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Thread: difficult choices

  1. #11
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    Thank you for your replies.

    The situation is that because my mother has been diagnosed with capacity to make her own decisions she can decide to refuse care. She owns her own home and has more enough money for her own care but she thinks that she doesn't need it. However, when things go wrong Mum's first thought is to ask me. She thinks she's okay mentally but she is not. That's the downside of Alzheimers. I have made clear to my sibling and my mother that I cannot be available like I used to be. The big problem now is that my mother has started wandering and is a danger to herself and others because she keeps falling in the road and passing motorists pick her up. She can't remember her address but points vaguely at my house and she ends up at my place, or a neighbour will call me on my business phone telling me to come and get my mother. It has happened a few times. So no I cannot make mum go into a home, or have carers in her house because legally she can refuse. I am not an attorney I have Power of Attorney with my sibling to help mum with her finances. Apparently, this is more common that you'd think. Elderly people who are considered mentally capable can make (good or bad) decisions about their life and this has to be accepted by their families. The issue I'm dealing with my mother's habit of wandering and, because I live next door I am the first place she is brought back to. It is a very sad situation and I wish it didn't have to be like this. When my mother has one of her wanderings she ends up looking all upset and I take her back home, make her a cup of tea and leave her in front of the TV and it's like its never happened. It is the Alzheimers. Thank you all for replying. It's helped sharing it.

  2. #12
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Who declared your mother has the capacity to make her own decisions? Was the person who made that decision aware that she wanders out of the house and onto a busy street and has fallen and had strangers bringing her home?

    Nobody in his right mind could declare that she is mentally competent.

    It would be a shame if you had to wait until she gets hurt in order to get care for her.

  3. #13
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    Thank you for your reply.

    I had to really push to get my mother's GP involved because mum refuses to go to see her doctor.

    In the end the surgery sent a paramedic or made a judgement that, at that moment, he thought mum had capacity.

    The paramedic then reported to social care who then told me that everything was 'fine'

    Because I don't have a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney where I could make decisions about our mother's care this means that mum's health provider has to make that decision.

    It has been left that if mum has a fall or there is crisis then social care will become involved.

    When mum had her last wander this week and a motorist had to bring her back to my house I spoke to social care about it. They explained that if my mother fancied going for a walk, has a fall but is okay then that is nothing worry about.

    I explained to them that this was impacting on my life and they suggested that I move.

  4. #14
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    What a royal nightmare.

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  6. #15
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    Have you explained to your mother that her choices are making your life a nightmare? That you can't live your life in any way because she is taking up all your time and energy? That approach worked with my parents.

  7. #16
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    My aunty is in the same boat, brittle bones from osteoporosis, 30% lung capacity thanks to emphysema, a fiercely independent woman her entire life she’s now forced to lean on others, before I left the state for work I was going around once a fortnight to do housework and walk her dog but that’s a fraction of the work that needs doing. And she refuses outside help too, she’s attached to the romantic notion that your family step up for you at the end. As she did for her father when he was fading. my dad goes twice a week, her sister goes daily. Then her lung collapsed several times and now she’s living with her sister and my dad visits and takes her to see her house. And I took this job because it was a once in a life time opportunity but I dont know if she’ll be there to go back to. Do what feels right to you but if you can delegate some of the work of your business maybe that’s another possibility. Even if your mum hangs in for a good few more years, when she’s dead, she’ll be gone. And when that time comes do you have regrets

  8. #17
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you're going through this. I was following this story but wasn't sure there was anything to do on your end. I think what might benefit you is finding a help/support group for friends and family coping with a loved one with Alzheimer's. I have not experienced it personally in our family but know from others that it is a devastating illness and very painful for the loved ones caring for those suffering with Alzheimer's.

    Is it possible for you to take a time out (maybe once a week for an hour) and seek a support group in your area/community? It might alleviate the feeling of being so alone with all that weight on your shoulders and you can be free and open about sharing your fears with others who are experienced with the illness and being a caregiver. I feel this might also release some of that resentment building up inside you. Feeling alone can do that (isolation in your position). I feel like as a group you might all have better access to more resources too (for example, more heads put together and more knowledge shared amongst you through word of mouth).

  9. #18
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    I don't have knowledge about your country's medical laws, but if I were you, I'd get statements from the neighbors about what happened the day they found her and that she fell in the road and didn't know her address. I'd maybe force the issue if that's necessary and tell them to call an ambulance if it happens in the future if that would be the proof of crisis the authorities speak of. If she can't remember her address, she might one day not be able to remember that she has something cooking on the stove. Get her the appointment she needs with the appropriate doctor and bring all of the neighbors' documentation, and/or do the same to become the legal guardian of a mentally incapacitated person.

  10. #19
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    A paramedic can override what her own doctor says?

    I made an appointment with my mother's doctor (without her there) and spoke to him about my concerns. He could not reveal anything to me (privacy laws) but he did agree to complete and file paperwork to get her some help.

    Can you try this?

  11. #20
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    A paramedic can override what her own doctor says?

    I made an appointment with my mother's doctor (without her there) and spoke to him about my concerns. He could not reveal anything to me (privacy laws) but he did agree to complete and file paperwork to get her some help.

    Can you try this?
    I'd try this among several other things. First, I'd start making preemptive vistits to Mom rather than having her call me. This will enable her to become accustomed to you showing up of your own accord rather than her needing to call you. This alone might curb some of the more ridiculous calls, as these may be her creative way of getting your attention and company--so if you start showing up on your own, and regularly, you'll change this dynamic.

    I'd speak with her doc and ask if he'd do an in-home visit with Mom to assess her. If so, I'd set up the visit for one of my preemptive visits. Then I'd show up with the doc in tow.

    If doc won't do this, I'd ask him for a referral to someone he trusts to make the assessment, then I'd schedule a time with them. Then I'd show with that person in tow.

    Meanwhile, until I can get Mom correctly assessed, I'd schedule an in-home care aid to make one of my preemptive visits with me--in plain clothes--as my FRIEND. I'd introduce them and go about tending to what I've promised. After they chat for a bit, I'd take friend with me as I say goodbye to Mom. Later, I'd phone Mom to talk about my friend being in dire financial straights. I'd tell her that I'm hiring friend to do some work around my house, and I'd ask her whether she might have anything I could offer to pay my friend to do for her so we can both help my friend out financially.

    If that doesn't work, I'd keep paying 'friend' to come for certain events, such as joining my Mom and me for lunch, or whatever. The familiarity may help to bridge the gap in allowing someone else to start helping Mom.

    Meanwhile, I'd also consider hiring your OWN help in running your business and your household, as this can free up more time for you to spend helping Mom. Get creative about what you can delegate to others, such as getting your groceries delivered, you laundry and cleaning and other household stuff done by someone else so you can shift your focus onto Mom's household without a void in your own.

    As for the wandering incidents: I'd phone the police to write up every. single. one. Whoever drops Mom off becomes a witness to her confusion, and it gets documented in a police report. Every. Single. Time. You'll have written evidence, and I'd start working those through the system until everyone gets tired enough of processing the repeated reports to DO something for your Mom.

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