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Serving families in Palm Beach, Martin and Port St. Lucie counties

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If Mom Needs Treatment, Make Sure She Gets It!

Judie Rappaport
June 30, 2015

Dear Judie,

Mom’s (86) so confused her assisted living community wouldn’t let her stay without private caregivers. A recent podiatrist visit revealed feet so dirty and crusty her socks actually stuck to them and had to be soaked off for safe removal. I confronted the aide who said Mom starts screaming if anyone touches her feet. The agency supervisor said; “If the patient refuses treatment, we can’t force her.” What now?    

  • Paula, PSL


Dear Paula,

Technically, we all have the right to refuse treatment. In the real world, Mom’s care is appalling. Extremely confused patients cannot and should not dictate their own care.  The agency/assisted living community’s apparent lack of skills may have put Mom in extreme danger. Why did they wait so long to make an appointment with a physician to determine why Mom protects her feet? Are they painful? Infected? Did the community call a psychiatrist for her behavior? Have other potential medical issues been ignored because of her behavior? At minimum, the assisted living community should have alerted you to the problem and admitted they could not care for Mom appropriately. Call the resources below for referrals to physicians skilled in treating confusion and for help finding Mom a safer, more appropriate home.

Resources:  Alzheimer’s Community Care (Martin/St. Lucie-772-223-6351; Ft. Pierce- 772 466-3261); the Alzheimer’s Assn. (800-272-3900), or Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s Assn. (Vero (772-360-4838).


Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©



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