Our mother's husband is not taking care of our mother's medical care, what can we do as her children? We believe she has dementia.

Follow
Share

Our Mother, (4 grown children) is 70. She says she has dementia, we have not taken her seriously until lately. She is extrememly forgetful and gets upset very easily. Unfortunetly she lives an hour away from all 4 of us children and her husband refuses to move. Her husband of 16 years does not take care of her very well. He does not make her go to the doctor or take her medicine. She complains of stomach pain all the time for example and I believe she was diagnosted with divertickulitis,(sorry, I know that is not the correct spelling),severe stomach isuues where she cannot eat certain foods. all of us four children believe she has more medical issues that need attention, but she cancels her doctors appointments and we just don't know what to do. Can you help?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
6

Answers

Show:
Patskids, you may be absolutely right about her husband. But as a practical matter, how are you going to get POA if mother wants to give that to Husband? How are you going to tend to her daily meds when you are an hour away? My thought is that educating, encouraging, cooperating with the husband, getting him involved as part of the care team might be more successful than pitting yourselves against him or ignoring him. A lot depends on Mother's attitude, too.

Getting her husband on your side and working as a team may not work, of course. But it is where I'd start.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

to wuvsicecream: thank you so very much. Alot of what you said I already know, but truly appriciate your insight. this will also help my siblings.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

To jeannegibbs: thank you, but just to let you know , in our case, it is our Mother's husband who needs "the fast and very stern lesson in roles and responsibilities".
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I can only say, as a second wife, that if my stepchildren came in and tried to take over, tried to get POA from my husband, tried to take over medical care, they would get a very fast and very stern lesson in roles and responsibilies. Fortunately, both my children and stepchildren respect my role. They make suggestions. They help. They don't come in and expect to take over.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Your concerns do need attention and I am glad you found this site, there are many people here who have "been there done that" , of course every situation is different, and every person has family members who either help or who make the situation a bigger problem. You first need to look at it as a "what I can do today" and "who's going to help" matter or you'll get overwhelmed and wiped-out at the starting gate. Your priorities are your Mom's health, and her finances and without a P.O.A. you can't do either. This site has many articles and subjects on POA. Briefly you need to get these papers in order, I suggest you figure out what assets, resources, and income, insurance policies, bills etc.your Mom has in her name and/or jointly with anyone else. I am suggesting this because these are the things you need to deal with and sometimes if minor details are not mentioned in the P.O.A. papers, business you need to do, may not be acceptable by the account or billing, legal departments involved. You may hit a road block so to speak., I learned this the hard way. For example if your papers say can make any transactions. This statement may be too broad for certain legal departments. With all that said, after you have what you need on the papers, someone who is capable of doing what is best for your Mother, without a second thought about anyone else..... "In the Benefit of" your "Mom" is what's important for the person who has P.O.A. . In other words her needs must come before any inheritance, her funds are hers as long as she is alive. I stress this because it seems that some people use the P.O.A. to protect money for their own future benefit and in the process neglect the Principal (in this case your Mom). I also suggest only one P.O.A. named and a successor P.O.A. or have it worded in a way so anyone named can act alone. I don't know the legal wording for this, but my point is it's a delicate matter and can cause many complications if the wrong person or words are not clear. I hear a lot of stories of stress among siblings that don't agree. This is a time when you find out the "real person" inside a "person you thought you knew". I was considered the most irresponsible and unfocused in the family, but when it came to a reality check I pulled it all together... I am still not sure how but I did it all(I surprised myself). I used Mom's Money on her and everyone is mad at me now and she's doing great...And they are mad???? Go figure, A Life especially Mom's is more important than money... to me. Well all I got to say about that is people have to live with themselves. So once you have all this in focus, and the decisions are made your Mom needs to agree and in front of a notary, she signs the papers, Oh yes get at least an extra or more than one stamped original. Just in case some businesses want you to mail the stamped original and if that gets ruined or lost or whatever, let's just say do-overs maybe to late. If your Mom has dementia but has not been declared incompetent, she can sign legally. The time frame may not be long for this opportunity. The issue about Dr's can be handled if you have P.O.A. there bis HIPPA and without these papers the Dr's can't discuss anything with you unless she agrees... and with dementia she may agree now... but ten minutes from now... or tomorrow you never know.
For her health you should see a neurologist for mental evaluation and diagnosis. There are many reasons for dementia (also on this site). Complaints of Stomach pains are a symptom of a certain type. I am not saying she doesn't have real pains I am just passing on info I have read and heard of. Once you get these things in order, if there is a mental issue that is progressive you need long term plan for care. Meds are in need of control, you can't trust a mentally unstable person to take meds right, and if not taken properly it can make matters worse. I'm sure I've have dumped a load on your plate, but, I was in your position with both in-laws and my Mom and if I knew all that I just told you and all I have learned here, at an earlier time, It would have been a blessing. Coming here to this site is a blessing, all those who share and reach out to help others is wonderful. I feel I have turned a horrible reality without answers I had to figure out myself, into a source of goodness by sharing and to help others. Unfortunately I was late getting here, but still learning.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What can you do? Be supportive of her husband. Offer to take her to some of her doctor appointments. Discuss her medications with him and brainstorm ways to help her remember to take them. Visit more often. Stay with Mother, or take Mother out, so Husband has some time to himself. This is the person she's chosen to live with the rest of her life, so you'd best be doing all you can to help him do a good job of caring for her.

Has Mother been diagnosed with dementia? What kind? If she hasn't been evaluated, that might be a good place to start. Then all of you can learn about the disease she has (if she does) and learn how to cope with it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.