Any ideas? Advice please!!
I have a problem. My mother is disabled, she is confined to an electric wheelchair, she has severe short-term memory problems, very bad arthritis, she's very obese due to the prednisone, and I don't know what else. Her doctors that are managing her various conditions are agreeing that she needs a weight-loss surgery because she needs to lose weight to improve all her other health issues- but she can't do it being in the wheelchair and with the other issues.
She first told me this over a year ago, and has told me all this time that she's waiting on the doctor, or waiting on Medicare, or waiting on who-knows-what petty official to arrange things. She still doesn't know when or where the surgery will take place. She is firmly under the impression that she can't have the surgery in Hawaii where she is because there is no Medicare-approved facility but she has to do it in California (which is probably the case) but she thinks that she will have to go there, stay in a hotel at her own cost, and either have me come or hire an aid to help her with the recovery time- 24 hour care for one week- all in a hotel, all out of her (my) pocket!! I told her, won't Medicare pay for the recovery time?? She insists that it won't, "Medicare doesn't make sense." So I called Medicare- and in 20 minutes found out that all she has to do is the doctor transfers her to a Medicare-approved hospital in California (there are lots & lots), she goes to the hospital, there is a deductible, she has the surgery, stays for the recovery, end of story. After a year, I find out she has it all wrong! And when I try to tell her she is wrong, she gets offended and refuses to answer my calls!
I mean- she seems to have a history of not being her own advocate- she's like the biggest victim in the world, she's got a permanent "kick me" sign on her back. She was supposed to have a helper-dog, but that has taken what, some two years I think. The crazy list goes on- and on- and on- to infinity! But she's perfectly convinced that she's right and she's handling everything just fine, that suffering builds character, that God is ordaining her suffering, that she can't say anything to the powers that be lest they bury her file in the the Round File and she never gets any help at all. It's all insane- I can stand to listen to her for about 30 seconds before I go stark-staring mad, and then she uses that as an excuse to say I don't want to hear important changes in what's going on in her life, so that's why she didn't tell me the surgery she had said was scheduled is now NOT scheduled- etc!
So I'm getting really worried about her decision-making abilities. The biggest problem is- she's an only child, and I'm an only child. It's just her and I, and she has no family or even friends over there. She's in Hawaii- and I'm in NEW ENGLAND. I'm married with kids and can't just pop over there! Not that it would do any good- she's furious at me for butting in (we DON'T get along well, never have) and now she won't even answer my phone calls. I'd have to pay airfare, hotelfare, babysitting/dogcare for the kids/dog back home, everything- it would all go on credit cards, if we could even do it- I don't even know if I could do it- and she wouldn't talk to me when I got there.
I called the "Elderly Affairs Division" in Hawaii but they can't/won't help- they only deal with 60+ year olds and she is 58. But she is disabled, can't even get around without an electric wheelchair, and I think she's doing this slow spiral around the drain here. One of these days I'm afraid her landlord is going to go knock on the door to collect the rent and either find her on the floor unable to get up for three days or dead. But it sounds like she's not quite incompetent enough to be declared "Incompetent" and there's nothing anyone can do. Is this right?!? Are there other options that I don't know about?? Thank you!