How do I help my 101 year old aunt?

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New cousin came on scene 9 years ago and about 5 years ago got aunt's POA. He hired a live-in "caregiver" who works 24/7 with no reprieve. She also has 4 kids (12, 10, 3, 2)..the youngest two live in the home full time, the older two stay during school holidays. Cousin lives out of state, so he has the caregiver collecting rent on aunt's properties, serving evictions, renting properties, and is the go-between for him and tenants. There is no time in the day where my aunt's care is primary. Been complaining for years about care, caregiver, and environment, but cousin ignores and allows caregiver to make family access difficult, even calling police.


During a recent visit, I bypassed caregiver and took aunt to emergency room. She was admitted with scabies, crusted scabies (which was being treated as eczema), infection on leg, respiratory issues from breathing dander from roach infestation, and cellulitis. EPS [finally] involved. Took POA when cousin didn't show after 9 days, and moved to evict caregiver. Cousin showed at court with lawyer to keep caregiver in the home, also moved to put restraining order on me. Go to court for eviction and restraining order on 8/13. Aunt still in hospital. Overall healthy for 101. No Alzheimer's but forgetful. Asks why she is in hospital, and when told to look at her legs says, "I was going to lose my leg, huh?" When told she can't go home until property is cleaned and inspected, repeatedly says, "Put that girl out so my house can get right." Property taxes delinquent on 7 of 8 rentals. (I personally paid taxes for home where she lives). Have always wanted best for aunt and saddened that I have to fight to care for her. EPS said I dont need to hire a lawyer for aunt, but now I have to get one for myself. Also, there is no written work agreement. Caregiver paid in cash and no one files taxes. Would appreciate any guidance from anyone who has dealt with this type of madness. I just want my aunt in her clean and safe home for the remainder of her days. Thanks.

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I'd discuss with your attorney. These matters are quite complex and the requirements for what you need to prove are difficult to be determined by lay person. Disposing or handling real property is so specific and due to how it could affect the homeowner....I'd be very careful to have legal guidance from someone who is well versed in Medicaid regulations.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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The caregiver is still in the home because she has small kids. The state would rather keep things as they are than to uproot that family and possibly have small children homeless, no matter WHAT the POS mother has done.

I've heard that it is damned difficult to evict people who have kids, especially small kids who are the most vulnerable.

Yes, she most likely has dirt on the cousin.
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ElaineSmith Aug 3, 2018
Same thing I think. She has to have dirt on him.
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Get your aunt to sign HIPPA disclosure authorization so you can see her medical records. See if doctors still believe she is mentally competent.

See if you can get some pictures of your aunt's house - inside and outside. With a zoom lens you can get some pretty good photos of the interior through windows from across the street. If you catch a time when no one is home, take photos through the windows. You could set your smart phone to video record and place it on a waist clip holder where the camera is not obstructed, then knock on the door and see if the care giver will invite you in. Remember until there is an eviction, your aunt's home is also the care taker home and you cannot enter without permission.

If there's a roach infestation, has CPS been called to make sure the kids are OK?

Get an elder law attorney ASAP for the 8/13 court appearances. Given your aunt's age EPS is probably going to want to place her in a facility. You may need to be prepared to have your aunt sign a new POA (if she's competent) so you can oversee her care or you may need to request guardianship if she's not competent. Because she has funds, court will most likely appoint an guardian ad litum (usually a lawyer who will bill your aunt) on 8/13 who may take steps to clean the house and establish in home care if the court/judge agrees.

If there are other family members who would appear in court and support you being named guardian/POA, that would help.
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ElaineSmith Aug 1, 2018
Thanks. I have POA. After my aunts first 9 days in the hospital with a cousin no-show, I called a notory to the hospital. I then went to each tenant with my POA informing them not to submit any rental payments to caregiver, and to submit payments via money order to new account. I also served eviction notice to the caregiver and her brother who lives in a rental property adjacent to aunts home. At my aunts permission, I went into the home and began deep cleaning, and i have plenty of pictures of roaches everywhere...microwave, stove, cabinets, going in plug outlets, in toybox, bedframes, etc. We scraped caked cooking oil from cabinets and the stove vent. Other cousins took out all major appliances and bedroom furniture to clean and spray to remove bugs. It took 3 days for just the kitchen. We cleaned the kitchen, the room my aunt SHARES WITH THE CAREGIVERS KIDS, and the living room. We sprayed the bathroom, but avoided the other two bedrooms the caregiver occupies. When I went to court on evictions 7/26, cousin showed up with lawyer to keep both caregiver and her brother in the properties. A day before that I was served to appear in court on 8/13. At the eviction hearing the judge moved everything to the 8/13 date. I have now had to hire a lawyer, and I'm pissed because the money I'm spending could be used to get other properties out of redemption due to unpaid property taxes. (7 of 8 properties are in redemption). My aunt remains in the hospital where the social worker said she can remain for up to 3 months. She wants to go home and I want her home, but cousin in fighting to maintain status quo. I don't know if the caregiver has something on him, but he is fighting for her instead of our aunt. EPS is helpful, but slow. With just the pictures I have the judge should throw the girl out. Also, no one pays taxes and according to what I've read, in addition to salary the caregiver has to include room and board..I imagine for her self and her 2 full time live-in toddlers. As a mandated reporter I reported to CPS also. I just dont understand why girl feels like she does not have to leave the home, or why cousin is supporting her and her no rent paying brother. All the while my poor aunt waits. Thank God for cousin Diane who has been at the hospital with my aunt from dawn to dusk everyday.
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Who has POA now? EPS? Perhaps your aunt shouldn’t go back to that house at all. Speak with her case manager to see if arrangements can be made for a facility for her. She needs to spend the rest of her days being well cared for, safe, and in a clean environment. That way cousin and his minion caregiver are out of the picture entirely. Ask your attorney about letting the house go to foreclosure.
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ElaineSmith Aug 1, 2018
I have POA, but cousin is contesting it. Per social workers at hospital I looked into care facilities. Because aunt has property, after 20 days the cost would be $174 per day...and if I sign her in I'm legally responsible for payments. Since my aunt is still relatively healthy, so even I if we sold all her property (excluding the family home of over 110 years), it might get her a little over a year. Afterwards she still would not qualify for Medicare to pay because she has to be 6 years post property owner. I swear the more I learn the more I realize that being poor pays. If u are a praying person, I'd appreciate one for Aunt O.
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