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!!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They are also available from SOS, I believe.
People who have dementia and/or memory loss are not necessarily incompetent. If they aren't incomeptent, they can sign the forms. My mother's doctor reviewed her medical condition and declared that she seemed competent. That is different from being able to read Deepak Chopra's book, by the way. It was not an incompetence hearing - just a doctor's visit. This was done at her geriatric clinic where they do all this stuff on a regular basis.
So, if you have doubts about whether your mom really is competent, you should get a doctor to review her case. I think you might need a different doctor than what you have as my mother's clinic that specializes in all this doesn't just hand her books to read as a resolution to her problem. Their suggestions to her are MUCH simpler.
Here is what the gov says:
Guardianship and Advocacy Commission
John H. Wank
MABB, 160 N. LaSalle, STE S-500
Chicago, IL 60601 - 3115
Phone: 312-793-5900 (o)
Healthcare and Family Services
201 South Grand Ave E., FL 003
Springfield IL 62763
Phone: 217-557-4257 (o)
two cents ¢¢
You can research more on it:
On this site, they provide you some contact numbers.
If you are wondering where can find a geriatrician in your area, you can call:
American Geriatrics Society 212-308-1414
The American Board of Internal Medicine 215-446-3500