My step-mother has put my father in a private pay facility to care for him because he has Alzheimer's and she is in another separate (the most expensive around) independent living facility. It's been that way for a few years now. The facility my Dad is in, is considering sending him to a county facility as he has become harder to care for, behavioral issues because he wants to go home. Rather than send him to a not so great facility where they will likely just keep him sedated, they have hired companions to stay with him 12 hours a day 7 days a week. All they do is follow him around. My step mother only sees him briefly once or twice a year. They are hemorrhaging money and he will be in the not so great facility when it runs out, anyway! Sedated because he's not getting the attention he really needs, at home with family around him. Unfortunately they live in NY and I am in KY. Fortunately, my husband and I are ready, willing and able to take my dad home to our newly built 5 bedroom home, as I am my fathers secondary POA. My stepmother won't relenquish the primary POA and let me take him home, but never shows up for him and is making lousy financial decisions as well as lousy decisions for what would make my dad happiest and healthiest given his disabled condition. Can I get my dad somehow?

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Please remember we only know what you tell us or don't tell us. Now we have a more complete picture of what the issues are. I think you answered all my questions except where GF would consider home and maybe the answer to that is with you regardless of state of occupancy.

With your SM mental condition, age, staff observations and your careful documentation and perhaps, even your step brothers support, your chances seem good ...with the right attorney.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.
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Thank you William89. It is strange that they are not in the same facilities. My SM is in the best and my father could be there with her receiving the same level of care he does now but she doesn't want him there and the staff at his facility actually don't like it when she visits because it upsets him too much. She's 8 years older than him and I know it was too much on her to care for him and since the visits aren't pleasant - she doesn't visit. The staff has told me such. My biggest concern is that she going to spend all his money and leave him a pauper. He will likely live another 10 years but the cash will be gone soon. I will take him anyway, feed him, clothe him and comfort him the best I can. I suppose I'll end up covering his medical expenses too...

I work out of my own home and am working on ways he can wander safely on his own as I realize this is a huge need of his. I resent the comment about piping him down in a lazy boy! Ha! Not my family! We never sit! We are also tayloring activity stations around the house to his interests, the library, erector set/lego tinker areas (with tools he can't hurt himself on) shade islands on the property with benches and bird feeders and wandering paths to the various gardens, etc.

My SM has borderline personality disorder and is very difficult to deal with from a logical perspective. While it's not documented even her own children and her secondary POA, my stepbrother, say "mom is sick" after her suicide attempts and difficulties with decisions...

I'm just hoping to help my Dad while we can still offer him some quality of life. He's healthy physically and much younger than my stepmother.

If she blows all the money for their old age in the next year, he'll be sent to the county facility where they will sedate him for basically the rest of his life...or come with me...there won't be anything left to help on this end for instance if we need in home health aide while I run to a meeting or more in home assistance as his needs increase as is what happened with my grandmother, his mother.
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That puts a different complexion on things, of course. If you have the full support of your father's facility, and can demonstrate a complete skill set developed through experience of managing dementia, no doubt the courts will look favourably on your application for guardianship. Best of luck, let us know how you get on.
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Country mouse has incorrectly read my mind. Yes many more details can be provided or are needed for more informative responses and I have kept a journal these last 6 worrisome years due to my concern for my father. Staff has given me insight and frankly is indicating they would recommend he come with me given the choices.

I took care of his mother her last 6 years. Our family has always cared for our own so I realize what our needs are both the demented and the frail. SM never did - not even her own kids...

Never mind...
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I must say I think everyone is being very polite with their responses. I hope they have given you food for thought.

Your father is in a high-end, specialist facility with a paid companion keeping an eye on him during waking hours so that he can be allowed to move around freely but safely. And even with this extremely expensive, intensive support, the facility is have to weigh up whether they can continue to meet his needs in the face of increasing behavioural challenges.

And you think you can uproot him, move him 700 miles, pop him in a comfy armchair and he'll be just fine because of the smiling faces around him?

It's not even a question.
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My understanding of secondary POA or successor co-trustee or secondary DPOA, etc is in the event the primary POA resigns or is deemed not fit to continue to manage finances and healthcare of the person that POA is over, then review is a good idea, and that requires an elder law attorney or attorney that has firm that has a staff who specializes in trusts, POAs, issues such as 'incapacitated'. It is likely the grantor of the trust I presume? is your father and two people are typically recommended because both the grantor of legal document and co-trustee or i.e. primary POA has fiduciary responsibility to protect parent/husband/person they have been given legal right to take care of. There are a lot of issues that ensue, have to be discovered: a lot of the questions above already a starting point. I did find it odd that they are not in the same living facility, by design? Many private pay facilities have varying levels of care for married couples and they both attend same place and have a third party or trusted family member be in charge. Other times a general guardian is required to even manage two parents in same facility or one parent. It is about cost and quality of care, but it sounds like to me that since you do not live in same state, must understand one state varies in laws from another state based all items. I think it is a great idea to provide a home for free, and I think there lots of cases where beneficiaries see wrongdoing and do not even have POA assignments, but they pursue change through guardianship and it costs.

I also liked the comment about does the primary POA for your father also have another document which is supporting the living care in another facility for her wishes. That suggests, loosely used here, some weird overlap.

In any event, I think when primary and secondary POAs are drafted it is with the best intentions to ensure that the primary and secondary can stay in the loop, and keep family members as first option, rather than a stranger, but a person who is independent guardian that can handle transition and 1-2 years of support when changes are required. That is why two are recommended for POA. If your father has Alzheimer's, which stated, then he is 'incapacitated' and primary POA should have the document from somewhere that states so, which gives primary POA to make any changes in best interest for your father.

Interesting also: because exploitation of elderly generally happens with children/others/beneficiaries but when concern about primary/secondary POA abuses or excessive spending, it does raise a yellowish-red flag, because who is paying for what, is the primary POA reporting annually, in charge of taxes, medical insurance, facilities costs. Is step mother much younger, i.e. 10 years younger or near same age: these are concerns that are worthy of your address.

Lastly, I think you would feel this same way that more information is needed even if your 5 bedroom home was in NY and all are in NY. Need more information and also concern about how to be prepared for the next change after the latest. Sounds like in-person visits to both facilities is needed, a visual and collection of facts, research of documents filed in that county versus documents missing, not filed. Tread carefully, but I think your concerns are real and need more understanding/facts to understand that all is well, and what your liability is as being secondary POA given the way things are currently arranged. Good luck! I think you have a lot you can learn soon by finding more answers before end of this year.
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I have the same questions 97yrold has. Answering those would help us see the picture more clearly.

You no doubt have very good intentions and love your father very much. The first thing you should do if you want to help him is learn more about dementia, and the particular kind of dementia he has (if known).

Your father doesn't have behavioral issues because he wants to go home. He has behavioral issues because his brain is damaged. Behavioral issues are often an integral part of dementia. Your father would probably not consider moving into a house he has never seen before as going home, anyway.

Is the care center he is in now a memory care facility (specializing in dementia residents)? If not, is that the kind of facility they are recommending? Or do they think he needs a skilled nursing home? What makes you think they would over sedate him in the place they recommend? Have you visited that place? Have you read news articles about it? What are you basing your judgement on?

Did the facility's staff tell you that SM hasn't visited more than a couple times a year? Or did your father tell you that? If you are basing any of your thinking on what your father tells you, once again I urge you to learn about his condition.

A friend's father with dementia was in an assisted living facility. He also had an aid come in 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, to provide some stimulation, and keep him out of trouble. I think the fact that your father has a private aid 12 hours a day is absolutely awesome! Not many people can afford that.

Your father's care is costing a lot. It would also cost a lot in your home, if you bring in help to provide the level of care he is currently getting. Why shouldn't your dad and SM spend their money on themselves? Isn't that what it is for?

To get guardianship requires first that your father be declared incompetent in the legal sense. A diagnosis of dementia is helpful in this regard but not all persons with dementia are incompetent, so that would have to be proven.

If he is deemed incompetent, then you would have to be a suitable guardian. If his wife objects, that could be a big obstacle. If a court finds him incompetent and there is no agreement among family or there are barriers for family members being named guardian, then the court can appoint a professional guardian who would charge for it. He or she would make all decisions, including what facility, how money is handled, medical procedures, etc.

I think you should do some reading on what being a guardian would mean, what you would have to report to the court and how often, for example.

You would need a lawyer to apply for guardianship. After you read up on dementia and guardianship your next step would be to consult a lawyer who handles these kinds of cases and get an assessment of what your chances of succeeding would be if you move forward.

The fact that you want to move your father out of state may also be a factor. Ask the attorney about that.

I wish you a result that is best for your father.
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From what you've written it sounds difficult. Who is your step mothers POA? What is her condition? While you may feel your father is not getting enough personal attention you state he has the NH staff and additional staff to care for him and his behavior is such that the NH is considering requesting he be moved. How do you know about this?
How do you know how often your SM visits him? Could you prove it?
How old is your SM and your dad?
How would you propose to provide as much care as your dad is currently receiving?
Does your SM give a reason to not allow you to take your Dad home with you?
Is Kentucky his home or NY?
You should seek legal help but it sounds like your SM would be able to show she is providing care for him that would be difficult to match in a private home.
Does your dad know you when you visit?
On the surface, with the info you've given, it seems it would be difficult to make a case to have your SMs POA rescinded but I am not an attorney. Give us more information. Someone who has had the actual experience might respond.
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How much time have you spent with your father? I mean as in round the clock caregiving?

Your father has a progressive, fatal disease that requires 3 shifts of caregivers. If he's having serious behavioral issues, he might need an inpatient geriatric psych workup to stabilize his meds ( not sedation, meds for his agitation, paranoia, delusion, if that's what is going on).
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