Joint Primary Care Givers

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Can two siblings be a primary care giver? My sister who is a nurse is designated as the one who makes all medical decisions for my mother. My mother lives with me and I feel I need to be listed jointly with my sister to make medical decisions. I was told that only one person can legally be the decision maker. Looking for answers.

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I give up... the system is not allowing the editing what's going to be posted it's just so frustrating. the editing with in a little box submitted when I didn't want it to and when I started a new box to continue I typed the rest of what I wanted to say which was longer than my first box and instead of posting the second box it re- posted the first box. good night when all...
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An attorney who worked in the office is of attorney I've known for years sat on the Board of Medical Ethics at a local hospital in Ventura County California. One time when we were chatting, she explain to me why you DON'T want u joint decision making even if it's legal in your state. As Carol above, you want the primary and secondary, etc. You can have a 3rd or 4th or whatever you want. The idea is to set them up that way so that the primary has say over the secondary but the secondary can make decisions of the primary is and available
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An attorney who worked in the office is of attorney I've known for years sat on the Board of Medical Ethics at a local hospital in Ventura County California. One time when we were chatting, she explain to me why you DON'T want u joint decision making even if it's legal in your state. As Carol above, you want the primary and secondary, etc. You can have a 3rd or 4th or whatever you want. The idea is to set them up that way so that the primary has say over the secondary but the secondary can make decisions of the primary is and available
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Just for clarity, a living will is often called a health directive or a POA for health care. It depends on where you live. When they are done by an attorney, they are legal. The old forms, as noted above, are not as often followed, so it's best to get a legal document.
Carol
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In Pennsylvania, the Living Will is the legal document that determines this. It used to require only a Form signed by the person making the Will with a Notarized signature to make the it official. Now, Living Wills require oversight by an Attorney and the person making the Will must identify an Executor who can both enforce the terms or override them if the patient is declared incompetent to decide their fate at the time they come under Medical Care. Just like POA, secondary persons must be designated in case the Executor is not able to perform these duties. There can only be one Executor but that person is free to confer with other family members about anything that does not violate the intent of the Will. A DNR clause is a clear example of this whereas changing treatments or Physicians without consent of the patient might be contested in court. (It's not so much about what's best for the patient but to protect the Institution and Insurance Companies from lawsuits by irate family members who may view DNR as a form of State Sanctioned Euthanasia or who felt that Dad would surely have changed his mind once he realized that resuscitation might give him a few more days of life.)
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Many families share caregiving and even write down who does what. That can be very useful, but it's not legal and can easily be adjusted, which is often good.

But if you are talking about making it legal, then generally there is a primary and then secondary, etc. That happens with POAs for health and for finances. In other words, the decisions can be join, but there is a first person, then second, listed in the document. Attorneys can help with this.
Carol
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With my husbands' health care proxy I was listed first and if I could not make decisions for him my son was listed and when he was admitted to the hospital for the last time and I was being pressured to make him a DNR right then I said no not until my adult children were there and then we all would decide and the nurse said very loudly so he is a full code? and I said louder than she spoke YES HE IS and that was the way it was and on the 3rd day when he had no hope of recovery we all decided to take him off the meds that were keeping him alive-as long as the person who is listed first makes the decision to include others-that is what has to be done-by the way later this same nurse brought the subject up that night to our visitors and in a nasy way told them he only was alive because the meds were keeping him alive and at that time he was somewhat alert-all of the other nurses and MD's were great at that time so I did not report her- I choose to ignor her but she was out of line. He passed away 12 hrs after the meds were stoped,
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That's a good question! My sister lives with my Mom and Dad, but we both share in caring for my Mother, who has bladder cancer. Once we heard the diagnosis, my sister and I sat down with Dad and talked over a plan. As things unfolded, we made adjustments to our agreement. My sister makes most of the medical decisions for her, but not without getting input from Dad and I.

I don't live with them, so I feel a bit more guilt about not being around 24/7. I take two days per week and my sister and I alternate weekends. We decided the most important thing was to watch how our decisions affect her care and happiness. It's hard to do sometimes, especially when we disagree.

I don't know for sure, but it depends on what state you live in as to whether more than one person can be the sole legal medical decision maker. I'd be interested in an informed answer myself. Good luck with your caregiving!
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