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new to all this and need some advice
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 2:07 PM
Joined: 6/4/2019
Posts: 5

my mother has not been actually diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia, but with cognitive memory disorder. but shows all the signs of Alzheimer's and dementia. she refuses to go to the dr. for diagnosis, and she has started getting sundowners really bad. she will barley eat anything (all though she has never been a big eater), but it has gotten worse, now her new thing is she is in the bathroom every 5 minutes, and if I ask if she is ok she says she hasn't been in the bathroom since early in the morning. I don't know what to do about this as she wont go to the dr. anyone else have any situations like this. I am able to get her to drink the ensures, but that is about it. any advice would be appreciated.
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 2:15 PM
Joined: 9/11/2017
Posts: 20

Welcome to the forum. How old is your mom? Does she have a regular doctor? Maybe you could make contact with the doctor's office, explain things to them and have them call her to set up and appointment for a "yearly exam". Make sure the doctor understands all the issues and concerns you have, so they can do some assessment tests as well.
 This is not an easy journey, and each person's journey is different. Alzheimer's Association also has an 800 number you can call 24/7.

Prayers for daily peace for you and your mom.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 2:23 PM
Joined: 6/4/2019
Posts: 5

thank you. she is 85 and  yes her regular dr. does not seem to be to concerned, she referred me to a psychiatrist, which to me does not make any sense. I guess I didn't want to make things worse by tricking her into going to the dr.  she tells me she wont even go for  routine check up in order to get her medication refilled.  we have tried to talk her into it, but now I think I may have tell her we are going somewhere else.
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 2:28 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 582

Tell her Medicare sent a notice that she has to have a checkup or they are cancelling

her Medicare account + insist she has to have insurance.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 2:46 PM
Joined: 6/4/2019
Posts: 5

I will do that.  I will try anything at this point.  I have looked into memory care facilities, but my dad does not feel we are ready for that step yet, as she still takes care of personal hygiene herself.  I feel she is just going thru the 1st stages right now, but want a medical professional to confirm.  My biggest concern is her not eating, she is down to 85 lbs, I have stressed that is she does not eat they will admit her to the hospital for malnutrition, and use a feeding tube, but she does not believe me.  she insists she is just not hungry.
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 2:57 PM
Joined: 9/11/2017
Posts: 20

I agree with terei. Sometimes you have to fib. Also, maybe include a reward for her, like go get her nails done, but first we need to see the doctor. Anything that would encourage her to go, no matter what it is.
 Our mom's sees a neurologist twice a year, her regular doctor made the initial diagnosis of Alzheimer's, and the neurologist confirmed it.
Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2019 7:20 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2209

IMO, you do whatever you have to do to get her evaluated. Yearly Medicare exam, a visit for an issue you are having, chloroform on a rag- whatever it takes. There are some conditions that mimic dementia that are eminently treatable if caught early-on- things like hormone and vitamin deficiencies.

That said, the referral to a psychiatrist could be an excellent option for an evaluation and treatment- especially for the compulsive behavior around bathroom visits which might be anxiety-driven. Dad saw a neurologist and a geriatric psychiatrist- the psychiatrist was much more helpful to us around day-to-day stuff.

Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2019 3:07 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2558

A lady at our care facility lived for 3 years on only Ensure.  Feed her what she will eat and don't worry about it.
Eric L
Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2019 5:16 PM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1288

Just based on what you are describing, I think your Mom is a bit past the early stage and well into the middle stages.

I'll just reiterate what Harshed Buzz posted. Her doctor may have very well referred you to a geriatric psychiatrist. Before we started my MIL on hospice, the geriatric psychiatrist was by far the most valuable member of her care team. She exhibited some behaviors that made it very difficult to care for her and our only viable solution was to find a medical remedy (ie, prescription drugs). Her behaviors became much more manageable and allowed us to provide the proper level of care for her. You might even find that her appetite improves if you are able to find the right meds. We have no idea what's going on in their heads (sometimes you can figure it out with a bit of detective work) and the eating could be related to some sort of anxiety or fixation. It could also be a bit of depression.

One of the tricks that we used in the earlier stages with my MIL was to leave snacks in her favorite areas. She played on her computer quite a bit back then and we'd leave little packages of cookies or munchies that she liked. More often than not, she'd eat her treats and snacks and we didn't even have to "remind" her. She dropped quite a bit of weight in the middle stages and our philosophy was to just try to get calories in. Aside from her arthritis and dementia she is still fairly healthy (she is in the very late stages now and "healthy" is  relative term) and we didn't have to worry about any dietary restrictions. We kind of realized that dementia is a terminal diagnosis and diet (other than getting calories in) didn't matter.
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2019 12:43 PM
Joined: 6/4/2019
Posts: 5

thank you all for the great advice, it will be very helpful with making future decisions.
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 7:11 AM
Joined: 2/16/2019
Posts: 79

Maybe you can get a provider to come to the home. A hospice service could come and evaluate.
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 8:04 PM
Joined: 6/4/2019
Posts: 5

that is another great idea.  thank you all for your support.  it is much appreciated
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