Q: My 85 year old Grandmother is in a nursing home do to mental illness. She is now refusing any and all care. Need advice
My grandmother has been diagnosed with dementia. For the last 6 months she has been refusing to take her medication, which then brings out the very worst in her. Paranoia takes over she picks at her skin to remove probes that control her. It's now to the point where her legs are swollen, inflamed and infected. She will not let the nurse's clean the open wounds and will not go to the hospital for treatment. My family and I have been trying to get her the help she desperately needs with no luck at all. She simply gets nasty and aggressive. The staff are worried she will lose her legs. A physiatrist came to evaluate her but told her social worker that she is capable of making decisions and wouldn't sign off to have her sent to the hospital against her will. I am baffled to say the least. I have duel poa along with health care proxy, what is our next option? Before she loses a leg or her life. It is greatly appreciated
A: If you believe she is incapable of making decisions for herself you can use the health care proxy. If the medical facility refuses to recognize it or believe she is still competent to make these decisions you will need to have the courts intervene. Generally, it is done by seeking Guardianship of the person. However, you should speak with an attorney to discuss all options. I am on the Guardianship panel.
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