What do you do when your elderly parent won't answer your phone calls and you keep on calling them and leaving them messages?

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Brandon, you only have two choices.... call the police for a wellness check on your brother... or you hop on the next plane and check out for yourself if you don't want the police involved.

What is more important, that your brother is alive and doing ok, or that the city might condemn his house?
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I have an elderly brother who lives out of state, in squalor, with many, many cats and dogs everywhere. I've called or texted over the last 19 days and he has not answered. He has had falls in the past and I am afraid he may be hurt. I'm afraid to call the police because they may condemn his place. He also may have marijuana in there and don't want him arrested. He's on SSI which maybe a source but I'm not sure they would check on him. What should I do?
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My dad was also bad about not answering the phone until I called the police to check on him. It embarrassed him that they came out and that they told him he needed to answer his phone or they would be back. He gets so many telemarketer calls (even on the do not call list) that he hated answering the phone. I programmed caller ID for him and now he only answers when he knows who is calling. You are right about the dementia making them a recluse. Dad's porch used to be the neighborhood hangout and now he doesn't even want to answer the door.
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Thanks vstefans! That sounds like great advice. I guess we are just beginning the journey. I realized no one was at the helm earlier this year and stepped in by being assertive with her medical team. My stepfather is super passive. He seems to appreciate my help but as she recovered from her anemia which I think was causing a lot of dementia they started denying my help again. I guess I just want to get some things in place before it gets to an emergency situation but since she's unwilling to go to her doctor I'll probably have to wait for some emergency to happen :(
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OK, I'll bite - she's with your father, but you still think she is in danger? If you are right, Dad is in need or going to be as well!

The devil is in the details - short answer is that for now the POA is there as a "just -in-case" thing, or maybe you are using it to conduct financial or business type things for her with her consent. For that to go any further, you typically need letters of incapacity and her regular doctor and any specialist could possibly provide them if appropriate.

So, evaluate the degree of danger - realize that a geriatric eval could be billed as more medical than psych and maybe entice Mom to go. But if that is a no go, and Dad is not stepping up to keep things safe or would not call 911 or you for help and the dangers are real and "imminent," then you contact an elder law office, consider guardianship, and/or call in Adult Protective Services.
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When do you take over? If they refuse help and you eventually think they are in danger, how do you do it? I'm power of attorney but she still has her patient rights. Does she need to be deemed incompetent? She refuses to go to a psych evaluation and my father won't take her without her consent.
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Elderly, disabled folks with no one able to check in are in some danger. If there is anything you can do to set up a check-in system, even if you bill it as totally for you to ease your needless worrying, it would be good. When dementia is involved, and housekeeping deteriorates but help is refused, something bad will eventually happen. If we had understood more of what was going on with my husband's parents, we would have made friends with APS in advance instead of meeting them for a funeral and a clean out of a dangerous, vermin-infested, and filthy home...though the person we did meet then was kind and told us they had seen worse.

I still let my mom keep me at arm's length for a while, and a good neighbor of hers plus my own ignorance of dementia at the time kind of enabled that. But said neighbor saved her life by noticing that she didn't pick up her newspaper and had taken a fall, then called me. Until I got there, I had never even had a key to that home I grew up in before. And mom never did make it back...might have been different if we'd seen the need to get some help in place before Mom was messing up with her medications and such.
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I called the local police since I live in a different state, they are very helpful. She doesn't answer the phone or forgets to hang it up. Both lines... I just call the police they send someone out banging and identify themselves for her to open up. She/he will come to the door and the police are very understanding....
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There could be a number of reasons.. 1) can't get to the phone due to injury or worse, 2) difficulty hearing the phone ring, 3) difficulty getting to the phone before it goes into vmail, 4) depression/isolation, 5) forgetting how the phone works! (dementia)

At this point, it is fair to say that your Mom is in no position to be living alone. She needs a caregiver, assisted living or other.
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My mom does this all the time. Sometimes she is in a deep sleep and just doesn't hear phone, doesn't want to be bothered, etc. I keep calling but no longer panic.

Once her phone was not in its cradle, so it was ringing. I called phone co to make sure the line was ok.

I have called police to check and they have done so a couple times but can't keep bothering them when she won't answer.

Neighbors no longer will stop by because she either won't answer door to them or she has chased them away and been nasty.

I tried calling every day at a certain agreed to time with her, but after a couple months she stopped and said she didn't like me checking up on her....

I have given up and call but if she doesn't answer I no longer worry as I just can't anymore. I know one day she may fall and lay there helpless or die without anyone knowing, but she wants it this way. She has refused an alert system, camera monitoring, portable doorbell and in home care.

You can't force anything on them. You can try for the personal alert system with the necklace or bracelet, but my mom said she wouldn't wear one and refused.
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