Multidisciplinary evaluation for adult?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tawnya, May 7, 2008.

  1. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    Hello, my old friends. I haven't posted in some time, but do try and lurk to keep up with what is going on. If anyone knows the answers, it is this great group of warrior moms and dads.

    My question is how do you (or can you) even set up an evaluation for a MR adult? My sister in law is 52 yrs old, and is totally out of control. She has the mental capacity of a young child, and always has. Now she is sooooo manic and has turned violent on my mother in law who is 76 yrs old. There are so many things going on here, but mother in law will not follow through with anything. I am afraid that she will end up hurting her.

    She does definitely "cycle". I've kept track of it. I know the police should be called when she is violent, but how do you prove it? Or make mother in law follow through? She needs a total evaluation at a hospital, but how do you go about it? mother in law has guardianship of her. Does it start with a call to the family doctor? I've tried to get her to tape it or video tape it, but she never does. They have a psychiatrist, and when husband went to the appointment. and asked if it would help if she was hospitalized, she said no. Well, mother in law just tells her that "she gets so upset". None of the details or how bad it is.

    Any advice on which way to start? This situation is so totally out of control right now. husband is picking her up and bringing her to our house tonight to keep mother in law safe. Can we do anything ourselves, or does it have to be mother in law since she is the guardian?


    Thanks for any help you can give us.

    The irony of it all is that the difficult child that brought me here is doing wonderfully! I didn't know I would eventually be dealing with another.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I don't know the regulations exactly, but if someone is a danger to themselves or someone else, can't they be hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation.

    I've heard other people use the term Baker act (I'm not familiar with the U.S. processes, but have read posts from others)

    Sorry that you're having to deal with this, and hope that you're able to get your sister in law into some sort of treatment.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Would it be possible for your husband to obtain guardianship of her, since his mom is growing older? NOT that she necessarily has to live with you, but so that you can get her the care she needs.

    mother in law is NOT helping, but in her day and age you didn't speak about this stuff - often even to doctors. mother in law may also be afraid of retaliation if daughter knows mother in law told psychiatrist more info.

    If daughter is abusing mother in law, eldercare needs to be contacted. Regardless of any mental issues, daughter cannot abuse mother in law.

    The daughter CAN be admitted to a psychiatric hospital against her will if she is a danger to herself or others. Wouldit be possible to set up a nannycam in the home to really see what is going on?

    Hgus, this is hard.

  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    We can give you several ideas to check out--hopefully one of them will pan out.

    Before doing anything else, I'd make one last strong plea to your mom to take action. Stress to her the importance of making good choices now before your sister seriously hurts someone. Once she were to cross that line, the family may have far fewer choices. I'm sure she thinks she's protecting her now, but in reality she's endangering her greatly by not taking steps to get her stabilized.

    You could try the family doctor, although if it isn't also your own doctor or you aren't authorized via a signature, the doctor might be unwilling to discuss it with you. Worth a try though.

    Below is the domestic violence hotline for the state of Indiana. They will be able to point you to local resources. This might be a local domestic violence resource center, county mental health, etc. We've recently worked with a resource center in another state and they are very very helpful.

    Here's a hotline on elder abuse.

    States do have varying options for involuntary commitment up to 72 hours--if in immediate danger, call the police. If not immediate, call county mental health. This option can sometimes jumpstart the evaluation process.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Maybe SS has a point about elder care. My experience with older adults whom you can't prove are a danger to themselves or others is that the doctor just plain isn't going to talk to you. But if you can make arrangements for Meals on Wheels, or visiting nurse, something like that, they are mandatory reporters, and you know that they will see the imbalance in your sister in law. They are also more likely to talk to you and take your concerns into account.

    Do you think that your husband would be willing to talk to them about setting something up? He could approach his sister along the lines of "I know mom is getting to be a real handful, and it's time to find some help for you so that you can have some time of your own." She might not even realize what is going on until the train is out of the station and she can't stop it.
  6. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    You all have great responses, some I have thought of, and some I need to think about. The main problem is that "we" don't have any authority. "mom" won't follow through with anything. Sister in law in question was signed up for and going to "work center". That lasted about a week because mother in law didn't want her sitting there "coloring". husband said wouldn't that be better, mom, with her sitting there coloring for six hours a day and letting you have some peace? She said, no, she can't sit still and would hate it there.

    I'm telling you guys that they are toxic together, and we are getting nowhere. She's going to hurt mother in law who is already crippled. One push is all it would take.

    I don't know what to do.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    My first thought also was to contact the agency that handles elder abuse.

    Unfortunately, I think this is far too common an occurrence for the daughter/MR population. Parents keep adult children at home long past the point where they can appropriately care for them, physically or emotionally - it's an issue I'm already contemplating with Boo and there just aren't any easy answers. I think there's a tendency to feel that we've somehow failed as parents when our own aging interferes with our ability to care for our children. I also know, for sure in my case at least, that there is something just shy of absolute terror at the thought of Boo *not* living with us. A lot of emotional junk that is really counterproductive when it comes to the best interests of the person with daughter/MR but ... sometimes it's hard to weed it all out.

    I'd really strongly recommend contacting the IN Family and Social Services Agency Is your sister in law employed? Employable? How independent can she be? Is she receiving any services from FSSA/DDRS? Is she even signed up with them yet (I'm assuming IN has a wait list)?

    I guess I see this not only as a domestic violence issue, but also an aging issue and a daughter/MR issue. If you feel the situation has become dangerous, I'd contact FSSA/DDRS as well as the elder abuse hotline and raise the alarm.

    My heart goes out to your family.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Tawnya - we posted at about the same time.

    mother in law needs to face the fact that she will not always be there for sister in law, and then what? Would it be better to transition her now to a different living/job situation, with mother in law's support? Or wait until mother in law becomes completely incapacitated or worse, and sister in law has to adjust to both mother in law's state *and* and different living situation?

    Gosh, that looks so hard and cold, but I do hope that when *I* reach that point (and I have no doubt that I will), someone will force the issue and put Boo's needs first, above my own desire to care for my son forever.

    I do think that in fact you do have some "say", at least in terms of reporting an unsafe situation. And reporting and re-reporting if you have to. Squeaky wheel.

    I'm so terribly sorry.
  9. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    Thank you everyone. Slsh, you hit the nail on the head. mother in law wants "her gone" but she won't follow through with anything. It is so screwed up...mother in law now wants to put her in a group home, but my thinking is that it might have been OK 30 years ago, but now?

    I am just so sick and tired of having "her" run the family. I truly believe she can't help most of it, but on the other hand? husband says she is just like his dad, who died long ago. He says mom did the same thing with his abuse. And that is what it is....abuse.

    And at the same time I totally understand that sister in law is sooo sick and tired of just hearing bit**ing all day long that who wouldn't go crazy? Like I said before, it is just so screwed up that I don't know if it can ever be "fixed". I do know that this is all going to fall into our laps one day soon. mother in law looks ten years older than she did last year. She is killing her. Did I tell you that mother in law is cripped, too? One good push would do her in. I'm at my wits end on this one. No one will follow through and it makes me want to scream...

    I have no authority and I know mother in law is going to get hurt.

    Also, sister in law sits on her bed today (and other days) screaming at the top of her lungs that she is going to kill herself. Group home... nursing home...i hope i die tonight.... Over and over and over.

    Someone please help me. What can I do when no one will do what they should do? I am just so scared for my almost 80 yr old mother in law.

    It stinks.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Pick up the phone tomorrow and call your county social services. If they can't help you they'll give you direction.