My sister has placed my mom into a nursing home, but I am not sure it is the best option or place. How can I be sure what my sister says is true?


How can I be sure what my sister tells me is accurate/true/the best information?
Do I have any power at all over what happens now with my mom (my sister obtained "power of attorney" and I had to sign over even being the executor of their will. My father recently died--suddenly.) My parents had lived in Ohio, my sister moved her to Michigan where she is--and I live in Georgia. My mom is not happy where she is. I know this may be somewhat normal, but I wonder if there could be a better place for her. We are also at the mercy of Medicare/Medicaid.

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Thanks, Jeanne. I didn't even know about a Hippa form so that is very helpful! I've made another contact where she is--a pastor friend who has also agreed to check on her from time to time. I figured it couldn't hurt to have another set of eyes and ears. . and I know Mom will enjoy any and all extra visits. (She LOVES people!)
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What an overwhelmingly stressful year this has been for you! Hugs to you.

It sounds like the real obstacle has been your cancer, not your sister. It is certainly understandable that you had to do what had to be done to deal with that. It is unfortunate that the rest of the family had to be focussed elsewhere, so not only did you miss mielstrone family events, you probably didn't have the support for your own situation that you otherwise would have been able to accept.

We can always second-guess our own decisions and the decisions of others. Should I have looked at more places? Does she really need a nursing home? etc. etc. I suggest you relax, accept the decision your sister made, get the Hippa form signed so you can talk directly to the nursing home staff, and also communicate directly with your mom (but not about solving her problems). Try to make the best of the situation that has evolved.

I wish you the very best for continued recovery.
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Thanks for trying to help. :-)
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Thanks for the clarifications.
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Jeanne, I never said my sister is lying. But I have wondered if even information she's been given has been fully true--just wondering how we could possibly know? My sister had my mom evaluated-but she was evaluated by the nursing home staff, themselves. They say she needs full-time care, yet I have wondered if she'd be able to do OK with assisted living--but since she is on SS and Medicaid, perhaps it won't cover what she needs (?).

Unfortunately our situation was one where we had tried and tried to talk to our parents about making some decisions, possibly moving closer to one of us-but it all fell on deaf ears (not literally so, you know what I mean I'm sure!). So things happened as we feared--an emergency situation. My parents had made me executor of their will, but I was unable to act in that capacity because I was recovering from major surgery and I am 12 hours away. My sister HAD to act quickly. Under the circumstances, I feel she did the best she could and did a good job. I had to actually sign papers making her executor so she could pay bills, etc. My dad (at the last minute--literally the day before he died) signed over POA to her so she could place him in Hospice care.

It's been a horrible time--since February til now:

I was diagnosed with colon cancer/had surgery.
My father passed away and also lost two aunts.
I even had to put down a 20-year-old cat!
My mother had to lose everything (basically!) and be placed in a nursing home.
I was not able to attend ANY of the funerals, not even my dad's.

And now I feel like I lost both my dad AND my mom because I literally have no communication with her and have to rely on my sister who is extremely busy and so doesn't communicate a lot. It's just the way it is. My sister is nine years older than I am, has a LOT going on in her own family--but has always been a little self-absorbed. If I ask too many questions, she gets angry--just the way she is.

Hope this clarifies things better. :-)
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Help me understand exactly what you mean by " I had to sign over even being the executor of their will.' Your mother's will and who is the executor is your mother's and only your mother's business to do and does not fall within the boundaries of being changed by someone with durable POA. If your sister made this change, then she is wrong and you need to get a lawyer on top of this situation for advice.
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Somebody needs to be in charge when an elder isn't competent to make her own decisions. Apparently that is your sister. I don't know how that happened or if it was the best decision, but POA means she is in charge. I held a family meeting a couple of weeks ago and asked my two sons and my husband's three daughters to come up with recomendations about POA and Medical Proxy for their father/stepfather. They got together and emailed me their choices and I think they did a good job. I'm going to change those documents to reflect their choices. But I also know this, when there are decisions to be made they will discuss them. The designated person will take responsibility for the decision. but will consult the others, and inform them of what is going on. It does not sound like you and your sister have that kind of relationship.
You ask how you can tell if your sister is lying to you. What is her past history? What would her motive be? What would she have to gain? Is she on a power trip? If you are not sure, Michigan is a lovely place to visit. I'm sure your mother would love to see you. Check things out for yourself. If you don't already have the HIPPA document allowing the nursing home to speak to you by phone, you can have your mother sign it while you are there. Get to know the staff a bit.

It seems likely that having mom close to one of her daughters is better than having her alone in Ohio, although that is not an absolute certainty. Have you discussed with your sister the factors that went into the decision to place her where she is? Why a nursing home instead of assisted living, for example? And how did she pick this particular one. Maybe if you heard her explanations and what other options she considered you'd feel better about it.

In any case, Sister has POA, Mom is in Michigan, and short of dreadful failures of your sister to act in your mother's best interest, that is likely the way it is going to stay. I think the kindest thing for your mother would be to help her settle into her new home, keep in frequent touch with her by phone, visit as much as you can (hint: unless you ski, Michigan is nicer to visit in October than in January), and let her know you love her and are thinking of her. If you have disagreements with your sister, don't let them spill over into your relationship with your mother.

Good luck to all three of you!
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