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I take care of my mother mostly by myself, she's reached a later stage of dementia and I no longer can safely care for her. My sister has power of attorney and refuses to even look into a group home for her. She thinks I just don't WANT to take care of mom, it's taken me three years to realize I'm not the best one to look out after my mother. She no longer listens to me. But I've seen the CNA's from Hospice be able to communicate with her, they have been able to get her to eat sleep and take her meds far better than me. Unfortunately they are only here three days a week for an hour. She Refuses to go into the five-day respite care. I'm afraid she's going to die From lack of nutrition, falling , ect. ,even though I'm with her 24 24/7 Help , what can I do?

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RatherBeFishing, I had reached the point where I HAD to have respite. And by the time I checked her in (and she kind of figured it out mid-way through the check-in process, but was too "muzzy" to protest much, though she said something about being dumped), I was fairly sure I wouldn't bring her home. I'd had visions of the freedom I would have and thought I wouldn't be able to "go back there."

When I did make arrangements to transfer her to the ALZ unit, I DID tell her that she was too sick for me to care for at home, and nurses wouldn't be able to either. Her only comment to me was "but what if you get married? I'd want to go to the wedding." Given that's not likely (LOL), I told her she could come to the wedding, no problem. And so she transferred reasonably well the next day, with the SNF's help and none of mine (bless them for doing it without me).

But I had the sense that, once home again, I'd never, ever be able to fool her again, and I still believe that to be true. She absolutely did NOT process our conversation about my not being able to care for her anyore; once transferred, she believed that I was still traveling for work. Once that wore thin, I told her she had to stay there until her venous stasis ulcer had completely healed (both the facility staff and her doctor's office went along) and now that's wearing thin as well. She doesn't understand why I can't take care of it at home like I did for 2 years. So now, I'm telling her that Medicare must be requiring it and I'll try to talk to them about it. I'm working on Plan C for when the wound actually DOES heal...which it might actually do for the first time in years.

Interestingly, she's doing MUCH better there than at home. We (doc, staff and I) figure it's the structure they provide. I would have gladly provided structure for her at home, but she wouldn't cooperate. She generally knows who I am, she's relatively pleasant (other than to whine about going home, which is fine; I've learned to take lots of things to distract her with - a new catalog, flowers, read from the newspaper, things to discuss about the house - which she can't remember, so "home" is just a concept now - and I can divert her pretty quickly from the begging to go home thing).
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have you tried to call senior social services for advice. also does she qualify for medcaid. low income she my qualify for housing.
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I will keep this simple- contact the Supervisor of the employees that your mom responded well to and explain what you just wrote. If she cannot help ask her for referrals to the proper department. Find a good place close to you then tell your sister either she can take over care or you have made arrangements to have mom moved. Just because your sister has POA doesn't give her legal rights to force you into care. If she argues- tell her you will be contacting the County Guardian Office and she can deal with the County Attorney from Social Services. Wow- I must say your sister is rude. How dare her POA you into giving up the best care for mom and you. What is she doing with mom's money? If mom is on assistance- the checks stop and go to county care.
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Oreosmeow that was brilliant the way you got your mom to go happily into care. I am not at that point yet but when it comes I see a pleasant way to carry it out. I told my husband your method and our twist will be to pack her up and drive the coast (her favorite drive) when the time comes. Thank you for sharing .
As for what you are going through Stephanie777, I am so sorry. I have had friends in your position and it was so hard on them. The fact that you know it is time says volumes. Your sister as POA will have no choice but to step up and fill in the blanks. I am POA and that is my job so do not feel squeamish about making her accountable to pick up the bills and make it work financially. You will still be there emotionally to give support to your loved one until the end, but lightening your load is just fine. Not to mention healthier for you.
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I don't know if this would work to get your mom into hospice's respite care, but I told my mom that I had some far away meetings for my job (no job, but she didn't remember that) and would she like to go with and stay in a nice hotel while I attended my meetings. She thought that would be fun, so I packed her up, drove around on back roads for a while, and arrived at hospice a half hour later. Worked like a charm and she loved it there.

I feel for you - I don't have the POA issues you do (I'm her POA and she has long-term care insurance), but I know what it's like to see the decline and realize that you just can't do it anymore. Broke my heart to transfer her to an Alzheimers Unit in a SNF, but it had to be done.
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First, it might be good to take the guesswork out of this situation by seeing an attorney who has experience with elder care issues. If you cannot afford one, find the legal aid society in your area. Services will be either free or a fraction of normal cost, based on your income.

Also, you might check out the elderly services agency of your local county or parish government. They have a wealth of knowledge about options available.

Knowing where you stand will take a lot of the stress out of your circumstances and help you make a plan for the future. Good luck and God bless.
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This sounds like my future problem, good to hear the advice. I feel for you and understand how difficult it must be. I can only hope that I can stay on as long as you have. I'm still in my first year of 24/7 and it's hard, dad has mild dementia but I notice him slipping a little more and more.
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Stephanie777, I understand your situation very well. My husband, my mother, and I took care of my father at home for over two years before his Alzheimer's Disease advanced to such a degree that we had to place him on hospice and in the nursing home. We went through Dad's falling down many times, choking while eating, incontinence, weird sleep habits, hallucinations, being bedridden, etc. He even got away from us at night two times earlier in the disease, and we found him blocks away using his walker believing he was going to work. He'd been retired for over twenty years. Very scary! It got to the point where we had to place him as he wasn't safe, and the three of us were beginning to experience health problems of our own.

Geewiz (above) is right; this type of disease is a 24/7 caregiving situation. I think gladimhere (above) gave you sound advice. I don't know the particulars of your mother's financial situation (We were private pay for Dad until he died.), but you need to contact authorities (Protective Services, I suppose) if your POA sister won't help. Be sure to choose a good hospice. The one we had for Dad was okay, but I personally thought they should have done more. Then again, even with Dad in the nursing home, one of us was there almost every single day.

I feel for you. It's difficult and unfair when family doesn't help. I always say that at least our family was on the same page when it came to caring for my father.

I will be thinking of you as you face this difficult time. I hope everything works out well for you mother and you.
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Steph-
I can hear your desperation. It is time for mom to enter a facility. Are there funds to pay for it? Have you ever been paid for your care of mom? It is the POA responsibility to make funds necessary for mom's care. Sister has been benefiting because my guess is you are not paid. This leaves more for her when mom passes.

I would call Adult Protective Services to report your sister for withholding funds necessary for mom's care. If you want to try to keep her at home tell sis this is the way it is going to be. I also wonder if you told the social worker that you are not able to do this any longer if SW would take care of placing your mom. Just make sure you are adamant with the social worker, and tell her why you think sister is refusing.

One of the purposes of hospice is to assist the family. Put mom's placement on the shoulders of the hospice. Then sis doesn't have a choice. If hospice will not cooperate, get mom to the emergency room, say nothing about hospice, tell them she has had recent and major cognitive and behavioral changes. They should admit her for a psych evaluation. Then tell them that you are no longer able to care for her and is not coming home. In effect abandoning her to the state. There are others on this site that have done the same. Sometimes it is the only option available with unreasonable, irresponsible siblings.



I hate to bring this up, it has happened in my family too, maybe sister has been using mom's funds for her own expenses?
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It sounds like it is REALLY time for a change. Hire a home health aide and have the bills sent to the POA. Find a day care center and bring her there. Stay with her at first then bow out. Then again, you can always bring Mom to the POA and forget to come back to pick her up! My belief is that NO ONE can do 24/7 care for a dementia person on their own. This type of care doesn't leave a fre minute. Good luck
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