I'm ready to take guardianship of my mother now that she is at risk of harming herself or others. How do I go about doing this? - AgingCare.com

I'm ready to take guardianship of my mother now that she is at risk of harming herself or others. How do I go about doing this?

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Mother is 82 and suffers from Alcoholism and Dementia with no physical medical needs. She does not like taking pharmaceuticals, trust dcts. After moving her into an independent facility her drinking is more frequent. I believe she has developed Wernicke's Encephalopathy. Her health issues are going to quickly increase but other than alcohol and some mental health issues i.e. hoarding she has led a relatively healthy life. With family intervention we have managed to get her to agree to go to an Adult Medically monitored detox for 28 days. I am the driving force as her alcoholism has depleted me many times emotionally, spiritually and financially. I am currently paying basically 3 mortgages while we have her assessed. I am ready to take guardianship since she is at risk of harming herself and other with her behavior. She also is no longer to control her money. Alcohol has taken over her once very elegant and dignified life. Has anyone had experience with Guardianship or should I just make her a ward of the state at this point? This is a lifetime and multigenerational disease in our family. It seems the behavioral choices are automated and the memory is so impaired she has to evaluated by a Psychiatrist and an MD to dully understand what is going on with her brain. Any advice or experience? Thank you in advance! I do live in a different state but fly down frequently!

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An alcoholic is not leading a "fairly healthy" life. Sorry, but the damage she's inflicted on herself, much of that is irreversible.

I have a neighbor whose kid is a heroin addict. Kid doesnt' WANT to be clean, so rehab for him has been a total fail---and he's back home again, back using, and this is not unusual. I don't mean to sound hopeless--you know the rate of recidivism amongst people who are "forced" into rehab is very high. Your mom has to WANT to get well. I hope she does. The alcoholism will kill her, eventually.

I'm so sorry for what you must be going through. Good Luck. She is lucky to have a loving daughter.
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I would consult with an attorney in her state to find out all of the details. Taking on Guardianship of a person who suffers with alcoholism is a huge responsibility. I have not done it, but, I have seen people who have and it's a full time job and one that is often frustrating, as the person often resists and you are in a constant struggle. I hope you get other responses from people who have been in your situation.

I'd ask the attorney about spending your own money on her care. I don't know her financial situation, but, I'd explore how paying things on her behalf could disqualify her for benefits or programs, that she would receive on her own income and assets.
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