I can't take care of Mom who just had a stroke and I don't know what to do.

Follow
Share

Mom had a stroke down in South Carolina a couple weeks ago. She is in her late 50s. I am in my later 20s and live with my grandmother who is in her early 80s. Grandma still works weekends and I work part time to help out. I have an older sister who is intellectually disabled that had been in mom's care but because of the stroke and another incident before the stroke happened, grandma and I had to drive down from Virginia to get sister. Mom was in the hospital and we could not stay. I was not able to drive back down to get her so my friend drove my grandmother and picked her up from hospital when they said she could leave. She had had a brain bleed. After three days of being with us in VA, she seemed to relapse. She wasn't eating, drinking, or taking her meds. She would fuss at us to leave her alone. Grandma had to call paramedics to take her to the local ER where they did a scan and saw she was still bleeding. They transferred her to another hospital where she was in the neuro ICU for day or two before transferring to another part of the hospital. She was there three days and just discharged on fourth day. Now, she has been home 1 night and already its apparent Grandma and I cannot care for her right now. She has a follow up doctor appointment in one month. Mom thinks she is alright and can travel to her home in SC by herself (and with sister but that cannot happen). Mom is very unsteady on her feet, cannot walk a straight line, is a serious fall risk. She also abuses her medications. Grandma has her meds and was giving her what she needed when it was time but mom has been fussing that she needs more of this or another of that. In the middle of the night Mom got into Grandma's own medication and took something. Didn't seem to affect her whatever it was, but it was a rough night. We all hardly slept. Mom is very stubborn and can't comprehend reason right now. She has tricare thanks to her deceased husband so a skilled nursing facility is covered. We just don't know how to get her into one. Apparently the nurses and doctors at the hospital even suggested that but grandma didn't feel like 'abandoning her'. But now it is evident she needs more care than we can give. What do we do? Do we call social services? Adult protective services? She is not capable of being on her own right now, especially not in another state where there is no one to look in on her.

21

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
When we get the guardianship straightened out we do plan to look into medicaid again. She has medicare but did have medicaid at one point a while back. I do plan to try and get a companion or aid that can take her on outings a few times a week to give Grammy a break while I'm at work. There is a special Olympics group in town she was once apart of we will look into again even though her ex boyfriend still attends LOL
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JayJessW
Report

So, so sorry you and your Gma are going thru this. Remember, at 80 your Gma is going to feel overwhelmed even more than you. Having a special needs person to care for is going to be a big adjustment. Some advise and the other members will agree, don't take Mom back. If she winds up in the hospital again tell them she has no place to go. That Gma is 80 taking care of a Special Needs granddaughter and you must work. Be addimate. Don't let a Social Worker say you must. You and Gma have taken on a big responsibility. Gma can't handle Mom too.

When all gets settled. See if Medicaid will pay for sister to go to Daycare. They will base the cost on her income. With Moms DC, they provided transportation. Breakfast and lunch. Activities and outings. They even showered Mom for me. Will give Gma a break.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Yes, sister is up here with us permanently now. Either Grammy or I will get guardianship of her soon. She cannot live with mom anymore.
Grammy called the police down in Charleston and just have a heads up on mom and to check on her well being since she thinks she can drive. She explained the stroke, head injury, but not the drugs.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JayJessW
Report

If she's a heroin addict I imagine her life has been a train wreck for a long time, I think you need to go back to doing whatever your lives were before this new health crisis sucked the family back into her dysfunction, you are powerless to help her... (sorry if this sounds too blunt)

I just re-read your original post... where is your sister, is she safe?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cwillie
Report

Jayless, i am so sorry to hear about all you have been going through. You and your Grammy have done everything you could do. You checked everywhere for help and found no support. It sounds like your Mom is addicted to drugs and is going back home so she can do that without someone trying to stop her. You and Grammy tried. It's her battle now. I pray it won't turn out horrible but you can't make her change. Drugs are powerful and destructive. Again, I am so sorry...
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Iknowthetruth
Report

Jay, let your mom be. If there is no one there to support or pick her up, she'll get the help she needs.

Point out to gma that mom would have walked out of a SNF as easily as she did the hospital.

Mom clearly has mental problems that have been exacerbated by the stroke. She is someone who has needs beyond those of family's capability to tend.

Your job right now is to help your sister; mom is is no shape to care for herself, much less another vulnerable person.

Don't go and rescue mom. Repeat, leave mom be. She will have to be found incompetent before she can be forced to get help.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Update:
Well we thought we'd have a day or two of reprieve from Mom to figure out the next steps. Grammy spent yesterday on the phone talking to social worker at the hospital, adult protective services, and even the local behavior health center that has crisis counselor that could come out and evaluate mom.
Guess what?
Mom checked herself out of hospital AMA. No one stopped her. The psychiartrist didn't come to evaluate her. The nurses couldn't make her stay. Social worker, adult protective services, nor the crisis people would do anything.
So mom checked herself out while I was at work. Grammy and sister had to go get her. Apparently she came out still in the hospital gown. She was in the damn ICU with a central line after ODing on something she had taken and yet, she was allowed to leave with no evaluations from anyone.
So what could we do? Nothing. Mom booked herself a train ticket and left last night back to Charleston.
When she got to Charleston, she fell getting off the train. Got a gash in her head and thinks her wrist is broken. She's still at the ER but god knows for how long. Mom has already called saying she'd like to leave because apparently she isn't in a room but on a bed in the hallway and no one has seen her. Grammy talked to the nurse before Mom called and it seemed like they were going to have neurology come look at her but who knows. Update to this: she is leaving hospital soon. 
I'm done.
We tried everything. No one would help us. Hospital, social workers, magistrate, etc. No one. Everyone kept saying 'well, if she wants to leave'. So we let her leave.
The few friends down in SC said they'd look in on her. Mom also said she'd come back soon to see that doctor but who knows. Mom thinks Grammy is the one that has done all of this. Put her in the hospital, said sister can't live with her, etc.
Grammy is worried and is blaming herself for not listening to the nurses last week about putting mom in the skilled nursing home. Grammy remembered when her own mother decades ago had had a stroke or something and how she seemed to do better when she came home. I told Grammy its not her fault. We tried everything.
In the end, you can't help someone that doesn't want to be helped.

Thank you to everyone that has offered advice and support on here. It means a lot.
I will update again if anything else happens. Right now I'm just mentally drained from these past few weeks and need to rest.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JayJessW
Report

Good luck and please keep us posted. Sending you all peaceful and healing vibes. I'm so glad you've got your grandmother and sister and you're all on the same page. Your mom is lucky to have you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to blannie
Report

Jay
Thanks for letting us know what happened. Taking GMs meds might have been a blessing in that it gave the authorities a reason to take her to the hospital. Hopefully they will help her. I know this is so hard for all of you. Glad you have good neighbors. Hugs
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

Update: So I went to work. Had to and plus I really needed to get out of the house for my own sanity. Before I left Mom was still ranting and raving about needing to leave and even tried taking Grammy's phone from her and knocked over a bunch of stuff in the bedroom.
While I was gone, Mom got increasingly more belligerent and aggressive. Cursing at Grammy and sister. Throwing things. Cops were called but did nothing. She even caused my sister to be knocked down. Nothing was done by cops or paramedics that came to help sister up. Sister went to neighbors across street for a few hours to get out of the house.
They finally did something when Grammy noticed mom's behavior had changed to grogginess and not being able to walk right again. She saw a pill bottle on mom's bed and mom wouldn't say where she got it. Grammy then discovered mom had found where her pills were hidden and taken them. Don't know what she took and how much. Cops and paramedics came back and this time took her to the hospital.
She's there now and will be for the night. Cops said to go to another magistrate in and try again.
I honestly think mom wants drugs. At the start of all of this, the reason she was sent to hospital in SC was originally for a heroin OD and then she was arrested and taken to jail for disorderly when they found something on her in the hospital. When she came out of jail, that's when she asked to go back to the hospital and the stroke was diagnosed.
If she's jonesing for a fix, then that is cause, I think for an involuntary commitment somewhere. She's an addict who needs help. She also has suffered from brain bleed from the stroke and needs help for that.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JayJessW
Report

1 2 3
Related
Questions