Terrible timing - diagnosis of cancer, money has finally run out, I'm not POA. What can I do?

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Hi,
Summary: Mom (82) in TX, me, 58 yr old daughter in CA. Mom, a long time, non compliant diabetic, was recently diagnosed with hemolytic anemia. This week she was just diagnosed with middle range (not sure the stage) lymphoma. Trying to stay in direct contact with doctors and getting much info through CGiver as Mom is also in and out with dementia.

Many years of financial conflicts with Mom (see past info) and the time is now here where there is no more savings. She must now live within a monthly pension allowance which she COULD live within if she wouldn't give her money away AND if she wouldn't write out checks to herself for cash (she's 99% home bound) or to misc.

She has removed me from accessing her credit card account over the phone, however, I'm still able (for now) to monitor it online - same with bank account.

She's never had debt, but has, as of last week, while in the hospital under pain meds, called CCCompany, and reduced monthly payments. Her interest will be money that isn't within her budget.

I'm terrified that she will try to try to go into her line of credit, as well, to keep funds available so that she give it to her "friend" as she desires.

1. Her lifespan is unknown at this point as I don't know how strong and capable she is of going through chemo, radiation or other possible treatments suggested. So this is an unknown.

Please understand that this email is NOT an emotionally based one. That's a different one. Because all of this has happened within the same week - I'm dealing with both things at once. The money hits the bank on certain dates. Her health we take one day at a time.

2. Her Joint POAs are her CGiver and her "friend", to whom she rewards with money she hasn't had for many many years. They are both now aware of the situation, except for the reduced CCard payments.

I've asked that the CGiver (who HAS been with our family for 15+ yrs) to take over writing the checks and keep a register. AND to work within the budget I've sent to her. But the "friend" IS her son. She caught between that rock and that hard place…..

While in the hospital my mom also, the same time she called the CCCompany, called and left me a message to put 10K into her bank account. She called me again, I said I was addressing it - the subject has never been brought up since. Does she remember? I don't know. Did she think of it on her own in the hospital or did the "friend" have some influence? I don't know. Nor does his mother.

My husband and I won't give money to the "friend". We won't give money to Misc. We legally CAN'T take over her finances. We CAN'T destroy her CCard or limit her spending. And now she's in a fight for her life.

The Q is: what CAN I do? I will support her catastrophic expenses. I love her and will make sure that she is cared for (would move her here - even at her refusal) because she would no longer be able to pay her CGiver. She WILL be taken care of.

But in the meantime? Thoughts?

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Hi. Supposed to get on a plane tomorrow to go home. Mom told me (and her siblings) that she's dreading me coming home. This after a vague discussion about the fact that I don't need to give her money since she "can" make good decisions about her finances and be in good shape. Additionally her CGiver doesn't want to talk to me OR be at the house while I'm there as she's defensive about her son - the leech/"friend" - recipient of all Mom's money. I've over the past few days found more counts of his taking her money recently.

I've decided not to go home. Altho' I wanted to be there for Mom's first chemo treatment on Tuesday, I know she's fearful and probably masking her fear by saying not to be there for her. But when her CGiver pouts and says she won't be there and won't discuss finances, of which are extremely impo at this point, I find it useless to go. Mom isn't going anywhere for awhile. I can go see her when things have settled down, both financially and medically.

However, I AM thinking about spending a day there over TGiving rather than a week. There is still that part of me……

Just thought I'd say…..

Oh, there is no chance of gaining ANY sort of control…..POA, Medical POA (apparently - I honestly didn't know about this until today and it breaks my heart) are all with CGiver. Mom can answer any Q thrown at her. Tho' later, she remembers nothing short term - not surprising. Why do they always ask long term memory Qs? And she trusts her CGiver/son completely tho' he has bled her blind. I don't shed any tears or time over it. I just feel sad. I've done all that I can.

And tomorrow, when I update this post, it will be with tears and a completely different story, because I love her and can't let go……as my husband says…..she reels me in and then throws me back out. And I exhibit all the emotions each time that go with it. I can't help it. She's my Mom. And you know what? I shouldn't feel this at 58. But, guess I do….
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Do you have any other family member besides yourself to obtain information and advice for legal help?
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I agree that you need guardianship and to have her close to you. Move her to CA before she is legally found incompetent. I learned a very difficult and expensive lesson. I ended up having to pay lawyers close to $5000 to allow me to move my mil from VA to OH because each state has guardianship laws. It was hell but but once she was here it is SO MUCH EASIER emotionally and financially. Good Luck!!!!!!
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If you seek guardianship, your mother will likely object, so the best you can do is petition the court to appoint a conservator for her. If the court appointed examiner deems her competent, there is nothing you can do but watch the train fall off the bridge. Good Luck .
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I believe the only solution to this situation is to get guardianship over your mother and move her out to CA. Do this so that, 1) you have control over her health and finances, 2) you don't have to wonder about the "friend" or his mother (aka CGiver), 3) you no longer have to worry long distance. Travel to TX, arrange a guardianship hearing with a local attorney, contact her doctor to send the attorney a letter stating her level of competency. This whole process will take anywhere from a month to six months and hefty attorney fees (around $1500 where I live).
The CGiver and her son are leeches and don't really care about her well-being, only her money. Let them move on to a new body to suck the money from. Until you get guardianship, you need to get her Area Agency on Aging involved with a caseworker to review what has been done, what financial help is available and to put your mind at peace. If they don't have one in the area, asked her doctor or the hospital social worker to help out. Most hospital social workers can help arrange financial aid and find lower cost means for food and shelter when the patient is at home. They might find alternate caregivers who can see if something is amiss with the other caregiver and her son. Good Luck!!!
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I am currently going through the legal process of making my mother my ward in California. It has been something of a nightmare. States have different laws from one another in the area of guardianship and conservatorship. IF your mother is incompetent, you will need to be legally declared so. It required two different doctors written opinions to declare my mom incompetent. Even with that it is still very difficult to control her financial life. If your mother is not legally incompetent, it sounds like she is being financially abused. The adult protective services agency in her area might be able to help but be forewarned... they are very aggressive. I agree with the folks above that a trip to Texas sounds unavoidable. Good luck!
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One of the things I found out about CCaccounts is that you can write to the company advising them of your Mum's condition and that the account should be closed other than monies going to the CCaccounts to pay off the debts. You could perhaps get a letter from her Dr. (after explaining what is going on with your Mum) and forward this along with your letter to the CCaccouts). This should carry some weight. It sounds if your Mum should be declared incompetent (just my humble opinion). I had to go through this with my spouse when he was suffering through Alz. Disease & the CCaccounts were very understanding as well as the banks. It was easier for me as I was the spouse but it could be a little difficult for you being an offspring. Check with your local agency on aging & also if you have a Senior Source in your area. Check on getting your Mum out to live with you at whatever the cost. Though I live in Texas, I do not find it a friendly State for Seniors (again, my opinion only).
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I also think you have to go there. I have found that you never get the full story from doctors unless you are in their face- over the phone, many see you as an annoyance- even WITH a healthcare POA. You definitely don't get the full story about medical facts from an elderly parent! I would definitely nail down with her oncologist what the statistics are on her particular cancer. If she is out of money and can't pay the caregiver, you may want to tell the caregiver that they might be out of a job soon. You may have to look for medicaid homes for her, if she has no where else to go. I totally sympathize with you.
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if you know your mother is incompetent and the poas are using her money, take it to court so you can be made poa or guardian, many prayers
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Even if dementia isn't preventing her from understanding her financial situation, it sounds as if wish fulfilment could be. Nightmare for you. Very difficult to deal with from another state - is there any chance you could get leave for a couple of weeks to get down there and straighten a few things out?
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