My mother in law is in horrible health, lives in filth, cannot bathe herself or get to the bathroom. She refuses to leave her home. How can we force her to get the care she needs? - AgingCare.com

My mother in law is in horrible health, lives in filth, cannot bathe herself or get to the bathroom. She refuses to leave her home. How can we force her to get the care she needs?

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Adult protective services has been involved for several complaints about her not being able to care for herself. Her in-home helpers have even threatened to stop care based on her unwillingness to clean herself or get up to use the restroom. She refuses to walk and refuses to leave her home. She has now involved her attorney to stop CPS from continuing investigations. Her doctor has already deemed her unfit to make decisions on her own. She has infections, parasites, and open wounds due to her not getting out of bed. How can we force her to get the care she needs? She has the means to pay for a nursing home, but refuses. We have tried everything to help and get her help, but she maintains the argument that she doesn't need anything. She lives over an hour away, we both have demanding careers and two small children. We want her to move to an assisted living in our town, but she refuses. What options do we have?

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Sounds like she needs a geriatric psych evaluation. This is a mental health issue.

Please make sure her doctor has all pertinent information about her choices and situation, Hipaa may prevent the doc from talking to you but does not prevent you from giving the doc information. Ask for a geripsych eval. 

One route is to apply for guardianship which would give you the power to act in her best interests, I believe that needs two doctors to declare her incompetent. You could consult with the local Agency for Aging as to your options, and also with an elder attorney.

Your mil is sick and needs help. Good luck and let us know how this goes. You are not alone with this kind of problem.
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