My sister has power of attorney. How much power do we have if mom refuses to move to assisted living?

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Our mother, 76 yrs old, has a serious balance issue. It has gotten progressively worse over the last 3 years since our stepfather passed. She has had more MRI's, CT scans, exams than I can count. She has also had 2 spinal fusion surgeries, both of which we thought may alleviate the problem but it didn't. She has been seen by her general physician, orthopedic, neurosurgeons, etc. No firm diagnoses. Over the last 2 years, I estimate that she has been to the ER 12 plus times for stitches. Has broken her collar bone, C1 vertebrae, nose twice and seriously dislocated her shoulder (All separate incidents) She now has to endure shoulder replacement surgery before the end of the year! These are the accidents that we KNOW of. There are others where we see the bandaids and bruises that she shrugs off as "nothing". We have pushed for her to move to assisted living so much that now she is extremely defensive about any suggestions we make. Gets angry to the point of screaming and shutting us down. Insists that she is fine living by herself. As much as we have insisted that she at least use her walker (Has 3 types plus a scooter) we see her continue to walk (wobble) around the house without it. When she does she is usually carrying something in one hand (glass of wine, knife to but an apple, phone, etc). Seriously won't work like that!!
With the upcoming surgery we are strongly recommending that she be released to an inpatient rehabilitation center. She was at one after she broke her neck for 6 weeks and seemed to enjoy the attention! Now she is adamant that she will NEVER go to a place like that again. It was actually a beautiful facility, clean, no odors, very well staffed, regular PT everyday, both physical and occupational, etc. We can't let her be released to go home after. She got angry at my sister last night, screaming...."Don't worry, I will make sure that you and your sister don't HAVE to stay with me!! She also has a VERY low tolerance to pain meds. Gets really loopy and tends to act like a 5 yr old, if you know what I mean. :) Between my sister and I we could manage to stay with her at night for a few days but she would still be alone in the day. She has a housekeeper who gladly takes her to PT appts but she is almost as frail as mom.
My sister has a power of attorney, don't know anymore than that. I'm sure there are different levels of "power". Don't know if it's medical, financial, etc.
I'm sure we're not alone, any advice?


Have you talked with her doctor about this? There is 'durable power of attorney' that will allow you to talk to and make medical decisions for your mom should she not be able to. Either you or one of your siblings should at least have that. Her doctor should know about your concerns with all this falling, but more importantly the DOCTOR should be putting his foot down about this stuff too. He or she should be the one that's telling your mother that she can no longer live alone. That she HAS to use her walker constantly, even at home. If your mother's doctor isn't following through with this, then it's time for a second opinion. You and your sister evidently aren't going to be able to force mom into asst. living, but her doctor ought to have more clout. At least in your mom's eyes maybe. Good luck.
Thanks Nancy.......Yes, her doctor has told her, I was sitting there when he did. As soon as we left the office she downplayed it like it was just a suggestion. That was almost a year and numerous injuries ago. It's impossible to even have a conversation about it. She gets so irate!
I'm just going thru this myself. My mom (90 diagnosed dementia) is now at home with 24/7 aids. I have DPOA, but the last behavioral health facility she was in last 2 weeks - the doctor wouldn't sign that she was incompetent. This made the medical POA "revokable" should we have admitted her to memory care facility. Now in less than 5 days, 24/7 in home care is not working out due to her violence against aids, refusal to take meds, etc. I called Elder Law attorney today and was advised that as POA, I will need guardianship and will have to go to court. Looks like we will have the needed paperwork to gain guardianship or let court assign ad litem to manage the guardianship while I maintain POA for finances. Not sure I want guardianship at this point since mom is violent with in-home aids and I fear will be same or more so when forced into memory care.

I had hoped DPOA (medical and financial included) would be sufficient to do what I needed to get her the care needed; but it is not in my case. Without parent's cooperation; you pretty much need legal guardianship established and this requires court proceedings....

I will be going thru court proceedings and never could have guessed it would come to this. My mom is too paranoid, delusional to cooperate or trust me with arranging the care she needs; she will not relinquish guardianship willingly to me at this point.
I think that sunflo2 is right -- without parent's cooperation you pretty much need legal guardianship. Sigh. So do everything you possibly can to get parent's cooperation. One thing you can do is explain emphatically to the social worker where she is having surgery that you CANNOT provide her help when she gets home, that her housekeeper is too frail to help her after surgery and you do not want to see her released home until she is stronger. Getting her into a rehab facility may be the first step.

But also work on accepting the fact that if she is mentally competent (as a court would judge it) to make her own decisions you can't force her to live where she doesn't want to, and you probably can't get guardianship. If she's competent, she can make her own decisions, even bad ones.
After her surgery have her placed in inpatient rehab, I did that with my granny, she had no choice. I do have an activated POA, that was activated while she was in the hospital after surgery. She became very confused, disorientated, thought I was her dead sister. While she is in rehab, at that point get the social worker involved thru the facility and have her placed in AL right from the facility. The social worker will be able to guide you as what you need to do. It's not that difficult of a process. Your mother will probably scream, get mad at you but they do get over it. Once she in AL she will enjoy it, although she may never admit it to you. Also, I would definitely get another doctor! He sounds like a quack!
we were just told last week from our elder lawyer that the only way to get DPOA activated (full control) was when dad was found incompetent ...other than that we were told when he was hospitalized or in a rehab etc. we could help him with doing the financial end but had no real powers....hope your not in PA lol....
I just went thru some of this, to include mom beginning of being violent (only w/me so far). I had a DPOA (since 2007), but 1 1/2 yrs ago mom had it revoked and did a General POA for my brother if ever she was deemed incapable of taking care of her self, property etc.... She (86) revoked my DPOA because I stayed in her business to much as she stated to the judge 3 1/2 wks ago.. Mom didn't know I knew she had revoked my DPOA untill this yr (May 16, 2013) but my bro showed me when abulance had to come to her house oneday around that time; but I never told mom, and she thought she was being sneaky w/me (lol)....that's just how her mind works these day. My bro came 1 1/2 yrs ago and I had been w/her 6yrs trying to do for her, but she didn't see it that way, and still don't. Anyway, this yr Apr 9th I petitioned for guardianship for me and my bro as a last result, I didn't want to do it but too me I had no alternative ( I had already talked to docs, lawyers, Adult Protective Svcs, and taken her to police, but nothing worked). The thing w/getting guardianship (and that trumps any POA or DPOA), you need docs participation. They wouldn't give me any information due to Privacy Act, liability etc...but it turns out that her court appointed lawyers had all I really needed. They did there own investigation..and interviewed my witness, mom, and docs (yes, I had bank statements, witness statements (affidavits), bro/sis go ahead, and do what I have to do); but her lawyer did get what was truely needed...her docs all stated in statements/interviews that my mom needed a guardian, and how they talked w/her and she didn't care about bills etc..but kept giving money to scammers ie..being exploited due to her vunerabilities of her mind; they even had stuff I didn't know about..they're the ones that got docs to actually state her diagnosis ie..Sckizophenia w/Paroniod Features, and some demensia ( we (bro and I), knew something was going on for yrs but no med proof). I had how she was living evidence going back to 2009, bills, threatening letter she wrote to me because I wouldn't get her money orders for "$49.99" to send to scammer; In the letter she stated that "whenever I ask for whatever, I better get it or else?". It was as if she called herself gong to write me out her will (I'm doing fine, so if she did fine) or something, I laughed back then, but I kept it all those yrs (2010) and even showed that to judge. At that time she was doing and saying so many creapy things that I even bought a tape recorder and was going to record her acting crazy w/me. I never used it but I still have the recorder. Her court appointed lawyers actually came through for us...What she didn't tell the judge but I did "Is that her mind has been going for yrs,and she very vunerable to the scammers, not paying household bills, opening various bank account ard town for scammers to cash fake checks in..while she was being held liable for them etc....). The only way I found out about the other bank accts is because she slipped up and putted one of the fake cks in the acct I paid her bills in (2009-2011), until she got smart and switched banks on me, then refused to pay bills because they was in my name...I had to pay because it woulld have ruined my good credit, and possibly lose my job/clearance. She told judge that I was trying to get into too much of her business and that's why she revoked my DPOA,, and switched banks (sneakiness/demensia)..Yes, she also forgot to tell judge that she was money laundrying for them and cashing lg sums of Money Orders for them ie...Money Order Scam, Jamican Scam and I dn't know what else...since she switch banks. These were peps that contacted her on the phone/letter etc..never in person. When I found out I tried to stop all of it, but she felt I was in her me it was do a guardianship or my mom would have possibly eventually go to jail for what seems as if she didn't know what she was doing. To this day I don't think my mom knows right from wrong anymore. I know I get carried away w/writing about various mom do, but bottom line if you file, the court will make you notify all concerned ie.... her children, bro's/sis, aunts etc...and will make you sign in front of clerk that you notified all concerned of the hearing date..pref mail; but I did both phone/mail. Some of my fam protested...but they're not here or have the decentcy to come down to visit to see what me/bro have been talking about for they can protest or whatever... but we have guardianship now, but she is still fighting..LOL
Oh I forgot, one of the last straws that made me follow through w/filling for guardianship was her stating to me and her doc that she didn't pay billls for 3mo is because she bought a passport and glasses. Doc asked her where she going w/passport she said she needed it to go somewhere. With more probing, turns out scammers told her she shoud come visit the castle she owns in some country. She also stated that she was giving her car to sis in AZ (bro need her car to take her to doc appts etc....), and then and there all types of red flags went off in me and doc head... Doc pulled me aside and told me to find that passport and take it...that and all the stuff above told me to file.. As my mom talked about this passport, her castle, and the 18 million the scammer told her she has saved up by sending them $s...told me to file and file soon, and I did......I'm getting all her anger, and in her mind she justified and nothings wrg w/her; but oh well at least I'll know where she's at w/fam ask me...
I am in the same situation with my mother. I live an hours drive away and refuse to to do anything to help her except at my convenience. She refuses to move out of her 3 bedroom home she cannot manage or agree to someone coming in to help her. She has COPD and some mobility issues. My sister takes her shopping weekly, but that could change in the not too distant future. I would like her to agree to moving closer to me in a more manageable living environment, but refuses. She wants everybody to come to her. I refuse to alter my life for her convenience. I do not interfer with her choices and allow her the consequences of those choices. When the time comes and she cannot live on her own, I will be forced to make the choice for her which I doubt she will appreciate.

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