I am looking for resources to educate myself on what the state and federal regulations are in getting help for a parent who not only does not recognize her need for it but refuses to live anywhere else. I am able and willing to move to Virginia where I can get a job and a home for the 2 of us. I would hire help to be with her during the day while I was at work. I understand how it works when someone is mentally ill. I do not know how the process works when someone is not suffering from Alzheimer's although she is showing symptoms of what may be early dementia

Due to increasing problems with her memory she forgets to take her medication and she is driving which is a major concern. I need resources and information to know how to proceed. I do not want to put her in a facility. She is not at a point where that is necessary. She is however, incapable of living alone Safely. I respect and truly empathize with her feelings of not wanting to leave her home. She has always been very independent and young spirited. Currently she is working extra hard to present herself as OK and yet there have been tell tale signs that she is not. Right now she has friends in the community that are checking on her and being a tremendous help. In my opinion, it is time for her family to take the full responsibility of her being OK.

She has been experiencing dizzy spells which have led to her falling. She always gets up and says she's fine and that she did not faint.

She calls my sister in Florida several times a day to ask questions about her computer or her phone. Whenever she does this it usually is with a heightened sense of emergency. When she cannot understand how to resolve the problem she becomes frustrated and the conversation declines from there. She has been having arguments and getting angry at her friends over minor disagreements. This has been alarming to them because it is not my mother's character. Neither my sister nor myself what to wait until the worst happens. It has been a discussion with my mother for months and yet she refuses to consider any alternative and insists that she is doing just fine on her own.

I respect my mother and totally can understand why this period in her life is very painful for her. Yet, I do not feel that putting her wishes in front of what is best for her is being responsible. Any thoughts, feedback And/or resources providing some guidance would be very much appreciated

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I can relate to your situation, especially with the "emergencies" regarding computer, telephone, etc. and the increased frustration and anger on your mother's part. I recall the year I took over my mother's taxes, when she became so frustrated with the TurboTax software that she practically threw her laptop out the window. Happily, my mother came to the realization herself that she could not manage alone and agreed to move. As it turned out, she agreed to move to a community in Florida where my two older sisters lived at the time, and I agreed to move there (from PA) because I was the primary caregiver.

Unfortunately, I think you will need to wait until your mother begins to feel the same sense of urgency that you and your sister do. You don't want to wait for a crisis, but she doesn't want to give up a minute more of her independence and freedom than she absolutely has to. Hopefully she'll come to see that she's not managing alone anymore, and then it will be time to discuss alternatives.

You should realize at the outset the elders' needs can change very rapidly, and a solution that seems perfect at one point in time (Mom living with you in VA while you continue working) may not be workable a year or two later. Be wary of locking yourself into a situation (such as a home purchase or job change) that may not work for you if your mother's situation changes. In particular, don't count on her income for any part of the expenses. It may cut off very suddenly if she dies, or it may be needed for her care if her care needs increase dramatically.

Also think carefully about how it will work for you to live with your mother again, especially as she may need your energy and attention every minute that you're not at work. What will happen if you have a health crisis, or find yourself in a new relationship or with a new job opportunity. Just as elders' needs can change very fast, they can sometimes decline very slowly with no dramatic change, and your commitment can extend years longer than you anticipated. I spent 7 1/2 years in Florida taking care of Mom. I thought it would be 2-3 years, 5 at the outside. In the meantime I retired, but was still tied down, with no opportunity to use my newfound freedom and leisure. I applaud you that you want the best for your Mom - just think carefully before you take any drastic measures.
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Laura8 Oct 2018
Thank you For such a thoughtful and thorough response. Many of the things you brought up we have thought of, however, it is very helpful to hear from someone who has been through this . Neither my sister nor I want her to end up in a nursing facility if there is any way we can avoid it. That is the whole purpose in wanting to be proactive in order to prevent a fall or some type of breakage that initiates a steady downhill decline. I had a dear friend, who fortunately, had the money which allowed her to stay in her home, while one of three POA' s, she had previously put in place, hired round the clock staff to make that happen. I am not taking my mother's income into account or factoring it in to my situation at all.
You are so right about how quickly things can change. I have seen that and know that today is no predicate for tomorrow.
Again, Thank you so much for taking the time to provide so much information.

If your mother really wants to remain in her home, then she is going to have to do certain things to make that happen.

Number one is paying attention to what her body is telling her, which is that it wants checking out. With that medical history, heart and circulatory issues are obvious suspects but the key point is that THESE CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY CONTROLLED. But not by daft old ladies buying crap off the internet (you'll probably want to rephrase that bit).

Number two is allowing able and willing helpers to support her. A needs assessment will open the door to resources and services that will keep her safe and comfortable at home - that is the aim of every professional in this sector. Nobody will abduct her to an expensive nursing home against her will.

Carry on as she is doing, and she will end up in the nearest available nursing home place, possibly paralysed, possibly with a PEG tube, possibly unable to speak and/or partially blind, for months or years.

It's up to her. Make sensible choices now, or have absolutely no choice in the very near future. If I were you, I'd take Barb's advice and call your mother's nearest AAA today.
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One thing I would do is contact the Area Agency on Aging in mom's area. Ask them what the resources are that are available and how they would approach this situation.

In my corner of Brooklyn, we have a wonderful AAA; they've got social workers who specialize in Elder Affairs who have helped friends navigate getting help for their unwilling senior relatives. I hope that your mom's area has a similarly helpful agency.

Do you know who her primary doctor is? You can't GET information from her/him unless mom has signed a HIPAA release, but nothing prevents you from sending the doc an email or fax, outlining mom's recent difficulties.

Please come back and let us know how this is working out. We learn from each other here, and we CARE! (((((hugs)))))))
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Until your mom is deemed incompetent and someone else has guardianship she can make her own decisions.
Do you or your sister have DPOA financial or medical?
Who saw her through all the health issues you listed? She’s been through quiet a lot. How long has it been since she had anesthesia?

Ask her to rule out a UTI which can cause dementia like symptoms.

Perhaps her friends can help you find a home health worker who can come in daily to help her with her meds. You could also contact her doctors to give them a heads up on your concerns.

Legally you can’t make her move without proving she’s incompetent and then gaining guardianship. You might want to be proactive but it sounds like she’s going to insist on her rights. To force the situation you will need a certified elder attorney in New York.
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