the resident nerd. On her own she purchased and received today what was supposed to be a "refurbished" super-nice laptop from some company she never heard of. The company had sent her unsolicited information by mail. What she got was an old busted-up laptop from 2006 that doesn't even work properly. It doesn't even have a clean installation of the operating system. It was overpriced by about $100 - she could have bought it on ebay for much less. I made her call the company in my presence and request to send it back. They promised to send a return authorization with a UPS label.

I asked her what she was thinking and she said the flier said it was $400 less than retail price. I said Mom, it's probably 400 less than the original, NEW retail price. I came home and looked on BBB & ripoffreport.com and this company has hundreds and hundreds of complaints, and from the nature of the complaints it seems that getting her money back is going to be worth more than what she originally paid out.

I'm just sick about this! This person...is not my mother.

My grandmother, a year before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's related dementia, gave a person who called her on the phone her bank routing and account numbers, and then thousands of dollars disappeared by ACH transfer. My mother went to the bank with Grandma, filed the proper paperwork to get her money back, then went to an attorney to get power of attorney over my grandmother's finances because because she was afraid that she would somehow lose all the money she worked so hard for. I'm wondering if I'm going to be doing the same thing soon.

This isn't the only thing. My mother, the gearhead who drove Corvettes like a madwoman her entire life, is losing the ability to drive. She's lived in this city for 40 years and now stops where there have never been stoplights, drives through red lights, and has a tendency to slam on her brakes if another car is passing in the opposite direction, like she thinks it's too close to her when it isn't. If I'm driving she accuses me of trying to hit telephone poles and guardrails on the side of the road. It isn't her eyesight, at least I don't think so - she got new glasses this year.

She also is losing her hearing but won't go have that checked by a doctor. She says she can't afford it, but she Medicare and supplemental insurance. Surely that covers a hearing test. Sometimes I think she realizes she can't hear very well, and other times it seems like, I don't know, denial or something.

She got booted out of the DMV for being excessively rude to the people working there. My mother used to have beautiful manners but they're gone. Most of my family stays away from her because her personality is so toxic now. She just says whatever she's thinking and it's invariable hurtful.

She's only 67. This doesn't sound like normal aging, does it?
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Re: My mother is changing, loss of judgment

Postby fiftysix » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:52 pm

Can you make an appointment with her doctor? And if not, make an appointment with some other doctor and ask what you should do. Or phone up some aging organisation and ask them for advice.

You need to speak to some professionals if you can talk to your mother.

And then also perhaps htink about what you are worried about particularly. I mean dementia is not curable but it can be slowed down a bit. Are you worried that she will give away and waste more money?

If its her health, only that's worrying you, then i don't know if its accurate but what's to be done? If decline is inevitable and treatment is not going ot make a huge difference, then maybe this is just the start of the grieving process for you.

buddhists teach us to accept that all things will pass so we tend to get prepared for this stuff in advance so cope better when it comes around. I'm dealing with stuff about my mother too and what brought me to this forum was today was whether my mother might be at risk of dementia.

Of course there could be other explanations for your mum unusual behaviours and if they are due to other health issues, then i guess you'd want them checked out. I don't know how people get a person in denial to get checked out. I think you just have to step back if you can't do anything. Be prepared to let nature take its course rather than trying to force things to go the way you want htem to.

Some suggestions.
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Re: My mother is changing, loss of judgment

Postby DawnG » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:20 pm

Thank you for responding!

I suppose what I'm feeling mostly is a sense of obligation to do whatever I can to ensure she lives a good life and that no harm comes to her if it can be prevented. What I'm feeling is also a sense of guilt and a desire *not* to live in denial as had happened before. I also live with the worry that it will take some bad event to bring about some acknowledgement that things aren't right.

My grandmother lived alone, she became mean in character and increasingly isolated, and none of her children seemed to realize she was suffering from any loss of cognition until she crashed a vehicle into a grocery store and caused herself physical harm. Nobody wanted to admit that she was living in squalor because she couldn't manage to clean anything, or that she had entirely stopped bathing. I was so clueless because I was busy raising a family. My mother and I are the ones who stepped forward after there was no more denying there was a problem- I arranged and handled all of her daily care for as long as it was feasible and my mother took care of her finances. The rest of the family was pretty much uninvolved.

So now I'm seeing the beginnings of a replay of what happened then - the very dirty house, not bathing properly, increasing isolation, financial missteps similar to my grandmother, the loss of driving skills - all within a very short period of time. I still have the same family members who can't and won't see the changes. So here I am, all alone in anxiety and I didn't have a clue what to do about it.

Thanks for the suggestions in seeing doctors. I don't think my mother even has a regular doctor anymore. What I do have access to is county Senior Services. I'll go talk to someone at one at the local center.
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Re: My mother is changing, loss of judgment

Postby fiftysix » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:39 pm

Well i'm sure once you get some other professionals involved, things will improve for your mother.
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Re: My mother is changing, loss of judgment

Postby KannT » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:40 pm

I understand what you are going through. For five years I tried to get my family to recognize problems with my mother. She drove herself into a culvert saying the car behind her was going to fast so she had to hurry. She also slammed on her brakes on a busy road and was rear ended by two cars. I wanted to remove her drivers license but family wouldn't agree blamed it on her getting older.
One day I got a call from my brother who lives with her. That she had gone to the store like everyday and the police had brought her home because she couldn't find home. Thank God they took her license away.
One day she fell, my brother called to ask what to do. I told him to take her to the hospital. She said she won't go. I told him to call an ambulance. It took two cops and the ambulance people to get her in the ambulance. After she was threatened that if she didn't stop hitting the er team she would go to jail.
After this instance I had her tested for dementia. Looking at her medications some she hadn't taken for 6 months. The reason she had fallen is she had over taken one medication.
I had put her in a home. She didn't like it there and told me to do whatever I had to so she could come live with me. So I did what she wished and now she is living with me.
All I can say is don't wait till it's to late get her medical attention. And Good Luck I know how hard it is without family backing.
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