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Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 1:35 PM
Joined: 7/8/2017
Posts: 135

I have two LOs with dementia. My mother, she’s at the beginning of stage seven. My older sis, she is early to middle stage. Sis has one estranged daughter, and is a widower. She has been our mothers companion for about eight years. 

Sis fell last Nov, broke her hip. Before that, she had been diagnosed with puesdo-dementia - probably caused by depression. 

Even before sis’s broken hip, my mother’s hospice nurse had said that the two of them could no longer take care of themselves. She advised that my sis was not able to take care of herself, let alone watching over our mother. 

As a family, we had decided that we’d do what we could to get thru the holiday season, then place our mother. We weren’t sure what to do about our sis, she has no one that can take her in full time (me, nor my other sibling are able to take her in). 

My sis’s November fall accelerated our timeline. Sis had to go into rehab, mom had to go into assisted living. 

Like the hospice nurse, the hospital staff advised that sis couldn’t take care of herself - not due to her hip (although that was a factor). Then the rehab staff said the same - said her memory issues are too bad to live alone. Honestly, if she and her daughter got along, it would be great! She could live with her daughter, at least until her dementia progressed. (Not an option.)

I’ve heard that pusedo dementia is ‘curable’, she’s on antidepressants- but I haven’t seem any improvement. She does okay. But she doesn’t remember what she had for lunch half an hour ago. She gets four smoke breaks a day at the rehab/assisted living facility she stays at - yet doesn’t remember smoking! Often complains that they don’t let her smoke - smoking is a big issue for her! And she has upset a lot of the residents and staff because she bugs them in between breaks! The facility literally changed their policies on smoking due to my sister causing so much upheaval over smoking. The stricter rules did not make many of residents like her! 

She confabulations stories. For the most part the stories are tame, for example, she’ll claim to have handmade something that is store bought. 

Before her fall sis was only eating once a day, and only eating small amounts at the one meal she was eating. She was gaunt - almost skeletal. Since being at the rehab/ assisted living she has gain 15 pounds and truly looks so much better! 

BTW… She’s made comment that the ‘fall’ may have been on purpose - which is also a concern. But she’s not consistent with claiming it was purposeful. Could that be dementia issue too? Or depression?

I am her POA, since entering rehab/assisted living the cost has eaten up her meager savings. She is now on Medicaid.

The good news is that recently, she made a new friend and seemed to be adjusting and even somewhat accepting of living at the facility. (She never complained too much - but holds on to the hope that it won’t be forever. Truth is, it most likely will be!)

Problem is her former neighbor stopped by for a visit. This woman is nice enough, but is always looking for a good deal. We, my husband and I, own the property my sister and mother had been living at. Both of their cars are still parked at their old place. My son and his family are staying there right now, they are using the summer to find a place closer to the school they want their daughter to attend - so their staying there is temporary.

Not that that should be a concern for sis, but I do try to avoid the topic of what we are doing with the property - we don’t want to make her feel bad. Her car is still stored there! Texas Medicaid allows them to keep a small amount of money and their vehicle - since Medicaid takes all of their income (all but $60 a month) she won’t be able to save any more than the small amount for rainy day money needs. We are hoping to, someday. sell the car for her, when @nd if she ever needs more funds. 

I’m know the neighbor brought up the car - why? Because she wants to buy it! (She has already told me she wants to buy the house, if we ever sell.) And I’m assuming they told sis that my son was living in the house! 

I went for a visit yesterday, sis told me she wants to get her car running again (battery is dead), and she wanted me to know she does expect to get out and drive again. I put her off, said we can talk about that later.

I am not sure what to do, as I said, the neighbor was a good neighbor to them. Not perfect, and a bit gossipy! Sis has no other friends outside of the new assisted living friend that live near here. But I can’t have the neighbor coming for visits and getting sis all riled up! 

I do not think talking to the neighbors would help! I’m sure you all know the type!

Any suggestions!


Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 2:44 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2498

Though frustrating to you, I think I might try to just let it slide and hope your sister forgets the interaction.   Putting her off like you did was undoubtedly the right move.  You don't owe the neighbor anything, in terms of what you do with the car or the house, and you don't have to discuss it with her.  And if the neighbor contacts you, you can either say you've made other plans, or quote her an exorbitant price that you know she'll refuse.
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:12 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72

You can try telling the place where your sis is at to not let the neighbor in or without a companion to keep them in line. I've seen others on the forum mention things like that. Try and see if they can do something similar if you really don't want the neighbor bugging her.
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 6:34 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3648


Ugh, that is difficult.

It sounds like the car is a trigger for the neighbor who is likely positioning herself to snap up a bargain. When my auntie went into care her neighbors (like 6 of them-- it is definitely a thing) came at us with low-ball offers for her gently used Passat; I suspect they felt we were so grieved we'd leap at the offers and there was no real need for the car or the money, so they'd take advantage. She knows you own the house, so she likely assumes deep-pockets. Like all vehicular visual triggers, this one might be better out-of-sight. Perhaps you should park it where you live and explain to the neighbor that it's in the shop. 

The other piece is that you, as POA, may be able to limit your sister's visitors. I was able to put my deadbeat niece on the no-fly list at the MCF as I didn't want her trying to shake dad down for money.

On one hand it might be useful to get another set of eyes on your sister, especially if you have access to a university memory center. On the other, it doesn't sound like she was the most capable adult when she moved in with your mom and you have her settled and safe. I would be sorely tempted to leave things as they are rather than risk a "rosier" diagnosis and prognosis which might put her placement in jeopardy.  


Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 7:23 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 3100

Personally, I'd have a chat with the neighbor directly, let her know that you are unhappy she brought up the car at all, and let her know in no uncertain terms that nothing will be sold to anyone outside the family at any price, and tell her that if she mentions the vehicle again to your sister, she is not going to be permitted to visit again.

I suspect the main purpose was not seeing your sister, but discussing and paving the way for a bargain for herself.  After that kind of chat, she probably will not visit again, and certainly if she does and mentions the car, then she has to be prohibited from visiting.
MN Chickadee
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:34 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1540

I would tell the neighbor the car is a trigger and to not bring it up again. Tell her the doctor says sister can't drive so please stop discussing anything around the car. Tell her the car will go to a family member and you probably won't hear from her again. And just keep up the therapeutic fib with sis. Sure, I will see about fixing it. Don't worry about the car, it's there waiting for you. She will forget about this conversation eventually.  People like that don't tend to keep coming around memory care facilities out of the goodness of their hearts. Even close friends usually fall away because it's a difficult place to be and PWD can be difficult to relate to.
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