My mother has gone berserk. It happens around holidays. She called me last night and was threatening all sorts of things.


She told me her neighbor had taken her to her lawyer and the neighbor was now her power of attorney. I don't think that happened as I left her at 2:00 p.m. and she called me around 6:00 p.m.

She was not making any sense. She was exhibiting a real thought disorder what I think is ambulatory schizophrenia.

I'd like some advice on what to do for Christmas. I wanted to take my mother and go to my son's house. I want to see my granddaughters. That family has all seen my mother in her berserk state. But the problem is my daughter-in-law's family is going to be there. They are mild mannered people and I don't think they know much about mental illness. Also there are 4 youngsters involved age 2-11.

I'm thinking of cancelling Christmas with my son and taking my mother another time. I just don't know how long my mother is going to be crazy or if she will go off when she has a large audience for her misbehavior.

What do you think I should do? My mother is 92 and has a personality disorder. She has always tended to be nuts especially at holidays.

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I found out yesterday that my mother revoked my power of attorney like she said she did. It wasn't just an idle threat.

I have worked for the last 6 mos. to get her house back in order after a fire. I finished up the damaged contents list and took it over to her yesterday. She has been wanting me to add an expensive sub-zero refrigerator that was not damaged in the fire to the list and I said no. I know her disbarred attorney neighbor has been after me to include it. I said no and sent the list to the insurance adjuster.

I also told the adjuster that I am no longer POA and that my mother wants to include the refrigerator.

Actually I feel really good that I don't have that POA anymore.My mother is getting herself close to insurance fraud and I don't want to be part of it. As her agent I could be implicated in the fraud if I added items to the damaged contents list. This is an aspect of the POA I never considered before.

Maggie, I just thought of something else I wanted to mention. I don't know where you are, but in my state, NC, the Area Agency on Aging has a person dedicated solely for the help and support and protection and advocacy of the caregiver, her official title is "Caregiver Resource Specialist". When I met with her I was blown away because I began to talk about mom's needs and she stopped me cold and said "I don't care about your mom, I'm here for you. What can I do for YOU?"
It was freking great! and she has been a huge help.

Ha! maggie I am so with you on that! CAREGIVING SUX!, But, we do it.

I don't think your doc's visit was such a disappointment.
At least you know now for sure where you stand as far as that goes, and it sounds like he's entirely on your side about the legality and the BS, So consider it a success, you gained an ally in the coming battle!

I like what he had to say about talking to your mom lawyers about your worries with that nieghbor guy. Definitely spread the word far and wide about your suspicions, the more people that know what your worried about the better, At the same time, BE CAREFUL NOT TO ACCUSE HIM OF ANYTHING, sounds like the type that would slap you with a slander suit. so just make sure the DA's office and Soc workers and even the AREA Agency on Aging are aware that these are CONCERNS, not accusations. And if I were you I wouldn't have anything to do with him personally at all except, "Hello, Nice Day, Goodbye"

The Doc is probably right about the incompetency thing, ok, at least you have his dementia diagnosis in case something comes up.

Again I'm glad that you're tackling this head-on It'll make everything so much easier in the long run. I've seen too many people wait til it's too late to take the control that must to protect themselves and end up being the ones who get hurt by this whole messy caregiving thing.

Good for you. if you've done all you can can for today than put it out of your head and enjoy YOUR life.
Stay strong, don't let'em push you around and you'll win, time is on your side.

Magggie, Stay strong, you are doing the right thing. The doctor can only do so much. I would work with the SW and the Area on Aging for help as well. Deep Breathe, tomorrow is a new day, you are doing great!!!

Mother's doctor was very understanding because his wife is dealing with her father who has the same sorts of problems as my mother. He said dementia (my mother has prefrontal dementia) will inflame the personality disorder. He said they sent his father-in-law to a psychiatrist and it only made the situation worse.

According to the doctor, incompetency is a legal matter and he advised against trying to get it done. He said judges are reluctant to take away someone's competency if they can talk coherently to the judge. He advised writing a letter to my mother's attorney to let him know that mother has some prefrontal dementia and the family is not in favor of giving a disbarred lawyer neighbor power of attorney. That will get the attorney in trouble if there is fraud.

He said to take care of her and keep her safe. There is nothing the medical profession can do to help me.

That's not what I wanted to hear. I'll pursue the social worker situation and try to get some housekeeping help. Also Ted said to check the county or the state for an elder abuse agency that might be interested in the situation. I can also file a complaint against the disbarred attorney with the state disciplinary board. That will be in his file if he ever tries to get his license back.

I hate to directly take on the disbarred attorney as he was a litigator and always looking for a good argument. I think he's probably a sociopath or some other sort of crazy. I'd like to tell him to keep away from my mother but I'm afraid of setting up an us-and-them scenario and have him dig in his heels.

I hate old people. I hate caregiving.

Wow, Maggie, you have your hands full, for certain. I agree about not exposing the little ones to those antics. Last week my mother told me that she hates my husband. Nice. The things we try to do for our family and the end results so often are not what any of us hope for. Stay strong.

Maggie, You Go Girl!!! So proud of you and all you have done! Please take care of yourself as well! I am so proud of how you have handled yourself in this whole situation. The silence at the dinner table is priceless and probably was the proper thing to do. You knew what to do, and I am proud of you. Stay on top of securing the POA and keeping the crazy neighbor away from her, I agree to sit on the SW for a few days. However; that is a free service full of advice for you and you should use them in every facet. Ask them if they have any CHOICE dollars for 2011 which your mother can take advantage of which may help as well. Keep breathing and keep your chin up you are doing everything right! Thinks for keeping us updated!!
God Bless!

Wow, She's not gonna like letting you or anyone else take any of that control away. that's for sure.

Unfortunately, for her, it's going to have to happen.

You know, it might not be such a bad idea to let the Social Worker witness your mom's true personality right off the bat, so that they know what it is you have to deal with and honestly, maybe even gain some sympathy points.

But don't let mom push you around like this anymore, you're a big girl and she's the one acting like a child, so don't even mention the next visit to mom, just schedule a good time for yourself and the SW and show up. If she throws her little fit in front of the SW, you can pretty much count the incompetency hearing a slam-dunk.

Thanks, Ted. I need the encouragement and reinforcement right now. I think I am headed towards an incompetency situation and I don't like doing that. But then there's a lot about this caregiving I don't like.

I will bring it up again with my mother about a home visit. I think I need to let it rest for a little bit of time. My mother is very testy right now. My son and his family came down for Christmas yesterday and my mother went into a mini-fit at the dinner table. Everyone was totally silent, even the two year old. We all just sat there and watched. When I thought she was finished I tried to pass some more food and she yelled at me for interrupting her. So we had another period of silence while my mother said things that didn't make sense in a very angry tone.

My son and I are are used too this kind of behavior at holidays. She's done it for years. I just don't like passing it on to the 4th generation.

Maggie, you're doing great. Continue to do what you can to take control of this situation and to protect your mom and yourself.
You are right to be angry and frustrated, and no one (in their right mind) would argue with you that this IS nonsense. It is.
So, what's next? the talk with the doctor is a must, good work there, and how about rescheduling the Social Worker for a time when you can be there? that will do a lot for your side of things if you and the SW can gang up on her and get things settled. once and for all.
The SW is going to be used to handling this kind of situation, and it might help put you at ease a little to see first hand that your not in this alone and that there ARE ways to take control without waging war with mom. Or letting mom wage war on you.
The SW will also be able to help you figuire out the best way to approach your concerns about mom's paperwork and whatever else might be going on.
They, the Area Agency on Aging, is there for YOU to assist you get through this.
You're doing great! Stay strong.

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