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My mother is bedridden, wears diapers. My sisters and I work full time so we can't be there 24/7. Stepfather even leaves my mother alone sometimes or with my 7 yr old niece, by herself. He won't help with anything. My mother refuses to go to facility. What can we do?

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I recommend contacting APS and filing a senior abuse report. He is the one that is legally responsible for her. He is probably angry that this is his life, no one expects to be married to an invalid at such a young age, it can create some awful feelings. No judgment, it is a normal response for a healthy active human to not want to be tied to their house.

Your mom should be spending her money on her needs, that's what it is for.

I think that she needs to realize that no one can effectively care for a bedridden paralyzed human. I think it is selfish to refuse to do something she doesn't want yet puts her children in a position to do things they shouldn't have to and maybe don't want to. If everyone refuses to prop her up she will have to do something different. Nobody wants to go to a facility, but sometimes it is the best thing for everyone.

I really would get the authorities involved and get her the professional help she needs.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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RhondaC69 Sep 13, 2019
Thanks, that's sound advice and I agree whole heatedly.
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What your stepfather is doing (or not doing) constitutes abuse and neglect. The 7 year old is the daughter of one of your sisters? If it is discovered that your sister knew her daughter was being left alone with your mother, who obviously cannot care for her granddaughter, your sister could be charged with neglect as well and could face jail time. Someone needs to get your mother and your niece out of this situation. It is an extremely unhealthy situation for both your mother and especially your niece. Your stepfather has already proven that he does not care or want to be bothered. Get them out now before something tragic happens.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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I admit, I had to read this twice to make sure I was processing this right. I do believe the Law would like to have a word with your stepfather about his rights to his wife's medical care. Not paying for any out-of-pocket expense that is necessary could be defined as physical abuse. Knowingly allowing a 7 year-old child to tend to a bedridden woman is physical and mental abuse - what if there were a fire? I would get the courts to assign a conservatorship on your mother quickly. If money is an issue, see what legal aid can do, or call the state Bar association to see who does Pro Bono work if Adult Protective Services can't help. If money is not an issue - get a lawyer, draw up POA and Medical POA to be in charge of her and her assets and keep from being blocked from seeing her or having a voice in her medical issues.
If Mom is functioning mentally, she has to realize the risk being played with her life and it needs to be spelled out who is best to take care of her. Not saying take her to a facility, but get qualified help. And time isn't always on your side. I'd do it, either state involvement or a lawyer as soon as you can.
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worriedinCali Sep 13, 2019
There is nothing to suggest that the child is left to take care of the grandmother. Only that they are left together. The OP says absolutely nothing about the child providing hands on care.
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Rhonda, if you do nothing else, tell your sister to join us here on AgingCare. I'm appalled by the situation you describe, but she wouldn't be the first person to have felt liberated by the support these brilliant people have to give.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Sister is also responsible for her child and should not be leaving her alone with bedridden grandmother.
First, child and your sister have to get out of there. Your sister is at risk of losing custody of her child. The first priority is to get that child out of there.
Next you have to turn to social services if step father does not provide for his wife's care. You have to get your mother out of there.
It is going to be hard to do, but if you do nothing, things will get worse.
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worriedinCali Sep 14, 2019
Her sister is not at risk of losing her child. Enough with the fear mongering. The child isn’t left to care for the grandmother and per the OP-she’s not left with her for long periods.
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Rhonda, it's not your responsibility to pay your mother's bills. If has insurance on her, it's his duty to pay the out of pocket care. If she doesn't get the proper care, I hate to say it, but report him!!!
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Reply to Angelika1947
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Rhonda I am sorry that your mom thinks that she can imprison her children because of her choices.

You all have the right to stop propping her up. No guilt, her choices have led to this situation and she doesn't get to abuse any of you because she is mad that she is where she chose to be.

It will be hard to say no and watch the fallout, but easier than giving her and her anger a couple decades of your life. Don't fall for any manipulation or woes is me nonsense. She needs to be in a facility and you guys need to be her daughters and advocates.

How do you think that all of this is affecting your 7 year old niece? Bitter, angry grandmother and mom falling apart because of all the stress? If you all can't face your moms wrath, please do it for that little girl.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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RhondaC69 Sep 13, 2019
I agree and I see that I will have to do this on my own. I have asked my sister's in the past to come on board with me and they always back down at the last minute and give in to mom. I'm just going to have to contact APS myself and get things rolling. It's what's best for all involved. But why do I feel so guilty? This is by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
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You are going to have to put your mother’s needs before her wants. If you all are unable to take care of her, she needs to be placed in a facility. Your step father cannot take care of her on his own nor should he be expected to. She needs a village now so it’s time to either place her or pay for caregivers.
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RhondaC69 Sep 12, 2019
He refuses to help and none of us can afford a nurse. He won't even buy her diapers, he expects her to pay out of her social security check for all her needs. He does nothing.
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Leaving any 7 year old alone in this circumstance is improper supervision of a minor. Clearly the stepfather is not appropriately supervising the grandchild, and if the parents are aware and continue to allow such situations/visits to happen, then I would mandatorily refer to CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

Your stepfather needs to be referred to ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES, and their resources need to be divided. If disability or retirement benefits are involved, an adult child (YOU) may report this issue to Social Security and apply to be the custodian of her benefits, to ensure her personal needs are being met, if her husband refuses to.

A spouse has a duty of care and support. I don’t know what their joint financial situation is, but basic care needs must be met, and in such a way that no one is endangered...even if credit cards and other bills cannot be met.

I would try to discuss their joint finances with them TOGETHER. And if a child is not being properly supervised at all times, that child’s parents have some childcare decisions they need to make.
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Reply to missmacintx
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I trust that your stepfather is at least not charging your youngest sister rent?

If your mother is of sound mind and refuses to go to a facility, not you nor anyone else, including APS, can force her. But perhaps your youngest sister can force the issue, by leaving.

Your stepfather is, after all, not likely to take over your mother's care: try giving him a choice between doing it himself, or paying for professional care services.

Is your younger sister going to be able to take this approach? It sounds as though you have all found stepfather a trying person to deal with.

I'm just mulling over the thought of a seven year old alone in a house with a person whose mobility is so impaired. Well, that in itself needn't be a problem - there are plenty of disabled parents, and nobody would think of taking their children away from them just for that reason alone. But how would you describe your mother's ability to function, aside from her physical disability? Is she able to direct the normal activities that go into what a seven year old needs?

What happens with your mother's continence care when she is left without adult support? How long is she on her own? - not counting the niece, that is, and the niece had *better* not be counted on for this kind of help - are you confident that she is not?
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RhondaC69 Sep 13, 2019
My niece is not counted on for that for my mother. She is never left alone for long that I'm aware of but it doesn't take long for something unforeseen to happen. My sister has no other place to go unfortunately. And she is so depressed and is nearly unable to cope with it all any longer. I'm afraid for her. And yes my stepfather charges her rent as well. She is his biological daughter. He just doesn't care, he never really has. I had to get out of there because while I was there it all fell on me. I was there for a year and was treated like a slave for my mother, by my mother and my stepfather and my sister who lives there. I was the expected to care for my mother, baby-sit my niece, work from home and not have any sort of life outside of that. My mother even guilt tripped me if I spent "too much time working". It was hell! Now my sister is going through what I went through and I feel so bad for her. That's just the kind of person I am. I love my family and I just don't know what to do to make things better.
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