You need to consult with Adult Protective Services and/or contact the Alzheimer's Assn. to find out how to go about obtaining financial rights and responsibility for your mother. It may involve a court decision which requires 2 physicians to attest to her mental status.
As for the hallucinations that your mother-in-law reports, it is important for someone to accompany her to a doctor's appointment to rule out a medical reason for her behavior. Is she on medications? Any pharmacist can tell you whether mental side-effects may be present. Memory assessment at a local facility or neurologist with expertise in distinguishing dementia symptoms would be the next step.
It's time for someone to be with her the entire night. Unfortunately, she cannot understand the notes and instructions she may receive before she is left alone at night. The only way locking doors works is if the caregiver is in the house as well and knows what to do in case of fire or another emergency. Often, this type of wandering becomes the trigger for family members to consider placement in a memory care facility where her safety is assured.
My new book, Support for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes, has been published. Written just for you, it is filled with stories about situations that many of you face, with messages that offer you validation and comfort. Go to amazon.com for a copy, and let me know what you think of it.
Now that's something to be thankful for on this special day, JudyView Thread
I finally can report we have finished moving - now it's about how to find a place for the contents of all those cartons! Downsizing is some chore.
My new book, Support for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes will be available on amazon.com by November 20th. Reading the stories in the book is like attending a support group meeting - I hope you find it comforting.
Meanwhile, Thanksgiving will soon be here. If you can involve your loved ones by just talking about the holiday, and asking about how they feel about it, you may hear a response that will make Thanksgiving more meaningful for you.
Dave and your daughter are on the right track. First rule out physical reasons. Have there any other changes at the nursing home that would upset your mother? The nature of the hallucinations may reveal her anxieties - have the social worker or psychologist check them out. Talk to her about her hallucinations- do they reveal fear? Then you can reassure her. If the hallucinations are not disturbing her peace of mind, it may be OK to just let them pass if they do not signal infection. If the hallucinations are disturbing her, then a psychiatric assessment if in order.
Just wanted to add that local churches and senior centers offer free services to give you some relief. There may be day centers through Catholic Charities which could help. The Alzheimer's Assn. has may resources as well.
Somehow I missed your post - my apologies. In some cases of Alzheimer's, a gene, APOE4, has been found but not in the majority of patients. When both parents have the gene, there is an increased risk. I would suggest you contact your local memory center or Alzheimer's Assn. who can direct you to a genetic counselor to review the details of your situation and give you more accurate information and review options with you.