My mother (71) was in the ER for alcohol poisoning over the weekend. What do I do now? - AgingCare.com

My mother (71) was in the ER for alcohol poisoning over the weekend. What do I do now?

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My mother and I live in separate states. She lives alone in a home that is much too big. She works only 2 days a week, and clearly has shown questionable understanding of her finances (ie. she refused to apply for her or my deceased father's SS, no has she registered for Medicare). She's been a drinker for the past few years and has driven off most of her friends, and has cut off communication with her parents. I've gently been bringing up the issue of the house being in disarray and not maintained to her and trying to get her to think about downsizing either her town or move to near us, only to be literally yelled at and hung up on. I want her to be safe and happy (though I really don't think she knows how to be happy anymore). I've talked the situation over with a lawyer and he says it's her choice to be an unresponsible adult. Then comes this past weekend... I find out from a coworker that she was in the ER uncontrollably vomiting and shaking. The ER wanted to admit her, but she walked out and went home. Her coworker asked if she is possibly drinking (which is the understatement of the century!). Any advice on legal avenues to explore would be great.

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Thank you all. I have all of my grandparents trust accounts dissolved as they went through all of their money and to the best of my investigation, my mom didn't do anything wrong (just had no idea what to do next ... like applying for Medicaid... so she just walked, etc). So that's "set".
She does not have a trust fund, but from what I do know about her finances, she can have a comfortable retirement if she would: apply for Medicare, apply for SS, and not do anything stupid to make it all go "poof" (like get in an alcohol-related wreck or something).
I do know that my mom's alcoholism isn't in my control. And strangely enough, I can accept if she wants to inflict this on herself. I've even accepted that she will never speak to her dad again.
What is hurtful are the lies and I've caught her in many this week as I dig into what exactly happened. What she is telling her boss and probably the last person she could call her friend (whom she has burned repeatedly). It's sad... she either is off her rocker or she really just wants nothing to do with me either.
Despite it all, I just wouldn't feel right if I didn't at least research and explore what I could do to keep her from harming others. My plan: I'll talk to the lawyer, talk to Al-Anon (does anyone know about ACS, I might have that wrong), and call APS as my hail-mary.
And thank you, all, for sharing. I'm sorry you all have lived through similar things, however, it's wonderful to know that you aren't alone:)
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Folie, from your last post it seems like you are thinking this through pretty well. Do all you can, al anon, intervention perhaps, but remember, your well being comes first. This is not your fault, you are not responsible for this.

I lost a family member to addiction not long ago. It was 20 years of hell for my family finally ending in death at a young age. I understand that addiction is a disease but my sympathy and patience for addicts has decreased through the years.

you may have to find the strength to step back at some point and let fate prevail. We can't perform miracles. Do what you can to help but always put the welfare of yourself and your family before a selfish addict.
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Folie, it is absolutely time for an intervention. And, you should probably get her official resignation from the trust so she does not have a way to pull the rug out from under you as trustee. She is likely to lose her job, and then that could lead to her losing the house as well, and she could become desperate for funds.

Your mom is going to die of her alcoholism without intervention, and there are times that even with an intervention handled as lovingly and skillfully as possible, the condition can prove fatal. There are no guarantees, but just being gentle and tiptoeing around is not going to change things. I am sorry you are going through this. Al-Anon might help - sadly, there are a lot of people in your shoes.
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Folie, I'm sorry that my first post was less than useful. I mis-read what you wrote.

So, you would like to keep your mom ( and the rest of society) safe. Are you familiar with the concept of " locus of control"?

You seem to be dealing with a person ( your mom) who has an addiction. Not only is this not in your locus of control, it may not be within hers. You may need to let go ( and let God), if that is in your vocabulary.

Someone who reaches Medicare eligibility age and who doesn't sign up either has a gold- plated trust fund of multiples of millions or is mentally impaired. I'd warrant that even most trust fund retires sign up for Medicare, so it seems mom is most likely not plaing with a full deck.

In your shes, I WOULD call APS and convey my concerns. I think it's the only thing you can do.

And read Atul Gawande " Being Mortal" and Roz Chast " Can't we talk about something more pleasant? "
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Yes :( In our last conversation about this, she agreed to not drink and drive. I'm not 100% if she is living up to that.
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Is she still driving?
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to clarify... lawyer in her state... not just my state
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Thank you for the support! I'll try to answer questions in post order to clarify:
1. I feel she is functioning alcoholic. Work is only now starting to figure out or admit that she is drinking or has a problem. I'd bet all of her vomiting/diarrhea illnesses as of late have been from drinking . This one just happened be bad enough to land her in the ER (and it is confirmed by the nurse as poisoning).
2. I'm the only child. I do have other family that would support the situation if it became an intervention, or if my mom hit bottom and went into rehab or a facility. They have all been burned by my mom trying to help her, so they aren't really interested in "helping" unless something is going to for sure change.
3. I've been considering calling APS on her. I think I'm going to get a lawyer and see if there is anything else I can do before blowing up what little relationship I have.
4. Yes. She cut off communication with her parents (and she was the trustee of their trust). For the past 1 year, I've been operating as secondary trustee and taking care of their finances and managing their care. My grandmother (mom's mom) passed last month. I was thankful to have been involved in her care, and it breaks my heart for my mom that she didn't even reach out before she passed. Granddad is 94 and hanging in there... but I'm not holding my breath :(

I want my mom to be safe. If that can't happen, I want to limit damage/possibility that she might harm someone else with her drinking. It's that last bit that makes it super hard for me to walk away... because I can completely see that happening...
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" has cut off communication with her parents." Her parents are alive? How are they doing? Are you going to have to (eventually?) manage their care, also?
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I'm afraid it is her choice to be an irresponsible adult. That must hurt you terribly. It is so frustrating to watch a loved one do self-destructive things.

I wonder if it would be useful to call APS in her county, say you are worried about her, and ask for a wellness check. Mention that she has been in the hospital and doesn't seem to have any insurance, even though she is eligible for Medicare. They may be powerless to help her also, but who knows? If they hit her on a good day she might be willing to listen to them about the help available.
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