This is on behalf of my best friend (I'll call her C) who is just beginning the process of looking into finding a place for her mother (J) who is age 75 and newly diagnosed with dementia). C is trying to work through several issues at once and is extremely busy meeting everyone's needs today. I'm trying to help her with some ideas - and she's contacting the local Council on Aging.
It's a complicated situation, as her parents are divorced, but now living together for convenience and financial reasons. Her dad is 85 and has been trying to care for J. Their alcoholic son also lives with them and can't stay sober. He won't stay in rehab once he sobers up, nor will the hospital allow him to stay, obviously. They're also sharing housing with a bipolar grandson. They feel guilt when they think about asking them to move out.
J has done several inappropriate things, dangerous things, recently, but retains POA over her affairs. C is next of kin since her parents are divorced.
The brother and the dad don't understand that she can't just pull up to a nursing home, go in, and leave her mom there in one day, they're pressuring C to making what they would consider a better effort.
What can/should she do next?
Any solution for her emotional health? Even with a caring and attentive husband, she internalizes the situation, and is worn out because she knows whatever she does, she's going to make people angry, but she doesn't have a choice here.
I will speak with her later and tell her of what I read here.
Thanks in advance. C is one of the most selfless people I know. She isn't even 60 years old yet, and this situation is causing her a lot of anticipatory grief. She's concerned about her mother, but also about her father, who is losing his lust for life and is physically worn down, as well.

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I agree with Barb. That situation sounds extremely overwhelming. With all those disabled people....few resources....there are so many issues. I might consult with an Elder Law attorney who is familiar with Medicaid requirements to see where they stand AND I"d ask for options so that I might step aside and have professionals intervene. Trying to work around and accommodate an alcoholic, and the other disabled people, who may not be able to cooperate or fully comprehend the dire situation.......I can't imagine it. I wish you all the best.
Helpful Answer (3)

Indy; the message for your friend is that when mental illness and addiction is involved, amateur caregiving is not enough. The "authorities" need to step in.

Your friend should feel no guilt or shame for stepping away and letting the heavy hitters do their job. Sending (((((((hugs))))))) to her and to you.
Helpful Answer (5)

@SendHelp - C's father cannot take care of the alcoholic son. Dad is 85 yo, son is 52, 6'5" and grossly overweight. The whole reason they're all in the same apartment is that apart, they cannot afford to live separately. It is a lot less black and white than one might think.
J is bipolar, and has been a toxic person in that house, as well. For C's entire life. And that's why they ended up divorcing.
As for the alcoholic brother - well, it's like C said "root hog or die." F
Yes, she did have a UTI, and that's what really got this downward spiral started. Don't know if she is taking any of her meds anymore. She refused to take her psych meds as soon as she started feeling better. It's been tough.
They're good people, and there is a domino effect going on here.
Thank you for your suggestions, though!
Helpful Answer (0)

For Medicaid to be a clean application their finances have to be separate to avoid gifting. No spouse protection for Home. Doubtful caregiver any caregiver exemption. She really needs a Medicaid lawyer to shepherd application before penalty assessessed...
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Alcoholic son into a sober living environment at his own "disabled" expense. This particular "illness" is generously funded!

Husband and wife are divorced for a reason. The husband and the grandson can help each other in separate housing from your friend's Mom, J. They can move out. They can rent a room.

It is not surprising that finances are a mess. This is not J' s fault. Also, it is not C' s fault.
Have an assessment when all of the toxic people are removed from the home and J gets well fed, and 1st, check her now for a UTI.

Did I forget to put that first? See her doctor to have her checked for a urinary tract infection. First.
Helpful Answer (2)

J probably qualifies for Medicaid. C's resources are not relevant here.

C could join a caregivers' support group for emotional support. Seeing a mental health counselor could also be very helpful -- not that there is something "wrong" with her that needs to be "fixed," but that she can use all the support she can gather through this extremely challenging and stressful time.

A Needs Assessment comes first. I got a needs assessment for my husband, and also for my mother, through the county Human Services department. I understand that the Aging Agency can also help set that up.

You are performing a kindness to help your friend with this difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (2)

Mom's resources should be used for her care. If she has no resources, your friend should apply for Medicaid.
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Thank you for that. I'll talk with my friend and see how much of this she's covered.
They are in terrible financial shape, so I don't know what all they can do. I will share this with her.
Gratefully, my own mother is doing well at 90, but I'm sure this site will be of great value when I run into something I can't figure out!
Helpful Answer (0)

Are you in the US?

The mom needs a "needs assessment" to show what level of care she needs. You can generally get that through the local Area Agency on Aging.

Consultation with a geriatric psychiatrist is often helpful for dementia patients who are acting out or showing extreme emotional issues. Meds can help with symptoms.

Nursing homes are not where a dementia patient goes, in general, not unless they have extreme medical needs. Assisted Living or Memory Care might be a place to start.
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