What if the caregiver is the spouse and they are not giving proper care?

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My brother is suffering from alzheimers and his wife, who is much younger, is not making sure he eats when she is away at work nor does she make sure he is taking his medications properly. What are his children's legal rights?

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It must be so hard to see your brother being neglected. Where do you live? How do you know what's going on? Where do his kids live?

Is his wife the kind who would appreciate help? Most people are, so if you volunteer to help, she would probably love it.

I don't know what the kids' legal rights would be. Is his wife a second wife, and their stepmother? If she isn't outright hostile, she would probably let them help.

What do you think she should do to take better care of him? Stay home more? Not likely. Hire help? Can they afford to?

I think it's best to approach this first as if she just needs help, not as if she's neglecting him. We know how hard it is to be tied to someone who isn't the person you used to know. You may not realize just how much she actually has to do to care for him. She could be doing many things you don't see. So don't make her the villain unless you have to.
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I would think, if talking won't accomplish anything, you could call Adult Protective Services to go in and evaluate. Have you tried sitting and discussing your concerns with his wife, and offering her resources to consider like Meals on Wheels for him, discuss the importance of assuring he gets all his meds properly and consistently or providing resources from the Alzheimers organization re: the importance of planning for things like eating, because her husband cannot remember to eat himself? Have any of you offered to help? Is there one of you that could go over once a day and spend time with him during the lunch meal? I would have concerns about whether he's OK to even be left home alone while she works? Perhaps it's time for her to arrange some part time caregiver in the home while she's working. We went through all this with my Dad, and eventually I had to decide to place him, because Mom was acting the same way with him....letting him fend for himself re: meals....which resulted in him eating ice cream or p-nut butter from the jar, because by the time his brain told him his stomach was hungry, he wanted something RIGHT NOW. He was not safe to cook...kept leaving the stove on and burning up pans. She would not even agree to leave a special shelf in the fridge with foods he liked or could get to and find something fast! And then, her habit was to leave the house at 3 to 4 pm daily, just as the 'sundowning hours' started, to go grocery shopping for several hours. My Dad was really 'lost' at home alone and became more and more anxious. He would call me (who lives 5 hours away!) and ask where Mom was? And whether he should call the police because 'she's been gone for hours and hours'. His memory couldn't even keep a reasonable track of when she left. I tried to get her to leave a note written with the time on it...and take her cell phone so he could call her, but NO....her routine was NOT to be changed! He would start drinking to deal with his anxiety, and then when she got home, they would fight the entire rest of the night....every single day. Now recently, Mom has been evaluated and we've learned she has early alzheimers, so perhaps that was the cause of her behavior all along? At any rate, our case manager and eldercare attorney clearly told me that they needed to agree to a caregiver in the home at least part time, and that he MUST NOT be left alone, for that amount of time, and especially in the early evening hours like that. Neither liked it, but by then I did have POA and I explained that they had to agree if they wanted to be at home, because if the police were repeatedly called, then eventually APS would be called, and they would decide if parents could be at home, or, if not, they would decide where they had to go. Attorney said having a home care plan, would protect our ability to have choices, even if APS did get called. By that time, police had been called in several times. So, then, within 6 months, I just had to place Dad because both parents were just fighting the situtation too much and they were not safe even with part time caregivers there.

I would talk first and offer help if you can, share resources. Tell his wife that the Alzheimers organization has groups and all kinds of resources. Perhaps even a day care program where he could go while she works??? And urge her to understand that if she's not making him safe, and police are called, APS will get involved and make decisions on his behalf. it's just not possible to ignore the situation. And, as family, any one of you CAN make that anonymous call to police or APS if you think things are unsafe, or she's refusing to listen to your suggestions. The situation is NOT easy, and there will likely be a LOT of family discord, but the bottom line is, as I was told by attorney....legally, IF you know an elder is NOT safe, you MUST do something about it, or you could be pulled in legally too, if something bad happened. None of us wants to get involved in any kind of lawsuit, especially involving family. Nor do we want other agencies to make decisions about our family members and take away our choices.
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Report her to the Dept of Health and Services.
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