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My father (83 years old) was recently put into a Memory care facility as my stepmother could no-longer provide adequate care (She has a heart condition and is (85)). Up until a few weeks of going into the facility he was driving and doing his normal things around the house. History... This last Christmas (2017) he really started showing signs something was wrong, he became easily frustrated with my stepmother and her kids, and could be very direct or even rude, and his balance became increasingly worse. It ultimately scared my stepmother and she started seeking help from her two daughters (both work in the medical industry nurse and clinical psychologist). Over the course of (2) months they called the police on him (twice) when he would get angry at my stepmother and the police would come by and all would be fine. The police told me and the police report reflects "your father is of no imminent danger to her or himself". Finally she got him admitted into a behavioral ward, which once I found out came and got him out. She then wouldn't allow him to return home because she was scared of him, so I took him to a hotel (I live (250) miles away, and he didn't want to move to my house). So with no other choices and his doctors recommendation I visited a couple memory care facilities and found one with openings, very nice place, and he approved he would go on a temporary bases. This was February 27th, where he remains today. My stepmother has filed for guardianship and conservatorship, and see's him 3-4 times a week. My father has continued to get better (medicines have calmed the anger, but he can still get mad just seems like he can control it). Out of (14) patients in the memory care unit he is the only one with his own phone, television, walks around and talks with facility workers (most other patients no-longer talk, and many are farther along with dementia /Alzheimer's). Getting back to my question, he has been diagnosed with the following by a neuropsychologist after testing and an MRI - Frontal Temporal dementia w/ global shrinking - Moderate stage - W/ Alzheimer's. This information was provided verbally to me, as she recently took me off his HIPPA, because I was seeking to share guardianship and conservatorship with her, due to my dad's request, and her poor health conditions. She fought it and ultimately we conceded and ask for full transparency of medical issues / appts, and that I be copied (Which she hasn't done). Dad is now doing better with medicines and while I recognize he has dementia and will continue to get worse as time progresses, he has the lucidity to want to check on his home and banking. They aren't rich, but far from poor. As he put it, I worked hard my entire life, and because I have dementia I can no-longer visit my home (just to see how things are), and check in at the bank to see if my money is still intact. I am caught in the middle, trying to fulfill his desires (Visit house and bank), and trying to remain friendly with my stepmother and her family, which continue to tell me he can't visit his house and has no reason to be concerned about banking. My stepmother's reply when he asks about visiting home to check on things is "The doctor doesn't think it's a good idea, and tells him he can go when the doctor approves". I can't question the doctor because I have been taken off his HIPPA. I have had many discussions with dad about should he be allowed to visit his home and banking to see things are still fine. I TELL HIM THAT HE MUST RETURN BACK TO THE MEMORY CARE THAT NIGHT AND HE CAN NOLONGER STAY AT HIS HOME. He explains to me that is fine, and will return willingly to the memory care home. What would be your recommendation, I don't want to harm my father in anyway, and want to know if taking him to his home would be an acceptable thing to do, or should I drop it and continue to tell him "we have to wait for stepmother to get approval from doctor?" Which I have done for nearly (2) months, and every day it consumes our whole conversation. At this time he has asked that we get an attorney to pursue getting the guardianship / conservatorship changed and or a divorce if he can't visit his home. Sorry for lengthiness of this, felt without details of events leading up to his entry into the memory care facility, one couldn't provide a recommendation.

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When I petitioned for guardianship and conservatorship of my Mom, the court automatically assigned a temporary guardian ad litem to represent her during the petition process. I don't know if that is normal procedure in all states, but I think that it might be.

Was a temporary guardian ad litem assigned to your Dad when you and your step-Mom petitioned for guardianship and conservatorship? Do I understand correctly that the process is NOT complete and that your step-mom has NOT been legally made guardian and conservator yet?
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Dean1935, since your Dad is living in Memory Care, usually those with such memory issues when they say they want to go home, they are talking about their childhood home, not their last place of residence.

I know my own Mom wanted to go home, but it wasn't until weeks later that I realized it was the house she grew up in with her sibling. I used "therapeutic fibs" to stall the discussion, such as "no one is home today, maybe tomorrow" and usually a short time later she would have forgotten about this, until the next day.
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Wow, Dean. This is actually much more difficult than it looks at first glance.

Your stepmother has applied for guardianship but hasn't yet been awarded it, yes?

Do you think your father is competent or not? Has anyone specifically addressed the question of his mental capacity *since* he has been stabilised in the memory care unit?

I wonder if you might do best to get him his own advocate, a temporary guardian ad litem or someone with that level of expertise and authority. It would remove any idea of your "competing" with stepmother but ensure that your father is independently represented. Just a thought. The difficulty as I see it is that stepmother is on the defensive for good and less good reasons. I can understand her wanting to make dam' sure she never again comes under pressure to have your Dad at home, and she's not having any 'thin end of the wedge' going on; but she seems to have misunderstood your feelings towards her, what a pity.

So, yes, really difficult.
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My hippa rights were removed by my stepmother, she told my fathers primary care physician ro remove me. This was all due to me seeking co-Guardianship and co-conservatorship.

Once I conceded, or withdrew my request she was to add me back in which she has not done.
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I have always gotten along with my stepmom, actually only one of a few in dad's side of family that did. We got along so well, my nickname for her for (20) plus years has been "wicked-stepmother". I send her emails with the name, and she signs cards and such.

Until now, we have always gotten along very, very well. Spent more time with her than with my mom.

Hopefully that answers your question.
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Thank you all for your feedback. Answer to some of the questions-

Dad has always had somewhat of a temper, so SM has always dealt with it (commented many times she "hated it").

He can doesn't typically get angry at anyone but her, and it's been that way for (34) years. I must say his anger does carry over at times to her kids, which could be jealousy because they are nearby and he ultimately would like me to be closer, but being 250 miles away I get down every 3-4 months and talk (5) days a week for the last 3-5 years. We now talk multiple times a day and I see him every 2-3 weeks.

As one mentioned, " was this planned", I believe "yes". I believe she does love him, and has become fearful due to his anger, and the help of her protective kids. I asked if he ever threatened to hit her, or has hit her and she says "no". Many believe if it weren't for her kids this never would have gotten this far.

My famiy is throughly convinced this is just a way for her to have control, and he is stuck in this home forever.

Thanks
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DeeAnna, very good and valid points. I perhaps was focused too much on "reading into" the post what the SM might have planned. I appreciate your insights.
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gardenartist,
I understand what you are saying and you may be right that the step-mom planned the confrontation at Christmas. Yet I am concerned that since Dean1935 had already petitioned for guardianship and conservatorship once already and since he conceded to his step-mom the first time that the courts might think that he isn't really serious about being a guardian and conservator and that he is just petitioning a SECOND time to spite his step-mom because he does not like her. If he does petition again for guardianship and conservatorship (g & c), he is going to have to answer a lot of questions about why he didn't agree to share g & c with his step-mom the first time when he had the chance and why is he spending so much time and money NOW to be the g & c.
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Correction: I just read the earlier posts and your original one and realized that SM has already filed for conservatorship and guardianship.

Sorry I missed this. You do have the right to challenge this if you feel it appropriate. But it's not clear to me whether or not she has actually been appointed C and G. even though some concessions were made by you.
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First, I'm not sure, even with some level of dementia, that your stepmother has the legal authority to remove you from HIPAA access, even if your father does have some level of dementia. How did she get away with this?

Second, I think she's following her own planned course of action, and would only resist even more if you brought him home. And, there's no guaranty he would voluntarily return.

Third, ask him if a video of the interior of the home, especially the areas of concern, would suffice? This could also be a test for you; the request is innocent enough, but I suspect SM would refuse, although she couldn't claim that "the doctor" wouldn't recommend it.

If she does, ask the doctor yourself. I say test b/c of what I think she has planned, as a course of action rather than in response to your father's change of behavior. Will she allow YOU access to the home?

Fourth, why is he not able to call the bank's customer service line and get updates on his account, or perhaps you could help him do this online? Has stepmother taken over his accounts as well? Changed passwords? If so, I think that's a potentially ominous sign.

Fifth, there are some interesting issues to the progression of your father's current. state. Your wrote that around Christmas his attitude toward SM and her children became hostile. Was he hostile to you, to your siblings, to others, or was it just toward SM and her family? Were these episodes in front of her daughters?

They could easily have been provoked if this was her intent all along.

Clearly the balance issue was medical, but your concerns have me wondering if SM planned to take over and the hostility your father showed was in response to some private discussions they may have had about her intents.

Sixth, Although I don't have much hands on experience with guardianship and conservatorship from a personal family perspective, I think it's a pretty good prediction that with stepmother and you vying for control, an independent guardian and conservator would be appointed. Her age and health could easily preclude her appointment, and I assume she would challenge any consideration for you to be appointed.

Since SM wants this for herself, I'm assuming that your father hasn't executed any powers of attorney, for health or otherwise? What I see is that he's being squeezed out of control of his life, on the basis of the dementia, but that your stepmother seems to have a definite plan for taking control, despite her own fragility.

Seventh, and most importantly: I'm with your father:

Get an attorney, the sooner the better. Find an elder law firm (not just a single attorney but one with several in the elder law practice, as I can almost guarantee that she'll get a law firm with power to represent her.

You also want a firm with enough attorneys that they can consult with each other or substitute if one isn't available, and I suspect that there are going to be some adjournments and changes along the way as SM challenges any action you initiate.

These attorneys should be experienced in contested guardianship and conservatorship, and one familiar with dementia stages. Make your checklists and start calling on Monday. If you need more assistance on finding attorneys, just post back. There are enough people here with experience that you could make up a checklist of questions to ask before you retain anyone.

I do think your father needs protection, and you need to assert your rights. SM may have gotten guidance from her daughters, and they're recommending her course of action based on what they might know of contested issues.
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Since you don't have any 'legal' rights over dad--you kinda have to let this go. I applaud you for keeping relationships strong between you and step-mom. Let her be the guide on this one.

Some seniors will get very agitated when they see that their beloved home has changed in any way. It can be very distressing.

It would be sad that he'd go the length of trying to obtain a divorce just so he can see his old house. With Alz., it would be difficult to GET a divorce.

I'd throw this one to his wife and let her deal with it. Sounds like she's aware of his issues and is trying to protect him from a meltdown, which, given his history, sounds possible.

Good Luck!
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I would suggest that you continue to tell your Dad: "We have to wait for stepmother to get approval from doctor." It may not be the answer that you or your Dad want to hear, but with your step-mom as guardian and conservator, she is the one who gets to "call the shots" as to what your Dad can and can not do.

In regards to assisting your Dad to "get an attorney to pursue getting the guardianship / conservatorship changed and/or a divorce if he can't visit his home"--that "ship has already sailed". Basically you have already tried to get the guardianship and conservatorship and you conceded to your step-mom, so I see no point in trying it again...unless you want to spend more money for same results as now. In regards to the divorce, it is a little too late for that to happen.

As you said, you are "caught in the middle" and the most you can do is visit your Dad. Take some old photo albums and reminisce about what happened when he was growing up; when you were growing up; vacations; sports events or games you went to together; or other activities that you did together. You need to distract him from thinking about visiting the house and/or bank since there is nothing you can do. I was going to suggest that "maybe you could take your Dad out for a drive and just DRIVE BY the house", BUT I am concerned that the drive by the house without being able to go inside would upset your Dad even more than if you hadn't taken him out for a drive at all.
All you can do is be there for him, tell him that you love him and that you always will.
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