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My mother is in the mid to late stages of dementia. She has no short term memory left. She lives in her own apt. 40 miles from me. I go every weekend to take her shopping, errands etc. She refuses to move closer to me and at this stage moving anywhere but an assisted living is not really an option. Anything out of routine leaves her confused and agitated. No one has POA, Medical POA etc. I can take guardianship of her however it takes money I do not have, plus I have one sibling several hundred miles away that is especially difficult, I don't want to put myself in any legal issues. How can I get someone such as adult services to step in before she hurts herself? I have called them and they tell me unfortunately it will take her harming herself before they will do anything. Her bank accounts have been compromised because she gives out things like her SS# over the phone because she gets so agitated and confused. Any advice at all? I am at my witts end. :(

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Cothrangirl, I am so sorry you have no support from your siblings. And that your sister is being a particular PITA. Keep in mind, if you are not the POA or Guardian there is NO requirement for you to provide what your sister is asking for. Think about it--you need to document things to cover your self but why take one minute more to email it all to your sister especially if she is not being the least bit supportive or helpful? Let her alone with her frustrations. You need to hold your head high, and save the last bit of energy you have, to do something nice for Your Self. Nobody else will!
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Whatever you do, don't forget to dial 911. If the circumstances get so out of hand do not hesitate to dial 911. There are many a caregivers that are in jail due to so called "Lack of Care". Even if you can't see straight, don't forget 911.
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I have contacted several assisted livings. I found one close to me with a good memory care unit, so I am hoping to place her there when the time comes. As far as guardianship, as long as I do not have to worry about my sister putting my butt in a legal bind I do not mind doing it at all. I have good credit and a good job so that is not an issue, and NO criminal history, not even a speeding ticket :) All my siblings have written letters that they want Me to be in charge and take care of Mom, but my sister has added that she wants records of EVERYTHING and wants to have a say in ALL financial and medical decisions.
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I'm approaching a similar situation so appreciate the question and the answers given are very helpful. Thanks.
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Cothran - you are right that going guardianship route is the way to go as mom will refuse to do a DPOA, MPOA. About legal costs, yes guardianships are costly (I'd say 5K - 12k) but there is probono legal out there. First I'd contact your area on aging to see what is available; second, your state will have law schools and all schools have probono clinics and some have eider law speciality clinics, so google to find the call them and set up appointments.

Now going guardianship when there is interfering family can be best as judge does a court order and that's that. The guardian is in charge so just too frickin bad for family who do nothing but want things their way. Often when family is at odds the judge will appoint an outside guardian anyways - can be an attorney or someone who has gone through a process to be vetted and approved for guardianship. Also a court appointed guardian can often get things done on a fast track - like getting a Meducaid bed in a memory care unit.

If you want to be guardian (rather than a court appointed one) you kinda need to reflect on your ability. Court can do a credit & background check so you do need to be good on that. Your finances need to such that you are stable so no need of the persons $. Judges tend to want the guardian to be a resident of the county too, so if your interfering sister lives out of state or far outside of the judges purview, they aren't likely to ever appoint them as guardian.

Also there are full guardianships and those done just for finances. Go over your options with the legal clinic.
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If she has no short term memory then assisted living is probably not the right placement. She would need to be in one that has a memory care unit, and those are usually set up more like a nursing home where you have a room, not an apt. My dad had a neighbor with short term memory loss in his AL and she could not remember where her apt was, where the dining room was etc. She had to move to the memory care floor.
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I have actually began downloading and filling out all of the documents for guardianship. I do not have the money to pay an attorney, but am wading through it all on my own. I have several siblings, none do anything for her, but of course there is always ONE that will argue and fight and disagree no matter what decision is made. I have thought about putting her in an assisted living and telling her it is her new apartment, but she is still a bit too sharp for that. She has more bad days than good confusion wise but she does still have good days.
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Sadly, it is probably going to take some sort of crisis before any authorities intervene. So there are three choices: the crisis route, find a way to get guardianship and get her in care, or some sort of trickery to get her in care. At this point I would not feel the least bit guilty about a little deception to get her in a safe place.
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No she won't take the doctor's advice. She is in complete denial and refuses to believe she has dementia. The Doctor has already told her that it will not be too long until she can declare her unsafe to live alone, but even if she does that it is not a miracle cure. She would still have to hurt herself, go to a hospital and I could use the Doctor's letter then. She does everything by a strict routine, so she still dresses herself, bathes herself and is eating (no weight loss).
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Does her doctor think she needs to be in a nursing home? If I were you I'd have her evaluated for Medicaid (assuming she doesn't have the funds to afford a nursing home) and then try to get her doctor to recommend it. A lot of people will take their doctor's advice when the family has no power at all.
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My Mom's Doctor is aware. She is going every three months now for checkups. I have a letter stating that she suffers from Dementia from her Doctor. I have had no reason to take her to the ER as of yet. It's just a nerve wracking waiting game. :(
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A co-worker went through this last year. The doctors could not do anything until it became bad. Make sure you make your doctor(s) aware of the critical situation. Get Emergancy Room information for the near by hospital. My co-worker's only relief was the emergancy room, until space became available at the nursing home. I think it was a couple months before the transfer to the nursing home from the ER.
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