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My mother has undiagnosed dementia. It is undiagnosed because she refuses to be tested for it but her PCP and a neurologist states that they suspect she does. She gets confused and has lapses in time. I am currently staying with her because I lost my job, have not been able to find another one except for occasional odd jobs online and am a single parent with no support (so it's a rough time).

Today, she became quite violent (hitting and yelling insults) after I talked to her about an evaluation. She has also hidden her documents where she named me POA. I'm calling local shelters to move ASAP and calling around for any job (cashier, stock clerk, whatever is available). Should I file a police report or just move out? This is not the first time this has happened either. To be honest, I'm really scared not for only our safety but being on the streets.

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Confused, is your mother dangerous if she's not being confronted with something upsetting to her? How is she day-to-day? If she's okay normally I'd say keep her calm and work full steam ahead on securing your own situation independent from hers. I'd imagine it is next to impossible to take a strong stand and a parent role with a combative elder when you need them for your very survival. Prayers for good opportunities to open up for you soon.
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If the options are being homeless or staying with your mom who has dementia and combative outbursts I would stay at home. Yes, the combativeness is troubling but with the right medication it can be lessened. Call your mom's Dr. and see if they can help. You may need your POA for the Dr. to speak to you about your mom but maybe not. My dad's Dr. knew I was his caregiver and never really made an issue about the POA (however I did have my dad's POA).

If you file a police report Adult Protective Services will likely be called. Then you will be in the 'system'. You may need to get a lawyer if you can't be responsible for your mom yourself. She will need a guardian and a lawyer and court costs can be thousands of dollars. However, if you just take off you can get in trouble for leaving your mom alone.

Take some time and figure out what you're next step needs to be. Don't just take off without thinking things through. I know the combativeness is upsetting and scary but I would think living on the street or in a shelter would be worse.
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First, let me say that I do fear for your safety and am not trying to trivialize it.

With that said, I wouldn't be surprised to find that her outburst was based on fear. Would there be any of us reading this who would not find an evaluation a stressful and fearful thing? Would that not be a likely way to cause an outburst? I think that if I were her that I might not want to take a test that tells me something that I probably not only do not want to know, but would find to be a terrible, terrible burden to bear. Dementia and memory loss are two extremely feared situations and many people do not want to know that they are sliding into them.

Let me ask this: is it important that she get tested for dementia? Is there some benefit or something she would get that's different than if she weren't tested? Another way to look at this is, from her point of view, what's in it for her to comply? If she fears being put away, being labeled with dementia, or something else that she finds distasteful, I wouldn't think she would want to go along with this. If there's no useful outcome, I wouldn't bother with it, for the moment.

If you truly fear for yours and your children's safety, this is truly a problem, but if you think you should/would stay, try thinking of other tactics to work with her.

One more tip: when I got POA for my mother's finances and health, a lawyer friend suggested two notarized copies of each, one for Mom, one for me. If your mom ever gets hers out, see if you can at least get it copied.
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The reason for an evaluation is not just to give people news they don't want to hear. The reason is there are treatable things that can cause dementia, and there are treatable things that can make behavior a LOT better. For all we know, Mom has a UTI or other infection and is going off the deep end, and is about to throw the one person out onto the street who actually cares about her, and permanently lose the chance to see her grandchildren, for the want of a medical visit and 10 days worth of a cheap antibiotic.

And if you really lose your ability to manage, as well as the ability to recognize that, do you really want to be left sitting in a pile of excrement, trash, and rotting food, or do you want someone to take over for you? Do you really want all your money to go to the first sweet-talking con artist, related or not, rather than to your care and then your responsible and possibly genuinely needy loved ones?

I can't begin to tell you how much grief and suffering is preventable with timely diagnosis. Not all, it's true, but advice to stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is OK to avoid hurting the feelings of the person invovled is flat out bad advice.
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If you are able to speak with her doctor, you must have provided them with a copy of the Power of Attorney. Do you remember the attorneys name who drew up the papers? My Mom has times she is violent too. But I have a locked filing cabinet, so she can't do that (plus copies of the documents). You can call Adult Protective Services and see if they can do anything to help. And maybe there is a way she can be evaluated in her home. I'm sorry you are going through this. I feel all alone in this with ignorant relatives and a greedy brother who loves calling Adult Protective Services on me. My Mom refuses to see the neurologist because she says "he's crazy" not her. But she has been evaluated. Call Alzheimer's Association and maybe they can give you suggestions. They have a 24-hour line and have helped me a lot.
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The next time she becomes violent with you call the police. When they arrive the situation may escalate and at that point they may bring her to a psych ER. She will be evaluated, and either released, or admitted for observation. Also, as others have suggested, get in touch with Social Services, a social worker will come by for an evaluation, and the social worker will be able to make suggestions to you as far as your living arrangements go. Good luck.
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You definitely needed to call the police, even without the POA in hand. And you call APS before they call you.
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Is there anywhere else you can go? Think about other relatives, friends, etc. You may not be that close, but you could ask them if you could crash with them for a specific short term. Especially, if they are aware of what has been going on. You need to get your children out and worry about them first. Mom will have to come second or third.

Then you can call the state to investigate self-neglect of your mom by your mom.

You might 'trick' her by telling her you need therapy because you're depressed about the job loss, etc. and asking her to go with you. You could start out talking about yourself and the kids and work up to talking about her.

And you can try the county courthouse for a copy of the POA, if you don't know the attorney. If you do know him, he should be able to help out.
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Not sure what state you are in but if your Mother is getting violent and trying to put her hands on you or the children you should call the police. If she is still violent when they arrive they can put her on a hold and get her evaluated in the hospital for 72 hours. Awful thing to do but necessary at times if she is a danger to herself or to you and the children. Dementia does not get better so educate yourself as much as possible so you know what to expect down the road. Maybe her temper tantrum will pass and you will not have to leave the home. Keep us informed and my thought are with you during this difficult time of your life.
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I think you've received some excellent advice. I've been through this myself twice in the past and geo123's advice was best for my situation. My mother has dementia, but cannot face that idea. This is something I realize and I don't force it on her. The times she became violent was when I tried to take charge of her medications in the past. She was making a mess of things, but did not want to lose control. Losing control of her life was probably her biggest fear, so she tried hitting and insulting. With her, I let her take the control back, then found a gentler way of doing what we needed to do.

I don't talk to my mother about dementia, because it serves no purpose in her case. She talks about my uncle and aunt who had/have dementia, and speaks of them as crazy. Chances are that she knows she has it, but doesn't want other people to know because she doesn't want to be seen as crazy. I can understand that. I don't think any of us want other people to know how crazy we really are. :)
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