My mother is homeless and in another state. What can I do?

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I have been living far from my mother since before I became an adult on my own. Many people would not understand the idea of being the parent instead of the child but some would. I have lived away and independently without a dime of help. I call and have visited her only a few times over the last 12 years. I can't say that are relationship is awful or that I hate her or that she hates me. She just has never helped herself, she is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic and she has worked the same job since I was a teen. Her work cut her benefits six years back and her wages. She has been living in a hotel for more than 8 years because my older brother (whom hasn't spoken to in 10 years) got sick of her money habits. Since we were kids she frivolously spent her money and then got depressed when it was gone.
She is now in a situation where she is getting evicted because she was in the hospital and cannot pay her bills or even go to work because she has been sick. I found this out the night of. I am unemployed and a student, I live in a different state and cannot do anything for her. My older brother will not get back to me. I have given her numbers for assistance and have tried to tell her that she needs to do more and go to work even if she feels ill or go to thick, or get disability. She is turning 64 she has barely any so coming her way and when I tried to get her on Medicare she didn't bother. I don’t know what to do. She has no one and the shelters are filled to the rim where she lives. In a couple months the temperature is going to drop and she’ll freeze. I don’t know what to do and how to cope with this. She has no one but me.

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You have no reason to bring your Mother back into your life. All you can do is give her the tools to get assistance and the rest is up to her. It is a sorry situation but it is what it is.

It is bound to be very painful for you. You sound as if you have a good handle on your own life and moving forward. Please do not allow any emotional baggage encourage you to destroy your life in the process of being a good daughter. As a Mother, I would never expect my children to put their future in jeopardy because I made poor decisions about my own life.

You cannot successfully help someone who will not help themselves. Maybe hitting rock bottom will turn her around...again her decision.

Gob bless you both!
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hello thank you all for your very helpful and kind advice. my mother lives In nevada (northern) and I live in southern californoa. I am not finacially stable to go up there and take care of these things myself. she is to be removed today from her hotel in which she is staying in and has forthe past 10 years. i have given her numbera to cal for assistance though there is very little in her state. I grew up with two alzheimers patient my grandmother and my aunt. she doesmt have dementia and her illness is due nutrition. I have worked really hard to get just were I am and bringing her nerotic cumpulsivity into my life would ruin not only what I have built to but my relationship. we were never close but it still hurts. thanks btw I'm 29.
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I would move her in with me if I could temporarily then take her to apply for Social Security/Medicare and over to Human Services to apply for Medicaid/Food Stamps and Section 8 housing.
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She may be eligible for HUD housing in her area...apartments with supervisory staff that will only charge a percent of her SS income and pay the balance of the rent. First she must get on SS and then discuss her future with the adult protective division of the family services branch of that state's government. The Area Agency on Aging office in her area will also have good information. Find out whether or not that state is willing to make a decision about her ability to care for herself and if it is determined by a court that she cannot, she will become a ward of the state with a case manager appointed.
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In the city where she lives there may be HUD housing for persons over 62. That would require her getting her SS set up and the housing would pay all of her rent over a certain percent of her income. Many of these facilities have supervisors and /or case managers in residence to help with the issues faced by older folks who cannot manage such things on their own. Ask the adult services division of the family services office in that town for referrals. Find out what is needed to have a guardian appointed if she is judged incompetent to manage her own affairs. Getting her on the track to being safe will take a bit of doing, but it is possible.
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I suspect she may be attempting to manipulate you, get you to send her money. Both dementia and addictive personalities will do this. She will also try to divide the children, but as long as you and your brother communicate frequently and compare notes, she cannot. If she calls, give her the address of her nearest SS office and leave the rest to God. If there is an Al-Anon meeting at your school, consider going to a meeting and network with others in similar situations.
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Your Mom has resources available to her if she wants it and some of the posts mention some. Simply give your Mom the address/phone number of a homeless shelter in her area who should have a list of resources to help the homeless/aging in her area - or you can also do an internet search and give her the info. It is up to your Mom to follow through.
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Mom could have alcohol dementia or brain damage from drug use. Until it is determined that mom is capable of making competent decisions, it isn't reasonable to decide out of hand to turn your back on someone. If mom is fully competent with all of her faculties and choosing to continue to operate in a destructive mode, then daughter or other children must go forward with a unilateral decision to let mom continue on her destructive path.

But if she is damaged to the point of not being able to make a good decision in her life, then I personally do not believe that "tough" and "love" ever belong in the same sentence. I actually detest the expression and consider it a grouping of psychological buzz words.

Can you try forever to help someone who rejects assistance. No. But not trying to help in any way at the outset doesn't seem compassionate either. So you start somewhere. There are plenty of people living on the street. I have heard the ridiculous opinion that they WANT to be there. I have a friend with a son who is and unmedicated schizophrenic. Even though she maintains a home for him, he will not sleep under a roof, so he wonders about, gets arrested from time to time as a vagrant (even though she manages his SS disability as an RP and he always has some money -- NOT of a grant therefor), and in general causes her feelings of torture.

This is why appleofmyeye must do her best to try to do something initially. Shoukd she ruin her life over it if her mother and that being uncooperative and non compliant? No, but she still has to start somewhere. As igloo has described, if it comes to the fact that mom can't help herself and 1 accept help from her daughter, there is the ability to report it to the state and the courts and let someone else take charge so that at least daughter knows her mom is safe. Men on the streets are not safe and women even left so. Daughter's brother(s), with his/their conditional love may find it easier to turn away from mom then daughter does with her leaning toward unconditional female love.

The most important thing is to do what's within your own comfort zone so you can look in the mirror and like yourself as well as go on with your life in a healthy way.
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Somebody has to take your mother into an S.S. office with her Social Security card in hand, along with another form of I.D. Benefits may begin at age 62. They will handle the Medicaid app. Find a group home, and write the first check yourself. Allow 4-6 weeks for the S.S. check to arrive at a bank or an address of her choosing. S.S. does not recognize a POA (thank God). Check on her weekly, so that she is somewhat comfortable and fed properly. Let go of the old baggge regarding her drug and alcohol habits. Try to be a good daughter.
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i'm with CarolL & ebb - if she worked at all then she contributed to her SS and she can start getting that at age 62. You take a huge hit in the long-term payout if you do it before 70,,,,but your mom doesn't have options not to. The problem is that she will squander the money and then be back at zero a couple of days after she get's the SS check.

Now you can prevent that by determining where her SS check goes.....you kinda have 2 options which may or may not be feasible (for many reasons):
1 become her representataive payee for SS like CarolL said. If you are not her DPOA, no worries there because SS doesn't recognize DPOA's anyways. You will have to go in person to SS to do this and mom will have to go also as she will have to agree to allow this. If mom is a "showtimer" then you are screwed in doing this as SS won't allow unless everybody is all kum-ba-ya in having you become rep. payee. If you think this will happen, then you need to do whatever to show her inability to function with her SS money. You will need a bank account for it to be direct deposited into and it must be her solo account but with you as a signature and with you POD (pay on death) so that it is not an asset of her estate after death. Most banks will open a small account for them if you have the SS representative payee paperwork (a smaller community bank will do this easier than a big national player like BoA or Chase). I would look for a bank that is in your state and her state and also I'd get open my own acct there also so i can transfer funds easily into it when needed. Be especially nice with the bank officer as you may need them later on (so keep their business card). Now the rep payee has a required by the fed's reporting that you will have to do to show that you aren't squandering mom's $. But your problem is going to be mom's squandering her money.......
2. the other way is to go on-line as your mom if you are her DPOA and have her SS go into a bank account which you again are a signature and POD. You want to already have found a on-line bank and opened an account for her so that when you do the SS stuff, you just move it there for direct deposit. Google "nerd.wallet" to find banks.
For both of these, you would use the SS money to pay for her room & board and other needs. You can give her a debit card to use but if it were me, I'd open a secondary small account for the debit card and make it clear that there is no overdrafts on it. If she misuses the card, then you shut down the account. Keep the paperwork to show why too.

On the face of it, it sounds like your mom is unable to change and probably has many long-term effects from her drug & alcohol use. CarolL is spot-on on having her get a medical evaluation. If there is a medical school somewhere within driving distance, I'd get her evaluated there.

Realistically realize this is going to be a very emotional & draining & cost your time & money. Alot of this is just so dependent on your relationship with her, what seems to happen is the constant yo-yo of your taking charge and her doing good & then she takes charge of herself and then is back again destitute and you swoop in again to do...and the pattern continues. If you just don't think you have the long-term ability to do this, then you can have mom become a ward of the state. You will need to find a good probate attorney to do this and it will cost but maybe the better situation if she will need to be in a facility for her own safety and health care needs as a state ward can be placed in a facility ahead of others. You are still her daughter and can be involved in her life but the state guardian deals with making her finances and her health care decisions and is paid to do so. Good luck.
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