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I was a part time care giver for and elderly client for over five years. Her family moved her twice to different states in the past year trying to find the best place for her to be. As a widow her former sister in law being elderly herself convinced her to separate all her financials from her son, and sign a medical power of attorney over to her, and a secondary her daughter( in which her daughter is mentally slow). Now less than a month of getting her into her own apartment, has suggested she move into a nursing home, and continues to tell her she cannot be alone. She does have problems performing some physical duties, but has had help come in to assist in the past, and does not feel that she needs twenty four hour assistance. She just now disclosed to me that she was taken to a Doctor that with minimal examination decided she needs to have help fulltime. What can I do to help her.

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Well, I couldn't say no harm done if someone is stuck in a nursing home and they don't need to be. At the least they would be bored and unhappy and at the worst they could be drugged up and seriously harmed if the staff are unscrupulous enough. But still, without meaning to be too harsh, we really are recommending you make sure you aren't just idealizing abut this woman because you cared for her...in a sense it is good that you still care for her now and maybe be in touch...people need people who care about them wherever they are or need to be.
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I think it is extremely difficult and unadvisable for a privately hired or agency caregiver to interfere with family arrangements, unless there is concrete evidence of serious maltreatment or mishandling of the patient's needs. As Vstefans said, your client may not be relating the true facts about the comprehensiveness of the doctor's visit, and you need more definitive information in order to initiate an investigation by APS. It is possible that the elderly SIL or the SIL's mentally slow daughter might not appropriate candidates for the job of POA at this point. But at some earlier point, her SIL intervened apparently due to some concern over your client's son as the right person for the job of POA? As a non-family member, what do you really know about the circumstances of the son? What are the facts surrounding your client's son capabilities? What is his involvment in your client's daily care and living arrangements? This is such a touchy subject, and I think you need some concrete documentation of facts and situations before you call in APS to investigate. I have heard some horror stories about caregivers giving very negative and unsubstantiated reports to APS, effectively ruining reputations and creating nightmares for the family members that in reality were acting in the best interest of the patient. Believe me you do not want to stir up a hornets nest. If the current POA or alternate POA prove to be incapable in the future, I believe the State will look to find a suitable sustitute. I understand your concern and desire to help, but with all due respect, I do not think it is your place to interfere unless extreme circumstances require it. At the very least, consider that even though you or she may think that she is not quite yet NH material, if she does end up in an ALF or NH facility, at least she will have 24/7 care and supervision and will be safe at all times, therefore, no harm done. PLEASE TREAD VERY CAREFULLY before stirring up any controversy with this situation. If I were in your shoes, I would leave it alone.
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OK, if I reading this right, you suspect that she is not as bad as her sister in law thinks, and is inappropriately being put into a nursing home. Maybe assisted living would make more sense if she is physically able but having more cognitive problems? It may be hard to be realistic about the latter and they can look pretty good on casual conversation. Maybe you could help by looking into assisted living facilities where she is at least online, or even just a Lifeline. But, there is usually no profit motive for moving someone into a nursing home, and I'd have to wonder what the reason to propose it would be if it really was not anywhere near being truly needed. She might have a very different perception of the doctor visit than what was really done. The sister in law might have another side of the story - she might even be posting about why does a part time former caregiver object to an alternative living facility when it is too hard not safe, etc..

But seriously, if you think something really wrong is going on, you always have the option to contact adult protective services. Just make sure you have a real flavor for how things are really going and aren't missing important information.
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