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When told we only want to help she responds 'there is nothing wrong."
My Aunty is 78 yrs old and has enjoyed a good life but over the last few years her mental health has deteriorated dramatically. She is also a heavy smoker.
She has always enjoyed an alcoholic drink, from usually around 5pm (to make her relax!!!) She has had a privileged life where she retired early in her 50's has not had to work, has a nice home and money to spend.
She has fallen twice while drunk and broken her hip, resulting in a hip replacement operation & also broken her ankle - does not remember doing it.
Memory loss increased recently, repeating herself, foot tapping, personal hygiene, (showering & toilet hygiene think she is becoming incontinent), can't cook anymore, doesn't do any housework (she was always very housepround) gets angry when she is not allowed to have an alcoholic drink which is usually around 5pm in the afternoon, she has never drank before this time of the day.
Anything out of routine she will not entertain
When she goes out usually twice a week to eat out, she always has the same food pushes it around the plate then says she's full and then wants to go home, she has lost so much weight is now only 57kilos
Goes to bed around 8.30 pm, gets up twice to make sure everything is shut up even though other people in house and gets angry when blinds & windows have been opened.
Has been caught going through guests personal bags, and some guests have noticed money missing
Has accused her daughter of hitting her when she tried to take a bottle of wine from her.
Her husband is recovering from an operation to remove bowel cancer and is taking chemotherapy, therefore unable to look after him and he has to have oxyen for a breathing problem which she objects to
I did trick her into seeing a pyschiatric nurse who did an assessment, blood test and urine test. She did not speak to me for a week, but when we went back for the results she couldn't remember going in the first place. Both urine and blood tests were ok, but he did say the score in the assessment was very low. And suggested next step to have a brain scan. Of course, we as a family cannot get her to go, and said the nurse was lying, there is nothing wrong.
We as a family do not know what to do, as she flatly refuses to go to any doctor, although we have said we love her and want to help her.

We desperately need some advice how to deal with this situation!!!! Can anyone help ?????

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My mother was diagnosed with Korsakoff syndrome, it is a form off dementia brought on by alcohol abuse. I had to get a POA because she would drink up a third of her retirement income and spend the rest on crap from infomercials. She lost our family home and has to come live with me now. She hasn't been able to buy liquor now and is actually going through withdrawl. It's very hard to witness the decline of your superhero.
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I should say he only goes to the doctor when the pain gets so bad he HAS to because he needs meds.
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Hi Christine53. I'm in the same boat with my dad except there isn't any wife around. When I tell dad something he doesn't remember he denies it and says I'm lying. He drinks 8-12 beers a day, sometimes starting at 10:30 am. He won't go to the doctor but the doctor did write me a letter stating he was "incapable" of handling his affairs due to memory loss. Dad went to the dr on his own because his shoulder was hurting him so bad. As I wasn't there at the appt. I don't know what was said but I do know, from email w/doctor that the doctor called dad the next day and dad didn't remember having a conversation with the doctor. (must have been some kind of follow up) The ending result was the letter. I am POA for dad. Dad's elder law atty told me that this is a HUGE grey area, incompetent vs. competent. Dad is functioning. He does get up and get dressed, he can make breakfast if he wants, he goes outside and works a little in the yard, he pays a bill every now and then. BUT, his memory is so bad he doesn't remember what he did, who told him something , etc. I do believe if he didn't drink so much his memory would be better. He's a pretty easy going guy, just wants it his way. I'm not any expert but I'd be concerned about your Uncle and his cancer recovery. Best thing, at this point, is just to make sure Uncle is cared for and Auntie doesn't harm him in any way. I agree with Eyerishlass, and have been told by attorney and social worker that these stubborn people just have to have it there way until they physically can't anymore. That usually involves some kind of incident, be it a fall, or stroke, etc.'
Also, invoking the POA (which I have) is going to cause a MAJOR battle and so I have been putting that off until things are much worse. My family is presently considering if we want to move in with my dad as he is alone. He's doing ok but is lonely and not eating like he should and of course the drinking isn't something I'd like to be around. So, it is one day at a time.
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Good advice, Eyerishlass.
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No, a Power of Attorney doesn't have the authority to declare someone incompetent. Only a judge can declare someone incompetent and many people find that obtaining guardianship over someone is the only way to get that person the assistance they need. For this you need an attorney.

Google "power of attorney". The job of the POA is very detailed and comprehensive. Usually someone assigns a loved one to be their power of attorney but a POA can also be a lawyer or a legal guardian.

As far as your aunt goes, you may have to wait until she has an emergency and needs to go to the hospital. If this happens let the nurse know that you need a social worker. Once a social worker enters the picture he/she can assist your family in doing what's best for your aunt. Social workers have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves and will work hard on your family's behalf.
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Thank you, this has been considered and my cousin was going to be the power of attorney, but my aunty attacked her saying she had been hitting her and said some really nasty things, so she didn't want to do it. Does this mean then the person who takes power of attorney can declare her incompetent?
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Wow! You have a lot on your plate. I am not a lawyer, but I think she would have to be declared incompetent for you to do anything....unless someone in the family has durable power of attorney. It wouldn't hurt to see a lawyer. I did when my aunt needed care and wouldn't cooperate with me. It saved me a lot of unnecessary grief.
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