Blog by Joy Loverde
My Mom is 83 and has had "mental problems" in the past. Everyone has always "walked on eggshells" with her. She is a volatile, controlling person and expects everyone to "wait on her/do for her.”
That said, she has spent $40,000 in CD's including her "burial $", and run up her credit card to $16,000. She came to live with me six weeks ago because she realized at that time that her $ had run out. Her social security cannot cover her expenses - she comes up short every month with her spending habits which she refuses to change.
She has now reverted to her "crazy" personality and is insisting that she go back to her condo. She screams & yells that I am trying to steal her $$. She has not eaten any food except goldfish crackers for over a week & lied to the doctor that she was fine.
Everyone (including her sisters) tell me to take her back to the condo and let her do what she wants. I don't want her to get hurt but I cannot tolerate her abusive and passive aggressive behavior toward me. Elderly Services told me that she is an adult and as long as no doctor has declared her incompetent she can do what she wants. Any advice?
Elderly Services is right. Your mom is an adult and as long as no doctor has declared her incompetent she can do what she wants. At the same time, you can petition to be her guardian in a court of law.
My family and I believe my mother to be schizophrenic. She has a cyclic pattern that is disruptive for the whole family. She can not keep employment, housing, or an automobile because of her behavior. Presently she has no where to stay, and my husband and I invited her to stay with us on the condition that she went to see a therapist. She exploded and told us that we no longer existed to her and that she would go and stay in a homeless shelter. I know that she won't do that because she is afraid to live by herself. I would like to become her legal guardian to get her some help. We both live in Louisiana - she is in Baton Rouge and we are in New Orleans.
For starters, contact the Elderly Protective Services (EPS) and describe your situation. This agency protects adults who cannot physically or mentally protect themselves. The state office hotline number is 800-259-4990. To pursue a legal guardianship, contact the Public Guardian office and seek advice on how to proceed. Another source of assistance will be the area agency on aging. Call 800-677-1116 to obtain information about local resources.
No matter what route you decide, think twice about taking your mother into your own home. If she is as disruptive as you describe, your family will suffer dearly. The professionals at the local agency on agency can help you with housing alternatives.