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I am friends with a couple in their 80's. Wife has been diabetic for many years and was able to take care of herself as far a medication and diet until last year. She had several episodes (if that's the term) where her husband had to rush her to the hospital. Daughter-in-law, an RN has a friend at Social Services and tells her the husband can't take care of wife properly. He is a proud stubborn man who didn't want anyone saying he couldn't take care of her. He told social worker to get off his property - she came back with sheriff.
He got subpoened to court while wife was in rehab center where she fell out of a wheel chair and broke her hip. He went to court without an attorney and the judge appointed a lawyer to be both her guardian and conservator. He put her in a nursing home and proceeded to sell off their jointly owned property to pay $7k per month plus meds and whatever else. One day I visit she is comotose and other days she is wheeling herself to the dining room. She blames her husband for being there and wants to go home. Only son wouldn't agree to be guardian as he discouraged to do so by the daughter-in-law. My friend has a lawyer now and I have gotten involved but I am getting the idea that although he hired this lawyer to get her home, the lawyer is using me to keep him calm while he helps the court's lawyer sell of their property. There were other options than a nursing home but once the court appointed the lawyer, who by the way has never met his ward, her husband didn't even have the right to learn about her condition or medications or anything about her care until the new lawyer got him permission to learn these things. What are the chances of ever getting her home with a caregiver who looks after her exclusively. Nursing home caregivers have 15 patients each. She is getting more depressed by the day. It's like she has given up.

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Good idea. I'll do that.
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Call the attorney's office and tell them that you are not being allowed access to her medical information as previously agreed . The nh will need a hipaa form on file.
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Terryjack1, You are so right. The whole thing was handled wrong and I blame the husband for being so stubborn; insisting he could take care of her. The daughter-in-law may have made other moves if he had been reasonable. Right now I am angry! The new attorney got the court attorney to write to the NH and say I was able to inquire about her health and care. I was put in the computer. Last week they had a care plan meeting and I was told only the husband could attend. He says the only thing they said was she should get up at least an hour per day. I haven't read the report if one was made. What really makes me mad is this woman is going to starve to death. Husband goes in for breakfast; I go in for lunch and her daughter-in-law, I assume, sees to her dinner. She is not given any special diet for her diabetes and she can't eat what they give her - hamburgers, hash browns, etc. She drinks her 1/4 pint shake if they give her strawberry. Tiny bites of 2 green beans, and water is not enough to keep an ant alive. She has gone down hill mentally too. Maybe that's what starvation does to a person. I may not be a nurse but I can see. I went to the med nurse and asked what they were doing for her anemia and was told I was not allowed to receive that information any more. I'm out of the computer. I was angry then but said nothing. I went to the drug store and bought her Ensure - Strawberry. For the past 3 days, she has drunk 6 oz in the morning. Her husband takes her Ensure for lunch and he says she drinks all 8 oz for him. She was sleeping day and night but today she was awake and smiled when I came in. Not being a professional, I guess I should assume she is getting the care she needs. So after every visit, I send my observations to the new attorney. There is a "paper slip" that comes on her trays. It is to be filled out by the care giver showing the percentage of food she eats for each meal. She had 4 of these slips on her night stand today. No notations on any. If she has a visitor the caregivers consider that leave to let the visitor feed her. I have researched the "conditions" that was in the court order. I learned Deep Vein Thrombosis is not an ongoing condition. The blood clot either disapates or it goes to heart or lung and kills you. One thing that can cause DVT
is "3 days bed rest." There are several kinds of Anemia, but I was not allowed to ask what kind she has. I'll look into the hypothyroidism as soon as I can. The caregiver does check her blood 4 times a day and gives her insulin. I have asked several RNs about her diseases and they tell me there is nothing that couldn't be taken care of at home. Thanks for letting me vent. I will continue to go see her as long as she smiles when I come in.
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find an attorney. sounds like things were handled wrong from the start. I feel that people should remain at home with supports for as long as possible if that is what they wish. The wife may have been delusional at the time of the hearing and this may have been why she was appointed an attorney. Something doesn't sound right here and I would be very concerned. There is always a concerns that seniors may not be able to care for self or spouse as they age, however there are support systems that can help. While those supports are not a fix all solution they do help.
The husband could contact the local adult protective service, aps is there to help, not hurt those in need. APS, if unable to assist will at least be able to refer to someone or an agency that can. I'm concerned about the guardianship and assets. I also have concerns about the wife's fall and injury. Contact the long term care ombudsman if she is in a facility, they will be able to assist and can make referrals. Reassure both they have your support, reassure the wife she you care about her and that the issue is being worked on for resolution. For me, I would contact the attorney and the ombudsman. Is the guardianship really necessary and why doesn't the conservator apply for Medicaid? Why take assets first? I work with the guardianship program and for me, I like to involve family and give them info on their loved one's condition. There have been times where I question a guardianship and work to resolve issues so the guardianship can be removed. I'm not sure the judge and attorney had all of the facts at the time of the hearing. This certainly isn't how I would do things, but if only part of the info was presented the court can only make a decision on the info they have. There are ways to avoid a guardianship. If capable, appoint a durable power of attorney to handle medical and financial issues, name a second in the event the first one is unable to make decisions, complete an advance directive and living will stating care wishes and one can have the bank or utility companies to make monthly payments which eases the monthly check writing duties. I push prevention but also know that sometimes for many reasons a guardianship may be necessary. I'm sorry your friends have had a bad experience. I really hope things work out for them.
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If her husband has sold the property, where would your friend live IF she were able to return home? You are not a relative and friends can only support their friends. Be supportive, but you are trying to get involved with an issue that is already being handled by the court system, and unless you have lots of money, your opinion doesn't count. Being depressed in a nursing home is nothing new and as we all age, all of us will someday face the reality that we will not live forever. That is depressing to most. Others of us view life in more positive terms and live each day as though it were our last. That is less depressing...
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thanks, flegflyer, I will do just that so I can carefully let him know she is not coming home and why.
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pamstegman,

You are correct. I have no legal standing, only heart standing. Wife had managed her diabetes for many years until this past year. Husband took her to all her doctor's appointments, bought her medication and was very attentive. He was in as much shock as she was when this hell broke loose.

Husband was not delinquent on his medical bills until the court attorney put her in the nursing home at $7,000 per month.

We are talking total SS of $1,300 per month and the little they collected in rents. Most people don't know it but there are only 2 classes that get rich with rental property. They are slumlords and huge real estate corporations. Believe me I know. So you collect a months rent and a furnace goes out and there goes 3 months rent. So these people are not rich by any means. The most they have is equity and you can't eat equity.

She was not in court for this proceeding. If she had been, they would have thought she was confused or demented as she is nearly deaf. She communicates in writing. She reads my notes and answers on topic.

Her guardian does not see her. He sends his assistant who makes reports that apparently are too confidential for husband to see.

People forget or ignore the embarrassment and loss of dignity the elderly experience when they have been self sufficient for so many years and suddenly are not.

I got involved after the fact because husband was too proud to ask anyone for help.

The care plan meeting today lasted 5 minutes. Husband was asked if he was satisfied with her care. He says he said no. He wanted to know why she is up one day and comatose the next day. He says he was told it was because she has so many problems. Care plan is to get her up at least 2 hours a day. Since this NH is also called a rehabilitation center I would think their goal should be to get her well enough to go home. That may be wishful thinking but that is also why people say you go to nursing homes to die.
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MarylouiseB, if you are going to help the husband with the logistics regarding medical care for his wife, research what is deep vein thrombosis, what is a seizure disorder, what is hypothyroidism, what is coronary artery disease, what is chronic anemia, and why the wife would be a high risk for readmission to hospital. Then you will realize why it would be better for the wife to remain in a nursing home.

The wife's husband sounds like he is mobile and can take care of real estate investments, but that's a far cry from caring for a very ill wife.

As for bringing the wife home to visit her house, never ever do that. That would create a lot of emotional havoc on both the wife and husband when the time comes to return her back to the nursing home.
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The new lawyer got the court lawyer to write the NH letter authorizing them to allow both me and the husband to "discuss condition, medication, prognosis, etc." and said NH would be "held harmless" for their good faith reliance on this letter. Court lawyer's secretary called me to pick up letters and take them to NH. NH put us both in the computer so we could learn of her condition.

I had found a letter on her nightstand saying there would be a care plan meeting and wife was to call and get time of meeting. I called and never got anyone. Finally went to unit manager and asked her to find out for me.
She did. Then I get a phone call from court-lawyer's secretary telling me I couldn't go, only husband. New lawyer calls me and says I can go. I go and they tell me I cannot attend the meeting which was moved from her bedside to the conference room.

There is no POA unless it is also the court lawyer.

I called new lawyer and told him I was excluded and he was angry and said he would call me back. He didn't.

bookluvr, I see your point. I hope your dad survived.

Husband is taking care of maintenance of properties and tending to the business as usual. He seems to be in good health.

Oh, for a home-like setting. Wife is in a curtained off area, 8 X 10 shared with 3 other patients. Room for bed, chair, stand, wheel chair.

This couple has always lived in the country in large house and with acreage.

She misses her dog and I was wondering about a visit home as she was going out with husband for lunch before she got pneumonia. She's over that now. But getting her to go back might be a problem.

Husband told me he got a subpoena to court regarding the sale of his property. New lawyer says he got that squashed as husband is cooperating on that front.

I will ask new lawyer about the accounting court date you mentioned.

I will talk to husband and see if we can't find a better place for her.

New lawyer is trying to get permission for her long time family physician to visit and assess her condition but he will have to get court attorney to agree.

Some days I feel like a busy-body and I'm thinking the NH thinks I ask too many questions and I sometimes think I am getting more involved than I meant to.

The copy of the court order says wife has been diagnosed with poorly controlled type I diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, seizure disorder, hypothyroidism, history of coronary artery disease, chronic anemia, and high
risk for readmission to hospital. I have no idea what all this means except the diabetes part. She's had that for many years and also the anemia.

Some times I think I should just pull away from the situation and wait for the funeral.
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I think at this point the friend Marylouise has no legal standing, but wants to help anyway. Getting the Mrs. back home is not an option. Several trips to the ER for sugar crashes is in itself proof she cannot manage her meds, nor could her husband. When he allowed her care bill to become delinquent, he sealed his own fate, that is further neglect and abandonment, and that would be further reason to appoint an independent guardian. This couple had two SS checks plus rental income, they could easily have hired in home help. They chose not to, and that further shows their incapacity.
During the court proceeding, the Mrs. would have been seen by a court evaluator, this is her court appointed attorney for the proceeding, or Guardian ad Litem. Her opinion and her capacity was communicated by this attorney, if she was able to speak at all.
You say her Guardian has never met her. Not so, the Guardian sees their ward at a minimum of 5 times a year and reports this on the annual report.
She wants to go home? What she wants and what is safe are two entirely different things. Going back home would be a death sentence.
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maryLou - OK about the Care Plan Meeting, they either have to be POA, spouse or guardian or their legal representative. MaryLou has no standing in all this. Now if you are a big personality, you can get an outside person in - I did this for the CPM for my mom right after I removed (fired) mom's 1st hospice provider (recommended by the NH too) & had the new about to take over hospice be there with me & I was in total "bad bitch" mode so it happened, it was locked eyes situation between the DON & myself & she blinked first. Your elderly friend is unable to be proactive in all this unfortunately. I have never had a CPM bedside, it always has been in a conference room. Now with mom's hospice, we have had a bedside "family conference", so mom (who is bedfast), myself, the hospice RN, the hospice aid, and the NH floor nurse all there.

If the lady is diabetic, I bet she has all sorts of co-morbidities and along with his own age & health, well, she is not going "home".

It sounds like you want to do something, other than the dramarama from the CPM what do you think of this NH? It likely is that he will need a facility soon as they were likely able to do things as they co-existed. Now that she is gone, he is adrift.
Could he move into the facility? Or if just too much bad juju with this place, could you help them find a facility where they could share a room? At my mom's NH, for couples if 1 is in and the other still at home if there is room they have the NH resident in a room at the ends of the halls adjacent to the stairwells. These rooms are somewhat smaller so technically cannot accommodate 2 residents just one and they all have these recliner chairs in them. I've seen the spouses come in a night and spend the night or stay a long day as it really is a "private" room. Maybe you go with him to speak to the social worker to see if anything like this is possible? .But if this NH is just totally "we don't care", then help him find a new NH that they both can move into. It would be hard for the court appointed Guardian to challenge the husbands request for this.

BTW you need to find out when the next court reporting date is for the G/C. Anyone can go to probate court, it all is open records for that courtroom. Hubby should get a letter on this, you can go with him. If prior hearings have happened, you want to get a copy of the transcripts to see what's what. His attorney should have these as well as the documents from the initial hearing. See if you can get them as could be interesting reading and perhaps provide some perspective.

Also can you see if he will sign you to be his POA? If you want to be a part of all this, unless you are POA you are not going to do much other than listen & be frustrated. His attorney cannot give you squat unless you are POA. Their son seems to have removed himself from his parents, so I double conflict from him. But you need to the old man to do this, otherwise you always will hear, "I'm sorry but I cannot let / provide / ask…. whatever as you have no legal standing on his behalf".

Book - for my mom, ours was we drove in to visit (we live in another state) and came in much much earlier than anticipated. Myself & our son, then about 12. Open the kitchen door and air filled with gas, stove is on, gas running and unlit, saucepan empty of water and burned out in adjacent burner. It was like a movie scene where the gas knocks you back. We rush in, leaving door open, son runs to open windows on far side of the house (thank you cub scouts), I'm opening windows in front. Son runs back to living room - full panic as he cannot open the back door at all, something is stuck, he is scared to go into grandmas' room. Mom is sitting in her room on the bed folding clothes and watching TV oblivious. Doesn't smell it, and it is the stoves fault. Oh the back door, well that too wasn;t her fault, "someone" had broken the key in the door, someone (the postman as they do things like that….lol) came in and moved her mail and then broke the key in the door…… Got her on a list and moved a couple of months later.
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3 years ago, my dad was taking care of my mom. He kept it quiet that he was burning the pan, constantly falling, etc. But it became harder and harder for him to hide the falling. I saw it happen in slow motion. He was standing near his chair and just started to fall. Once he was down on the floor, it was as if his muscles stopped working. He couldn't even turn over. I've never seen this kind of a fall. My dad at the time was age 83. He refused to go to the clinic. One day, I got a call from the gov't caregivers who come for one hour a day to sponge bath mom. My dad was slumped on his recliner having a stroke.... safety stuff is not overrated.
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Madhouse, there is a wonderful book out, called Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. He agrees that seniors really don't care about the safety part. The problem is, at least in my family, when elder has a crisis, they call their children at work. They either have to accept hired in home help or find a care center that they can be comfortable in. There a couple of new care models that are more home like and affordable, but they are not usually big multilevel homes in isolated suburbs with no sidewalks or public ttransport. Both generations have to be flexible about elder care going forward, but neither my cousins nor my siblings nor I could afford to quit our jobs to care for our parents.

That being said, I'm terribly suspicious that marylouise wasn't allowed at the care meeting. That part really stinks and I would complain to the court in writing.
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Oh dear. Besides wringing my hands for them, I can't think what to add. It is a steep decline, which makes me wonder if perhaps something else medical was going on that the husband might not have been aware of? Strokes and cardiac "events" (one of my favourite medical euphemisms, along with "uncomfortable"!) can be very hard to spot and wreak a good deal of covert damage.

Interesting that they effectively barred not only you but also the Principal from this care plan meeting, by not having it at her bedside. I'd be keen to learn how that was justified. Has somebody made a decision that the wife no longer has capacity?
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There is no POA. I'm thinking this safety stuff is over rated. Carried far enough, we could all be put in a bubble for our safety.
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It's true that NOW he can't take care of her. At the time, she was able to mostley take care of herself.

Yes, authorities are worried about more emergency hospital visits.

I went to visit her today and to attend the Care Plan Meeting. They changed the setting from bedside to conference room. They told me I couldn't attend. Only the husband. O.K. he's a little (lot) forgetful and is not well educated. After being invited and then told I could not attend, I think they don't want anyone in attendance who can take notes and remember things. Court lawyer's assistant was there and husband said their care plan is to get her up at least 2 hours per day. That she had so "much against her" they could only take it day by day. 8 months ago wife was doing well and acting as husband's secretary in their business as she had done for years. Their only source of income was from the properties and little SS. When propertis are gone, I don't know what they will do.

Speaking of pacts, my girlfriend and I once had one. It involved Valuim and Jack Daniels. Today I think a good legal plan would be better.

Thanks so much for answering. It's good to know we are not alone.
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Countrymouse, that's great that you will be having someone come over to help with your mom. I'd take advantage of that - for the washing part. I can count with both hands the number of times I had to shower and then eventually sponge bath mom. The govt caregivers did that. The same applies now with my dad. 3 years bedridden and not once have I ever sponge bath him. I'm saying this because that hoisting business - doing it several times a day - can damage your body. I know this - from pulling mom up for years on the bed. Now, my neck/shoulders hurt a lot. From repetitive heavy motions, several times a day for years. That's great!

As for MaryLouise situation, if no one was willing from the beginning to step up and really help these couples (the husband cannot do this 24/7), then I can see why the court stepped in. To me, if the lawyer is selling the assets to pay for her care, that sounds reasonable. The one that really gets to me - is that the husband is still living in the home! I think we're missing something here? I would think his lawyer can go back to court and protest to the judge that there's still one spouse living at the home and should not be sold - until he passes away. I cannot see the lawyer selling a home that has both names on it. Unless the title of the property says: Mrs. So-and-So *OR* Mr So-and-So. .... If the property has : Mrs So-and-So *AND* Mr So-and-So..then I don't think the lawyer can sell it. If he does, he would have to buy out Mr So-and-So's portion.
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MarylouiseB, you mentioned there are other options besides a nursing home... what would those be? If the wife is brought home sounds like she would need around the clock care by three different Caregivers helping on 8-hour shifts, then they go home get rested and are back refreshed the next day. Could the husband afford to pay for 24-hour care? The cost for home care could be $300 per day or over $9,000 per month, not counting meds and special items the wife might need for her care.

A person who is in their 80's will not be able to learn about health conditions or what medicines are needed for their spouse. If anything happens to my Mom and she needs around the clock care, my Dad would be the last person we would pick to help. If you ask him what are Mom's current medical conditions and what meds is she currently taking, he couldn't answer that, but he could explain the big bang theory :P But ask Mom what are Dad's current medical conditions and what meds is he taking, she could answer each and every question. It's their generation where the woman took care of everyone who was sick. Thank goodness the younger generation gets it, they both help.
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Babalou, I'd intentionally overlooked the son and DIL's part in the story - because I'd just assumed that they'd have majority support on AC, wouldn't they, don't you think? I'd far rather children or other relatives gave a frank "nolle prosequi" and declined to take responsibility for caregiving than took it on and then either did it badly (or high-handedly) or resented it. And, as you also point out, perhaps they have already tried to intervene, been told to get lost, and now consider themselves off absolved. Who knows.

I do look back and wonder about some old family stories - not quite as bad as your uncle's emergency stretcher idea, though! I wonder how much was done to help my grandmother before she was forced to leave her home. I recall comments made about how "useless" social services and long-term care plans were, and its crossing my mind at the time that perhaps not too much persistence had been applied. But then again, there are the stories/?urban myths about suicide pacts carried out by couples who have vowed never to be parted, and no one wants to see that kind of thing happening either.

I conclude, I suppose, that Marylouise is right: we all need to decide well in advance what our personal definition of quality of life is, and hope that by planning we're able to keep within it.

A propos, I've just had a discharge planning visit from our local Occupational Therapist. She has trotted off with a long shopping list of equipment we're going to need. We've cleared out mother's bedroom ready for a hospital bed. I will be trained in using a hoist, a slide sheet, an air mattress. We'll be issued with a washing table, as the bathroom isn't accessible for wheelchairs. All being well, mother will be home in around ten days with a "maximum care package" of two carers, four times a day, to help with repositioning, washing, toileting, dressing and transfers. The rest of the time, which is to say around 21-22 hours of the day, it'll be down to me - on me tod, as we used to say in London. Gulp!

Marylouise, I'm 51, by the way, and reasonably fit, and stronger than I look, and not shy of squeaking for help. And I'm still slightly dreading the responsibility of caring for my mother: it's not myself I'm worried about, it's my ability to ensure her welfare. So in case you feel I'm being prejudiced believing that your friend may not be able to care for his wife any longer, that's the angle I'm looking at it from.
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I meant RN daughter in law. One of my uncles claimed he was just fine caring for my aunt at home with no help. So when she fell and broke her hip, he dragged her around the house on a throw rug for three days. And tried to fight off the EMTs when a family member intervened. I guess it's not surprising that although she recovered from that accident, she predeceased him by several years, in part due to his "care".
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Sorry, I got interrupted. So, the above is my reading of what is really happening. Your friends may chose to see ENOUGH daughter in law as the villain in this story, but in reality, the son could be charged (was he poa?) With neglect by leaving his mother with inadequate care. Even more so if he was guardian. Look, I get that seniors want to be happy. But we, their children, need for them to be safe. Please try to see this story through the lens of safety.
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So, even with round the clock nursing, one day she's comatose and one day she's wheeling hersel to the DR? And whe she's at home, in the care of her elderly husband and an aide, what is their response going to be? Call the EMTs again? Does it really make sense for her to remain at home? Would she be safe there?

The son refused guardianship because the parents are stubborn and not looking at the reality of mom's health and safety. That's howv they ended up with a public guardian.
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To look on the bright side, the court lawyer's specialisation is protecting vulnerable elders whose history demonstrates that they weren't previously being looked after adequately. I agree that it is frustrating to see your friends' money disappearing into his/her no doubt capacious bank account, but there's nothing intrinsically evil or grasping about these people: they're just doing their job, well or not so well, like anyone else. I also agree that it is counterintuitive that the lawyer takes care of the social and emotional welfare of a person s/he doesn't know and hasn't met - one has to wonder why meeting the person isn't Step One of the role - but there are general principles around this point: if they're not being complied with, that's something else you can report on.

If not too much time passes, would your friends' money stretch to in-home care? And would the husband be able to convince the court that there would be no repeat performance of his telling social workers to get off his property? You and I might think it very natural for an upset elder to tell an uninvited nosy busybody where to go, but that kind of thing goes down very badly with these professional cabals. They cannot understand, it seems, why the general public does not fall gratefully on social workers' necks and embrace their advice. Perhaps they should all be forced to undergo one of these visits as part of their professional training, to see how they like it.

But to return to the question of compromise: if you take a step back and look carefully at the proposals, would you say that the couple would be able to live safely at their home even with in-home care? Would their money hold out? What are the husband's own needs likely to be in the short to medium term? - is he very much younger or fitter than his wife? It might be a good idea to have a couple of other options up your sleeve, such as nearby retirement facilities that they could move into as a couple and receive day-to-day support. The point is that I wouldn't be optimistic about the court's agreeing to her return home without an awful lot of assurances in place - they'll be focused on preventing any further problems. Best of luck, let us know how the meeting goes.

And I very much like your taking "notes to self"! We live and learn, do we not.
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Cmagnum, Yes, he made a mistake going to court without a lawyer but he was sure he would just tell the judge he could take care of her and that would be that.
He has a lawyer now and he is expecting this new lawyer to get her home.

The judge appointed a lawyer as guardian/conservator because the social worker and daughter-in-law said husband could not take care of her and son would not take guardianship. I read the court order that gave this lawyer control, and basically that's what it said. She was not in court to try to make her wishes known. The law says the guardian is also responsible for her social and emotional well being. This is funny because he has never met her.

The couple owns rental properties jointly and that is the property that is to be sold to pay for her care. The court-appointed attorney immediately emptied their bank account of over $40,000 to pay for her care. The rents from the properties must go to her care too. Husband is living on very little SS. Her SS checks go to the Court lawyer too who gets paid with % of what he pays out for her care. The court lawyer's speciality and only job is working for the court as guardian for people. At 7,000+ per month husband is delinquent in the payments and that's why the property is to be sold. New lawyer says they can't sell their home.

I don't know how to look up records at the courthouse to find the best lawyer, but I will take husband to our local council on aging and suggest someone there could do that.

CountryMouse, yes, she wants to be home. He wants her home and wants to get her a home caregiver but I'm afraid he will have no money to do that after everything is sold. That will be another reason she can't go home.

I visit her every day and she is getting more depressed. She said husband put her there and left her but he visits every day.

There is a care plan meeting tomorrow. New lawyer got court lawyer to allow both husband and me to be there. I will go and take notes.

Thanks everyone who answered my question. I hope people will consider all options when dealing with an elderly relative. I'm no spring chicken myself and I see I have some legal papers of my own to have drawn up.
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Marylouise, I understand the anguish you must feel about what your elderly friends are going through. It must be agonising to watch.

Would it be fair to say that you are, as it were, taking a position that the husband wishes his wife to return home, the wife wishes to return home, you fear for her will to live if she becomes depressed in care, and you are therefore entirely supportive of the idea of her returning home and the husband's being her primary caregiver with appropriate support? Sorry - that sentence became a lot longer than I intended it to, but is that the gist?

I can understand how it would look as though the court has glossed over what the individuals' wishes are; but the court is drawing on decades of collective experience of what has proved to be in elders' best interests. The difficulty is that the court's view of best interests would put safety first, then family life, then personal preferences; whereas your friends' view of their own best interests may have other priorities: primarily, the husband's pride and desire to care for his wife, whether or not that is in reality going to work.

So the husband now has a lawyer (yes, pity he didn't think of that before, but what good is that), and you are concerned that the lawyer is paying his client's wishes a lot of lip service while actually working to make the court's care plan work. Well, now. The thing is, that lawyer is acting in his client's best interests as well as he is able to; and I think you might usefully take a leaf out of his book.

The court will have looked at a recent history that included several emergency admissions to hospital. On that basis alone, the court concluded that in spite of his best efforts the husband is no longer able to care for his wife; and I suspect that the hope of her returning to her own home as before is therefore a lost cause.

So, given that the current arrangement is not what either spouse wants to happen, and your fears that this situation could prove devastating to the wife's mental health, what are the alternatives that could be proposed to the court-appointed guardian?

You say you feel that the lawyer is using you to keep the husband piped down. In a way, you're probably right, and perhaps the lawyer should be more frank with you and not treat you like some kind of patsy; but the point is that soothing the husband is a very useful thing for you to do. Given his very proper pride and his fears for his wife, the husband is, I imagine, not working very constructively towards a compromise. But he must, if his wife is not to be shut away in a nursing home forever; and it is by guiding him towards a compromise that you can best help both of them.

Are you close enough to the situation to know what the available alternatives are? Please update, I wish you every luck with helping your friends - it's very good of you.
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If the court appointed guardian has sold off property, where is elderly husband living? What has happened to the couples joint checking account?

You know if you want to help, I'd suggest you putting on your best Nancy Drew on the both attorney's. Now the appointed one is already vetted by the court and therefore by the state. I'd be more concerned about the one the old man found. Is he qualified & experienced to do guardianship? You can likely go on-line to the local courthouse and pull up records for old guardianship hearings. When you do this, you don't see the whole file (you pay for that) but you do see the case or file number and who the legal was on it. So it;s pretty easy to find the names of the attorneys who do guardianships. Likely will be a smallish list of the same names over & over. These guys know the system & more importantly how the probate judge runs his courtroom. If the guy that the old man got is not one of these, then all is pretty well lost. If he want to fight and reclaim his wife, he will need to hire a topnotch attorney who will be one in the list you find on-line. Also I'd go ahead and get copy of the old ladies G/C hearings - this is all public - each document may run $ 5 - $ 10. You need these to read just what was said at the hearings. As Babalou hinted, the facts may not be as told.
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Where are you getting the facts of this story from?
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First, the husband made a big mistake in going to court without an attorney.

Second, for some reason the judge appointed a lawyer to be his wife's guardian and conservator.

Third, did the judge give any reason for appointing the lawyer as the wife's guardian?

Fourth, I'm shocked to learn that a guardian can sell off jointly owned property. Where is the husband going to live.

Fifth, with the guardian being more in charge of everything than a POA is, there sounds like very little chance that his wife will come home from the nursing home.
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