My 90 year old Mom would like control of her medications. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My 90 year old Mom would like control of her medications. Any advice?

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Recently my Mom who lives in an independent home has ask for control of her medications. Prior to this I had been filling her pill trays and taking them to her. After 4 weekly visit to the ER for high blood pressure and then a fall out of her bed resulting in a hospital stay and rehab, I decided that we should hire a caregiver that works on site in her independent living apartments. Because both my husband and myself have full time jobs, this made sense to us. Mom has a history of many frequent trips to the ER because of high blood pressure thus giving her Kidneys a 30% functionality. We decided that she was deciding to not take some of her pills because at the time her blood pressure seemed to low to her. Mom seems to be doing better because this caregiver is giving her medications at the proper time but she is making all kinds of lies about the caregiver. She has reacted to all this by being very angry and irrational and says that she is never going back to any of her doctors or hospital because they recommended for us to hire this caregiver. I have told her that it is our decision also. Everyone she meets or talks to, she tells them that she wants her medication back and that means her pill bottles and to be able to contact the pharmacy for refills. We have advised her Doctors of this. My question is would it be legal to have her sign a legal document that states her children are not responsible for anything concerning her health if we give her control of her medication? We have talk to her about moving to assisted living but she will have none of this. Right now, she just want accept the fact that this is the best thing for her.

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This is another issue that hinges 100% on competence, isn't it?

If your mother is not mentally competent, you have de facto responsibility (because you have been assuming it for this long) for her welfare and will need to stick to your guns - at least until you can get anybody else to take formal responsibility for her health care, anyway. And any waiver she signed wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on. And in any case it isn't the point - the priority concern isn't whether you could be prosecuted, it's whether your mother's medication is under control.

If your mother *is* mentally competent... and has been demanding her own prescription and control of her own supply of medications and sight of patient information and so on for some time... and declined assistance with her confidential medical management which you have now implemented willy-nilly... as I say, if your mother is mentally competent and yet you did this you would be so out of line it just wouldn't be funny.

So let us proceed on the basis that your mother is assumed to be lacking the mental capacity to make rational healthcare decisions - hence all the orchestral manoeuvres to prop her up - but everyone has been too polite to say so. Hadn't you better crack on with an evaluation and get everything down in writing? Do you have any sort of power of attorney?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Ah, the battle of the pills. Sigh.

My mother (in her 90s) swore she was taking her blood pressure medication, but in checking what was left in her bottle against how long she'd had it it was clear that she was taking less than 1/3 of what was directed. Her explanation? "Well of course I don't take it when I don't need it! If my ankles start swelling up I take a pill. Who ever heard of taking a pill when you are fine?"

Ultimately Mom had to give up living independently over her inability to take her pills as directed. This is not a trivial issue! (Mom did much better when someone supervised her pill-taking.)

I agree with BarbB that a thorough medical evaluation would be a good thing at this point.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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So, has mom been diagnosed with dementia?  Has anyone done a workup for That? Because her reasoning and foresight seem shot, don'y
 they?  With long term hbp, vascular dementia is my guess.

Do you have POA for financial or medical issues?

You do see, don't you, that she's having a tantrum? She no longer knows what is in her best intereest; you do.

Do you really want to cede control to her?

What does her doctor say?  Has he said that she's competent to do this? Have HIM/Her put that in writing. 

One thought, if you decide to give in,  next time she ends up in the ER, don't show up.  Let the hospital determine what level of care she needs, without the benefit of a caring family.  My bet is that they would send her to rehab and then keep her there as a long term nursing home patient.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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