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My stepmother lives in Bflo and I'm in Fl. so I only get to see her a couple times a year. My father died 14 yrs ago and my SM was then living with her sister. They were very close and then her sister died suddenly. I hadn't noticed any symptoms during the short visit I last had with her and then found out several months later that she had dementia and was in the hospital for a few months and no one notified the family. The county now has guardianship and will not tell anyone anything about how she is being treated or her condition. There's a lot I'd like to ask about that, but, another time. I just wondered about how suddenly it seemed to happen. Thanks so much for any thoughts.

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Thanks everyone for your answers. I never thought of the sister covering for her.As for relatives, my stepmom has a sister and brother. The only way I finally found out what happened is I left a message on her ans. machine hoping her neighbor ( who was feeding my SM cat) would hear it and call me, which she did. The only way I found out she had been in the hosp. for 4 months was that my aunt fell and was taken to the same hosp. and ended up in the same room as my stepmom. My cousin called and said Your SM is in the hosp and has dementia!!
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I agree, the sister was covering for her and once the sister was gone, there was no one to do the care. Surrogate's court in Erie County would only look for blood relatives, not relations through marriage. Nor would they consider someone outside of their jurisdiction. I am a Guardian in Erie County; the court expects all information to be confidential.
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You may also consider that she was dealing with dementia issues while her sister was alive and her sister was able to keep them secret.
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I would add, that after my sisters death Dad had hernia surgery under a general anesthesia. This was another clear set back to his mental ability that really never went away.
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It may be totally coincidental but when my sister died suddenly about five years ago at age 42 that's when I noticed that Dad was beginning to fail mentally. At first I thought it was just aging but as I read more about dementia it was clear he was exhibiting classic symptoms.
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