Can my mom unilaterally decide to move my grandma (who is in good health) out of a nursing home without consulting the rest of the family?


I'm writing because I am not sure where else to turn and hope that some people who have been in similar situations can chime in with their thoughts.

Here are the details:
My 83 yr old grandmother has been in a nursing home in rural Ohio for 7 years. She is by far the healthiest person in the facility. Her daughter (my mother) has been the one making sure she's been taken care of for many years now (POA, Healthcare Proxy, etc.). My mother is also the only family member within an hour of grandma. Grandma has four grandchildren, 2 around an hour away that she sees a couple of times a year, 1 in D.C., and myself in NYC.

Here's the issue at hand:

Part #1: My mother has decided to move to Texas and bring my grandma with her. The plan is that they will live together down there in an apartment until the time comes when grandma actually needs to be in a nursing home. My grandma, as far as I know, wants to go with her on the big move. My grandma has no retirement savings or assets and only gets a social security check every month (which currently pays for her nursing home fees). My mother is on unemployment and looking for work in Texas for when she arrives. Basically, they each have a limited income but when pooled together it will allow them to pay for rent, etc. in Texas. Although they'll be poor, I'm confident they'll make it.

Part #2: I am moving with my wife and 2 year old son to a house 4 miles away from where my mom and grandma are planning to move. I will be moving there around two weeks prior to their expected arrival.

Part #3: My mother didn't tell my sister or cousins that she planned on moving grandma out of the nursing home and to Texas with her. She only talked to me about it before making all of her plans. This caused quite a few hurt feelings when the news was received secondhand. Three grandchildren (my sister and 2 cousins) are really upset and think that my mom isn't in her right mind for wanting to bring grandma to Texas. They feel that grandma is just fine where she is and that it's alright if my mom goes alone. They think that because my mom wouldn't financially be able to survive in Texas without sharing expenses with my grandma, she is taking advantage of grandma's limited amount of money and strong arming her into moving out of a safe environment.

I've been playing the middle man in all of this. While I understand everyone's concerns, I think that if grandma is healthy enough and sincerely wants to move with mom to Texas that she should go. The three other grandchildren are so upset that they say that if mom doesn't agree to put off her plans, they will take legal action to try to stop her. I don't know what they could try to do. I guess that they would have to prove that my mother doesn't have her mother's best interest in mind, or that she's putting her in danger?

I understand that they want to make sure grandma is safe, but to put my grandma through a painful legal battle just because they don't agree with a choice seems like a serious overreaction on their part.

I guess I would just like to know if my other family members could legally put a stop to this. It doesn't appear to me that any wrong-doing has taken place.

Can my mom legally make a unilateral decision about my grandma's living situation (with my grandma's consent) without consulting all the grandchildren?

Any experience, thoughts, or suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing


Saw your video. I wish my Mom had your grandmother's good health (they are the same age). She looks as though she can handle her own decisions!
Helpful Answer (0)

By the way, here's an example of my grandma's condition. This is her playing with my son (her great-grandson) last Thanksgiving:
Helpful Answer (1)

I'm looking forward to being so close that I can help out with my mom and grandma. It's been 12 years since I lived near them and I am excited about the prospect of being able to play some supportive role in their lives (after all, they took care of me for 20 years).

I think my mom and grandma's motivation for keeping the move a secret from the other family members was that they just didn't want to deal with the opposition they saw coming. They were just trying to avoid a conflict. Not the right thing to do necessarily, but I can see how they were thinking. My grandma told me today that she wished they would have just kept it a secret until they had already moved (nobody would have known anyway). She also said that she could wished the other family members would accept that they were moving and asked "don't we have the right to make our our decisions?" All in all, I feel like my other family members are being potentially harmfully over-protective of my grandma. They love her dearly and don't want to see anything bad happen to her, but at some point they need to let her and my mom live their own lives.
Helpful Answer (1)

If your grandma is healthy enough to be out of a nursing home, by all means, she should be. She will be with a family member and in a home environment. It is a little worrisome that your Mom does not have a job yet. Are you moving there to help out with them?
Your grandmother can decide to live wherever she likes but I do understand the family's concern. They are probably wondering why she did not tell the rest of the family. What is her motive? Do they have legitimate concerns? If so, then your grandmother needs protection. If not, then as bob said above, let her have the adventure.
Helpful Answer (1)

If your grandma is competent to make decisions she can certainly decide to move with your mom or anyone else that she might choose. The fact that your mom has POA, etc is just a double bonus. Unless anyone has evidence of abuse, drug use, etc there is no avenue for legal action and no legit attorney would take the case. Any attorney would require up front money and I seriously doubt the concerned family would be willing to pay out of pocket. It is sad to see families fall apart, so if grandma, mom and you are interested you could set up a meeting with a 3 party to mediate and try to get beyond the negative and resolve some of the issues. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)

Hi there,
In my limited understanding, your mom has all of the necessary legal documents and your Grandma is doing fine so why deny her a great adventure? I bet the two of them will have a great time together and your Grandma is probably thrilled to get out of the nursing home where people are sick and dropping all around her.

The family members are upset because their cozy little world view is being disturbed by two strong women who are thinking out of the box. Tell the family to shut up and if they start legal action you will know that your family members are selfish and thoughtless.
In my humble opinion.
you guys have a great time in Texas!
Helpful Answer (1)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.