I am an only child and my father died 6 years ago. My mother has had mental illness for as long as I can remember, but her family refuses to acknowledge it. My mother has lupus and moderate dementia. Her family is so backwards themselves they do not see the dementia. My mother will not do a living will, power of attorney and took me off her hippa. She keeps changing doctors and will only tell them what she wants them to know. When a doctor gives her a diagnosis she doesn't like, she changes. My mother is 87 years old, lives 45 miles from me. All of her family live within 2 miles of her but never stop to check in on her and never have. I want to take care of my mother but she will not allow it. She could not even figure out how to renew her medicare insurance, homeowners insurance and cannot balance her checkbook. I explained this to the sister she has allowed on her hippa only to be told she did not believe me. I have had a terrible relationship with my mother since I was nine years old and a great relationship with my father. My mother was jealous of me and the love and attention my father gave me. All of this completely unjustified because we both loved her. As I stated, she has some type of mental disorder that has never been diagnosed and her family just accepts her ways and fails to see that their is something terribly wrong with her mentally. I do not know what to do to take care of her. I walk on egg shells with her and never know how and when she will go off on me. My mother is in complete denial about her lupus and will not even acknowledge she has is. Her doctor has suggested I have declared incompetent, but her five sisters insist there is nothing wrong with her. She threw one of her fits and sat home alone Christmas eve and Christmas Day. When I checked on her, she was telling me she heard "people" knocking on her house all through out the night. This has happened many times and when I have the police to check on this, of course, no evidence of anyone around her home. It is the dementia. She refuses to allow me to have cameras installed. She refuses to come and live with me. She refuses anyone staying with her and refuses moving to assisted living. Again, I have no support from her family. I do not know what to do or how to proceed. Despite all of the ugliness, I do not particularly like my mother, but I do love her and do not want anything to happen to her.

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Denial within a family about a senior's declining ability to run their household, take care of fiances, get proper medical care, etc. is rather common, based on what I have seen in my community. It's very frustrating.

You can try to intervene, but based on what you've described, I'd really think long and hard about it. I'd get legal advice, so you know what evidence is required in court, should you attempt Gardianship. But, also ask about the responsibilities of a Guardian. It came be a full time job and is complicated when the Ward if resistant, like your mom. It's also a stressful and thankless job. Consider if you really want to sign up for it.

You might also report her situation to Adult Protective Services. You can describe what you know about things and have them investigate. Particularly alarming to me is that she is hearing things that may not be real. And that she's letting things go like her healthcare insurance and homeowners insurance That's risky. Also, if she's incompetent and neglecting her medical conditions, she could suffer a real crisis.

It the state/county step in, maybe your other family members will then come around. If not, the court can appoint a professional person to be her Guardian and place her in a protected environment and handle her property and financial matters.
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Something I've learned from these forums is that so many of us, including me, try to address so many levels of caregiving. We try to, if not fix, at least find acceptable solutions that protect our family. But sometimes that's just not possible.

Upset, I don't write this with any pleasure. I think you're facing insurmountable odds, a parent with issues that preclude rational decision making, and a family that's in denial. I don't what you can do other than know that you've tried to resolve a difficult situation with few options other than contacting APS and/or applying for guardianship. In the latter case, that would probably worsen the relationship with your mother.

The options aren't very good, are they? But don't allow the situation to degrade any self respect or ability to create solutions. I think that it's insurmountable with all of the negative factors working against you.
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DO NOT ask her to come live with you! What a terrible thing THAT would be!

I understand your sense of obligation, and it's admirable. But, please, retain your instinct for self-preservation!

Call mom's country area agency on aging and tell them what is happening. Tell them that she's a vulnerable adult who is suffering from mental illness and dementia. Let the professionals take over.
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