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Hi what will happen if my mum has dementia and refuses to go into a nursing home how long can they stay independent in thier own homes? Could she be forced by law if they feel she is not safe at home? the only care she will receive is 3hrs a wk from state and we cant afford private care? I want to leave here soon and am worried about leaving her on her own?

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Thanks for the advice! a lot of this I know and am working on it!! She has only had an mri scan of the brain so waiting for this next week! I just hope this scan can tell us whether she is showing dementia or not the waiting is hard! POA costs money and we just don't have it right now but I know how important this is my mum was robbed last week and this money was for POA but if she is diagnosed then my family will have to pay for this so that's not a problem. My hands are tied until the doctors get involved and we have confirmation then the family better grow up and help or ill run away!!
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You keep referring to your mother as Mum, so I have to ask if you live in the U.S. or another country. Most advice that we seem to give is related to what we know as standard care with the U.S. so if you live in another country, many things we refer to may not exist for you or then again you may have far better care than what we have!

First of all you need to take your mother to a Neurologist to have an exam to determine if she does indeed have dementia or Alzherimer's. From what you have said it does appear that she has some kind of disorder. You need to find out for sure.

If she does, then it is time to draw all the siblings together for a frank discussion on how you care for Mom. This is not your sole responsibility but should be the shared responsibility of everyone within the family. Since it is believed that Mom's condition is not severe enough to warrant hospitalization, but she is doing things that are considered dangerous, she may very well need to move into a facility or you may have to just tell Mom that she can no longer live alone and tell her that you have made arrangements for her to move in with you or another sibling.

Personally I could never even think for a second that I would move away and leave my Mom to her own devices. This is how I feel and I am not saying that everyone feels the same way, but your Mom does need care.

Your mother will fight you about leaving her home because they feel more comfortable within familiar surroundings. The thing is that when your parent becomes ill many times you have to step in and make decisions for them that they may not be happy with. Because of this it is imperative that you obtain Mom's Power of Attorney immediately, because once they are deemed as incompetent with Dementia or Alzheimers they can no longer make those decisions legally....because they are mentally incompetent.

If you feel that you are the sibling that can make the best decisions for Mom, then you need to seek her POA immediately. You may need to lie and tell her it is not for use right now, but for use in the future IF SHE should develop a memory issue and you should need to help her. DO NOT TELL HER IT IS FOR USE NOW! If you are unable to get her POA NOW you will be faced with getting Guardianship which is costly and very time consuming so you need to get POA NOW.

None of this is easy and they will continue to tell you they are fine when you can clearly see they are NOT FINE. This is denial and it is part of the disease where they think they really are fine, but they are not.

Work diligently on getting the POA for Healthcare and Finances and make sure you get a diagnosis from a doctor, then do a sit down with other siblings. You may all have to stand as a united front and tell Mom you love her and only want the best for her!

God Bless You All!
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No, Kazza, I didn't take it wrong and I know I am blessed to have had a good relationship with my parents and, am therefore grateful to do it now. I know a woman who's wasn't as fortunate and her Mother was so mean to her. Don't know if I were her, I'd have the same sentiments.

As I said, only you can decide what is best for you. I also have something you don't seem to have, the help and support of one brother and a niece when I ask. I know exactly how you feel, hating living in your town, but another difference might also be, I'm 66. I've had a good successful life and was able to do pretty much all I wanted to do. Would I have my same sentiments if I were younger and had things I want to fulfill? I honestly don't know. Learning more about your situation, it certainly sounds like the best thing is a nursing home. Even if she comes to live with you, you can't be with her every minute of the day, which is what it sounds if she's already set fire to the kitchen. I, thankfully, have had none of that. I'm fortunate in that I can leave her for several hours and all she does is lay on the couch. She's never fallen or done anything dangerous. Every situation is different and you, and only you can decide. Good luck. I didn't give a hug because I don't know how to set that on here. But I would have if I knew how.
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oh my gosh is right!! Youve responded more than my family!!! Yep ive been fighting the doc for 2yrs he said she was looking for attention BS. Ive googled and diagnosed this all on my ownsome! Now im drained just so tired and want my life back. Im single never had kids have my cat hope to meet a nice guy before i get too old thank the lord i dont look my age and look about 15yrs yonger than i am!! So many people say you couldnt possibly be a carer you look to good!! HA! xx
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OMGosh, she needs to be watched 24/7. She is a danger to herself if she is up on ladders and starting fires. Have you been doing this for the past four years? My mom is very sedentary and is legally blind. She also is diabetic and can't administer any of her medications, much less fill the syringes or pill boxes. It's overwhelming for me and I am capable. Sometimes loving someone pushes you to make hard decisions. You too have a life to live. I am blessed that I don't have to work and that my husband supports me in watching my mom. There are four children in our family and the responsibility is on me and my younger sister. We will take turns doing it, six months here, six months there, until the good Lord decides to take my mom. She has been ready for years. I totally sympathize with you.
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Rebeccaj dont take this the wrong way im glad you were happy to look after your dad and maybe you had a good relationship with him in your life and thats great but dont think that we all have great parents that we are just so happy to care for its not that black and white I have done the best for my mum since I was 4yrs old so I dont do guilt trips! I am not finding this a joy to do so sorry if I dont share your sentiments i want my mum to be at peace one day and soon as we cannot take anymore we need peace now and a home is the best all round you can love your parents dosnt mean you have to like them!
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Thanks guys for your support! I hate this town always have! I want to move and start my own business and only ended up here with my mum because of an accident I had its 4yrs now and ive healed from my injuries and want my life back! My mum owns her own house so this will have to pay for her care which may mean a nursing home no other solution here as they is noone to look after her my brother can call up every day BUT shes not safe at night. SO FAR: she has set fire to kitchen,keeps leaving her front door open even at night?? refuses to move her bedroom downstairs and comes down stairs in the middle of the night with cups and things in her hands?? wont wash,dosnt understand money anymore has lost her cards and now last week someone watched her at the bank and got her pin number and card and cleaned her out? this is not the first time shes been robbed and has lost 11 credit cards in 2yrs lost 3 pairs of teeth,lost her hearing aids OR broken them,is putting food in strange places like butter in the cupboard eating mouldy bread?

Last week when she was here on her own here at night late she was up a ladder painting her room?

She is not safe on her own and we dont have neighbours who can pop in its not like that here people keep to themselves and they are ALL quite old themselves but not with dementia.

My mum could come and live with me but refuses she wants to stay in her house and thats that but this is no longer possible shes a danger to herself shes also diabetic and dosnt seem to be taking her meds properly which is very dangerous. Nobody wants to go into NH but whats the alternative that she dies here alone and may not be found until the next day? Its very tough but I cannot stay here living like this I have no life and no social life which is not me ive always had a great social life with lots of interests and cant live like im 90 already. My mum is a very angry unhappy person and very difficult to please she has done NOTHING her entire life to change her life or make it better and now this its sad but she lived her life like this. I want whats best for her and thats been looked after 24/7 where she is safe. None of my family want to come home and look after her shes not easy to live with and never was BUT shes our mum and she needs our help and support. If my family dont come together and come up with a solution then I will have to go for my own sanity. I wouldnt mind if my family were grateful but ive had nothing but snide remarks made and when i was screaming that mum wasnt right I was told that shes stressed about me living here??? now they are starting to see that she is not right but its too late for me ive been through so much with her on my own and they need to wake up and help her. If my mum does not want to come and live with me then what can I do she cannot live alone and a NH is the best solution that I can see so far?
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My mother is currently living with me in my new home in TX. I'm sorry you are going through this. It is very hard taking care of an elderly parent, but twice as hard with they have medical issues like dementia. I left my mother for an hour yesterday to run to the grocery store. I felt it would be okay since my mom sleeps most of the day. Wouldn't you know it when I got home she was in the family room looking for me. I told her I was going to the store to pick up some pop for her but she thinks it takes 5 minutes. Driving there and back and getting in line all takes time. My mom was also diagnosed with dementia. She forgets a lot and doesn't truly understand everything you say to her. She had a stroke 3 years ago which made her filtering difficult when talking to her. Believe me when I tell you my mother is my life. She is just different now then the mom I remember. She likes to be alone a lot and I still have a family to run regardless. Please don't let folks judge you are give you the guilt treatment. Every circumstance is different and you have to do what is best for you and your mom. You might ask her to come stay with you for a bit and see how she likes it. I don't know if you have a job or not, and frankly, I don't know how folks do it that do have a full-time job, but maybe, just maybe she might like it. Not going to lie and say it will be easy. Takes a toll on everything and everyone: spouse, grandkids, and mainly you. Good luck and will pray for answers to come your way. Carmen
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If you have a husband and children that you leave for your mother or even a career that you really love, it's a LOT harder decision and you might regret not placing her in a nh where you live and visiting daily instead.
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Kazza, please do not think this is a judgment. It is not. Only you can decide what is best for you and your Mother and no one else can live you life. I just want to give you my experience.

When my Dad died in 1999, I came home to be with my Dad actually 24/7, never left his room except for "essentials". I even slept in a lazy boy chair I moved into his room. There is no amount of money anyone could give me that would come close to the satisfaction I have from doing that and spending that time with my dad before he died.

In 2005, I moved from Denver, Colorado, back to my stinking (as to things to do)small home town in Pennsylvania. My life had been in Colorado for 20 years and I had a vibrant social life. I was retired (early) and able to travel a lot with friends. However, I didn't want my Mother to drive any more (it was dangerous) and my home town has no public transportation or taxis. My two brothers who lived in town were married with jobs and family and just didn't see she needed the help. At that time, she didn't need any help except for driving for like groceries and doc appointments. So, I was able to go to Denver a lot to see friends. However things have deteriorated in the past two years and she can't live without every day help -- I am pretty much tied here.

I hate living in this town, don't know many people, and have no life away from my Mother except for a poker game I play on Sundays. However, I wouldn't change a thing and would still do this for her for many reasons. I know she appreciates it, she gave up a lot of her life to raise me up and teach me to be a good (hopefully), successful person. Now is my time to give back to her and I know after she dies I won't be able to do anything for her -- nor will there be any time to undo things I might not have done for her.

No, this is not necessarily my responsibility. I have 3 other brothers, 2 here in the same town. Of those two, one is very good and helps when I need it, as does his daughter. The other brother here, well, he thinks if he calls her every other day then he's helping. The final brother lives somewhere else and hasn't even seen Mother in a couple years. Yes, it is not necessary my responsibility, but when I die and meet my Maker I only have to answer for what I did or didn't do for my Mother. The other two no help brothers will have to answer that they didn't do crap for their parents.

You say your life is not where your Mother lives. I don't know if you mean you're married and your family lives else where or it is your job and you don't want to change or what. If it is your job and you couldn't or don't want to find one where your Mother lives, maybe you could take leave under the Family Care Act until you can figure things out.

You can't afford full time care, but want her to go in a nursing home -- which is not free either -- you do not want to put your mother in a state run one for those with no money -- believe me, I volunteered in one for a short time until I couldn't stand it. If you have money for a nursing home, you might have money for part time care with the help of you siblings.

Does your Mother really need 24/7 care? Your brother lives down the road but can't be there 24/7, but can he just sleep at your Mother's house so she isn't alone? What I am starting next week is the woman who cleans Mother's house, and Mother really likes her, is going to come in Mon., Wed., & Fri., for just 2 hours to help her take her meds, fix her lunch and give me get a break from 7 days a week. Plus she isn't charging what a home health care company would charge, but appreciates the money. If you are concerned about her falling there are the life alert companies.

You say your Mother has no neighbors. Have you talked to any of them to ask if they can call you or a sibling if they see something. My Mother's one neighbor when she found out my Mother's situation told me to put her phone number in my cell phone if I ever need help -- it was totally unexpected.

I live across the street from my Mother and am over there a lot, but she is also alone a lot. I have the house plastered with notes and stuff in 64 pitch on papers that are laminated (so they don't get dirty) to help her when I'm not there -- plus they give her the sense that she is still independent. While my Mother needs a ton of help, she doesn't necessarily need someone actually there 24 hours a day.

I'm sure if you get together with your siblings and start brainstorming, you will come up with ways to keep your Mother in her home.

Believe me, I know how hard it is to give up your life to take care of your Mother, but again believe me, you will not regret it. Plus, any friends in your life at your current place who do not support you are not really true friends. My one friend from Denver flies in twice a year to take my "get a break trips" with me -- which is really necessary. I'm lucky in that my one brother and niece step up and take over when I need a break. Plus, I have a friend who lives about 2 hours away and lets me come down for an overnight break when I need it. We all need breaks because none of us -- even those that seem it -- are made of steel. We just try as we can to do what is necessary.

No matter what you decide, Kazza, I can guarantee if you decide to move where your Mother is, when she is gone, you will not regret it. Good luck in whatever you decide.
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We took my mom to be evaluated and she was found with depression and dementia. The secretary of state had took her llcenses and she was not able to drive herself anymore,
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Kazzaa you never mentioned any other siblings. I am not a mind reader and I am sorry you found my answer offensive. Hope your family sorts things out.
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The diagnosis will help. Once my mother was diagnosed and the doctor deemed her a vunerable adult needing 24/7 supervision thats when the state assigned a case manager and we were given help. She recently reached the level of care requiring skilled nursing so we had to place her in a nursing home. Very sad for me during her lucid moments I just want to put her in the car and bring her home. I have to force myself to remember how impossible it was at home and I am working fulltime with a 17 year old still at home who is not an angel. Sometimes I think my work was my saving grace because the state paid for her to go to daycare which gave me time away from her care. If the weekends were completely overwhelming I cant imagine being home all day with her. Frontal lobe dementia sucks.. Dont waste your energy with siblings that don't have a clue.. I gave up quick with that because unless you live with the dementia you cannot understand what the caregiver goes through.. Good luck and best wishes.
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Kazzaa, how did your mother get robbed? Who are the "they" that took all her money from her bank; and how did they get access to the account? Did she fall victim to a telephone or direct mail scam? If so, I'm wondering if this incident could be considered as "prima facie" evidence that she's not as capable of taking care of herself as she claims.

When you wrote, "my mother is NOT just my responsiblity I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters she is also THIER mother," I can soooooo relate to this! My husband is the youngest of four siblings; but because two of the others conveniently live out-of-state, they've shown little to no practical interest in their mother's well-being over the years. He personally bore the burden of her increasing care and supervision needs single-handedly, virtually without respite for over six years, while struggling to hold down a full-time job and provide for our own household. Now that he simply just can't do it anymore -- his mother is currently on Medicaid in a care facility, with the govt. trying to take her (very modest) home while the facilities are holding him (as DPOA) personally and individually financially liable for any and all costs of care not covered by govt. benefits -- the siblings are citing their own money problems as justification why *They* can't contribute anything (time or energy-wise, either) to helping out their mother. We'd simply asked how involved they wanted to be with their mother's situation and care decisions (since they very seldom (if ever) call or write). Guess we shouldn't have expected the situation to change significantly now, after years and years of relationship neglect. :\
But it does seems like there should be a law, that if one family member is to be held legally and financially responsible for their parent(s), then ALL the family should share the load -- and not just dump it on whomever happens to live within the closest proximity. I can "hear" the frustration with your non-involved siblings expressed in your post; and a lot of the members contributing to this board have also written of similar experiences.

Another way in which our situations are alike: My mother-in-law was extremely headstrong, in everything from surrendering her drivers' license (long overdue), to taking a bath or shower; taking her prescribed medications (for depression and thyroid); or going to a doctor about her frequent complaints of circulatory-related pains. When the "crisis" finally happened, she had an acute bacterial infection and stunk to high heaven because she went weeks (or months!) without showering, changing or washing her clothes. My husband had tried to get her to use a bath chair (she had a walk-in shower); but she was all like, "that's for old people," lol.

Probably some of those reading this are wondering, how on *earth* could ANYone deteriorate to that degree without SOMEone taking intervention -- isn't that elder neglect/abuse? All I can say is, they've never met my MIL. It took my husband, two EMTs and a police officer (along with sedation) to get her into the ambulance, she was yelling, screaming and striking out physically at anyone within reach. That aggressive, agitated, "combative" pattern of behavior had pretty much continued off-and-on during her hospital stay and during her first two to three months in long-term care; although I personally think some of the care facility staff exacerbated the situation by not properly seeing to her needs. She's finally beginning to settle down some now; but not until after she was forced to go for "psych counseling" (code for doping her up with various heavy anti-psychotic meds, IMO) and later still got discharged from her first facility for behavioral problems (or so they claimed).

It sounds like you've done some investigating into the applicable laws of your state regarding elder issues. That shows wisdom and foresight on your part (we literally had *No* idea of where to turn, in our own circumstances); but you may still want to consult with an elder attorney regarding the best way to handle your individual situation, preferably BEFORE your mother ends up in a hospital or nursing home, or even before she gets medically diagnosed. That is my advice to you, in the hopes that, should you have to shoulder the burden of overseeing your mother's affairs without your siblings, at least your own finances won't get decimated in the process. The "learning curve" was unfortunately straight-up for us; and there's quite a number of things we'd have done differently had we known then what we know now.
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Thanks spooky! I do not have a diagnosis yet? And certain members of family either dont want to know?dont care or are in total denial? im hoping the diagnosis will wake them up?? I am trying to get POA but not easy to push my mum with this but it needs to be done asap and she was robbed last week they took all her money from her bank, so I dont know how long until we have the money again? I am trying to take responsibility for her as noone else seems to give a damn right now all I am getting is she needs to go into a home as she cant live on her own. My hands are tied until I can get this diagnosis even the als assoc. would not really help or answer any questions as she wasnt diagnosed yet? Thankgod for this site! To answer your question if my mum fell here on her own she would be here until someone called the next day? so you can see why im worried. I dont think you have to be incompetent to be considered a danger to yourself and here you can be MADE a ward of court which means the state CAN commit her to a home this will only happen if she does not have POA what a mess eh? the health system here is dreadful and any sniff of money or property they will try and force you into private care as they cannot afford public carers. This gov no longer care about people and keeping them in thier own homes they just want to save a buck!
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What she means I think is someone has to take the responsibility.All heads together make it much easier,If your mom has a fall or something is there no one at all whoo can come? My sister and I moved our mom in with me.I am home more.Mom has dementia,and cannot be alone at all on some days.Maybe yours is ready for an assisted living place instead?I live in Maine,I can get my mom help if she ever runs out of money,but she doesn't want to go...
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Sorry Ferris I find your answers quite offensive my mother is NOT just my responsiblity I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters she is also THIER mother and if I cannot get help and support from them I cannot do this on my own. We are not all made of STEEL!
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Thnaks guys! My mum owns her own house they have fair deal here which means you put your house up as payment for care the government pay a small percentage. The problem is she is still competent and does not want to go into a nursing home? she does not want to move with me so I can look after her which would mean moving 3hrs away. My brother lives down the road but cannot be here 24/7. My mum is not capable of living alone as she has a habit of leaving the front door open,shes diabetic and is not taking her insulin properly,basically although still competent she is doing some very dangerous things how can she be left here on her own at night? My mum has NO friends,NO neighbours,No husband and only entitled to 3hrs care a wk. So you can see my dilema I can no longer live here as this is not where my life is if she dosnt want to move with me I really dont know what else to do?
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You keep referring to "they" who don't exist, and unless a person is a danger to themselves or others, no law is going to force them into a nursing home. If you need to leave her, then she will be on her own, and will have to fend for herself since you are leaving her on her own. This is your mother and no one else is responsible for her except you.
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Laws and available assistance vary by area. Please get in contact with whoever in her area takes care of such matters. Start with local courthouse or law enforcement or social agencies.
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Kazza, I have a lot of questions for you. First have you looked at all possibilities for funding? VA benefits if she or her husband was a veteran? Is there a life insurance policy that could be converted? Does she own her home? What about a reverse mortgage or sell the home to pay for care. How much care does she need? Is she still driving? If not who can help with Dr. appointments and grocery shopping? Is she at risk for wandering?Do you live in the same town? Is there anybody else who can help? Have you checked with churches in your area to see if one has a day care program for people with dementia that could offer some relief? Depending on where you live there may be different options.
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Most definitely contact your local (county) agency on aging, they can provide you with help and advice. They can, if your mom's condition or home environment is deemed unsafe, remove her to a nursing facility and appoint a guardian. Unless you are legally responsible for your mother (POA or guardianship), you can't be charged with elderly abuse. In my area, the Office of Aging recently removed a couple, both in their 80s, from their home and put them into a nursing home, even though they had neighbors helping them out.
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If you don't make proper arrangements to take care of your mother, you could face charges of elderly abuse. I would suggest seeking the advice from your government agencies that deal with the elderly.
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no one can force her unless she is declared incompetent.
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