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She is 85, lives alone for 2 plus years since Dad died. I have a Medical and Durable Power of Attorney. She refuses to take medication for severe diabetes and a urinary tract infection. Personal hygiene is close to non-existent. Wets her pants 12 or more times a day and refuses to wear Depends. Refuses to drink water, we limit diet cokes, she does not drive (but has two cars in driveway). Can I legally drag her into an emergency room? We do 90% of her laundry and dishes and 100% of housecleaning. She gets verbally abusive when we encourage her to wear Depends (that we have purchased). Our only other choice would be to pretty much leave her alone beyond delivering groceries, doing laundry, etc. Quite frankly we are embarassed as people might think we are neglecting her. Her main personality all her life has been "NOBODY is going to tell her what to do!" She will not listen to our begging, pleading, bribing, etc.

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Good advice Pam. When elders resist their children's' efforts to keep them safe and open themselves up to accusations of neglect or abuse, it's time to step aside and let the local authorities take over, as sad as that is.
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Zytrhr, you are correct. But Tennessee does not have a Baker Act or similar law. So the POA should protect her own self by petitioning the authorities. Once she files the petition, the responsibility belongs to the courts, any failure to act falls on them.
A similar situation is when elders drive badly. You petition DMV to evaluate them and if the state is stupid enough to let them drive, your hands are clean.
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fregflyer

OP should be careful when calling EMTs. If mom's personal hygiene is not up to snuff, and/or she looks unkempt, they could (and probably would) notify the hospital which in turn could notify social services without the daughter even knowing.
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How long has it been since your mother had her diabetes and UTI checked???
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Depending upon how far her dementia has advanced, she might understand
" Mom, either we can help you, or the State of Tennessee will decide where you live".
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Tennessee involuntary commitment laws do not allow family members to act on this. Only police officers and medical professionals may make the referral.
That being said, you can petition the surrogate's court to appoint a guardian for her, because the initial part of that is a mental competency evaluation. You could ask the court for a complete exam, and the judge will likely act on that.
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Oh my gosh, the "nobody is going to tell her what to do" sounded like my Mom. At 98 she refused caregivers even though her doctor had recommended that.... Mom's excuse was my Dad could take care of her.... ok, sure, Dad is also in his 90's and a major fall risk. Yep, that will work just fine :P

My Dad refused Depends and sometimes wouldn't make it to the bathroom on time... so there was Mom on her hands and knees cleaning the carpet.

Eventually Mom got tired of cleaning up Dad's oops messes, so the next time it happened she handed him the cleaning supplies and made him do the cleaning. I can just picture her, hands on her hips with this scowl on her face. After a couple of weeks I noticed Depends for Men, plus Depend Guards were now a regular item on Mom's grocery list. Any chance your Mom could do her own laundry when there are bathroom accidents? My Mom liked those Poise Pads, similar to wearing Kotex type product.

What happens is that we give up our lives so that our parent(s) can continue on with their lifestyle. With them living "independent", why are we so tired???

Cutting back on helping is probably the only way of dealing with Mom to have her bring in a cleaning service and/or caregiver on her dime. It doesn't always work, my Mom still refused to have strangers in the house. But it is exhausting for you to try to keep up two houses, hers and your own.

As for taking her to the ER, next time your Mom doesn't feel well, call 911, your Mom might not fight with the EMT's who come to the door. I got the EMT's to take my sig other to the ER when he didn't want to go by them telling him the EKG heart test was questionable... he quickly went out the door with them.
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You are in a difficult situation indeed

Does your mom have a primary care physician ?

If so suggest calling him/her for advice

If not then reach out to your local area on aging council for advice - a link can be found on this site

If you believe your mom has an active UTI then that could be life threatening if left untreated

Rather than leave her alone except for groceries then you may need to consider calling adult protective services
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