My elderly mother is threatening to leave our family home to her cats!

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What can I do to prevent potentially disastrous financial decisions my mother is contemplating? We suspect either Dementia or Alzheimers, even Schizophrenia, but since mom hasn't been to (and will NOT go to) a doctor in over 40 years, we have no way to stop her short of having her forcefully committed which I refuse to do. We are maintaining her in her home and I'm afraid that she would lose all touch with reality if we took her from her familiar surroundings. My siblings are in an uproar, many bills exist from the illness & death of my father two years ago, we had hoped to clear those debts after mother is gone. In addition, she is rather a hoarder, at present there are 16 cats that she feels are closer than family,,, sigh... The list goes on and on, but as her eldest daughter, I feel like I carry her fragile reclusive self in my hands, and that if I make a misstep she will simply give up, leaving her home would be the end for her I'm afraid. At present she is comfortable and I check her up to 4 times daily,, but seeing what dad worked for just lost is causing much family stress...

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Not all places have doctors do home visits. Here, if you want the nurses to do the home visits, you need to take the parent first to the clinic for the doctor to exam parent. Then, he prescribes home hospice care. Back to the original problem- how to get the parent to the clinic.
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I am so sorry..but on the other hand someone has to be the adult in this situation and do what is right for your Mom. Your Mom needs to be seen by a doctor. Your local Home Health Care Agency has visiting doctors/nurses.
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You mentioned that you built your house right next door to your mom. Is your house and the land under your name? Or did you build your house on your parent's land? I sure hope the house and land is under your name. Then you won't really have to worry a LOT that your mom leaves all her possessions to the local cat rescue.

The question is: how desparately do you want to prevent your mom from leaving her possession to the pet rescue? ....Desperate enough to hurt her feelings and go against her by declaring her unfit, etc...? Unfortunately with the onset of her paranoia (or dementia), it's only going to get worse. If she doesn't trust you now, it's only going to get worse later. But..if losing her house to the pet rescue is not earthshattering for you, then just do your best to continue what you're doing now.

By the way, are those cats staying inside the house with her? If they are, it's very important that her home remains in good hygiene. I accidentally got bit by my sister's stray blind cat (she thought my little pinkie was food.) I went online and searched on cat bite. Did you know that a cat bite is more dangerous than a dog bite? Cat bites so much germs and their bite goes much deeper even to the bone, etc...
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This is actually not too uncommon. Some people form a tight bond with their animals, so think of them as their family. Leaving her assets to the cat rescue is a way to ensure her family will be cared for after her death. I have this vision of some of the scenes from Animal Planet's Animal Hoarders in my mind. Sixteen cats are too much for a single person, particularly when they are not 100% capable. Are the cats in good shape? Are their facilities kept clean and their food healthy? These are not a trivial questions, since it can give you a direction to take. Some people who hoard animals are not the best caregivers.
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Angelgate, maybe you should be keeping a journal of your mother's erratic behavior, just in case she really DOES leave everything to a bunch of cats. At least you'll have reason to overturn her will when she dies.
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Thanks for the kind answers, I've been reading through many posts and oh, the poor suffering elderly AND their poor suffering caregivers too!!! Thanks for the prayers too, I know the Lord will make a way when there doesn't seem to be one. I pray that He helps her, she is so pathetic, my poor beautiful mother...
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Poor mother has soooo many issues, she hallucinates, thinks everyone is stealing from her, if I take her garbage out, she says I'm trying to control her life... She is profoundly deaf, incontinent, almost unable to walk, probably diabetic, I moved home and wanted to take care of her, built a house literally next door, she has never stepped foot in my house, she's paranoid and convinced there are lights in the woods floating at night, people watching her,,,, sigh,,, she's pathetic, fragile and fairly content in spite of it all,,, but I hate seeing what they worked for thrown away. She'd never trust me to oversee the cats, I'm afraid she's changing the will to leave everything to a local cat rescue....
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How sad! My heart goes out to you.

Sounds like you are able to keep her comfortable and relatively safe. Maybe that is the best that can be hoped for.

I guess your father's creditors can fight it out with the cats.
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I wish I had a perfect answer. I don't. I can commiserate and empathize. If it were just the cats, I'd say let her leave the estate to the cats and have her appoint you caretaker of said estate and cats. Someone has to care for the cats, right? But it sounds like more. It sounds like you need to reassure the rest of the family as well. I don't have any answers, but I do wish you a heart-felt good luck and will say a prayer or two. Take Care...
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