How do I proect a family member from themselves? I spent years trying to get help from my mother inlaw. The disease was magnified from depression and lack of care. The system failed her, I need help getting my uncle help now too, he has been in a nursing home three times in a little over a year and is threatening to sign out again. How do we make sure he is safe without letting him wilt away alone?

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Dear littlebitlyny, it is admirable that you would like to see to your uncle's safety and well-being. Why is he being treated in a Nursing Home? Many people do not like being there, and only want to go home. But no one can force someone to comply to an action unless they've been medically and legally declared incapacitated. (His judgement comes into question, in this case.) His Primary Care Physician can recommend this, but only with just cause. Then, an interested party (such as family member,) can file a petition in Probate Court for Guardianship, giving them power to override your uncle's decisions on where to live, and etc. Who placed your uncle in the nursing home? Another way to insure his safety, is to have some home health care services, which his doctor can also provide referrals for. But, as has been stated elsewhere throughout the threads on this site, it's next to impossible to prevent someone from wilting away, if that is their bent. (It happens in nursing homes, as well.) Talk to a Social Worker at your uncle's facility, who can provide referrals and guide you in this process. You are one of the "good" family members who want to see the best for your loved ones, so bravo for your compassion!
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