My 96 year old mother is mad at me. She is threatening to take away my POA. Her judgment seems to be clouded. What should I do? - AgingCare.com

My 96 year old mother is mad at me. She is threatening to take away my POA. Her judgment seems to be clouded. What should I do?

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My 96 year old mother is mad at me because she thinks I am trying to take away her cooking privileges. She is a vulnerable adult because she can't see well and has decided to take up cooking again even though she lives in Assisted Living that serves three meals a day.

Nursing staff came to assess her and she ordered them out and threatened to call the police. She left a message on my phone yelling that she never wanted to see me again and that I was a terrible daughter the meanest ever.

I realize that she is upset as she is losing more and more independence as she ages. The doctor has suggested hospice to her but she has not given them an answer. How can I help my mom? Should I give up POA to someone else?
I have been her POA for eleven years. I love my mom but I also want her to safe.

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Ignore her threats re the POA. That'd take quite a bit of work on her part. If you don't facilitate her, it's not going to happen. Well, unless she's QUITE an exceptional 96-year-old, that is.

I'd conspire with the assisted living facility. Let them play the bad guys; it'll give mom something to talk about for weeks. "We're sorry, but after having assessed your physical abilities, we are disconnecting your stove. We believe strongly that your cooking is a hazard not only to you, but to all the other residents. We just had to do this to a resident on Floor Whatever. We're very sorry, but safety first."

"Mom! You're kidding. Well, let me see what I can do." Then later, "Nope, mom, they're holding fast. No stove."

If she's so darned mad she wants to move? Tell her to let you know where she wants to go, and you'll get 'er done.

A heavy pot of boiling water becomes third-degree burns. A pizza in the oven? Second-degree burns. Crisco forgotten in a fry pan becomes a two-alarm fire. Keep that in mind as you become the sneaky little daughter she always knew you were. ;) ;)
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i doubt if a decent attorney would permit her to change poa if shes in questionable mental state . my mother lost her marbles a few years ago and wanted me to take dpoa as opposed to springing poa so i could sell her house for her . her good doc knew she was only suffering a manic episode so he just hung onto the documents for a month or two . he knew mom would get better in about 4 months . indeed she did and we returned to her home for another 4 good years ..
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burnout, when mom got like this, we pursued guardianship and we got it. She is headed for the memory care side, sorry to say. We made sure the ALF she went to had NO cooking or fridge. That way she HAD to go to meals.
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how can I get feedback to my problem ?
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sorry, I don't really know where to start. Mom is 96, insists on staying in her apt. everyone around her has a problem..Not Her, according to HER. Gets angry and accuses us of taking things she has misplaced.won't eat food anyone else has prepared. still tries to cook. won't take any suggestions. we do for her, clean for her ,administer her daily meds which she questions every time. throws us out at least once a week. denies that she has a problem, and would never adjust to someone staying in the home with her. nor will she agree to go to a nsg home. was in an AL but that went over like a lead baloon. I don't know what to do.
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Most AL's in my area don't have full kitchens in the residents rooms, only a refrigerator and sink. It does sound like your mom is headed for being thrown out of her current AL, though. If so, check out this company which is nationwide and also in Canada and the UK as a possible alternative for her:
sunriseseniorliving.com

It would help to know why the doctor has recommended hospice. It kind of sounds to me like your mother is in the mid-stages of dementia (maybe early stage 6?), but I could be wrong. If it is dementia, then, in your position, I would take mom to the doctor for a formal diagnosis. DO NOT MENTION to your mom that you think she has dementia and DO NOT discuss her diagnosis with her as she will never believe you anyway. Unfortunately, LO's who get this disease often act irrationally. But once she is diagnosed, then let the family attorney know that she is no longer responsible for herself and can't make decisions about POA's. If it comes down to it, you may have to take your mom to court and have her declared incompetent and become her guardian.

In dealing with this type of situation, a lot depends on how you handle your mom. In your place, I'd tell her I wanted her to cook (while secretly unhooking her stove so that was not possible.) I would reminisce with her about all the great meals and treats she used to prepare and maybe even bring her to my house to help me learn her recipes. After awhile this will all blow over.

But in the meantime, it's best to try not to upset and encourage her to cook - even though she won't be able to. And if she tells you she cooked something, be very complimentary and express excitement. She may be hallucinating that she is cooking. Never call her on any of this. Just act like her reality is reality, even if it's not.

Unfortunately, it is always the main caregiver who gets the brunt of the elderly person with dementia's anger. But there is much you can do to mitigate that. Don't let your mother know that you think she has dementia, don't let her know you disconnected her stove and go along with whatever she says. If she is nasty to you, keep telling her you love her, over and over again. It kind of takes the wind out of their sails. Understand your mother wouldn't be this way if she was her normal self.

Finally, if I am right and this is dementia or Alz, please read this free book to better understand what you are up against:
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I am guessing that she has a gas stove in her room? My MIL only has a microwave. If so, it would be prudent to disconnect the gas.
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What concerns me most of all is that cooking when she can't see well (and perhaps her mind is not all it should be) she'll burn the place down.
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Don't voluntarily give up your POA. It sounds like your mom might just be lashing out at you. I am curious about why her Dr. feels she needs hospice. Hospice is only recommended for people who have about 6 months left to live. BUT.....if hospice is on the table snap it up! Hospice offers all kinds of individual assistance that your mom might benefit from. But she can't call the police on them when they come to see her.

You can help her by encouraging her to accept hospice. They will create a care plan specifically for your mom. When my dad was in hospice they had a gentleman who worked for them who was in the Air Force. My dad was also in the Air Force so this worked out really well and my dad loved the attention.

And you're right, your mom is probably upset that she is losing more and more of her independence hence the desire to start cooking again. It's not so much about homemade meals as it is about, "I can do this! I did this for 60 years and I'm still able!!"

But with your mom wanting to cook and throwing the nurse out the door she's not helping herself any in her assisted living. Don't be surprised if someone recommends another living arrangement soon.

I'm sure you are the meanest, most terrible daughter ever. ;-) The line forms to the right.
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