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One mid-stage AD and other is Paranoid. My aging parents are mentally not doing well. They continue to act like teenagers and run away without notice-driving to places they have not even figured out whether they have a place to sleep or not. My father, a retired military man of 80, is an overcontrolling, burnedout caregiver of my 76 year old mother who has mid-stage AD. It is upsetting as I quit work once to stabilize them since the County Protection Agency was called and wanted me to put them in a home which they have refused. I am tired of trying to help even though my father will pay me cash to sit and spend time with my mother a few hours a week. He still does not trust me or anyone else and is losing it more and more. He threatens to take sphere of the moment trips with my confused mother who keeps her purse filled like a suitcase. She now thinks she is lives in her mothers home (been dead for over 10 years and lived in Maine). Help!!!

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Anonymous.....we really aren't mean people :) Please know that we are desperate to help and offer advice that sometimes comes across blaming or placing guilt.....which you have done NOTHING wrong. I tried so hard to work with my mom and it just wasn't happening. I am doing the best I can and that's what all of us are trying to do. Next up for me.....having the "talk" with dad about stop driving. Luckily he has been compliant with just about everything but this is going to be tough. Anyway, good luck to you and I think the County is going to be very sorry very soon that they didn't listen to you. God Bless.....
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Oh, I just noticed there was a first page in this thread. Sorry! I saw where they have each others' POAs. I take it their is no second choice if the first is not able to do the job. I saw you had also looked into assisted living, but they couldn't afford the places. This is too often what happens. If parents were more cooperative and if AL was cheaper, then all would work out.

I would talk to your father about setting up an alternate POA for finances and healthcare. Your mother is not able to do the job if he should need.
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anonymous, your hands are really tied about what you can do unless your parents are deemed legally incompetent. Before that time you can make suggestions, whih they can choose to follow or not. From what you wrote, it sounds like you have been making suggestions but are not being listened to.

Elders do like to remain in control. In their minds they are still the same people as before. Often they don't realize their limitations. They may think that a good night sleep or a trip will change everything and make them more energetic. I'm sure it is disorienting to your mother.

One thing you can do is look to getting some of the technicalities taken care of. Have your parents designated financial and healthcare POAs? Have they written their wills and advanced directives? Have they invested in funeral policies? Getting some of these technicalities done can lend some direction and have things ready to go if they are needed.

The others things can feel like a waiting game. Something your parents won't allow today may sound like a good idea to them tomorrow. Often elders do begin to accept their limitations when things are not working well for them. They may need assisted living in the future and your mother may need nursing care. You can look around to see what is affordable and doable, so when things are needed you'll know what's available.

It would be nice if we were magic and could just tell our parents to do something and not get an argument. That is seldom the way it happens, though. Particularly when one (or both) parent is difficult.
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I don't think anyone was trying to guilt you. Since you cannot care for them (and I don't think you should for your own sake), I would also have some lawyer draw it up as well perhaps. And send it to whomever you think should be notified. That will cover yourself. Although in todays sue happy world, anything is possible.
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When anybody comes to this site to ask "what do I do?", we are going to tell you.
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Shar, i understand your anger and frustration and i don't think anyone is trying to make you feel guilty. Yes, you are not responsible for their shennanigans. But in your shoes, i would send a letter both to tjeir doctor and to DMV stating that you nelieve your dad is incompetent to drive. You've given THEM notice and then it's up to them to take action.
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I am not responsible if he kills someone, so get off your blame game. Legally, he and my mother are responsible for their actions and since APS is involved and telling them to relocate where ever they want, they are responsible. I live by myself and do not have in-home care duties for them now. They are their own people according to the County and in that right they can do what they want. My father knows he can't call me to get him out of jams or anything else. You need to lay off the guilt when I know I did everything and more possible for them and treated them with respect. I got none back. However, this site is suppose to be for support and not guilt ridden. You are not well if that's what you say for support. Thank you.
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sharquilts2: You are going to have to get their doctors to sign off on their total incompetence. If your dad kills someone while driving, that will be and is called vehicular homicide. Get this situation under control ASAP before this happens.
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Good luck to you and your mom and dad I know you love them dearly to have tryed so hard to find a way to deal with the proulum and I know they love you too God bless all and find peace in your lives
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I begin to see why people locked these folk in an attic.
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Spine or not I have decided to get off this site. My father is according to the County he lives in, free to go where ever he wants. He can drive well and she does not. He does go too fast though and has not been in any accidents yet. I have decided that I come first and have informed APS that they have returned today (I called and spoke to them both) and I am not responsible for their actions in the future. I am not on any legal documents unless they both die so I do not live with them and cannot be held responsible. My father said he's leaving again and I am acting like a baby. Haha - that's after I said he's not acting like an adult of course. Good luck and no harm for someone who doesn't think before they offer advise. I know if I was rich I could fight him and loose big time according to the County Employees who did advise on this earlier.
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I also didn't see the word "weak" in the answer. I did hear spine and those of us that have loved our mom's and dad's do feel like we are still the little kids sometimes. Today my dad turns 93. He is compliant with everything I want him to do thank God but my mother is a different story. I did have to trick her to go to her facility. Told her it was a hotel and wanted to look around to see if me and my husband wanted to stay there. Then I brought out her bag that I had packed the night before and put in the car. It was a horrible scene when I left and knew it would be but it was for her own good, protection and dignity. They were wonderful and helped me through the whole process. Here it is 5 1/2 years later. Not even sure she understands anything but I know for sure that she is being taken care of. Honestly, going through labor or my husbands stroke at 40 wasn't as hard as doing that to my mom but I did have to GROW a spine. My sister wouldn't do it, my dad who landed on Iwo Jima and was there all 36 days couldn't do plus he was recovering from a heart attack so someone had to because she wouldn't let him rest due to her demands and I witnessed her hitting him 2 times. That was it. I have a friend who is going through the very same thing with her parents....father is stubborn as all get out and won't let anyone come into the house or take his wife somewhere. She quit her great job, has twin boys, one with autism and her husband is getting really tired of all the late night calls to come over because the mother has fallen or something has happened. I told her she needs to grow a spine and say no. She hasn't and complains about EVERYthing but that's her choice. We do what we do. If you don't want your health to disintegrate, go broke, your marriage to break up, or your life to be on hold etc. then you are going to have to make some really hard decisions and go with them. It is hard. Care giving is not for wimps. Find the right people to help you and you can and will get through this. They will be mad.....yep they will. But you have to remember that they are not in their right minds and whatever they spew out at you, you can't take personally. It's for their own good plus the people that he is out on the streets with. We are here for support. Keep us posted. Good Luck and God Bless.
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Good suggestions from Sophe. For Olly, whose mom lives with her, I'm wondering if incremental would work, as in, "mom we need to hire a laundress" " we need someone to do the heavy cleaning, I'm just too worn out". Don't say she won't buy it till you've tried. I would also make contact with a local Assisted Living place. They may be willing to come visit her, make their case.

I'm curious what her response is when you say, forcefully "mom, i can't do this any more;we're out of money and i have to go vack to work. Either someone comes in to watch you or you need to live in this nice AL". And if she says "no, i want you to help me", you say " that's not one of the choices mom". I HAVE to go back to work or we'll both be in a homeless shelter.
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Maybe you can be incremental in your intervention with your parents. I've already been there and done that, so I sympathize with your position. One thing you might think of to clip their wings a bit is to disable the car. Pull something critical off of it. Another thing you can do is swipe their phone book(s). Both personal and commercial (yellow pages). That reduces the resources they can call upon. Or arrange that all the car keys are 'lost'. See if they are willing to have a meal delivery service once a day from Meals on Wheels or similar. Food poisoning was a big issue with my folks. Strip the pantry and freezer of food that has expired many years ago. Disable the stove and arrange only the countertop microwave to work. Less fire hazard there. Etc. Put bracelets they can't remove easily on their wrists identifying their home location and an emergency contact (preferably not you). Give Adult Protective Service phone number to the neighbors and tell them to call whenever they are worried. APS will eventually take steps. They just try and force family to act first. Good luck and hugs.
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I never called anybody weak. I am sorry if you read that in there.

Nothing in our lives prepares us for the day where we have to take the reigns from our parents. It's terrifying. And it has to be done. It is a complete and total surprise to a large number of people, and they feel utterly unprepared to do so. Or even unwilling to face it.

I have walked this path myself and I can tell you that it is life-changing in a way I never expected. If I stuck with what my mom said and demanded all the time, she may be dead right now in her filthy hoarder house.

I had to show some leadership (if that's a nicer word) and do some things that were massively unpopular with her, simply to keep her safe and as well as possible.

There are an awful lot of people here who gave me a swift kick in the can when I needed it to get going and take action. Dementia caregiving requires a very thick skin and a level of creativity I did not expect. I had to grow a thick skin pretty darn quick to survive the rants, raves, fighting, arguing, swearing, foul names, and outright obstruction from other family.
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I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those who mentioned growing a spine and taking responsibility as well as the other who mentioned guardianship are actually telling the truth. I faced a similar situation where an elderly friend of mine kept talking about "running away." Just like in your situation, my elderly friend also kept firing in-home aides. I didn't know then that he was really in the business of finding fault and falsely accusing people of stuff they didn't do, which is why one girl got fired over a car and money that she clearly did not steal. Unfortunately, she was fired because my elderly friend accused her of stealing a car and some money. I didn't know that she was most likely falsely accused until he secretly falsely accuse me of something that I didn't do. Fortunately, there were people around who knew the elderly man very well enough to know what he was doing. Therefore, they too, know the truth, so nothing ever came of it. There were various reasons why different aides were fired, and there's a very high likelihood that it was over false accusation or something very trivial. Therefore, your specific situation sounds somewhat familiar, because my elderly friend even threatened lawsuits which could've also turned out to be frivolous, (or nonsense if you will). I think our APS probably started the process of getting this person a guardian, because it wasn't long before he was removed from his apartment and placed into a NH. He had mental issues as well as your loved ones do, so I know what you mean to some degree. Some of what you're describing sounds very familiar to some degree, and I must support those who suggest stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility toward guardianship and facility placement. I don't also like to support the poster for mentioned that if your loved one who your caring for happens to get into some kind of situation where they hurt themselves or someone else, you really would be held just as legally responsible as they would if something happens, especially since a vehicle is involved. Remember, every driver has a certain amount of legal responsibility and liability no matter their age behind the wheel. They can be just as easily fined and taken to court as you can. I'm sorry if the truth hurts, but sometimes this is a harsh reality that we must all face. Furthermore, if you have assumed full responsibility for someone else, then you're responsible for them, plain and simple. If they cause some kind of accident with that vehicle, then whichever one is driving the car is legally responsible. If this car happens to be borrowed by the driver from another owner, then not only is the driver responsible for any accidents they cause, but also the owner from whom the driver borrowed the car, because they loaned out the car to that driver. In the end, whoever is responsible for that elderly driver will also be held responsible.

Now, the solution to this is the first explore your options. If you're in a position to be able to go for guardianship, then you really do need to do it or someone else will. If someone else takes guardianship of these specific people, there's a chance that it may not be who you would want to have that guardianship of your loved ones, especially if the state must step in. When guardianship is established, the first thing you're definitely going to want to do is to take the keys. Even if you must make a police report and gain any other support needed to do so, then definitely do it, because public safety should definitely be a priority when it involves getting someone permanently off the road who is a danger to themselves and other drivers. Remember, some of those drivers transport passengers, with some of them being children. If you think for a moment, you really wouldn't want an angry parent on your tail just because your loved one caused an accident that killed someone's child. Again, you really don't want an angry parent on your tail, because it can have a very ugly ending in some cases. If you're the kind of person who really doesn't like trouble, please think of the consequences that could result if proper measures are not taken by the right people to prevent anything that could cause those consequences. People here who are trying to help you get to the bottom of this very unfortunate situation really are telling the truth, and you really should listen to what everyone is trying to say, because sometimes situations bring us to the point of having to take responsibility that we really don't want to take. Sometimes we may have to make the hardest decisions to remove someone's independence just because there a danger to themselves and others, I've seen this happen twice in recent years. Fortunately, both people were placed where they can get the round the clock help they need in order to protect them and the public from undo trouble. Sometimes this really is necessary, and if you don't do it, someone else will, and you really don't know how or when this will happen or what it will take for it to happen. I only hope that proper measures are taken before your loved ones hurt themselves or someone else. What you can do now is what anyone else can do. Take a description of the vehicle and the license plate to your local police station and at the very least alert them to the situation. They can alert all proper channels to be on the lookout and take any proper action necessary. If you tell them in the report that your loved one may have age related dementia or Alzheimer's, that will definitely get the police on high alert. After all, it's much better to be safe now than sorry later, especially if someone must pay for avoidable hospital bills or even an avoidable funeral. It's up to you now because the ball is now in your court. What will you do? This is a case where public safety now rests on your shoulders because you know the situation. You really want and want to read tomorrow's headlines about some wreck that you know you're loved one cause, so wouldn't you want to avoid it now while you have that chance? Please, make the responsible decision to do the right thing while you still have a chance to make that decision, the public is now counting on you and other responsible citizens to do the right thing when they know it's necessary. I must remind you of another thing since you said that your loved ones are always running away and going for drives without notice. Remember, the higher the speed a car goes, the more damage that will be done on impact if something happens out on the open road. If you assumed responsibility for your loved one, but please do the right thing as a responsible person.
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How am I NOT standing up for what I want? I've contacted the Aging Office 3 times asking for guidance of any kind....can't give it. I've talked with 3 different lawyers & spent $1300 in the process trying to get legal answers so that I can either get her out of my home so that I can go back to work & earn a wage or get a care contract set up so that I can let Mom pay me to stay home with her. I still have no answers, no contract, no income, no health insurance & the government agencies & lawyers don't give a damn!
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OK there old there wild children try to work with them don't lock them up they will hate you tell them you will help plan there trips and even go with them let the wild children live there last years free not under lock and key under you eye and when they can't they will stop and make plans to move on to a place better for them before the end of life life is for living not by the click but the heart
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Ozark = sorry to have sparked such outrage. yes we do not live in a country that is fair to the elderly, but we all do the best we can. I guess I take things a little differently as I didn't take grow a spine as being weak. I figured they meant you just need to stand firm for what you want/believe in and speak up. people are either introverts or extroverts. I am an extrovert and speak up when I have a question about something, those that are introverts (like my hubby) will just let things ride along without confrontation and it doesn't mean that either person is wrong. so I am sorry IF I offended you or anyone. everyone has to do what they feel is best and if it takes something hard to finally make a stand, then that is what works for that person. good luck to us all.
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No, the actual word "weak" was not stated...but what the heck does "grow a spine" mean, then? Yeah...weak. Yes, APS is telling me I can be prosecuted....and when I mentioned it to the elder lawyer, it was not refuted. Lastly, let's say I CAN'T be prosecuted....how is it any more morally correct to abandon my mother to a situation of living alone where she will most certainly suffer & quite probably end up hurt or dead than it is to stick a gun to some stranger's head & blow their head off? Somehow shooting someone with a gun is morally & legally wrong but abandoning someone who's old & unable to cope to carevfor themselves isn't. Frankly, abandoned animals get more help in this country than the elderly or the people giving them care.
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I don't think Sandwich person meant any harm and I didn't see the word "weak" in the message. Sometimes we don't want to hear what we know might be true. Yes, my father too did NOT want anyone in the house to help him, but eventually I said that mom could no longer help to bath him. so he agreed to one day a week person, eventually I got mom out of the house and had someone in for 3 or 4 hours to "babysit" him. the straw that broke was when he called 911 for no reason except to say he was being fed burnt toast and water and no one was there (and my mom was sitting right there). then he fell 2 days in a row, once taken to ER, I said he could NOT come home cause my mother could no longer care for him. (bouts of sundowning, swinging cane/walker,etc) so he was placed in NH 1 year ago. It was the best and he (with dementia/alzheimers) has no idea where he is cause he is not in the present. it was a slow/mid decline but he is being taken care of better and mom don't have to worry about him opening door at 3 am and screaming out the door. We all have different ways of typing out our feelings/ideas/etc, but I don't think any harm was intended or any kind of put down. its just that we all would like an easier way of handling things.
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Olly, you don't live in a filial obligation state. So under what statute could you be prosecuted? And who is telling you this?

If it's APS, I'd ask them to show me where it's in case law, IN YOUR STATE.
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Sharquilts2....First of all, let me say that I, too, took offense at Sandwich42plus answer to your question. It's completely unfair to bash someone gor being weak and, well, irresponsible when they're caught in the middle of legalities that effectively tie their hands!

Trust me, I know the situation you're in ALL too well. Biggest difference for me is that my Mom doesn't live on her own...I was stupid enough 5 years ago to move her into my home when she was "a little forgetful". Things grew worse & I was not only fearful for her safety while I was gone 12 hrs per day at work but, quite frankly, I was scared to death I'd come home to find that she had accidentally burned my house down! Talked with Mom about Assisted Living...refused. She listened better to my brother so I had him talk with her...refused. Home aide while I worked...refused. Adult day care...refused & they aren't open when I can get her there before work or when I can pick her up afterward. Talked with Office of Aging about how I could get her out of my house & placed in AL. Sorry, we can't help you but you can evict her....but if something happens that she gets hurt, hurts someone else or dies...yes, you can be prosecuted for neglect & abandonment since you knew she can't manage on her own. So, here I am unable to convince her to go to a facility, but afraid she's going to burn down my home while I'm gone, I can't force her out or face jail if something goes wrong...and it will...and she continues to refuse all help or placement unless it's in my home & given by me. I'm stuck between agencies that won't/can't give help & the law that basically says I must or face legal penalty. I've had to quit my job to stay home with her 24/7/365, my savings is dwindling because I can't find a elder lawyer who is attentive enough to actually write a care contract that reflects OUR situation so that I can get paid from Mother's private funds to do the care I'm already doing that's bankrupting me. So, yeah, I completely understand having to flounder around out there on your own with no one willing to help. To be in a situation like yours & mine where you can't legally force someone into a home & then to have someone imply that you're weak or acting like a child about it is NOT helpful. And for those of you advising, well, hust take them & show them some facilities & how nice they are or take them for a short respote stay & just keep extending it....IT AIN'T THAT SIMPLE WHEN THE PERSON CAN REFUSE! My Mom won't get out of the frickin car to go look or have a respite stay & the staff can't legally drag her in! Even if she DID go in, they cannot legally prevent her from leaving if she says she doesn't want to stay. Is Mom capable of calling for a cab? Probably not....but she is completely caoable of walking right out their doors & there's not one thing they can/will do about it. So, where does that leave us? What are we supposed to do when the solution isn't simple & tied up in a cute little box with a pretty bow on it???
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The one thing that worked with my demented Uncle (also ex military) was to tell him that the caregivers were there for my aunt, not for him. And that if he fired them, she couldn't remain at home with him. It didn't always work (he fired the caregivers a little less frequently ) but they had been instructed not to leave. Eventually, my cousins ended up having to get guardianship over him after my aunt passed away.
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My dear, you have done what you could and have documentation that you tried. I'm sorry I misunderstood what you were saying.

I think in your shoes, I'd send a certified letter to APS indicating that you have no POA and thus no ability to spend their money on care. Your father is non compliant with care you have brought in. You tell them that you cannot be responsible for their well being. You let the county step in when things get ugly.

You are not required to ruin your life.
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The County wants me to spend money (which I do not have) and put them in an assisted living facility, but they will not comply. I have set up two regular home caregivers that he decided to get rid of. The County said "they are their own person" and can make decisions for themselves. I have tried to get them involved on many occasions as things happen. The employee has asked me to notify her when I hear from my father and that she didn't mean they should relocate anywhere as he has told me the other day. They will not back me up because legally they have no rights and would loose that one just like me. They have each other down for a Durable POA and I do have their lawyers no. and found that out already.
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"The county protective agency wanted to put them in a home, which they did not want". Okay, so the County declared them unable to live on their own and you intervened to keep them from getting a placement? Is it possible to go back to the county and ask for placement now? This is clearly an untenable situation that needs to be addressed. And probably not by family; doesn't sound like dad is a listener.
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Don't feel that you are very productive being a bully about a reasonable question. Saying someone is weak that you don't even know is not nice or did someone not teach you that one???

Oh well, some of what you did say is correct about needing to take further action since my father is not capable of caring for my mother anymore. I will think twice before I ask for help on here again.
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You are going to have to grow a spine and take responsible adult interventions now. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but today is the day. What if your dad runs over somebody or hits children? No, they aren't going to like being curtailed but that is 100% beside the point. When they stopped us from playing in the street or eating candy off the ground as children, we probably had a fit too, but they had to do the responsible thing.

I realized with my mom that I had to step in - like it or not - because she didn't care if she hit or killed anyone.

These two can no longer be left on their own and need to be in a secure, supervised residence. Ideally, you can find a place where they can be together or at least very near one another inside.

Home care is a reasonable option when the person needing care is not at risk for getting outside on their own. It is extremely difficult to secure a home for anyone who may wander. There is no way to know how long that stage will last. It could be years.

To be blunt again, they don't have a choice anymore about stay at home or be somewhere safe and looked after. Sometimes you have to do what must be done and realize it's for their own good. Yes, there will be fits.
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You may have to go through the legal guardianship process if they are mentally incompetent. Then they can be put into a care facility. The other option may be APS or a little trickery, a "short visit" to a facility that turns into something longer.

This is one of toughest and most common situations with elders who are stubborn and borderline incompetent. That your Dad is still driving is also something to worry about, and that's also one of the toughest nuts to crack.

My folks are not far behind yours. They're hanging on in there home but won't allow any in home help or discuss assited living, so like many others I'm just waiting for the next crisis that will force the issue. Unfortunately, in many cases like ours that is what it will take to get elders the help they need but are refusing.
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