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My 86 year old mother has mild alzhimers (which is getting worse) my 89 year old father is total care, on oxygen 24/7 and cannot do care for himself in any way. He still is of mostly sound mind. My parents live in a 5000 sq foot home and refuse to leave or get help. I am here on a family leave from work (live in another city 2 hours away) and only came because my mother fell and came to help my Dad. When I came, I realized that everything is not okay, Every day there is some sort of problem or mistake. For example. bills not paid and sent to the wrong company, leaving the stove on, can't figure out how to even use the phone sometimes. My mother still has her drivers license (restricted) which is scary, My mother takes multiple medications for Alzhimers, and heart disease. She states that she does not need the medicine but sometimes takes it and sometimes doesnt. I put the meds in daily containers and constantly remind her to take them. I have talked with their friends, their church, their doctor, APS was also called (idk who called them), they spent 5 minutes here and my parents stated they did not need help so the case was closed. I feel that if I left as my mother wishes (my dad wants us to stay, he realizes they need help but is bullied by my mom into having us leave) that it would be unethical, unsafe and I get a knot in my stomach when I think of even consider leaving. No one will help us or they dont have the nerve to tell them (including me) that is is not safe. My doctor whom i spoke to about this suggested that I call APS again and put it into their hands. I feel so scared. I want to be respectful of my parents wishes but I cannot in good conscience leave them. What do most people do in this situation and can and who is available to help me. My time is running out from work leave and I need help!!!! Thanks for any suggestions. Again, my mother is very stubborn and aggitated and absolutely will not accept any help of any kind. I feel as though it would be neglect to leave them alone. Also my parents scream and yell at each other all the time, I grew up in a happy and healthy household, never used to fight. What should I do?????? HELP!!

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Pripod; can you start a new post? What are you confused about?
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How does this work.  I'm a bit confused.
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I need help for my mother.
She 75 yr old
She in being of Alzheimer's and have metal illness
She do not leave her house and don't take her medication
The doctor don't want to take to me
They say my mother have her right
I have power of attorney of her not for medical
I paid her bills and rent
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Listening to you guys is like groundhog day all over again for me. I am experiencing so very much of the same thing with my 97 year old stubborn mom. also, I have a neighbor that has not seen a doctor in well over 10 years, refuses to let me find her one and neither of her grown children gives a flip. the lady is a hoarder big time and house id a fire trap, but I can't find anyone in this town to help. please advise. thanks Audrey
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A friend passed this one along to me- for the taking of the keys and driving issue. You tell your parent that you will sorry and miss them if they have an accident and get hurt or die, but that you can not in good conscience let them drive and hurt anybody else- especially a child. Of course it's been seven years since "I made my mother stop driving and sold her car". That would be the woman who can't see out of one eye and the one I get large print books for weekly from the library for ten years. That car would be the one I was keeping up the maintenance, paperwork and trying to drive every two weeks. The other helpful bit, is when the "I won't be here much longer" gets played is to say "fine, since you know when you are going to go, tell me and I'll pencil it on my schedule" and/or reminding them having lived X years and the IRS says they will live to X+more and you believe the IRS because the government wants the money. After so many years dealing with my mom, I am down to cribbing the social workers "you are free to make unwise and foolish choices" with my version- I will not be the one to take you to the emergency room, again or visit you in rehab. I am done. My brother (ha- and she knows it) will have to do it. I currently count 3 friends whose equally stubborn mothers crashed and lay on the floor from several to 56 hours, because they were not wearing or did not push the lifeline buttons. I'm so burned out from dealing with what she won't, I am the one who won't now. It frustrates me no end that senior facilities can use the "activities of daily living" scale to charge more but we can't make laws that invoke a safety removal for people with age related dementia who can no longer perform ADL's on their own. Little Old Lady syndrome, a not so LOL for mostly daughters, has refusal to move to safe choices as one of its key symptoms. Still, I agree that being positive and cheerful redirection keeps the agitation/resistance down but it gets harder and harder to do. At some point, you also have to acknowledge you have no control over what is going to happen-the crash and burn- but you can still pull down your own oxygen mask so to speak, once you have done what you can and told all possible responsible parties what's coming. It's insane but there is no sensible planning from within our communities to deal with the elderly, like you did not pass the stay at home test and so you either get in-home help or move to a facility. I can at least have a sensible plan for myself.
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I have not read all the comments and this may have already been suggested. You are a loving, caring person but you are being too hard on yourself. Please consider a support group or counseling to help you through this. I speak from experience and your best chance at getting them to make a change is to keep talking to your dad to get him on your side. Unfortunately things may have to get worse before they get better.
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It's a tough decision that is yours to make. You explained the problem but not what would be your optimal solution. Sometimes the worst has to happen for changes to occur. Go back to work, get monitoring via internet, record it and have your mother declared incompetent. Get POA. This dithering and wringing your hands trying to please everyone will drive you insane. What does your father want to do?
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It would help if their main dr. was a geriatric specialist. They see these situations and can deal with them better than the docs that your parents have been seeing for years. It helps to insinuate yourself into the dr's appts., perhaps call the dr. (even if it's their usual dr.) and talk to him/her in advance of the appt., tell them what's going on, what it's doing to you, how unsafe the situation is. Your parents might listen to a trusted MD they've been going to for a long time. The person who made comment about role reversal and having to say/do things that they won't like, as they did when you were a child, is SO true. You could also confer with an eldercare atty in your area. They also deal with these situations, might be able to help you get POA, medical POA. If either parent is irrational or has dementia, start keeping a journal of such events and incidences, including unsafe behavior, because you might need it if you have to go to Court to have one or both of them declared incompetent in the future. Try to find a Geriatric Care Coordinator in your area. Would be a huge help for you in this situation, and you wouldn't feel like you were so alone in dealing with this. Sometimes you have to pay for their services. They can do interventions, assessments of home situations, etc.

But, since you're a nurse (as I am), check to see if any of the hospitals or geriatric practices in your area have one on staff. My hospital does, and she's been huge help to me. They have great ideas and resources. They know the eldercare attys in the area. They know the assisted living facilities. Plus, just talking to them is like a therapy session! The one at my hospital will help any employee for free. She also coordinates a Caregiver Support Group that meets once a month for employees, has speakers on diff't topics, etc. She talked to me about creating my "Circle of Support" - the people who'd be helpful to me, and would support my decisions when I'd have to have unpleasant talks or make unpopular decisions for my parents, who were still very much able to make me feel horrible, and say very mean, personal things to me when I didn't agree with them or was trying to keep them from being unsafe or preyed upon. The "Circle" can include friends who are good listeners, siblings or cousins, other people who are going thru the same thing...like this website even. I shared stories and resources back & forth with some cousins who were having a difficult time with my dad's brother who had dementia.

Best wishes to you! It's a tough situation You are just wanting the best for your parents.
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Problem here is that due to OCD my brother will not let anyone in the house should they come to the front door. It sets off an OCD episode of crisis proportion. Since he has no where else to live, my parents will be having him there permanently. No recourse. Just my parents going to the urgent care clinic after the spinal fracture took 3-4 days of crisis for him to resolve the issue in his mind. Honestly, I do not know if he could let in EMT with a furney if something really awful happened. As I said, I am not allowed in the house now.
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Call the Adult Protective Services group in their city. I understand you can even call the police about some kind of elderly check and they take social services with them. That should result in some kind of evaluation. I know nothing about HIPPA as we have never had issues with speaking to our Mother's doctors about anything. Good luck!
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Texasdaughter, HIPPA laws prevent the doctor from talking to you about your parents, but you are free to speak to whomever you want! Call or write a letter explaining that you know he or she can't violate privacy laws, but you want to share your observations. Outline what you have seen. Say you are very worried about your father still driving.

I am very sorry, but this sounds like one of those situations where it may take a crisis before anything will change. Continue working with the pastor.
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I can go you all one more step! My brother now lives with my ageing parents, has obsessive compulisve disorder and will not let me in the house and I live mroe than a half a day's plane ride away! there is no one else to help. My mother has fractured another vertebrae, Dad is totally deaf, even with hearing aids and also is in the early stages of some form of senile dementia. He is 91 and still driving!! No, I am not making this up, This is very real. I have contacted their pastor but he is still in the early stages of this with me. My parents are quite obsessed with their privacy and would actually agree with my brother about keeping me out of the house. The house if falling to bits slowly, but my mother cleans constantly so it looks immaculate if anyone should see it. HIPPA laws prevent me from speaking to their doctor. If anyone has any help at all, I would appreciate it. I am frantic about the situation, but am being actively prevented from doing anything.
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I recently learned of a new service that some pharmacies have. They work with a patient's Dr. and put all the medications that are needed for the day into one bubble pack...or two if the pills need to be spread out. Then a care-giver or family member can date the bubble packs and set up them up next to a calendar. When Mom takes the pills she marks it off on the calendar. She gets a call once a day from a family member who asks if she's taken her pills...it is easier to for her to figure out if she has, or not since she just has to track the one package. Still not perfect because mistakes can be made, but it has helped a lot. When it is time for re-fills all the meds are refilled at the same time since they are all dispensed for daily consumption. The pharmacy even knows when she's about to run out and will home-deliver...which is wonderful since she can't drive anymore. Maybe your area has something like this? Good luck!
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great post!! and great suggestion! Actually I think I can do that and it might just work :), saw them this weekend and actually they seemed to be doing a little better so that was a real nice surprise. I am very fortunate that they have wonderful neighbors and a church family that is amazing! I am very thankful for that. Thanks for the idea, it just may work and keep everyone a little happier :)
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Ssmiles63.... Try a method that works for me with my Mom. If she say's for Example: you stole my clothes, I just respond with "Oh I thought they were my clothes, I am sorry!" She's RIGHT NO MATTER WHAT! Then I change the subject to a happier time that she recalls from the past. She has good memories of her father so I'll ask her about his work or garden how he liked building bird houses anything that triggers a happy thought!!! Try to stay away from reality and your own frustations(not say you can't have them) if you send out peaceful happy vibes she'll most likely react back in same manor, believe me I know how hard it is to change a mood, but if you must go in another room, out of her sight and scream in a pillow...GO FOR IT, by all means. She knows you and what your made of because ~she IS your Mother~ and that no matter what drama she dishes out, you'll take it and still be there for her she knows this, if she didn't trust that in you, she'd be sweet and on best behavior, they never tourture the ones that run away. Your body language and facial expressions are clues to your mood she may not understand or remember everything but she is probably sensative to emotions. Praise her about anything you can think of.... call her sweet, cute, smart, beautiful. When I took my Mom in the car I would act like I was lost and say which way do I go? even if she was wrong, I'd say "Oh your so smart!" Overall it's all in the way YOU think about it.
I got a cute story... a man at the NH sitting at Mom's table was about to eat his desert (best part of the day for him probably)
jokeing,in a silly manner, I said "if you don't want that I got my eyes on it" He said back to me "I'm not sacrificing this for anything" I started that conversation because I knew that desert was his focus at the time and wanted to get him to react, and make him feel he was in charge of his desert. I said "I was kidding I don't want it." He got the joke and Mom said to me "he's a nice man!" Actually my Mother stays far away from the unhappy people and anyone who bothers her or might put her in a bad mood. She also tells me who is "cool" and who "pisses her off". She remembers personalities, but has no idea she's living in a NH or what year,day,month,season it is. It took me a while to figure this out, but, communication goes way deeper than words. The strangest thing is, I know when my Mom is in some type of distress, I get a strong uneasy feeling and I check up on her and 9 out of 10 something is bothering her. I can't explain that but it's like she calls me telepathically. Keep the Faith & go with your gut instinct and stay strong!!!!
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thanks for writing back, it is soothing to know that others understand my situation and understand the dynamics. I am sorry for all that you are going thru too. Yes, I will be reciting the serenity prayer under my breath when my mom starts saying ugly things to me this weekend!
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Even though it is difficult when you finally accomplish something & feel self satisfaction, something will change & you will have to start all over again! Mom was the easy one for me. She gladly accepted the POA forms & asked for help. She wished she could go to assisted living to get away from the situation in the house, but Dad wouldn't allow it. Try to get POA for the easy one first, your state or Elder Care law sites should have forms on line. Once Dad saw Mom was all set, he decided he wanted a lawyer to draft up the POA, set up conditionally with letters from 2 doctors. Sadly, Mom passed in June. Dad has been the stubborn bully all of his life, add on dementia & Parkinson's, Dad has fallen at least 4 times in 3 weeks, which I reported to the Drs. I have the 2 letters & POA for Dad now, taking baby steps while working full time & caring for my own family. I just 2 weeks ago convinced Dad to let me take care of his bills after he wrote a check for $1500.00 for a $43 bill. Then I find out my 45 year old brother, living in my parents home rent free for the past 5 years, has been using Dad's credit cards till they are maxed on his gas guzzling truck and has had my Dad paying his car insurance. Bro works full time & takes home 50% more than I do. I've been paying out of my pocket (until 2 weeks ago) for home care 5 days a week, as well as paying for an emergency alert service to try to have some peace of mind, because Dad told me there was not enough money for home care but too much for medicaid or food stamps. Bro has a new girlfriend, I have found out (from my brother's bank statement I found in the garbage after looking for checks that Dad accidently threw away) that he has been staying out all night at a local hotel, so Dad was alone 5 nights this month.
Ah, the most rewarding thing? After I toured 2 assisted living facilities tonight after work, I called Dad to arrange to take him to visit on Saturday. He told me he has enogh help with my Bro & that I don't ever help him with anything because he doesn't see it. He doesn't remember that I was there 2 nights ago or anytime in the past month.
I start mental therapy on Monday. :)
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Well, Smiles, no, we can't loose the self imposed guilt. Unfotunately, we're basically good hearted people who love deeply and assume responsibilities, especially when someone we love needs real hands-on help. Do you know the Serenity Prayer? "Help me to Change the things and can and the grant me the Wisdom to know the difference". Make it your mantra! I try to (as you can tell from my previous note, I didn't say this is easy or even possible some times!). My wonderful husband gets "it", too, and he doesn't say much until he feels I'm being "abused".
I know you're afraid of what you may find this weekend. I'm so sorry you are going through this. Keep reminding yourself what you already know, YOU can't change this. One thing you CAN do is try not anticipate what you'll find and deal with what you do find when you get there.
Since I wrote my post this morning, my brother wrote me a slamming note because I made a decision not to force Mom into accepting in home care next week. He'll "take care of it" even if he has to take her into his home. If it were that easy, we wouldn't be going through this now! (geeze) I just can't get a break.
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I loved what you wrote because it kinda made me feel a little less guilt. I can't change this, I can't change this, I can't change this.....thanks. I am sorry for your plight. Going to see them this weekend, scared to see what I may find but, I can't change this....right? I will say my husband has been wonderful because loves my Dad, my Mom, not so much but he gets "it" but still the responsibility still rests ultimately on my shoulders, not losing the guilt am I?
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We're in a similiar situation with my mother. Dad passed 7 years ago. I live the farthest away (7 hour drive) and my closest sibling is battling a brain disorder, recently had surgery and lives almost 3 hours away. I do have POA, for what it's worth at this point.
Mom had been doing fine until early in 2010 when she developed a heart problem. Now she is often confused, having difficulty making financial decisions, cannot even begin to balance her checkbook. She is very lonely and hallucinates my Dad and her parents are there with her (sundowners syndrome, we think). I've spoken to her doctor and been to appointments with her. At the most recent visit he did a Mini Cognitive test (at 10:30 am) and reports he sees some mental issues and cognitive weaknesses. It took a week of calls to finally convince his staff call Mom to have her go back to see the doctor. She refused to go.
My other brother lives closer to me than to Mom, has a job which requires a lot of travel and has his own health issues, too. But between the two of us, we try to address Mom's issues. We a met with an in home care representative a few months ago. Mom's reaction -"I'm not ready for that yet".
I could go on and on, but you get the point. We are not alone in this situation and the sad part is that we cannot easily convince our aging parents to accept our good intentions.
Last night, my husband and I argued about Mom for the first time. It will be the last time I can allow that to happen.I have been upset about this for nearly 2 years now and the situation is getting worse not only for Mom, but for the rest of us. I think we have to take better care of ourselves.
I believe I must step back a little and monitor things with binoculars instead of a magnifying glass. I hate the idea that something bad may happen, but legally, I can't prevent it yet.
Like your Mom, our Mom is argumentative and somewhat of a bully with me, in particular. I am sad to say, I'm accustomed to that. I had an aha moment this morning. Though I want Mom to be safe and would love to help improve the quality of her life, if she doesn't want it I can't force it....yet. So I'm giving myself permission to relax a little. The time will come when she doesn't have a choice and I will know what to do.
So, let's take care of ourselves as we wade our way through this most difficult time in our lives. I will try to remind myself that I still have a life and my own family who want me to have a good quality of life, not this hole of dispair I have fallen into. I hope you can find peace, too.
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if only the doc wanted to get more involved! I called APS on myself before I left, begged for help. They came by and stayed for 5 mins and said they can make their own decisions. The lawyer told me not to call on myself again. It is just messed up and ya know? Eventually I will have to step in, but I fear a real disaster will happen first. I don't know who exactly makes the final decision?, It's coming so probably let ya know soon :( . Atleast I finally did get them to draw up the will, POA , living will, etc. so I have all that. The big thing is my mom doesnt want to give up control and especially not to her child! Thanks for responding!
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ssmiles63, I knew a doctor years ago who wrote an order for an elderly couple who could no longer really take care of themselves to be placed in a nursing home which did not take long and they were so much better off. I don't know if a doctor can do such a thing today. I also wonder just where does it become imperative for the adult child to have the doctor examine the parent(s) for competency to tend to their business in a business like manner and if they aren't does this mean the person with the POA has the authority to step in, take charge and get the parent(s) the needed help?
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gosh reading back, i can't believe that it is october, my brother who was my back-up died of a heart attack suddenly on april 25th, my mom found him 4 days later (hard for her), I have since left and come back to my home and job. I did get POA and the will, etc. straight. My parents have decided that they will stay in their home and whatever happens, happens. My mom did lose her driving priviledges, not due to me but the DMV tested her and she failed. They have wonderful neighbors that help them (although I am afraid they are getting a little frustrated with the huge amount of help they are giving-feel guilty, that's my job) they also have a great church family. I call daily and visit regularly and things are pretty bad, rotten food, messy house and lots and lots of confusion. My mother absolutely refuses help and for me to live with them or close by, I had to come back to work as I am the bread-winner and benefits carrier. My parents just say whatever happens happens and we will deal with it then. Not a good plan but I can't change their minds or offer any more support as I feel it is my duty and responsibility to do. I am so sorry for all those above who have and are going thru these difficulties, it's scary and sad. Their doc says there will be a disaster, but until something bad happens I cannot fix it....I want to thank all above for all your responses, they are warm and caring.Thanks and lets hope for the best for everyone!!
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A geriatrician would be a good starting place.
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i ma going through the same thing It is just starting and I would like to get a grip on it before it gets worse. My mom is not like the mom I know and she is acting in a parnoia way. She locks all doors puts bells on them and places chairs and ladders on every door she say she has seen people in the home. I just want to know what kind of Dr. i need to make an appointment with so I can get her the help she needs.
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thank you all so much for your input, it all helps and i will follow up with many of your suggestions, keep 'em coming,I can use all the help I can get. Thanks!!
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63:

Alzheimer's. ... It robs you of yourself before it robs you of your life. I don't think your Mom is in denial -- or purposely stubborn --, but isn't able to understand the gravity of her situation. Bottom line is that they both need help. And should get it whether she likes it or not.

-- ED
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ssmiles, In 2005 while visiting my Mother and her husband, I opened the refrigerator and found all sorts of things I had bought the month before in various stages of mold. There was dog hair on the grill of the refrigerator and the dog had been gone for over 5 years. The housecleaning service was charging them a fortune for emptying the trash cans and wet mopping the tile. Mother was arguing with Onstar every time she got in the car. I refused to drive with her husband at night, and would not let my daughter, then a teenager, go with him either. Everything was a fight and the visits became ruined because they would not face reality. I contacted my sister--oh well. I contacted the husband's three adult children--they were afraid of him. HA!
Guess who had to organize the "intervention" and call Home Instead?
Who had to hire an attorney to protect my Mother from the step-kids after he died? Who found her a care home, manages her trust, and who had to finally bring her into our house?
You just have to take charge and as nice as you are, still might not be liked. Well, I can remember restricting my children when they were small, not letting them do certain things. It's called role reversal. You have heard about it, now it's here.
All the Best to YOU, and good to see you interacting and giving us feedback!
Great advice from my favorites friends, too:)) Hugs, Christina
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Start going with them to their doctors and keep hammering home your concerns. I suggest that you get your dad's doctor in on the situation. You may want to slip the doctors a note giving them a better picture of what is actually happening. Many elders show one face to the doctor and another one elsewhere. If she is not able to adequately care for your dad, his doctor can order an assessment via medicare of the home situation, to "monitor his blood pressure." Talk to your mother and tell her, in many gentle ways and words, that unless she/they accept some care outside agencies will take control. Then contact a home care agency and arrange for someone to come in and bathe him once or twice a week. That person just comes for a brief time, and does one set of things (stuff for your dad) so this will not be as threatening. After they get used to the person comingin, talk to them about someone coming in and doing something else, also small. This is trying a gradual approach to get them used to having people do thigs for them. We, the cregivers, tend to want to swoop in and fix all things. Think baby steps.

Good luck
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I hug you for having a kind heart and searching for answers instead of choosing the denial route. With that said keep in mind your doing what is right for them and with this attitude you will gain strength, I can tell by your words here your a fighter. This is a battle in which it takes a great toll on your emotions so stay focused and strong for all of you.
The main thing I see in order to do anything is with Mom's meds. With what you explained her mental stability is a major part of the obsticles you need to deal with. Understanding the meds and her condition is key for you. These meds are only effective if taken as prescribed and very important to be taken as routine same time everyday, if missed or overtaken will make the mental state worsen. Some meds are fatal if taken at the same time as another. Highblood pressure and aricept cannot be taken together(same time of day). Therefore someone needs to be monitoring the meds carefully. Mom cannot be trusted to take them in such a manor. You have options to control this possibly. Is your Dad well enough mentally to see this thru and without Mom fighting with him? Or a neighbor or friend of thiers to do it? At least for now to get her straight so you can resolve other issues. You really need to get DPOA to handle finacial and medical affairs. Talking to your Mom on a reality level will be difficult so you have to do whatever it takes to get her to sign. You can have papers prepared to your needs and go to notary with someone she trusts to sign. Instead of making it seem like shes giving up control you can tell her shes gaining control. There are better times of the day that the mood is better. Try not to argue with her(I know it's hard) and do not let her see anything that she may respond to negatively, let her believe she is in control. She is fighting you because her world is confusing and all she's got left is a feeling of independence. Music is a fantastic way to create a happy mood. One step at a time is best approach for you. The car issue can be easily solved if you disconnect battery or get set of fake keys and switch them to her key ring. You simply have to do whats best and in this situation you have to do whatever works. I told a friend of mine that it was not safe for her inlaws to drive. Her and husband didn't think it was a problem until they got lost one day far away, all 4 tires blown out and scared had no idea what was going on. Thank god noone was hurt. good luck
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