Finally, after many years of struggling with my mom's issues in terms of aging/mental illness, Adult Protective Services (APS) has decided she'll need a guardian. She'll get served next week and there'll be a court date in September or October. The guardian informed me they had a social worker out a couple weeks back and they decided that yes, she needs a guardian.
Some background: My mother is almost 78, lives alone. She had a stroke 13 years ago and recovered OK, but her dementia has gotten worse. She's not totally out of it, but she gets paranoid and thinks people are plotting against her, etc. She shows signs of being a classic narcissist, and she has some mental issues aside from that (not formally diagnosed) but she's demanding, will threaten suicide if she doesn't get her way.
If she's unhappy (which is a lot) she'll cut off contact with people. She's told me to not contact her anymore several times over the last decade. She cut off contact with all of her family over the last 30 years. (She really hates her family, says everyone has disappointed her, was jealous of her, plotted against her, etc.) She also ends friendships after a few months or a couple years.
Her doctor, who I've brought up concerns to several times, has always thought she was OK, just a bit dotty. I called police who did wellness checks, and they thought she was OK.
In the meantime I hear the rants and raves about how people break into her place to steal her canned food, or the neighbor wants to marry her because he parked by her window, or the young police officer who came by to check on her fell in love with her on the spot, and so on.
It's hard to deal with her persistent delusions, but on top of that she fights me left and right. She complains about medical bills yet won't let me see them to see if I can help her. All she wants is me to shop for her, and most important is picking up cigarettes and pills for her. I want to help her, but she is very hostile to me, in part because I'm married and she sees me as "dumping" her for my husband.
So now the social worker says she'll need a guardian and I need to decide if I want to be it or if it should be a state-appointed one. I'm the only family she has, and I'm not sure. I want to help her, but she's never really let me help her aside from taxiing her around. I work a crazy job with long hours and no time off. I'm already fried from arguing with her for the last dozen years, dealing with the drama. I'm not sure if I want to be guardian, to be honest. The social worker says to think on it and do research.
What are the pros and cons? Does anyone have stories to share on the good and bad points of getting a state guardian?
On one hand I think a neutral third party would be the way to go. There's a lot of bad blood with my mom and it's not going to get better unless she gets to the point where she forgets to resent her family.