Mom [89] lives in AL, a really great one, for a year now with 24 hour nursing care and a doctor on site, housekeeping, laundry services, hairdresser, tons of activities, 3 home cooked meals, parties, and no covid cases. She scored 9 out of 30 on her competency exam, but she screams she does not have anything wrong with her mind. She has a phone in her room and has dialed 911 at least 6 times for various reasons., i.e. paranoia, burglars, her health, animals in her room, but the last one was to file a warrant for my arrest for not allowing her to leave, taking all her money and leaving the state. The police and squad usually come, assess her and leave. She loves being fussed over. This time only one policewoman came, looked over the paperwork, and told her in the presence of staff, this was a guardianship issue and not a police matter. She was not happy. I only have POA, we have court papers signed by a doctor for guardianship, but have not gone to court. The estimated cost is between $4,000 and $10,000 due to her contesting the guardianship and neither of us have that kind of money. I'm 70 years old. The other issue is the courts are so back logged, we're looking at one year out before a hearing. I talked to the attorney, AL, her siblings, my brother, my kids and her friends and let them know I was disconnecting her room phone and gave them her new number. They all said it was a good idea. She now will use the AL phone to make and receive calls. But, now I'm dis-owned, she no longer has a daughter, and she refuses to talk to me. She's asked the AL to take her to the bank, but they refused. I handle her finances, pay bills, but she does still writes one check a week to have her hair done at the AL. Its been two weeks since this incident. Should I wait this out until she calls me with some need, i.e. pads, toiletries, treats? What is my next step?

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There is no such thing as Sundowners Dementia. Sundowners is a symptom. Usually one of the first ways to tell the person has Dementia. In the early stages of Dementia the person may be able to "Showdown". This means they are aware something is wrong and cover it up. But the brain tires and about late afternoon to evening they are not able to cover up and the Dementia shows thru.

You can't compare last year with this year. Dementia is a progressive desease. Each part of the brain it has effected will die. Mom may have paranoid moments. She may hallucinate. She will not be able to be reasoned with, she will have a hard tome processing and retaining. Shortterm is effected first and then longterm. And the person who gets all the brunt of her anger, is the Caregiver. The close one.

I see no reason you need guardianship if the POAs are in effect. As said guardianship comes into play when there is no POA. And if someone is contesting the POA or abusing the POA they have been assigned to.
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Oh boy, this is (sort of) what I had to deal with last year. Only my mom 88 at the time, was living at home in her HUGE house by herself refusing to believe anything was wrong with her and truly believing that she was going to get well again and resume her life before her fall (broken hip, AFib, Peptic bleeding ulcer, HBP, pnuemonia - and probably the beginning of her CHF) We all thought she was at her end when she was in the hospital THAT time.

She managed to rally, and only AFTER I helped her get back into her home by making it 'livable' for her - help her do her taxes, set up in-home care . . . etc. She even signed 3 checks for me, gave me the CC's to use to get the home ready for her return.

Well, surprise surprise, once she was settled in, got her 24 hour care (she couldn't walk and was still incontinent) I locked up all her sensitive and important cards, and docs up in the office upstairs worried about theft or a breach by caregivers I didn't know.

(No offense to those caregivers who are honest . .please - but family still has a duty to guard stuff).

Anway - she flipped out because she couldn't understand why I locked up her 'stuff' and it wasn't in her purse. I kept explaining to her - the reason. She decided then that I was the enemy! And our relationship changed for the worse. It was actually getting really good when I could come to her rescue and get her back home and help pay her bills and . . . all she could do after she felt she couldn handle everything on her own is call the police , tell friends that I was a thief, and just turn into a general b***h.

I cried. I still cry. She's gone and I still cry because of the relationship she left, the mess she left and well, I still cry. I don't feel guilty, I just feel robbed. Whatever the decease she had in her brain, robbed us of a better ending.

After the episode with police (which the officers were well aware of what was really going on and told me that I did the right thing . . . just didn't work :( ) They saw the writing on the wall with my mom.

Anyway . . I decided that it was a good idea to step back. Way back. And let her deal with her unfortunate situation. No more help from me. And that's just what I did. No more visits. Very few phone calls to talk to her. I did however, talk to the caregivers until they both were fired by my mom. Then my mom was on her own. I paid ONE visit, very brief. She was sick with the flu. This was back in Oct 2019. I kept my distance , but I still managed to get sick from her because she kept her house all sealed up and dark. She had become a hermit. I called her on that. I told her this was no way to live, but if this is what she wanted . .who was I to to do anything. I didn't have POA or anything.

I did have communication with her doctors.

All of what she did, cut her life short. I know it did. I'm now thinking she had a condition called Anosognosia- denial that anything is wrong, or there is no illness.
She had a few other personalllity disorders as well. NPD for one. Boy did she manupulate me.

She's gone now. Passed away several months ago. So sad. And honestly, I don't think there is anything I could've done different. She made her bed. I had to watch her sink in it.

Keep your distance. Don't be harmed by her - leagally I mean. If you can obtain Guardianship - go for it. But it will be the only way to help her, as long as she is going to act and behave to her demise. Don't let her bring you down with her.
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I think if Mom withdraws POA from you then she will be doing that at her own peril. I also think she is currently not even capable of doing such a thing.
I would just let her carry on. If the ALF wants her to have Guardianship then they have Social Workers who can make a call to a Judge for Temporary guardianship. With the papers you have proving Mom's dementia I doubt this would go all the way to a contested court case. If it DOES go there, then withdraw and let her be. She can have the State as her guardian and she will end up in not a very nice place indeed. If her money is nearly gone and she cannot afford the guardianship issue then that will likely happen anyway. The cost for an ALF you are describing with someone her level of care--let's say I can't imagine what the cost is.
So to be frank, I would do NOTHING. If the ALF wants you to get guardianship, as I said, they can expedite that on a temporary basis by a call to a judge, and they certainly do such things quickly enough when it's what they want. If Mom is self paying then likely they WILL want it. For now, sit tight. You have POA, and continue to use it. I doubt Mom will have the wherewithall to withdraw it. If she does so, then she does so at her OWN PERIL.
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I do have durable and medical power of attorney. The AL has said that a POA can't keep her there, but a guardianship will. The attorney confirmed that. However, she believes that I went behind her back and obtained guardianship without her consent. The family said let her believe that. She really wanted to go to this AL and was so happy to be accepted as a resident, a year ago. She willingly signed all paperwork, I didn't need to sign anything. I just don't know what happened recently to make her so unhappy to want to leave. It is suspected she has sundowners dementia, so maybe the change in day length is affecting her.
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AlvaDeer Oct 2020
Then the ALF can have their Social Workers call a judge for temporary guardianship or let Mom walk out the door. She can withdraw her POA which is what you said she has. But I doubt she has the wherewithall to do so. If she does, then she does so at her own peril. Wish her good luck and turn off your phone. What happened to make her so unhappy? Have her checked to a UTI, and otherwise chalk it up to dementia.
Just leave her alone for now. For some reason your prescience sets her off. As long as she is well cared for take a break. You can communicate with the doctor and staff at AL.
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So sorry you are having to go through this. Dealing with someone with any kind of memory decline is hard on many levels. Glad you disconnected her phone. The police have much more important issues to deal with, than a woman who is delusional.

Now as far as guardianship, as long as you are mom's medical POA and durable POA, you don't need to also have guardianship. Guardianship is only required if POA's were not put in place before someone is deemed incompetent, so you should be good there.

Lastly, I would just hang tight until the dust settles down. Since you are her POA, she will certainly be needing something from you sooner or later. Of course stay in contact with her facility to make she's doing ok, and they can let you know of her needs too. And try not to take any of this personal. Your mom now has a great deal of mental decline. She can't help that, so just continue to love her from afar, if that is what is needed at this time. God bless you.
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I'm sorry you are going through this, my first thought is to wait it out. Has she done this before? How has the last year at the AL been in general? It sounds like she is fortunate enough to be in one of the better facilities, so let her be. I'm sure it's costing a small fortune for you to have this "peace of mind" so if there is anything urgent the staff will call you.

BTW- does your mom have dementia, and do you have a durable power of attorney? I'm just curious as to why you need to go to court for guardianship if your mom is already in a facility and deemed incompetent by a physician? Hopefully you will not need to go through that expense, and what would be the point anyway? It's not like your mom can move out and go live somewhere independently.
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