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My mom lives in one state and I live in another. I have spoken to an attorney w/in the state where I live and they probably will accept the POA & health care proxy. I do have POA & a health care proxy. She has been diagnosed w/ dementia and diminished capacity in health and finances. She is spending thousands of dollars on scams on the phone and by mail. I've tried repeatedly to say they are just scams, but she is convinced she has won millions of dollars. She takes many many pills for depression and anxiety. She usually takes them ahead of schedule and then wonders why she doesn't have them at the end of the month. So she drinks& buys any pills from "friends". Then she gets her bills and she says she didn't buy these items . So then all of her credit cards give her credit on hundreds of dollars of stuff she says she doesn't have but actually they are in her house somewhere. She has had nine different checking accounts in the last 19 months. She barely eats and is occasionally in the hosp for UTI and other misc problems. I need to put her in a locked safe facility so I can sell her house ( which she has taken out a loan on to pay for her scam habit) and take care of all the other issues. Are there places who will take her even though she will kick and scream that she shouldn't be there? She is driving but absolutely shouldn't be. She has hit three handicap poles and two mail boxes in the past three weeks. She also has hit someone's car and I'm trying to find the paperwork ( that she has hidden). Please help. She 1000 % will not go willingly. :(

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Driver's license should be taken, before it is too late. A lady in her 70s was driving when she claimed she did not feel well, mistook the gas for the brake, and ran over 8 people who were watching an outdoor concert. Guess what, One of the victims, a 61 year old has died. This lady will have to live with the consequences of her actions the rest of her life.
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Prayers! You have enough tatters in your life already!
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Double feelings, it sounds like you are dealing with a drug addiction as well as dementia. A double whammy for you. Bless your heart. What a difficult position to be in. Yes, first get her to a facility. I assume you have money to get her in, at least temporarily. Maybe tell her you are going to lunch in a nice place? Then, can she stay for a "vacation." Maybe just tell her you need some time in the house alone to get it cleaned and organized. Which you do! Once you get the finances in order, you can see what you need to do about medicaide but if she is running up credit card debt, it sounds like application should be done sooner rather than later. My heart goes out to you. I'm sending the tatters your way.
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Who's going to pay for Assisted Living? If your mother ends up in a facility that accepts Medicaid, would all this money she's given to charity scammers the kind of "gifts" that trigger Medicaid penalty periods?

I fear your mother will end up living with you...don't let it happen!
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You found out you were guardian in the two hours between your first and second post?
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Regardless of what type of authority you have, I would think that if your mom is in danger, measures should be taken to protect her if she is driving and not using due care in her personal affairs. I think I would read a lot about dementia and how convincing someone with brain damage to see things your way, stop their behavior or make rational decisions is not really realistic. And that various techniques can be used to help protect the person. Waiting on them to see the light, do better or gain better insight into their destructive behavior isn't really a viable option.

Perhaps retaining an attorney to assist you with the financial and legal matters, especially if she has chalked up a lot of debt might be a good option as well as a professional who helps do assessments, so you can determine what level of care she needs.
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BTW, you could not be appointed guardian and not know it. I have a feeling you have POA.
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I think the power your mother granted you was not guardianship. This is done through the probate court when an adult is deemed incompetent. I've never heard of anyone appointing a guardian for themselves, since when they're at the stage they need a guardian, they are not competent to choose. You also have to report to the court when you're a guardian, so it isn't a light matter. Doublefeelings, could it be POA, instead?
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The elder attorney I have here in moms state ( who have six different offices in the area ) said that yes, I have all the paperwork I need. 100% . I now know that I can take over her finances and all the accounts and everything , But I'm trying not to get mom angry b/c than she won't come w/ me to my state. Also, I offered to mom to look at asst living places near her home, but she said she is not ready. I just know she shouldn't be living alone. But I for sure don't want to get the court angry with me. My elder attorney was very good. I'm trying to heed their advise & her Drs but after all these discussions I feel like I may not be doing the right thing.
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Doublefeelings, in my state, you can only get guardianship or conservatorship after a person has been declared incompetent by the courts, based on medical evidence and testimony. There are yearly reporting requiements.

I think that's why we keep asking if you actually have guardianship. If you do ( and not just poa) you should be able to take over all your mother's financial decisions, ie, takecaway her credit cards and checkbook, open accounts that she has no access to, etc. In fact, if you ARE her guardian and youve allowed her to be scammed, the court that appointed you guardian might not be happy.

Perhaps you live in a state with a different system.
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If it's part of her cultural tradition that widowed mothers automatically move in with their daughters, can you build on that to persuade her to move to your state? Is there a suitable facility near you that could be presented as being an extension of your "home"?
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Oh my goodness. I'm trying to figure this all out. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge . I need to sleep. Yes, my mom on her own about 7 years ago hired an attorney to give me guardenship & conservatorship. Jeanne , does that answer your question? I didn't mention guardenship b/c I didn't know I had it. Mom never told me, I found the paperwork. And honestly, I don't think she remembered .But church mouse you brought up very good points. Mom really does need to be reevaluated. All her neurological testing was done in December, 2015. But she has gone downhill from that time. She has been hospitalized twice . I don't want to put her somewhere she does not need to be. But I truly believe she should not be driving and she should have some play money to do what ever she wants. I just can not make her understand about the scammers. I would love nothing more than for her to be in an assisted living on her own free will. Everyday I try and convince her that staying in a state where she has no help and needs more & more help everyday is not a good thing. I just want my mom to be happy and enjoy all her future years. She is happiest visiting with others and sharing her adventures from around the world. She is lovely. But, she definetly needs help in her daily activities and finances . I would be totally thrilled if she voluntarily moved w/ me and together we picked out where she wanted to live . Be it in her state or mine. Whatever she wants. Church mouse, if I was to try and give an estimate it really would depend on the day. Some days she is better than others. some days I see 30 % dementia and some days 80%. Yes, I see rational thinking also. But then other days not so much. Her oppositional position is mostly b/c in our ethnic background, when a parent or grandparent loses their spouse, automatically they move in w/ their daughter. No questions ask. It is a given. No discussion. I married out of my ethnicity. My husband of 30 years does not have the same belief. If I wasn't married or I was widowed , I would without hesitation move in together w/ my mom anywhere& I would take care of her till my last breath. But these are not the circumstances before me. My mom has been so lonely living in a state w/ no immediate family. Which brings me to my next observation last night. When she is In her home, she is lonely and depressed 95%. No eating, no getting dressed , no showering , nothing. But I realized last night, when I get her out she is so much less depressed. She talks to people and visits with other people's children and is just so much more upbeat. Depression is a huge part of this situation. Just to mention, we have always had a very good relationship except for a few teen age years, just like all mother daughters I believe. I have been trying to convince her to move nearer to me for the past 13 years. Everyday of every week of every year, she has become increasingly more and more depressed and confused. After this last scare of her on the verge of sepsis (sp?), I knew it was time for me to insist that mom please share everything re her future wishes. All of family and friends have been telling her for many many years to share information regarding her future wishes. She never did . When I arrived a week or so ago , I told her it was time to discuss her future wishes. Little did I know she had already done all of it years ago. I am very grateful she did . But , making the right decision is scary. I am very scared of her driving with an unbelievable amt. of meds. I don't want her to be the victim of the horrible people who scam the elderly. Shame on them. I will continue to try and persuade her to please come to my state so she can see her family more often and not be lonely anymore. I wish she could just realize how simpler & more enjoyable and safer her life can be if she would agree to move . Thank you for the questions. They make me think .
I appreciate everybody's time for me and my mom. :)
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No, Churchmouse, it isn't good practice to accommodate the ward's preferences when those preferences are to participate in scams and take too much medicine, and medicines not prescribed.

The guardian can decide what kind of living situation is best for the ward and then implement it. Many of think that if you can do that with some trickery and lying, that is often better than doing it by having the sheriff's office forcibly take the ward to the new living setting.

A guardian is absolutely responsible for the ward's well-being. If protective measures can be accomplished by persuasion, so much the better. But if the ward does not agree to having most of her money put into an account she cannot access, it has to be done anyway. If she doesn't want to give up driving, it is still necessary for her to be kept off the road.

A guardian has much more power than a POA -- and much greater accountability. It would be negligent to allow Mother to continue to spend her money on scams, for example.

Doublefeelings, can you tell us once more if you were appointed guardian by a court?
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I am confused, too. Guardianship has a lot of power and a lot of accountability. For example, a parent is the legal guardian of a child. To not provide for the care and protection of the child is illegal. A guardian of the body for an adult is similarly accountable for the welfare of the adult. A conservator (or guardian) of the money is legally responsible for all the business transactions. The adult should not be doing any of these things on her own, since it has already been deemed she is not competent to do so. Doublefeelings, are you keeping up with what you are doing, since the probate court requires reports.

The guardian has legal control over where the adult lives and over all their resources. The court, of course, has authority over the guardian to judge if things done were appropriate to the situation. It may be that your mother only needs assisted living and an allowance. No checks, no charge cards. Just an allowance. The guardian or conservator needs to be paying the bills and doing all the legal things.

I am so lost reading all of this, because the laws are really simple when it comes to guardianship. The question should be what is an appropriate place for your mother and how much allowance should she receive, since you have guardianship.
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Doublefeelings - I feel for you, honestly, I do. I went through a lot of the same issues with my mom. Mom sent thousands of dollars off to any and every charity request she received in the mail - we went round after round about it for at least two years. The driving? Mom whack the passenger side mirror off her car at least four times, drove into a round-about doing over $4,000 worth of damage, side swiped a cement pillar in her parking garage and hit a car in a grocery store parking lot and fled the scene - plus more - all the while my brother and I contacting the DMV and her doctor trying to get her licence revoked. A yes, if we had merely taken moms car, she would have gone out and bought another. My mom also was abusing oxycodone for a number of years - doctor shopping and working phony prescriptions using my fathers name. The conditions in my parents home? They had an ant issue so bad it clogged the dishwasher. My parents treated these insects like annoying pets and it took several rounds of professional exterminators to get rid of the problem. As I tackled these problems it never once occurred to me to have my mom involuntarily committed. I have significant DPOA powers which include medical decisions - there is also an advanced directive naming me medical proxy. What I didn't have was guardianship - my mom would have fought it and up until about a year ago, she likely would have won. So I soildered on - picking my battles. It's got me wondering how you were able to get your mother to agree to guardianship?
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I'm just trying to understand, and finding it hard. I hope I didn't come across as judgemental. And I hope it isn't intrusive to be wondering what the relationship was like beforehand, because I do think that's relevant to how one handles responsibilities later on.

But also... even if one is a court-appointed guardian, even if one were to have that role in a professional rather than a family capacity, say, it remains - doesn't it? - good practice to accommodate the ward's preferences and pre-existing wishes as far as one safely and reasonably can.
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Churchmouse, if Doublefeelings is, indeed, the guardian appointed by a court, then her mother has been declared incompetent to make her own decisions. This may be due to dementia or any other reason, but a court has investigated and determined that Mother cannot look after her own best interests, and Doublefeelings is to do that. Guardianship also involves a periodic accounting to the court system.

IF guardianship has already been assigned, then it isn't up to us to judge how demented or how competent Mother is. The courts have already seen to that.

It is a little confusing that Doublefeelings didn't mention guardianship in her original post.
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Thank you jeannegibbs and Churchmouse! I was just getting set to answer but then read the additional
replies. As I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet and you both answered much more reasonably than I would have - I'll just leave it - at least for now.
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Isn't that what the POA and the guardianship and the conservatorship are for..?

No. No, that's not what they're for.

How can I put this delicately and sympathetically... How much of your mother's oppositional attitude, do you think, is irrationality/dementia, and how much of it pre-existing?

How much of her behaviour is dementia, and how much drug dependency?

Let me give you a couple of examples of why I'm finding it difficult to understand how incapacitated your mother is, as opposed to just a heck of a handful in general.

Wanting to attend a future event, in a way that is so reasonable that you agree that it takes priority over getting the ball rolling. Well, both that kind of planning ahead and her being part of that kind of social network... these are not things one associates with progressing dementia.

Waiting until you're asleep before she nips out to buy her drugs, and coming back mission accomplished. Again, that's rational planning and effective execution. It doesn't sound very demented.

Less delicately, I would say that your elder attorney's advice - perhaps out of context it sounds worse than it is, I don't know - sucks.

You *are* going behind your mother's back. You *are* lying to her. You are conspiring to have her removed from her home and her city and her life without any regard *at all* for her longstanding preferences or current wishes. No wonder you're exhausted, and no wonder you dread her becoming aware of what you really have in mind.

Your mother sounds like more than a handful. You need help with her. But this current approach is not only a living nightmare, it is also all over the place ethically. Contact APS and her GP and work with them on a care plan. Speak to them first of all without consulting your mother about it, do it in confidence by all means, but get their input and advice. Don't stalk, kidnap and imprison your mother, tell her it was for her own good, and then expect it all to turn out fine in the end.
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Doublefeelings, your original post does not mention Guardianship. If you have court-appointed guardianship then the POA and Medical Proxy are irrelevant. Guardianship trumps them. A POA by itself would not be enough to place your mother where she does not want to be. Medical Proxy might be. But absolutely Guardianship allows you to do that. I just say this to point out why some of us have been confused.

So, I understand why you feel getting her securely placed is the first step. Have you located a suitable facility yet? I don't quite understand your situation about moving her. Are you saying this won't be possible? Or that there is an event in your state that she will attend and that you intend to move her into a facility then? A little more information might be helpful here.
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I do not understand rainmom what you mean by you have never heard of a POA that would allow for the principal to be placed "kicking and screaming" Against their willin a lock down facility ". Isn't that what the POA and the guardenship and conservatorship is for. When the principal becomes unable to realize that they have lost the ability to rationalize in any manner ? Understand that I am pretty sure this will be what I believe her reaction will be when she realizes that she needs to stay in the facility and make it her new home. Yes, I do have POA and guardenship and conservatorship and the health proxy. I am presently at her home. I took a leave of absence from work and my husband and children and grandchildren and my many responsibilities at home. Church mouse, if I do all the things you say ( which I know are necessary ) she will never voluntarily go to my state. So , I am very patiently waiting for us to go. She has an event in a few weeks that she really wants to attend. Meanwhile I am staying with her and attempting to dodge the mail and phone calls. But when I do or if she catches me she gets extremely violent and yells at me and tells me that I have no business in her affairs. Have tried reasoning a thousand times. No luck whatsoever. All of her friends are on board except for the lady who provides her drugs and one lady who has nowhere to live except she bounces from house to house to house and one distant relative who also uses mom for a hotel . I read a previous post that said the daughter had someone pick their mom up at the airport and drive them directly to the facility. Jeanne, I first am trying to get control of all her finances so she can't go out and buy a new car. Because that is what she would do. A lot of these suggestions if I do them before I get her in a safe facility will cause her to be combative . I need at all costs to avoid that for sure. The elder attorney whom I hired , said I must lie , lie , lie to her in order to keep her safe until I can get her into a safe secure place So I am trying to find a facility that will keep her safe even when she kicks and screams so that I may do all the above honest and necessary suggestions. Impossible to do them while she is in her home. So complicated. But I know it is 100% necessary to get her off the streets for safety reason for everybody. She lives in the city. Lots of people. Obviously since I arrived I do all the driving and she doesn't . Except for when she leaves to get her drugs when I finally fall asleep from complete exhaustion . I have been trying not to raise too many red flags until I get her into her new home. Do you know what I mean?
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Your main difficulty is being so far away. Is it possible for you to take leave from your job, or make arrangements for your family, and get yourself physically over to your mother's home for a couple of weeks, or a month or so? This is a crisis, and it'll be a lot easier to get a grip on it if you're on the spot. You need to do stuff like cancel her credit cards, and for that you need the numbers; and disable her car - take the wheels off it and put it up on breeze blocks or axle stands if you can't get the keys off her, or have it towed away. You have the authority, and now the responsibility, to do these things. Doing them with an angry demented mother pummelling you is not so easy, I realise; but you're going to have to rise to that challenge and you can't do it long distance.

Are you in touch with social services in your mother's area? Make friends with them. They and your mother's doctor may be invaluable reinforcements, as well as important sources of information and advice.
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Double, you say you have guardianship? Awarded by the Court? That is Very Different from having POA.

You can have mom's mail diverted to a PO box, in addition to the steps that Jeanne so wisely outlined.
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I have never heard of a POA that would allow for the principal to be placed "kicking and screaming" against their will in to a lock-down facility. Don't get me wrong, I definately think this poor woman does need some serious supervision.
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It really is overwhelming to step into this kind of situation, especially when you live some distance away. And there is probably a special section of hell reserved for scammers who defraud the elderly.

If you have all the legal authority you need to act, then you must act. First of all, get mom off the streets. Ask her doctor to notify the DMC that she is no longer safe to drive. If the doctor won't then you must do it. Sell Mom's car.

Take over her checking account. Move all but a small amount of money out of it and have any of her auto-deposit checks deposited into a new account that you control on her behalf. Any large checks she writes on the old account will bounce.

Start searching for a suitable care center. Ideally it is one that can serve her needs now and also in the future. If Mom may not have enough to live on for the long term, try to find a place that will accept Medicaid when her money runs out. Would it be better to find such a place where she is now, or to move her closer to you?

There is a huge amount for you to do. Many decisions to be made. Hang in there! You will get through this! Can you spend time in your mother's area while you are working this all out?

Here is something to keep firmly in mind: This is Not Your Fault. That you don't know instinctively how to handle it is Not Your Fault. You have enough on your mind. Don't let guilt in there, too!
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My apologies . Yes, my wording was poor. I am by myself trying to figure all this out and I am scared. She was declared incompetent by one Dr. But I am certain her family Dr would give me a letter stating she should not live alone. When I went to the elder attorney ,she looked at my paperwork and said I had everything I needed. I do have guardianship . I am afraid that my mom is going to harm herself or someone else as far as her driving goes. She has borrowed money on her house and I am afraid when she has no money left , then how will she be able to live ? I am so upset and angry at the scammers who call her and say she won $$$$. I have changed her telephone number a few times to stop the calls but somehow they get the number after a few months. I can not stop the 25-30 sweepstake entries that she gets on a daily basis via mail. Then she opens each one and sends them huge chunks of money so she can collect her winnings. She buys different narcotics from her neighbors. She won't show them to me . I am scared she will take something that will interact dangerously with the other 15 plus other medications she takes . I was told by the neurologist that mom will be mad for maybe a month or so. But then she will enjoy herself. What I meant was that I need for her to be in a safe place where she can be supervised for the initial move. Maybe .. Hopefully once she realizes that asst living facilities aren't what they used to be and she feels comfortable perhaps she can move to an unlocked area. I need time to figure out how much she owes and to who ( car accident, people she has borrowed lots of money from, credit agencies,loans on the house & car, credit cards ) and then I can attempt to sell the house and pay her debts and every cent that is leftover will be put toward a place that can keep her safe and hopefully happy. I am in the beginning stages of learning about how to deal with an elderly parent who makes very poor decisions . Until now. I am concerned for her safety and her future. My Dad didn't work his entire life so she could wind up hurting herself or someone else and end up on the street and give every last dime to people in other countries who scam the senior population. I try to reason with my mom but there is no reasoning. Her house is very dirty , she is behind in her bills, I can't even find most of her bills b/ c she spends most of her time writing checks and going to the post office to sign for registered mail that say she won a million dollars. Again, I apologize for my poor wording choice. I am trying to educate myself in all of this but I feel immensely overwhelmed.
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Poor Mom. It sounds like she really does need supervision. I can understand why the lawyer in your state advised you to activate your POAs and take charge. Since she has "diminished capacity" perhaps your POA status will be sufficient and you will not need guardianship. But I think you need to consult an attorney in her state who specializes in Elder Law. It is the laws of her state that apply.

Persons with dementia cannot live on their own past the very earliest stages. They must not drive. They need help managing their pills. Someone needs to see that they eat and bathe. Someone needs to oversee their finances.

Your mom probably does need to move to some kind of care center. Possibly Assisted Living with medicine supervision would be sufficient. Or maybe she does need Memory Care (which is secure). Will she cooperate with moving?
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Until your mother has been declared legally incompetent and you are awarded guardianship you can not force your mother to do anything. I have to say I find your post disturbing. I'm hoping it's just your choice of wording - but saying you want to lock your mother up so you can sell her house - well, like I said - disturbing. And - believe it or not, while your mother may be at the extream end - the things you are discribing are not that uncommon among seniors with dementia. Typically an elderly person with dementia would be a candidate for a lock-down facility if they are violent or if their memory issues are such that they don't have a real awareness of themselves or others who should be recognizable to them and/or the same regarding their surroundings - someone who is likely to wander and get lost. Your mother doesn't appear to fit that discription from what you're saying. In fact, while troubling, the things you are describing are behaviors that many here on this site deal with everyday.
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If you are not on site and she is in need of supervision, call Adult Protectve Services in her community. Has she been declared incompetent by two doctors? Are you pursuing guardianship?
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I'm thinking that perhaps you are not truely understand what constitutes putting someone in a locked facility.
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