Hi all, sorry for the loooong post, but It's been a while since I've asked any questions as everything is sort of floating along right now, though it's far from good and the ship is sinking. My FIL passed this March (2022) at 92+. MIL, the one with early/moderate dementia, as a widow, is living alone at 88. We've managed to get her to allow us to have a caregiver come in two days a week for 3 hours at a time. The lady takes her to the store, etc. since my husband disabled her car. We live about 130 miles away and we both work. She won’t move closer to us because when we retire next year and move closer to our son, she doesn’t want to have to move again and won’t go to a “cold” climate (Olympia, WA). She won’t wear a Life Alert and won’t use Alexa.
Her current house is 1,900 sq ft and too big for her. We have taken her on tours of Assisted Living places, which she thought were okay for “some day.” We even found one that will allow her to bring her large dog, who is a huge part of the problem. More on her later. She also says that since her budget is sort of balanced, she can stay put. (True enough, but it won’t stay that way as she needs more care.) We'd like to move her while it's not a panicked emergency.
We FINALLY got her to go to a primary doctor, who referred her to a neurologist as he didn’t feel he could accurately diagnose her. So my husband, 64 and her only child, took off and drove down to take her to see him on 10/31. Neurologist says she may have had a stroke because she’s weaker on the right side. MIL says it’s because she’s left-handed. Maybe so, but he wants an MRI. MIL couldn’t remember the 3 words even until he got out of the room so we thought we would at least be able to get a paper with a preliminary dx of dementia. Nope. He said first he would call my husband in a week with results of blood work, etc. He never called. We tried about 7 times to get ahold of him and left messages. Desk person says she will call back with info. We never hear from her either. So no diagnosis means we have no legal ground to make her do anything, as I understand it. We are trying to get a referral to a different dr and/or a gerontologist. We did finally get ahold of the neurologist at the end of last week and he said all her blood work is good and she doesn’t need ANY medication. My husband said he sounded annoyed to have to talk to him. No word on diagnosis because no MRI yet and still no referral.
Now, about the 70-pound neglected dog: The dog won’t use a doggie-door if there is a flap installed. FIL removed the door flap between the house and garage, and this gives rats the run of the place. I find evidence in the living room, on the dining room table, across the furniture, on the 2nd floor. They are in her pantry and run along the baseboards in the bedroom. The exterminator won’t come and deal with the rats because they can't keep the rats out with no dog flap. Traps haven’t worked. The caregiver reports that they are now eating bananas kept on the kitchen island. MIL won’t let her throw them out because, once she cuts off the chewed part. “It’s still good,” she says. Same with spoiled food in the fridge.
So are we likely to get called by APS if a caregiver reports her? That might be the best thing that could happen, but I really don’t know. Am I missing something here? She plays cards and watches TV all day long. I guess she’s happy. But we are thinking that the breaking point for this all might be when she falls or otherwise gets hurt and has to go into the hospital.
I know we don’t have NEARLY the problems most of you do, but I appreciate your time.