She's in her mid 80's, stopped taking all of her meds about 6 weeks ago. She changes the story on why as it suits her. She wants to go home, wants to drive, wants to handle things her way. I tell her that isn't all up to me. We have to follow the recommendations from her doctors. That leads to her saying if she can't drive there will be TROUBLE. I do have POA and can arrange for care. She turns away home health on a regular basis. She's starting to lash out at a nice woman who drops in to help out during the week. I live an hour away and have been up every weekend to check on her and her house. I can't maintain that. Twice a month is all I can manage mentally and physically. I feel trapped in all of this. The eventual solution is clear. If she won't cooperate with home health and lashes out at those who are trying to help her, her time at home will be short.
I just recently realized that verbal abuse, physical abuse, neglecting to protect me from abuse, constant put downs, and only being treated well when she gets what she wants when she wants it are not symptoms of depression. And I'm her only functional kid. And I have POA. I know just from the abuse she's thrown at me already about driving and not having "strangers" in her home that I'm not able to take much more. How do I explain that to the people that are making decisions on her care?

If she is compos mentis then your POA isn't worth the paper it is written on - she gets to decide. If not then you do. But if she isn't then she needs to be in a facility and that is what I would arrange for her. You don't have to do any more than that - either she needs to be in a care environment or she has control of her life and you don't have to get involved. Just plan your couple of weekend a month visits, say nothing and leave her to get on with it - she is an adult. Don't let her historic treatment of you put a guilt burden on your shoulders, and don't play the martyr for her benefit. If she is being manipulative then leave her to it and look after you first.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to TaylorUK

You need to to calmly but firmly tell her that you will not go along with her plan. And that she is not to speak to you in such a manner. And turn around and walk away. Don’t pick up the phone every time she calls. To me, it sounds like some of her behavior is dementia starting to layer on top of her personality disorder. But I’m no doctor! You need to speak to the discharge team and let them know that it is an unsafe discharge and you are not able to care for her. That you work (and need to work) and live at a distance. That there is no one else. That she doesn’t take her medications, refuses caregivers, and has no concept of her current condition. That if she is discharged back home she will be at risk and will end up back at the hospital. The discharge team will be happy to shift the burden on you - but stand your ground.

Your mother sounds exactly like my mother. Unfortunately I had to wait until she declined to a point where she no longer had capacity. I contacted APS to report my concerns so those concerns were on record (they did nothing). My mother was recycled through the hospital, to rehab and back home to rot before any action to keep her safe could be taken.

My advice is to try and take care of yourself and not be sucked into this endless pit of negativity. This could be a long journey and it’s just the beginning. Think hard and long about taking on her POA. Believe me if I had known, I would have taken a look at having a state guardian take over. Get some counseling and set strong boundaries. The stress will make you crazy and take a toll on your physical health. And keep us posted.
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Reply to Mepowers

What people are making decisions for her care? Do you mean people you as POA hired? It isn't up to them to know your background or question. That's not their job.
As to being POA for your Mom, I would not serve this function for an uncooperative woman who abused me. I did this for my beloved brother. It was a job! And he was the best guy ever.
I would talk to an elder law attorney about hiring a fiduciary to handle bills and finances. They get paid out of her funds. I would not continue as POA unless Mom was in care. If she is incapable you can report her as an elder in need to APS after resigning as her POA. Many people do not have children. They are on their own in these things. Eventually the state takes guardianship. As far as I am concerned that should be the result of abusing children, as well. They are simply not "there" when finally needed.
That's my own opinion and many will disagree. I feel no obligations by blood, only by love and caring.
I wish you the best. I think that if your Mother has any competence left at all you might consider sitting with her and telling her her options where your own "services" to her are concerned. But that's just me. Whatever your choices for your own life I do so wish you good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

A few things. Having POA paperwork in place is different from the POA being active/usable. Many POAs do not become effective unless the person is permanently or temporarily incompetent, as judged by one or more doctors. If that is your case, until the POA is invoked you can't make her do anything. This is extremely frustrating, at least it is for me with my personality disordered mother, but it also kind of sets you free. You can't legally make a competent adult do something they don't want to, even if they're making dumb decisions that threaten their own health and safety.

The good side of this is she can't make you do anything either. Cut your visits down to what is manageable for you. I went from visiting weekly to not having seen her in person for years. She's still chugging along, firing any caregivers well meaning family hires, and just being a generally whiny person who won't listen to reason. When she neglects herself to the point that she needs a trip to the hospital that's when you can step in and try to get some better care in place. Until then you can work on your own boundaries. Decide what's best for you, balancing your desire to be a "good person" with caring for yourself too.
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Reply to Slartibartfast

You mentioned dad - do they live together? What is his condition? Can he provide any care for her or is he in need?

As long as no one has deemed her incompetent, there's not a lot you can do. Even the POA wouldn't be active, as you noted (per the bank.) That includes using it to hire people (if they are being paid from her funds - you shouldn't be using your own!)

You can't "place" her, you can't stop her from being discharged (she can discharge herself.) You CAN refuse to do anything that she needs done, including providing a ride home. Let her or the NH arrange that - you aren't available, period!

I wouldn't recommend revoking the POA yet. At some point you may need it and it will be legit, but if she's not competent, she wouldn't be able to assign it at that point.

So, let her go home. Let her make stupid mistakes. Let her get rid of all her "help." None of these are considered being "incompetent." Plenty of people ruin their own lives making stupid mistakes. In the meantime, stop going there. We can't force another person to do what we would prefer and there's no point to making yourself miserable along with her. If she needs food/supplies, she can hire a taxi or equivalent or have it delivered.

Until/unless she's deemed incompetent, your hands are tied. Even with dementia we can't force them to do what we want, like moving to facility (per our EC atty.) I would stay away. At the most, I might, if she tones it down, help with the food/supply delivery, and maybe a ride to medical appts now and then, but it might take some time before I'd commit to that! My mother (early dementia) wouldn't let the aides in (only 1hr/day to check on her and meds, nothing else!) She could get nasty when she wanted, but generally she appreciated me helping (we took the car away, that didn't go well!) I live 1.5 hrs from where she was, so I know how taxing it is to make multiple trips! I REALLY burned out dealing with the condo after she moved to MC (2.75 YEARS of multiple trips/week!)
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Reply to disgustedtoo

Call the Social Worker at the Nursing Home and inform them that you do NOT live with mom and that you are resigning your POA due to her abuse.

Ask that they facilitate emergency guardianship by the state, or, if they deem her competent to run her own affairs, that you will not be involved in any way.

There will be NO solution as long as others think YOU are the solution (quoting Beatty)
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
rovana Jun 20, 2021
Very wise to make situation clear to social workers. Elders may be way less than truthful on this issue and they should know what situation actually will be.
So sorry for the situation you were and are in. Please set boundaries for your mother, if she starts being abusive leave or end the phone call. Do not have the car fixed and do not find the car keys. If she is physically abusive call 911 and press charges. Do not have the car fixed and do not find the keys.

Do a search in her area for AL facilities make the trip and note the 2 you like the best and tuck them in your pocket for when the time comes - which may be sooner than later. You don't have to let mom know you are in the area. She will still be a distance away and you can caregive from a distance without ever seeing her again, if that is your wish. You can advocate so that she gets what she needs.

When the last caregiver has thrown in the towel contact APS for a wellness check or the Council on Aging or whatever they call it where mom lives to see if they can do a needs assessment - of course mom may kick out the social worker.

If worse comes to worse call the social workers in your area and tell them your mother needs assistance but you can no longer act as her POA.

Even though she is your mother - she is not allowed to abuse you and you don't have to put up with it. Take care of yourself because you are worth being cared for. I wish you all the best in the world.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to cweissp

God help you if you allow her to come home. Look at how she is behaving now and when you stop her from doing certain things, it will be hell for you. Have her placed immediately and do NOT allow her to come home. You will be very sorry if you don't listen and take her in.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Riley2166
caroli1 Jun 17, 2021
Riley2166, MintJulepCrazy cannot do as you suggested. At the moment, she does not have POA in effect (read down in what she has written), and if she did, she still might not be able to put her in a facility. It's also not entirely clear what kind of facility, if any, she would need.
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You have received some great advice here. This is abuse. You cannot continue to be abused. Talk to the nursing home social worker. Tell her you cannot continue with her behaviors. Let the social worker know it’s affecting your physical and mental health. Make it clear you can no longer be the primary caregiver. Resign your POA. This is no way to
live your life during this season of life.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Sunnydayze

I had my mothers probate lawyer meet with her, go over what her doctor recommended, and he had her sign a letter, after finally agreeing to remain in assisted living because she required 2 aides.
Wheelchair and oxygen but she’s going to do all these activities.
Her long term home care insurance would not pay for 2 aides, and she’s more apt to listen to a male attorney, then family, due to her narcissism.
She said the exact same delirious things.
It’s very wearing on the spirit so take time for you-
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Reply to KristineB

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