My Senile Mom will become a ward of the state


#1

I am not sure where to put this but this is a good start.

My 76 yr old estranged mother will most likely be put into State Care by the authorities after a several year decline in her mental health. Her latest series of falls landed her in a 3 wk hospital stay (and a surgery) with a 4 week Medicare rehab. Since she is making NO progress and is not expected to recover she will be released.

She needs long term care. She is expecting my father, dead for 27 years, to come pick up, doesn’t know her own address or phone number (held for the last 23 years), and when I show her a photo album of my children, she forgets them and the pictures within 10-15 minutes. She does not have alzheimers - just severe dementia.

The problem?
She firmly believes she has the ability to take care of herself, by herself at home–alone. She refused to consent to nursing home care and without a court order, she doesn’t have to go. And if she gets there - she AT ANY TIME can leave.

Despite having a long term care policy that would cover in FULL 4 yrs of nursing home care, over a $1/3 of million in assests NOBODY can touch any of it because she gave no one power of attorney and she now can’t. The state Texas sides with her. Unless I pay $$ thousands in legal fees and get someone to give me a bond = to her estate (not going to happen - her estate is worth 4x our household income ON TOP of own mortgage & debt) she will be put in state custody with adult protective services on Wednesday. And in all likelyhood, the money my dad died for (lawsuit settlement) will go to the state instead of his grandchildren and will squandered instead of judiciously used for my mother’s care (like any other govermental agency).

My mom & me have been estranged for the last 4 years because I wanted her to follow doctors orders and move to assisted living and quit driving while she was still ‘aware’, but she told me to go where the sun don’t shine instead. didn’t need that drama in mine or my children’s lives. 4 years ago she fell and couldn’t get to a phone so she laid in her own filth for THREE days until the housekeeper found her. 2 years later her drivers license was revoked when she nearly drove her car into a 7-11 (yes INTO) and she didn’t recall where she was or how she got there. This is the straw that broke the camels back - she CANNOT go home. But in Texas you can go home and die if that is your wish, unless you call in APS.

It has been almost 2 months since this round of drama started. I am the youngest of 5 children (only of my mom’s third marriage) and NO ONE but my aunt (he sister) is helping other than just an email saying ‘good luck.’ My mom has not been a nice person so she drove most of the family that is still alive–away.

I am soo depressed - I can’t sleep, eat like crazy and can’t focus on anything. I am so heartbroken and frustrated.

I can’t bring myself to leave the house today, so I didn’t make it to mass today. I am too tired and too stressed. I hope God will understand. My aunt is driving 9 hours to help me close up my Mom’s house and remove any heirlooms before the state decides to auction them off.

sigh

I have prayed countless rosaries, been to weekday masses and Christ has given me strength - but I am exhausted.

thanks for reading.


#2

We will add you to our prayer list.

[This isn’t much consolation, but the situation you describe is so “routine” … arguably almost all of my friends are in the same boat … everyone is in the same situation and there aren’t any easy answers. Actually, there aren’t any answers. You’re doing the right things.]

There are books out there about dealing with “toxic older adults”. There is no logic. There are no special words to get a favorable outcome.

Just take care of yourself so that you don’t sucked into losing your own physical or mental health. One author even recommends “unplugging” for self-protection. The social workers have seen these situations over and over.


#3

I will pray for you, your mother, and family.


#4

My Mother has been treated with meds for Alzheimer’s for the last 10 years. Since last year, she is living with us. Before that, she lived alone. Is your Mom on any medications for her dementia? My Mom acted out once. I told her doctor if this was the way it was going to be, I would not be able to take care of her. He put her on Seroquel. Within one day the paranoia was gone and she was pleasant. Even she remarked, “I don’t know what the doctor gave me, but I feel so much better.”

Won the driving battle by telling her if she had an accident she’d be sued and lose everything. Bingo…keys were in my hand.

As one wise man told me, it has to get worse before it gets better. As she became worse, it became easier for me to do the things that were needed done. Before that, I’d get arguments with the inevitable threat of removing my Power of Attorney.

I have been stunned how many people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some type of dementia are not on any drugs. Take her to an Alzheimer’s specialist or to a neurologist. Some doctors just don’t prescribe these drugs and they are out there for you. Maybe she would become lucid enough to be able to entrust you with a POA.

You are not the only one that this has happened to. I know of four other families who watched the estate disappear because an elderly parent had dementia and never assigned control over to a family member. Terrible.


#5

She was hospitalized and had a shunt put in for water on the brain per the advice of a nuerologist. It didn’t help. She is also on 2 alzheimers meds and an anti-depressant (because she went on a hunger strike at the rehab).
She occassionaly has lucid moments, but because two doctors (1 at hospital and 1 at rehab, concurred, with family physican of 20 years) there is no way I can get a PoA now.

It truly saddens me that so many people ‘know’ of people iny situation that there is nothing in place for such people who fall through the cracks. If we lived in another state, the testimony of the 2 doctors would be enough to automatically assign me PoA, but not in Texas - it’s ridiculous!

Thanks for the all the thoughts.


#6

Father, you alone know the needs of this family. We ask you to hold up this daughter as she watches her mother suffer. Hold her up as she struggles with all that she is going through. We trust in you Jesus for all of our needs!
AMEN


#7

Glory be to The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be
World without end

Amen


#8

Prayers up - how awful…


#9

Your story is one of those that make me feel confused about what to say or do because your situation has been and is so painful; compounded by others’ similar experiences on this thread. So I ask Jesus to pray in me for you, and for them.

Our God please intercede in me all my life for other people, especially now for those families whose parents are unloving or ill. Accept as prayer, my desire to help others, and bless them in all our interactions.

Please accept as prayer for others, every breath, heartbeat and cell of my body, every thought, word and act of my life. Let all I am as child of God, be united with Your love for others. Let me become a living “amen” to all Your loving hopes and dreams for other people. This can only be realised through Your merciful love, which You reveal through Jesus in those who follow His ways.


#10

It’s not really an issue of people falling through the cracks. People need to have their rights protected because of abuses that have taken place in the past.

When an older adult continues to manifest “toxic” behavior, continuing on a life-long deliberate practice of being “difficult”, they are simply behaving in a way that has gained them benefits in the past. The benefits are attention and getting their own way. It’s like the tyranny of a two-year-old who has not learned or who has not been taught self-discipline.

These are not nice people. These are not reasonable people. If they were nice or reasonable, they would be surrounded by loving family.

Jesus said it’s easy to love people who love you back. It’s difficult to love people who are difficult. But, while we have an obligation to see to it that they have food, clothing, and shelter, we do NOT have an obligation to be a punching bag for them. And when we do provide food, clothing and shelter, we do not have a right to demand appreciation for our good works.

Just make sure that what they need is available, and get out of the way.

The buzz word for that is “tough love”.

There was a fellow in New York City who used to live on the streets and assault passers-by. He got a lot of sympathy and some newspaper reporter asked around and found that the fellow actually had a family … and a generous government pension [he had retired from a good paying job] … and he had an actual apartment! He just preferred to act like a “street person”. And because he was so skilled at playing the victim card, no one challenged him.

Some of these “toxic” adults have a psychological disorder … sadism, for example … or they may be psychopaths with other disorders contributing to the chaos they create. Some may have a form of Munchausen’s syndrome … in which they secretly injure a child or other family member in order to get sympathy … gaining sympathy is their highest goal and greatest good. Nothing matters to them, in those cases, except gaining sympathy … and they will endure all sorts of self-induced public suffering in order to gain sympathy.

It’s important to recognize it and then back away to protect yourself. Some of these “toxic” people will attempt to get others to perform illegal acts to rope them in … perhaps signing documents improperly or stealing money for them or getting them drugs illegally … All you can do is to just nod, be sympathetic and get away and minimize contact. When they complain, just say, “yeah, yeah, I understand. Well, I gotta go now. Bye.” Agree with them and then do nothing. Just make excuses when they press you. “Oh, yeah, something else came up.” Just get away from them. If you argue with them, or attempt to convince them with logic, or try to use persuasion, they will have succeeded in one of their goals of pushing your buttons.

If they want your consent to take your money or get you to cosign a loan, or borrow your car, or to lift something too heavy for your health, or something legal, just say you have to go now. Or just say “no” but say it gently. “I’m not comfortable with that”. “Sorry, gotta go now.” “You need to get someone else for that”.

Unhappily, there is no nice way. These are not reasonable people. They cause a lot of problems. Just back away.


#11

Praying for your family.


#12

Yes, it is ridiculous. If she were a child, the state would be looking for a relative to care for her. Granted, this was done to protect adults from greedy kids but if the kids have shown interest and been the primary people looking for ways to care for their ailing parents, they should be given priority. I’m wondering how the law would read if she was not suffering from dementia, suffered an accident and ended up in a coma. Would Texas step in then?


#13

Hail Mary,
full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the Fruit Of Thy Womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Amen


#14

Praying hard.


#15

Our God please intercede in me all my life for other people, especially now for those families whose parents are unloving or ill. Accept as prayer, my desire to help others, and bless them in all our interactions.

Please accept as prayer for others, every breath, heartbeat and cell of my body, every thought, word and act of my life. Let all I am as child of God, be united with Your love for others. Let me become a living “amen” to all Your loving hopes and dreams for other people. This can only be realised through Your merciful love, which You reveal through Jesus in those who follow His ways.


#16

Novena Prayer to
St. Anthony of Padua

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints,
your love for God, and Charity for his creatures,
made you worthy, when on earth, to possess
miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your
word, which you were ever ready to speak
for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by
this thought, I implore for you to obtain for me,
[for those who are stressed a cure for all ills]
The answer to my prayers may require a miracle.
Ever so, you are the Saint of Miracles. O gentle
and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full
of human sympathy,whisper my petitions into
the ears of thy Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved
to be folded in your arms, and the gratitude
of my heart will ever be yours
Amen.


#17

Let us continue to pray for all of these moms and dads who create difficulties for their families.


#18

I will say a prayer for your mom and then one for you and your family. I don’t have any other advice, but I know this is painful for all of you. I pray that Jesus gives you some peace with whatever happens.


#19

UPDATE…

Thanks be to God!

My Aunt (her sister) who lives 9 hours away came up on sunday and yesterday/today we have tried to help my mom and today we have success!!

  1. My Aunt has been added to my Mom’s checking account so my aunt can write the checks to pay for her care. My Aunt hopes to add me as well ( didn’t want to push it) since I live so close (30 minutes away)

  2. My Mom signed the claim form so we can utilize her Long Term Care benefits to be deposited in checking account above…

  3. We found a Dementia/alzheimer care facility that will take her and my mom SIGNED the paperwork to be admitted. She moves tomorrow!!

Yeah! Prayers have been answered and so many wonderful people helped us along the way. It doesn’t solve all our problems but it does keep her safe (most important) and she retain some control over her circumstances instead of the government. Praise!!

Thanks for all your prayers.


closed #20

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