Hello all, I have an 83-year-old mother. She has short-term memory issues, and there may be more. She also has very poor judgment, and imagines things. We are planning to get her fully evaluated, but, in the meantime, we have to deal with numerous issues she is creating for herself and my 90-year-old dad. She is the primary caregiver to my dad. Because of the issues I mentioned, she is doing a very poor job, and started putting his life in danger. We tried to get her a live-in caregiver. She refused. We tried to get her move closer to my brother, she refused. We are considering taking her under conservatorship but she will still refuse a caregiver/a move. How do people deal with issues of this type? I would very much appreciate your suggestions.

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I think that I have a different take on it. If my dad's life is in danger as you state above, then, I'd have to be an advocate for my dad, if he is helpless. Loved ones who have dementia can't continue to drive the train indefinitely. She's not going to get better. I'm not one to wait on a crisis if the person is obviously incompetent and they are in danger.

I'd seek legal counsel and find out what evidence you need to proceed with Guardianship. I'd ask about whether both need it, since it seems neither are competent to protect themselves. A lawyer should be able to explain what you need and guide you through it.

If you're appointed Guardian, you make the decisions and it's not for mom to agree or not agree. The court allows you that authority and it will be carried out, regardless of her resistance. It's great when people will cooperate and do things that are in their best interest, but, if they are not capable of doing that, it has to be done for them.

Does anyone have DPOA or HCPOA for dad?
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Deborahformom_ that is a great idea ! I use this when I have to leave my mom! I say that so&so needs some extra money, so I am going hire her to clean the house and feed all the critters while I will be gone. I tell the hired caretaker to gently suggest taking her out to shop,eat etc. At least once a day she will bring a meal. We have to be creative and a little sneaky !! We live in a small town so my mom knows the person we hire from church or somewhere ! It gives me a break and I love the stories the "hired gal " has about my mom when I return. AND vise-versa !!!
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Does mom like to help others? If she thought she were helping a college student earn school credit or providing a room for an old friend's child would she let them stay in the home? Perhaps you can creatively get her to accept the help if she thinks she is the one doing the helping.
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It was a similar situation for me when I came to stay with my parents. My father had dementia and would sit in his chair all day, ordering from catalogs. My mother had dementia and had no judgment at all. My father had gone for months without bathing. My mother was a medicated mess, but was very controlling and mean. She was my father's primary caregiver, though she wasn't really able to do that. She could put food in front of him, but that was about it.

There really wasn't much I could do except provide support to both. This included all the household things, like shopping, cleaning the hoard, and cooking dinner. It also included new rules on bathing and medication. I couldn't come in and take over all at once. I had to do things as I could. The situation has never been ideal and is very hard on me, but somehow it has worked.

The only advice I know is to do what you can. This may be things as simple as buying and cooking nutritious foods and making sure the place is clean enough. Try to stop your mother from making unwise choices. Sometimes you may need to call in a brother or a friend to talk to her, since caregivers can be ignored. Don't blame yourself if your mother won't let you do something. Don't sweat the small stuff. I often have to stop to think if something really matters or if I can let it slide. Good luck putting a good strategy together. It isn't easy to help when one of the parents is dominant and difficult.
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Many elders in that age group are in denial of their age and ability to do things around the house.   My late parents were in their 90's, and it was my Mom who was in denial of her age, my Dad's age, and keeping up the house.   My Mom still had Dad climbing ladders to fix things, and cleaning gutters.   And yes, my Mom refused any type of outside help.

I hate to say this, but usually we need to wait for a medical crises to happen.    Usually it will be a major fall, but don't hold your breath, Mom will come home and continue like nothing had happened, until the next major fall.   I had to wait for that second big time fall, thus my Mom spent her final months in long-term-care.

For me, all I could do is go into sheer panic any time the telephone rang and it was my parent's Caller ID.   And many, many sleepless nights.
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