Mom clearly has dementia. Her primary doctor refuses to document this so our hands are tied, we can't invoke the POA to help. What can we do?

Follow
Share

Mom has doctor shopped in the past, She takes large amounts of narcotic drugs, prescribed by her doctor. She would change doctors when they caught on to her demands. The current doctor is 80, and admitted to me "I do what your mother tell's me." She mismanages her medications, taking 1.5-4 or 6 hours apart, on meds that are normally prescribed 6-8 hours. She states the clocks are messed up so she doesn't know the time is, and many times is taking morning meds at night, then turns around and takes her night meds. constantly confuses information and events. She refuses all assistance. She is retired RN from 205 years or so ago and "knows more than any doctor, pharmacist and any other medical person." My dad has dementia and has been under her "care" for that past 2 years also, until he fell and broke a hip. We have inquired with at least 3 different legal council about applying for guardianship. Without the current primary physician's assistance, we cannot win. When dad ha been in the hospital- 4 times in the last year. almost all the medical staff have asked why my mother is still primary POA and stated she need psychiatric help, yet non including other doctors, will document this behavior stating she is not the patient, so they cannot do anything! Adult protective services has been making monthly visits into the home for about a year. has stated that mom has dementia and should not be caring for dad (or herself) and guardianship should be pursued. However, since there is caring family coming into the home, even though infrequently, (and the State of Illinois has no financial backing to help the agency), they cannot assist in the proceedings. This is so absurd! If we the children were mismanaging their care, we would be arrested or something. But since mom is mismanaging her and dad's care nothing can be done without the "consent" of her doctor, who has already told us he does what she tells him to do!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
11

Answers

Show:
Oh. If you got guardianship of dad, I suppose mom would have a hizzy fit and retaliate within the business. Hmmm. What a mess.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No doubt your attorney is right about this not being the right time to pursue guardianship of mom. What about of dad? Are his doctors more in tune with his best interests?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

caringdaughter6, If Dad is impaired and Mom is as well, I seriously doubt if the family business is being properly managed either. Pursue the Guardianship before she runs it into the ground.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Can you come up with a coordinated plan among numerous family members to 'visit' regularly and then start documenting what they see....to set the stage for eventual court? Another thought....when my Dad's PCP didn't really want to write the letter saying he was no longer able to handle his affairs, 'because she liked him so much..." the attorney actually contacted her and explained why they needed something that it would keep her OUT OF court if she would just write the letter, and it would not be the only letter...and then POA could be invoked and we would not have to go for guardianship and court. She wrote the letter...short, but contained the basic info the lawyer wanted. Another idea....we got my MOM to go for neuropsych eval by bringing up how we were noticing problems with her memory and her decisions and we were worried about her being alone in the house, We wanted her to agree to caregivers, but she didn't want them, so the day she blurted out in anger that she wanted to go have this testing to prove she was OK...we hurried and got the app't. Your problem is that this kind of testing, at least here in Arizona, required a referral from Mom's PCP....so if your Mom's doc will not refer her...you remain in a limbo situation. In our case, we went to the neuro psych office and got all the paper work, filled out all that we could and then hand delivered it to the PCP's office with a letter explaining why we were asking for the referral....and explaining that, in anger, Mom had said she wanted the testing to prove she was OK. Her dr then filled it out, because my Mom was asking for it..... maybe that would work? Otherwise, as others have said, you wait for something to happen to either of them....but 'visiting' regularly to keep a log of what you observe, also proves that you all are trying to check on Dad and hopefully keep him in a safer situation. Being a retired RN, myself, I can imagine that your Mom would refuse any help with setting up a med box for him or for her, or any other kinds of 'health care support' that would have either you guys in the family or other part time caregivers in the home, right? It's a hard situation and since you do not have POA, you really are not responsible, but regular visits and a log keeping proves that you are looking out for their safety and trying to regularly assess what all is happening or not happening right. That will be very helpful if you do end up in a guardianship hearing for either of them.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you for your suggestions. Changing doctors is not an option unless we can get a guardianship for mom too. We have consulted attorneys and are counseled not to pursue guardianships at this time, because of the primary MD position in the matter. If there were not so many other dynamics- primarily a family business involved, we would apply for the guardianships. But if mom were to appeal, everything is “put on hold” for up to 6 months for the appeal process. Mom could sell the family business in spite and throw a large number of family out of work and other non-family too. And we would have no contact with dad, and she would make life #&%@ for dad. Yes, we have checked all angles and mom is that far out these “events” would happen. She will not willingly cooperate in being evaluated for anything and is very distrustful of any medical personnel, except her personally handpicked doctor, which has admitted, he does what mom tells him to do. At this time it is a losing proposition. We have been told the only way we can “win” is if something were to happen to mom and she ends up in the hospital for several days or more, so that her psychological behaviors are medically documented. Then we can file for emergency guardianship and have a very good chance of winning.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

GardenArtist said what I was thinking - get your Dad (and Mom too if possible) to a geriatric psychiatrist for a diagnosis, or to a neuropsychologist for a memory status exam. This is a three hour exam, very comprehensive, and the neuropsych will report with his/her opinion about your parents' mental status. This report can help a lot. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Unfortunately we've been going throught a similar situation. She's fallen a few times but no broken bones. We're waiting anxiously for the big fall. It's sad but it's the only way to get them into the hospital for evaluation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Can you take her to another doctor, perhaps a geriatric doctor or a neurologist? I'm not particularly impressed with PCPs myself.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I totally agree with Babs. I've just spent a week with my mid 80s folks after Dad was found wandering in the woods at 5 am last week. Their Doc is worthless. APS is underfunded, understaffed and practically non existent. It's a no mans land of elder incompetence but not quite legally. So I've got the ship afloat, in home care started, or at least as much as the folks will allow, and I'm heading home.

What will happen will happen. There's only so much you can resolve or remedy when elders are at this crazy tipping point of competence.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

When APS says they will not assist, what they mean is they are not going to pay for the court costs. Pursue the Guardianship. The court has their own evaluator, they will look at the APS reports, the medical records and interview them both. I seriously doubt that their MD will show up in court to take their side.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.