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My 90 yo mother in law was getting along pretty well. Then, about four weeks ago, she tripped and fell. The friend who takes her for rides to doctor's appts and the grocery store, etc., took her to Urgent Care and told them (out of her hearing) that he didn't feel she was safe. So she spent three days in the hospital under observation and then went to acute rehab for about three weeks. She was then transferred to a skilled nursing facility. The thing is, she'll probably be discharged from there by the end of the week. She doesn't have the money for independent or assisted living (I can't believe what AL costs). We are trying to get her into a HUD-subsidized apartment, and may have found one. But here's the thing. Everything I or my sister-in-law have tried to offer her as a solution is met with a resounding "NO!" She says she won't cook (although she did just fine before she fell). She says she can't get groceries -- I said if she gave me a list, I would ... NO! I offered to go to the library and get her a book, since she says she is bored ... NO! I asked why not. She said someone would have to take it back. I said, no problem, I will, I go right by the library on my way to work ... NO! Finally, I tried to explain the apartment to her ... it would be very affordable and we could get caregivers, I'm sure, to make meals, etc. Answer? You guessed it. NO! The problem is she really can't go home. Her house is on three levels (including the basement) and I am terrified she'll fall and really hurt herself, or worse. She doesn't want to go home, either. I've tried to explain she can't stay where she is forever. This is driving me a little crazy. I can't stay with her full-time and my sister in law will be moving from SoCal here (NE Ohio), but not until May. My husband is in a wheelchair or in bed and is in the early stages of LBD. He is my first priority. Nonnegotiable. What can we do if my MIL doesn't want to do anything? Is this behavior enough for a guardianship?

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P.S. I don't know if anyone's had her see a geriatric psychiatrist ... we have a care conference next Tuesday at the SNF and I intend to bring it up. I should say, too, that she has ok days and not ok days, but I worry too because she complains about EVERYTHING. She doesn't like her food, it's not what she wants, her tea's not hot enough, they didn't arrange the toilet paper the way she asked ... I have to assume that the aides and nurses have seen this kind of behavior before, but I feel bad for them because it's not all their fault, and some of it's not their fault at all.
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Thank you everyone for your help and insight. I will talk to my SIL -- we are trying to work together on this -- and let her know what you've told me. I deeply appreciate it.
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Let her become a ward of the state, do not do guardianship, this makes her your responsibility lock stock and barrel, if there is a financial issue now can you imagine how much worse after spending thousands for guardianship. If she is a ward of the state they will place her and pay, they will also take all of her assets, which doesn't sound like much. Do not let anyone guilt you or SIL to take her, the 1st response on this post is right in every way, please do what Barb says.
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It sounds as though your mother in law know herself pretty well: she doesn't want to return to her home and she knows she doen't want to cook, clean, shop or look after herself anymore no matter where she lives. The sticking point here doesn't seem to be that she insists family does all these things for her, rather that you can't figure out a way to pay for the level of care she needs and wants. IMO you all need to meet with an elder law attny and financial planner to figure out what is available in your area to help you pay for her care.
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Just so you know, it sounds as though there are some cognitive issues going on as well. Has anyone done a workup for dementia or cognitive decline? The whole library book issue sounds like her ability to plan is shot.
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My dad kept saying no no no too. No cane, no walker, no wheelchair, etc etc. We gave up, he finally fell again and broke his back, and his entry to AL become non-negotiable.
I’m not saying let your mother learn the hard way, but as long as she has her mental faculties, it will be touch to overcome that NO.
Also, guardianship is costly in both money and time. I also understand the agreement has to be renewed annually at cost of $4000. Check on this before you undertake that route - I saw an attorney and even he said to stay away from it if possible.
ALso, if your mother has no money, read up on MERP..which is Medicare seizure of assets including her home to pay for her AL costs. Many fine people here can expand on that, I am learning about it also. Good luck. This is a difficult time for you.
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There is a social worker at the SNF. It's HER job, not yours to arrange a safe discharge.

Put it in writing to the SNF that she will be going home to an empty house. No family member will be there to care for her. No wiggle room on that. Also the SW to go her job and explain this to MIL.
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