Mom refuses to take prescribed meds, is verbally (sometimes physically) abusive to family members. What is first step to help her?


My parents still live at home, with my sister living with them most of the time. My Mom (82 y/o) has had bouts of sheer hatefulness for many years now, but it has gotten much worse recently. She is home recovering from triple bypass surgery and now refuses to take her medicine. She has had several doctors decline to treat her anymore because she is rude to the staff and misses appointments. She has lost her debit card many times, then accuses my sister or my dad of taking it. And the list goes on and on. My heart aches for all involved. My brother and I live too far away to be of much help.....our parents are in FL and we live in VA and GA. As much as my dad loves my mom, he has even acknowledged that something has to be done. So my question is, what? My mother absolutely refuses to accept fault for anything.....but she has always been that way. There is NO WAY she will agree to see a doctor for a mental evaluation. What can we, as her children, do to get our mom the help she needs? Thank you.

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It is a tough one. My mother has been evaluated, found to be barely competent, and paranoid. Several years ago, she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Narcissism goes along with that. My mother refuses to accept fault or responsibility for anything and always has, and is emotionally/verbally abusive, She was prescribed an antipsychotic drug for the paranoia, They said it was too late to do anything about the BPD. She lives in an ALF and finds fault with them and is accusing them of plotting to send her to a LTC (she is not even eligible as she is too well physically) and stealing from her - things which she has misplaced, money she forgets what she has done with, and so on. For the short period of time she was on the antipsychotic she was calmer and more accepting of things. Then she refused to take her meds and apparently there is little anyone can do about that. Even in hospital she can refuse treatment.

I have to agree with StandingAlone that distance - emotional and physical is about all any of you can do for yourself. She cannot be forced to take drugs. If she becomes very agitated and out of control, at some point, I think it is legal for medics or nurses to give her a shot of something by to calm her down, but as far as ongoing treatment goes, it is her choice, as far as I can see. In some cases when the individual has dementia, drugs in liquid or crushed form are put in their food.

I know how difficult this it. If she gets physically abusive you/ your father can call 911 and have her taken to hospital and they will likely evaluate her - especially if they get a history from the family. But what happens after that is the key thing. I suspect she will refuse to take meds for any length of time. I am looking further into this as without the drug my mother's life has become unmanageable. She has always lived from one self created crisis to another, and that has not changed, but her behaviours are getting riskier.

Good luck and let us know what happens ((((((((hugs))))))) Joan
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Ok, this lady is verbally and physically abusive, hateful as hell and DOCTORS don't even want to deal with her. Lovely. I'm sure everyone near her is just thrilled dealing with her.

She doesn't want to take her meds? Maybe that's a good thing. She won't be around as long, making everyone's lives a misery.

I'd take her for an evaluation on the sly, like Macada said, and tell your dad to threaten divorce. If your sister is smart, she'll run like hell and get out of there.

I'm sorry, parents like mom was a nasty one, too...don't get a lot of sympathy from me. Had I had it to do all over again, I would have told my mom to rot 10 years ago.

I wish you all strength in the world...distance from this miserable woman seems like the best thing for everyone, including your dad.

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Gosh, this is a tough one. The only thing I can think of is get together as a family and drive her to have a psychological evaluation at the hospital and don't tell her where you are going, just go there! I'm sure it won't be pleasant but it needs to be done. I think you and your brother should be a part of it. Power in numbers. Good Luck!
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