Follow
Share

I'm one of several friends care giving for a senior woman age 87 that I'll call Carol. My role has been primarily as one of the POA's for healthcare and one of 2 POA's for her finances. I am also the co-executor of her will. I am not related to her by blood. She has distant relatives living in another part of the country who have not been a part of her life for more than 50 years up until recently has had not contact with them. My primary role in her care for the last 10 years has merely been executive and also friendship related. We go out to lunch or dinner together several times a month but other than that, I do not assist her in any way in her daily living. She currently lives in her owned home where she has resided for 42 years. She has repeatedly expressed to me that her goal is to remain in her home until death. She has four friends who have, over the years, just appeared and started doing things for her around her house. She didn't ask them to do anything but they just volunteered. One of her friends is the co-executor with me and also has POA for finance and health too. This woman is 80 years old and Carol's neighbor. She is on Carol's checking account and helps her pays bills. For many years she cleaned Carol's house and was paid for this service but she gave that up a few years back. Although I do have financial POA I have no knowledge, other than the disbursment of funds via the will, of her financial position and am not listed on any of Carol's bank accounts, nor do I want this responsibility. I am happy to help if Carol becomes incapacitated but until that happens, I am content with my role of friend. Another friend, Pat, began coming over to Carol's house a few years ago and started at first in the role of a friend as well. She was just going to lunch and dinner with her occasionally like I do. However, Pat, over the years has become obsessed with Carol and slowly over time began going to all her doctors appointments with her, visiting her home several times a day, cleaning her home, changing her sheets, taking out her garbage and many other household functions. Carol never requested that Pat do these things but she just began doing them on her own over time as she determined that she thought Carol needed this type of assistance. Carol has two other friends who come over and help her with outside chores around her home. They are paid for their services when they help, but they are also friends that socialize with Carol too. I have heard from the other caregivers that these people have borrowed money from Carol on repeated occasions but I have no first hand knowledge of this, nor do I care who Carol gives money to. (She has substantial asserts, I hear from the other financial POA who helps her pay bills and make deposits. This gives you a brief background of the situation. Note, that not one of these people is related by blood nor do any have Gardianship of Carol.


In the couple of years, it has been repeatedly brought to my attention that Carol is drinking heavily both at home and at bars and driving her vehicle while intoxicated. She has fallen now on several occasions and even had to have brain surgery to alleviate a brain bleed caused by a drunken fall. She has had two car wrecks but was never charged with DUI. She's had repeated hospitalizations for low blood count and the doctors believe it is associated with her liver function. Each time, after she is released from the hospital, she is sent to a rehabilitation center for several weeks for physical rehab. Her walking is slow and labored but she does walk with a cane and gets around. Social services has visited her home and found it to be safe. Although the social worker at the rehab center and all her other caregivers believe that she is no longer able to care for herself in her home, the rehab center always releases her back to her home and Carol refuses in home care and refuses to consider assisted living alternatives.


This one friend, Pat, who literally does everything for her including bring in her mail, pick up her prescriptions, grocery shop, laundry, cleaning, attending doctor visits etc, is beside herself with anxiety. She calls me incessantly demanding that I force Carol into assisted living. I have tried to explain to her over and over again that I am not Carol's guardian and do not have that authority. Nevertheless she persists in hounding me about this issue. I've asked her to stop doing all the things she does for Carol so that Carol will be forced to pay for those services and may change her mind about assisted living but Pat will not stop enabling Carol no matter what I say. The caregivers all want to see Carol in assisted living. How can I get through to this woman that I cannot force Carol into assisted living? She thinks because I am POA I can do it. (She never bothers the other POA) She thinks I just want to avoid doing "what's right", but I can't help Carol until she stops enabling.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
She is right about so many things though. Tonight was my Pizza night with Carol and when I got to her house she was sound asleep in her bed. She'd probably gone out for lunch and had a few drinks but when I woke her up she wasn't slurring or anything. She apologized for forgetting and asked for a rain check.I had seen her yesterday and talked to her last night. She was looking forward to our date. Her drinking IS a problem I'm sure. It's just that I don't really think there is anything any of us can do because her binging is sporadic and most of the time she acts normal?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

She may expecting you to trick her into it somehow, and solve the problem of the deep hole she has dug herself into because SHE can't face the guilt feelings if she stops, but she does not really want to go on doing it all either!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree. Pat sounds like a neurotic drama queen! Really, she thinks the newspaper would waste expensive column space for some unknown woman who died at home in a somewhat messy house?! I don't think so! I'd bail out of that situation, and just be Carol's friend and POA. And when dear old Pat calls, don't answer, don't listen to voicemails, etc. She'll get the hint.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No, I am just now getting ready to put my foot down and specifically say that I am not going to allow myself to be repeatedly drawn into the drama. If they really feel that Carol is not safe at home, let them call Adult Protective Services themselves. I don't believe their opinions will be validated because I believe Carol is within her rights to stay in her own home at this time even if some of her decisions are not what others would like them to be. Thank you for your vote of confidence.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As you know, POA's have no authority when it comes to placing someone in assisted living/nursing home. You've said as much to Pat and that's all you can do. As long as Carol is able to make decisions on her own she can live wherever and however she wants to. It's not necessary to continue telling this to Pat. You've made yourself clear so there should be no more discussion about it. If Pat continues to contact you ignore her. She can get mired down into codependency with Carol all she wants but you don't have to join her.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Continued- I just want to add that Carol does not drink around me. I also want to add that I have spoken with the social worker at the rehabilitation center on numerous occasions and Carol is considered "alert and oriented X 3" which means that they do not consider her to be mentally incapacitated. That's why they release her to her home. I don't ever intend to take steps towards becoming a guardian. I don't believe a court would find Carol incapacitated enough to need a guardian. She is kind of a danger to others while driving drunk but it would be hard to prove that she drives while intoxicated since she has never had a DUI. I would like to support Carol in her quest to stay in her home. I would agree to assist her in setting up in home care that she could pay for. However, Carol will not allow this because she thinks it is great that Pat is doing it all for free. Carol has even told Pat to her face that she thinks she is a fool for doing all these things for her for free, yet Pat persists. It has become an obsession as I said. Pat is a wonderful person and I dearly love her and feel sorry for her. However, I am powerless to get her to listen to me and to stop enabling Carol. It is upsetting me each time Pat calls me irate, upset and crying over all she "has to do" for Carol. She jumps around in her feelings, one minute telling he that she just can't do it anymore because she isn't qualified... to saying that taking care of Carol is not the problem, that she is happy to doing it, to saying in the next sentence that helping someone is not the same as taking care of them. I've tried and tried to pin Pat down on exactly what I can do to make her see that she needs to stop doing all these things for Carol, but she says that if Carol dies because she (Pat) as stopped taking care of her, then she will feel guilty and her life will be ruined. She has even gone so far as to tell me that if Carol dies in her home and people go into her home and find her that all of our names will be splashed across the newspaper with a headline "Friends Allow Senior Citizen to die in Filth. It's just craziness. Her home is not filthy in any way. It's cluttered but it's a fairly typical senior home and in any case, Carol is able to make her own decisions about the way she wants her house so there is no responsibility that would fall on Pat? I'm having a lot of trouble controlling the situation as you can see. I just want to remain in my current role as friend and don't want to take on more responsibility for all these peoples feelings. As I have told Carol, I am happy to help her set up "in home" care that she could pay for and to see what services Medicare might provide but I don't want to be pressured by these other people to take a stand with Carol about going into an assisted living facility, nor do I think I have the authority to do so, even if I wanted to. Am I correct?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.