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My mother is still driving. Its crazy!! She is very mean to me and to anyone she is in contact with. Doctors, lawn service air conditioner man etc. I am an only child and she will not listen to me. So it is very difficult to deal with her.

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If your mom is already incompetent and belligerent, it's not likely she can now sign a Durable Power of Attorney. If she does, it might suffice you, but if she won't do that, I don't know of anyway you can gain the authority to act on her behalf without filing for guardianship. IMO, it's worth the money to retain an attorney to help you. Many do it without counsel, but there is so much to be aware of. I would get a lawyer to represent you. In some states, if you win, you can get your legal fees reimbursed from her, if she has the money to afford it. If you lose, you suffer the loss.

In some states the court will order an evaluation to determine if the person is incompetent. An attorney will know how that works. You have to get the evidence too, like can she pay bills, take medication, follow doctor's advice, poor driving skills, poor memory, agitated, confused, etc.

If you can get to go with her to see her doctor, you might write out your concerns. That helps the doctor see what's going on and they can focus in what could be causing the problem.

Is her driving poor? If so, I would disable her car and report her to DMV for examination. You can normally do it anonymously.
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Dear adams12,

my mom did the same thing. I don't know who many cleaning ladies she fired--and the handy man. My dad told her, before he died, no matter what she did not to fire the handyman--she did it anyway.

Anyway, we kind of tricked my mom into AL. with the blessings of the doctor and Area Agency on Aging. So, talk to the doctor and the Agency and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, to the AL staff. They were not born yesterday. They know the tracks of the trade. This is nothing malicious. It is to help the person and the family.
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Spoke with the Office of Aging again today...say there's nothing they can do to help me. Yes, Mom has funds but hiring a visiting care-giver is not an option because she refuses to permit them entry into the house. She also refuses to go to adult daycare services & they didn't open until 2 hours after I had to be AT work & closed an hour after I got OFF work, so I wouldn't have been able to get her there anyway. I can't take her to the ER & refuse to bring her back home because I have no medical reason to take her, therefore they'd have no reason to admit her until a placement bed in an AL could be found. Secondly, I know as sure as I'm sitting here that she WILL walk off from an AL if they place her there because she won't want to be there & she does not qualify yet for a locked unit environment. Tried to at least get a care contract so I could get paid & stop hemorrhaging money but lawyer #1 didnt know Medicaid law, #2 wanted to involve me in an illegal scheme to "snow her into submission" with meds & #3 sent me a contract that didn't have ANYTHING we talked about in it & reads like it's a gorm contract she pulled from her files & just plugged our names into. The fact that mom's living with me 24/7/365 & the contract states that I "must visit care recipient at least once daily to assure safety" proves it. I also got no guidance from ANY of the lawyers as to exactly what would be considered by Medicaid as billable care so that I don't get 8 months down the road, need/be able to place her & have Medicaid tell me that 1/2 of what she paid me for was not billable services & I now owe out of pocket for $12,000 in nursing home care before they'll pay a dime. So, I guess tomorrow I'll be trying to find lawyer #4 & pray I can get the help I'm needing.

My laugh for today? The lady at the Aging office says to me, "You seem a little stressed." Really?! Wouldn't know why since I've only been trying for 2 YEARS now to get help & no one seems to give a d*mn.
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Ollie et al.,
You are all right on with the concerns and difficulty. Here are some options I took:
1) Call the care receiver's heath insurance company and inquire if they have any resources for "care givers caring for the elderly". They might have a gereatric nurse that will come out and give your care receiver an evaluation. Part of the evaluation will not only be his/her evaluation...but also likely a mini-mental test in some form will be given.
2) Ask the PCP to refer you to a nurse/doctor specializing in geriatrics. Also request a referral to a neurologist. They should give your care receiver some evaluations.
3) Rally the family to contact/sign a simple statement letting the PCP know they support your decision/the decision to diagnosis your care receiver with cognitive so you can provide her the safe and comfortable environment she needs.
4) Take all results (hopefully your care receiver has not tricked all the nurses and doctors) showing the current state of her cognitive disability and provide that to the PCP. The PCP will be more willing with others evaluations in making the tough diagnosis of a cognitive disability.
Good luck!
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Adams12, could you please respond? Sometimes we don't like to waste our time if nobody is listening...
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Our experience is that doctors don't want their names on any legal documents of this nature. They don't want to "invoke" POA for anyone even if they are in a dementia unit. POA for my folks was invoked after my father ended up terminal and in an ER. However, the ER doc refused to put it in writing. I did present the signed POA forms that we had in our possession from years before, and the hospitals/nursing home never challenged us or asked for any notarized doctors' statements. Also, if your mother has financial dealings, the POA has to be within 5-7 years (not invoked, just the document assigning you as POA "some day"). If it is any older, they won't let you access the finances without court order.
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Ollie, mom has funds, correct? Can you use her funds to hire caregivers for while you are at work and start the Medicaid process?
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ozarkolly - contact your local area office on aging and let them know that you have to return to work and cannot keep her in your home any longer
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POAH form? Is that Power of Attorney for Healthcare? I have financial & medical POA's already. I've been told that I can't force placement against her will as long as she's oriented enough to say she doesn't want to go into a facility & wants to stay with me instead. Obviously, that concerns me that her refusal could potentially bankrupt me before she's so far gone that she doesn't knownif she's at home or not.
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Olly, your question does relate to this post somewhat, so here is one option:
1) Fill out your state's (or hospital's) POAH form and have it witnessed to put it in place. 2) To activate it, have 2 doctor's write a diagnosis of cognitively disabled. Make copies of all documents, put some in safe places and with other family members, and carry a set with you whenever you are with your care-receiver.
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Can someone explain what it takes to get guardianship? What kind of symptoms & to what degree does the elder need to exhibit them to qualify for an appointed guardian. I'm stuck in the middle between a mother with dementia who refuses nursing home placement & an Aging Office that says I can't force her into a home...but I can be prosecuted for neglect if she gets hurt or dies. In order to keep her safe & keep myself out of jail I've moved her in with me & quit my job. I'm trying to work on getting paid to care for her but, if I can't or if it won't cover all expenses, I need to have a Plan B & several folks have mentioned guardianship as a way to force placement but no one has really explained it, how bad Mom has to be to qualify or how I would go about getting it.
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That's right. You've got to talk to her doctor alone because she's likely tell him "everthing's peaches and cream."
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Went through a similar thing. Had to get two doctors to sign off that grams was cognitively disabled. Warning though, only one doctor is needed to deactivate POH. Prior to that had to do some things listed below that might help you out in the meantime:
1) Get help from those who have gone through the same thing or have training in gereatrics. I insisted that PCP refer us to any and all nurses, social workers who had some training/knowledge in geriatrics. The good will see that your mom is suffering from the effects of dementia.
2) Find someone who she will respect/listen to. I had the PCP write out prescriptions for grams telling her she was no longer allowed to drive, shovel snow, chip ice, go downstairs to do laundry, must use a walker, must wait until someone comes around and helps her out of the car, go to the senior center to work, etc.
3) For social interaction and provide me with breaks to go to work, I took her to a senior day care center...but told her that it was work she had to do to pay her broken back doctor bills otherwise she didn't want to spend time with "all those old people just sleeping and doing nothing". I worked with the staff to keep her busy and give her purpose; have her fold laundry, fold bags, weed the garden, toast and butter bread, play the piano, put puzzles together to verify all the pieces were there for the other residents, etc.
4) Use trigger words and phrasing from HER past that she will recognize for which her parents or siblings used to calm her down, keep her focused, keep her slightly less negative. "Theresa, what you just did there yelling at the repair man was not very lady like was it?!?! What would Pastor John say to you about what you just did?!?!" Remember though...someone with dementia is in an altered state...so reasoning becomes pointless. See other post topics on how to work with this aspect of dementia. All the best...many here have been on the otherside of burnout many, many times.
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It sounds like she lives with you. You have some options. You can have her evaluated mentally, & you can apply for a guardianship, POA, or whatever is deemed most appropriate.Above all, take care of yourself,& do not allow yourself to be abused. You may wear out long before she does.
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I am a Certified Senior Advisor and an expert in senior housing and I've helped thousands of seniors and families, and I run into families in your situations all the time - in fact, I had this experience with my strong willed Mom. First of all, I called her doctor and described her behavior and asked for his help. It was a one way conversation because I knew that I had no control over her rights. He kindly checked her for depression (she didn't know that I had called) and she started taking anti-depressants because I guess she didn't like herself either. Huge difference within two days. Maybe I was lucky in retrospect. When she broke some bones in her back and the doctor wouldn't let her go home after rehab (she needed 24 hour care) she moved into AL, and after 30 days gave her notice, and went home. She had the power to make her own decisions and she did. The only reason she moved was because she told me she was lonely. So I told her to sell the house and then I would help. I knew to establish my boundaries with her and I think that's what you have to do as long as you don't have an executed power of attorney. When she went home, my mantra with her was "Mom, that is a bad decision - it's your decision, but it's a bad decision" and then I would change the subject in order to avoid an argument. Simple. It helps that I live 1300 miles away. But even as a professional, I have no credibility as a daughter. Your doctor can be your ally. You can always have one way conversations with the doctor and ask him/her not to share them with your Mom if they will respect that you are coming from a caring position. Otherwise, your in a really tough position. Unless and until your Mom is a danger to herself, you cannot call in APS or get a conservatorship, which in California is a serious pain. Good luck.
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Wow feel your pain been there.My mother in law was really getting bad,POA who is her daughter did not want to hear about it.First my husband called her told to make a visit ,at that point she was upset looked at assisted living but she would only agree to aid.We put her name on AL list (yes it takes a while to get in) and got a aid to help like 4 hrs a day.The aids noticed she needed more help which we got by that time the $$ were really starting to add up SIL realized assisted living would be less expensive than maintaining a house and aids.By the time AL had a opening SIL was thrilled to get her in ,most importantly my mother in law is much happier there also. Much luck to you this is the hardest part.
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Judges are very reluctant to take away rights of individuals just because "she drives you crazy". Unless she has been deemed incompetent to yourself and others, there is probably not much you can do. This is a common problem in our society.
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I would make a doctor appointment for your mom and go with her. Pull that doctor into the hallway and have a lengthy conversation about your mom's condition. Most of these seniors hide the truth from their doctors and if the family doesn't step in at this critical stage to get the truth out there, then they are dropping the ball and will suffer terrible consequences!
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I am going through the same thing. Has her doctor diagnosed her. I have been toldby APS that as long as she could dress herself, bathe herherself, and was eating there was nothing they could do until she hurts herself. I am in the process of doing guardianship myself but may not have to. Mom had to have surgery and now the hospital is working with me.
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Alas, if her dementia has progressed beyond the point that she understands that you are acting in her own best interest, it may be too late for her to give a legitimate POA. Do you live with her, or she with you?

You might talk to your local area agency on aging, some are better than others. You could also call Adult Protective Services. They have the ability to see if her living situation is safe and can advise on the best way to get her into care. It may be that you need to apply for emergency guardianship.

Will your mother go see a doctor? It very much sounds as though she is in need of medication to soothe her anxiety and anger.
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