Follow
Share

Hello, my mother who is 91 had a nervous breakdown because she could not deal with my medical issues. I am 66. After seven months of treatment, including a hospital stay and intensive outpatient treatment, drugs and still in therapy, she is not any better. Because I was blamed for her breakdown (she is worried about my health issues), they would not allow me to speak to her for two months and now our relationship barely exists. We were very close and I am her sole financial support for her living in a large home which is not fit for a 91 year old. I have not been included in her care, and have not seen her since her breakdown.


I want an independent eldercare manager to assess her and her living conditions but without her consent, it can't be done. I am her power of attorney, her health care advocate and feel she still needs help and the therapist she sees will not really share anything with me. I am at a loss what to do to ensure she gets better or additional help and my mom keeps telling me she can't see me until she fells like herself again. Given they blame her worrying about me as the reason for her breakdown, I feel like I am between a rock and hard place and do not know how to find out what is really going on with my mom and what if any rights I have as her daughter and POA. She can't make any decisions regarding her living situation, won't see me, is not feeling any less anxious, and yet the therapist tells me she is not incompetent. When I ask the therapist to please advocate for my mom to meet an elder care manager to make sure she is safe and provide options for her care, the therapist just says I WILL MENTION IT TO HER. I am at a loss how to find out how she really is and what to do to. I do not know if I have any legal rights since the therapist says she is not incompetent. I love my mom and want to help her get better

Ok, maybe I'm way off base here, but this situation seems very manipulative. I wonder about her therapist sorta fanning the flames of her worries about your health. If you're only talking about the weather. Mmmmm.

There exist unfortunately, very unscrupulous therapists, who indulge their clients
fears, hatred, neurosis, fill in the blank, to gain control over the client and thus have
the guaranteed income. The people on the other end of the equation: children, spouses, relatives, are left in the dark and unable to bring their side of the story to bear. But they suffer lasting damage due to the drastic changes being demanded by the "client" and also therapist who has assumed the role of advocate as well.

You'll probably need to play hardball about dealing with this unfair situation of being accused of causing her breakdown (which seems an enormous stretch) and yet expected to continue supporting her financially. While she and her therapist refuse to communicate with you. A responsible therapist would have wanted to bring you in to hear your side of things, and also to help her find common ground again.

Something's just not right. I really hope you can get to the bottom of this. Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to bettina
Report

It doesnt sound as though your mother is well-served, medically, emotionally or socially on her current situation.

The more times I read your post, the more questions I have.

1. How did you end up supporting her? HER resources should be paying for her upkeep. Unless you are fabulously wealth, su]porting yourself and her is not sustainable.

2. From whence comes the information ation that you are blamed for her breakdown? From mom? Or from her docs?

If it's her docs telling you this, I'd get new docs.

3. You have HIPAA and POA. What does the POA specify? Does it require that mom be incompetent?

4. Are you enabling her to maintain false independence by supporting her financially? If you truly control the purse strings, you can tell her you are no longer paying. She can then make her own bad decisions. But I wouldn't pay another penny to keep her in an unsafe home environment.

Des she see a geriatrics doctor for regular health monitoring? Can her doctor order home health to come out and evaluate her living situation, medication adherence, safety?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Has your mom been evaluated to see if shes had a stroke? Or if she's developed dementia?

Quite literally, the ONLY symptom that sent my mom from living at home into an Indepedent Living facility was anxiety. According to her long time internest, she was "fine".

Except she wasn't. She was a fragile, weeping mess who melted down every time a light bulb burned out or if there was a storm prediction

It only took her new geriatric doc one visit to realize that the anxiety was the primary issue. The psychiatrist he recommended got mom on a low but regular dose of an anti anxiety med and insisted she have neuropsych testing.

The MRI (part of that testing) showed a stroke, previously undetected. Cognitive testing showed loss of reasoning ability and cognitive functioning.

You might want to get a good workup of these issues.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
rdt124 May 5, 2019
i have supported my mom living in a large home for over 21 years. I stopped working 10 years ago due to health issues, so I am basically using my retirement money for the last 10 years. My father died when I was 20 and my mom had never worked. When she turned about 70 she told me she had no money left and I was working and doing well and I guess rather than telling her she had to move, I wanted her to be happy so just started sending her money and also am paying for a long term care policy for her. I agree that the therapist should have met with me and I told her so but she basically ignored me. The problem now is that her neighbor, who is 55 and has some mental issues herself has become her part time care taker and exerts a lot of control over her. She won't even tell me how my mother is doing. She lost her pet a year ago, started going to a pet therapist bereavement group and that is the therapist my mother is using. I am writing to the therapist and telling her I can no longer afford to keep supporting two separate homes and unless she advocates for an independent elder care manager to assess the situation and evaluate my mother, my mother will need to move out of the home by the end of the year. I have to be prepared that my mother will have another nervous breakdown and never talk to me. I assume my mother told them she was worried about me and the neighbor agreed. I have no idea but the therapist told me she worries about my health. But after seven months and no improvement, it is now beyond belief and my sister, who I also send money to told me how could I STOP SUPPORTING MY MOTHER AT 91 So yes, I GUESS i enabled my mom and sister all these years, out of love, but now I am really concerned this is out of control. I wonder if a lawyer can help me.
(0)
Report
yes, this is what I fear. I had mentioned that perhaps my mom needs to be hospitalized for a month in a hospital that specializes in anxiety. All she said was this was a consideration but my mom does not want to go to the hospital. My mom just won't open up to me or she can't. ll she says is she is not herself, immobilized with anxiety and can't make decisions and am going to try another therapy and to please give her time. At 91, I just do not like this estrangement.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to rdt124
Report

Are you saying that you are paying your mom's living expenses?

Why would you do that?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Is the therapist certified to assess ADL performance and home living conditions? Since you are the sole support for your mother in her present living arrangement, I would use that leverage. Tell the therapist your mother needs to consent to adding you to her HIPPA disclosure list and allowing the elder care manager to assess her abilities and living conditions to make sure your mother is safe in that large house or you will need to make other living arrangements for her like a senior apartment. If that doesn't work, I would consider calling APS and asking them to conduct an in home assessment. APS can at least force a walk through of the house and a brief interview with your mother. You still may not understand what's really going on but it should give you some confirmation that Mom is minimally safe in the house.

If your mother cannot cope with your health issues, living separately is probably a good idea. If she cannot cope even when living separately then there must be some other factor limiting her capacity - mental or physical - hopefully the therapist can explain this after you have HIPPA clearance. I moved out of the family home just after college when I woke to find my mother watching me sleep in the middle of the night, concerned that I wasn't breathing well. I was having a difficult time with my severe asthma while working in a smoking office but Mom didn't need to deal with the fear of finding me dead in her home or watching me sleep so she could make sure I would find the rescue inhaler when I woke in the middle of a full blown asthma attack. As an adult I shielded my mother from the worst of my asthma battles; perhaps you could do something similar for your mother?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TNtechie
Report
rdt124 May 4, 2019
The only card I hold is to say unless the elder care manager sees my mother and evaluates her and the house, I am no longer going to be supporting her to live there. However, I sort of said this to my mother when she kept saying she did not want me to visit until she was herself, and my mother became very anxious and would not speak to me for days. I am afraid the therapist will tell her that. It is very difficult to understand why after seven months she is still so very anxious. I do not mention my health issues, all we do is talk about the weather. But I going to give some thought about your idea. It may be the only card I have to play at this point. thank you for responding. Hope your asthma is doing better
(0)
Report
Where is she living now? In the house you support, do you live there too? Who is not "allowing" you to see your mom, is it Mom herself or someone else?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Lymie61
Report
rdt124 May 4, 2019
I do not live with my mom. I live in another state. I told the therapist to please advocate for an elder care manager because my mom trusts her. The therapists response to me" I can certainly mention it". Not exactly what I hoped she would say.
(0)
Report
I’m so sorry, what a horrible position to be in. Unfortunately you don’t have any legal rights. As long as your mom is competent, she can make her own decisions. POA does not give you the authority to override her decisions. It allows you to act on her behalf when she is incompetent/incapacitated.

Her therapist cannot disclose anything to you. It’s private. It’s confidential. Legally the therapist cannot disclose information about your mother to you. All you can do is tell her your concerns and ask her to pass them on.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to worriedinCali
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter