What are the legal implications of a child refusing to have anything to do with an abusive parent who has all the signs of dementia? - AgingCare.com

What are the legal implications of a child refusing to have anything to do with an abusive parent who has all the signs of dementia?

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Our mother who is 83 has all the signs of dementia or possibly bi-polar which given her behavior over the years is probably the case. She has always been abusive and aggressive and now she is forgetting things, hiding things and her accusations of us stealng from her have become even worse. She is paranoid and sees and hears people that we cannot see.
Having put up with her abuse for so many years and as she is now refusing our help to get her to a doctor and have her properly diagnosed, we are not able to find enough sympathy and compassion for her to find ways of helpng her. As single parents my sisters and I will not and are not able to assist her financially. She is currently with my sister but has no qualms about abusing my sister and her children at every turn, yet she keeps coming back to live with them every time she fights with them and walks out. She has lived in numerous senior apartments in the area and some no longer want her there because of her aggressive nature.
We want to know what our rights are if she walks out of my sisters place again which she appears to want to do as she is walking the streets looking for an apartment. What do we do if her dementia gets so bad that she can no longer help herself. Will we be forced to care for her or help her get care?
My sister is the only one living in the US with my mother. The rest of us live in Australia and South Africa respectively.
We have no idea what her financial status is, nor have we ever wanted to know,because as far back as we can remember she has been accusing us of stealing from her one way or another and often beaten us for no reason at all.
I have come from Australia to try and help my sister get my mother diagnosed, but as mentioned she refuses to get help and has now stopped talking to me and I have been here just three days.
I am worried that when I leave which I must in a week or so, she will still be with my sister and will continue to verbally abuse her at every turn knowing full well that my sister cannot turf her out into the street. My sister has lived with this abuse for 30 years, why does she have to still put up with it from someone who so plainly does not want to admit that she needs help and does not want to get help. The one time after an episode where she became disoriented and could not remember where she had been staying my mother did see a doctor, but refuses to take the medication she was given saying the doctors are trying to make her crazy. The unfortunate thing is that she has some very lucid moments and is clever enough and sly enough to know when to behave properly, but within the last few weeks many people in the neighborhood and the church have witnessed her behavior and aggression. The police have even been called by others a few times. But she is clever enough to know not to cross the line that will make her a danger to others. She has however told me that she would rather kill herself than go into a care facility.
Please please can someone in the USA tell us how best to deal with this situation and help me protect my sister from having to bear unnecessary costs and stress when our mother gets to the point of no return with her illness.

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The basic moral responsibility is to protect the children. This kind of abuse, whether directed at them or at their mother, is very very damaging to their mental and physical health. By all means read the Bible, but the whole thing, so to speak, not just isolated phrases. No body is anybody else's lawful prey. Respect flows not just to parents but to children, to other people in our lives, to those we meet casually. That is what Christian charity is about. Not slavish giving-in to unreasonable, even evil, demands just because a parent makes them.
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Honoring your mother and father does not mean allowing them to treat you like dirt and walk all over you. It also doesn't mean allowing them to abuse your children. Abusive treatment is not an honorable thing. Your sister needs to put a stop to this yesterday. Your mother shouldn't be in the same house as the children.
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Here is what I would do, next time she leaves or tries to come back, call the police immediately or EMS and tell them that mom seems to be having a psychotic episode. They will take her to hospital and then she will get diagnosed and examined. HOSPITAL will try to get you to take dischage of mom; REFUSE TO TAKE CUSTODY or responsibility and tell them in no uncertain terms they have to find her care or residential care. TELL THEM you are estranged.

If you take her in, there is no getting her other living arrangements and you will be repeating this awful cycle.

Parents are our parents. It doesn't make us obligated to care for them. They raised us, but our job is to raise our own family...pay it forward so to speak. We can help our parents find options to live healthily and safely...but they are adults and have the right to make bad decisions if they are competitent, doesn't mean you have to live with those bad decisions. Put yourselves and your families first.
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Thank you so much for this advice. I am not familiar with the laws in the USA, but hard as this may be, my sisters and I have agreed at this point, that if our mother does not want our help, we should leave her to do or become what she wants. I think my sister lets my mother in every time out of a sense of obligation and because the bible says "to honor thy mother and father", but surely respect works both ways?.
I have suggested that my sister go to the police to put a restraining order against my mother so that if she leaves here again she can be stopped from coming to bang on the doors and verbally abusing the family.
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I would consult with an elder care attorney in your state. Some states have laws that govern the financial support of indigent parents by their adult children, though I would imagine you are allowed to protect yourself from the parent if they are dangerous.

ncestateplanningblog/08/07/articles/trusts/are-you-legally-required-to-care-for-elderly-parents/
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If she becomes unable to actually physically take care of herself she can be made what is called a "ward of the state". Basically whatever state she is living in would take over her care,this also means you would have very little say if anything in where she stays or her medical care but that is the tradeoff if taxpayers are paying for her care but it is better than living on the street.The "state" would become her legal guardian. It is also recommended by the medical/psychiatric community that the abused person not be the one taking care of their abuser so I don't really see you or your sister being expected to be responsible for your mother in any way.
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Please tell your sister to quit letting her in the house/apt.This could turn into a tragedy. She DOES NOT have to let her in. She is choosing to let her in.There is a difference. And why can't your sister turn her out?
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Tell your sister that if she shows up at her door again to call the police.I take it that your sister has minor children? If so ,your sisters only responsibility at this point is to the minor children and as such is responsible in protecting them from anyone that is potentially harmful to them,your mom.She does not have to let your mother in. If this is her house/apt and your mother isn't on the deed/lease she is under no obligation to let her in. Make sure she lets the police know that her mother's mental status is questionable so they know they may be dealing with an emotionally disturbed person. She can also call her local adult protective services about her mother to get her some help. Again, if she has minor children in the house she must protect them FIRST.
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