So, anyone out there with ElderCare issues? How do you deal with it?
My MIL is living with us right now, in a place that is WAY too small. She can't handle her meds on her own - heck, we can barely figure them all out to give to her when she should have them. Her short term memory is horrible, but she's convinced it's fine. She's with us because she was in the hospital after screwing up her meds.
We've said she can only be with us about a week while we work to find other arrangements. Even a week is going to be tough, and she is pushing hard to just go home. My SIL(DH's sis) and her son live there, along with another woman who is living there in exchange for helping with housework & such. MIL is convinced that with SIL, the other woman, and a neighbor (who is older than MIL and we think has many of the same issues with memory & such) working together, they can handle the meds and taking care of the finances and all that. This is the same group of people that were helping (sort of, if you can call it that) before she ended up in the hospital.
Things we've found out during this whole mess:
- she has been smoking in her bedroom & the bathroom, and falling asleep with lit cigarettes. There are a number of burns in her mattress, the carpet, and the bathroom carpet.
- everyone involved - SIL, neighbor, woman living there, BIL (DH's brother, who doesn't live in the house) knew about the cigarette burns and that she was messing up her meds (forgetting what she'd taken and taking more, taking too many pain & anti-anxiety/anti-depressants, etc.) And they did absolutely nothing. It's been going on for a while and they didn't even notify DH so HE could do something.
- BIL and SIL have been siphoning money from their mom. BIL owes her thousands that will never be paid back.
- She got scammed several years ago for > $15,000. It was the scheme where they claim that a relative is in jail & needs money immediately. They claimed to be DH & DH's lawyer at various times. She thought the person sounded like DH. They managed to get her to send money 3 or 4 times, all based on the supposed incident, even though they were claiming he was drinking & driving (he doesn't drink alcohol, never has, & she knows that), and even though she talked to him in between the times she sent money. She didn't bring it up, & didn't question why he never said anything about it, but still was supposedly having these problems & needing the money.
The part we just found out - BIL was there when she took at least one of the phone calls. Again, he did nothing. We found this out because DH & BIL were fighting about everything, and BIL told DH it was his (DH's) fault she got scammed, because BIL saw their mom try to call DH when she got the scammer call & since DH didn't answer, she sent the money. BIL said he knew it sounded wrong, but it was DH's fault for not answering phone.
There's more... but that's enough for now. Bottom line - hospital's only goal was to get her out as quickly as possible. Psychiatrist at hospital claimed she was fine to go home. Hospital said there was nothing they could do about making her go to some sort of care facility because she was physically ok, didn't need PT, etc. Doctor would only release her to DH with the promise we would be handling her meds. DH was afraid if he refused, they would turn around and release her to BIL or SIL instead of getting her into a care facility, even though BIL and SIL have shown they will NOT care for her. And we got a call the day after she got out about setting up her nurse visit and PT, even though the hospital claimed she could go home because she did not need either of those.
UGH!!!!! We want her to have as much freedom as possible. But it's obvious to us she can't completely take care of herself anymore. She can't/won't see that she needs the help. Her life revolves around her grandson, & at least part of not wanting to go somewhere is because her house would have to be sold, and then where would grandson live? She is more of a parent to him than SIL is.
The whole thing is a mess. And there is nothing to help us force her to do what she needs to do!
Additional info: DH is her POA for medical and financial both in case of her being incapacitated. But she doesn't think she is. And we both know how hard a road we're looking at to have her declared incompetent - and that it might be difficult, if not impossible to get that kind of ruling anyway.
We're talking to all the appropriate agencies & such here. It's just frustrating that we can see how bad the situation is, but as long as she insists she is ok, there is very little we can do to force the right things to happen here.