How can you make a family place a grandmother with Alzheimer's in a nursing home? -

How can you make a family place a grandmother with Alzheimer's in a nursing home?


My daughter's grand-mother in-law is 87 and lives alone. Her two sons live 4 hours away. My daughter lives 15 hours away. She was diagnosed with Alzheimers and has refused to go into assisted living. In the past year she has rapidly declined. She is not eating or drinking very well. Doesn't take her heart medications and is having hallucinations. The family still continues to allow her to live on her own, and has a friend bring in groceries every two weeks. She is very stubborn and will not admit she has any problems at all. We live over an hour away and try to visit at least every two weeks. We have told her son they have to do something, but he just keeps putting us off with promises of "looking into" hiring a lawyer so they can gain guardianship of her. This has been going on for over a year. They have a POA for her finances, but claim they can not make her go into a nursing home. Two doctors have declared her incompetent and have said she is being neglected. We are so afraid something is going to happen to her there alone. She is paranoid and thinks people are breaking into her home and says sometimes she sees them, but they leave before she can stop them. What can we do to help in this situation? I don't want to upset the family because my daughter is part of the family. But I don't want to wait until something horrible happens. This situation is just cruel.

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She had a pan left on the stove too long blow up and she thought she had been shot. She called 911 and the police sent her in an ambulance to the hospital. A neighbor agreed to go with her. The doctor at the hospital said she was dehydrated and noted her confusion, but the doctor said they could not admit her, and sent her home. The neighbor took her back to the doctor the next day and told the neighbor that they could not admit her for dehydration, but called her son and told him to have the stove unplugged, so she would not burn down the house. It is so frustrating. The son assured the doctor they were taking steps to get a lawyer and sue for guardianship, but they have been telling everyone that for the past year. This whole situation is so is so frustrating.
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All doctors are required by law to report the neglect or abuse of anyone from a newborn to someone very elderly. Since you do not want your daughter blamed, an anonymous letter or call to the doctor and social services is a viable action for you. You have truly tried to get this lady help, but she is at the point where she deserves the dignity of assistance and must have it. Also, your daughter does not have to know anything about your actions. You are following laws that make us all mandated reporters of need, neglect, and abuse. This lady is very blessed that you care. Her life must be so frightening and there are so many options for her. The fact that the doctors have not tried to help her is so wrong and sad. They should be protecting her (as well as their medical licenses) . I hope you can help her begin to get the critical assistance she needs. It is wonderful that you care!
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Something horrible already has happened. Grandmother has dementia and is no longer competent to take care of herself. I think the goal is to prevent additional horrible things from being caused by that baseline horror, to the extent possible.

It is kind of you to be concerned and to want to prevent more bad things from happening.

If Grandmother is competent to make her own decisions from a legal standpoint, then her sons will have a very hard time forcing a move or getting guardianship. But if her two doctors are correct and a court would agree that she is unable to make her own decisions, then something can be done. But only if her sons get past "looking into" doing something.

Maybe it isn't all or nothing. That is, maybe she could continue to live on her own if she had enough support services. A hot meal brought in once a day. A nurse to check her vitals, set up a pill box, and check that she is taking her pills. A homemaker to make sure her home is sanitary, moldy items are removed from the fridge, etc. Grandmother might not like these changes, either, but it might be easier to get her to accept them than to consider a move.

I don't know what you can do in this situation other than talk to her sons and encourage them to act on her behalf. Another possibility would be to call Social Services in her county and ask them to look into her situation.

If you want to invest the time and you could get her family to see it as helpful instead of as interference, you could research how to get her more services to keep her safe longer where she is.

Dementia is just cruel.
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