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My mother was terribly abusive to me as a child. We talk but I am still angry with her. On the 24th, her neighbor called as mom was on her way to the hospital. Her heart is functioning at 24%, kidneys at 14% but improving cellulitis in her hand and sepsis and now DTs from decades of alchohol abuse. She was unable to find her words and was making zero sense yesterday so they thought she had a stroke. She would not cooperate to get a CT done so they sedated her... Now she won't wake up. I just found out I'm the POA, Guardian and Executor of the will. I don't know what anything means. I'm 2 states away.
Sorry for venting. I've hated her for years but I forgive her now. I don't want my mom to die.
Hi I'm Nina

Welcome, Nina!

This must certainly be a shock to you; I'm sorry for the suddenness of all this bad news.

One of the more common scenarios we hear about on this board is this:
Abusive parent fails suddenly, estranged child feels obligated to drop everything, swoop in, quit job, home and family to care for an abusive parent.

When the smoke clears and the parent is allowed out of treatment, adult child takes parent home with them (or moves in with abusive parent) whereupon abusive parent continues to abuse. Only now adult child has no means of escape because they have chucked their apartment, job and loving family.

Don't let this be you.

The fact that your mother is in dire physical straits is NOT YOUR FAULT and not your problem to solve.

Keep in touch with the hospital via phone; a "boots on the ground visit" is a nice idea IF you can afford it and if you don't endanger your job by taking some time.

Get hold of the POA and other documents. You may be able to find an eldercare attorney who will give a free hour to review them and find out what they mean, what obligations and rights you have.

Discharge planning at the hospital starts planning "what's next" the minute a patient is admitted (that's the law in the US), so find that team and start talking with them.

Another scenario we often hear about is one in which the Social workers at the hospital make it sound like the adult child is obligated to provide care for the parent. You're not. You need to make this very clear to them. It seems that abused children are most vulnerable to folks saying " but if you loved your mom..."

My brothers and I loved mom dearly but none of us had the time, means or skill to care for her at home. She stayed in Independent Living, Assisted Living and a Nursing Home and she made the best of it.

So, no, "oh, just take mom home temporarily, we'll get you help". Nope, nada, nyet. Mom goes from Hospital to rehab to long term care facility.

I so hope that mom pulls through and that you get to have many more years with her as her daughter, not as her c are given.

((((Hugs))))))
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Ariadnee Jan 28, 2022
Excellent advice. I've been through this and best for you to follow Barb's sound reasons for personal survival. Especially when you've survived parental abuse. No need to go through that again as an adult.

"They don't have to change. I can change" is my daily reminder of dealing with very difficult people in my life.
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Hello Nina.

#1 None of this is your fault.
#2 Never be sorry for feeling what you feel, and this is a safe place to say it.
#3 Don't forget to breathe.

I don't want your mother to die, either. Of course I don't know her, but I think it would be a dreadful pity if she missed the chance to be forgiven by you.

The medical details don't sound good but they may not be as final as you fear. If she's experiencing alcohol withdrawal that severe, sedation could be the best treatment. Sepsis is bad news, but with the sedation they can be more aggressive fighting it. The cellulitis probably led to the sepsis, and will respond to the same treatment. The heart and kidney function will be monitored, and it sounds as if the hospital is providing you with regular updates.

What are your main questions? Have you tried writing a list?

Is the hospital asking you to make any decisions? - if they do that, they must give you support with understanding the information and weighing it up. They can't just dump everything on you.
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Nina, welcome! You have come to an understanding and compassionate place.

Read what Barb said over and over and over again. I have nothing to add.

I only want to emphasize that you NOW tell the hospital social worker and discharge team that you are not available to become her caregiver! No way, no how!

You should have her evaluated for hospice; if the hospital does not have space to keep her then a nursing home or hospice house may work.

Do not let them talk you into providing her care.
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Ariadnee Jan 28, 2022
This should be repeated-do not bring her into your personal living space. At. All. No way. No how.
"Do not let them talk you into providing her care".

Re-read Barb's advice-again.
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Read Barb's advice!! I worked in long term care admissions for years. Get in touch with the hospital social worker via phone immediately and get Mom evaluated for hospice/or short term rehab upon her direct discharge to one of those facilities. It is the job of the medical staff to "fix/cure" patients; it is the job of the social worker to get the patient's out of hospital as soon as is medically feasible and that planning starts the moment the patient walks into the hospital. DO NOT (yep... I'm shouting) let them guilt or talk you into taking your Mom into your space for one second. They will promise you it will only be for a day or two or until facility has a bed. Don't believe it .. the minute you sign her out she becomes the albatross around your neck. This is nothing to do with how your feel about your Mom and her past treatment of you. This has to do about you NOT sacrificing your life to become a caregiver. Given what you have described as her current condition, she needs care in a professionally structured environment.
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Nina123 Jan 31, 2022
Thank you, she passed but you are correct. She was a narcissist. I would have let her ruin my future had I done that. She had already taken years of my life. Thank you
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Nina, what a mercy you have both received! I am relieved for both of you that your mother didn't linger and suffer for weeks and months. It warms me to read that you've forgiven her. May you always have peace in your heart and total healing.
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Nina123 Jan 30, 2022
I was thinking about that earlier. I just wasnt prepared, though I guess we never are. Not having her linger is a gift, I know it would have been terrible. I just wish I could have said good bye. One beautiful thing though, I had a Transplant group call me after she passed. I was able to donate her corneas, two people will regain their eyesight now because of her passing. I am so happy for them. This is good.
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Dear Nina, welcome to the site. I hope these pointers will help you to use it fully. At the top right of the screen you will see ‘Care Topics’. Click on it, then use the alphabet list – eg click on S for Stroke and you will get lots of information on Stroke – and do the same thing for other terms.

At the top right of the screen, you will also see a magnifying glass symbol. In the box that comes up, type ‘abbreviations’, then find on the list any term you don’t quite understand – eg POA for Power of Attorney. There’s a lot of information on the site – hundreds of articles, old questions and old discussions – but sometimes it takes new members a while to find them in the beginning when they really need them.

Please remember that whatever you do, you can’t stop your mother from dying. It will happen to all of us. Do what you can without sacrificing your own life, but nothing you can do will keep anyone else alive. Very best wishes at a difficult time, Margaret
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POA - is a legal term for "power of attorney." There are 2 major kinds of POA, One gives you power to make financial decisions in event person can not. The other gives you power to make medical decisions on their behalf when they can not. Ask which type of POA you have been granted - sometimes you get both.

Guardian - is a legal term that makes you responsible for the care of another person. Usually you have to accept or apply for guardianship.

Executor of will - is legal term for the person who manages the assets of a person after he or she dies. The job is basically to pay bills and disburse funds to those who inherit after all bills are paid. This job only works if there is a will.

Basically, you now have to power to decide your mother's fate and her financial affairs.
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HI, thank you for all of your advice. My passed yesterday so. I will not need to be her caregiver. I just have to clean up the mess now. Best wishes to you all!
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Annabelle18 Jan 30, 2022
Am sorry for your loss, even though the circumstances were challenging and trying. I would suggest making an appointment with an elder attorney to review all of the paperwork and the process of how to proceed. Atty can do zoom calls, so no need to travel extensively. But they can advise you as to which steps in what order and that way also, if there are complications, you already have someone on your 'team'.
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How did you find out you are POA, guardian and Executor?

I think you need to talk to the Dr. overseeing her care and ask if Hospice should be brought in. If he says yes, OK it. I think ur Mom is probably in the dying process. The doctor can confirm this. You may want to also explain that you have been estranged and you have no idea how she stands financially. You will not be responsible for her care costs. You need to go there.

Forgiving is good for you but you don't have to forget. Do not let your emotions override making good informed decisions. POA means you are in charge of her finances and making decisions concerning her care. Your the second person who has mentioned guardianship with a POA on the forum. Guardianship usually means a Judge has been involved and the State. Your Mom may have said "in the case of guardianship I want my daughter" but a Judge still has to assign you and it can be contested. So at this point, I'd say you were POA which stops at death when the Executor of her will takes over.

So sorry you are going thru this. But with POA it will allow to make certain decisions. Its a good tool to have.
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Nina, first I’m sorry for your moms passing. Allow yourself time to grieve, hospice does have social worker and chaplains that you can reach out too. You forgave her past abuse, good for you, because that was for you, not her. Focus for now on getting things done that can’t be put off til later, when you’re over the shock.
take one day at a time and make a plan for things to be done. You can always come back here, to ask questions, vent or whatever your need may be. There are many participants on this forum that have good advice and have walked the long path of elderly care. We care!!! Liz
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