What to do when extended family member shows signs of dementia?
I have an Aunt who has no kids and lives 1500 miles away. Lives independently in a big home. What do I do when she shows what appears to be signs of dementia? She is withdrawing from her social circles (completely, though she claims she hangs out with them often... she has not), she seems at times disoriented at best, and disheveled at times to the worst to the community when they do see her.
This is a woman who has always been extremely active in church, very organized, used to being in control and having a very solid upper middle class life. She is old school southern, and with that comes a lot of dignity and grace that she is used to walking with. In addition, she watched her Dad fall apart in his final years in this way, and has seen her sister plummet over the course of several weeks from coherent to nearly completely gone.
She appears to not eat a lot, and when we talk on the phone she forgets that we've already spoken about things she asks about in the same conversation, not seven minutes apart. She also at times sounds like she takes notes to remember things, and sometimes I think she is being cordial to me but not recognizing it is me.
When I've brought my concerns up, she is adamant and angry and says she is fit as a fiddle and the doctor gave her a clean bill of health (like three or four years ago). Any concerns her friends on the ground there have expressed she replies with, "They should mind their own business."
If I lived nearby, I would simply visit often, and try to get her to sign up for life alert, or a cleaning lady or all of the above. And if it got bad, make attempts at bringing her into our home. But we live far away, have limited resources, and I am so unsure. What kind of options are out there, without having to call authorities and go overboard in having her abilities completely questioned at best or taken away at worst?
Status: Open Mar 09, 2016 - 01:41 PM