We believe my mother in law has dementia and we have a fairly ironclad Power of Attorney but we can't figure out how to use it to help her. We live in one state and she lives in another.
She refuses to see a doctor for a legal dementia diagnosis. The closest we got was she was told she failed the mini-COG given by a home based RN evaluation. She claims she never took such a test and has gaslighted all attempts to prove otherwise even though we were in the room at the time she took the test.
She refuses help of any kind including taking over her finances even though she can't even add 2+2 anymore. Her bills are paid automatically so there is no way of her being evicted, etc.
She refuses to stay home during the stay at home mandate and leaves on a whim because "I have been stuck home for a week and you can't keep me home".
We moved in her grandchild last year after she broke her hip to be her caregiver. Now that she has recovered from her hip replacement, she ran that grandchild out of her house. She wants zero other people living in her home but invites her entire church group over to visit at least once a week.
We've asked her primary care doctor for help and he is unable to help unless we can get her to see him. She claims he is a quack and again and again and again refuses to keep any appointments.
She is incontinent. Sometimes she uses a cane or the walker we purchased and other times throws them aside. She is almost completely deaf -- refuses hearing aids -- but is in otherwise really good physical health.
Her friends feed her paranoia. They tell her she is right and since there is nothing wrong with her she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want -- "since it is your home, Mary". It isn't legally hers. They are all older and in worse health (both mentally and physically) than she is so agree to anything she says.
She was just allowed her drivers license renewal. The state she lives in does not screen extra based on age. The license is valid until she dies or is over 100.
She is income limited to only social security and Medicare. She doesn't qualify for Medicaid. We wanted to try and get guardianship through the courts and was advised by an attorney that without the dementia diagnosis from a medical doctor, with her friends declaring she is in fine health on her behalf, and solid proof she can't take care of her daily living, there isn't a path forward for guardianship.
We don't have the resources to pay for her to be in assisted living. I'm disabled and my husband is my caretaker. There are no other relatives to turn to for help.
How do we help her and protect those around her from COVID-19 if she won't stay home?
Any ideas on dealing with a stubborn woman with dementia during the pandemic is greatly appreciated!