What are my rights with my mother's care and wellbeing with a controlling father who has POA?

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My mum is in care, my dad still living in his home (90 years old) with support from us 4 children in his care as he does not want "outside" help. We respect dad's wishes with his care but he is very controlling with mum who is in care. He stopped my sister and I taking mum out in the car for the day, so when we conceded and took her for a walk in wheelchair he put a stop to that. He has tried to stop us having family lunches (he is always included) on the verandah at the home by asking staff to lie and tell us it is not allowed! Now my mum is bedridden and kept in her room. We brought her a tv and the next day dad removed it. I feel strongly about mum's quality of life and when I try and discuss this with dad he just tells me I have no rights as he has Power of Attorney for mum. What is the best way to handle this situation? I will be most grateful for any suggestions.

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Top Answer
You're both missing the point. This isn't about your rights or your father's rights. It's about your mother's rights.

Your father may have Power of Attorney, but that doesn't mean he gets to control every aspect of your mother's life - and especially not if she is still mentally "with it". How is she doing on that score?

What sort of home or facility is your mother living in?

Are you in Australia or something? Got to be somewhere warm enough to be having lunch on the verandah in January!
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but Dad can’t control you unless you allow him to. I am very surprised that the facility would outright lie to your mother’s family simply because your father told them to. He must be a master manipulator. Truth is, at his age, he could very well have some mental issues. As Countrymouse writes, Mom is the unfortunate one who is losing out in all this. If she is in a facility, there is staff there. If he becomes incensed when you want to spend time with Mom, so be it. If Security needs to be called, so be that as well. Make sure that if a battle happens, it’s not in front of Mom, though.

It’s also true that Power of Attorney does not make him the Grandmaster. Stand up to him for your mother’s well-being.
Thanks Countrymouse Hugemon for your replies. The facility didn't lie to us, that is why we were able to have luncheon (yes in Australia) Mum has dementia that is why it is so important to me to advocate for her wellbeing. I ring dad everyday and stood up for mum's right for TV - he threatened me with legal action? and is now not speaking to me. Very upsetting at this stage of his life. I do believe he has a lot of cognitive deficit going on now as he is worse than ever. I am still doing my best to get a TV put in mum's room.
Bindie, who told you about your father asking the staff to tell you that lunch on the verandah isn't allowed?

Was your mother taken into care against your father's wishes? Was it a battle and a half to get him to agree?

I'm trying to understand where his antagonism is coming from. What's he got against her having a t.v.?
Countrymouse - The staff told us dad had asked them to lie and suggested a case conference but dad wouldn't agree to it. Dad agreed to mum going into care with her dementia and night wandering and is happy with her care which is just around the corner. We also are trying to understand where his antagonism is coming from and his unreasonable control. He hasn't always been like this, he has been a good man and father. I am coming to realize that there is something mentally going on with him (he is drinking a lot these last few years). I think the next step may need to be us 4 children applying for guardianship of mum. Thanks once again for your answer, it is a great help for me to think about things from different perspectives because when it comes to parent's there is a lot of emotional involved.
Frightened? Angry? Becoming paranoid, maybe because of emerging dementia?

I'd avoid confrontation as far as you possibly can. Pick your battles - what about trying a radio or an iPod, even, just for now, if the t.v. sparks him off?

I wonder if actually the next step might need to be the four of you applying for guardianship of your dad! If he loses capacity, don't forget, his POA will lapse - it can't be exercised by a person who is legally incompetent.

I expect you've already done this, have you? - but do report the changes in his personality and behaviour to his GP.
Ring his GP. If this is out of character for him, please ask his doc to check for a urinary tract infection first. These can sometimes cause psychiatric symptoms in elders.
Thanks Countrymouse for taking the time to ask such thought provoking questions and giving such positive suggestions, and thanks BarbBrooklyn for reminding about how an UTI can cause confusion etc. in older people. Discussing dad's behaviour amongst siberlings we all agree there has been a detetoriation in his memory and he his behaviours over the last 6 months. He has been a man who prided himself on his good memory and being "in control" of things. I think his more recent extreme control and unreasonableness does stem from the fact that he is losing capacity. My brother has made an appointment to speak to dad's GP today.
Yesterday I went to a friend's funeral then to the ocean, listened to an Irish band while looking out to sea, it was then I realized at this time of my parent's life more than ever I need to be forgiving, kind, understanding and loving.

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