My mother was living at home and slowly declining (97 yrs old and has mild to moderate dementia). I called her (I live in Az and she lives in Tx) and could hear that she could not breath. I spoke with her home assistant and my mother was taking to a hospital and admitted with septic pneumonia. She nearly died and she had a major setback, mentally & physically, but has recovered and is at her normal short term memory forgetful self. Anyway, my brother who moved in with her to help her, and refused any help from me, took this opportunity to put my mom in an Alzheimer's facility in San Antonio (Colonial Gardens). Now she can't get out and my brother will not take her out. I call her each day and each day she wants out more. I would like to just go get her and bring her to my very nice home in San Tan Valley, Az. I want to do this because I do not want, and am afraid of fights with my brother who has totally moved into my mother's home, taken over and causing her assets to deplete. My question is, since my brother has POA and lives near San Antonio (in my father's old house), and my mother is in a "lock down" facility (according to a lawyer), and my mother is in the mild to moderate state of dementia, can I:

1. have her sign a revocation of POA (difficult because I do not have copies) and 2. can I take her out of the facility and fly her to Phoenix (2 hour non-stop flight). without getting in any legal issues. (my brother is vicious and wants everything---did this with my father and let him die.) My mother's health is incredibly good for a 97 year old. Her biggest issue is her short term memory. Also, my brother has refused to let me in my mother's home so it is almost impossible for me to see all the legal documents. So, again what is the simplest, legal way to get my mother out of Colonial Gardens Alzheimer Facility and into my home. Thank you.

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Teddie, I say bravo for your brother who knew when it was time that your Mom needed a village to take care of her, as he could no longer do the caregiving that was needed. He is probably a senior himself, correct?

As for the facility being "locked down", may I ask if you keep your front and back door locked during the day? No difference. At night there is an extra level of security to keep those with memory issues not trying to go outside at night.

Of course your Mom savings will start going down. Memory Care can cost $7k per month depending on where she is living. It's a far cry from having 3-shifts of caregivers at home that would cost $20k per month in my area. Then there is the cost of Depend type garments which can throw a wrench into the best set budget.

As someone else here has suggested, go visit your Mom and spend as many hours in the day that is allowed, for at least 3 or 4 days. And make it ALL day long. An hour here or there won't work, as a person with memory issues can do "show timing" making you think everything is fine. It will be a huge eye-opener as to what all is required.

Do you have the energy to do the work of 3 full time caregivers each day? Are you ready to work 168 hours per week? Are you ready to sleep only a few hours each night? Is your house set up so that your Mom cannot leave the house on her own? Are your bathtub/shower geared for elderly use? Who will watch Mom when you run errands, as you can't keep her home alone? Finding sitters the last minute as next to impossible.

As for the pneumonia, that can pop up quickly in an elder. My Dad had that while living in Memory Care, but his was caused by food/liquids going down into his lungs instead of going into his stomach. Dad was also in his 90's.

As for Mom wanting to go home, please note whenever someone with memory issues say they want to go "home", they mean their childhood home back when life was simpler. I remember my Mom (98) wanting to go home, to see her parents and her siblings.

So please think everything through. This will NOT be what you think it will be if you can bring Mom to your house.
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She is in memory care for a reason and would not be deemed competent to revoke her POA. Keep in mind, most everyone who lives in a home wants to go home, it is their MO and since she has convinced you it is not a good place, she will continue to attempt to manipulate you. She is 97, her care needs will continue to increase, whatever money she has should be spent on her care. My step mother sounds somewhat ok on the phone, she has phrases that she always uses, like "Peachy Keen", but, she is on a slippery slope to losing her mind. We are called because she cannot find her way back to her room and so on, she remembers nothing that is told to her, it is all there in front of us, and we need to learn to pay attention to what is not being said. I would leave her just where she is, she is safe and with people her own age, encourage her to join the activities and make some new friends. Home care for someone her age is not something I would embrace.
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Teddiegough, I'm sorry you're going through this. My advice would be to visit her in person before you do anything. My mom is 95 living in a memory care facility in Chandler. I'm the person living here with 2 brothers out of town or state so I'm the one doing all of the local care and making most of the decisions. On the phone, my mom can still sound like a sweet old lady, asking how people are, remembering names, etc., She talks like she should be living independently and pines for the old days. If I was only going on my phone conversations with her, I too would think maybe she's not at bad as she is. I won't even go into the long list of what is done for her daily by her caregivers, but to talk to her, you'd think it was nothing but handing her some pills a couple time a day.
Know that the decision to put her where she is was probably very difficult for your brother. I'm sure your mother complains to him frequently also. Get in touch with her care facility, go online and look it up, get the monthly activity calendar. Get to know the activity director and her caregivers. I've been dealing with my mom for over 15 years now, from independent living to assisted living and most recently to memory care. There were a few bumps in the road but my brothers are kept informed and trust the decisions made for her care over the years. Yes, it's expensive but I truly feel in my heart she's in the best place for her circumstance.
Oh, and moving her at her age and condition will throw her for a loop you can't even imagine or plan for. It's much more than putting her on a plane and setting a nice bedroom in your home for her. Both of your lives will be turned completely upside down.
The whole experience is painful and heart wrenching but before you do anything drastic, make sure you are very well aware of her current circumstance so that any decision you make is well informed as well as, if possible, agreed upon by your brother.
Helpful Answer (6)

Have you got lots of money? Or
Does your mother have lots of money and/or substantial assets (if you can get there before your brother blows the lot)?

You are going to need a good lawyer.

If your mother is already deemed legally incompetent, because of her dementia and diminished mental function, then she cannot revoke your brother's Durable POA, if that's what he's got. What kind of POA exactly and what it says in it can be determined, but if your brother is the combative sort he's not just going to send you a copy and things could get unpleasant very quickly.

You could apply for guardianship. You would have to demonstrate that your brother was abusing his POA or at least substantially neglecting his responsibilities; and you would also have to demonstrate that you have a proper care plan in place for your mother. I doubt if a judge would think that moving her into your very nice house would constitute a proper care plan. You would need to think it through much more comprehensively than that, and base your proposal on up to date medical information. If the judge decides that your brother is untrustworthy for one lot of reasons, and that you are unrealistic for another set of reasons, the judge could appoint a guardian for your mother and bypass the both of you.

When you say that a lawyer has told you that your mother is in a "lock down" facility, what sort of conversation were you having at the time? Was the lawyer explaining to you that breaking her out of there might not be wise?

Anyway - you've got two very distinct issues.

1. Questions about your brother's management of your mother's care.
2. Options for your mother's ongoing care.

There are steps you can take on both fronts, but proceed on the advice of a reputable, experienced elder care lawyer.
Helpful Answer (4)

If your brother is actually mis-using your mother's funds, then there might not be much of a fight for guardianship. When you file your petition for guardianship with the basis that your brother is mis-using your mother's funds, the court will appoint a guardian ad litum to investigate who will have access to all your mother's health and financial records.

Please understand courts see LTC for 97 year olds with dementia as a safer environment than home care so your desire to remove your mother is likely to not find favor with the court unless you can show your home care arrangements are rock solid. I suggest your plan for your mother's care includes a LTC facility near your home for respite and perhaps permanent placement at a later date.

Be prepared for the court to overrule your brother's POA (if he is mis-using your mother's funds) but still not agree to allow you to remove her from LTC, perhaps even appointing someone in state as guardian, maybe even the guardian ad litum.

You need to consult with a really good elder law attorney and carefully consider all your options. While I understand wanting to bring your mother home for as long as possible, that might not be in her best interest since she has made the transition to LTC and has a diagnosis that means if she lives long enough she will most likely need LTC again. If you mother has enough resources to support 24/7/365 care in a home, then this consideration has less impact.
Helpful Answer (7)

I very much doubt that someone who resides in a memory care could ever be considered competent to change their POA therefore there is no simple, legal way, you will have to petition the courts and fight your brother for guardianship.
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