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My partner and I moved in with my mother four months ago due to our lease ending with not a lot of destination options and wanting to be in a town/area that had low COVID case/death trends. My mother has been living with and taking care of my grandmother for 10 years following grandmother's stroke. Grandmother recovered from stroke long ago and only experiences not able to find & say complex words (but eventually gets there after about 10-15 seconds) and feels a little weakness on one side - otherwise pretty sharp and super observant of the goings on around her and the world. My mother fretted about not having someone at the house during the day and was relieved to have us there since we're able to work from home.


Briefly, it all came to a head during our stay that my mother's stories of how difficult my grandmother was and all the hardships in interacting with her were all made-up, mis-detailed, exaggerated, alternative versions of events and that my mother was hiding a functional alcoholic lifestyle. There was a trail of neglect in the care given to my grandmother that resulted in my grandmother being rushed to ER last week where she stayed for 6 days. Through conversations with her doctors/nurses/EMT on the scene, she has not been taken to the doctor's in years, has missed all follow-up appointments regarding her stroke, her medication regimen was never refilled or maintained post-stroke recovery, and we were told that she also has/has had hypertension, COPD, and congestive heart failure. My mother visited one morning during my grandmother's stay, and spent the rest of the time in her room, drinking and passing out.


Sunday, we confronted my mother about her drinking problem and told her she needed to let us take care of my grandmother. Not a surprise that it did not go well; we believe she was drunk at the time. My grandmother was discharged shortly after this. My partner and I picked her up and proceeded to take care of prescriptions needing to be filled. We needed my grandmother's insurance cards, ID, and debit card so we spent 45 minutes negotiating via phone call/text message with my mother, who was still drunk, and not allowing us into her room to get my grandmother's cards. We made the decisions to submit a report to the elder abuse hotline for the state which they qualified as an emergency situation and had an interviewer come out within 24 hours per protocol.


Monday, the interviewer came while mother was at work, but my mother came home mid-interview and her presence was intimidating my grandmother into giving shaky, unsure answers to any inquiries. I believe the interviewer took note of this and separated them for individual interviews. The interviewer left before speaking to us again and we're not able to reach them by the phone numbers they left.


Afterwards, hospice nurse came to evaluate grandma and determined she didn’t meet hospice criteria which was confusing since this was recommended by the hospital. Well, we end up having to call the hospice care yesterday after a particularly explosive and violent refusal to take any more medication or have any help in general. The hospice director/supervisor had already disagreed with the nurse’s evaluation and was getting approval to come re-evaluate, which she did at the end of the day—her heart function and left lung is in really bad shape. The director/supervisor was not positive about her long-term health; my partner and I told her that we had no plans to be full-on caregivers as we thought my mother had been taking care of things.


My grandmother’s hostility is still amping up and down, more noticeably when my mother is present. She corralled and kept her senior dog in her room all night (who was also neglected; while she was hospitalized, we were able to get him to a vet and groomer to address issues).


Is there a way to expedite the process of her getting into a facility? We cannot provide the care she needs and my mother has fully abdicated her role.

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Definitely you have to visit the probate court in your grandmother's town/city and file the paperwork to try and get conservatorship/guardianship over her. They will give you a hearing and you will be able to explain to the judge why this is necessary along with the reports of the APS workers and the hospitals. You do not need a lawyer to do this process because it's not all that hard. Also you have proof of elder abuse (not refilling prescriptions or giving meds, not bringing grandma to the doctor are all examples of elder abuse). Don't worry about whether or not your mother used grandma's money. That will not prevent her from being placed in a nursing home and none of the blame for that will fall on you if you're awarded conservatorship.
Would it be possible for you, your partner, and your grandmother to live together (with outside caregivers helping out) away from your mother? Instead of putting grandma in a nursing home. That might be a possibility. You say grandma is still pretty sharp mentally but has health problems. The health problems can be managed with outside caregivers coming in. When it's dementia that's something different. If your grandma goes into a nursing home she will have to give up her dogs and anything else she still enjoys in life. Maybe keeping her with you could work. Good luck.
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mangostarfruit Jan 13, 2021
Thank you for this advice. I appreciate it. We’ll definitely take this into consideration regarding the probate court.
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First of all, unless I misunderstand, all of you live in one house together, your Grandmothers house? That is the premise I am working from.
This is a mess. First of all, no surprise that your grandmother has been used by your drunken mother as a cash cow; she may not now qualifiy for medicaid for her own placement. Sadly. And there is no responsible POA for your grandmother, and I assume no diagnosis of dementia.
I would not get involved with this and in fact would begin the process of getting untangled from it. And I would not want to be POA for an uncooperative elder with a drunken daughter living with her; and if your husband is a Financial "Investment" Fiduciary then he is more into financial investment than into the Fiduciary part of it, and in no way could be involved in both POA and financial management as well for your grandmother without the rules against a POA enriching themselves kicked in. Given there is a drunk and belligerant daughter, there would be court fights over the poor grandmother I am certain.
You need to keep contact with APS and ask for State guardianship for grandmother, or conservatorship and placement away from the drunk mother. Then I would move out of that household. There is no way that a Mother being financially and perhaps otherwise abused and a drunken daughter, and now two grandchildren should be together in the same household, and there is no way to iron all this out in a good way.
Get your own jobs and your own home. Keep contact with APS and ask them to consider State Conservatorship for grandmother (unless you want that onerous and costly task yourself, and with the understanding your hubby cannot act to "invest " or manage grandmother's money in all likelihood. And with the understanding that there will be constant court fights and money invested.)
Forgive me, but there is just too much a mess here. Everyone is living with grandmother and no one wants to care for her. And grandmother might win in a court were guardianship of her sought. I doubt if you were to care for her 24/7 you would have no power over the daughter who is using her like an ATM.
Best way to expedite placement is almost always from a hospital. And that only if the person at home refused to have the person discharged back home to them. Would be hard to do here because this IS her home, so far anyway. And if her money has been going to her daughter she may not qualify or afford care due to medicaid lookback.
Hard to advise you here. Don't know where to begin combing this out and I bet APS feels the same. You say no one can really afford legal advice. I don't know how much anyone here who is not POA can be even be informed by APS.
So sorry. Some times things work out such a mess that it is like being lost in a thicket, and that's where you are right now. All of you. I would start by removing myself out of the situation and trying to keep APS on the case.
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mangostarfruit Jan 13, 2021
Thank you for your advice.

Just for clarification:
1) I think you may be hung up on the mention of my partner’s previous experience at a wealth management firm - I only mentioned in that they have experience navigating the estate planning process and the paperwork associated. We have no desire to manage/invest any of my grandmother’s assets.
2) You may have missed that we both work from home so, we are completely income independent.

We are equal parts wanting to assist to make sure we don’t leave her under my mother’s care during the APS investigation and also wanting to untangle ourselves.

The main goal is to get my mother removed from the home and/or have my grandmother placed in a home with round-the-clock care as she really does need it (of course, she tells the carers/interviewers that she doesn’t need help)

We are taking this day by day as events develop.
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((Sorry—this was meant to reply to ExhaustedPiper))

Some background: Grandmother owns house, name is on her mortgage and all utilities. She receives SSI and pension as a retired teacher. This income covers her mortgage, utilities, taxes, medical, insurance, etc.

Short answer: No estate planning has been done at all. No one in the family is POA, legal guardian, or conservator.

My partner had previous work experience with a fiduciary wealth management firm and offered my grandmother assistance with getting a living will, POA, and last will taken care of. We had planned to sit down together and walk through it all (these things can all be done online now) once she had a routine established post-discharge. This offer was before she was even discharged and these set of events began.

Its going to be very difficult to get her to see an attorney of any sort. We do not have excess funds to pay for any legal proceedings and we’ve just recently confirmed that my mother indeed has been charging things to my grandmother’s bank account to the point where she only has enough to pay for her expenses and nothing leftover for savings.

Thank you for the advice about the house. We had thought about this being an option as well.

My mother has 3 other estranged siblings. One is stable, does not have any addiction issues, or history of anything untoward in regards to my grandmother. She is another option in who we may reach out to regarding POA.

Thank you again for your advice.
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Your golden opportunity to place grandma occured when she was hospitalized. Did no one suggest rehab?

If grandma becomes explosive about meds or anything else, call 911 and get her back to the hospital. She may have a UTI or she may simply be displaying the behavior that has caused your mom to burn out.

Strokes often cause vascular dementia.

Once she is admitted, talk to discharge planning about the fact that there is no one at home capable of caring for her.

Do not pick her up. Do not let them tell you that they will get you help at home.
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mangostarfruit Jan 13, 2021
While she hospitalized, we understood this was the time to get her placed in a home. We tried to talk to her appointed case management person, but was rebuked because my mother was point of contact. We explained that we could NOT return her home to an alcoholic in charge of her care, but the hospital threw up their hands on the matter since my mother is next of kin and point of contact.

She treated for a UTI during her hospitalization.

Her behavior is docile, compliant, and chilled out when she is not in the presence of my mother. We’ve also taken note that, while in my mother’s presence, when she becomes agitated and combative, my grandmother uses the same abusive language that my mother has displayed while she’s angry and drunk. It’s sad to see abuse and it’s effects at any age, but especially a person in her position.

Thank you for the bit about contacting 911 again about any more vitriolic refusal for care, medication, etc.
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You are a good person to be looking out for your grandmother. I'm appalled by your mother's behavior and lies.

A couple questions. Who has POA, both medical and financial for your grandmother? If it's been assigned to your mother that needs to change. If nothing is in place that also needs to change. Can you talk to your grandmother and take her to an elder care attorney so you can become her POA?

That is step one.

Does your grandmother own the home? Once you are POA you can sell it for her to pay for her care in a facility.

When you talk to the elder care attorney tell that person about the elder abuse from your mother, and ask what the best way is to have your mom removed from your grandmother's home. Hiring temporary in-home care until the house can be sold and your grandmother placed would be safer and better than having a neglectful alcoholic "taking care" of her.

I'm sorry you are in this position. Please stick around as more advice will be coming, and also support as you navigate this difficult transition.
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mangostarfruit Jan 13, 2021
Some background: Grandmother owns house, name is on her mortgage and all utilities. She receives SSI and pension as a retired teacher. This income covers her mortgage, utilities, taxes, medical, insurance, etc.

Short answer: No estate planning has been done at all. No one in the family is POA, legal guardian, or conservator.

My partner had previous work experience with a fiduciary wealth management firm and offered my grandmother assistance with getting a living will, POA, and last will taken care of. We had planned to sit down together and walk through it all (these things can all be done online now) once she had a routine established post-discharge. This offer was before she was even discharged and these set of events began.

Its going to be very difficult to get her to see an attorney of any sort. We do not have excess funds to pay for any legal proceedings and we’ve just recently confirmed that my mother indeed has been charging things to my grandmother’s bank account to the point where she only has enough to pay for her expenses and nothing leftover for savings.

Thank you for the advice about the house. We had thought about this being an option as well.

My mother has 3 other estranged siblings. One is stable, does not have any addiction issues, or history of anything untoward in regards to my grandmother. She is another option in who we may reach out to regarding POA.

Thank you again for your advice.
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