Doctor is not being cooperative and Mom is incompetent to handle her affairs. Any advice?


So here goes, my 88 yo MIL broke her hip in November 17, we moved in with her as she had been told several times before break she could not live alone. She has been in mental decline now for about 6 years, she stopped going to church, stopped all outside activities, stopped crafting etc, insurance stopped insuring due to multiple accidents. Has not been able to drive for a very long time, last time I rode with her was about 7 years ago and she wouldn’t recognize stop lights etc. but just has stopped driving when insurance refused to insure. Now she is letting her homeowners laps, she can not distinguish bills from ads thinks she has 7 different insurance companies, and it’s all just ads and didn’t and refuses to pay the one she has. She does not understand her bank statements, she thinks she’s broke, and she is trying to cause some serious financial harm to herself due to fees and taxes.

Her geriatric put her on aricept, but says she does not have Dementia or Alzheimer’s???? But ordered hospice??? Sadly she has always been Narcissistic and she is absolutely mean and horrible to my husband and I, constantly lies says we neglect her we don’t feed her we are stealing from and the list goes on and on. Any excuse she can come with to try to have us removed. She has so many signs of mixed Dementia but no diagnosis, my husband does have a DPOA but it’s useless on stopping her from financial harm in AL (Alabama), we have learned it’s a very expensive useless piece of paper. What makes this situation worse is doctor basically refuses to diagnose her and we are not getting much help from hospice either with it, because she passes the minis and is fine in front of health care.

The financial harm I’m talking about is not going to cost her a few bucks it’s going to cost her 100s of thousands, she doesn’t need the money but if she makes this mistake because she does not understand her money it is going to put her in a bad financial situation, is there anyway we can get help or advice on how to stop her? Or what can we do to prove she is no longer competent in handling her affairs? She refuses all doctors but the one she has. He will not listen to our concerns or even send her for further evaluation. Between all of this it is seriously taking a toll on my husband and I mentally, physically and emotionally... any advice is greatly appreciated...

Find Care & Housing


Hubby is wearing virtual earplugs and blinders. It doesn’t bother him because it sounds like most of it is aimed at you. Sure, he “feels bad” that she’s abusing you as well as him now, but ultimately it’s up to him to pull the plug on her behavior.

Why would you even consider spending your retirement money for her care? Whose idea was that? File for Medicaid. I don’t remember if Hubby has POA, but if he does, find yourselves a nice apartment, move out and sell her house. She can be Self-pay/Medicaid pending until then. She is paying you. You have the privilege of living with her and of taking her abuse. You collect your wages in misery.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Ahmijoy

It sounds as though she is locked into the Annuity so that is all water under the bridge, some people must feel they are good investments or they wouldn't still be available - perhaps it will work for her.🤞 What concerns me more is her being accepted in hospice - this forum is full of posts from people whose loved ones death in hospice has left them confused, angry and accusatory. Hospice is for people who have a terminal diagnosis and are dying, perhaps not imminently but within the next 6 months to a year. Is it possible your mil has not been upfront with you about her medical condition? I think it is imperative that you find a way to get her seen by another doctor, preferably a gerontologist, use trickery if you have to. Gee mil, your doc is on vacation and we need to renew your prescription, or we got a notice from your insurance that everyone over 85 needs to have a check up with a gerontologist or ???
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to cwillie


Some of the responses to your questions are accurate, but not all of them. It is not true that hospice is not concerned with your loved one and will not write a letter of incompetency. I am a Social Worker for hospice and I have had several letters written for incompetency. I am writing one tomorrow, wrote one last week. Our medical director signs the letter. The letter is written based on the RN Case Manager’s assessment of the patient and the patient’s decline.

It is a myth that all people who come on service for hospice...die. I have had several patients discharged for what is called extended prognosis..they get better. However, the criteria for hospice is that, if the disease is to run its normal course, the patient will pass within six months. This does not always happen. Often times I have seen patients that needed the care hospice provides, regular meals and medical treatment and they get better. Not always. When i speak of regular meals, I mean when they are moved to a skilled nursing facility and they are fed regularly. Sometimes they improve. I have one such patient now who may be coming off service for that reason.

Hope this is helpful.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to RacklaMSW

First of all, find another doctor. Find a Geriatric Psychiatrist and have her evaluated. By AL do you mean Alabama or Assisted !iving? I’m assuming she is still living with you at her home? If she is formally diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s your husband’s POA will absolutely be effective. She needs to be in a facility. She doesn’t sound competent to make her own decisions. As for the financial issues, you may have to contact an attorney.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Hopeless75 Sep 6, 2018
Yes by AL I mean Alabama yes she lives with us, even though her doctor put her on aricept he refuses to diagnosis her.. Unfortunately our attorney says nothing we can do unless she is declared incompetent, and we have set up appointments on top of appointments to go to another doctor and she refuses to go half the time we can’t even get her to go to the one who won’t help, we’ve even tried taking her and she refuse to get out of car . We in a dang if you do and dang if you don’t situation
See 1 more reply
You should be able to get her tested for dementia, can be a long test. Call (Alzheimer's Association)

They should be able to help you out with a lot of these questions

Dementia does not affect all abilities all at once, and is different for every person.

And most doctors do not know how to deal with dementia!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Weeroo

Get another doctor. He is useless, Have a neurological exam done. If Mom can't understand how her spending or not spending her money effects her finances and bill paying then she is no longer reasoning or processing what is being said to her. These were my Moms first signs of Dementia.

You cannot be held responsible for payment of Moms care in a NH.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to JoAnn29
Johnny13 Sep 10, 2018
shop for another hospice agency too
My my recommendation is if the doctor is not cooperating then you need to find a better doctor
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Jessie7410

Hopeless: It seems that others can take advantage of our old people, while family is supposed to sit back and take it. There is no "system" for dealing with all this in America. It's insane, IMO.

Why have you both not insisted on being told why she is in hospice? Why has your husband not stepped up and demonstrated who (should be) in charge here? Why is he more loyal to a dead man than to his living wife? Why does it look as if you are willingly taking on the management of this situation with someone else's mother and then tolerate being insulted? Are you an eldest child who always has been the one to look out for others in the family? Why do you feel the need/obligation to cater to a mean narcissist?

Why have you both not just found another doctor for MIL? I would choose a female doctor, one who is taller than mil, very self-assured, and who really understands dementia. ( Or a good looking large gentle male--but he needs plenty of diplomas on his wall) Take mil to see this new doc. You don't have to tell her where you are taking her and since she doesnt have her own wheels she will just have to deal with it all. When she shows her condition by her behaviour, you should get the evals you want.

(You might also tell mommy dearest that you are keeping notes and plan to write a book about her--- and see what changes that brings about).

(I'd like to know how the dishonest people manage to scam old folks and walk away, while the responsible family members are stopped from doing the right thing by legislators who are either ignorant -- or complicit in the frauds-- and by the various parts of the medical/human services community not communicating with each other. {You see what I did with words there! } But I'm too tired myself to really investigate these issues).

At some point, your husband has to take control, IMO. What can she do, disown him? As it's going he will be the same as disowned, anyway. And your own relationship will suffer, as well as your financials. You need to care yourselves or both of you will break.

I have a situation of my own to deal with and every friend tells me to take care of myself first. I finally decided that they are right, that the pain I'm going through is just hurting me and not helping solve the issues with my loved one. So the first step has been making up my mind to save my own life. Think about that, will you. (Of course this person I love is not a member of my or my late husband's family).

My wish for you is that you put your own sanity and health above the need to care for someone who doesn't like you and thinks she doesn't want your help. Demented or not, that should tell you how she feels about the woman who married her husband. This is a bag of wiggling worms and a short vacation at a nice spa (with hubby taking over all your chores for a few days) should give you a chance to put it all in perspective and come up with a plan to deal with the chaos.

Wishing you a new saner life with a husband who appreciates all you've done to keep HIS promise.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Whyarewe

Oops, I forgot to answer the main question regarding incapacity. If hospice doctor writes the letter for incapacity, you should be okay to pursue the living trust or other power of attorney responsibilities.

Although she is on hospice, some hospice will not cover certain curative medications. The fact that she is taking aricept is good. But, it has been my experience that she needs to take namenda along with aricept to get results.

Hope this was hopeful. Write me directly if you need further assistance.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to RacklaMSW

Some really good questions have been asked here.

You don't care about the will, don't care about being paid, yet you are concerned with eventually having to pay for a nursing home?

What's going to happen is that as MIL needs more and more help, you will be expected to provide more and more help. Are you up to that? Do you realize that up to 40% of caregivers die before their charges?

Does your husband care? Or is he going to step up and wipe MIL's butt, get up with her throughout the night, tolerate the UTTER CHAOS that could easily become your life with an elder with dementia? All because of a promise made to an old man on his deathbed?

Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CTTN55

See All Answers