Mother (age 85) has decided to have her 2nd hip replacement surgery in just under 1 year. The first hip was bone-on-bone, so having that done was very essential to her quality of life. She had a terrible time afterwards, didn't want to go to the rehab facility, moved facilities twice, refused PT, fought with all us kids (5 living sibs) and basically had a truly h*llish 8 months as she worked her way back from the surgery. It was hard on all of us who were trying to care for her....she FINALLY is now back to a kind of "new norm". She didn't need a walker pre-surgery, now she can't get around w/o one. Post surgery she fell many, many times, setting off her alert button and making life stressful for all of us. Even during all this, she was also seeing drs trying to get back surgery. Luckily, she was refused by every dr she saw, and she shopped around plenty.
Recently she saw the dr who did her knees and first hip. He approved her for surgery. We were all appalled, as A: he told us less than a year ago she wouldn't live long enough to need it done and B: the first one was so awful! 4/5 of the sibs are in agreement that this is a bad idea, given the last surgery, and though we are all on the same page as far as making sure she knows she HAS to stay in a rehab center until the doc lets her go and that she promises to be more compliant this time--my youngest sis is going to call the drs office on Monday and let them know she is going to fight them on this and try to stop it.
Mother is NOT incompetent, IMHO. She can take care of herself, manage her own bills and (sort of) take care of her apt. She's alert and aware of her surroundings, she gets out as much as possible. She lives in an apt attached to my brother's home, so there is always someone around to check on her.
I am not thrilled with the idea of her having another surgery, esp as her recent one was such a difficult and stressful process, and she will not be able to walk ever again w/o a walker, but she is relatively pain free and her dr is now allowing her pain pills for "palliative care"...so the pain isn't the issue. She just loves surgeries and all the hoopla that goes along with them. (She's had nearly 100 since she was about 30 years old).
My question is: can my sister have her declared incompetent to make her own medical decisions? I queried her as to why she's doing this (the sister) and she said she was afraid Mother would die from this surgery. Well, Mother does want to die and she has often said pre-surgery that she'd love it if she just didn't wake up. I don't think my sis has a chance in the world of stopping this surgery and she should just make peace with the fact mother is still in charge. None of the rest of us sibs are worried that Mother will die--we're actually shocked she made it through the past year. Sis is the youngest (50) and quite attached emotionally to Mother, also Mother slips her money as sis asks for it.( She is actually not even in Mother's will at this time, as she has taken well over $100,000 from Mother as "loans".) Speaking for the 4 sibs who think her surgery is a terrible idea, we still support her in it. Sis thinks if she stops this dr Mother will be OK. Not so--she will shop around until she finds a way to get what she wants. I want the sibs to all be one cohesive unit and not split into factions like we were about the last surgery--not the actual surgery but the post-surgical care.
Mother's basic health is atrocious, we're all shocked the dr okayed this. BUT, she's not unable to make decisions. Good ones? Probably not, but I feel that legally taking her autonomy away will just cause her to cut this sibling out of the family and cause more grief.