Update post: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/comment/28892756/#Comment_28892756
So for a little over a month my grandmother has been steadily declining in health, mainly because she has stopped eating and taking her medication. You might say "it's obvious that would happen," and I would agree, but she is tired of living, since she's the last person of everyone she ever knew in her generation that's still alive. She has been in and out of the hospital, officially for COPD but unofficially because she refuses to taker her oxygen. She is trying to hasten her death, but at the same time calls 911 every time she feels unwell or just bored. Her half-hearted attempt at inviting death is only creating a crisis for her family.
Currently she is in a rehabilitation center, but she is refusing to actually go to the rehab, and has become so weak that she is a fall risk, which means the center has to curtail her freedom since she's a danger to herself. She just wants to go home, but if she goes back to the hospital one more time without spending a certain amount of time at home to reset her Medicare, one of the hospital workers threatened to have her declared incompetent by the state, have a guardian appointed, have all her assets seized, and lock her away in a terrible nursing home for the rest of her life.
Today I managed to explain this to her and convinced her to stay and go to rehab, but by the time I had gotten home she called me in a panic over some imagined slight the doctor said to her, and now she's insisting on leaving tomorrow, again. For the longest time I've felt she was just a dishonest person, but recently (within the last month) I'm starting to think it really is the beginnings of dementia, which her mother had before her, or so my relatives tell me. In one of the rehab sessions the center did a mental test, and she tested marginal for judgement, so this really may be happening.
On top of everything, as this supposed dementia strips away her judgement and inhibition, her inner personality, which is overbearing, bossy, cruel, mean-spirited, manipulative and rude, has come out in full force, and no one even wants to help her anymore, be it doctor, nurse, social worker, or even some members of my family. Everyone is ready to give up on her, and she's manipulating and bullying people into letting her die.
I am not quite sure how to proceed here. She won't talk to a psychologist. Should we consult an elder care attorney?
As it is I'm considering taking off from work for two weeks and going to see she completes the rehab every day, so that she CAN go home like she wants. The problem is that while she'll listen to me when I'm there, as soon as I leave she let's everyone else have a tongue lashing and forgets or ignores everything she and I had talked about previously. I can't be with her round the clock every day. This is already disrupting my and my family's life fairly severely.
So H/A'ers, anyone who's dealt with anything similar in the past, please advise.
Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.