In a nutshell: Mom is only 77 but abuses prescription drugs and alcohol. She's been Baker-Acted twice and has done 5 rounds in a Behavioral Health Center during the past 15 months. She uses a walker. She does not have dementia but makes poor decisions and has very erratic behavior. I am an only child. My mom has no other family, no friends. I am at the end of my rope with her. She can't live safely at home but at this point she's not "incompetent", she makes poor decisions and tries to inflict her misery on me as much as possible. She does not live with me and never will but has residence in same neighborhood. She's pulling the "you owe me for your childhood" card. She's ruining my life. I am POA. It's been advised that I become her "guardian" legally, but I don't want to take responsibility for her due to her poor decisions & erratic behavior. It's been suggested that maybe I check with getting her under state guardianship. I just recently heard about this. With her house and her savings, her net worth exceeds a half-million, so I don't want to open this up to vultures. Any advice is welcome.

I am POA and proxy for my 102 year old mother. She lives at home and has mild dementia. She has fallen six or seven times in the last year with serious injury from three of the falls. I have cared for her every day for the last two years. I have had enough. I got APS involved because she isn’t safe at home. She agreed to go to assisted living and then changed her mind after I had signed the paperwork. Having those titles ,POA and proxy gives you some authority,but you cannot force them to leave their home. My mother expects me to replace my father. She thinks I should spend every day with her. I am about to blow a gasket. Case in point. Today I decided not to go to her house and she started calling me in the afternoon demanding to know why I wasn’t at her house. I responded you want to be at home ,fine, but that doesn’t mean I have to be on a leash. Then she starts crying telling me I can’t leave her alone. I said you made that call. Monday I have to cal, the assisted living place and tell them she isn’t coming there.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JimL1953
Upstream Jan 12, 2020
My mom has boxed us into a corner and has put me in the position of being her only friend and outlet. I can't fill those shoes. My dad survived for years as her verbal pin cushion, and now she expects ME to take it. She's shocked that I stand up to her and fight back, I guess my dad never really did. It's just awful. I am at the end of my rope as well. She's been a train wreck since she turned 70. She's done nothing but anticipate death, wasting good years in self pity and alcohol. She will be 78 in less than a month. Her mother lived to 95 so I need to put the brakes on this crazy train soon or I am doomed....
Guardian is a decision maker, not a direct carer unless he/she chooses to be so.

With the resources available, I recommend you accept guardianship and place your mother in a locked MC where she will only be able to get her prescriptions as scheduled from a nurse and no alcohol. You can have limited contact or even no contact by checking on your mother using the facility's security cameras. When I visited my father in MC, I would leave anytime the conversation went south - Sorry Dad but it's not good for you to get so upset so I'm leaving now.

For me, the stress of not having any voice in my parent's care or any right to review how resources were being expended would be greater than being the actual guardian and employing a case manager or account to help me manage her care at one remove.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TNtechie
Upstream Jan 12, 2020
TNtechie: I am concerned if I become the guardian, the "system" will force me to take her into my home and care for her. Especially if she misbehaves at any type of facility. That is why I have resisted. Am I wrong? Or, for example, if she is hospitalized again, my plan is to refuse to pick her up. I am afraid if I am her "guardian", I cannot refuse to care for her. Please fill in my lack of knowledge, I need to know!! Thank you!!
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I went No Contact with mthr for 8 beautiful years. Then APS called to ask us to rescue her, that her wandering was a problem. She had a bleeding tumor that reduced her brain power with mid stage dementia. We scooped her up, fixed the cancer, and put her in a lower cost memory care near me. Just the memory care, with no clothing or medical bills, has run almost 400,000 for these close to 8 years. That's not counting the time and effort and therapy needs for my family! At 10k per month for a nursing home, that 500 K won't last long - just over 4 years. You will never see any of her assets become yours through inheritance.

A state appointed guardian takes a small percentage of the assets for their efforts and when that is almost gone they apply for Medicaid for the patient. I believe at that point the state pays the guardian. They have a responsiblity to make sure the finances are in order. It may not be the investments that you would chose, but the money is safe. Best of all, you can visit if you like, and walk away when you want. No strings attached.

I completely support you declining the role of POA and asking APS to take over guardianship when they can prove incompetency. If you know who her attorney is who drew up the papers, you can call the office and ask what they would like you to do since you are resigning the POA appointment. They may ask you to sign a paper in their office - ask if there is a charge first. If needed, you can write it up yourself, mentioning the appointment of the person's POA dated, etc. Get it notarized, and you can send it Certified, return receipt requested for about $5.

You cannot handle her, obviously. I actually moved out of state when I could not take mthr's abuse and it was a blessing. You might consider moving, the farther the better, to get away from her. I would begin by having my mail forwarded to a local PO Box. The cheapest place is at the post office. Your mail will be secure and no one else can access it! When you move, you want to forward from this box to another box. This way you can leave a forwarding address, but it is not your home.

You can't change her, but you can change how you react to her. And an appointed guardian takes on these cases for pay, so they are paid for their trouble. You have the right idea!!
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to surprise
DollyMe Jan 11, 2020
Great post!
I do not want to be the guardian for my mother either, if push comes to shove, I will hire an attorney and go for state guardianship...sometimes the money is not worth the trade off. My mother will soon be 95, your mother could live for a long, long time.

I would get some legal advice and go from there. I am also in Florida.
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Reply to DollyMe

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