Just recently had a discussion with one of my siblings regarding placement in an ALF for my Mom. Ultimately, we decided we will not be placing Mom anywhere right now and will continue to care for her. Later though, my sibling informs me that if we had placed Mom, she would have just gone and gotten her out and taken her to her home. Now she has contributed nothing to my Mom's care over the past 40 years and she has continually milked the money cow during that time. She, herself is disabled and can barely care for herself. I have both the financial POA and healthcare POA for my Mom, but she informed me that she would have the State intervene and remove her. I guess she was thinking of guardianship. But living with my sister would be the worst possible scenario for my Mom due to the sibling's erratic behaviors, financial irresponsibility and her own physical disabilities. Clearly she is only thinking emotionally. But that got me to thinking, worrying a little really, so I checked out our State's process and requirements for guardian and conservator of an adult. Actually it was quite scary, in our state they require audits, regular reporting, no compensation, etc. and the Guardian/Conservator bears the entire burden of proof regarding the well being of the person as well as their finances and property and this information is reviewed by the court.
So I decided to develop a Caregiver Journal today. In it I provide a Summary Background that explains how Mother came to be living in our home and how she began to require assistance with activities; then, I provided a Summary Status that describes her current condition, general health, medications, recent illnesses, physician visits, diagnoses and caregiving. Finally I give a Summary of her Financial situation, assets (there are none) accounts and balances as well as recurring monthly expenses and any prearranged discretionary spending, before I completely took over management of her affairs.
On an ongoing basis, I have created a weekly medication chart and then will record daily meals along with notes and comments as necessary, including any behaviors that are out of the ordinary, doctor visits, caregiver visits, etc.
Perhaps this has turned into extreme paranoia on my part, but I figure the record will be useful on doctor visits, in emergencies and if I am ever called to account by Adult Protective Services or if there is ever any guardianship battles.
Regarding the journal, I learned long ago that a written record will hold up in court especially if there is supporting documentation.
Personally believe that as the public becomes more aware that our aging population requires caregiving, they will become more aware of the issues. What I see that the media usually focuses on elder abuse; there seems to be a total lack of awareness concerning difficulties that the family caregiver experiences or any inclination to provide support or encouragement.
Representatives from the Adult Protection Services should read some of the same stories that I've read on this site and they will begin to wonder what kind of moral fiber caregivers are made of that allows them to lose their lives and themselves to become immersed into the needs of an aged person.
Anyway, thanks for the sage advice, it helps me to realize I haven't gone over the edge yet. :-)))))!!! LOL