My mother has been diagnosed with moderate to severe dementia. She lives by herself and won't get out of her house. She is incontinent and sits in her urine soaked clothes. She won't take help from any health aides we've had go over and won't open the door and let them in. Her neurologist said we may be able to have a psychiatrist deem her unfit to be in the house instead of having to pay a lot of money for a guardianship. Has anyone ever heard of this situation?

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Who did the diagnosis of moderate dementia? Because HER psychiatrist deeming her unfit still gives no one else the right to make decisions for her and will do no more than the regular neurologist or MD giving the diagnosis. She would need some kind of guardianship, whether court appointed or not is the question. Were I you, unless you want a good deal of trauma and angst in your life going forward, I would not accept guardianship, but would rather have the court assign same. And I agree with others here, that this is a case for Adult Protective Services.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
DizzyBritches Sep 1, 2019
Yes. I would think there would have to be some sort of adjudication by a government agency if you’re talking about putting him where he doesn’t want to be.
APS must come out once I call is made. Explain the situation. They will be able to help.
i have POA for my dad and not guardianship. He was the same way- resistant to help, and he never wants to see a doctor. He’s fully incontinent and sits in his dirty clothes. I told him if he didn’t allow me or his aide (who just started 3 days a week) to change him, then APS would send him to a NH.
It is a tough situation, but the law states that senior citizens are allowed to make their own decisions no matter how poor their choices may be. You can’t force anyone to live the way you want them to. I had to let go of that idea.....
I figure that if my dad gets an infection because he is sitting in wet clothes, then we will need to address the infection. It is heartbreaking to watch, and I completely understand that you will end up with a lot of laundry, steaming carpets three times a week, cleaning up after the mess, but if this is the way a senior chooses to live, then there’s really nothing you can force them to do unless you have guardianship.
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Reply to Rattled
DiamondAngel14 Sep 1, 2019
Call an ambulance.... he'll get evaluated...after 3 days in the hospital he can be put in a nursing home. They all say they don't want help or anyone in the house. Remember, you are the one in charge, not him.
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Joanne, have you reported Mum's circumstances to your local APS? It really sounds like she needs full time care and APS may be another option to getting the ball rolling.
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Reply to Tothill
joannc60 Aug 29, 2019
Thank you. I will need to contact them to see if they can be of assistance.
I have not heard of a psychiatrist having to deem her incompetent. My mother’s primary care physician offered to write a letter stating she was unsafe I her own home. My mother is not as advanced as yours, however. She now lives with me. You may want to contact your local Agency on Aging for suggestions. A family member can be a guardian as well, but a court appointed one should not be that expensive if it goes through the court system.
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Reply to Ctcaregiver
Isthisrealyreal Aug 29, 2019
The court appointed guardians are expensive and work hourly. They are not discounted because they are not family. If anyone chooses this route they should be aware that they no longer have any say about their loved one, their property or their placement. If there are assets they will go towards care and paying the guardian as much as 225.00 an hour, depending on where you live. Cheapest I found was 165.00 hourly. Just a heads up.
I have POA for my 102 year old mother. We have gone through a very long summer with broken hip,surgery,rehab ,and now home with care 24/7. My mother doesn’t want anyone in the house and is making my life very difficult. Having POA doesn’t allow you to make living arrangements. My mother thinks that I am forcing her to have help at home and is furious at me. I remind her it was her care team who made it a condition of returning home. I have spoken at length with her attorney how to go forward. We too have discussed invoking a protective order and having a guardian appointed.
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Reply to JimL1953

It may be possible. Doctors are mandated reporters and they have to report to APS adults at risk who are living in what could be dangerous situations, which it sounds like your mother is.

Does anyone have Power of Attorney for her? What concerns me is that since she owns her home, if you do put her in a facility and then need to sell her home and handle other financial obligations, you might run into roadblocks with all this if no one has power of attorney over her. You may need to get guardianship anyway.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

If there is no POA you will very likely need some solid documentation to sell property and use funds.

I find it somewhat worrisome that you describe her as having “moderate to severe dementia”, then stating that she “won’t take help”, “won’t open the door” “won’t get out of her house” etc.

If the neurologist has given you a written statement about the dementia, you are certainly on solid ground to have her physically removed to a safer environment. Her condition indicates that she is no longer equipped to manage her own welfare.

Who writes checks for her bills, shops for her, addresses household concerns? Does that person have POA?

If you are attempting to find a peaceful resolution to her current circumstances it will tragically most likely not happen. The process of rescuing her may well incite a number of startling behaviors. You will need to make your mantra “safe, human needs met, protected”.
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Reply to AnnReid

Joanne, if you’re having trouble getting her out to any doctor, have you tried contacting APS as the posters here have suggested since your queries in May?
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Reply to rocketjcat

Adult Protective Services may be the way to go, but try to be there when they visit so you can cue them in to ALL the problems.
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Reply to Taarna

I agree with ctcaregiver - her own doctor should be able to identify her inability to live alone. But, if the neurologist made this suggestion, ask neuro dr for the name of one and to let him know why you are bringing her.

You probably still need someone with Power of Attorney to handle her personal affairs.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to my2cents
cherokeegrrl54 Sep 1, 2019
OP states she wont leave the house to go to a dr.....APS needs to be called in these circumstances.....if the elder person wont or cant take care of themself and/or refuses any and all help, whether from family or caregiver, time to report it to the appropriate authority
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