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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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I think my mother has Alzheimers, though we cant be sure

Customer Question

I think my mother has Alzheimer's, though we can't be sure as she won't see a doctor. She lives alone on a large acreage that she and my late father bought years ago, in a large, very nice farm house. My dad died in October of '09, at home. They had been married 64 years.

My brother is the 'Manager' of the Estate, and lives in Boston. She lives in Oregon, as do I. I live about 90 minutes away. My brother comes out every 6 weeks or so and the last time he was out, hired some 'home helpers' to come and cook a main meal for her 5 days a week, and keep her company, which is good, but I see her getting worse each time I go down on the weekends. I feel terrible about it, but there isn't much I can do other than what I do, which is keep up her garden, buy things she needs and take her to lunch. My brother is a real 'control' freak and only allows me to do the things I do.

There is a lot more here, but my question today is about my cat, Tornado. I raised him from a kitten to around 4 years old, and 10 years ago took him and another cat ( who died ) down to my folks as they had 'run low' on cats for the farm.

Tornado is a real 'people' cat and needs attention. i don't think Mom spends much time interacting with him, though he gets fed and has water.

Yesterday when I went down I found him shut in the shop outside. The 'hired' man goes in there a lot and the cat follows him, wanting attention, but the hired man doesn't care and doesn't pay attention to him either.

I said something to my mother about it and she said she had put him out because he was 'rubbing' her legs and it was just 'too bad' that he got locked in the shop. I let him out and he was so glad to see me.

i am seriously thinking of bringing him back here to live with me. He is 14 and will need 'senior' type care, which she can't give now. If I tell her, it will upset her and if I tell my brother, he will go ballistic. ( Our father was really abusive mentally and verbally, and unfortunately he has inherited that trait ).

My gut feeling is to go to visit and take a cat carrier, and quietly bring him home. He would be better off and I would feel a lot better. Mom would wonder where he went, but in her state of mind, probably will forget who he is anyhow, soon enough.

I would like your comments on this plan, please. It's hard enough to deal with a situation like this and worrying about my cat makes it harder.

Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.

Dr. K :

I think your best bet is exactly what you already figured out. Quietly take the cat and take it home. Is there any chance she would come over & see Tornado by accident?

Dr. K :

Dementia, sadly, has no real treatment...so if she truly has it, she is likely to get worse. I agree that she will probably forget.

Dr. K :

At the very least, she lives on a farm...and it would be easy to say that the cat just took off & never came back home for whatever reason.

Dr. K :

I don't like the idea of being dishonest...but sometimes "necessity is a higher god than truth."

Customer:

Thank you for your advice- yes, she will think he took off. There is another cat there, too, that I can't get near, and hopefully that one will keep her company. No, she will never see Tornado at my house, as she doesn't drive and never gets up here anymore. I think the plants I planted outside will keep her company, too...and will take less care.

Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience: 15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
Dr. K and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.
It's a tough decision for a tough situation...life is about sacrificing for the greater good. You sound like you're following a path of heart which is most important. Take care.

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Dr. K
Dr. K
Psychiatrist
357 Satisfied Customers
15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.