Our expert says:
I'm not entirely clear about this story. Has your mom within recent years become paranoid and unpleasant towards others ( when it is likely to be related to senility / Alzheimers or similar perhaps vascular dementia ) or has she ALWAYS been like this, from an early age, in which case it'd be more like chronic paranoia. It sounds like the former ?
And if I understand, her own mother behaved in this way from around this age, again the probability of a dementia seems high. Some causes can be inherited, though as they are common, they can occur in mother and child by chance, too. Similarly, whe you say she can't handle fairly simple things like dealing with her money or cellphone, it also sounds like a form of dementia.
One can't make a proper diagnosis without a fairly detailed in-person assesment, and one can't choose a suitable treatment without a sound and reliable diagnosis.
Is it at all possible to think of a way i which she could be persuaded and taken to see a psychiatrist in the nearest city ? If there is a really good GP at hand, he may well be able to assess her and make a reasonable diagnosis, and to provide some care.
In some forms of Alzheimer's, some expensive drugs may in some cases DELAY the worsening of the condition, but nothing beyond that. And where the condition is already fairly well established ( and that's what this sounds like ) they're not an option.
One then often has to fall back on close personal care with the family and perhaps a dedicated caregiver who need not be a trained nurse, and some medications may reduce the suspiciousness and irritability, and the confusion. SOme of the meds that do this best, though, may be associated with a slightly increased risk of heart attacks or strokes, but old age already has a substantial risk of that, anyway, and though heir use may shorten life somewhat, the possible benefits in terms of increasing the person's dignity and comfort, and that of those who love them, may outweigh that degree of risk
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