My mother has dementia and is bipolar. My husband and I are both sick and unable to care for her any longer. No other family members are willing to take her in. We have tried to get her into nursing homes but each time we try to do so, she threatens suicide. She is definitely a master manipulator. She has been this way all her life. She will then be sent to the psychiatric ward at our local hospital and she will literally have a standoff by locking herself inside the ambulance with the driver inside with her. She refuses to get off even when nurses come and try to talk to her. What can we do?
You cannot force what she does (unless you become her guardian), but you certainly can decide what you can and will do. And you won't have her in your house any longer. You cannot care for her and the situation is not safe.
Call APS and tell them that you have been caring for your mother, but her impairments have become worse and your health is not good. You can no longer care for her in your home. You want to avoid the hard feelings of evicting her, but she must be removed.
I and I don't really mean abandon her forever. Once she is safely settled in an appropriate facility, you can establish relationships. You can be her loving daughter and son-in-law; you just can't be her caregiver.
This is a very tough situation. I know your mom's condition is hard to cope with. I wonder if her meds could be making her condition worse. I have to agree with Jeanne and let the health care workers handle her. Wait till she is settled before seeing her again. I know it will be hard, but I would try and step back till she is resettled.
What did happen when she locked herself in the ambulance? Were you there?
Did they just let a very ill woman walk?
My mother used the "suicide threat" as her main means of "keeping us in line" as kids. Of course now she's 88 and says she NEVER did such a thing...(sigh)....
Time for mom to find a new home. Living with threats, manipulation and anger is miserable. Next time she does this, call 911, tell them she's a danger to her and you don't feel safe either and let the hospital and authorities handle it. You could scope out some NH's on your own, that may help you be more prepared.
Refuse to bring her home. Period. She can refuse to go to the NH, but that's realistically where she belongs.
Be prepared for some mighty fireworks from her--but you deserve a life too. And she sounds fairly toxic. Hopefully the geriatric psych drs can get her on the right meds to help with the bipolar issues--the dementia? No help there, but if she's calmer and not screaming at people--that may be all you can hope for.
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