chadburbage1 Asked November 2010

With POA, does my brother have the right to film what goes on in my mother's bedroom?

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I went to visit my 91 y.o. mother with alzheimers/dementia and other physical ailments. She currently is a resident of Delaware. She resides in my brother's home and she has 24 hour caregivers which are paidfrom my mother's funds. My brother has POA. I discovered that my visit with my mother in her bedroom without anyone else present was both filmed and recorded. I did not give permission and given my mother's condition, I sincerely doubt that she gave permission either. Does anyone have any thoughts concerning my brother's belief that he has the right to film all that goes on in her bedroom given he has her POA? He also has his housekeeper sign for mail restricted to my mother using my mother's name. Thanks, Chad

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patrica61 Nov 2010
I undestanding your mom is haveine 24/7 care. Is this from hospice? As far as the legal papers go/ as I stated before. If she sign the apers after she was ill they are not legal. A Durable power of attorney if a better legal piece of paper. It protect mom and also the care giver. There should also be a back up in case the other person can not be there. Also make sure that the health epoxy or DNR is completed if that something you want. With my mom even though I had all legal paper work she needed. When she wass losing blood at the end just last year they force me to have two test. Once I did agree because the the hospital told me they will could take me to court. I told them I knew she was dieing and bleeding internal. the placed a tube down her troat, and told them want they would find. They also wanted to place a feeding tube and do a full barium. I said No Way. Let her die with some diginity an go to the asssting living. Of which the home allowed /Florida state elder car was involved. My mom had it in writing no feeding tube or doing ay specil surgial test on her body if something went wrong.She did need three pints of blood, I was also ordered to have that done. was her time. She died in three day after leaving the hospital. i receive a phone call from the fire dept, they told what was going on, you see the asssisiting living wanted to send her back to the hospital, but the Fire dept told she was going fast and they would keep her on oxygen until I got there. All her vitals were failing. You can not trust anyone, check on your loved one, and get with elder care if you think something is being done wrong. take care/
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Great post Mia, so true, we should all be acting as if the world is always watching us . I think this brother is taking great care of his Mom and is doing it for her protection. I also had an incident where the caretaker told me "my Mom was abusing her" I didnt believe this could be my Mom until I watched the tapes and she was correct, my mom was trying to hit her!! We got her on new medication and it stopped, boy am I glad I had the camera on that day and we now laugh about it, she turned out to be the best caretaker I have. So, until you take care of someone fulltime, even if you work outside the home also, you cannot judge anyone's motives. The continual stress, the sleepless nights, the dr visits , mood swings , wet beds, diapers, along with juggling of different medications and caretakers is unexplainable and almost unbearable, we dont have to put up with it, but guess what, we do because of a stong bond of love. If your brother didnt deeply love you Mom, he wouldnt be doing this. No amount of money is making your brother or anyone else take on this huge caretaking job. This is a priceless, thankless job in more ways than one, but we live with clear a conscious that we did everything possible out of pure love. Amen
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Jennie Nov 2010
As I understand it, it is NEVER okay to sign someone else's name, for mail or anything else. It is forgery. If you have some legal right to represent the other person, then you sign YOUR name, and then a brief description of your type of authority (e.g. POA).
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MiaMadre Nov 2010
I have read through the responses here, and since I have been on both sides of this 'issue' it seems I am compelled to put in my two cents in.

When Mom was here with me I used 'camera's to keep an eye on Mom so she could feel independent and yet I could still 'see' what she was doing. There were many ways this helped me. I could tell when she woke up in the middle of night, the 'motion detector' would turn on the tv in my room and I could 'check in' with Mom without disturbing her. I could tell when she was anxious without hovering over her ALL the time. I could tell when she was scared, and offer my support. I could tell when she was NOT in the mood for company and I left her alone (for a while). I could 'remind' her that there WAS water in her room, and that we DO love her, and that she WAS safe and not alone.

This provided me with 'insights' to her anxieties and concerns. "They took my ....... (fill in the blank)!" A common problem with Alzheimer's. A quick 'review of Mom's activity in her room would show that the "...." was in the drawer, purse, garbage, box ELSEwhere in her room. "I am SO hungry... they didn't give me anything to eat today" !!! That meant she was hungry AGAIN, and needed another snack, so she could fall asleep full and happy.

My brother ALSO noticed a camera on one of his FEW visits, and thought this 'observation' was a violation of my mother's privacy too, but I begged to differ. After hearing her tell my 'other' brother that we would put her to bed without supper, or water, or clean bedding' prompted me a NEED to be able to support what was going on. I wasn't being defensive, I was being careful. SO many elder abuse cases start when an untrue statement is made by a sweet little old lady! And it may not be the fault of the caregiver at ALL! (hired or family).

As far as being 'filmed' "I" was on these films too, and I learned more about myself sometimes than I did about my mother. After careful review of some 'daily activities' early into my caregiver capacity, I noticed that "I" wasn't being as patient as I could have been, or as 'responsive' as I could have been. I also learned what annoyed my mother when she thought I wasn't watching. Boy did I learn quickly what worked and what didn't.

I was NOT spying on my mother, I was NOT posting video of her escapades on You-Tube. I was learning how to deal with her Alzheimer's and also how to protect myself from what could easily have been a family feud on how I was caring for my mother while she was here with me.

Did I have the camera going 24/7? Nope... do I wish I would have? YES!! Now that my mother is gone, I actually would welcome just seeing her doing anything!

I know many people are intimidated by cameras, but believe me, after a few days, even the person that installed the camera 'forgets' the camera is there. And just be yourself! There's no director/producer there telling you what to do, just do what you would normally do.

My brother would GOAD my mother when she was in his care, and then 'film her' while she was having a meltdown. He would take a camera out and FILM her, telling her that SHE was being mean, etc. THAT was cruel. I never did that.. I truly intended it to be a good tool.

I honestly believe that if cameras WERE allowed in nursing homes, there would be MUCH MUCH less abuse and neglect than what we are seeing now! Even in FIVE star places, there is room for improvement!

In my humble opinion, it's not an invasion of privacy that nursing homes are afraid of, it's LIABILITY for the (lack of) care they are providing! I think we should ALL behave like the world is watching ALL the time. Maybe that would make us kinder, and more accountable for our actions.

I do not know your brother's intention for filming your mother, but I also applaud him for recording her care when there is an outside caregiver involved. SO many of the best caregivers (unintentonally) ignore or neglect their charges, and we would NEVER know. Advising a caregiver that they are being monitored is morally suggested (if not legally) but if they have a problem with that, then they should NOT be caring for your loved one. With Alzheimer's we can't rely on our 'loved one's' recollection of how they were treated.

Talk to your brother about his reason. Ask if "his" interactions with your mother are also recorded, and ask if you can 'review these tapes. You may see that there is nothing wrong with this practice, if it is done for the good of your mother!!!

Not an easy topic to discuss... but one worth discussing!
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patrica61 Nov 2010
Every seems to agree, that great. It is terrible in this world we live that sometimes we have to try and trust others to help us out with care giving when we need assistance. Most of time there name or agency is given by a good soucre. The state, doctor or even a hospital. You can not trust any one. One time I went into new York on a surprise visit when my mom was in the hospital, ( you see every time I called they could not find her). I live in Florida and mom was New York. So my job at the time had me on the employee assistance program since I also had some major health problems and I was my mom's legal rep and caregiver she fell under the rules. I got on a flight the next day. and went into the hospital as a surprise visit with my uncle. All dressed up in a suit &* they thought I was some big shot from the hospital in for a meeting. When I told them who I was and asked where my mom was I was told she was in her room. This was a rehab nursing home, Mom was not in her room and I had found three medical braclet's near her bed (all with her name on it). You see she was riding the elevator. Well I took her home to her house and stay until she was a little better and got the state of New to help me out. We all must have stories. Sorry for the long message. But no one understand what we even go though trying our best to take care of someone we love/who can not take care of themselves anymore.
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linda09 Nov 2010
i would not want to have someone film me 24-7 . i wouldnt know how to act .
i can understand if u think shes begin mistreated one way or another then i would have that camera on her and caregiver till u find nothing s wrong then it should be shut off .
24-7 just for the hell of it , its crazy ...
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Yes , it's legal if you scrolled down, but not legal in all states to record "Voices". I suggest you google and call an attorney on this. No one can follow up and check on a caregiver and know if they are truely good or not. People can act like that are great, and are full of it, all for show and not be good. There might be a sticker on the home someplace telling you, but if not, whats to hide?
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I think folks have misunderstood my question. My issue specifically mostly relates to speech and expression and, is it right for anyone to listen in on a conversation without invitation or disclosure. There is the related issue of filming. I think privacy must be presumed. If denied it really should be with reason, proven reason. If physical abuse is expected, fire the caregiver. If you are uncomfortable in any way, fire the caregiver. As in a business, you with the POA have the responsibility to act for the person needing care just as the person would reasonably be expected to act in the situation. I sincerely believe that the POA has the responsibility to manage and act in a timely fashion including setting the expectations and following up to ensure the proper care of the person needing care. I should have the right to talk with my mother without my brother, the POA, listening in on my presumed private concersation with my mother.
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The article presented by luvmon DOES NOT state that it is legal in all 50 states. Recording where there is an expectation of privacy is likely illegal in all 50 states. Further, if there is a requirement that one or both parties must be informed based upon venue, that law must be followed. At the very least, there is an argument that parties should be made aware of the possibility of recording. The law seems to be less than clear in all regards. Legal advice should be sought in the jurisdiction as case law likely will play alongside the codified laws of the US and the respective state.
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Ted, you're right on, thats it in a nutshell. No one should be doing or saying anything wrong to begin with, but we have to make sure. I fired a woman for sleeping on the couch while my Mom was walking around alone. SHE was the only one I hired from an agency too!! Oh she seemed just "so nice" on the outside. ugh
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