My mother is under the guardianship of her sister and is being neglected. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My mother is under the guardianship of her sister and is being neglected. Any advice?

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My mother has been in a vegetative state since March 2011. At that time, my siblings and I were minors so my aunt was appointed to serve as her guardian. She is currently in a nursing home but being neglected severely. Myself siblings and I all live in different states now due to military obligations and no one else visits her. The lack of visits has caused the staff of the nursing home to neglect my mother. My aunt has done nothing to alleviate the issue so we asked to receive guardianship, to which she abruptly answered no. My sister filed a motion with the probate court there to receive guardianship. Can anyone offer assistance with any resources or helpful information?

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The Nursing Home will have formal complaints procedures. If your mother is being neglected, I'd start with those.

The trouble with any of the children applying for guardianship is that, for very good reasons, you can't be there to monitor your mother's care. And it's the not being there that seems to be the heart of the matter.

What is the state of relations between you siblings and your aunt? Is any of you on normal speaking terms with her?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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What signs of neglect have you or your siblings seen? Do they leave her in soiled underwear, is she losing weight, etc? Has your mother been hospitalized recently? Any ER visits? Pressure ulcers from not being properly turned and repositioned? Can she eat? Can you elaborate on your definition of in a “vegetative state”?  

I would suggest you visit your mother and see her for yourself before jumping to conclusions. When my mother was admitted to her NH I made sure I was introduced to the director of nursing & social worker and keep a personal log of their names (you can jot them down on your cell in the “notes” app). I personally think the NH staff pay more attention to a patient if they know a relative or CG is involved and are actively monitoring and involved in the care being provided.

It’s certainly hard for you to visit your mother regularly when you’re in the military.

Do you have a good relationship with your aunt who has been taking care of (overseeing) your mom’s care since 2011? She is “boots on the ground” and has been for years- maybe your inquiry makes her feel inadequate or unappreciative. I might feel that way after doing so much for her sister (assuming your aunt is your mom’s sister vs by marriage) & then being scrutinized for it.

Try a different approach. Discuss your concerns with your aunt. Have a care meeting at the NH to find out your mother’s health status and needs. Get as involved as you can, schedules permitting.    You can arrange to participate a care conference over the telephone, which happens frequently in a NH. Encourage family members taking care of your mother to work as a team & keep the lines of communication open.

Also what you are as neglect can be from the effects of mom’s health being on the decline. We don’t know what  her prior medical history is but she may have a progressive illness with no goal of returning to normal functioning. 

Let us know how this works out.
Good luck to you & your family. 
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Reply to Shane1124
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That's a very serious allegation. I would seek legal advice immediately to determine the best way to precede. Has the facility been reported? Has Adult Protective Services become involved? Has the doctor voiced concern? There is so much to consider.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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