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My mom has been taking medication to slow the progression of Alzheimers for about 4-5 years. I believe she was cohearst into remarrying a man she had divorced 2 years prior. He got angry when my brother and I helped her with her finances by removing his name from her accounts to protect her. Within the weeks following, she remarried him and he had everything changed back. She is very depressed and negative. She has difficulty articulating what she is thinking, can no longer write, difficulty dressing herself and doing simple tasks such as answering a telephone, turning on a TV or getting out of a car. My mom used to be a very neat and clean person, but now clothes are scattered about on the floor, expired food has been found on different occasions and she sometimes sleeps in the same clothes she wears by day. She has told me that her spouse sleeps during the day while she is awake and watches TV at night when she is asleep. My brother made an appointment for her with a specialist the week before she remarried, but her spouse convinced her that she didn't need the doctor and we were trying to have her commited so he cancelled her appointment. I have mentioned to my mother that she needs to be in an assisted living environment more than once and she is very receptive to it. Not long ago, her spouse was admitted to the hospital and kept for a couple of days. The staff (or someone) even called the Dept of Aging out of concern for her wellbeing. The Dept of aging sent some papers to offer assistance with cleaning, laundry, etc... on a weekly basis, but her spouse will not allow anyone to come help her. No one in our family cares for her spouse, but my concern is the wellbeing of my mother, her quality of care and the remainder of her life. I currently live in Texas, which makes this situation even more difficult. Do I have any rights as her daughter to step in and do something or how do I go about proving that she is not in a good environment? This is not about money, but I do want her money and assets to go toward her care to ensure her needs are met. I fear that he is taking advantage of her financially by doing the bare minimum without regard to her quality of life. I will be home for nearly 3 weeks over the Thanksgiving holiday. Is there anything I can do while I'm there to improve her situation or get something going? Please advise.

Thank you.
Sandy

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What you could do depends, of course, on what you want to happen. What would you consider ideal living arrangements for your mother? I think I'm safe to assume you'd prefer her not to be dependent on someone she's already divorced once, but in that case where would she live? Who would look after her? Is the ALF a racing certainty if she were no longer able to stay at home? And most important of all, what would be the emotional impact if husband disappeared from her life? I'm content to think of him gone, and you might be too, but of course she may not feel the same. Does she love him? How long were they married in Episode 1?

Um. Two other questions. 1. Why did they divorce? 2. Why do you think (i.e. what leads you to believe) there was coercion involved in the remarriage?

Answers to the above are relevant if you want to do the tempting thing and go all out to break them up and chuck him out. I'd start on challenging the validity of the (re)marriage, getting together all of the documentation you can lay your paws on to demonstrate that she was not competent at the time of the marriage, which would therefore be null and void, and Goodbye Mr Chips.

But Sunflo is right - it would be wiser, bearing in mind that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread," to have a good look at them as a couple before you decide where your mother's best interests lie.

So if, after spending time with them, you find yourself reconciled to their renewed relationship, you can still persuade both of them of the wisdom of getting help in the home with housekeeping and perhaps with regular personal care. Emphasise that your mother's care needs will increase, and it is better to get their support structures in place now, while it's easier to sort out any teething troubles. See if you can make them make friends with their local social services and healthcare agencies instead of pulling up the drawbridge and putting crocodiles in the moat. And on the money side, dip a toe in the water by seeing how open they are prepared to be about it. Their finances are their business; but then again if there's nothing to hide why would he get defensive about it? If you ask sensible questions, you should be entitled to civil answers; if you don't get them, there's nothing wrong with pointing out natural concern about your mother's vulnerability. Concern, by the way, which will be shared by APS should anything go badly wrong. It's not you making waves about it - it's the law!
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I don't think you have any rights as a daughter to step in. Sunflo2 has made some good suggestions for things you might be able to do.

It will be good for you to see the situation first hand. Reports from someone who has dementia may not be accurate. Maybe her husband sleeps all day, for example, or maybe he was napping once when she needed him.

How is the husband's mental health? Could he be having issues with paranoia? Why on earth would he object to free housecleaning and laundry help? Worried about allowing strangers into his home? He may be greedy and wants to have Mother's assets, but there may be other factors at work. He may, in his way, be trying to protect her from the world he sees as malicious.

I hope you get a good handle on what is going on during your visit, and some ideas about how to make things better for Mother.
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Hi Sandy. Did she have a diagnosis of ALZ from a doctor prior to remarriag? If so, share your concerns and observations with her dr. You can keep it to the facts and write it all down and send to her dr.

Secondly, while you are in town, spend non judgmental time with mom and her spouse and observe his treatment physically and emotionally to her.
If you believe that mom is being taken advantage of, mistreated, unsafe (physically, emotionally or financially) then you can report your findings to APS and additionally cite that you believe spouse took advantage of moms ALZ condition for his own financial gain.
Lastly, you can contact an elder law attorney to advise you of moms rights and how best to protect her assists. It depends on how long she was married to this man prior in their first marriage, and the financial settlement that had at time of divorce that may play into this.
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