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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    How do I get an competency hearing on my mom?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    My mom has been through some severe trauma, ranging from witnessing my dad's suicide to being the victim of attempted murder herself. For the last several years she's been on a decline with some moments of competency followed by doing and saying things, like threatening to kill me and my daughter, that she later doesn't remember. She's been diagnosed with everything from bipolar to several different personality disorders. She is not capable of working and has in an SSDI claim. To top it off, she has several medical issued from heart problems to chronic pancreatitis and a large cyst that's going to kill her if it's not removed (she needs Medicare to do that). She has attempted suicide, and right this moment she's on on a 5150 72-hour hold. She also has what a counselor called "issues with tension manipulation control", which she tried pulling on him and me in front of each other. If she doesn't get her way with me, or if she thinks we have some money left that we aren't using on her, she threatens to go back to the freak who tried to kill her. She's terrified of him and knows he'll follow through next time, but she says she'd rather go back there than to live here with a daughter who she says doesn't love her because I've done "nothing" for her. She is incapable of seeing what my husband, and even his mom, have done for her. She is incapable of seeing how we've financially drained ourselves to buy what she needs, to buy her medications out of pocket (over a dozen, and they're not cheap), unable to understand that we've fallen behind on our bills and have been selling out personal possessions, unable to understand the importance of taking her medications, unable to understand that I had to close my small business to dedicate that time to "being there" for her when she complained I neglected her by working for 4 or 5 hours a day, even unable to understand something as simple as why I'm going to clean up a shattered glass before playing with my toddler. She no longer recognizes dangerous situations.

    Her mental ability is not questionable in the slightest to those who know her, and her own doctor has submitted to the SSA for her SSDI claim that her mental condition isn't stable. She did had a psychiatrist hundreds of miles from here, and hasn't followed up on care down here, and I can't make her. More often than not she acts like a young child, and doesn't have much of an understanding of very much anymore. She was a nurse until all this started, and nursing is the one thing she still understands plain as day, though she is physically unable to work.

    My question is, as the title says, how to get a competency hearing. It's not just that she's doing stupid things with her life, but she doesn't even realize what she's doing and later often has no recollection. She has diagnosed mental disorders, in the plural, and is unable to take care of herself. I've been trying for a few years now, but when she doesn't get her way, she leaves because she can, and then the whole ordeal ends up draining what little money my husband and I have saved up. At this point, we save money to get her back here from wherever she ends up and to replace whatever she's lost while gone when we really need to be saving money for a car since ours died (I even had to drop out of college because I can't get to my classes). It's not efficient in any way to keep with this back-and-forth, but without her being deemed incompetent legally and put into my care, I have no power to force her to take her meds or to go to her psych appointment, and it's ruining all of our lives.

    We really don't have much money. We've been so drained that I'm not sure how we're even going to pay rent next month. Scraping together even a couple hundred dollars right now is a daunting and overwhelming task that I'm not sure we can do. We're already borrowed from all our family and friends to the point that no one will lend another penny. I need to have my mom declared incompetent so we can force her to stay on her medication and get the treatment she needs before she ends up dead and/or my family ends up homeless.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I suggest that you make contact with the California Department of Mental Health

    1600 9th Street, Rm. 151
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    (800) 896-4042 or (916) 654-3890

    They may be able to assist in petitioning the appropriate California Superior Court for a court ordered evaluation of your mother as provided under the state’s Welfare and Institutions Code.

    But I fail to see how her being declared severally mentally impaired will improve on the existing state of affairs unless she is involuntarily committed to a state hospital.

    Very sad situation for all concerned and you have our sympathy.

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