My 82-yr-old mom has been diagnosed with dementia - possibly Alzheimer's. I am not certain of the diagnosis and prognosis because her boyfriend/companion has convinced her I am violating her privacy, and she has denied permission for the doctor to share information with me. I live across the country and just returned from a visit. I had to do it as a "surprise" in order to circumvent the boyfriend, who has previously tricked me into not coming and has fostered paranoia in my mom. Although the boyfriend has proclaimed himself to be her caregiver, she is not being adequately cared for. She can't really cook anymore, the house and yard are a neglected mess, she is almost completely unable to manage her finances and paperwork, and peesonal hygiene seems to be slipping. Although she has been advised to stop, she still drives, with the boyfriend serving as navigator. Her boyfriend doles out her medication daily when he's there, which is most of the time.
After much soul-searching, I feel I have no other ethical choice but to pursue third-party guardianship to protect her health and financial safety.
Now I have to figure out how to tell my mom of my plans. During my visit, the boyfriend was there most of the time; mom was very cautious with me, and quite worried and anxious that I not leave him out of any discussions or problem-solving. In the scant few hours when he wasn't around, my mom was more relaxed, personable, open to suggestions and offers of help, and seemed to enjoy my company and that of my son. The boyfriend's presence is so pervasive (and intimidating, actually) that I don't know if I'd be better off telling her of my plans over the phone, or making another visit and trying to get her alone and/or in a lucid enough state to communicate effectively.
Has anyone had any experience with a similar situation, with the complicating factor of a significant other who is obstructive and controlling?