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My Mom has always been my best friend. I took care of Mom in her home for 6 1/2 years. Then she was put in a nursing home. She's been there over 4 years and is now in the end stages of vascular dementia. My father died of Alzheimer's Disease 13 years ago, and one of my younger brothers has early-onset Alzheimer's and is in another nursing home. I visit him and my Mom on Sundays. My youngest brother (I'll refer to him as L.S.), an accountant, was named POA by my father, long before any of this happened. Not long ago, my youngest brother's wife, K.S., told me that she believes L.S. is now showing early signs of dementia. Unknown to me, K.S. has been doing the duties of POA for some time now, because L.S. doesn't seem to be able to do the paperwork involved any more. I didn't realize this was going on, but did know that she seemed to be helping him to some degree. Yesterday, while visiting Mom, a nurse on her unit told me that Mom had been attacked by another patient earlier in the week and was badly bruised and shaken up. She said the other patient is a "Psych" patient, on a floor with all these weak, confused dementia patients. I asked what was being done about this. She said that she and the other staff had been instructed "not to talk to the family about this." She said she was concerned, though, that he psych patient was still there and hadn't been moved to another unit. So I called the nursing home this morning to talk to an administrator, and was told that they were "working on this" and that it is a "major investigation." She said they could give me no details because I am not the POA, but that a call had been made to L.S. and K.S. She said it is legally my brother's responsibility to tell me what is going on. Since my brother is apparently somewhat incapacitated, and my sister-in-law has been illegally acting in his place - I want to get guardianship over my mother. I've been looking into this process online today, and it looks like I'd have to go before a judge, along with L.S. and K.S., and somehow prove that L.S. is incapable of continuing to be the POA. I also saw that it might be simpler to be made "secondary POA" for my mother. Since my mother obviously cannot "sign off" on this, how would this be done?

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Thank you, all three of you, for your answers. I have contacted an attorney and have a consultation with him this afternoon about what I can do about being named Secondary POA vs. Guardianship. DeeAnna, yes I do need prayers and hugs. Thank you for your encouragement.
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GardenArtist has a good suggestion. Look at your Mom's POA document if you have a copy, and see who is allowed to perform the POA duties if the Primary (& Secondary POA) are unable to do so.

Talk to a Elder Care Attorney ASAP.
I am so sorry about your family. It sounds like your family's Dementia/Alzheimer's is caused by a hereditary gene. Has any doctor talked to you about this? What is the possibility of you developing Dementia/Alzheimer's?

(I have a friend whose husband's family has an rare ALS gene and most men in the family will develop ALS when they get age 50 or older. Her husband died at age 62.)

Reason that I ask about the possibility of you developing Dementia/Alzheimer's, is that your SIL may need to be the Second POA for your Mother and the first POA for her husband and for you (as your Brother cannot be a POA anymore because of his early signs of dementia).

How terrible for you to visit your Mom and find out that she "had been attacked by another patient earlier in the week and was badly bruised and shaken up." Please DO NOT get upset at the NURSES as they have almost nothing to do with determining where the "Psych" patient is housed.

I have been in this same situation and I can tell you that the nurses feel extremely bad and upset and angry that this incident happened, especially the nurses that were working at the time of the attack.

Because of HIPPA, the nurse told you of the attack only because your Mom was one of the victims AND you were visiting your Mom in person. Most likely if your Mom had not been a victim, the nurse would not have told you (if the nurse told someone whose family member was NOT a victim, the nurse could have violated HIPPA rules).

I am glad that you called the nursing home this morning to talk to an administrator. I hope that you were forceful but also polite and that you were not emotional while talking to the administrator about this emotional situation. Calm and clear thinking is needed by all concerned at this time. If you need to vent, feel free to vent here.

I think that you need some ^^Prayers^^ and some {{{Hugs}}}. "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." HEBRESW 4:16 NASB
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Ask KS to read the POA and see if there's language in it providing authority for her to allow someone to assist her or for her to assign duties to that person. Mine does have that authority.

If so, perhaps you can work with her to have her husband assign his authority to her, and to you. That would avoid the costly guardianship proceeding.
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