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We've moved to TN to help care for my aging parents. My mother's condition is chronic and she needs lots of care, when she receives the needed care she is still fairly sharp mentally - she's interactive and enjoys a good discussion. We've come close to losing my Mother about 7 times, but with the proper care she may still have some good years ahead. The bigger problem is Dad - he's still fiercely independent and refuses to go to a doctor because of the possibility of being diagnosed with dementia and he's concerned about losing his license. So we all play a charade. Although when he is forced out of his daily routine he becomes agitated and angry. He will not relinquish any control of financials or legal control. We've tried for nearly a decade in order to protect the property from the state - BUT alas - he will not budge. My dad is smart about not going anywhere away from home and the familiar surrounding. The one time he did we were at a hotel and he got so disorientated that a maid escorted him back to the room - so now he refuses to go more than 20 miles away. Dealing with him is beyond frustration because we are stuck in this charade. He has standard lines that he says in any given situation; ---- - What do I do? We're all just in a holding pattern and he's the one with his finger on the button. The rehab facilities will not release Mom to his care so we've come to TN to help care for her, but then it seems like he's the one being helped the most. IF we are not here we risk something serious happening to Mom because he cannot care for her. Also we've been told Social Services may get involved if he's the caretaker … bewildered … help I'm going nutty in Nashville --

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Manna, this situation where your father thinks your mother has POA but she has other ideas… sounds like more of the charades game. I agree with PamS - get thee to an attorney and get this sorted. You've got a mess on your hands and you need to take some control of it.
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I have never heard of POA by default. Maybe you should see the attorney.
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I have the POA by default - my Mom is POA for my Dad and he refuses to have it any other way but she has already stated that she will not serve.
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Have you seen an elder care attorney so that you understand the Medicaid recovery process, trusts and the like? Do you have POA for either parent?
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If you don't want to confront your father with reality because his reaction is so extreme, I can understand that. It's no fun, and it doesn't get you anywhere. But I don't see why that means you have to collude with him in the charades game. What matters is what is in your parents' joint-and-several best interests, and denying reality ain't it.

Work with the rehab people in conjunction with local social services to ensure your mother gets all available support once she's discharged. If you are sure your father shouldn't be driving then report that to the licensing authorities in his area before someone gets killed. And then wait for time, and the progression of his dementia, to oblige your father to recognise that he does need help.

Sounds so simple… yes, I know it isn't. But you can't go on backing him up on Team Dad. You know he's wrong, and someone is going to get hurt.
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Has Mom applied for Medicaid? Is that why you had to fill out forms listing assets? I'm a little confused about that part of the picture. And by "protecting" the property, you mean saving it so you won't lose your inheritance, right? It really will make no difference in the care available for Mom and Dad. The state wouldn't get it until they die.

You are their "assisted living" plan. It would be nice if Dad could acknowledge that. He can't. He has dementia (presumably). That means he is losing his ability to reason. His connection to reality is intermittent.

Caring for someone with dementia does indeed resemble playing charades sometimes. Except some of the players aren't even trying to guess the correct answers -- they are content with their own versions and don't care about what is "right."

If Dad were suddenly able to acknowledge that he can't take care of Mom without your help and that in fact he needs help, too, how would that change things for you? What would be different? It is not going to happen, but thinking about why you want it to happen might help you think of some ways to get what you'd like by other means.

It sounds like you moved to help care for Mom and discovered you have two parents that need care. Kind of a bonus two-for-one, deal, huh? Now that you understand the reality, are you still willing to play the caregiver role? It is fair to stop and reassess now that you have a clearer picture.

If you hadn't come, where would Mom be now? Would that be a good place for her? It doesn't sound like Dad could live alone. (Few people beyond the earliest stage of dementia can.) What would happen to him? Would it be so awful if Social Services got involved?

BTW, it scares me that this man is still driving. He could run into a pedestrian 10 miles from home as well as 50 miles away. The greatest danger in driving while under the influence of dementia is not in getting lost. It is slow responses, poor judgment, and a refusal or inability to recognize unpleasant reality.
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Regarding property etc. - When Mom is put in Hospitals and then Rehab facilities -- twice in the past 12 months. All sorts of papers are signed that require their assets be disclosed. As I understand it the way it works in TN is after all the personal assets are gone then Medicaid kicks in and after the person is deceased then the property goes to the state. Had the property be legally put in our names at least 5 years ago then we could have protected it, but Dad will make no changes - the charade is that we are their "assisted living." He's very belligerent and insists that he is her caretaker and has been for 60 years, but in the end he cannot take care of her. Rather than have an atmosphere of honesty and open dialogue, it's a bit like a charade - we just let him believe what he needs to because to confront him about his diminished capacity is to make him very defensive and angry.
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I'm a bit confused here. What is the threat to the property from the state? What is dad doing that involves everyone living a charade? It sounds like everyone agrees that he can't take care of mom, but you can. What is the problem?
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We sat down and agreed to pursue Guardianship through the courts. Of course Mom was mad and said she would NOT talk to a psychiatrist. Our attorney said that would work in our favor, because the Judge will rule with the siblings as long as all are in agreement about the appointment.
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