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Do I report these people? Long, I'm sorry! (really long)
crella
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:09 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 47


This isn't an AD query so much as an elder care query, I hope no one minds me asking...there is a wealth of experience here, and I trust your advice.

 

My mother, with advanced kidney disease (dialysis several times a week) and advanced NASH is starting to lose her judgement and act sneaky, telling different bits and pieces of events to each of us three kids. She may or may not be in the early stages of dementia. I've had some odd conversations with her lately where she's disoriented as to the day of the week. This I intend to keep an eye on.

 

My issue is health care professionals and  senior bus individuals 'befriending' my mother outside of their regular work hours. A nurse from her dialysis center has started dropping by the house and spending time with her, as well as a driver of the local senior bus run by the town.

 

Background: My mother was completely spoiled by my father, she never even had to get a driver's license, he drove her around endlessly to all the places she wanted to go. She is a difficult personality, similar to my MIL in that she thinks she is 'upper class' and the neighbors are all beneath her. She is also starting to brag and exaggerate about her family etc to anyone who will listen, and I think this is all coming together in a perfect storm....she wears a number of honking CZ rings  and tells one and all at the dialysis center that they are 'her diamonds', she concocts tales of filet mignon and shrimp for dinner, gourmet this and gourmet that, always talking about the fantastic meals she prepares for herself even though she doesn't eat much at all (a whole other issue) shows people pictures of our house , how our son just became a doctor etc etc. creating the picture of someone who's loaded and has money to burn, when she's on a (good, albeit) pension. Add to this the 'my kids don't do anything for me', 'no one is taking care of me' fibs to get the pity of both nurse and driver, and there you go...../bg

 

Well, after 6 months or so of all this exaggerated tall tale telling, she has a nurse visiting, who I heard just took home a carload of coats, clothes and shoes (mum is a shopaholic, it's all 'extra') . Since Mum thinks she is 'above riding the senior bus with who knows who'  she has finagled the cell number of one of the bus drivers and when she doesn't want to ride the bus, she calls her and asks her to come and pick her up privately, this has happened three times....one time my mother got the driver to take her other places on the way home as well, saying 'My daughter doesn't take me anywhere'. The bus driver won't take a cent in gas money.

 

So....is this above board, or am I right in that my spidey-sense is tingling? MIL had a similar situation. A woman was cleaning her house 'for free' because the gave the woman a bull story about my never visiting her when I was there 5-6 days a week-MIL had her come over after I would leave. 'I want to help you, I don't want any money' at first turned into tales of woe, how she had no money etc. and MIL ended up loaning her money. In other words I am suspicious of services offered for 'free' due to past experience. Like MIL, my mother is keeping it all hush-hush, telling my brother but not my sister who lives with her, nor I. She was going out while my sister was at work, Sis had no idea this woman has been driving her around. We three forged a 'full disclosure' policy three years ago after being set against each other by our mother, so keep each other informed.

 

I haven't been in the US for a long time, but is this allowed? Do nurses have relationships with patients outside the hospital? Can a Council on Aging employee drive clients around  in their spare time? I hate to be suspicious but....


rose_ro
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:21 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431


Oh darn, I wrote something and lost it.

 

i'd get her to a neuro asap, and perhaps get her in ethical care asap.

 

She is being taken advantage of, and needs to be protected.  Perhaps she needs to be on AD meds, and have other things like vitamin deficiencies ruled out.

 

An elderly man was murdered in his home in our state, because a nephew of his usual driver filled in and killed him (I think with a ''partner).  I'm not sure if he had dementia, the older man, or his wife, but they did have money!

 

it's a horrific tragic thing to happen. 


madamme
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 11:12 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 149


Crella- 

   

  First of all,  good to see you here.... 

 

  Then, I think that you and your brother and your sister need to formulate a plan...my "spidey sense" would be on alert too..but then I am naturally leery.......  

 

  It could be that these people are genuinely being kind, BUT there is also the chance that they are in it for whatever they can get out of it..Can your siblings try to arrange a meeting with wither of these individuals on the side to try and suss out the situation? If informed that the person they are going out of the way for does have family involved in their life they may back off if they are in it for a monetary reward down they line, if they are just being kind, then they may continue to help her out. 

   

   You and your siblings may also have to look into different living arrangement for your Mom..(I know thats not an easy proposition).....But the most important thing is your Mom safety and you and your sibling's peace of mind... 

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}-M 

 

   

    


JAB
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 12:27 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 740


Hi, crella.

 

The nurse taking home a carload of clothing and shoes -- that strikes me as highly unethical, bare minimum, and I wouldn't hesitate to report it.

 

The bus driver ... well ... I'd be nervous.  You might simply call his employer and ask about their policy.

 

The problem, of course, is that both these people now have access to your mother.  You may want to contact Adult Protective Services where she lives, to discuss the entire situation with them and ask their advice.

 

I'd also "assume" that she's developing dementia, and call the 24/7 help line here to talk with their experts.  1-800-272-3900


Zolly
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 12:35 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 2283


Quote from crella:

"I haven't been in the US for a long time, but is this allowed? Do nurses have relationships with patients outside the hospital? Can a Council on Aging employee drive clients around  in their spare time? I hate to be suspicious but...."

....................

 

I understand the feeling that Medical personnel or professionals are supposed to be above the functional mixing with patients or clients.

 

One of my oddist lines I read on this Board was when it was posted that it is unethical for a patient to expose feelings for another patient. To me that was funny. Patients and working professionals are all people. They are allowed to mix at will.

 

With the amount of time I have spent in hospitals I was most pleased to receive attention "above and beyond" at those times I was but a lonely patient awaiting the knife or as a healing patient.

 

In reverse can you imagine a Nurse advising a patient "Sorry I cannot give you anymore attention, your time has expired." Or, the busdriver advising "Get off the bus. I know this is too far from your home, but it is my designated stop."

 

Be thankful for the extra help and forget the word "ethics", (which you did not write), but rather I still hold that word in my funny box.


King Boo
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:03 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3090


Hello Crella-it is always good to question.  In some ways this situation parallels that of my aunt.  She is from an Asian-European family, and feels very superior, flaunts what she has, too, resembling some of what you described with your mother.  And she was befriended by 2 guys in their 50's.  It had all the makings of con-artists targeting a vulnerable older woman. 

We have met these men several times recently.  They initiated contact with me, seeking help because auntie is beginning to fail.  Many visits later, despite appearances, it is the very unusual situation of 2 very good hearted men who have the caregiver gene trying to do the best by this woman they have befriended.

Another family member is POA, and these men called recently to beg that this family member come down and get things in order, they have no desire to be involved in the financial end of things. 

So, while I would be highly suspicious, perhaps the best way to investigate is to get to know these people, and to let them know you are very much in the picture.


Angela65
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 3:37 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 276


I agree Kingboo not alwys are people out to get you, I would be sure that your family get to know the nurse and bus driver, And let them know your mom isnt as destitute as she is making them think . Chances are these people are thinking this poor ol woman needs some1 to help, Get to know them and by all means we do need to be very careful because unfortunately there are terrible people in this world who would take advantage. But if family is that concerned then some1 in family may need to arrange 24 7 care for mom.
crella
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 5:28 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 47


Thank you everyone for the food for thought.

 

Rose_ro and madamme, my mother lives with my sister and her child. The child is going to school and my sister works full time. My sister also has a fellow she's seeing, so she is sometimes out on the weekends. Mom's not on her own, and my sister does all the shopping. What she can't do is take time off to take our mother to her dialysis treatments 3x a week , added to other things she needs done, she's at either the dialysis center or the hospital 5 days a week. Sis almost lost her job over all the time she was taking off for Mom after Dad died. 'Well your father always took me to all my appointments', but my sister can't get fired. This is what equals 'My daughter won't do a thing for me'.That's why we signed her up for the bus...

 

JAB, that's what I was thinking. My family is involved in the medical field, and I've never heard of nurses spending their days off getting clothes and things from patients. Mom is a shopaholic and we call her Imelda for her shoe collection. The nurse went home with a car full of stuff last week and is coming for 'the rest' next week. Before she received the clothes and things she had been visiting for a few months. My mother evidently offers, or it comes up on conversation that she's lost weight and has clothes with the tags still on them that are too big for her. The bus driver is not a city driver, but one of those vans that picks the elderly up at their doors and takes them to the hospital.

 

Zolly, I see what you're saying. However, as for myself I worked in a clinic for 8 years (admin) and I would never dream of taking anything from a patient...I got paid for my job, I wouldn't expect elderly patients to invite me to their homes. My mother-in-law got fleeced so badly by her 'volunteer' housekeeper it wasn't funny. She cleaned the house for a few months and then started to hint around about how it was hard work etc to make MIL feel bad, then she started taking home clothes, dishes, asking for money, so I worry about anything that's free.

 

King Boo, that's great to hear! We had so many buzzards come out of the woodwork when MIL got dementia that I'm pretty suspicious. Perhaps I shouldn't be. Even my kimono and bolts of silk I had stored at MILs house were taken. It was unreal. DH went to the garage to get some laquerware that was his grandmother's and that was gone too.

 

Angela65, Mom talks about how well off she is and her kids are (and people maybe see dollar signs) and then 'no one is caring for me', a bad combination if you run into bad people. If they're good people they'll get wise sooner or later.

 

This is what we 3 are debating these past few weeks together on Skype-

 

1. talk to them directly?

2.report them? (or at least inquire into policy)

 

Thank you all. I will talk about all of your replies with the sibs. Thank you!


crella
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 5:49 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 47


As far as dementia goes, I suspect it. However, she has always been the Little Princess type, getting all emotional if things don't go her way, and pitting one kid against the other two by telling half a story, so I'm having trouble getting the other two on board as of yet . I'm getting a lot of 'But she's always been like that'.

 

Day/date disorientation is a symptom I think. Mom has burned pans, and Sis came home and found the oven on, and it had been all day. With the kidney problems she is exhausted, puts a pan on and then goes back to the TV. Her last trip to see me, (5 years ago) her bags were so weirdly packed that I thought 'Here we go......' A month's trip, one pair of underwear (that she wore and I subsequently had to wash every night), 6 bras, 8 pair of shoes, no pajamas, one long-sleeve shirt and 14 short-sleeved ones, for a late October trip. Her carry on bag had all her meds in it, and when I opened the zipper, the first thing I saw was the soles of a pair of shoes! Unwrapped shoes on top of candy and a paperback book. On the flight back, she pushed other people out of the way to board ahead of them, and several times during the flight she burst out 'I want OFF this PLANE!' and asked me *ever hour* 'How much longer now?'

 

The sibs haven't seen much of this yet so they are still attributing it to her personality. The only think brother has seen (again attributed to her being difficult) was her overnight stay in the hospital last year. Mom's BP was very low after dialysis and they wanted her admitted. She threw a fit, but got into the bed. Brother and his wife thought it would be a simple after-dialysis pick-up and didn't eat before they went. 3 hours later Mom's BP was still not up, Brother and Sis-in-law said they would go to the cafeteria for a bite.'Then I'm going home!!" Mom was yelling. In the following hours brother went to the bathroom a couple of times, Sis-in-law did too. When the nurse decided Mom would stay overnight, Mom accused them of talking to the nurses every time they left the room, to convince the nurses to keep Mom overnight. She started calling the house at 6 am the next morning to be picked up.

 

I think it's dementia, the start of it at least.


crella
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 5:56 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 47


Correction!!!

 

The woman who took the clothes was not a nurse, but the woman on the check-in desk for the department. So sorry! My info was wrong.


crella
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 5:58 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 47


PS, Madamme, thank you for the welcome! It is took me a bit to get over here and get acclimated. New Year's is a huge holiday here and I was pretty busy, and wasn't on the computer much.
Angela65
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 7:27 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 276


Crella i am so sorry if my post didnt welcome you. BUT WELCOME. and it sounds as though you and your siblings have your hands full. I would ask your moms Dr. to do evaluation it does sound like your mom has some issues. Be it alz. or another demitia. And you can contact your local law enforcement and check on these people for priors. But i truly wish you would meet them and I truly hope its because they are kind . I question the woman from the clinics intention. But  i also know a older man who drives bus for elderly and he is such a kind soul he lost his wife to ALZ. and does give the people extra rides like to store and the mall during holidays. And only doing it to be helpful, And im sure he is also lonely.
Zolly
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 8:25 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 2283


Quote from crella:

"Zolly, I see what you're saying. However, as for myself I worked in a clinic for 8 years (admin) and I would never dream of taking anything from a patient..."

...........................

Sorry crella, you misunderstood my post. I was talking about giving, not thieving.

 

Your explination is one reason I have taken a step back on this Board. It is bad enough having Dementia in my life, then facing a difficult Board ( which I have accepted as is what is), but to also take the rocks and arrows from the Board members who post for the sake of posting without really reading the intent of referred posts  dulls my enthusiasm.

 

 


madamme
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 9:25 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 149


Crella-- 

 

 I had missed your posts..and was so glad to see you name..being over in Japan only adds stress to your situation I know.. 

 

  I was not questioning if your sister was paying attention, only wondered if she was aware of the dynamics going on with your Mom.. 

 

  I think that if possible the three of you should first try to talk with the individuals that are "assisting" your Mom ...they MAY be doing it out of kindness and if so perhaps a small stipend contributed by the three of you w/out her knowing about it would be something you might offer..Mainly it would let them know that she does have family who are looking out for her..as you know from caring for your MIl and the difficulties you have had with that and her "stories a person with dementia can be VERY convincing.."it the disease".. 

we have all said it ...;( 

  tread carefully no matter what..... 

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 

 


crella
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 12:05 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 47


"but to also take the rocks and arrows from the Board members who post for the sake of posting without really reading the intent of referred posts dulls my enthusiasm."

 

 

I'm sorry, Zolly, I don't understand. I read your post as 'don't worry too much'. I didn't see your post in a negative light at all, I was trying to explain to you why I feel as I do. Not just this board, but anywhere, in a situation where people don't know each other at all, intent and tone are sometimes very difficult to parse from the written word alone. On this board we also have the problem of having a lot of stressed, sleep-deprived people which probably only makes it worse. I do try and understand posts before I reply to them, to discern the tone...you said 'be glad for the extra help' and in a continuation of our conversation, I explained further to you why my suspicions were aroused. I think it takes time to grasp tone from posts, I'll try harder!

 

Angela65, thank you also for your words of welcome too. As madamme said 'good to see you here' I thanked her for her welcome, but I didn't mean that no one else welcomed me.   Thank you for your welcome as well! I tend to answer point-by-point. Too systematic, perhaps, I tend to be methodical, and I hope I don't come across as abrupt! You know, my uncle drove one of those buses for the elderly for many years, and he loved it and always went 'the extra mile' for the people he drove around every week. It could be just out of kindness. I hope it is!

 

Madamme, I know what you meant. I sometimes second guess myself and think I'm not clear enough and so tend to go on clarifying! My sister talked to the reception desk lady and found out that she had problems with my mother after she took the clothes home (that my mother offered) so she herself had already decided not to associate with my mother outside the hospital. My mother may have started to call her for favors or something after she took the clothes home. I know she's calling the bus driver and talking for as much as 2 hours when she's bored, so I don't doubt that she called the receptionist as well.

 

My God, as of today I'm pretty sure my mother has dementia. There, I said it. Now to gird myself for another 10 years or so.....FIL was diagnosed in '97, passed in 2002 and in 2003 MIL was diagnosed. It's been over 15 years straight of dealing with someone with dementia and now here I go again. 'We' actually, but still.  I know it's not all about me, but dammit I'm tired. No fear! After I have time to digest it and internalize it, I'll get adjusted and deal.

 

 


madamme
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 12:23 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 149


Crella-- 

 

 Oh honey..I am on the west coast , so since its morning I think where you are you probably wont be able to do this "til later, BUT, now that you have finally "said" the words "outloud" to yourself..Take a good deep breath, have a shot of strong  adult beverage, and relax..go take a warm bath or shower and cry if you have to..... 

   

   I know you're tired, and tho you have been through this before, a little scared..you're far away, and from what I remember of your posts from before,  

a  "manager"......But my dear, you also know you can only do so much..you already have more info than you did before.. 

 

  Make yourself that list that you are itching to make, and then ...one step at a time..many deep breathes as you need them..and we're always here... 

(even in this screwy new format   

  Many soft hug my friend---{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}-M 

 

 


crella
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 12:52 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 47


Thank you. Thank you very much.

 

 As we're heading up to 4:30 in the afternoon, it won't be long until it's a decent time of day to have an adult beverage ;-D

 

(and I hear you about the format!)