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I've found myself in a tight spot. Grandma was being evaluated for dementia. She was having trouble with daily activities like turning on hoses, operating the dvd/vcr player she's had for decades, and learning to operate her new oven. Once accusing family of stealing her remote because the button was a different color than she remembered, and accusing me of stealing things like her garden tools which she later found in her hiding spot. This has been happening infrequently, until a headache last yr that lasted a week, for which painkillers had no effect. (Grandma has Von Willebrands{a bleeding disorder} but takes Excedrin like it's candy) She refused a doctor at that point. Then her behavior got aggressive, and she began yelling at me and my children for things that never happened. These moments went from happening once a month to every other day, and she started occasionally calling me by my mother's name, and forgetting my kids names even though she'd lived with them everyday for 2 yrs. She still swore she's fine, and continued to refuse a doctor. So I wrote down every instance, and presented it to my Mom who was in denial, until an argument over Grandma not being able to use her Costco membership card as a credit card. So then one thing led to another and we found her a geriatrician. She just turned 89, but is in good physical shape when it comes to muscles, bones etc. However, her doctor discovered her balance is horrible, her vitamin D was completely depleted, she's in stage 2 kidney failure, she likely has sleep apnea, she admitted to passing out in the yard or her room, and she scored a 20 on the MMSE test (parts of which he gave twice, but she failed to remember both times) Most of those are now accepted markers for dementia. However, since she's afraid of doctors, and this was just her first visit, she was scheduled to go back for a follow-up in regards to her memory. She has since been talked into turning on my mother and I (her caregivers) by her sons who only talk to her once or twice a week. She insists the doctor told her that she was in perfect health, just needed to take a vitamin, and was going to live to be 100 (what she's been telling her sons). What he actually told her is that he has some concerns, and that he believed she had 2.5 yrs if she didn't take his advice, and maybe 5 yrs if she did.{it's been almost a yr since then, and she has lost weight visibly, I'd guess about 15+lbs} She stopped taking her prescriptions consistently, then all together, and never returned to her appointment for a re-evaluation, or back to the doctor since. Mom was there the day this all happened, and witnessed everything, but Grandma refused that day to sign a consent form for information. Here's the kicker. Grandma has a loaded .22 pistol next to her bed, and has shown signs of paranoia in the past including a belief that if she didn't lock her car a homeless person would sleep in it.( we live very rural with no homeless people anywhere in 25+miles. And while locking your car is normal she insisted that was why she did it.) Since Mom was in the room during her doctor's appointment, and is a witness to all of this, can she share that information with her brothers? There are some confabulations with serious accusations now flying, and it will likely become a court battle to prove them false. It's almost as if she lost a huge chunk of her memory during the headache last year. I'm not sure disclosing her medical problems would even help, but it would be nice to know if there will be any trouble in doing so, and I'm really hoping to avoid a court case just so we can subpoena her records. I'm at a loss. I hope some of you have some experience that can help. (sorry for the novel folks)

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Meant to add that I've been to doctor's appointments with my mom and not POA, and I actually TAPED the appointments (aren't smartphone just soooo smart?) and shared them with my sisters. I never asked for permission from the docs cause I figured they'd say no, and I did it very unobtrusively, but my sisters were very grateful.
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Totally agree with Barb.... if the brothers are doing all this vindictive stuff there is no way they are going to believe anything you say about grandma's health. Call protective services if you believe she is in danger or a danger to herself or others.
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Would they believe what you said? I doubt it.

I'd call Adult Protective Services, tell them that Grandma is a vulnerable elder with no care.
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Sorry Jeannegibbs. It's a long story, and gets a bit jumbled. The contract is valid, and I'll prove that. I'm still concerned about my grandma. When they started this they said they would take care of her. They have not. The lies she's telling because of her health are encouraging them to pursue us legally. I'm not afraid of court. I'm afraid that she has no care, is lying about her health, and is visibly declining. My concern was whether or not we could share the information from her doctor's appt. without fear of repercussions. They need to know so they can care for her while this mess muddles through court, instead of believing her when she says her doctor said she was fine. They took responsibility for her verbally, and forced us to step out, but now she's being neglected.
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I'm having a hard time following all this, but I don't see what her health has to do with the contract they object to. Are they claiming that she was not in her right mind then? If her lawyer is still active there should be no problem at all proving that she was not coerced. So, I'd say "see you in court."

They don't want to hear about her health? Fine. Don't tell them. But that can't have anything to do with whether the contract is valid, can it?
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We went to tell them about her medical records, and call witnesses about her care. Unfortunately they wouldn't let us speak, they just barked accusations at us. We ended up leaving without anything solved. It's only degraded since. Last week we caught her on film sicking her big cattle dog/pitbull mix on my husband. (fortunately the dog loves us) I'm not sure how much of it is her disease, and how much is just an unbecoming personality. Either way, I'm concerned about her. She's clearly not eating well, and has added new odd behaviors like watering the rose bushes that she had moved last yr, but the died immediately after. They've been dead for over a yr, but she stands out there watering them anyways.
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What was the mediation about?
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Unfortunately, while my uncles have always expected my mom to care for grandma exclusively they also refer to her as "the brat" and tell people "she's the wrong sex born at the wrong time" (she's the baby with 5 older brothers) I don't think they have a decent conversation between any of them excluding family reunions, and that's a lot of chest puffing. When she brought up her concerns about Grandma's memory last year, they blew her off and said they've never noticed anything in the short 30min phone conversations. Then they ran back to Grandma and told her what my mom thought about her memory. Which caused her to shut us out, and avoid the doctor's office. That's when she started telling her sons that her doctor told her she'd live to be 100. Even when a trusted family member(Grandma's baby brother) set them straight, and told them what was really going on they responded by cutting him off too. Trying to display evidence in mediation was met with denial, and men barking how the house was perfect because they painted it...17 yrs ago. I'm not sure these people can be reasonable, but I'm hoping their attorney is. (by all accounts a decent man, even by my attorney's standing) Thank you for your experience. Grandma did not object to Mom's presence for any part of her appointment, and even put mom's email for notifications and online records as she was having trouble remembering how to check hers.
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I was often the one who went with my mother to doctor appointments. After each visit I emailed my three sisters and three brothers a summary. When any sister did, she also did an email summary. Later, when Mom was in a nursing home, us girls emailed each other after every visit. (Only included brothers if something significant happened.)

I felt no qualms about sharing my own observations, whether what I saw and heard was in a doctor's office or an NH community room. I am not subject to HIIPA rules. None of us had medical POA, by the way.

My case might be very different than yours. I don't know. Here was my situation.
1) Mother never objected to having one of us in the exam room with her.
2) In our family of 7 (+ in-laws) the accepted way of communicating was for whoever knew something to tell the others. Failing to do so was frowned upon. ("Didn't anyone call you? Oh, I'm so sorry. I should have called you, but I thought my daughter did. It wasn't deliberate!")
3) We trusted each other. We didn't always agree on what should be done for mother, but we never doubted that the motive was always to do what was best.
4) There was no money involved. There was no inheritance for anyone, regardless of any decisions made along the way.

Granddaughter83, to the extent your family situation is different than this, your mother may have genuine concerns about what to tell whom. I would not have concerns. I'd just tell the family anything I knew about Mom's health.
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It's a long term lease option to purchase. The house was in horrible shape, and we knew we'd be putting in 100k in parts and labor. {2kinds of termites, 6 kinds of black mold, roots in the drains, needs a new north foundation, roof needs work, it flash floods into the front of the house every yr causing water damage, the list goes on}It was not financable when we agreed to lease it, and the lease was based off us finishing the repairs in order to buy it. The contract was written by an attorney of hers, her terms, negotiated for weeks, she paid to have it drawn up, then it was signed and notarized. It was meant to ensure that the estate knew our agreement should something medically happen to her. I just wasn't expecting confabulated stories to be the cause of it. While her sons swore to care for her during mediation, they have stopped visiting, and she's been forced to hire the neighbor girl to take her to the local family dollar for her groceries once a week. She missed her last doctor's apt. She had set up the notifications to be sent to my mom, so she's been getting the missed apt notice. All the while she tells her boys not to bother, that she doesn't need anything, and is perfectly healthy so they have stopped coming up. The neighbors have remarked on her memory, weight loss, and lack of care, but so far nothing has happened to alleviate the problem.
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What contract did she draw up? Did a lawyer advise on the contract? Were the signatures witnessed?
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They're alleging the contract she drew up is unfair, and that she shouldn't be held to it. They story she tells ( a complete fabrication) makes it sound like we did this to her, and talked her into it. I can prove different, but...ugh. The new story she tells is almost coached by these people, and I believe she woke up disoriented and couldn't remember why we were here. It took some convincing just to prove a contract existed. She told everyone she tore it up, it didn't exist, or that we breached it on further confabulated stories(which I can also prove false).
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Well, that's some sort of relief, that you and the kids aren't there in the line of fire.

Who is suing whom, if we might ask? And for what? Is it your mom who is being sued?

Who is currently taking care of grandma?

Does the person who is being sued have legal counsel? That person would be the one you ask the question about revealing medical information.

The HIPAA form you make reference to allows a Doctor to disclose information about a patient under her/his care to another person or entity. I don't believe that anyone who simply was in the room and heard the information could be at fault for reporting to another person what they heard. If the DOCTOR were to reveal it without the patient's permission, then the patient, I believe, would have grounds to sue the doctor.

In certain circumstances, a doctor, even without a release, has a "duty to warn" if they feel a patient is going to do harm to themselves or to others. So if grandma said to the doctor "I'm going to take my gun and kill my daughter", the doctor would have a duty to contact both your mother and law enforcement.
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Sorry I should have clarified. There are 2 homes on the property. we occupy the larger one, she lives in the casita.
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I have been reading up on dementia and AD for months, and I'm as certain as anyone can be that she has some form of dementia. Ive read every post and comment on the subject on this site and many others. She was checked for UTI and B12. All else is normal, and she spends most days in the sun, so theoretically her vitamin D should have been adequate, but it was non-existent.
Because of the lawsuit I can not speak to her, as the accusations start flying. We're filming every interaction, but that doesn't stop her brain from making up stories. That also means I can not enter her house. Nothing I can do about the gun without getting some other authority involved.
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Are you saying that you and your kids live with grandma?

You could lose your kids. You are allowing them to be exposed to abuse.

Something to think about.
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I think I might drop grandma off for a long weekend visit with her sons.

And yes, lose the gun.
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Granddaughter83, read everything you can about dementia. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to the blue area... click on ALZHEIMER'S CARE... now read all the articles when you get a chance. Alzheimer's is a form of dementia but you will see some of the things your Grandmother is doing.

One important thing, if you can get Grandmother back to her primary doctor, have her checked for an urinary tract infection, as such an infection can play havoc with an elder's memory. The test is very easy, in fact you can call her primary doctor and ask if the urine sample can be done at home without taking Grandmother to his/her office.  If it is a UTI, antibiotics will be prescribed, tell Grandmother those are super vitamin pills.

I hope Grandmother is taking her Vit D pills, those are very important. My very elderly parents use to sit outside to soak up some sun whenever possible as the sun is a good source of Vit D.

Get Grandmother's gun and put blanks in it.
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