My mother-in-law didn't sign a POA or guardianship. She needs help and I don't know what to do? - AgingCare.com

My mother-in-law didn't sign a POA or guardianship. She needs help and I don't know what to do?

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I am sure my mother in Law has Alzheimer's as I recognize the stages as I have been through some of this before with my mothers husband the problem is I am not sure how to get her diagnosed. She is here at my house for a week to give one of my husbands sisters a break but she keeps wanting to go home and she tries to wander and walk away but her home is 250 miles away. She is very forgetful to the point where she is nervous and panicky I talk with her and we talk about her children and she sometimes calms down but there are times she looks at me and says I have no Idea who these people are you are talking about.
My daughter is 9 and there are times she asks who is this or who's child is this it scares me. Now my mother in law has always been a little flighty but this is different. I also think that the person she has moved into her house is stealing from her and is mentally abusive to her but none of her children are willing to make him leave. He is a creepy guy and is only 47 and she is 70 almost 71. I am afraid to let her go back to her home I don't know what to do.

My husband agrees with me but without a POA or a Guardianship is there anything we can do to help her and get this creepy man out of her house? and help her realize she cant live there anymore and get her the help I know she needs.

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If your mother wants to keep this man in her home, it is her Right since it is her home. Just as it is her right to leave your home to go back to hers. Therefore, I'd follow Ferris' recommendation so that it puts a Halt on everything until your mom is diagnosed as competent or not.
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To jmcgrath - "give a hug" is below everyones username two quick if you want to send them a "hug"

What is the username of the responder you said is absolutely correct, and did you give them a "helpful answer" click?
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Give a hug is absolutely correct. You need to call your local elder agency and file an elder at risk petition. The state is mandated to look into any allegations of abuse including financial and verbal against an elder. I would also contact the agency in her state/town as well. Her children are able to make doctors appt.s for her although you can't force her to go. One of you will have to file in a court for guardianship if she truly is no longer competent and has no health care proxy or power of attorney. It is the only way you can legally take over her care decisions and financial management. Good luck! In any case file the Elder at Risk in both states immediately and try to keep her from returning there until it has been investigated.
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Right ... DO NOT ALLOW HER TO RETURN HOME. You may end up in a disagreement with your family but so what?

The elder abuse hotline in Washington state is 1-866-EndHarm.

Call them right away and get the process started.
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Sure. File for an emergency petition at your Probate court house (usually Superior Court), tell the judge in writing what is occurring, what has occurred, a stranger is staying with her, etc. Everything you have mentioned here you can put in your complaint. Also file for an Order of Protection against the man who is living in her house with the local Sheriff's Dept. and do not let her go home. You can also have Adult Protective Services send a social worker over to your house to make an initial screening of her mental capacity, and that person has the authority to put your mother in your care pending court actions. She could not sign a legal document at this point because she sounds too incompetent. APS will have her examined by doctors who can verify as to her mental competency. You can also take her to a psychiatrist hospital, tell them she is a danger to herself and others, and have her held for 72 hrs. so an evaluation can be made. You don't say what insurance she has, her financial situation, but in order to get her help you might have to bear some expenses, but it will be worth it to keep her safe. As a nurse and social worker this is a very necessary action you should take ASAP. Best wishes.
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I have no kind of paperwork giving me the right or legal authority to do anything, but I've been signing the checks...at my mom's request...for years, and handling everything. I just...had to take over eventually. And I think that's where you might be at right now... Even if that isn't YOUR house, and there's no paperwork, something clearly needs to be done, and someone has to make the decisions. I think that would be you now... *sends good karma*
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I wouldn't let her go home. Period. Your gut is screaming at you that something isn't right, and from what I'm reading that's my first gut instinct, too...do not let her around that guy alone. I'd listen to it if it were me in that situation.

You and your family don't need to be afraid of this creep, you need to get the steel you need in this kind of thing into your backbone, call the cops if you have to, tell THEM what's up, and that you want him freaking out like yesterday and then see what happens. He can NOT stay on your property if you don't want him there, especially with your suspicions. Get him out. Now. I'd call SS, too, they might be able to help with your MIL, too, at least be able to give you some information. I would talk to a cop. Seriously. Tell them what's up, see what they think. Call the non emergency number. Has a background check been done on this guy? Maybe you should check into something like that to start...

I wish you all the best in this, you're doing the right thing, imo. Always listen to your instincts. Always. **hugs**
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If I were you and she has insurance, I would see if I could set up an appointment with a Neurologist who deals with Alzheimer's and see if they could get her in for an evaluation. This normally takes more than a week however to get them in for an initial visit and then an MRI and then cognitive testing and check her present medications. Without having these things done you have no idea what you are dealing with.

Have you or your husband spoken with the sister you are relieving and asked questions and pointed out that her behavior is exactly like a person with Alzheimer's and pointed out that you have dealt with this before? Maybe this sister is aware of the problem and the diagnosis but she either did not want to tell you for fear you would not take Mom in or maybe she is hiding her head in the sand and ignoring it. Some people chose to ignore what is happening because if they know for sure there is a problem, they have to deal with it....and they don't want to.

As far as the creepy guy goes if the family is afraid to tell him to get out then what makes you think this woman would be able to get him out? He does need to be gone if you have any "feeling" that he is stealing or abusing her. I would call a Sheriff or Lawyer, whomever it takes and have his tush tossed out of her house. You may have to tell him that Mom is ill and you are considering moving her and therefore selling the house so he has "x number of days" to find a new place to move to, you should probably be at the house removing anything of value at that very second however or it may be gone when you return. You could have Adult Protective Services go in there for checks and see what they say possibly. Nonetheless there is a mental issue happening here that is not normal for your mother-in-law that needs to be addressed immediately. She is sick and in need of help.

I would seek the help of an Elder Care Attorney as well because if she does have Alzherimer's you cannot get her to assign her POA to anyone, it is too late. You would then have to find out about guardianship.

I bet you will find out that your husbands sister is fully aware that there is a problem and it is not the usually flighty behavior. I think she has passed Mom and her problems over to you to handle.

God Bless you all this sounds like a difficult situation.
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Maybe you can call her area's Agency on Aging? They may be able to help even if it's by giving you a referral to some place that may send someone over to evaluate her and her living conditions, including this way younger man, he sounds like he needs to be gotten out of her house and life asap! In Ca they have Adult Protective Services whose job it is to make sure seniors are not being abused or taken advantage of by others. Do some online searching, maybe there is something like that in your state. Lets us know how things are going. If her kids are adults shame on them for they do not see their mom needs help! It's probably going to be a blessing in disguise, her being at your house for a week. But what's going on with your husbands sister? Is she aware of whats going on? It sounds like she is a caregiver to her so it seems like she would be aware of these serious problems. Maybe it's time for everyone to get together for a serious discussion. God bless you all, and I hope you can find a way to help her. She sounds so vulnerable.
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