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An elderly relative has dementia and no POA. I had tried to convince them to move into assisted living but they refused. They have been living alone in their apartment until very recently when they were found wandering in the street, lost. This is the 2nd time this has happened. This time the person who noticed called 911 and they were taken to the hospital and kept under observation for a few days, deemed not able to make their own decisions and discharged to a nearby nursing home. The nursing home says they cannot keep the person as they have no other medical issues - they can walk, so they don't belong there. The assisted living facility I had previously recommended for them will now not take them as they cannot provide the level of care for someone who now has a history of wandering. Over the last several days I have spoken to an attorney, social workers, admissions directors for a couple of care facilities, and am hitting a wall. My understanding is since the relative is now deemed unable to make decisions, they are not able to assign POA to someone else. They have some money, not a lot, but do not qualify for Medicaid. Medicare will not pay for them to remain in a nursing home with no medical reason for the stay. Memory care facilities don't want to take her since I am not able to pay for their care, and cannot write checks on my relative's account to cover the costs. I understand one option is to seek guardianship but this is a very lengthy and expensive process, I simply don't have the money to pursue this. I thought that the state or county would then step in and appoint someone to manage their finances, but am not able to find out who I can speak to about this. I did get a call from adult protective services, who got my phone number from the hospital. I was at work when they called and have tried to get in touch with that person several times but they have not called back. The nursing home where they are staying presently is pressing me to find a suitable place for them, but as I've explained I can't seem to figure out how to do this. I am certain they can't be the only person in the state of Illinois in this situation. Does anyone have any experience with a similar situation, or any advice? Thank you!

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I am fortunate enough to have had a meeting with my mom and her financial advisors a few months before my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers and her investment income was taken care of with disbursement forms. She has a wonderful elder care attorney who came to the hospital immediately to get her to sign her home over to me with the clause that she can live here as long as she lives. Since you don't have that luxury, I suggest that you contact a social worker on your relatives behalf. The nursing home should be able to point you to the correct person. I was told that for Medicare to help with long term care expenses, a person must spend down to $2000 in assets. I urge anyone else to have their loved ones affairs in order before they find themselves in your position.
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Let the state step in, that is why APS is calling you. The will make her a ward of the state. That way the facility can deal with them instead of harping on you. The state will not let the facility push them out the door and the state will quickly find an appropriate placement. They can't say no to APS.
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Of course the nursing home is pressing you to find a suitable place for them. Isn't that what you would be doing if you worked in that nursing home? They want your loved ones out of there, and yours is the name they have.

But you have no legal obligation to take responsibility for them. You've tried to be helpful and they've turned you down. Try to think through what would be best for them, and try to act to achieve that. It might be best for them to become a ward of the state. If that seems right, don't interfere with it.

Keep trying to reach the APS person. Explain that you love these relatives and want the best for them, but your hands are tied. Be very firm that you cannot take responsibility for finding care for them (if that is your decision.)

It is possible that they could still grant POA. They would have to want to, and also to demonstrate that they understood what that means. (My husband was able to after he was diagnosed with dementia.) Having POA would probably allow you to spend their money on their behalf. When there money is gone, you could apply for Medicaid for them. Consider this option IF you are willing to handle their money for them. I think you'd be best served by consulting a lawyer specializing in Elder Law. This should be at their expense.

Again, you have no legal responsibility to find a place for your relatives. Don't let the pressure get to you. I can tell that you have a desire for your relatives to be taken care of properly. Maybe getting POA would help you do that, and maybe it is possible to get POA. Pursue that if it appeals to you.
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