LVarela1 Asked September 2012

My father does not have a will and needs help with assisted living placement. Can I make the decision for him?

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I live in Tampa and I want to get him a better facility, but I don't know if I have the power to do so, the legal power. My aunt has been taking care of everthing, but i feel that he is not being taken care of the way he should be and I would like to move him. He has ESRD, he now has Dementia which just happened about a month ago and over the past few months he has lost an enormus amount of weight.

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jeannegibbs Sep 2012
A will does not apply here. That only addresses matters after your father dies.

What matters now is whether someone has durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney for him. Does his sister have that? Is that why she has been taking care of him?

In the early stages of dementia he may still be competent to appoint you as his DPOA/medical proxy. He would have to understand what it means to allow you to make financial and medical decisions on his behalf. If he can comprehend that and if he wants you to act on his behalf, then get that paperwork done, and you will have the authority to act for him.

If he is not competent in the legal sense, or he objects to giving you POA, or your aunt is likely to oppose you, then it might get more complicated. So, first, does anyone currently have POA? Will your father appoint you to this role?

Next, is he in Tampa, too? (Or are you handling this long distance?) Have you discussed his needs and his care with his doctor? (You will need Father's permission for the doctor to talk to you, via Hippa waiver forms.) Is the weight loss, for example, expected? Do you have a different facility in mind? Does the doctor have any opinions about either facility? Are you thinking of a memory care unit because of the dementia? Moving might be very traumatic for Father, so it is important to be confident there will be benefit.

Best wishes to you, and warm hugs.
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