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Selling condo and thinks she will buy another
Nanpr
Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022 5:02 PM
Joined: 3/30/2021
Posts: 21


Hi All,

I haven’t been on here for awhile. Just trying to get through the days. My mom has been fairly stable. She has been living with me helping out as I just went through cancer treatment. Now that she thinks her job here is done, she has out her condo up for sale. She believes that she is going to sell and buy again. As a refresher, my mom has moved 2 times in 2 years. She has had delusions of people smoking in her first townhome. Then she rented for 6 months (although she was barely there because of police involvement) She had.s delusion that a 10 year old child was being hidden in the condo above. They had 2 children who did make noise, but they were 2 and 4 years old. I. This current condo (which again she has barely lived I ) she is back to the hallucination/delusion of smelling smoke. She is convinced the person above her is smoking. They are not. Again police involvement. My brother and I are at a loss as to what to do. She is not diagnosed and refuses to get any testing done. She is adamant that she will sell and buy again. How do we have the conversation with her that she will not be able to buy again? That these delusions/hallucinations aren’t real and that something is not right? That something else will happen and that she is unable to live alone any longer. Any time we have tried in the past to talk about it, she gets very agitated and it escalated quickly. I do t know what to do anymore. My own mental health and that of my family is suffering. I just hate this disease. I wish that in some ways she would progress further, so that we can get her the help she needs. When she lives with me she is very good and is able to do all he ADLs. She is definitely somewhere between stage 3 and 4, I think. Possibly fromtotemperal dementia, as she had a car accident 16 years ago that affected that area of the brain. 

Sorry, I’m rambling but just find it so hard. We have been dealing with this same situation for 2.5 years, but when we think back the changes started 5+ years ago. 

Anyway, I know there’s no answer, but wondered how others have tales to their LO’s about their disease. Does it ever end well? Do they ever realize it? I just can’t see my mom coming to terms with it. 

Sorry, so long! Thanks for any words of encouragement or advice! 


CanyonGal
Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022 7:11 PM
Joined: 5/22/2021
Posts: 12


My mother would never acknowledge that she was having memory issue, ignoring health problems and bad financial decisions. We let her remain at home until she had a serious fall where her short-term memory loss could not be denied. She moved into Assisted Living, and we sold her home and the leftover furnishings that could not come with her into her small apt. Since she had vision issues and her driver license expired, the car was sold. She had a hard time accepting the move and often wanted to revert back to having her own home, but she could not live on her own. This year her cognitive decline reached a point where I had to move her to memory care.

Her delusions were that the facility was adding salt to her food and she was unable to eat anything because it was salted. We bought food and stored it in her min refrigerator as a work around. The "salt" issue appeared when she was in the hospital and rehab to where she has lost 25 lbs. I had to call in hospice because she is nothing but skin and bones. 

There are other delusions that reasoning or displaying a truth doesn't break the delusion (i.e. this is a peach, it has no salt). She can't eat bread because of gluten, meanwhile she is eating cinnamon rolls. It's crazy.


LicketyGlitz
Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022 7:42 PM
Joined: 2/3/2018
Posts: 1170


Canyon Gal sounds like they had a good solution -  could you go shopping with your mom for her "condo" but have it be retirement communities with assisted living sections instead? Some kind of ruse in that direction might work?

I would reach out to her primary care doctor also, explain the situation, and ask for advice. They may not talk to you at all, but if they are amenable to at least hearing you and your brother out, they may find a way to test her. Sometimes our parents trust their doctors way more than their kids! The PCP may at least want to investigate your concerns for the sake of their patient.

Tough situation, Nanpr. Sorry you all find yourselves here. Wishing you the best as you move forward!

 



dayn2nite2
Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022 8:13 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 3312


Depending on how you think she’ll react, you might try telling her that due to police involvement in the past, she will have to bring certification by a doctor that she is 100% healthy before purchasing another place?

 


M1
Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022 10:31 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2850


Hi Nan, I'm glad you made it through your treatment okay, that can't have been easy. Im intrigued by your mother's smelling smoke, have you mentioned it to her doc? There are such things as olfactory delusions-even olfactory seizures-that can be very difficult, i had a patient with epilepsy whose seizures were olfactory (very unpleasant smells) and he was convinced he was being chronically poisoned. Don't know what to do with that information, but it might be worth a discussion.

wish I had other ideas for you but i don't. Keep us posted though, it's good to hear from you.


Victoria2020
Posted: Friday, September 23, 2022 5:29 AM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1490


Nanpr wrote:
 My brother and I are at a loss as to what to do. She is not diagnosed and refuses to get any testing done. She is adamant that she will sell and buy again. How do we have the conversation with her that she will not be able to buy again? That these delusions/hallucinations aren’t real and that something is not right? That something else will happen and that she is unable to live alone any longer. Any time we have tried in the past to talk about it, she gets very agitated and it escalated quickly. I do t know what to do anymore. My own mental health and that of my family is suffering. I just hate this disease. I wish that in some ways she would progress further, so that we can get her the help she needs.

Anyway, I know there’s no answer, but wondered how others have tales to their LO’s about their disease. Does it ever end well? Do they ever realize it? I just can’t see my mom coming to terms with it. 

Sorry, so long! Thanks for any words of encouragement or advice! 


Hi Nanpr --

Does it end well- sadly no- it is a fatal disease with no treatments and most patients never understand, face it , or are able to participate in decisions that need to be made about their living arrangements, their finances or their behaviors/care.For the PWD  that may be a blessing, for the family, it's tiring , frustrating  etc .

I suggest you read up on anosognosia . It's not denial but an inability to grasp their situation.

If you don't have DPOA  and health care powers for her I suggest you and your brother talk to an elder law attorney - they will have experience in how to approach your mother about these issues and if she is still competent to sign documents -- you can pretend you got a family deal to have the papers prepared . A fib to say she needs an evaluation to keep her medicare may get her to a doctor.

She doesn't sound like she should be handling her finances at all, one bad decision , one scam and she could be wiped out and with no medical file you'd have trouble trying to recover taken/stolen monies or voiding a purchase /sale so get with a lawyer to have the papers drafted or if they do exist-- what you can do to trigger them.



Ann1965
Posted: Friday, September 23, 2022 9:17 PM
Joined: 9/23/2022
Posts: 4


When I found out my mom was getting lost while out driving and asking strangers to help her find her house, I just about had a heart attack.  I knew it was no longer safe for her to live alone in her house.  Little did I know how far she had progressed...

 

I got my hands on the POA documents as I knew I would need them.  And I called her doctor's office and requested she have an official evaluation and explained the situation to them.  It truly was a blessing that they listened to me.  At the initial evaluation, it was painful to see her struggling with very simple questions.  But it had to be done.  Her doctor told her that she should have someone else driving her places.  Of course she never remembered that even though I reminded her over and over.  At her next follow up, she told him that she was considering moving in with me or near me, and he agreed that was a good idea.  But discussing it with her was often very frustrating since she rarely remembered our conversations.

 

I did convince her to come for a visit.  She had a full blown dementia attack, was combative and obviously very depressed, and she didn't even recognize who I was.  I called a memory care that I had toured several months earlier in preparation to see if they had room to take her.  It was an awful week with her at my home while waiting for paperwork to be completed and prepared, but I got her there.  I moved her furniture and other personal things a week later.  This has all been within the past month.  It's overwhelming and difficult, but know that you need to do what is needed for safety.  Talk to others, get help if needed, take care of yourself also.


harshedbuzz
Posted: Saturday, September 24, 2022 6:38 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3825


Nanpr wrote:

Hi All,

I haven’t been on here for awhile. Just trying to get through the days. My mom has been fairly stable. She has been living with me helping out as I just went through cancer treatment.

I am sorry for this situation with your mom, especially at a time when you should be able to focus on your own well-being. 

 Now that she thinks her job here is done, she has out her condo up for sale. She believes that she is going to sell and buy again. As a refresher, my mom has moved 2 times in 2 years. She has had delusions of people smoking in her first townhome. Then she rented for 6 months (although she was barely there because of police involvement) She had.s delusion that a 10 year old child was being hidden in the condo above. They had 2 children who did make noise, but they were 2 and 4 years old. I. This current condo (which again she has barely lived I ) she is back to the hallucination/delusion of smelling smoke. She is convinced the person above her is smoking. They are not. Again police involvement.

This is concerning. On one hand, the sort of delusion where others people are misbehaving is more of a late-middle stage symptom. It's typically seen in stage 5. The same would be true if this is more of a hallucination where she's smelling smoke. 

Stages of Dementia Dr. Tam Cummings

The other issue is the paper trail she has created with the local police. They are mandatory reporters who should have turfed her information to APS for a well check as someone living alone who perhaps shouldn't be.

My brother and I are at a loss as to what to do. She is not diagnosed and refuses to get any testing done. She is adamant that she will sell and buy again. How do we have the conversation with her that she will not be able to buy again? That these delusions/hallucinations aren’t real and that something is not right? That something else will happen and that she is unable to live alone any longer. Any time we have tried in the past to talk about it, she gets very agitated and it escalated quickly.

Ideally you need to take control of the situation proactively rather than wait until she mixes it up with the new neighbor and is shot or burns her entire condo building down.

She sounds far enough into the disease process to have some anosognosia (a condition where she would be unaware of the changes in cognition) which means you can't reason with her. You do, however, need to have her undergo at least a basic screening to rule out treatable causes of these symptoms. Some people have had to create a fiblet about a yearly physical to stay on Medicare or other insurance or to obtain a refill for some medication they already take. A few have used a hospital admission for something else to trigger a neurology consult. Another tack that might work for you is to rely on her helpfulness to accompany you to a high stakes appointment you don't want to attend alone. In any of these scenarios, you would reach out to the doctor ahead of time with a list of concerns and symptoms. 

I do t know what to do anymore. My own mental health and that of my family is suffering. I just hate this disease. I wish that in some ways she would progress further, so that we can get her the help she needs. When she lives with me she is very good and is able to do all he ADLs. She is definitely somewhere between stage 3 and 4, I think. Possibly fromtotemperal dementia, as she had a car accident 16 years ago that affected that area of the brain. 

I would shut down the reselling of property, especially in this market. She could lose money that would be useful for her care. Is living with you an option? It sounds as though you and your family offered her scaffolding and prompts to get through the day. Perhaps you could "need" more help of some kind or convince her that a new condo project with all the amenities is in the planning stages or even suggest she wait for lower prices when the market cools off. 

Sorry, I’m rambling but just find it so hard. We have been dealing with this same situation for 2.5 years, but when we think back the changes started 5+ years ago. 

Anyway, I know there’s no answer, but wondered how others have tales to their LO’s about their disease. Does it ever end well? Do they ever realize it? I just can’t see my mom coming to terms with it. 

It never ends well. It just ends. But while there's ugliness and pain with every stage of dementia, I found the one where you are right now to be the hardest personally. My dad was a headstrong force of nature accusing us of all manner of shenanigans and turpitude in that phase where he was no longer safe to make decisions and didn't trust those around him. 

She's unlikely to recognize that's her brain is diseased and that she's not the same as she has always been. She's also not likely to be grateful for the help you are offering her. But as she progresses in the disease, it is possible she will be easier to manage with redirection, validation and therapeutic fiblets. My own dad was the rare bird who became nicer as his disease progressed. There is hope.

HB

Sorry, so long! Thanks for any words of encouragement or advice! 



 
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