How best to help someone who thinks you're out to get them?
September 1, 2009 5:23 PM Subscribe
Seeking some advice on how to best help my father in law. You are not my lawyer; you are not his doctor.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze to Law & Government (3 answers total)
My father in law has just been discharged from a psychiatric facility after he stopped taking his Haldol a couple of months ago and spiraled into paranoid delusions and ended up in the emergency room (he has also suffered from epilepsy his whole life & ended up in the ER after a seizure, but that's not the issue at hand).
Short version: he cannot continue to be held at the psychiatric facility, and a course of Resperdol has gotten him aimed back at lucidity, but he isn't there yet. My wife is the only child in the local area, and her parents are divorced, so the onus falls on her. In speaking with the psychiatrist and doing some research on my own, here's where I am in trying to help address his health and well-being over the medium and long term:
1. A durable medical power of attorney (and possibly a bundled advanced directive) would be a proximal step; because this was not in place, getting cooperation from the hospital staff was right out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. There are freebie legal forms for this.
2. Home health care agency services. He needs medical supervision because prescription blood thinners are a medical necessity. Ideally, I'd like to ensure as much as possible that he stays on the Resperdol as well. I realize this may be in vain, but I have to try.
3. Conservatorship, Or
4. Guardianship, with the help of a probate attorney. I'll freely admit that my grasp of these last two are profoundly shaky, but I'm a quick study.
Add the fact that his paranoia is still very manifest makes these options fraught with potential drama (suspecting my wife and I of being complicit in the conspiracy). For that reason, and because I'm concerned about continuity of care should we relocate away from the area, my instinct is to look into naming an agency as guardian/conservator of record.
Obviously, he may not consent to any of this. What I need from the hivemind is advice on the above options, please. Insights, pitfalls, the like. Also: if he does not consent to any or all, how do I seek assistance (not where; I'm okay finding local resources - I need to know what questions to ask).
I have the name of a probate attorney as an initial contact; his psychiatrist has also begun the process of contacting a home health agency to get at least that ball rolling. Thanks in advance.