Beginning to see th over Mom's doctors.

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Asked mom's neurologist to get the paperwork going so that I can give it to mom's lawyer and get the PO A started. Oh no dr says. She will need to have mom declared incompetent and demented by another dr so her nurse gives me a few names. I think to myself why can't you do this since you're treating her for parkinsons dementia, but whatever. So we go to the referred dr who works within same office. all he does is give her some more memory tests mom says she does not have hallucinations,which of course she does while I'm mouthing yes and nodding. So I'm thinking I'm going to be called out of the room after the test where mom says it's May 2012 and obviously struggled and I'm going to get the necessary documentation from him. No mom gets a new med and we are told to read Deepak Chopra's THe Super Brain book and to come back in 3 months. A book that mom couldn't make heads or tails out of. I downloaded a sample and after 3 pages of "embrace and love your inner membrane psycho babble" I wanted to go and kick this doctor's effing butt. Maybe this is a good book for some 35 year old who thinks it might help prevent them from getting dementia in the future but not for what I'm dealing with here with physical and mental deterioration brought on by advanced Parkinsons and dementia. My cousin says I need to get a lawyer and advocate for me but I don't have the money to do that. HELP!!!!!!

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OK, you need the letters that "activate" your POA by documenting incapacity. I cannot begin to imagine why any physician who knows beans about dementia would not do this in your situation. I don;t care what kind of a nice place with a good rep you have been to, if they will not handle this appropriately (DEEPAK CHOPRA!!!???!! Yeah sure, black currants, acron squash, and wheat germ are good for you but an Alzheimer's cure they are NOT!) , they stink, and the advice to go elsewhere is exactly what you need to do. If I could validly apologize for every member of my profession who is making life harder on caregivers instead of helping I would.
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My heart goes out to you regarding your situation. My sis and I went through a similar situation in 2012. Our mother was declining, trying to cancel her long term care policy because she rationalized if she she she did not have it, she would not need home care workers or be placed in a long term care facility. She was falling behind on other bills too, misplacing keys, hiding financial files in the trunk of her care, forgetting appointments. She refused to let my sis or I help her because 1)she feared she was failing, 2) she viewed as her children who did not know or have the life experience she did.

Our mother really declined after September of 2012 when we had her drivers license revoked. She started to lose weight because she was not eating right even when I would bring her home cooked meals and extra to place in her freezer. She was not bathing regularly or washing her hair.

We had a springing DPOA...it was very hard to get dr's to diagnose her incapacitated because there is a fine line of when they are actually incapacitated even when delusional w/hallucinations. We finally were able to take our mother to a neurologist (she knew a neurologist could diagnose incapacitation as our father also had Alzhiemer's)..when we took her to the neurologist, we told her it was a follow up visit that her PCP wanted her to have. She was not able to comprehend the kind of dr stated on the office door.

Yes she failed the tests...could only answer that she lived in California and what city we were in.

If all else fails, call the police next time she is out of control...if they see she is incompetent, they will take her in for psych evaluation. It is hard to do it this way...but we have to do what is necessary to protect them, keep them safe, get on meds that will provide somewhat of quality of life as they continue to decline. Blessings to you, stevie girl.
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You'll want to check this with your lawyer, but as I understand it you can use your POA with your mother's consent to handle affairs on her behalf. It'll be a pain in the proverbial because you'll still need her signature on things, but at least banks and people can talk to you and you won't get them bleating at you about confidentiality blah blah blah. The key thing about certifying incompetence is that it will prevent her from acting on her own behalf, which is handy if she is beginning to do baffling and random things.

So I'd suggest patience and keeping a tight grip on your mother's credit cards for her, and going back in three months if you're basically quite happy with the quality of care she's getting. But I'm sorry, I had to laugh at your description of recommended reading - oh my word, what planet are these people on?! Their hearts are in the right place, and I'm sure they're quite right that "there is more in heaven and on earth... than is dreamed of in our philosophy" and all that, but for heaven's sake. Meanwhile there are bills to pay and admin to be done. How frustrating for you! Sympathy.
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freqflyer - My mother has all her investments under one brokerage, and I go with her to see her financial advisor every time she goes so that when the time comes for me to take over, it will be a smooth transition. I'm doing more and more with the accounts now, and Mom looks to me more often for advice when we go in (I think half the time she either doesn't hear our advisor, or quits listening). Most of the time we go with what she suggests, because she's done very well for us, so why wouldn't we? If you have a good advisor, you stick with them.
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How I dread the time when and if I have to help my parents with their finances. They have checking and saving accounts in a lot of different banks.... and their stocks are scattered everywhere, not under the umbrella of one stock broker as Dad was buying and selling through the individual companies themselves. What a landmine field that will be. I am trying to get Dad to put everything with one broker... it would make his life and my life a lot easier. But Dad fears that the broker could go under, yada, yada, yada, whatever. Good heavens, he's had that broker for 30 years.
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Also, when I first got POA (both financial and medical) for my mom, I had a LOT of angst. I wasn't sure I was doing the right think, had relatives question whether I was doing the right thing, etc... The worst part is to wonder how to really manage things as per the person's own wishes.

I ended up going to a lawyer who gave me a LOT of good advice. Also, I started going to a caregiver support group and was able to ask questions of others who had gone through the same thing.

I now sleep a WHOLE lot better.
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Aricept will not work magically. My mom's doctor is thinking of putting her on it but said it will only slow-down the loss, not reverse it. And, he was clear to say it will "potentially" slow-down the loss, so we're not tying our fortunes to it.

This isn't a legal ruling or anything, but maybe a rule of thumb to help you orient yourself on this - forget about the bad days, the hallucinations, and anything else and ask yourself this - does she have a basic understanding of things? I mean this - does she have a general understanding that she has a bank account, that it has to be carefully managed, that it has to be balanced? If so, she might actually still be competent.

My mom cannot manage her bank account and definitely can't balance it, but she understands the general concept of it all from a high level. Thus, she is considered to be competent.

Once, again, I'm not mentioning this so that you can "know" whether your own mom might end up being ruled as competent, just saying there are a lot of factors to this so that you can be thinking about this while you're waiting.
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I'm beginning to fear POA is not enough for Mom unless this new med a r I c e p t works miraculously and magically.
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Lawyer says doctor has to submit documentation stating mom can no longer handle any of her affairs.
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What I meant in my last post was that the guardianship is different from the POA. The POA doesn't typically require a doctor's sign-off. In IL, it definitely doesn't require this. I would only get a doctor involved in reviewing her for a POA if you have any hesitation that she's competent.

The reason that's important to consider is that, if she signs the POA and there's later a question of competence, then the POA can be called into question.

In my mom's case, I knew she was competent, but had a family member questioning her signature on her POAs. I took her to her geriatric doctor to verify that he agreed with me that she was competent. It wasn't a formal think, but he did ask her a lot of questions and discuss her life with her, basically, trying to determine if she understood the consequences of her actions. Then, wrote a letter for me to keep to that effect. But, once again, not to be confused with the procedures for a person who is being declared incompetent.
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