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Mom has 6 children. We've all had the freedom to approach the staff with questions or concerns about mom. This past January, my sister (the POA) was told only she can communicate with the staff. POA doesn't like nor approve of new rule. She tried to get them to change that rule but they refused. What can a POA do? As of now if I visit mom and she feels warm I can not go to staff and ask them to check her temperature. If I hear her coughing, runny nose, I can't tell the staff she may need cold medicine. Our hands are tied. What can we and the POA do?

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Not ONE person has suggested that having six kids is a bad thing.

What *everybody* can see is that having six people giving their opinion at different times, in an uncoordinated way, is a lousy, messy, chaotic approach to communication.

Your sister cannot delegate her authority as your mother's POA to anyone else, no matter how many documents your sister signs. ONLY your mother can give that authority to anyone.

If your mother is able to create a new POA, she should - she can make one of the other five of you joint POA with your sister, stipulating that the POA should be "joint and several" - then your sister and the new POA can act individually as well as together.

If your mother is not able to create a new POA, and there is no alternate named in the original documentation, then the family had better take advice on what to do. It is not reasonable to expect your sister to manage full-on POA responsibilities alongside her demanding and important job - especially as it prevents her from communicating freely with the outside world.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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tf2766 Mar 12, 2020
Wrong
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I might ask sister POA to get a copy of the rule in writing, just for your own clarification. The facility should be able to provide it. I wonder if this is due to many different instructions from all the different children and it getting out of hand. Also, maybe, the facility was saying that the medical treatment could only be requested by the POA. I'd try to figure out what they really meant. Maybe, a miscommunication. Certainly, the facility wants to know if a resident is hurting or in need. In the meantime, I'd text sister POA, so she can call and relay the information to the staff.
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tf2766 Mar 10, 2020
Thank you for replying. There has never been "instructions" given by us children. We only voiced concerns when we seen something on our visits. My sister (poa) works at a state prison. She can not have her cell phone on the premises. She can only get emergency phone calls. This job is new. She explained her unavailability due to her job, asked for her siblings to be able to communicate with the staff because she can't be there nor do calls. They told her no, she will just have to handle things when she can get there. I see this as being wrong on every level.
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Please try to see things from the facility 's point of view. They could get sued if they did something against the POA's instructions.

And receiving instructions from six different people, even mom's children, could be very confusing to staff. (Think if you had six supervisors at work.)

Unless it's a lifesaving emergency, have siblings communicate with your sister, who then calls the nursing staff. In an emergency, it is highly unlikely they will ignore a sibling who is in the room with mom.

This is a difficult and emotional time. I wish you peace.

As stated, another option may be changing the medical power of attorney to another sibling who is more readily available.
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Isthisrealyreal Mar 11, 2020
6 supervisors? Yikes! That would be like working for the government.
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I work in a Memory Care ALF. We will only speak to POAs about medical issues because otherwise, it's a three ring circus, as you can probably imagine. We have one daughter who calls here continuously. And I mean CON-TIN-UOUSLY asking for one thing after another for her mother, or asking the same questions on her behalf, etc. and it's just too much after a while. We do speak to her, of course, but we will only speak about medical issues with the resident's son who is her medical POA. In your situation, with 6 children approaching the staff with their concerns, it would be a full time job for them to keep track of everything! What if you were to tell the staff your mother has a cold and needs medicine, and then another sibling calls and says NO don't give my mother cold medicine, it's no good for her!!! See what I mean? Only one person should have the power to speak for all.

If you have a concern about your mother, call the POA, express it to her, and let HER call the ALF with the concern. If she doesn't like this new rule, then perhaps she would like to relinquish her role as POA and ask your mother to give it to you instead. Otherwise, I don't think you have any recourse with the new rules.
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tf2766 Mar 11, 2020
Thank you for your reply. As a matter of fact. I called DSS yesterday explaining everything. After her calling the facility, she called me back and said our right/voice has been restored. Then I got a call from the facility apologizing for "the misunderstanding." Lol. It wasn't a misunderstanding. I need to make it clear. We (kids) never gave orders or instructions. We are all on the same page as far as our mother. If we walked in and seen her flushed and she felt warm we have the right to go ask the staff to please check her temperature. Keyword: Please. We've never been disrespectful nor demanding. We do realize the have other residents to care for and some that have no family that visits nor helps. We do her laundry, change her bedding AND wash it, help with her showers, etc. We lighten the load for the staff a lot because we know their hands are full. Again. Thank you for your reply.
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I'm one of 7 kids. As POA for my mom, I requested facility only take instructions from me. Other sibs could address concerns but no changes could be made to her meds or routine without going through me. Keeps things simple for the staff.
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tf2766 Mar 13, 2020
Thank goodness my sister (poa) did not do that. We (kids) have never bothered the staff about medication changes. They can't do that. Only her doctors can. We (kids) either call the doctor or address it at a visit. All mom's kids are on the hippa at all her doctor offices.
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Yes they can stop you. Only way this might work is that all 6 children be on a call list with the facility. This happened to me with my father. Once I put my wife on their call list she was able to talk to them and my father.

i am the POA and so I was the one that had to do it. From their prospective I understand why. Otherwise they would get inundated with calls from all members of the family.
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tf2766 Mar 13, 2020
No they can't. I called dss. Dss got involved. Our (kids) voice/rights have been reinstated. Facility was told they could NOT deny a family member the right to voice a concern. I even got a call from the facility apologizing for "the misunderstanding." Lol. They are calling it a misunderstanding now. Covering their tracks. Thank you for your reply although it is incorrect information.
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Yes, you and your siblings are probably labeled as "PIA" family members. That's code for Pain in the "Behind". Caregivers try to mainly focus on the actual patient, but too much noise, confusion, sibling rivalries, and drama can overshadow quality care for the patient. I remember sisters and daughters would call at all hours to interrogate me about who else had visited, for how long, and what they said.... I finally just told them you all need to have family meetings and discuss your issues amongst yourselves; I need to take care of my patients, not play referee for one patient's family. I'm not even mentioning HIPPA concerns. I apologize in advance if this sounds harsh, yet I speak from experience. Please try to see the situation from the facility caregiver's points of view.
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tf2766 Mar 13, 2020
FYI. We do not call the staff with such ridiculous questions. We don't call staff at all. We are only talking about concerns we see while there. Medical "concerns." We don't bother them with such things as are you taking mom to activities or don't take mom because she doesn't want to go. Don't compare my situation to other situations. Yes I'm sure there are families out there that can be a pain with such petty stuff. Six kids....we are there a lot. So we take her to activities if she wants to go. If you work at a facility, I'm glad it's not the one my mother is at because it sounds like you think all families are the same....a pain in the behind. Shame on you.
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You may be interpreting a preference as being a "rule."

Imagine you're the staff.
Sister 1 says, "Mom is spending too much time in her room. Why don't you bring her to activities?"
Sister 2 says, "Why are they forcing Mom to go to activities, she wants to watch TV in her room."
Brother 1 says, "Mom eats nothing but pastries, cookies, and candy. Don't give her that stuff."
Sister 3 says, "Mom loves sweets. She's 90 years old, let her eat what she wants."

My guess is there is no RULE that says you can't voice your concerns, but rather they're strongly encouraging the six siblings to reach a consensus BEFORE they communicate to the staff and to do so via ONE spokesperson.

ps - this situation happens ALL the time.
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Reply to IsntEasy
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Well done! Everyone needs advocates like you and your siblings.

So happy for you that the situation has been rectified.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Does anyone have durable POA?If not u can get MEdical POA.Just regular POA is only financially responsible.If you have Durable POA that cover both financial n medical Power of attorney.If things are not going well with her,call the relative that has Medical POA n tell them what's going on and they can enforce whatever you have told them.All 6 of you can get MedicalPOA so they have to do whatever you want them to do.Sometimes it takes the whole family to make sure she's getting the proper care.Im sure all 6 of y'all are not there at the same time so different situations happens when ya there by yourself or whatever.I strongly suggest y'all get that MPO.I hope this helps yall out.God Bless You.
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Judysai422 Mar 13, 2020
A DPOA, whether for medical or financial, as they are separate documents in most states, allows the named person/s to act on behalf of the person giving authority without that person having to be incapacitated. A POA, more correctly a springing POA, is only effective after or while a person is incapacitated.
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