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Mom, 90, lives independently. She has moderate vascular dementia and refuses to move. I live 400 miles away. A long time neighbor is assisting her and I pay him. They live in a townhouse association, so Mom has neighbors on both sides. Of major concern is keeping things safe...for everyone. Neighbor checks stove/oven to make sure nothing's left on. So I was thinking the other day, would it be possible for the condo association to strongly recommend that she move closer to her daughter because of Mom's memory problems and because of the potential fire risk? We just paid over $8,000 to fix sewage line because she was cutting paper towels into squares and using them because she did not think she had any toilet paper. I will be visiting her this month and I'm hoping she'll come home with me for a week or so...and maybe we can look at some memory care facilities. But as the only child, I have no leverage. I have POA and am not willing to go for guardianship. Mom has her memory issues...but she also knows her likes and preferences. The neighbor/assistant has no peace. Mom calls or comes over at all hours. Things will only get worse with her memory and I feel I will need some authority to "force" her to make a change in her living arrangement. It's tragic to think that it might be medical or police authority...and then the other day I thought, what about the condo association. Could they push the issue in a caring way. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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They will not get involved, unless she rents. I was in property mgmt. for years. What they would do is reach out to you and say she is a hazard to herself and the property. There comes a time when we as caregivers have to step in and make the decisions. My father has Alzheimer's for 13 years and I finally had to decide for my mother's safety that she could no longer care for him. It's not the popular choice, but being poa is not an easy situation . It helps if you don't have siblings to fight your every move. Bottom line, it's about what best for her and her community. Good luck!
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Your mother can no longer live alone. "Cutting paper towels to use as toilet paper" is one indication.
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jjmummert, I know this won't be easy as my Mom was very stubborn and came from a long line of very tough women. My Mom insisted on living at home with my Dad, and the both were in there mid-to-late 90's. Mom refused caregivers and cleaning teams. Trying to get my parents to move to some place more elder friendly wasn't going to happen.  Even after a fall and the doctor saying she needs help at home.   She insisted that her husband could help her [yeah right, Dad was a fall risk himself] and daughter to help her [oh dear, I was pushing 70 at the time and lived elsewhere].

Only child here, too, so no other siblings to help to convince my parents.... [sigh]. Plus, we are still viewed as the "kid" so what do we know !!

I was one where I had to wait for that phone call saying Mom fell and Dad couldn't get her up. She spent her final months in long-term-care. I knew she was safe there. And Dad called in caregivers to help him, then he moved to senior living.

Let us know what happens next.
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We tried to get my mother to move in with us but she absolutely would not. So we enlisted the help of her doctor AND a trusted neighbor to persuade her that it was no longer safe for her to continue living alone. Mom and I toured a couple of local assisted living facilities where we found that "getting old looked contagious" and I emphatically said as much, and assured her that we would never want her to move to such a place. After that our invitation looked so much better to her.
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You are in charge. Your 'authority' is that you love your mother and that she is no longer capable of making decisions. Do some research and find the place you want her to live. Speak with the marketing director there and make arrangements for your mother. Go visit your mom and tell her you've found a wonderful place where you can see her much more often. Explain that you feel that your time together is precious now. Be blunt about her age.

DO NOT argue logically. It's futile and frustrating. Your mom has already determined that she doesn't need help and won't move, so arguing about that is pointless. Resist the urge.

It may help to remember when you were five. A lot of times, the answer your mom gave you was "because I say so." That wasn't because there wasn't an explanation, it was because you weren't capable of the higher level cognition needed to understand it. Now the roles have been switched.

You're looking for an easy way out and there isn't one. Even your mom's doctor will probably be of little help. YOU have to do this. Just do it.

If you want, go ahead and fib about the condo association. You can say that they've asked her to move if you think that will help. You've got to get your mom (and her neighbors) safe.

ps – UNPLUG her stove, microwave, and anything else that could potentially set fire to her condo (and her neighbors' condos).
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Where my mother in law lived they most certainly did state to the family that she was no longer capable of living on her own and was a danger to the rest of the community. She was and we moved out. They have every legal right to do just that. Take a look at the bylaws you will see they cover their butts. If a person presents a danger living there or neglecting their property and driving erratically they can ask for someone to leave. It actually was long overdue for my mother in law. She was not capable of driving on busy roads therefore did not go to the doctors. She was telling the family she was going but was not. She was a mess. It never get's better only worse. Why wait till the possibility of them hurting others.
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In my case my mother in law was exhibiting signs that she was incapable of taking care of herself, driving irrationally and the Association did in fact give the family an ultimatum. I do not fault them for this it was in her best interest. The bylaws are pretty strict about negligence on behalf of a person who lived in the community.
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I am not sure how long you plan to visit, but I would make sure you allot about a month to help her find assisted living. Also, when the doctor states that she is not allowed to live at home alone, then you tell her that you have no other choice as you could face abuse charges if you do not follow the doctors orders. Also, most states have senior placement assistance. Call them and let them know your requests such as private or semi-private rooms, your budget, whether she has a pet or not, and if it offers care until your mother passes on. Other questions to ask is what pharmacy is the facility near and if they offer transportation to the doctor's office or if the doctor comes to the facility. I live in Indiana and my aunt lives in Arizona and it is very difficult to do it long distance. You could always offer the neighbor money to take your mother to her doctor's appts., pick up supplies, and take her to lunch. There is a lot less stress that way!
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My mom fell in April 2015. I had people  with her but mom would tell them not to come.  When she got to the hospital found out that she had broke top of one foot and broke bone on other leg couldn't take care of her at home as I had my dad w a rare cancer.  I work full time.  My dad passed in September 2016.  How mom at nursing home she doesn't want to do anything and the nurse home says she is meab they got a court order to move mom to lock unit and I have had a hard time trying to get any nursing home to take her back she is about 60 miles away from me which I drive every day and I have been told mom is not safe to be at home I had to get lawyer involve to try to get my mom back closer.  I feel less stress her there because I know she is eating and not fell in floor 
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I disagree with the non-payment of the condo fees just to get your mom to move. This is not their issue, it is yours. Believe me, I understand how hard it is to do this. I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that it's time for me to move my 89 year old mom to a memory care facility. I live in a condo and my mom lives with me. She is at the point where she needs constant supervision. I don't let her use the range or bathe alone. Any damage or danger she would cause not only effects my unit, it would effect those around me as well and at best it's not fair and worse yet, I would be liable. I have no help and only leave her long enough to pick up a few groceries, pick up prescriptions or go to the bank and then I worry myself sick that she will try to do something she shouldn't and hurt herself, etc. In your case, why wait until there is an emergency to make the move? I don't think you would feel any less guilty if she injures herself badly (or worse) or starts a fire and damages property and/or injures herself and possibly others in the process. It's a no-win situation when dealing with guilt. No matter what we caregivers do this seems to be a huge by-product. Good luck. You CAN do it!
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JJ - Red Alert!!!! The 400 miles away.... Do you live in another state? or is the county where mom lives considered far geo-politically away from you?
If so, going guardianship route may NOT be what you want to do. Your going to need to put on your big girl panties and use your DPOA and just get mom to move.

Why? Well guardianship is a court- ordered process. My experiences that it's always done in probate court. The judge will want / prefer the guardian to be one who is within his / her jurisdiction. You live 400 miles away. Your atty will need to be pne with close ties to PC as your considered foreign. Judge has a list at the ready of vetted & approved by the court guardians if need be. Judge will appoint one of them to be moms guardian - totally at judges discretion - & once that happens they basically take over.
If at the hearing the neighbor (or better yet his wife) should speak and tell judge that they have been telling you for week, months...that moms got issues.... Well JJ you'd be toast on being guardian, judge would appoint a temporary one from the list. And you'd have to work at getting it to become you at the permanent guardianship hearing.

Really if you want to keep control in all this, you gotta "grrrril-up".
Good luck this week. Let us know what happens
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Seconding your need for an Elder Care attorney who practices in your mom's county. And the moniker "Elder Care" is key. Many attorneys advertise Wills and Estate Planning as specialty -- and that expertise is not adequate for your situation.

Elder Care lawyers are experts in how to title and organize assets; medical tracking and paperwork to enter NH/AL/Memory Care; all aspects of Medicaid's byzantine documentation requirements; ramifications of moving the parent closer to you; how to re-structure mom's estate after mom is in care.

Elder Care lawyers are expensive, too. Buck up and pay it. If mom needed a new roof or you needed a new car, you wouldn't refuse to do it because it costs more than $200. Gotta take that same mentality on this one. In your situation, an Elder Care lawyer is a necessity.
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I don't know if this is a realistic strategy - but I expect others will weigh in. I would have a conversation with her useless MD & advise that despite his unwillingness to take a safety position with regard to your mom, you have to. Explain that as a courtesy you are giving him a heads up that, as her treating physician and in light of her diagnosis, there will be documentation he will be required to complete. He should be taking the position of standing with you - he has a duty to his patient to see that she is as well and safe as possible - not worry about upsetting her. That's just how I would handle it because I won't let them "pass the buck".
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You seem to want other people to do things in regards to your mother instead of you having to be more forceful. You might want to ponder a bit on why that is, and then get on with getting her into a better living situation.
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I am an only child as well. My parents moved down the street from me 13 years ago. I can't leave my house without driving by their house. I can only say to be careful what you wish for in terms of having your mother move closer. My parents are a mess but still live independent so it's a tough thing to witness everyday and it weighs heavy on me. If I could move far away and just let their situation evolve without me I would be grateful and likely enjoy my life more......
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jjmummert, be sure you see an elder law attorney located in mom's area when you go to visit. Yes, it is time to intervene and she does need a Guardian at this point. It does not have to be you; the attorney can discuss other options and getting a court ordered placement for her protection.
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State Division of Family Services? I never heard of them and wish I would've known of this when my foster dad badly needed help and no one was helping for the longest time! I could've also used this info when an elderly friend of mine kept abusing the system by call him unnecessarily called the squad too often and it got to be twice daily in the end before he was finally forced into a nursing home where he died shortly after. I'm sure he must've worn out all the EMTs and I'm sure everyone was grateful when he was finally placed where he really belonged. Thanks so much for this info. Had I only known of this info sooner! 

Finally, although I believe in cleanliness and safety, I really wouldn't want someone up my arse, which is why I personally would never want a condo. I like freedom and privacy 
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As a president if a condo association I understand and am sympathetic with your situation. We have come across this problem on numerous occasions. Depending on your state there are different laws. We usually turn to the family ..: sometimes we contact the State Division of Family Services and they strongly suggest the family put the aging parent in a facility. Both for the health and SAFETY of the parent and the community. Kitchen fires are a great concern... falls and injuries are common. Ddmentia does not go away it only gets worse. She should not be alone! Her neighbors will not help indefinitely What about her Meds ? And her meals? You have to do what is best for her... she is not capable of making these decisions any more. You have to take a deep breath and do what you have to do. And in time, surprisingly she may love going to a place where there are things to do and help when she needs it.
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If she rents and she happens to have a lease, they can refuse to renew her lease. They can also have her legally evicted. I think people should probably contact the APS. As for guardianship, if you're not willing to do it, perhaps you may mention this to the APS and see if they'll appoint her a court appointed guardian.

If she happens to own the condo then I don't know if there's much anyone can do short of guardianship. It takes guardianship to force needed changes. If you paid six months in advance on her condo, I would wait until that six months runs out or at least see if you can get a refund. If not, wait until the six months runs out. Then should you choose to stop paying on the condo, you'll probably want to first warn whoever it is that takes rent money. Just explain the situation and see what options may be available including a refund if the six months is not yet done. If you can get a refund on the spot for immediately moving your elder, then see if you can do that. If not, then you'll probably have to let the six months expire. Then at the end of the six months, no more payment. When a lien is put on her condo then comes eviction day. When the sheriff comes around to enforce the eviction, perhaps you can have the neighbor let the sheriff in on the secret and maybe the sheriff can expedite getting the elder some help. I'm sure they probably won't abandon her to live under a bridge, it'll be too obvious that she's a senior, which will require him to call any available senior services for that area and get her some emergency placement after the eviction. 

* What you can also do on your part is to call the sheriff ahead of time and tell them the situation and where the problem is happening. Give them a heads up on what you're about to do and why. That way, there are no surprises should your elder speak up and complain later because the sheriff and condo management already know what's going on and why. 

* You may not want to go for guardianship, but someone will definitely need to gain guardianship of her. The first people the system will look at is family before a pointing  an outsider as her guardian. This is just how it works because the first thing they're going to look for is next of kin. If the next of kin either doesn't want guardianship for their in no position for it or if there happens to be no next of kin, then the state will have to take over and become her guardian. 

I don't know if the elder happens to be one of those stubborn types who happened to be stubborn before the memory problems ever started, but if so then she may not comply because the memory problems may worsen things. Usually once a person is already stubborn, they're always stubborn and they'll fight you tooth and nail all the way to the end. I can't say that I really blame them if they are being forced around and it may feel to them like they're being kidnapped and in their minds that may be exactly what they're thinking and they may not understand why on many things including being forced into facilities with strange surroundings
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Dad died in Sept. 2016. I have report from neuropsychology with diagnosis of vascular dementia. When her doc saw her last he suggested she move to assisted living. She said she'd think about it. He has not been helpful.

So...update...it's been six months since dad died. Neighbor assistant has finally had enough since his role evolved to next door caretaker with Mom knocking on his door at 2 a.m. asking if it's time for bingo. He reports she is declining and I arrived yesterday. I can see a marked decline in balance and cognitive functioning...but not in her determination to live alone. With neighbor no longer able to assist, this gives me leverage. This will begin as a normal visit and then ease into the we-need-to-live-closer-to-each-other-now-that-we-are-older-and-only-have-each-other talk. Goal is to guide her into a lovely assisted living community in my town. If I can't guide her, then I'll have local authorities come have a talk. Have to force the issue now and it likely will be extremely difficult...since there's no ability to reason on her part. I'll do the best I can as patiently and calmly as possible, but Mom's time of living independently is done. Thank you all for your input. This site is so helpful. I read through it often and have learned a lot. God bless you all.
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Your profile says that Dad is in residential care, and mom visits him every day. How about moving mom where dad is? Moderate vascular dementia means the jig is up. The potty escapade proved it. Mom's lack of boundaries with the neighbor couple also proves it. (I get the sense they aren't particularly young? It's time to free them from this.) Mom's primary care doctor is a turd and a coward. Use your POA and HIPAA release to get a copy of the neuro-evaluation. And get that doctor to sign off on mom's AL or memory care. Good luck. Be firm and don't back down. This stuff sucks!
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As POA, you are entitled to see that neuropsych report. What was the point of having had a neuropsych consult if no action is taken based on the findings? I would write a letter to her primary care doctor inquiring about that report and copying both the neuropsych doctor and her attorney. That will let her unhelpful PCP know that s/he will be held accountable by you. Doctors, like stubborn parents, sometimes must be nudged into action.
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Her doctor has always refused to assist with diagnosis. He will "recommend" that she go to assisted living, but will only do that verbally, not in writing....to which Mom will say, "I'll think about it." In 2016 I managed to get her to a neuropsychologist for an official diagnosis. I sent the report to Mom's regular doc....who has never mentioned it. I'm pretty sure I'll be dealing with an emergency situation at some time that will force the issue. I still hold out hope that I can convince her to move to my community and join a memory care community. She is extremely independent and always has been. One day at a time. Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Over the past year, I've learned so much from AgingCare.com. Have told my psychologist to recommend it to other clients who are dealing with aging parents.
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It sounds like she needs Assisted living. Before you visit her I recommend that you make a doctor appointment and go with her to express your concerns. You will eventually need paperwork for AL.
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Thank you, frequentflyer. Your words are wise. I understand the enabling I am doing...maybe never thought of it that way. Just thought I was helping Mom "age in place" with the neighbor's willing assistance. They have a close relationship. He's a stubborn Catholic Irishman and has a caring wife. He would never agree to not check in on her...and Mom would be calling and knocking on their door all the time anyway. I'll be visiting later in March...so I'll keep trying to plant seeds with Mom about the benefits in living in a senior community....but I understand that I most likely will be in the situation where an emergency of some kind will force the issue.
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jjmummert, the best thing to do is to stop enabling your Mom to keep living in her home.   Tell the neighbor that as of a certain date, you will be no longer paying him, and for him to ease off going to Moms to help, and explain why you are doing that.  It will be tough on the neighbor who probably likes to help, but you need to do what you can to stop the enabling.

The HOA or Condo Asso cannot get involved.  They have their own strict guidelines to follow as an Association.  I know your idea of them telling your Mom it is time to move might sound good, just cannot be done by the HOA.

Stopping payments on HOA monthly dues won't do anything.   What the HOA will do is send notices of non-payment, then the HOA would place a lien on Mom's property.

Sadly you will need to do what many of us had to do, and that is to WAIT.   Wait for a medical situation where Mom is taken to the hospital, then to Rehab, and then to senior living.   My Mom refused to move from her home, and she had a major fall where she finally had to move to long-term-care.

Keep us up-to-date on what is happening.
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Thank you. What you say makes sense. The neighbor/assistant has always viewed my parents as the grandparents he never had...so he is, fortunately, quite devoted. He has promised to tell me when he can no longer keep assisting.
As for the hint....Mom obsesses about bills so I ensure that all bills are paid. We pay the condo fee six months in advance. She refers to it as "the rent."
So...I was just wondering what options there might be to nudge Mom into a memory care facility where she would enjoy activities and companionship.
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The condo association could get in a lot of trouble laying down that precedent for your mother. As long as she pays her condo association bills (hint hint) they have no recourse and neither do the police or her doctors.

As regarding the neighbor who gets no peace, s/he could file a grievance against your mother with the condo association for calling and coming over at all hours but that, of course, would be the end to her making safety checks. It would, however, establish the documentation you may need in the very near future to get your mother to move.
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