My 89-year-old grandmother lives alone & refuses to go into assisted living. She falls constantly & can't care for herself. What can I do legally?

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There are home care agencies that will send a caregiver out to her home so she doesn't have to move. They will do hourly or around the clock care. If your grandmother has long term care insurance, it should cover home care. Otherwise, her power of attorney needs to take over because she can no longer make good decisions, and that person can move her to an assisted living facility. However, if she does not want to go anywhere, I strongly recommend you hire a home care agency because with a caregiver, she could feasibly stay in her home till she passes away.
I agree. You may want to also think about a medical pendant as well. Getting help within the first hour after a fall is crucial and can lead to long term injuries and or death. You may also want to contact a geriatric care manager or a friend of your grandmothers or her physician, to come in and speak to her about her options. That takes you out of the picture since she still probably sees you as her grandchild and not an expert. That is normal. Hope this helps.
The best thing to do is hire an In-Caregiver.
you can call adult protective services and if anyone has a health surrogate or POA perhaps take her. Women don't want to leave their home. Also her doctor might be of some help if her take her there for a "physical".
Have you talked with her doctor? Many times balance issues can occur due to an issue with her inner ear.
My Mother is 81 and she did not fall but had a mild stroke last summer. She went into hospital for about 2 weeks then rehab. Because I had power of attorney I had the authority to opt to leave her in Nursing Home facility or take her home. I am the only caregiver, sibling lives out of state. I choose to take
her home, she if fairing well with constant supervision Day Care, homemakers and me. But having Power of Attorney gives you authority to make those decisions

and me
Geriatric care managers are one of the newer options in
the eldercare field. If your grandmother lives in an area in which such a professional is located, that may be an option to give your grandmother
assistance & independance and you peace of mind. Check for information at this website:

First - has she set up a Durable POA and medical POA and who has that?
What are her assets? What are her health issues? How does she manage her day to day existence right now? Is she in imminent danger - and who is determining that?

Second - what family members are there besides you and what is their relationship to her? What are they doing?

Third - If you moved her to AL, are you willing to be financially responsible for paying for all aspects of her care? AL runs $ 2,500/5K per month. If not, then who is?

These are all things you need to take into account.

If she is mentally aware and functional and doesn't want to move, you are really SOL on making her do this. You can have her declared incompetent -you need to contact a elder law attorney in the state where she lives to have them represent you to do this. If she is in imminent danger (usually need 3 professionals to evaluate her and present to court), she can be moved before the competentcy hearing. Won't be pretty. Local Council on Aging can help with these.You or another family member or the state can then be appointed her conservator. If possible you want to avoid this as items are public record, all financials usually require court review,etc - it's very cumbersome & $$.

Actually, if she has no legal documents in place like a POA, will or codicil to an old will, etc., you should get an attorney to set all these things up before she gets too, too old and not mentally alert to legally do this. You don't want this to be challenged by other family members (especially if she has any $$-this always seems to happen).

My BIL had to do a conservatorship for his wife's aunt - who refused to leave her home & pets, was a hoarder and addicted to QVC. She had no real assets, old car, and house needing repairs beyond it's value - they resigned the conservatorship after the first year and let the state take over. It wasn't Grey Gardens but it was pretty nasty as she could not see the situation she was in.

Good luck and keep us posted
In home care ois available for someone who needs help staying in their home. Please be there to interview the person and make sure you check in regularly. They should also be supervised regularly by their agency. Read the contract carefully and make sure everyone understands the caregiver's role. Many people in this line of work are excellent at manipulating the elderly to think of them as a family member. They then begin having a very intimate relationship with the elderly person that goes beyond a professional one. Often the elderly person will start to relate to the caregiver as one of their "children", and start to buy them expensive gifts and help them with their personal life.
Although the at-home caregivers work for some, it did not work for my mom. 2 were terrible and 1 was just fine. This was for a 4 month period as she recovered from surgery about 5 yrs ago.

We had 3 different agencies, each were to come every other day for the 4 hr minimum, usually 2 days were 7 hrs as they had to take her to & from PT. All 3 required using my mothers car for the drive to therapy. Group 1 used her PT time as their personal errand time and had a flat while 'on-duty" leaving my mom stranded at the PT - one of the workers drove her home. That ended that agency. The second one was always late, brought her child once, substituted caregivers without notice, would do her laundry at my mom's and left her in the bathtub. That ended that one. The last one was fine, very caring and actually got my mom looking fresh in cute clothes she normally wouldn't wear & cleaned house as opposed to running a wet-one on surfaces. All were the roughly the same cost $ 15/20 hr. This was private pay and there was nothing special to do like lift a heavy person in/out of bed or monitor medications.

If you do this, plan on dropping in unannounced and setting things out deliberately that need to be taken care of (like post-dated food in refrig or garbage in a room that doesn't get used much, shampoo used) to see if these things are tended to. None of them tried to get "friendly" with my mom but I think one would have if given an opportunity.

Also depending on where you are, the workers may have limited English.

Most agencies will visit your home first without the caregiver, then they assign one depending on your needs. You should ask to interview 2 or 3 caregivers and select one rather than let them do it. I don;t think you hve this option if it's Medicare/Medicaid paid though.

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