My mom is a serious alcoholic. 76 years old but more like 90. She lives in my neighborhood, not my home. I am an only child and there is NO other family around, period. I was out of town for 2 days in March and she had a panic attack and called 911, admitted to the hospital for a couple of days. In April she spent 10 days in a senior mental health/detox facility. Took a bad fall in May, hit her head, I called 911. She was admitted to the hospital for a couple of days. I begged for the hospital not to release her but they did. She took another fall last week and twisted up her foot. She refuses to discuss any other living arrangement (I will not have her live with me - she is verbally abusive and nasty) and mentions suicide on a regular basis (this has been going on for years and yes I've informed ALL of the doctors). If she is hospitalized again, can I refuse to pick her up?

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Call Adult Protective Services and have them get involved.
Helpful Answer (34)

YOU don't have to do anything. She can call a cab for a ride home.

This is just going to go on and on. Obviously, needing rehab/detox, but probably the hospital just wants to turf her out of there. She can be forced into a 3 day psych hold for verbalizing suicide desires...but beyond that, it's not going to be something an ER doc will handle.

AND stay tough. Don't let her move in with you.

Perhaps some Al-Anon (is that the support group for families of alcoholics?) could help you to understand her actions and how to set boundaries.
Helpful Answer (32)

You fundamentally disagree that it is safe for the hospital to discharge your mother home, yes?

So, I can't see how you can be expected to endorse a decision that you genuinely believe is wrong and not in your mother's best interests. More than refuse to collect her, state your active disagreement with the discharge and ask them to put it on record.
Helpful Answer (32)

You don't have to pick her up and you don't have to be around her at all if she's abusive. Let her take care of herself.
Helpful Answer (26)

No, you don’t have to pick her up.
It seems to me that it would be much like you or I being released. Depending on your mom’s diagnosis/condition at the time of discharge, while you may refuse to pick her up, sometimes hospitals send people home in a cab.
Since she is competent and drives she will probably just have them deliver her home.
If she can’t walk etc then the hospital might send her to rehab unless she arranged for another option.
Will she tell the nurse to call you? You just need to be ready to say no. Or call and tell the discharge folks ahead of time not to bother that you aren’t coming and they need to work it out with her.
Helpful Answer (23)

We (7 siblings) met with an elder care lawyer. He told us no one can force you to get in your car, drive to a facility, pick up someone and take them wherever they want to go.
Hospital and nursing home discharge planners can get very aggressive and tell you you have to come. You can say no.
I feel like our father has high-jacked much of my life. Unless I say no, am firm but compassionate, he will continue to manipulate, create high drama, put his children against each other, and exploit each person’s vulnerabilities for his advantage. He is 90-why would anyone expect him to suddenly change now?
You are the only one that can live your life. Please, from someone who has been where you are, don’t let this toxic person hi-jack one more minute of your life.
People that say it is your responsibility to take away her car, get her admitted and treated. That is not right-she has made her bad choices her whole life. She has legal rights. Making you feel guilty because you cannot make it happen is just wrong.
You can call the police if you see her driving while under the influence. You can call Adult Protective Services or 911 if she threatens suicide.
It is not your responsibility to try and fix this-it has been many decades in the making.
Again, my heart goes out to you and anyone else dealing with a toxic elderly parent.
Helpful Answer (21)

I am the original poster. My thoughts are that my mother needs to be in a facility of some sort. When they discharged her from the latest hospital stay I begged them not to and I told them about the way she lives. They informed me that she is competent to make her own decisions, and she is allowed to make bad decisions. That's where we are at. I am trying to take care of myself - I run a small business and have a great marriage and home life. I feel that my mother's behavior could take down my life and ruin it, piece by piece. Part of the reason I would REFUSE to pick her up is that 1) I do NOT want to take responsibility for her actions and DO NOT want to be held accountable for them, and 2) She needs to be living somewhere else than that house. She informed me this weekend she will "die in that house" and there will be no more talk of moving her out. I resent any idea that she will be shoved off into my care and that my life will be sacrificed for hers. She is only 76, her own mother lived to be 97, so we are talking about a potentially very long future for us all! Thanks to everyone who responded - it is so helpful to me in so many ways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Helpful Answer (19)

Rough situation....As a 32 year sober recovering alkie myself, I know that no one can "talk sense" to her....The alkie wants to do the next best thing, which is to get another drink...I choose to not comment on what you might or might not do.

Grace + Peace,

Helpful Answer (18)

Christy, you are verbally abusive and that is not tolerated here.

The simple fact of the matter is that children have no legal obligation to provide hands on care or financial support for their parents. Most of us here have helped our parents arrange their care, some have provided hands on care.

Taking care of a baby and taking care of a demented, or alcoholic or mentally ill parent is NOT something that a lone elder should attempt by themselves. That's my advice to Upstream.
Helpful Answer (18)

Christycat39, I am the original poster. I have given the last decade to my parents trying to resolve their issues. It soaked up my years from age 41 to now age 51. I have no more to give. I would say that what they have put me through is fair "pay back" for their years of raising me as a child (when they were in their 20s and 30s). They had power over me as a child, and could tell me what to do - and I did it. I have spent a very frustrating decade trying to direct the behavior of two bilegerent elders to no avail. Get a clue.
Helpful Answer (18)
suiee7005 Jun 2018
What did cristycat39 post?...I am lost cause I do not see her post
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