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Old 08-06-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
kacaju
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Mom is having memory loss

UGH..I posted a few weeks ago in the community room about how to have a talk with a parent about not driving.

My Mom has been getting very forgetful lately and our concerns (me, dh, my brothers and SIL's) is that she has told us she has been getting lost while driving.

She blames it on the town...town is growing and changing so much (yes it has to some extent...but not fast enough where you cannot remember how to get around) She blames it on the bad winter we had (she didn't drive much with all the snow we had)

She got lost recently in a neighboring town because she went down the wrong street and she said she could not find her way back to Main Street for a while. I guess she drove around until she found it.

So a few weeks ago I did borrow her car (because I really did need an extra car that week)...then when I was supposed to give it back my brother called her and asked if he could use it.
So I take her to her Dr (calling the Dr first) and the Dr. brings up driving and in a very gentle way explains to Mom we need to find out why she is getting forgetful and until then it would be best if she didn't drive. I said in front of the Dr. the car is now in my town and it will stay there until we figure out what is wrong with her.

Mom took it well, extremely to well.... Until this morning. She called here at
8am (I was in the shower) so she hung up and called my SIL (to speak to my brother) She completely flipped out and my brother went to her house to talk with her. She had calmed down..but told my brother she will take me to court if needed to get her car back...She does not remember that my brother needed the car after me...even though I have reminded her HE has it not ME.

When db reminded her we are concerned with her getting lost...she said she will get a map of town and mark off where all the stores are so she can find her way (around a town she has lived in for 40 years!!)

She has to write everything down because she forgets stuff..even when she does write it down, she still forgets. We have to call her to remind her of stuff (another brother just got married so there was a lot going on) She need sto move because she cannot afford to live in the townhouse she is in...but she keeps putting that off and stalling...telling us she needs 6 months to a year to sort things out....One day she agrees with us that she needs to move and be closer to us and a day later she does a 180 and refuses to talk about it. UGH!!! Times like this I really miss my Dad he died 7 years ago...
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #2
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There are many of you who are noticing your mom's changing behaviors, so you haven't made any wrong decisions by talking to her about not driving. How old is she, in her 80's?
I imagine it must be tough to watch things change like this. You only have her best interest in mind. I would be scared that she would get in an accident by not paying attention. How often does she need to get around?

I know what you mean about missing your dad. Every time my mom does something that I can't handle, I start crying and just want my dad back. He was much more stable, self assured, and confident. He could make good decisions without needing assistance. My mom is so much more needy and less assertive. She relied on my dad for everything, Now that he's gone, she can't do anything for herself.

Don't beat yourself up over this. You love and care for her. Even if the decisions you have to make are difficult. You'll all come to some type of agreement. Just make sure you have meaningful discussions with the rest of the family so everyone is all on the same page.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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I know I responded to your other thread and I too said to have a talk with the dr. So I am glad that was done.

I think things are just going to get worse. Been there and done that with fil. I was always afraid besides the driving stuff that he would leave the stove on and burn his house down etc.

I am guessing that since she has threatened to take you to court over the car, that no one is her power of attorney etc. Does she have legal things in place like dnr orders, medical health care proxy etc. My fil refused to do any of this to make my dh life easier and my dh was the only child etc. I think that is the next step that you might want to think about.

Also if she has a townhouse and sells it those assets will be used by medicaid I think for the next 7 years in determining any benefits if need be etc. Something else to think about. I dont know your moms health etc. If she just rents it then that is not a problem.

Might be good to talk to an elder care attorney.
Wishing you all the best. I know its not an easy road to travel.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:22 AM   #4
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my brother has power of attorney. Mom is young will be 69 next month. I have a number for gereratric Dr. I am calling them Monday to get her in for an appt.I am not worried at all about her threat to take me to court...I know mom and she would not even know where to begin.
She does own her townhouse.
Other then her memory loss Mom is in good health. She did admit to the Dr that she had stopped taking all of her medication for a while but now she is starting to take them again.

Bottom line is..if it turns out her problems are due to her not taking her medication and we get her back to the point where she can remember, I would be happy to give her the car back. But, until then.. we cannot have her driving if she neeeds a map to drive roads she has driven for 40 years.
She really just does not see it as a big deal...if she gets lost she says she does find her way back. My biggest fear is if she hits a detour. She hit a detour over a year ago in town and got lost. Never made it to my brothers house, took her 2 hours to find her way back home. In the mean time we were all waiting for her. She does not have a cell hone because she cannot figure out how to use them (we have tried a few different phones)
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:51 AM   #5
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I feel for you. Seeing these kinds of changes in memory and behavior in loved ones is difficult. And as much as I feel for you, I feel for your mom. Imagine, in her mind, her world being turned upside down.

While I'm young, I've worked in the geriatric field, and geriatric mental health including alzheimers (dementia) patients since I was 15. It is my passion. It is something I study, something I strive to know as much as I can....and to be an advocate for the person who can't always speak for themselves.

You are definitely on the right track!!! Going to see a geriatric specialist is the way you want to go. They are the ones who know the 'older' mind the best and the failing mind. Whether due to medication or a disease process, they are where to go.

I'm glad to hear that you have a POA in place. It's a foot in the door with having to make decisions for your mom.

I'm kinda stuck. I could give you a ton of advice....BUT it's what I know of how the Canadian system works.....and I don't know if it will be the same for you.

It sounds like your mom has some understanding of what is going on around her....be honest with her always. Tell her that her memory isn't what it used to be. Don't just shrug it off as 'old age' or getting older. Use the terms dementia or alzhemiers. It's very difficult. But use that as why she is forgetting things, gets lost.....BUT that her family is always there to help her.

This is an uphill battle. Some days can be good. Some days can be bad. Seek out support groups for yourself. There are some good ones out there, even in the states!!! Read up and get educated.

I'm sorry about your father. I understand wanting him here now He is with you....get involved somehow in a support group and lean on people there....and HERE!!! There are people everywhere that will support you

Good luck with everything!! Will be thinking of you
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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thank you MedicGoofy!!! She does understand she can't remember things, as I said she does write everything down so she doesn't forget. We are honest with her, which just is making her mad at this point. As I said, she just does not see any issue with her getting lost. She is full of excuses...like I said,,her biggest excuse is EVERYTHING is changing in town...and she tells us, she doesn't drive by looking at street names...just by landmarks and they are all changing. The Dr. called her on that when my mom tried to tell the Dr. this is why she is getting lost.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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She is losing the biggest part of her.....herself. If that makes sense. She is losing her memory and that must be a scary thing to her. It's easier to make up excuses that to face the truth.

Also, with memory loss, usually comes judgement impairment. Excuses, stories. You name it, there will be no reason for what she may say or do.

My grandpa lost his license at about 80....the big factor was an accident purely his fault. Why? He turned left into oncoming traffic. The excuse? My grandma's fault. She should of told him it wasn't safe to go. She outta been the one to lose her license:P That was his reasoning.....totally obsurd to everyone else. BUT in his mind, made total sense.

Please keep us updated on how your mom is doing and how your coping. We're all here for you!
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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well, I was away for a few days and Mom flipped out ad somehow managed to convince my brother and my uncle that she is OK and they gave her the car back.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:03 AM   #9
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My Dad has Lewy Body Dementia so I know the heartache of watching a parent have memory problems and the changes in their life that have to happen because of the memory problems.

If your Mom's driving is a concern to you and your doctor the doctor should be able to fill out a form that will cancel your Mom's drivers license. Maybe it could be a temporary thing? My Dad's doctor did this to my Dad. We had talked to my Dad about not driving anymore which he was furious about but when the doctor took the steps to cancel his driver's license it was easier for my Dad to accept. The local police department in the past has spoken with one of my parent's neighbors who has Alzheimer's and that seemed to help the neighbor understand and accept when it was coming from a uniformed officer. Maybe someone from your local department would come out and speak with your Mom?

I hope they figure out what is causing your Mom's memory problems and that it fixable. It's really heartbreaking to watch it happen to a parent.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #10
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well, I was away for a few days and Mom flipped out ad somehow managed to convince my brother and my uncle that she is OK and they gave her the car back.
I am sorry, I bet it feels like you are back to square one again. I am sure its very frustrating. I think I did post and say that things are only going to get worse.

I dont know how big your town is, but can you talk to an officer etc? Also what are your state laws? My fil was getting in so many accidents I think the police were the ones who ordered him to go and retake the driving test etc.

I know you tried the dr. thing. It would also help if ALL the family members were onboard and on the same page as far as what the plan will be etc.

Does she have any older friends who could talk to her who can assure her she can still do thing without the car etc?

If you belong to a church etc. maybe a pastor etc. could talk to her gently??

Be open to anything etc. Wishing you all the best
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:20 PM   #11
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well, I THOUGHT all family members were on board until my Uncle screwed things up and told her she should be able to drive if she wants. The problem is not her getting into an accident...the problem is she is getting lost. She is forgetting which direction the stores are in. She seems to think it is OK to drive 2 miles in the wrong direction to figure out she should have made a left instead of a right. She is getting very forgetful. She has not paid her Aug taxes yet. Her phone bill was 3 months behind.
Right now I am so frustrated with this whole thing..she is mad at me..it is all my fault her car was taken from her and she is not really talking to me. I spoke to her this morning. I asked..Mom did you pay your taxes yet? She said...no..then she asked..is that all you called for? She normally likes to talk more then that. I leave for vacation next week...I am not going to worry about this until I get home.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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UGH!! I just need to vent... Mom got lost again yesterday. This time , I don't know how..my idiot brother *found* her and had her follow him home...well, a UPS truck got between them and somehow my idiot brother didn't realize it and Mom ended up following the UPS truck and got lost agian. Se found her way to the police station...which is next to the Library...but at that point she had been gone for 4 hours and she could not figure out how to get home. My other brother and his wife went and got her and took her home.
I had that brother call my idiot uncle (the one who made us give her car back to her) and tell him what happened...now he says we need to take her car away.

REALLY?? didn't we do this back in the summer and he demanded we give her the car back. Now he says we have to do this the *right way* UGH...I am just so frustrated
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacaju View Post
UGH!! I just need to vent... Mom got lost again yesterday. This time , I don't know how..my idiot brother *found* her and had her follow him home...well, a UPS truck got between them and somehow my idiot brother didn't realize it and Mom ended up following the UPS truck and got lost agian. Se found her way to the police station...which is next to the Library...but at that point she had been gone for 4 hours and she could not figure out how to get home. My other brother and his wife went and got her and took her home.
I had that brother call my idiot uncle (the one who made us give her car back to her) and tell him what happened...now he says we need to take her car away.

REALLY?? didn't we do this back in the summer and he demanded we give her the car back. Now he says we have to do this the *right way* UGH...I am just so frustrated
Oh my, that is incredible. Thank goodness she got home.

I hope your family can come together on this to keep her safe and sound...
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacaju View Post
UGH!! I just need to vent... Mom got lost again yesterday. This time , I don't know how..my idiot brother *found* her and had her follow him home...well, a UPS truck got between them and somehow my idiot brother didn't realize it and Mom ended up following the UPS truck and got lost agian. Se found her way to the police station...which is next to the Library...but at that point she had been gone for 4 hours and she could not figure out how to get home. My other brother and his wife went and got her and took her home.
I had that brother call my idiot uncle (the one who made us give her car back to her) and tell him what happened...now he says we need to take her car away.

REALLY?? didn't we do this back in the summer and he demanded we give her the car back. Now he says we have to do this the *right way* UGH...I am just so frustrated

So glad you managed to get your mum home safe and sound, it must be so worrying for the whole family.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:15 AM   #15
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Hello everyone...a quick update...I took Mom to the Dr yesterday. It seems back in Nov she went to the Dr on her own...was given a medicine to take to try to help improve her memory and she took it for about a week (unknown to me) and then stopped taking it because she didn't want to take any more pills.

She never told any of us about this medicine..

My brother and Uncle have had to take over her financial stuff because she is not getting her bills paid on time. SHe always has an excuse.
The Dr gave me a name of a geriactric (sp??) place that deals with memory loss and I will set up an appt with them to see her.

I know she is having problems and truly is not completely the same *Mom* but she really hurt me yesterday.I am trying not to take it personally...so I just need to vent here...
We were taking about my oldest dd18 SH eis a senior in HS, she has been dancing snce she was 3 and was asked to TEACH a few classes at her dance school. SHe is there every day dancing...

My Mom made a comment on how it is good she is almost done with dance..she is not that good anyway!!!

WHAT??!!!! It truly breaks my heart that my mom said that...she never even comes to watch her dance anyway...how would she even know??
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