How do we make the Power of Attorney fix up the home and modify the bathroom for their elder aunt’s safety?

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We have a situation which is complicated! We are living with my husband aunt and are the sole caregivers! A friend of his aunt went out and gain POA/Trustee before we could gain conservatorship! The home is in need of repairs and her bathroom needs to be modified for her safety! His aunt has Alzheimer/Dementia and she has had numrerous falls because it is hard for her to get around in! She is paralyzed on the right side in which she drags her left leg and her arm is restricted! So stepping up into the shower causes her to lose her balance! The carpeting has feces and urine from her dogs now and before which is being transferred over to our carpet! We have been here for 5 years and the carpets have never been cleaned or replaced. We don't have the money to replace it...we are on a fixed income! His aunt also needs a power chair! When we take her out she gets tired and weak after 50 feet! She walks with a walker and is 83 years.
We pays the monthly expenses for the home, which is paid for! The POA/Trustee is not helping us with his aunt and is only concern about her money! What can we do to make her fix up the home, get the things needed and done for his aunt and make this home safe and healthy for all of us!


First of all, she isn't ABLE to clean up the feces or urine herself, so you need clean it up IMMEDIATELY. If the health department knew what kind of conditions you are living in, they would red tag your front door and NOBODY would be able to occupy it until it was cleaned up. Secondly, figure out a way to get the dogs confined to one area of the house, and remove the carpet from that area and install a piece of cheap linoleum flooring if they have any "accidents".
Not to sound condescending, but if you are going to take care of an elderly person, you have to actually DO the work to take care of them. You need to buy a shower chair for her to sit on when she showers, a toilet chair to either have on the toilet or in any given area she is in, and also rails IN the shower, outside the shower when she steps out, and rubber backed mats to lay down on the floor and tub floor so she cannot slip and fall.
If this is too much for you to handle, you should really check into getting her into a facility that an take care of her the way she needs to be taken care of. To allow her to live in feces and urine is just unbelievable, it makes me think she is being neglected in other ways as well.
Hi Julia,
I would see how much is costs to rent the carpet cleaning machine from the grocery/pharmacy store (if they do that in your area) I sometimes see Rug Doctor vac's available to rent. Try doing that to keep the cost down. Also see if there are any reasonably priced Carpet Cleaning co's in your area..perhaps some might have deals? Or a high school kid who wants to earn some money can do it for you.
If you check your local pharmacy in my case Rite-Aid..they have a lot of stuff you can get to make the shower more secure. I got my mom a tub chair..for when she takes baths, we just set it in the tub and have her sit on it and do most of the cleaning while she's sitting. Our tub has a hand held spray nozzle so it works pretty good to wash all the soap off.
I don't know if you are eligible for a power may get that looked into...or you can just get a simple wheelchair. I bought my mom's new around 189.00, but if you look in the classified ads or thrift shops you can find them a heck of a lot cheaper.
For the doggies, could they be confined to a outdoors or patio area or even baby doors on the kitchen entrances and keep them in there...the tiled kitchen floor would be easier to clean. I told my g/f to do that when she got dogs since she never had dogs and finally she listened to me and got them and now swears by them to keep all her little poopers in!
You might want to consider a wheelchair-accessible bathtub or shower. No standing required.
i got a motion detector from radio shack for 90 dollars when my moms med. made her dizzy- it beeps in my room or wherever i put it when she gets up so i can assist her walking so she wouldnt fall- she rents a wheelchair which is great for trips to the store or bible study- i also bot a tv monitor so i can look to see if shes getting up out of bed or just rolled over so i dont have to get up every time she moves- i rented a carpet cleaner to clean the carpets its was only 45 dollars from longs drug store- she also has a shower chair- but i think we are gonna try baths so she can be covered with bubbles i think shes embarrassed sitting naked on the chair- i would rather do baths when i get older to - hope this helps
YOU or the PoA/Trustee need to call the Area Agency on Aging for some help. They need to visit and get the old gal into a nursing home or assisted living. If the POA is now responsible to ensure that she lives in a SAFE and CLEAN environment. You're not a "caregiver" if you're not willing to clean poo from carpets or rip it up or If you don't understand where/how to rent her a wheelchair. Sorry if you're insulted but the situation you describe is bad for your aunt. YOU could be charged with neglect if you don't seek help for her. The PoA/Trustee could be charged with abuse too if they aren't willing to spend the old gals money to make sure she's safe and clean.
My father was in a similar situation. He is paralyzed on his right side, limiting his mobility. Him and my mom also had no money. They also had family members living with them. These family members destroyed their home.
The first thing you need to do is find a way to do the modifications and repairs. Hold a yard sale if you have to and look at their budget and squeeze what you can extra out of it to cover the repairs. You can do this. Repairs for floors are not too expensive - you can learn how to install vinyl flooring on your own. Vinyl flooring is both cheap and works great for paralyzed victims for shuffling and wheelchairs. It is also easy to install - I learned from Youtube and Home Depot. Someone at a local church might be able to help you too.
Second, people still have rights as long as they are legally competent. To be declared legally incompetent, a psych eval had to be done and a medical professional had to state and document incompetency. If a person has not been through the actual process to be legally declared incompetent, then you can still take that person with you to a lawyer and redo paperwork.
Third, speak to the primary doctor about a power wheel chair. That's the first step. From my own experience, a person who is paralyzed or limited in arm strength on one side can not physically operate a manual wheelchair - they spin around in circles. You probably need a power wheelchair, not a manual one. Not even a scooter works out for my dad - the 3 wheels are hard to balance on and they are also difficult to operate and get into for a paralyzed person. A power chair with controls on the left side would probably work best, it is the only thing my dad with one arm can operate and get into on his own.
Modifications to the doors are cheap, too - you would need to make sure the doors in the home are widened to 36 inches wide for a power chair to work. Start with the most important doors first - the entrance door and the bathroom door. You would also need to build or buy a wheelchair ramp as well. You can find out a lot of info on ramps on the net.
Getting into a shower when you are paralyzed is scary if not impossible on your own. You could try installing grab bars near the toilet to make it easier to use. You could install a toilet-bidet on the toilet to help keep tushy clean instead of toilet paper, something that is difficult for paralyzed individuals to use. You could try bathing from the toilet rather than the shower using a no rinse soap and shampoo you can purchase online or through walmart or walgreens or similar stores. These are all items that cost less than $100 each - the bidet, the door and door frame, the soap, the grab bars. They are also easy to install and you can find a lot of info on how to online. You could do them slowly, one at a time or one each month or two. As a caregiver, you need to think outside the box. You could try cleaning tushy from the toilet without a toilet-bidet (not a bidet, but a device that fits onto a toilet and works like a bidet) too. Use a spray bottle filled with warm water and rinse from the back and front while sitting on the toilet. Hope this helps
what do you mean by TRUSTEE? talk to the doctor, allow the doctor to send a letter to the Soc. Sec. Office stating that he suggest you should be the candidate to become her Authorized Representative. Take that letter to the bank and open up a new account in her and your name. Contact the Soc. Sec. office and have her check Direct Deposited or MAILED to your address. Not even she will be allowed to handle or withdrawal her own money. Soc. Sec DOES NOT recognize POA's. ALSO, have a Payable Upon Death added to the account. This way should she become incoherant or die you will be able to use the money for her care or funeral expenses. REMEMBER as an Authorized Rep you will a record keeper and must report all expenses once a year to the IRS. They will mail you the form. ALSO the person can change their POA' at anytime. CONTACT the Elder Senior Attorney office and take her in so she can change her POA'. The other person will mailed a letter stating they are no longer a POA. good luck.
Addendum. The soc. sec. office will contact you with an appointment for the Authorized Representative hearing. IF/After you are accepted, THIS is the letter you take to the bank. But you can take her to the attorney to have her change her POA rights to you and discontinue the other POA of the other person while you are waiting. In the meantime, if she is able to travel, take her to the bank and open a new account with you and her names adding the Payable Upon Death. After the Doctors office letter and Soc. Sec. appointment and acceptance of being her Authorized Representative you take that letter from the Soc. Sec. office to the bank and have her check deposited into that account. No one but YOU can touch it or speak with the Soc. Sec. Office. good luck again.
I see that sylvester18 and LynnPO misunderstood the condition of the carpet!! It is cleaned of feces and urine, it is not left on the floor, but after being in this home for 50 so yrs and always having dogs, It gets inbedded into the carpet and needs to be replaced!! The stains becomes difficutlt to remove!! And to replace carpet or tiles are not cheap!! The dog is confined to the kitchen, but the damage to the carpet is done!! We have had it steam cleaned but the stains remain!! We take very good care of her including getting into the shower with her when she was unable to wash herself! She goes to the bathroom on her own when I'm not around but it is not easy for her! You also need to know that she still wants to be independent, and will swear at you for helping her! We have the bars, rubber floor mat and the chair for the shower! But to get into her shower and to move around in the bathroom is very tight and difficult!! I am interested in the motion sensor! I frequently check on her throughout the day to make sure she is ok!! She does loose her footing and I try to watch her as she move around the house, but sometimes I don't hear her when she gets up!! This is a very large house!! Also there is a housekeeper that comes in every Friday for any little cleaning there maybe! There should be no need for me to spend money I don't have on fixing up needed repairs to her home, when she has the funds to do so! She always kept up the repairs on her home until she started having problems! These expenses are not cheap!! Therefore the P.O.A should take care of it for her now!!! I have taking her to the Drs for the Power Chair, but she was denied!! she has a wheel chair but the foot rest is missing!! I asked this woman to replace it, and to do the repairs, but she does nothing!! This is suppose to be a site for support, but I feeI that people are judging me!! I do everything possible to make life easier for her, with her fighting me sometimes every step of the way! I didn't join this site to fight with you about my situation! She feels she don't need help and she don't need a wheel chair!! I am not a handy woman and I do not do floors, walls or any of that! I was looking for advice on what I should do, but being accused of neglect instead by some!! So thank you beta42 for you suggestion and all others for your helpful advice!! I will look into the Soc Sec Office info..thanks you much JudyC!!~,~

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