Q: My dad is showing signs of dementia and my mom is in denial
Mom says that dad sundowns and is becoming aggressive by being verbally abusive towards her. My mom depends on a walker to get around, she insists she is fine and can take care of him. I feel they need a live in nurse or be put in a home. My mom won’t hear of it. Will I be held liable if something happens to them? I have done everything in my power to convince mom to get help. She has refused to do so. I asked her to sign POA so I could help and she said no way. She wants to stay in control, but I feel like she is putting herself and dad in danger. What can I do? Thanks!
A: While you may not be financially liable, you may find it hard to live with the consequences. At some point your father may lack legal capacity to decide where he lives (among other things). If a physician completes a Physician's Certificate of Medical Examination showing that he lacks total (or in some cases, partial) capacity, you can apply to a probate court to appoint you as his guardian. Your mother, as his spouse, has priority. But if she is endangering him or her, the court may prefer to appoint you.
Please note that 40% of the people who are in assisted living facilities (not nursing homes) suffer from dementia. While Medicaid does not pay for this, VA benefits can help. Maybe your mother would be comfortable in an apartment in an assisted living facility.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.