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My mother is 50 years old and she has Huntingtons Disease.

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speak with mom and if she is of sound mind, discuss her setting up DPOA with you as her DPOA. If you have sibs, they should be included in the discussion. THere is much information on this topic under the "legal" tab here. Start there and before you hire attorney to draw up; try and find one or obtain a referral to a good elder law attorney in your area to help draw a sound DPOA up for you and walk you and mom through options.

If mom is not of sound mind; then of course you could pursue guardianship -- but do not jump into this without doing your homework and understanding your full responsibility to mom, your siblings, other estate interested parties and the court. And be sure to understand all the fees/costs associated with getting guardianship.
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I expect Ashlynmwarren is acutely aware of what Huntington's Disease is, and even more acutely aware of its implications for her mother, herself and her family. I hope she will be able to find out how to go about either persuading her mother to give her POA, if that is still feasible, or applying for guardianship, as may already be necessary. I also hope she will find good support from other families with experience of living with the disease.
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ashlynmwarren: I found the below info on "Huntington's and the Law." ----

Huntington's disease and the law.
Freckelton I.
Abstract

Huntington's disease (HD) is a relentlessly progressive and fatal neurological condition that is inherited. It has serious and disabling physical and mental components. As such, it impacts upon those who have HD, those with the potential to inherit it, and those who care for those with HD in a wide variety of ways. These can have many legal ramifications including in relation to evolving impairments of capacity which can have an outcome in terms of involuntary status as mental health patients, testamentary capacity and the need for guardianship and administration. It can have effects upon fitness for parenting, obligations for spousal maintenance, and the quantum of compensation from a tortious incident to which a person is entitled. It has repercussions for criminal liability and culpability. This article reviews case law from a number of countries in relation to such matters, noting the broader radiation to others of the effects of HD, and reflecting on the need for legal and medical professionals to be aware of the legal consequences of HD for them to be able to discharge their responsibilities holistically, sensitively and informedly.
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ashlynmwarren: As your mother suffers from Huntington's Disease, you may want to consider, as others have suggested on here, obtain Guardianship.
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Just within the last year I convinced my mother with mild cognitive impairment (well, not so mild now) to get all her paperwork in order, will, medical proxy, DPOA, living will, and named person for the disposition of her remains. It took a while to get her past the idea that I was trying to "take control" and that I was trying to prevent what happened to her sister who didn't have any of that paperwork done, and is now in a memory care unit with no one to officially take care of her.

I also told her that if I didn't have those forms that I would not be able to handle her financial stuff like car insurance, the things that confuse her now, without breaking the law and possibly going to jail.

I did all my paperwork at the same time, since I'm not getting any younger and I don't want my daughter to have to be in my position if I get to the same state as my mother is in now.

I'm pretty sure she does not even remember that I have the forms. I did have to give copies to her doctors and long term care insurance so I could cover the paperwork to get her claim started to pay for in home care while I work.

Please have an attorney draw up the papers, you want to make sure you and your mother are well covered.
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Jeanne, that sounds like a violation of HIPPA! While your family and your mom might not care, I wouldn't think they should be contacting anyone who hasn't been specifically authorized to view your mom's medical records.

Ashley, regarding POA, what you MUST get is a DPOA...a Durable Power of Attorney. This allows you to continue to act on your mom's behalf if and when she is incapacitated. A regular POA does not. Neither POA nor DPOA will be valid upon death, so if there is any money or property to be distributed when she passes, you must have a will or POD beneficiary on her accounts. Best to have an elder care attorney draw these up for you, but all must be signed by your mom and notarized. We had a local attorney who specialized in elder care and did a very simple will and DPOA for my mom for about 500. There were others who wanted to charge 1500 for the same thing which is totally ridiculous. If your mom is indigent or nearly so, there may be resources in your area that can provide help at a reduced rate...contact your local council on Aging or dept of health and rehabilitative services, as they may be able to provide recommendations. Just make sure it's a government agency you're getting recommendations from as that should be free...don't pay anyone for this advice.
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The nursing home asked us which of the 7 kids they should contact about Mother. We told them. But I've noticed they sometimes just go down the list until they get a hold of one of us. This is usually to provide information -- "We are reducing your mother's night pill dose." Whoever gets the message passes it on to the rest of us.

When it comes to needing consent, when there is no POA the medical people (such as in an ER or rehab, etc.) seem to just ask any handy family member. I've been asked, for example, if my mother should get a certain vaccination. (That wouldn't really be a POA question anyway -- it would be medical proxy, which my mother also has not named.)

One of my sisters kind of keeps track of mother's money, but there certainly isn't much to keep track of anymore. If mother really had financial matters to take care of, I don't know how that would work without a POA.

I'm not trying to discourage getting a POA. We tried several times to convince my mother she ought to do that. But if you can't get it, I'm just not sure it is worthwhile to obtain guardianship. In our case, there is no conflict among sibling. No one is going to fight over making decisions. There is no money to manage. I really don't see that someone on Medicaid (and therefore indigent) in a nursing home that is willing to work with family needs the legal step of having a guardian.
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What if you don't have POA? That's why I was asking, Jeanne's point having been that they've never felt the need for it.
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Churchmouse, you sign your name and always write POA after your name. Beware anyone who says "Oh you don't have to write POA" because they are trying to make YOU the responsible party. Very common in hospitals and nursing homes as well as banks. Always P-O-A. Read my lips.
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I'm just curious, Jeanne - so what happens with consent forms and things? Would you just be able to sign it pp your mother and put Next of Kin or something by your name?
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The only way for your to become POA for your mother is for your mother to assign that to you. Is she able to understand the concept of assigning someone to act on her behalf? If not, as Babalou says, you may want to pursue guardianship.

Does your mother have financial matters that need to be handled? Why do you need POA? I ask because your profile says she is in a nursing home. My mother is in a nursing home, home. She has not assigned a POA, and none of us have pursued guardianship. We see no need for it. But my mother is much older than yours and has no assets and financial interests for anyone to look after.

Certainly if your mom is able to make you her POA that should be done. But if she hasn't the cognitive capacity to do that, I'm just wondering if you need to pursue guardianship or if you can get by without it.
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Look up Huntingdon's Disease Society of America (HDSA) for advice and support. Please come back and let us at AgingCare know how you're getting on. This is a great, sympathetic place to vent when caregiving gets challenging.
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Your mother is the only one who can assign you as her power of attorney. If she is incapable of that due to her condition, you have to pursue guardianship.
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