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To make this as brief as possible, my mom age 84 almost 85 was hospitalized last year (dad passed away 2012) and told hospital my oldest son, age 26, was her FT caregiver. He wasn't. However, he has since become that due to those events. Things have progressed to where he is no longer able to give her the care she requires. She refuses now to help herself and is not in good shape physically or mentally. She absolutely refused to discuss living anywhere else when she was in the hospital even though I was telling her and staff she wasn't able to live alone. She isn't. Her finances are horrible. My son has POA and took them over to the best he can, but she cannot afford to move. Needs to file bankruptcy due to cc debt and an upside down mortgage. There's a lot more to this, of course, but my main question is what do we need to do to assign her care to someone like a social worker. I have read about dropping people off at the ER. We have already decided when she goes back to the hospital again we will refuse to take her home. Again, she is NOT physically or mentally able to live alone. My son needs his life back and there is no one else. She refuses all other assistance. Any and all advise will be appreciated.

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You need a new doctor for your mother (and maybe one for your son as well).
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I agree with others here regarding the credit cards and house. We looked into bankruptcy for my mother but the fee was too high and required her to attend a class which she could not do alone. Since she only received Soc Sec, her "wages" could not be garnished. After about a year of non-payment on credit cards and other debts, the collection agencies cut the amounts due to about just 15% of the original bill. So Mom paid those.

Let the bills go so you can concentrate on the other issues. In most states, children are not responsible for the debts of their parents. And elder law attorney will know.
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Your son is a lovely lad. He has now done his bit and can retire with honour - yes, back to the doctor for a formal needs assessment, perhaps.
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I appreciate all of the suggestions from everyone. Note that I started off my initial question with "To make this as brief as possible" so I left out a lot of details. I started to try to provide more in this reply, but it's just too long of a story. I will sum it up to say that if we would have known last fall when she was in the hospital how things would be now, we would have refused to bring her back home. We did what most loving family members do when faced with an elderly parent or grandparent pleading to go back home...we let her come back home. My son is an angel with her, but her level of care is almost to the point where he is unable to provide it. We are trying to figure out a solution before it gets to that point. My son is well aware I am seeking answers as he has been happy to help her, but we need a long-term solution. I do want to state that I did not elect him to care for her, she did by lying to hospital staff and her doctor that he was her FT caregiver. At that time he was not, nor did she have one. However, he was at a point in his life where he was able to provide short-term care for her. He/we thought it would only be for a short time, but we found out otherwise. Thus, we are looking for long-term answers. Again, I appreciate all of the answers and any other advice people may have. I will provide all information to my son so we can make some decisions. Also, her doctor is also my son's doctor. He recently told my son he is the best one to be taking care of her right now ,and when things change with her needing more care, to cross that bridge when he gets to it. I guess we need to discuss it with him again. Thank you again.
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if she behaves more like a child than an adult; reason won't work. You might have to declare her incompetent, ask her doctor to help you, and avoid the intrusion of social workers. You won't rationalize with a 13 year old daughter trying to live by herself, neither you would call child services for assistance because you risk to be called "abusive." They don't live with you but they are quick to judge you. Also, financially it might be dumb to ask a social worker agree to avoid no paying her bills or going to bankruptcy although it might be the best for her.
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I agree with a lot of the answers. I would ask her PCP to have make an appointment to see him. Ask him if she is in sound mind and body. If not,then have him write a statement saying so. Make sure he states that she is not to live alone. Once this is made,then you have evidence showing this. Then, call her insurance companies and find out what are her options. Legally, I do not think she will be able to make her own choice. By the Doctors decision the state will have to do what is told by him. Hope this helps alittle@
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Lisajlou, what are your son's general circumstances? I mean: where does he live; what is his job, or what job would he like to have; how does he support himself; that sort of thing?

I should have thought it would not be difficult to persuade the various authorities that, even in these equal opportunities oriented times, it is wildly inappropriate for an untrained young man of 27 to be providing hands-on personal care for his eighty-four/five year old grandmother.

The POA, now: how did it come about that he agreed to accept it? Who advised him? If it was his grandmother's attorney, I would recommend that your son go back to that attorney, explain the unintended consequences of the POA - that his grandmother is now refusing much-needed help that he cannot himself provide, for example - and seek his assistance in resigning same. Without a valid POA, and assuming that she lacks the capacity to grant a more sensible one to you - even if you were willing to accept it - your mother would then become the responsibility of whatever authorities your state appoints to deal with these things. The management of her life would be off your son's hands and therefore out of your hair.

I glean from your post that your son is living with your mother, is that correct? Where else could he live? I'm not, myself - though I wouldn't judge others pushed to extremes - keen on the "drop 'em off at the nearest ER" solution; but I would suggest that your son makes alternative living arrangements and then contacts APS to explain that he is moving out and his grandmother will be on her own and at high risk of self-neglect, at best. They should be round reasonably promptly, at which point he hands them the keys, smiles sweetly and takes his leave in an orderly fashion.

Now then, I further presume that if your son were keen on any of the above, he'd already have made a start on it. Not so, apparently; so what are his views? You correctly state that this young man needs his life back. Would it be fair to guess that that is perhaps not exactly how he sees it?

You say, with some confidence: "…when she goes back to the hospital…" Where does this come from? Does she have any known conditions that will take her there?

You also say that she is not in good shape mentally. The loss of your father (my condolences) is still comparatively recent: is she having trouble with depression following bereavement, perhaps exacerbated by financial woes, or is there any other diagnosed mental illness?

But I'm really just being nosey. On the other hand, the answers to these questions in document form might be very helpful for social workers coming on to the scene. I wish you every success in getting professional help for your mother and relieving your son, guilt-free, of an unreasonable task.
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As for her finances, your mother has no use for her credit score at this stage of her life. And, the credit card debt is probably mostly a pile of fees and interest at this point so don't feel guilt about turning your back to it. I personally wouldn't go through the expense of bankruptcy. I'd instruct your son to stop paying all of her credit card bills immediately. If the house is truly upside-down, let it go into foreclosure. I preface this advice with a strong encouragement to invest a few hundred dollars in sitting down with an elder law attorney. You can use your mother's money for this. He or she will advise you of the best path to take to ensure she'll qualify for Medicaid.
I would call her doctor or take her in for an exam. Explain that there is no one to stay home with your mother and care for her and no money to pay anyone to do it.
She needs to get on Medicaid. Then it will be just a matter of her doctor prescribing skilled nursing care.
Your mother's objections are the least of your worries and you can cross that bridge once you've chosen a nursing home and have a move-in day scheduled. You need to protect your son from sacrificing his career-building years.
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Contact the doctor and he/she should be able to put you in contact with hospital personal that can help.The social workers are there for this ,to help.There is nothing they have not dealt with.I worked in the medical field for 30 plus years,I have seen it all...take care and good luck
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When my mother had the final bad fall, ended up in hospital and it became evident she needed care 24/7 her doctor told me "So long as you stand there smiling the hospitals will just keep throwing her back to you" so I stood my ground. I had to fight tooth and nail with the social agencies to get her on the list for a nursing home and I toured many. The wait in that city was 1-2 years but I was able to get her placed in a lovely NH out in the country within a few weeks.

You must stand your ground and do battle with the social agencies until they co-operate just to get rid of you. At 26 your son has his whole life ahead of him and it's utterly unfair that he's been put in this position.
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If you wait until she needs to go back into the hospital it might be too late. Contact her doctor and see if he can intervene. Also call adult protective services and see what they can advise you. Maybe coming from a person outside family may solve the problem. If finances are such on the house and she cannot pay the mortgage, it will go into foreclosure and she will be forced to move. If she makes no payments on her credit cards for seven years, they will fall off her credit bureau, but she cannot make any payments or the clock will start all over again. Bankruptcy lasts for 10 years on your credit. Try to find someone who can care for her as a live-in arrangement so your brother can be free to do his own thing. Caregiving is not for the faint-hearted, and not everyone can do it. There is no shame or blame for someone who cannot. Take care of yourself first. Good luck with your situation.
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I agree with Wolfover451 - the doctor should be the first line of defense - you should also check with your local department on aging for local resources.
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I am no expert but I would think a doctor should be stressing that she is not capable of living alone unless having 24/7 care, this might be one way to get her to go into a place (nursing home, assisted living or wherever) that can take care of her since you indicate your son can no longer do this. Maybe you should speak with the doctor and have him get in contact with social worker to get things moving.
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