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My Dad has very high level demetia, he needs to be reminded where he is every day. He's in the VA with men much worse than he, and I'm working to find him something closer to us in a private place. Once in a while he remembers home and wants to be there. What are his legal rights since he hasn't been declared legally incompetent. I'd rather not spend time and money on lawyers and I don't think it matters, we have DPOA which works in our state for almost everything and as long as he is in a locked ward he is automatically incompetent. But if I find him a nice place where he isn't locked up, are we in danger of someone believing him if he wants to leave there? I'm not sure exactly why I'm asking, we are doing the best we can for him, and I'm wondering about this. We feel just a little guilty about not bringing him home but only a tiny bit because we have other disabled people at home and he would cause suffering for us all, and I think we can make him happy in a really great place that we can afford. It would be nice to not spend the $60k a year on outside care, but it is really best for all. Just wondering what the courts would think - not that it would ever come up.

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Here is a question that is a subset of the one I just asked. I need advice. My Dad is in the VA needing physical rehab really badly and he often needs to be reminded what day / year it is and where he is. Once filled in, he holds the position all day. When not briefed on the current life situation, he can regress, and look into his memories to fill in the missing information. So he will look around, and if he sees a lot of flags all around, and what looks like uniforms, he thinks he's in a holding camp during a war. Silly stuff like that. He doesn't DO anything about it, but speaks of "whether or not they will ever accept our way of life". Kind of cute, it's fun to correct him. What I'm afraid of if he doesn't get "re-directed" to reality, is he just going to sink farther and farther into his memories and become like the old men that do nothing but stare at a wall all day? I think even if that is all he's going to do, he should do it in a pleasant setting, not starting at old farts crazier than he is. He has the money, and I've found a retirement place that will work for him that we can afford, and yet I am not the POA, my sibling is. I am afraid he is just going to say no to it, let him stay in the VA, where he might get a visit from a family member once a week. I live 3000 miles away and have decided to stay here until we find a spot where people will like to visit him and where he has a chance at happiness. I don't know what I'm going to do if my sibling refulses to use his power of attorney to spend my Dad's money on my Dad. I can not get legal about it, I have to stay family - I have other family members who need my support so I can't just write off this sibling. I need to keep the relationship intact.
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Pam, the numbers are a bit high but you are right about the cost of secured A.L.
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His incarceration was due to a bad case of sundowners and infections that set off delusions. His cognition comes and goes, and as he gets healthier, they have admitted it is possible that his delusions may lessen, then he can be moved to an unsecured ward. Unfortunately he is so weak from his last illness (the flu), I am getting less confident this will happen. I appreciate your opinions and concerns, but what you say is not cast in stone. People get delusions sometimes based on UTIs, and they are not permanent. It wouldn't make sense to not re-evaluate as it becomes apparent they are no longer in danger of wandering or of causing problems, although apparently that is rare. On the one hand I have heard it takes a judge and a court process, on the other hand, I hear it needs only one (or two, different in some states or situations I guess) doctor's notes to be deemed incompetent. So by the same rules, one or two notes that he is not a danger or in danger from doctor(s) ought to release him from lock up. Then I suppose he is legally competent. It bothers me that no one has discussed the move with him, everyone acts like he won't notice. He may not understand it, but he will notice, and it would be kinder to explain it, even if we think he won't remember. On some level, I believe he will. (Sort of a change of topic, sorry)
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In addition to what Windyridge and Pamstegma have written, to let your dad loose, the facility would have to be confident that he was returning home either fully capable of caring for himself or with an agreement from family that he will be cared for round the clock by them.

My grandpa is planning to "break out" at his NH -- on one level we know they won't let that happen, but when you are in a constant state of worrying about someone for years, it's hard to switch gears.
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If the VA has him in lock up, the only facility that would take him is another locked up unit. It won't be 60K, it would be more like 160K in a private facility. Better to let him stay where he is.
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Most care facilities are quite used to dealing with dementia residents who ask about going home. Your POA would work fine. They may also want a letter for his doc stating that he is not mentally competent. Check into the policy of the place you are considering.
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