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Hi, I am new to this forum but I am dealing with two elderly parents who have very different personalities. My mother has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and mild social anxiety disorder. She had a stroke in 2001, and has progressively had a decline in her short term memory in that she can't remember events from a month ago. Her memory seems to be stable when she is in a familiar setting but I've noticed her sense of time and self care has also declined. She has to be prompted to do things, and keeping a schedule is something she struggles with. She is on Xanax and Zoloft as well as blood pressure medication. My father has type 2 diabetes and does not keep it under control because he keeps spiking and crashing which causes his temper and personality to change from manic to aggressive to paranoid.


Because of all of this, my mom constantly calls me upset over something she read on social media, or to ask information about things she could find answers for using the smart phone's web browser. I have gone over the features with her many times, but I feel like I'm talking to a blank wall because she calls me back to ask me about something she could schedule with her phone.


Assisted Living would be the ideal solution for both of them, since they both suffer from mild self-neglect, and their diet consists of Burger King, Bob Evans, Steak and Shake, aka crap. We have discussed having someone come in to help out with the meals and self-care as they already have someone who does the garden, housework, and laundry. However, although this is met with initial excitement and agreement, nothing is ever followed through so we end up back in the same spot as before.


I am concerned as my mom's mental capacity starts to diminish (I believe in part due to the drugs), and my father's abilities to self-care and regulate his diabetes diminish that some of the people they have "hired" will take advantage of them. I don't like the idea of them staying at home, but they have expressed a genuine concern about their safety in an assisted living facility too.


So I feel like I'm stuck in limbo.

I live in Florida. Talk to a lawyer. Your POA may say that a parent needs to be incapacitated for the POA to be effective, but that it not a law. A lawyer can amend the POA.
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Reply to Daughter1954
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Has your mom been worked up recently for Vascular Dementia? It often comes on, often subtly, after a stroke.

Does she have a geriatric neurologist or psychiatrist who could advise on a full workup?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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AlcyoneSong May 1, 2019
Yes, she is under the care of a geriatric neurologist and a psychiatrist (that’s who prescribed the Zoloft)...
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It sounds like a very concerning situation. I would take the constant calling as a cry for help. People who are confused, scared and in need of help may call often. Your description of their situation sounds alarming, so, I'd attend to it or call APS immediately. Have they hired people who come into their home to help them? Is that an option?

It sounds like your mother really is not in any condition to be caretaking herself, let alone her husband. Unless, they are able to bring in outside care to help them most of the time, I'd explore other options.

Do you have Durable POA and Healthcare POA? If not, I'd try to get those documents signed soon, if they are still competent to sign.

I'd also stay with them in the home for a couple of days, so you can actually see what they are and are not able to do in the way of daily activities, such as meal preparation, medication, bathing, laundry, etc. Then, I'd have a professional assessment to determine just what level of care they need. I wouldn't keep hoping that your mother is going to be able to use a smart phone. People with cognitive decline generally aren't able to learn new things, like that. Apparently, she's struggling with a lot. With her having no sense of time and having to be prompted to do things, I'd not consider her able to administer anyone's medication.

I hope that you are able to find them some help.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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AlcyoneSong Apr 30, 2019
Hey there I do have a POA for both things but we are in Florida and the state has some crazy rules about when the POA is effective. My parents have to be declared unable to care for themselves aka there has to be an event. They do have a house cleaner and a gardener, but it’s more of the ADLs that they need support on. But they are v stubborn and refuse to follow up. Since they both can still drive (insane) and somewhat exist in their current situation the state would not see it as “self neglect”... even though I would disagree. There is also the issue of cost for AL that they are struggling to get their head around. Dad especially...
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