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My mom is the primary caregiver for her aging parents (my grandparents). They are in their late 80s... her mom has advanced Alzheimer's/dementia. Her dad suffered from several strokes a few years ago, and has very poor vision/balance as a result. He is not qualified to care for himself, much less to care for his wife with Alzheimer's. Right now they live alone with their two dogs in their enormous house, about 3 miles from my mom/dad's house. Thankfully neither of them drives anymore, but that means they rely on my mom completely for everything/anything. My mom provides all their food, takes them out for errands/doctors appointments, and is basically at their beck and call 24/7. Both of them are in very poor health, and living in awful, unhygienic conditions in their home. My grandma never cleans herself, forgets to eat/drink, and frequently becomes combative. My grandfather is in complete denial of the entire situation... he absolutely refuses to leave the house. He is not cognitively fit to care for himself or for my grandmother. Their house is disgusting... there are mice everywhere, it is filthy, there's rotting food in the fridge... their dogs are not well cared for or trained. Both of them have suffered recent falls. We have no idea if they are taking their medication, and if they are, we have no idea if they are adhering to the dosage guidelines (very likely they are not). They also have a significant amount of money, and my grandfather is maintaining responsibility of their finances. We have no idea what he's doing with their money, and are quite certain that is not making good financial decisions. My grandfather insists that they are just fine, he is able to care for himself and his grandmother, and he absolutely refuses to let any home health agency in the house or even consider moving out to an assisted living community. As you can imagine, this entire situation is really wearing on my mom... I think she is depressed. She feels completely helpless, but wants to take care of her parents and do whatever they need. She doesn't feel like there's anything she can do to get them out of the house and into a safer environment. I hate watching this situation unfold. I feel like she is wallowing in "learned helplessness." I've tried talking to her about seeking help and support, but she never follows through. Most recently I did some research about obtaining guardianship of her parents, and sent her the pertinent information along with names/numbers of attorneys in the area who specialize in elderly care. Is there anything else I can be doing? Is obtaining guardianship the right next step for my mom? It is essential to my mom's mental health, and to the health/safety of my grandparents, that we get them out of that house and somewhere that they can be properly taken care of... this is a truly horrible situation and it breaks my heart everyday to think about their living situation, and my mom's pain/stress levels trying to care for them.

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Explain all of above tell him mother will be taken away if his act isnt cleaned up and provision made for care.
find elder attorney or at least paralegal notary able to do homevisit.
get a POA.
mom stressed out because she knows shes going to lose her parents.
Dont pleade act.
If he doest sign health care surrogate level with him. tell him children can be held responsible for complicity of a criminal act and mother in that enviorment is criminal act. what is he going to do when hes injail for abusing neglecting spouce and or parent.
no mis mash.
hardcore truth.
he wont go anywhere to do anything so it is upon you to step up to the table. gpa inaction is overwelmment.
someone needs to takecharge even if only starts with moving in and cleaning place up. take pictures of him them in the squalor.
Do it or lose them.
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joannes: Yes, I get it. Glad your daughters come to your aid when needed. I am not at that point where I need any help.
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llamalover47, you are right...she is not responsible to help....but my guess is....like my two daughters are concerned for me....and therefore come to my aid regularly when I am overstressed.....this gal is likely concerned and wanting to help however she can, because she would like to NOT see her Mom die way too young due to all the stress she is under with this 24/7 responsibility for her own aging parents. I just read her crying out for help as to whether or not there is anything else she can do to help break this cycle of dispair that her Mom, especially is in. We need to give suggestions where we can, with love and caring. I am not even in the 24/7 total physical care, and my parents DID put much of their plans together, but then, turned into the typical elderly who don't need help, want no one coming into their home except family and are not moving out of their home. This really does create major problems if her Mom doesn't already have POA and other paperwork done and now they are not competent enough to see that they need help. None of us can just walk out on our elderly relatives and just leave them to rot or die, but sometimes, it seems like there are no other good choices until one of them ends up in the hospital. So she's only asking if she's missing some ways she could help.
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You aren't to be held accountable if your mom and dad didn't do the necessary steps for their parents.
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I have been in this kind of situation with my parents. First of all, get this book from Amazon or a bookstore for your MOM: Boundaries Book By: Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend There are also other books available about setting boundaries with your elderly parents. This is SUCH a common situation! My parents had all their paperwork in order, and were willing to sign over POA and Trusteeship to me, when Dad's dementia got too bad, which they did....BUT....even that didn't help, as they both then refused to have any help come into their house but me....and they refused to consider either of them going to any where else. My Dad got so bad, they were fighting and he was drinking excessively to deal with the anxiety of dementia, and not knowing what time of day it was, and then he was getting agressive. Mom was recovering from a back fracture, and with a walker and very frail, and he was throwing stuff at her in anger because she was constantly nagging him. At the time, we did not know that she also had Alzheimer's, so she was not even able to understand how to help him. She was hoarding food, getting traffic tickets when driving, not able to clean properly anymore, and all was a mess. I lived out of town and no other family was in their town. I FULLY understand your Mom's situation! First of all, are you in their town, or nearby? If there is ANY WAY possible, you can be there at times to 'team treat' your grandparents, with your Mom, that just saved my life! Once I had a daughter move to where she was a couple hours away, and I was 5 hours away from my parents, if we went together for 4-5 days to check on them, I was not subject to the same 'controls' as when I was with my parents alone! One could divert them while another made calls or cleaned or handled other things...and obviously much less stress than being alone with two of them! So....we eventually had to call APS, police etc, and eventually had to have Dad removed from the home and go in for psych eval and go before a judge who said he could not return to the home, but needed placement. THIS WAS VERY HARD.....BUT it was the answer, and life got manageable afterwards. Dad got on good drugs and we found a nice place. We told him the doctor said he had to be there for a few weeks to make his brain work better...and after a few weeks, he thought he had always lived there. Mom didn't speak to me for a couple months because I 'took her husband away from her'.......but my daughters kept in touch with her. She was more difficult. We could not do much with her until she got hospitalized with a COPD flareup, and then I moved in and said, with help from doctors, that she could not be in the home without at least part time caregivers.... after that we were able to keep caregivers on hand and keep her in the same town, stop her driving, get her diagnosed and keep them able to visit each other daily until Dad died last year. Then, after a few months, lawyer told her we needed to sell the house to have more money for her, and she had to find an AL. She moved up here to my town, to a place two miles down the road. She is still a pistol and a problem and thinks there is nothing wrong with her etc.....but at least, at 72 yrs old, I do not have to travel to her every two weeks to make sure all is working OKAY with her. I am open to helping with any advice.....but bottom line, your Mom needs help, and either you need helpers in the home or one or both of them to leave, and someone....likely Mom, needs to get control of the money before it starts disappearing....so you need elder lawyer support, advice....and if they are able to agree and sign for POA/Trustee etc, then it should be done. IF they are not competent, then it's guardianship to make it happen. ALL expenses should, however, come out of your grandparents' monies in the end......NOT your mother's or yours. You can help in an emergency, but legally you would be paid back once you had control of the finances. You should be able to get at least a FREE initial consult with an eldercare attorney. Also, call the council on aging in Mom's town, as they may have resources, even legal, who give advice for free and offer other local resources. Like if parents are home with caregivers, there is Meals on Wheels, housekeepers, lawn care people....and some they would pay for out of their money and some do it for free or a donation....it's hard to find all this. IF Dad happens to be a veteran who served during any war time, there is help from the VA system that he may not know about too..... That's what I can think up now.....
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You have received some good advice. If the dogs are not well trained, I'm thinking that they are peeing and pooping in the house, making things worse. On top of that, there are mice all around doing their buisness in the house too. I would call the health department and APS. Think about the rotting food in the fridge, the mice, the dogs, this creates an unhealthy situation for them and the neighbors. If they ever need an ambulance due to a medical crisis, how can the EMT's get to them? But I would call the health department and APS, they don't have to know it was you that did it.
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You definitely need to get in help - whatever your grandparents say! Sometimes it helps if it seems to be a doctor or a white-coated member of hospital staff that is ordering the help - old people are often more ready to accept advice from medical professionals than from social workers, council staff, etc.
And your grandparents could still be viewing your mother as though she were a girl of school age!!

Please take great care when dealing with the dogs not to sign them away to an animal shelter, even one that looks helpful. They really do keep dogs only for a few days before putting them to sleep if not adopted, and if a dog has behavioural problems, however slight, their "tests" are laughable and designed to fail the dog. Next stop, lethal injection.

So please ask around via Facebook or elsewhere for a friendly animal rescue club or local family to foster the dogs, pay for their food, pay for any trainer to make them more sociable. Visits can be planned in a garden for the dogs to meet your grandparents, as they will be part of the structure of your grandmother's life. It will be good for the dogs themselves to be properly fed and cared for, and perhaps that would be the first stage of fostering before finding them a home when your grandparents do finally leave their house (sounds to me that that could be quite soon.

As for the rest, I have "been there", not with parents but with an aged friend who had no useful relatives. You have all my sympathy.
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I have been in your shoes. Here in MS, APS is useless. Get an attorney & petition for Guardianship. It was the only way to get control of the situation.
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Well, first of all you sound loving and concerned -- and YOU ARE HELPING your mom just with being empathetic and supportive. I hope you can take her to lunch or make dinner or take her out for a nice afternoon to the movies, etc.-- all these caring little things make a huge difference.

FYI, I am "that mom" with 2 grown children and sole caregiver for my 93 yr old mother who sounds like a combo of your grandfather and grandmother. She lives alone, dementia, large house, bad food, inconsistent hygiene, etc.

As for APS -- yes you can call. Maybe you will have better luck. APS has been called (by others) 2x on my mom and even with her "poor decisions"; unpaid bills, poor hygiene and dementia -- there is nothing they can do until she is in "dire straits" and immenent danger. They only monitor her with bi-weekly visits and even that stopped after a couple months. Unfortunately, these elders are still regarded legally as adults with rights -- which means they can refuse help, refuse services, refuse to have a mental evaluation.
An elder lawyer wasn't able to help me because they can't legally remove mom from her home. I'm POA (maybe your mom is too); but I can't make mom get a mental evaluation and I can't forcefully remove her from her home - legally, even with POA. So I have to wait until she is hospitalized (again) and demand psych evaluation then. Your mom may have to do the same thing.

wvavet has great advice:
1. Support and encourage mom to set boundaries
Tells and writes it down on a calendar for your grandparents -- "I will come Tue/Thur/Sun 10-2:30 pm. Period. She doesn't accept their calls; makes them leave a message (that way she will know if its an emergency) and tell Pop that if he has an emergency to call 911 first then mom.
She hires a CNA or homecare assistance and instructs them to do light housework, preparing meals, helping grandma bath, etc. -- Mom can ease that by being there on-site the first few times caregiver comes to make sure she stays and parents can't dismiss her. Grandpa pays for this service.
Encourage mom to document all the issues/concerns she has about parents and sends the note to their doctors for the record. (I did this and helped at least get the dementia/assessment and doctor had discussions with my mom). They may still get to be in their home; but mom will have a dr on her side should grandparents get hospitalized and mom has parents medical history to support her getting them moved maybe to AL or Memory Care facility.

I have a lot of guilt -- my kids see their grandmother deteriorating and Nani is combative, dismissive, "hates mom at times", won't share any financial or legal affairs with me and refuses to leave her house or have help. I live 6 hrs away --so not the day to day stress your mom is under. BUT I worry about what my kids think of me -- "that I'm a cruel daughter because I let Nani live worse than any dog I would care for"; "that I'm selfish because I dont visit her or call her more often". It makes me feel guilty. I protect them because I don't want them to have ill feelings toward their Nani; yet I don't want them to visit and be horrified at her appearance or the house condition or her greeting them in dirty clothes. I don't want them to witness her sometimes outlandish outbursts or talking to herself for an hour. THeir dad is extremely supportive and does tell them "why" -- but I know it is hard for them to understand and hurtful that she really isn't a part of their lives anymore.

Bless you for all you do and I hope above helps.
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situation as i have been in your shoes with both of my parents. It is extremely stressful for your mom to know that her parents are unsafe and need help. She needs to seize any opportunity where they are in danger to go before magistrate to gain some control. My confused dad left his home on foot and "was walking to Florida" from North Carolina. Attempts to bring him home failed and i had no other choice but to call police and rescue and a highly emotional combative scene ensued which ultimately resulted in going before magistrate in middle of night to sign docs (not sure exactly what docs were called but i claimed he was a danger to himself and had him committed against his will). He was admitted to a geriatric/psych hospital (this was another challenge!) was evaluated for 6 days and placed on medications to control him where i could manage caring for him and my mom (Alzheimers) and their handicapped dependent grandson in my home. Having dad committed was the hardest thing ive ever had to do but was necessary to keep him and mom and grandson safe. The hospitals arent much help unless you are demanding of psychiatric care and medications. The medications are tools to make him more comfortable and help your mom manage to care for them effectively and not drug or dope them up.
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If your grandparents home is this deplorable and mice are present, and the dogs are at risk, call your local health dept. and the humane society. They can force your grandparents to clean up the house, and the dogs can be surrendered to another family who can care for them properly. Just because your grandfather says he is capable, you need Adult Protective Services to make a home visit and access the situation. With your grandmother having advanced dementia, both can be placed under guardianship and your mother can either act as one, or the court will appoint one. If your mother keeps helping her parents and her health declines, she still has choices in this matter. What avenue she takes is still her choice to make. I hope she considers her own health first.
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This is a very difficult situation as i have been in your shoes. It is extremely stressful to know that t
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Before getting guardianship, I would advise yur mom to start setting boundaries about what help she will provide. They need to accept paid help coming in (coordinated and supervised by mom) or she just STOPS killing herself to help them. Good luck.
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JKR, If your mom won't follow through with seeing an elder law attorney, the only other thing is to call Adult Protective Services in your area and report a huge case of self neglect. They will have the authority to come into the home (with police if necessary) to inspect it. If necessary, they will be admitted to the hospital for a mental evaluation. Get going on it if needed. You can do this. You have to protect them. And you have to love them enough to let them hate you if that is what it takes. It won't be for long
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Your mom is in a position many people find themselves in when parents have not gotten their affairs in order because of denial/avoidance or depression. When a child becomes responsible for parents but does not have any authority over things, the situation becomes untenable.

Call your state's bar association and ask for the names of some elder law attorneys and make an appointment for your mom to get a consult. An elder law attorney will be able to advise your mother how to proceed with her parents given their complex situation.

And let your mother know how concerned you are for her. The statistics on caregiving are not pretty. Many caregivers die before their loved one. You are understandably worried about your mother being in this position.
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