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Old 03-13-2015, 12:40 PM
6 posts, read 7,214 times
Reputation: 15


I'm 23 taking care of my 51 yr old mother. We're trying to figure out what's wrong with her. It has to be something in the frontal lobe because of how much her personality has changed. We had dementia ruled out, but I think he misdiagnosed her and we are searching for a second opinion. She has an IQ of 71 (she was tested) and her mental and emotional maturity varies between a 4 year old and a 13 year old. She's already seen one neurologist who says it's all in her head, that there's nothing wrong with her. We are currently seeing a psychiatrist who believes she was misdiagnosed and that he was looking for alzheimers and not the forms of dementia that can't always been seen right off the bat. We are trying to get a referral to see a different neurologist, but trying to get Jefferson Mental Health to return my calls about their refferal is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

I'm rounding the 7 month mark with her living with me, and I can barely stand it anymore. Our relationship was strained before she moved in and now I am one push from just kicking her out onto the street. I don't want to do that, because I know it would be a death sentence for her. She has two older sisters, but they won't lift a finger to do anything. They weren't even concerned when she started having changes in personality and memory. They don't think there's anything wrong with her.

We are working on getting her disability. She couldn't even keep a volunteering job because she loses track of what she has to be doing and gets distracted by her own wants, or she is a safety violator with not picking up broken glass the right way (broom and dustpan) and using her hands. She was asked to leave from two different volunteering places when she was part of the workforce program for food stamps. She can't preform in the basic jobs they had.

I don't think she can live on her own. Her common sense level is very low. I need to walk her through basic things like how to wheel a space heater around. I have a feeling she would be calling me every hour for help with something if she was on her own. I would also feel better if she had people taking care of her (she can't cook very well) and the daily social interactions would be good for her in the long run.

I've called several assisted living homes to see if they take her insurance or someone as young she is. Several have told me they only take her insurance if she is a pre-existing client who has run out of her personal funds to pay for it. My mother has no personal funds and I'm just now building a steady career for myself and there's no way I can afford the 2-7k some places require a month. The other thing they tell me is they would only consider taking someone her age if she was diagnosed with dementia or alzheimer's.

I just don't know what to do, and I want to try and prevent this from ending badly, but I'm running out patience. I know she's my "Mother" but my step-mom (who I treat as my real mom) has done more for me in the past two years than my bio mom has ever done for me in my entire life. I'm sorry if that makes me sound like a horrible child, but it's just how I feel.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:47 PM
107 posts, read 89,324 times
Reputation: 287
Hi -- my mom suffers from dementia and yes, caring for someone with this condition is very, very tough. I don't think you sound heartless. Unless you've been in this situation (and I have!) it's hard to comprehend. You feel like you're going to lose your mind. It's almost as tough as navigating the Medicaid system. If your mom has less than $2000 in assets (cash, stocks, bonds, etc) than she qualifies for Medicaid. Complete the application NOW. It can take some time to get approved, but once you submit (and she's approved) then she's covered retroactively. Two places in the Denver area that care for those with dementia and also accept Medicaid are Chateau Des Mons (many residents are younger and more active) and Pearl Street Rehabilitation (older residents and more bedridden -- both in Englewood). Don't let them tell you that you need to pay cash for 6-12 months before they'll accept Medicaid -- that's an illegal "requirement". My best advice is to consult with an elder care attorney. Is it expensive? A little. But they know how to navigate the system and they can intervene on your mom's behalf when necessary. They'll also save you loads of time and frustration. Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:31 PM
6 posts, read 7,214 times
Reputation: 15
Okay, thank you for the tip. She already has medicaid, we had to reapply a few weeks ago because they couldn't find her anywhere in the system and said she had never had it. But when she got approved again, she had the exact same number as before. I will check out Des Mons. She likes to be really active, so I would like to place her somewhere that has a lot going on activity wise, so she doesn't get bored.
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