My mother has a friend who is renting a room in her house. My mother has slipped and fallen twice in the bathroom. This woman is sick like my mom, and is no help to her. We need her to move out to make room for a professional care giver who can be attentive of her at night as well as during the day. My mother refuses, to the point this has caused a serious disagreement between my mother and my sister and me. My sister sides with my mother, claiming she has other problems and cannot add another one. Legally what are my options. I just cannot sit by and accept the possibility of my mother getting hurt again. Please, can anyone assist me with this?

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I believe Cat has some valid concerns. My suggestion is that you talk to an elder law attorney that can give you options. In my case I talked with two different attorneys and they both said that due to laws in my state and judicial issues in my county, it would not be advisable to go to conservatorship or guardianship. Both were due to some legalities and other was the heavy financial costs of the courts that were unnecessary. The POA has enough power, if done right (I have two POA's for each parent - 1/financial and 1/health) to invoke or provide whatever legal action I need to take.

With your mother not having dementia or Alzheimer's or forms of either disease (I'm assuming), there comes a point you have to respect her wishes if competent to a point of protecting her from a distance. Use her friend as an advocate if you have to.

Sometimes friendly behavior towards others can invoke information that you are seeking. I'm not sure to what extent you are involved in your mother's care, but the two falls I'm assuming she was okay afterwards?

I only say that because I fall and it does not mean that I need a caregiver. It may be the same for your mother. I also have a couple that has been "close" friends with my parents for close to 50 years. I have come to discover through some accidental incidences that they were harmful to my parents.

I was able to take action as my parent's POA and prevent further action on this couple's part from interfering in my parent's life. My mother cannot rationally reason about her "friends" and so I can do my part on the outside as well. I think you have to be objective as to what is going on. Document facts you are aware of, times, and other instances you seem to be concerned about. This you can use later on if necessary.

Also check with your state laws. Do your homework. We can all speak about our situations, but the reality is, you need to obtain the facts for yourself. You need to weigh what legal options you are willing to do and then follow through with them.

In the meantime, keep loving on your mother and thank God she can still be somewhat independent.

I think that there are options that will accomodate your mom's desire to keep her friend in the home and your wish to keep her safe. Have you considered asking a gerontologist or someone from your local area council on aging to come over and help evaluate the situation. You have to remove yourself of the emotions that automatically want to control the situation. Although it is natural to be protective, being persuasive and having a professional lead the discussion with your mom, your sister and perhaps even at some point the friend will go along way to keeping the family intact.

You might want to consider that both your mom & her tenant participate in an evaluation for home safety and be encouraged to have an honest discussion about their needs and fears. Unless your mom is deemed incompetant and your are awarded conservatorship you cannot enforce anything with a "POA". Being old does not automatically infantilize a person and remove their rights or opinions. It sounds as if the tenant is also a friend (correct me if I'm wrong) so you must consider what your mom is thinking - where would the friend go to live if she did not rent from your mom? How close are they and much does the friend contribute to rent? Nothing is ever simple so be prepared to listen.

Only a home and physical assessment can give your the facts - it may be that hiring a day worker that they both pay for and installing safety precautions may be all it takes, or you may be right and a live-in is required. John's suggestions are good - a life alert can help & forcing issues can destroy relationships you may prefer to cherish.

Nothing is ever easy - I hope another viewpoint helps you weigh your options as you make your decisions.

Unfortunately with out POA (power of attorney) you can not make her do anything. The only thing you could do is go to court to become her gaurdian but unless she is found incompetent during the trial you wont get it. There are a number of day services available that cost little to nothing for people especially with low income. i would contact your local agencies and see if someone could come help her, and look into personal safety lines like "Life Line" which is a button they can push that contacts the ambulance to her home. The fact is that her roommate may be her only companion, i think that forcing her out may cause serious issues between you and your mother.

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