86 Year Old Sister

by Ethel
(Georgia, USA)

I am a 72 year old caring for my sister who is 86. Her personality has changed drastically. One minute she is the sweet sister I know and the next she is yelling at me for bossing her around. She lies to her doctor and everyone. Always trying to convince them that she can take care of herself..

I know she is afraid of being put in assisted living. I am the only one she has but she refuses to let me have power of attorney due to her fear.

The strange part is though she has forgotten how to cook, she still pays her bills and balances her checkbook.

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I get it
by: Gina

Ethel, my 100-yr old aunt takes care of her 97-yr old sister with dementia. God bless you for doing such a loving and difficult thing. Here is what you need to impress upon your sister (if she can comprehend it): if she doesn't give you Power of Attorney, then the county will decide what happens if she becomes incapacitated, not you, and she may not like their decisions.

If possible, see if you can convince her to allow you to accompany her to her next doc appointment. At the check-in desk ask for the form that allows her to designate you as an advocate so that they will release info to you without her being in her presence.

Have your sister sign while you are there. As you go into the doc appt, slip the nurse or receptionist a note asking for a cognitive exam for your sister. She won't know that you requested it. In the exam room position yourself behind your sister.

If she answers any questions incorrectly, shake your head yes or no so that the doc sees it, I did this with my mom-in-law and it worked great. Wishing you well!

what did you learn
by: Greenacres

Hi, have you been to Alzheimer meeting? What are the signs to look for? Learn any thing about those mood changes? My mom has that quite often. Hope all is well and you have a good day.

by: Ethel

Thanks for the advice guys. I am going to an Alzheimer’s-dementia program tonight. There will be doctors there to answer our questions. Hope I can learn a lot more. My heart goes out to all you caregivers. God bless!

by: Greenacres

I think you have answered your own questions. She is afraid to lose her independence. My Mother in law is 87 and she still drives around and sometimes she cooks. It gives her something to do.

She lives with sister in law. They go out to eat a lot. She drives in traffic that I am not used to, she's living in a gated community just outside of Atlanta, GA. She even goes to their community pool twice a week.

Even she is afraid to end up in a home, but we won't let that happen. She is the most wonderful woman. Are you thinking she needs to go to a home? Have you tried to explain why you think she needs a POA?

She should have a medical POA too, after all, she is getting up in years. Is there some medical condition that changes her mood? Do you go to the Doctor w/ her? Something is going on w/ her or could be a medicine she is taking. I don't know.

It is so sweet that you both have each other. Try to put yourself in her shoes. You sound more frustrated than angry. Best wishes to you and yours. Have a good day!

get ready
by: Anonymous

Brace yourself, it's only going to get worse. Everything you described is class dementia or Alzheimer symptoms.

Things are so mixed up in their brains they don't know what they are doing. My mother accuses me of things all the time. You can't take it personally. One minute she is nice and in a second she becomes someone I don't know or want to know.

Paranoia is very common and can be followed by hallucinations. There is a very good book I recommend every caregiver read. The Thirty Six Hour Day describes behaviors and how to handle them. My mom is slowly following the book to the letter.

I wish you luck. Caring for my mom is the hardest thing I've ever done and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't do it again. That sounds terrible, but this isn't my mom. She already died. I care for a shell that looks like her.

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