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My husband's Dad is now in a severe dementia ward, he is mild, His 3rd wife and her daughter have lied to my husband and his sister stating that the facility he's in has a 48 hour notice policy but they got them to agree to a 24 hour notice if they want to take their dad out somewhere. My husband lives 35-40 minutes from the facility but during the week, he's an hour and a half away from his place of employment. At times, spare of the moment where we can take a trip to his dad's facility and when his dad is "normal/sharp", may ask to go for a drive, go to a park, go get a hotdog, icecream, etc. so 48-24 hour notice is not convenient all the time. I ended up calling the facility and finding out there is no such rule. All they ask is if we're driving a distance like we are, we may want to call ahead for a heads up on their part in case his father is taking a bath, etc. My husband's sister was in there yesterday and her father and his wife were sitting in a room. Sister asked her dad if he'd like her to get a hamburger from a particular place he likes that has closed, but they have a truck out nearby selling them. He said he'd like that, and the wife said no. Daughter said to his wife, "do you ever listen to him? He said he'd like to have one." Two days prior the daughter and her dad's wife had a confrontation. Her dad wanted to go out in the garden area to sit outside, he had fallen the weekend before and wife told the nurses he didn't need to be checked out by a doctor, he had a low-grade fever, and thought he had a UTI. So when daughter was about to take him outside, the wife said NO! and the husband's daughter asked, "why not?" and she yelled for everyone to hear (because they were in the open area of the memory care ward, "because he has dementia! he can't make a decision." So my question is, can an Elder Care Attorney be the one that my husband and his sister should seek out to see if they have any rights when it comes to just wanting to take their dad out for a while, like to go to a restaurant without having this 24 hour rule that obviously was not the facility's rule, but the wife's rule? Also, to see if they have the right for communication on his care, his doctor's appointments, etc., since wife will not take him to a specialist to even determine what type of dementia he has and at what stage. He was diagnosed by an Internist locally. I've spoken to a number of people for advice, and they all don't understand why the wife wouldn't welcome the adult children with open arms to take her husband out because it would make him happy. We believe it's all about "control" since in the past 26 years since I've even known her, she appears to be a control freak. Has anyone on this forum dealt with split families where there are step mothers and her children involved? Does his kids have any rights when it comes to such pettiness? As my husband has said, if we see on his dad's calendar he has an appointment, he's going to a picnic or whatever with his wife and/or her family, he wouldn't take him out...we believe she's not being reasonable.

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WeCare, after reading your post right away I thought of the Casey Kasem case.

Your step-mother sounded a bit like my Mom when my Dad was in the hospital a couple of years ago, she wanted to control everything, both my parents are in their 90's. Rarely, if ever, would I be rude to my Mother but eventually my stress was boiling over.... shy me eventually said to Mom "this is about Dad, not about you".
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Yes, we've been on friendly terms. However, the last 6 or 7 years we noticed more and more that she would wait until the last minute to schedule our Christmas with them. Yet her side of the family would get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with them. She stopped having the day after Christmas with us, last Christmas we weren't told until 3 days before the day that they wanted to have our Christmas. We got the feeling she really didn't want her husband's family around. Darned if you do, darned if you don't is what we're thinking with her. We NEVER pry in their business, if we were told something, ok, we only got that from her. When we were told about the dementia, well, we were around him about once or twice a week and didn't see anything, so we believed it must be the beginning stages, but honestly didn't think much of it at that point. He was "normal" this past Christmas and then my husband and I were called by the wife's daughter asking us when we would be up again and that is when we were told of a "trial basis" but after he was placed in there, now wife and her daughter are saying it was never a trial basis. He is with a whole group of elderly that are obviously, positively "gone" and he's not severe, very mild at this point....just having a hard time understanding this pettiness of taking him out or giving him something to eat if he wants it...
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It is unfortunate that your dad married your stepmom, but this sort of thing happens. And generally the wife has the say unless she is obviously incompetent. This is going to sound cruel, but when elders make bad decisions, often there is nothing you can do, no matter how much you care about them. Consequences, consequences. Have you ever been on friendly terms with this woman?
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I just didn't know if an Elder Care attorney would be the one to deal with this pettiness of giving him food he wants, he's on no special diet. Has been told he has a heart of an 18 year old, so he most likely will live a long life. His grandfather was 100 and his father was 98 when they passed...
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It certainly would be more cheaper to speak to the wife, however, she had her daughter call my husband last week asking what "concerns" he had with the 24 hour rule. Point is--she outright lied about the rule, it's their rule not the nursing home, they also lied that this was a "trial-basis" and it appears it's not, they lied and as well to my husband's father that the wife would either move there or get a condo since the house is too big for her to take care of...it looks like we're being lied to from the beginning and now these "petty" situations of just taking him out to do something with him, you'd think they'd be overjoyed that he's doing something that would make him HAPPY. An attorney had told us that most likely a judge would give "blood" guardianship since his wife is also elderly. She's 79 and she's babysitting a toddler and now the toddler's sibling which is kindergarten age, 2 to 3 times a week, all day long. More wear and tear on her well-being....just appears she kicked the husband out, he's not getting a 2nd opinion from a specialist, he's not getting the interaction he needs as a dementia patient, new things, familiar surrounds/people. He sits in his room looking at a tv, and if he's not sharp that day, he won't be able to figure out how to turn it on...
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Step Mom may have some dementia herself. Has anyone checked that? Or is this just an ongoing jealousy battle? Courts usually side with the wife.
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Does his wife have POA?

In order for you to know about his medical issues the POA would have to sign a waiver giving the NH permission to talk to you. Even an elder law attorney can't get around privacy laws.

I think it would be easier (and certainly cheaper) to talk to the wife and appeal to her about taking your FIL out. But she's not doing anything illegal. A lawyer would probably tell you to petition the court for guardianship because I don't think there's anything an attorney can do to compel your MIL to let you take your FIL out from time to time.

There are so many people here who have dealt with similar situations. Steps, in-laws, etc. Before you plunk down good money on an attorney see what these good folks have to say.
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