I believe grief drove my mother into depression that exacerbated the onset of dementia. She has lost over 70lbs, will only eat yogurt, lays on the couch all day, no self care, refused to leave the house, has become aggressive with me, her memory is exponentially worse, she believes people are out to get her, she says horrible things about herself, It can take hours to get her to pay just a fraction of her bills, she is not the person I know, I have tried calling agencies and am getting nowhere. If she were a child I could take her to the doctors against her will. As an adult it would be considered abuse because it would be against her will kicking and screaming. She feels I am "in on it and "know what going on around here". She is 76 and worked up until this all started, the death of her close sister and of my brother. in less than 1 year she has become this person who needs help to care for herself. I have been with her for 6 months and have not made any progress and gained no resources for assistance. I have asked her for power of attorney to assist her in bill payment and food shopping. She forgets passwords ever when she saves them in her password keeper. She is suspicious of everyone. It's a very long story best told by mouth than on paper but ultimately I don't know what to do. I want her to live with me. I am from out of state and have left my family. I can't stay here forever. I need her to live with me or things set up so she can live at home with aids and etc but I can't get anything in place with none of her information, no legal control, hipaa laws. Had anyone been in my shoes? What did you do? What do I do?
Look at how stressed you are now -- do you have any idea what it would be like if she moved in? Why would you put your family through that? Why would you put yourself through that?
It sounds like your mother needs to be in a facility.
You'd better see if APS offers an advice line in your area, and ask how to get her some form of crisis help in her best interests before she does herself an irreparable damage.
When you say you have left your family, I hope that only means you've left them behind while you deal with this?
You have moved away from your home to take care of her? And she's not responding?
Do you have sibs who are supportive or are you all alone in this?
Since she's not respecting YOU, maybe you might as well set up in home CG for her and go back home, keeping in touch with the CG's.
Call a CG agency and get more info. You can probably do more than you think.
In the meantime--good luck. This is no darn fun, is it?
If this works you will at least get her to the doctor.
How "aggressive" does she get with you? Is it enough that you think she might possibly harm you? If so you can use that to call 911 and say that you are afraid for your safety. Officers responding my decide to transport her to the hospital. Although she might refuse you can then ask that she be transported to "jail". I am sure at that point an evaluation would be ordered.
I strongly advise you to think twice about bringing her to your house to live. If she is diagnosed with dementia it is not easy caring for someone and if she is aggressive it can be worse and possibly dangerous for you.
Application for Medicaid if she has limited funds would be the place to start.
Once you have a diagnosis of dementia then you see an attorney, preferably an Elder Care Attorney and you can seek Guardianship at that point. And Guardianship is not easy nor is it inexpensive.
I don't respond here often but your question struck a nerve. I also live out of state from my parents who are both struggling. I also do not have POA (make sure this is what you want). My parents also can not handle their finances and while one drinks and has memory and health issues, the other has undiagnosed dementia. Mom is slowly going blind (dad already is) due to their resistance to continue macular degeneration eyeshots to save their vision. I have spoken to a number of lawyers and here is what I think you should know.
Getting guardianship or conservatorship is not easy and it is expensive. In NY which is where my parents live, it begins with a retainer of $7,500. The actual cost can go over $15,000. This is your money. Then you have to understand that you will be totally responsible for your mom. You will have to visit her 4 times annually and imagine how happy she is going to be with you? You have taken away her independence. So most likely you will have flights to pay for and hotel rooms. You will also be preparing an annual report for the court regarding all her finances. If she has slipped up in terms of paying taxes or other bills you will be responsible for fixing these issues (my parents have not paid their taxes in 2 years). You are in a very difficult situation, I know because I live it too.
My advice is what I have been told by many people associated with the elderly. Something bad will happen and then you can hopefully gain some control. Talk to Adult Protective Services in your moms state. See what they can do to help. If you think she has dementia, talk to the Alzheimer's Association. They have a toll free number and they will send you information regarding services. Contact and familiarize yourself with the senior communities near your mom (or near you if you prefer to have her move closer to you). Contact a lawyer in your mom's state and see if they have a free 1/2 hour consult so that you can learn the state's rules for guardianship. Each state is different. You may find you have no control right now. If that is the case, your waiting game has begun.
You would think that APS (adult protective services) would be able to step right in and analyze the situation, but they really often have no control, even when dementia is obvious. The Alzheimers Association may be able to do a home assessment for you, look into that. In essence, what I have found is I have no control over my parents even though they are sick and in need of assistance. It's been 3 years of watching them swirl down the drain and even though the police have been called numerous times and they have both been hospitalized, nothing has changed.
So I wait for that bad thing to happen. I'm so sorry you are facing this but I can say that this website has offered me wisdom and a sense that someone cares. I am thankful I found it.
1. When she is "sleeping all day, non compliant, etc" consider calling 911 and have her transported to ER.
If they arrive and she is combative with them, this will be more documentation of her needs. Once at ER, have her assessed for " level of care needs" explaining to her that it is for her safety and well being. Confer with social services at ER re options for her continuing care given that you cannot stay.
2. Or, you could call APS ( adult protective services), report her conditions and status in the home, safety concerns, inform that you cannot stay and tell them when you will be leaving.
3. Speak with an Elder Care attorney to clarify your responsibilities, and need for decision making authority etc.
You deserve a life and are graciously offering for her to live with you. Be very certain about this, vs facility placement near you for many reasons. Look at all options.
Do not allow her to hold you hostage to her fears, grief, physical and mental health decline and needs.
Get help ! One way or another..
It can’t change the DNA of getting dimentia. It just documents dimentia which make you as Caretaker have a higher level of care depending on severity of dimentia determined.
See All Answers