1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    #1 JackieJames, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
    Brief Recap:
    I have posted a few times now about my mother who has heart failure, age 88, living alone, very ill and in bed most of the time. Over the past few years, I have also noticed signs of either cognitive impairment or early dementia. Since my brother has POA, and will not listen to me, I cannot get her assessed. Here in the USA, the doctors will not speak to me (not allowed by law). If I write to her doctor, there is no response. They respond to brother with POA. She is a free agent as she is not assessed as being “incompetent” or in any danger so we are unable to make her do anything.
    It has been difficult. I am quite sure that she is not doing well mentally. At the very least she suffers from depression: extreme irritability, anger, depression and isolation. She now refuses to go to doctors. I wrote a post about Complaining Constantly recently that explains it in fuller detail.
    The Issue Now:
    She will not go to doctor with me and I have offered several times. She will not go because it is cold out and she is not well. She will only go with my brother. But, she doesn't want to 'bother' him. He is short tempered and shuts her down. She has many, many physical issues. I took the advice of some on this site to take a break, and for two days, I did not call or go. Feeling guilty and worried, I called and again came the barrage of complaints. To each suggestion I make, she gets angry. She suffers severe agitation and depression. She was given antidepressants. I finally got her to start and she stopped on the third day because she had side effects. The dosage was the lowest possible does, cut in half, so I wonder. I listen and I listen and I am coming to the conclusion that listening neither helps her nor me.. Within the same conversation she said: “You are my favorite, because you understand and you listen”. (not like her, and not what I want). Within ten minutes, it was “your brother handles things better because he changes the subject and says to me “lets not talk about that”. I cannot win for losing. I lost it and I just said, fine. And left. It is all so sad.
    I feel like I am in limbo. Just this awful, horrible waiting and not being able to do anything right or anything to help her. I have listened to the Teepa Snow Videos and the Compassionate Communication and whatever I can lay my hand son, and, for, me none of this works. Thank you.
    This is a disease where reasoning goes out the window and if your loved on is not diagnosed, there is nothing you can do. You cannot force them to get treatment. Perhaps it is cruel of me to say these things. I just don't know what to do anymore. I do not expect anyone here to have the answers to this. I just need to not feel so all alone in this. To be the only one recognizing that she is not safe living alone (many reasons) and that she needs a neurological exam, and to, at the same time, be powerless to do anything to move forward, is to feel helpless. The other side of this coin is that what if I did get her diagnosed and she lost her freedom. What have I done to someone I love then? It seems there is guilt and worry either way.
    Thank you for reading.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,215
    Merseyside
    Morning Jackie

    It's so frustrating not being able to fix things isn't it?
    It's so hard to bite your lip & back off but unfortunately that's sometimes what we have to do.
     
  3. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    #3 Mrsbusy, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
    I'm sorry you are having to go through this, it's so hard isn't it.

    Firstly, how about YOU going to your doctor for some help for you, even just a course of anti depressants for a short period of time may help you to deal with the situation, as we already know it's going to get worse not better.

    As you have stated your brother isn't doing his part, burying his head in the sand and by the sound of it not really carrying out his duties as POA. That is his choice, so he has to live with his decision to put your mum at risk, not see the situation for what it is as he thinks it's easier than coping with it, probably because he would rather not cope with it, unlike you. Sorry if I sound harsh. Please do not burn yourself out by running around in circles to do what is primarily your brothers job, not yours. I know it's easy to say as you watch your mum but I'm afraid you are in the same position as me, a battle of wills.
    Step back, let your mum live her life etc as she thinks she can and try and get your brother to do her shopping or whatever you usually do. He needs to start stepping up now but he won't do whilst you do it for him and have the grief that goes with it. Eventually, he will even if it means a crisis happens. It may have to before he can see the wood for trees as they say.

    The crisis won't be down to you as you have been trying to tell him, trying to help and doing your best. Take sometime now for you, keep ignoring the calls, if you can't , tell her to call him. If she won't depending on what it is leave it, or you phone brother and pass message on. No more than that, if he asks you to do whatever it is say no! You have appointment can't cancel etc ..

    It's going to be hard, but it's a means to an end. Eventually you will achieve getting the support and care she obviously needs. So in the time you wait for it to happen concentrate on you, your life, and more importantly your health!
     
  4. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    1,398
    Lancashire
    You can't make her go to the GP, probably your brother can't make her. If she is like most dementia patients then there is nothing wrong with her anyway! Your brother has
    POA he is the one responsible. Mrsbusy is right, you need to speak/e-mail/text your brother, set out what you feel is relevant to her safety etc then take a step back & let him get on with it.

    Hopefully he will realise what is going on & that things need to change & that you have to work together in your Mums best interest.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Maybe ask her GP to call in on her after you have explained to them your problem and concern, but then if your mum or brother ask if you arranged it deny all knowledge.
     
  6. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    I want to thank you all for your replies. My brother does take her to doctors when she will go. No faulting him on this. But, he will not hear me and he does not see what I see re possible dementia, and as he has POA, here in the USA, I cannot even get information from doctors and her doctor (clinic) does not respond, as I have another brother who wrote her re concerns about her overmedication. No response.
    I am coming to realize that it is out of my hands. I am powerless over this situation and I am realizing it. I may be wrong about her having dementia. It may be some cognitive impairment due to heart failure.
     

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