My mom is 68yo. She's had mental illness for as long as I can remember and been on psych drugs throughout her entire life. She lost my dad sixteen years ago. At that time, she was highly functional but my daughter and I moved in with her to help her around the house/ acreage. We moved out two years ago and my brother who was dx'd with bipolar in 2007 moved in with her in early 2011. He was on SSDI and couldn't live on his own. My mom cared for him until he committed suicide in November 2011. That's a shortened version of her family hx.
She is currently seeing a PCP, a LCSW (i think) and a psychiatrist. She totally presents a different person in front of them than in real life (RL). Through research, I suspect she has early stage dementia and I have tried to get her medical team to order and MRI to no avail. She has had changes in her mental status since about 2008 but she has been declining. I don't know how to describe it because for the past four years, only my daughter and I have been subject to her unstable behavior. However, since I have stood firm on what I will and won't accept (getting the authorities involved on Easter '12 and filing a VPO for my daughter), she has now "lashed" out to others. She's made several neighbors mad, three families to date and two have even forbid her to visit.
It's like once she gets her focus on one thing, she can't let it go and it's OCD behavior- calling twenty times along with several text messages and even drive bys. She manipulates people and gets them to feel sorry for her (several accounts, it's not just me being a bitchy daughter). If she doesn't get her way, omg, watch out. All hell breaks loose. Very childish behavior. When she's in this mindset, there's no talking sense to her.
I have visited with all three care providers to no avail. I have had my aunt go as well to find our concerns fall on deaf ears.
She has gained weight, had knee replacement and is a chain smoker. In the past year, she's fallen several times, luckily no serious injuries. Her diet consists of fast food and boxed dinners, diet coke and no water. Her only friends are shared friends and again, with her bahavior, she's losing them fast.
What I want: I want her to see a different psych group (the SW and psych doc are in the same group) and I want her removed from her PCP. However, I don't know who is good. She needs someone smarter than her because I think she's outsmarted/ manipulated the situation. She's never held to any accountability. For instance, the last therapy visit I attended, she got anxious because we finally got into an intense convo. She wanted to leave and the SW was letting her. She told her SW she was going to 1. eat better, 2. start exercising, 3. attend one senior citizen social event in town and 4. stop harassing me and my daughter. The SW didn't even follow up on these items in the next session.
I also want her to move into an independent living facility in town. we have a couple of different complexes in town. If she were to get social interaction, i think it would help her.
ANY HELP APPRECIATED. Willing to do the work, I just don't know where to turn???
You've indicated that your mom has a psych disorder and has been on meds for years, but didn't give the dx. The other things that you mention would seem to indicate that she's not well controlled with her meds and her therapy plan appears to not include checking up on progress and adjustments as needed.
Actually, there's nothing you can do unless she is declared incompetent and you are her guardian. Her current care providers can refuse to talk to you or give you any information and that all legal. If she doesn't want to get a second opinion on her care, you can't make her do it.
Your idea of an independent living facility would be a good one if she were compliant with their rules and got along with the other residents. Otherwise, they will ask her to leave. They don't have to keep anyone who proves a problem in any way.
Unless you have some legal authority over her care, I don't believe you can do much here. She probably does need specialized psychiatric care (geropsych doc) and I would think, considering her diet, she must have or is developing medical problems. This is not good and may result in serious complications.
You might want to consult with someone who specializes in senior care issues such as an attorney or consultant in your area.
She was dx'd with panic disorder and anxiety. Well, through a series of events, the police were called on her by a neighbor and she went to a hospital of my choice (EOD). The past six days have been hell as she's been paranoid and delusional (torches/ bomb threats/ fires, etc) but thankfully she's inpt at at geropsych ward and going to mental health court today. her psych doc says he thinks she's got a 99% chance of being declared incompetent and I will be her guardian.
Hopefully, you will get some rights in helping re-direct her life so that it improves. Always keep in mind that some of these symptoms may be brought on by medications that have been misprescribed. I saw a woman who developed extreme agoraphobia suddenly. When I looked into her recent history, I found it was brought on by a change in her blood pressure medication. A change back resulted in no agoraphobia in a day.
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