Follow
Share

My sister-in-law began having serious memory issues a couple of years ago. It became clear after several falls and medicine mismanagement that she needed 24 hr care. Her loving children made the decisions without allowing the woman a chance to decide all the details. Especially, what will happen to her home, car, and precious items she has collected all of her life. Does she have the legal right to be represented to have a family meeting at which she could ask questions? She has not been declared incompetent and still is very aware of her living situation. She was placed in an assisted living facility which is wonderful so she has no complaints about that. It was just that she left the hospital and went to a rehab center and now to assisted living .....all without her input. I am sure she agreed with the children but when she is with her siblings there is always a voicing of needing to know the details about her future. I hope there is someone who could intervene. I certainly cannot since I do not want to cause a ripple in the family. Finally, her son and daughter-in-law have done everything they could to keep her in her home and they love her very much. Never would they want to bring her any harm. It is just that she has so many questions and cannot move forward with this change in her life without some closure.

Thank you in advance for letting me have the opportunity to voice my concern. She is more like a sister to me and I wish to have what is best for her, too.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
People with significant memory issues will fabricate stories to fill in the blanks in their memory. And then will deny having ever been told something. It's just how it is. So you are only getting a small portion of the story. Check with the children, find out how they answer her concerns (chances are good she has asked them at least 100 times the same things she brings up with you). And then you can answer the questions the same way. If there's a particular item she wants placed in her room maybe the family can arrange it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Fredandbrenda, your first sentence says it all "My sister-in-law began having serious memory issues a couple of years ago."

With any type of serious memory issues, asking a person what he/she wishes regarding their living situation would be like asking an 5 years old child.... at that age the child is clear minded but is unable to reason out adult situations.

Yes, there will be times when your sister-in-law will be in the moment thinking clearly, but the problem is catching the loops when that will happen. It's like an old fashioned tape recorder, there will eventually be parts of the tape that are missing.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Of course she has a legal right to call a family meeting. I suppose her kids would have a legal right to refuse to come. I think this is more about family dynamics and her memory loss than legalities.

It may be that the disposition of her property has been explained to her -- perhaps many times. If she just can't remember that makes her anxious. I can understand that you don't want to make waves and rock the family boat. But I'll bet you can handle a conversation with her son and his wife, to find out how they would like you to respond when these questions come up. I think it would be better if the entire family gave her the same answers.

If you can't seek guidance from her children, then perhaps a response like, "I'm sure that Bob and Gretchen are handling all those details very effectively. They don't want you to worry about any of it. They are very loving children." would work.

It is very good that she is satisfied with her living arrangement. From what you say it is very probable that her input was sought.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, she does have rights, and even if she's incompetent now, if she has an advanced directive and appointed a POA, then those wishes have to be honored. Since you say she is competent now, she can leave at any time and do as she pleases. I suspect she has been declared incompetent, and that's why her children were able to get her moved to an ALF, and as noted above, she may not remember being told. Or her kids could have just done it without telling her. Usually, even a conservator would have to go seek court approval to move someone out of their home, so I think you are missing a big part of the whole story.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Is your sister in law not comfortable talking to her child about this? Since she has serious memory issues, it seems possible that she's been told, and has forgotten. I'm sure you can figure out a diplomatic way to approach "the kids" about this, you seem like an incredibly tactful person!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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