I really like my in laws but it is sort of strange that they look at me as some sort of guru. My brother and I managed home care for both our parents until their last breath but we were close by and physically able to do the work and supervise the 24/7 care that became necessary. My husband is disabled and really can't do the work but we have supported my SIL who took it on herself to do everything she could to keep FIL in his home. I have to say that she has been fantastic beyond any expectations. She lives 250 miles away and comes at least once a month and makes an additional trip if needed.
The current situation is beyond what I dealt have had to tell them, I DON'T KNOW! He has been living alone and a wonderful neighbor woman has been willing to check in on him 2x/day, set up his meds, takes him to appointments and recently helped us disable his vehicle. We pay her but she objects.
He is 95, has macular degeneration, won't use his hearing aides, lost his license, but recently drove himself 15 miles on a state highway to get his second COVID vaccine. His local CG was frantic when she went to take him and he and his vehicle were no where to be found. Thank God he made it home without incident. You rightfully wonder why we hadn't disabled it before. He liked to drive it from the carport to the next door parking lot so that he could sit in the sun during the winter months. Until this last incident, that is all he did.
So now he fell trying to get out on the porch to sit. It took the help of a deputy to get his cooperation to go to the ER. From there, he was admitted. No serious harm from the fall, but lab work showed that he probably had a mild heart attack and pneumonia. After 3 days he transferred to a rehab facility where he has become combative and wants to leave...they have found him on the floor 2x in as many days but no damage. We can't go see him thanks to Covid precautions so he only sees strangers and thinks he has been kidnapped. All of this is beyond me. I am thinking we will never see him alive again. Do any of you have words for this? I am at a loss.

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I think there's nothing wrong when we admit we are stymied by a situation, and that seems to be what you're saying.

Just because you took care of your parents, doesn't mean you are now magically equipped with knowledge regarding all types of elder decline solutions.

My mom died of CHF. I can tell people MY experiences with taking care of my mom, living in my home with CHF. That doesn't qualify me to give advice to someone caring for their parent with ALZ. I mean, some of the chores will be very similar across caregiving - laundry being the first one that pops into mind - but many are just so different, it's like comparing apples to picture frames. Heck, even just dealing with CHF patients varies widely, depending on so many other things that come into play.

I expect your in-laws are feeling overwhelmed and are looking for any sort of anchor to cling to, probably mostly to be told that their decisions are sound and proper. You might try saying, when specifically asked "I'm not sure, I never faced something like that with my parents...but you know, you have my support in whichever decision you feel is best for the situation, and if I think there might be a better solution, I will bring it up in such a way that it doesn't sound accusatory...". Give support when needed, a shoulder to cry on when they are overwhelmed, and advice when it is appropriate to do so.

You are clearly a kind and caring DIL and SIL, and I'm sure that's another reason why they are turning to you!
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I have 2 answers and it seems I have not been very clear, sorry. All 3 of his children share POA. He had daily checks while he was in his home (often more). Previously he had not been legally judged incompetent but he is clearly not competent at this time.
My in-laws think that because I have been through elder caring with my parents, I should be able to advise them, but all of this is beyond me.
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I agree with Alva...what kind of solution are you seeking? Without PoA and if he is mentally competent, you can't do much except to appeal to the rehab to not release him back to his home. In FL is a person able to become designated as an essential caregiver so that this person can enter the facility? That's how it is here in MN. I've read that FL is very open...

To manage his affairs if he's not capable you will either need PoA or guardianship. Do you *want* to manage his affairs? If so, do you want to continue to do it remotely? If not are you willing to relocate him to a facility close to you? First see what you are legally able to do, then decide what you are willing to do.

It would not be ethical to continue to put FIL's continued care all on the neighbor, so maybe a discussion with her as well would be advisable. I wish you all the best.
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I am unclear about what your question is. It seems clear to me, and I am certain to you that your FIL now needs some placement. He is unsafe alone at home, even with weekly visits. I wish you luck with this.
If he is currently in rehab please be certain to take part in discharge planning; they need to know that you feel it is unsafe for him to return home alone, and that you will likely need their assistance with placement.
It isn't clear to me if there is a POA involved at this time, or who can help with defining what assets he has for placement, but likely all of that needs to be addressed first and as soon as you can.
I surely do wish you good luck.
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MACinCT Mar 24, 2021
Agree with Alvadeer. While in rehab is the best time to cry unsafe discharge. You can get him placed in LTC while the attending doctor can attest and sign forms of incompetence. You might be able to side step one of you getting guardianship.
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