Mom refuses to move back to live near her family. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

Mom refuses to move back to live near her family. What can I do?

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My Mom lives alone in Florida and she is in the early stages of dementia. My brother and I live in Illinois. My mom has dementia and her memory has gotten worse she talks about things that never happen. Things that happen years ago she thinks just happen. I'm afraid her finances are a mess. We have tried to get her to move back to be close to her family. But she refuses and gets angry. She won't let anyone help with her finances. I live so far away I don't know what's going on and I don't know how to help. She is a very stubborn women and argues over everything. I would appreciate any advice.

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I agree with most of the comments so far. The key is do something! Do not wait for the crisis to happen. By the way it already has...it just hasn't hit the legal stage. Help is available. I am in Florida and would offer if you are in my area to help. I am in Brevard County. To be fair I need to tell you that I am an administrator for an ALF that is not yet open, I have 15+ years of experience in this area and am familiar with all the facilities, case managers and Guardians. So if I can help I would be willing to assist you. (No fee)
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Are you in touch with her doctor? If nothing else, send (mail or fax) a letter to her primary doctor, expressing your concerns about her state of mind. You might consider a visit to assess the situation as suggested above and maybe tell a fiblet that her insurance company is requiring a doctor's visit to re-insure her. The sad truth is that with stubborn seniors, sometimes you just have to wait for the inevitable fall or accident to happen and then make decisions when it comes to discharge about where she'll be cared for and by whom.
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Your description sounds like my LO right before she was diagnosed with significant dementia.

My LO used to be that way with being stubborn and not allowing anyone to check her finances, but then she went downhill to the point that once I walked into her house, she changed. She didn't protest at all. It was as if she didn't even notice what was going on in the same room.

Mail was all piled up on the table and in the mailbox. Insurance had lapsed due to nonpayment. There was little if any food in the fridge and it was spoiled. She was dehydrated and needed medical care. Her sheets were filthy. It was a bad situation. The cousin she had been talking to on the phone didn't know the extent of it.

I would suggest you get someone to go into her home and survey the situation as soon as possible.

When I saw how bad it was, I made a doctor appointment and told her she had to go for insurance reasons for a check up and to get her paperwork processed. She didn't resist. Then the doctor asked her questions about different things and found that she had significant memory loss and was not able to live alone. She completed a form that is required in our state that states what her needs were. That was provided to the Assisted living facility to get her admitted.

Does she have a Power of Attorney? If so, locate it. If not, you're going to have to do more work. There is lots of advice on this site on how to approach that, but since you are out of state, you may need to consult with an Elder Law Attorney.
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Sue, sometimes elder parents won't listen to their own grown children but will listen to a doctor or a case worker.

If your Mother doesn't take their advice, then it will be her choice to remain in her current home, thus she needs to take responsibility for that choice. Of course, as the daughter you and your brother will worry yourself sick wondering how she is doing. And that doesn't seem fair.

Depending on your Mother's age, if older Florida was always advertised as being THE place to retire. How long has your Mother been in Florida? Is she in a retirement community? Does the community have a "continuing care" facility where she can live and still feel like she is part of the community?
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Consider talking to a geriatric case manager in FL, and paying a personal visit when you can to more fully assess the situation? Maybe you can get enough banking information to help and to check on her via online banking after you get back if it is not already too much of a disaster area to leave her on her own there. You probably need more definite indication of how much is wrong before asking for APS or police to do a welfare check.
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Oh, I forgot the fifth choice, which is what may happen. She can continue to live like she is living until there is a crisis. Then the other four choices would have to be considered. It isn't easy when they don't want to change their lives.
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I wish there was an easy answer. If she has not been deemed to be legally incompetent, you can't make her do anything. The only choices would be for someone to move to be with her, her to move to be with them, hire someone to come in, and try to talk her into assisted living. Would she be open to any of these four choices?
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