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Situation: Mom is a 10+yr addict. Legally married to father still. Father works out of town and refuses to help. This forces brother and I (young 20s) to take care of mom financially and emotionally. She recently broke her ankle, but we cannot afford a caregiver and assisted living will not take her (due to behavior issues in medical records). Please someone offer suggestions for steps we can take for our mom.

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Since Dad is still married to her he may legally be responsible for her care. Not sure, other than a lawyer, you can find out what the law would be in this case.
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Hi akpeacock,
I sympathize with you. I am the only child of 2 alcoholics. Mother was a binge drinker and dad was a chronic daily drinker. We kids of addicts grow up a lot faster than kids from non-addicted families. We also tend to be very responsible (who else could be?).

In my opinion of what you shared about your mom, she should be able to navigate for herself. There are knee scooters for people with broken feet/ankles or that can't bear weight on the leg. Her orthopedist needs to order one for her. It's used like a scooter.

About rehab, I don't get that she needs to be mobile to go INTO rehab. (Physical rehabilitation for her ankle). What is rehab for? To get folks mobile. Sounds fishy to me. If you mean Drug rehab, it's not going to work unless it's their idea. I know, my son's a heroin addict. I've tried everything. 
If she created a disturbance in the past at one, that would be grounds not to admit her again. Is there another rehab center in her area?

Whatever you do DO NOT have her comes live with either you or your  brother!!  I'm hoping that thought never crossed your mind. She's toxic to anyone around her.

I also don't like to hear that you and brother are "taking care of her financially and emotionally". She's getting a ride on easy street and you are enabling her behavior. She can go apply for disability if her doctor will agree or for GA (general assistance-"welfare".) Neither of you should be taking money away from your families to fund her habit. You're doing your families a disservice.

Your mother is young enough to take care of herself. So what that she has to use the scooter or crutches to go to the kitchen or bathroom. Don't baby her or she will feed off it, use it against you and you could wind up doing things out of guilt that you wouldn't want to.

It sounds like you and brother have done everything reasonable that could be done.

I would call APS again and be a nag. HOWEVER, they will put the pressure on you to take care of her. DON'T DO IT!!!
Repeat this phrase; I Can Not bring her to my home and I Can Not live in her home.

I know what a crappy life it's been for you. I also know that you don't want to abandon her but it's her life and HER CHOICES that got her where she is.

You have so much life to live and it doesn't need to be with someone who makes poor choices.
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Akpeacock,

I agree with the other posters above.

You can’t help someone that does not want help with addiction.

During the last few months of my Mom’s life my Sister’s life imploded. Drugs and Alcohol. I basically blackmailed my Sister to seek help. She did well for 5 weeks then relapsed. My Sister was then diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

I just could NOT get sucked back in to her life.

An addiction counseler told me to seek out an Al-Anon group for families of Addicts. That was the best move I ever made for myself.

One visit with the leader of the group and it was clear what I did NOT need to do. I did not need to attempt to rush in and rescue my Sister. I did need to stay away from her!

I do speak to my Sister occasionally on the phone. I am NOT a part of what she calls her life.

I suggest AL-Anon for families of addicts. Once you understand by offering emotional and financial assistance you are enabling and allowing the addict to continue their agenda you can detach to a safe distance.

This really is your Mom’s mess. Not you and your siblings to try to clean up.

If your Mom truly wants help she can take a taxi to the ER. The Social Worker there can give her leads on resources she can seek out if and when she decides to get sober.
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I don't know about the addiction, but as for caregoing I have this to say: Don't do it.

That is tough advice, which is appropriate because this is a tough situation.

How long is she expected to have mobility problems? Will she fully recover or is this as good as her mobility is going to get? What kind of help does she need in her home?

Does she have a income? If she is destitute and needs grocery money or to pay the electric bill, she is probably eligible for some financial assistance. To find out, contact her county's Human Services Department and ask for a needs assessment for her. She will have to cooperate. Is she likely to do that?

Giving her money is enabling her drug use. Even if you give the money directly to the electric company, that frees some of her limited money up for booze.

Show your love by contacting resources that may be able to help her. Do NOT take on financial or caregiving responsibilities yourself. Not your circus; not your monkey.
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If your mother is an active addict, she is the one who must seek help for herself. Your father has probably reached the end of his emotional rope and does not want to help her. And, he is not legally obligated to do so. He is not responsible for her addictive behavior. You and your brother should not be involved either. A broken ankle will not render her unable to care for herself. When she reaches rock bottom she will seek help. Until then that time do not be her enablers.
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You do not need to take care of your mother financially, period. If your mother gets divorced, you father will have to share the family assets with her and perhaps pay alimony or spousal support. If they are legally married, but separated, at least in Canada, your father would be expected to pay support.

As far as helping her, you need to first make sure you are helping yourselves. You have been raised by an addict, you will have developed coping skills to deal with an addict parent that may not be in your best interest now. Someone else suggested Narcanon, Alanon could help too, as would counselling. Is there a drug and alcohol counselling service in your home community?

Sorry, I am not offering help to you re: your mother, I am hoping that you as the adult child of an addict can get help for yourself. I have witnessed many families where their world revolves around an alcoholic or other addict whose addiction is being facilitated by the family. I was told once that 'If you love him enough' it will all be okay. Yup, I got out of that relationship, the person who told me that has spent the last 30+ years bailing out the addict.
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At 64 years old, she is not considered elderly, nor even old, by medical standards. She is a late-middle-age woman with an addiction who is apparently not ready to help herself. She should be able to use crutches, a knee scooter or a wheel chair in order to take care of herself.

PLEASE look into Al-Anon for yourself and your brother. In order to avoid having your own lives ruined, you need to learn to set limits with your Mother.

It sounds like you Dad is fed up with her behavior. He's not responsible for her care, and neither are you.
Blessings,
Jamie
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I think your dad is ghosting because she has not yet realized where her rock bottom is. It may be that he does not want to be an enabler. You and your brother should stay away as well. Any inkling if help provided by you means you give her permission to continue
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This is sad but it isn't really an elder care problem per se, more like a problem with addiction which is becoming more difficult as her health becomes more compromised due to those addictions. I don't have any first hand knowledge of dealing with an addict but I've read enough to know that you can't help someone who doesn't want your help, have you considered reaching out to a group such as Nar-anon?
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She is 64 years old.
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How old is mom?
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Hang on someone will have some good advice.
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Going to elaborate more: Mom has been addicted to pain killers, xanax and alcohol since brother and I were kids. Within the last two years - she has been in and out of the hospital for health issues, detox and drug seeking behavior. My brother is married and has a kid and lives 2 hours away. I live 13 hours away. We recently tried to get her into rehab but they denied her (because she wasn't capable of getting around i.e. her broken ankle.) Our father has altogether ghosted on this situation, but is still legally married to her and yet offers no assistance whether financial or emotional. We are at a loss for what to do. We really aren't sure what else we can do to take care of our mom. We've discussed APS and I recently reached out to them, but no call back yet.

We are looking for guidance on how to take care of her. If this requires legal action against our father we are ready, but not sure what steps to take.
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