What to do when your mother wants to live on her own again, but you know she is not capable? - AgingCare.com

What to do when your mother wants to live on her own again, but you know she is not capable?


Earlier this year I posted a question concerning my mom and her coming to live with me from Florida. So a few of you that responded, I hope that you will see this post as well, and give me a little input as to what my next steps should be. To briefly summarize....My mom was living in her home by herself in Florida with 5 cats(more at one time). She was falling alot, her house was not clean (destoyed by the cats), she had no car anymore to get out to the store, food in her fridge was mostly rotten....the stench in her house was overbearing....she ended up in the hospital a few times, and adult protective services got involved. APS wanted to put her in a nusing home, but my husband and I said no, that we would come and get her. They left her be since we were "saving her" from the deplorable conditions she was accustomed to living in. She is doing so much better now that she is living in my home....her medical needs are being met on a daily basis, food, safety, etc...which brings me to the new problem....now that she has rehabilitated from her fall that resulted in a broken hip, she believes she can go back to Florida to the same house that was left in shambles, that is disgustingly filthy, that has no washer, dryer, stove, fridge, bed, couch, kitchen table....nothing but cat pee, poo, puke soaked into the 5 layers of carpeting she has on the floor. Her answer is she can do everything on her own, she'll clean it all up little by little...she needs to be independent. She's already asked her reverse mortgage company if she can move back in under the same terms, and they said yes....I personally am irritated about that! Anyhow, she has her mind set on doing this, and nobody can tell her that she can't. So far, I have made a call to the county aging dept. and someone is coming out to talk with my mom this Thursday to try to show her all of her options and maybe try to defer her to staying here in Wisconsin. (personally, I already feel bad for the lady that will be coming here...I'm sure my mom will not be happy, and she will get an earfull). I also set up an appointment with a dr. that is the very best at testing for dimentia...but that is not until January. I have called a friend of my moms from Florida to try to help my mom into seeing this is not really a good or safe choice for her to be contemplating. My mom is no longer doing her checkbook correctly...using multiple lines for her entries, putting her ssi check into her ledger too early when it doesn't get there until the 1st of the month, subtracting incorrectly, writing down other information in the ledger like the banks phone #....she doesn't have good balance all the time which makes falling a possibility even more so especially if she were to be on her own, doesn't like to eat much, sleeps some days completely away, and then doesn't know if it's day or night.....
.......What can I do???? I don't think I can have her here anymore....she gets angry at me all the time especially when I try to help her with her mistakes or if I don't take her where she wants to go when she wants, then she says I am not her daughter and all kinds of mean things. She doesn't want to be here, because she is limited as to what she can do in my home because of her safety and for our health! ( she has pooped her depends at goodwill, and I cleaned her up in the bathroom stall, and then she preceded to put her hand in the toilet and take the toilet water of a public bathroom to wash her privates!) There is NO WAY I will allow her to help herself to the food in my fridge when who knows what her hands have been in. She has her own fridge and food downstairs along with anything else she may need....but she feels like a prisoner, which I understand that, but it is only because she is not safe to roam my home when I am not here.
.....Can she go home even if everyone tells her no....it's not safe or sanitary? Should the APS in Florida be called on her if she actually gets back there? Can APS force me or any family member to get her care and make her safe, or will they just put her in a nursing home in Florida?
.....I want her to be happy, but I can't in good conscience allow her to revert back to her deplorable conditions in Florida. She can't stay here too much longer....for she is too much of a free spirit, and for everyones sanity. She has had a hard life, much abuse....which made my childhood rotten...I still love her, but we will never get along. It is always about her, and her way...she is the victim...she can twist anything to make herself right and everyone else wrong.
....I am hoping someone out there may have a similar experience, or knowledge of the appropriate steps that need to be taken so this will turn out for the best. Any suggestions....please reply!

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The test for dementia is not that difficult. There are RN's at my parent' s assisted facility that can admin one level. Our young family Doctor diagnosed my parent with some basic tests. I am trying to say, keep the "specialist's" appointment and get her into your doctor as soon as you can.
Helpful Answer (0)

Monica: I so agree with everything Jeanne said. You have done everything to the best of your ability. Sometimes you can't control the world. You don't have to do that, just take the appropriate steps that Jeanne so wisely laid out. If Florida was going to put her in a nursing home before, they will do it again.

So sorry you have to go through all of this, but it is what it is. You are doing everything right.
Helpful Answer (1)

If the doctor finds that your mother is not incompetent then you may not be able to control her actions. But you always can control yours. You can report the condition of the house to the Zoning board. You can call APS again. You can make it clear that she cannot stay with you. You can refuse to help her get to Florida.

I hope that drastic steps won't be necessary. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
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Thank you jeannegibbs for answering. She is on a call list for the dr. if something earlier opens up....but this dr. is very sought after because she is very thorough in testing for dimentia. We were thinking of calling APS should she be able to get herself to Florida for we feel that we jumped through hoops, wasted vacation time, money, etc just to get her here so she would be safe and around family....but I guess we wasted our time and efforts. I will tell her that I can not help her in any way get back to Florida because I feel it is the wrong decision, and I do not want to be responsible for her demise. I saw on someone elses post that APS told them that by law, the family had to make sure the aging parent was safe....they had to get her 24/7 care whether in home or AL. All I feel my responsibility is to do anything in my power to stop her, but if ultimately the dr. clears her and does not find dimentia or a reason to stop her, then she will be on her way somehow. Personally I feel her home should be condemned. The carpets need to be removed, and everything including the walls sanitized.....but she asked her nxt door neighbor to get a couple of girls she knows to come in and clean....dust, vaccuum, etc. She told him that she IS coming back home and she is NOT going in a nursing home....while he keeps telling her he doesn't think it's a good idea. I guess I will see what Thursday brings.
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I think that you are doing the right thing on several levels. You acknowledge that having her live with you is not working out. Good first step. You are bringing in an outsider -- a professional -- to explain options. Good! You have a medical appointment set up. Good again. Can you call that doctor's office, explain that you have somewhat of a crisis on hand and ask to be notified if an appointment opens up earlier than January?

If she goes back to her unsanitary unsafe conditions in Florida, call APS again and she will wind up in a nursing home. Her real choices are to go to a nursing home in Florida or to go to some kind of care center in Wisconsin, where you can visit her and advocate for her.

How would she get to Florida? Could she make arrangements to travel on her own? Do not help her in any way.

Should her house in Florida be condemned?

Good luck with the social worker and the doctor!
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