My mother is 65, an alcoholic (half a gallon of tequila and a fifth of vodka every few days) and she's always been very quirky, I guess, but now she is downright crazy. She had a stroke a few years back, and a few years after that she was diagnosed with narcolepsy (I think it's more like early onset alcohol-induced dementia, with some kind of neurological disorder that doesn't allow her to sleep well at night, so she falls asleep whenever she sits down during the day.) She takes a prescription methamphetamine to keep her awake, but she doesn't take it like she's supposed to (7 am and no driving after 4 pm.) She takes it late in the day, then is up all night long, banging around, cooking, cleaning, moving furniture, with no regard for the rest of us who are trying to sleep, or worse--she will leave the house. It also keeps her awake and drinking and drinking, when without it, she would be long passed out. I have wanted to leave so many times, but if I do, she will be alone and there's no telling what will happen. She has a really bad habit of taking in stray people who take advantage of her, steal from her, put her in dangerous positions, and just use and abuse her. What I don't understand at all is why she is so kind and giving and compassionate with total strangers who always turn out to be horrible people, while she does her best to push away anyone who is good and really cares about her. At home, she is crass, inconsiderate, selfish, and sometimes really mean and nasty. She has outbursts and meltdowns, and screams and cries. Usually over something like a glass left on an end table too long for her liking. She makes very poor decisions, and she's gotten herself in a lot of hot water financially (and says that it's okay, because her children can take care of it when she's dead.) She has osteoporosis, arthritis, tendinitis, and osteonecrosis of the femoral head in both hips. She is about to have two total hip replacements, and I will be expected to be her sole caregiver after the surgeries. I'm afraid it's just going to be too much. I have three small children. I am hoping that the doctor will see that she needs rehab for the drinking and just send her somewhere. I'm sure that's just wishful thinking, though. I know that she doesn't tell her doctors everything. Should I start telling her doctors everything? I'm afraid she would find out and hate me. What to do? How bad does it have to get before I can call for reinforcements? How do I know when to use the power of attorney and start making decisions for her? She is still her own person, free to be as crazy as she wants and make all the bad decisions she wants, and I just feel very uncomfortable with the whole situation. I know I will have to do something, but I don't know what I'm doing. I want to just run away. Please give me some good advice. Thank you so much.
She will be in the hospital for a few days after the surgery; she will then be transfered to a rehab facility for intense PT; does she realize that she's going to have to REALLY work at the PT while in rehab for several weeks?
Make sure she goes to see the rehab facility where she will be staying so she can see other patients in actions, get familiar with the machines and the therapists.
But one way or the other, her doctor MUST know about her alcohol consumption before she has surgery.
And you MUST NOT be her sole or even primary caregiver when she returns from surgery.
You write "her children," so I'm assuming you have sibs? Where are they in all of this? If they aren't in the picture at all, then why are you the one who has to deal with everything?
Won't she have to go to rehab after the double hip replacement?
If you own the house, then you can tell the medical people that she can't be released to the house, as you cannot care for her. But if your mother owns the house, it will be different.
So tell us more details.
I will say that you owe your three young children more than you owe your mother at this point, particularly since she made choices that have put her in the position she is now in.
Take Rainmom's advice and send her surgeon a certified letter outlining how much your mother drinks and stating thatyou will not be available for careging after her surgery, that other arrangements will need to be made.