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I’m at a loss. My mom is currently experiencing memory loss issues and has a history of mental illness to boot. I’ve obtained POA over health and finances, however feel that I run into red tape no matter what I try. I don’t live in the same town as her so I can’t make it to her Dr appts to speak to Dr directly. I tried to schedule a physical on her behalf and they wouldn’t even talk to me. Said they wouldn’t even look at my original POA docs that the attorney would have to send them over personally. She was just 5150 again today after news that her sister passed away last night. My stepdad is no help, (he has some undiagnosed mental deficits also). He thinks he can fix everything with hugs but never alerts anyone when she’s suicidal. Today was the cherry on top when she went back to ER after only a week or so on a 5150 and my stepdad and stepsister were talking about next steps. They didn’t cognitively understand any of my concerns regarding her safety, and declining cognitive abilities.


How can I have her evaluated for competency level? Anytime I call anywhere I run into 1000 road blocks. She runs in this vicious cycle of needing help then denying help as soon as it is offered. I’m just running myself ragged.


Where would I even begin with getting her the help she needs?!

Is your mother in hospital now? Hospitals often have social workers and useful people like that who can give you immediate advice.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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As long as her husband is present at the doctors and hospital and you are not, it is going to be a nightmare for you. Especially if you are talking about incompetence and facilitating a move to a care home. They are going to question how you know anything from long distance, I would.

Does your POA say what has to happen to activate it? Most spouses are in charge by law when a person cannot speak for themselves. So you are probably bumping into that as well.

POAs do not give you control over your parents to do as you wish. It gives you authority to act on their behalf with their permission. Unless you have a mental health POA, then that is a different story.

You will probably need to go to her town and let people see your face and get the paperwork that kicks your POAs in.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Like said, read your POA. It can either be immediate or when Mom is declared incompetent. If it reads when incompetent, it is not in effect till a dr says in writing Mom can no longer make informed decisions.

You will probably need to go with her to appts. Make yourself known to the doctor and staff. Just call and say I would like to make an appt. You don't have to identify yourself. When you get there, have Mom put you down on the HIPPA paperwork as a person the doctors can talk to. Once Mom is declared incompetent, then have the lawyer fax over the POA paperwork. Dr. probably won't require all the pages. Just the ones assigning you and Mom's signature. I would ask. My Moms medical read like a living will so they may want the whole thing.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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What is “5150”?
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Reply to TinkerToo
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disgustedtoo Apr 18, 2019
Wasn't familiar with this either. Basically appears to be involuntary commitment. Found this:

The Lanterman–Petris–Short (LPS) Act (Cal. Welf & Inst. Code, sec. 5000 et seq.) concerns the involuntary civil commitment to a mental health institution in the State of California.

For more detail, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanterman%E2%80%93Petris%E2%80%93Short_Act#5150
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Do you have a Durable POA? I think that's what is needed if somebody is deemed incompetent, and I would think a 5150 would apply. Others will know better, but you need to be able to open the lines of communication with her doctors. Call their office and ask what you need to do/provide to become her healthcare proxy.

A neurologist can evaluate your mom for cognitive decline. My mom's doctor did the short memory test MMSE, and then ordered a neuro-psych eval. You can frame it to your mom as a "check up" so she will comply.

How far do you live from your mom? Can you visit for a few days to go to some appointments? I think if you could get the ball rolling then managing from afar won't be as difficult.

I'm sorry you are going through this, and I'm sorry for your mom too. The loss of her sister must have been very devastating for her. Maybe some grief counseling would help her? That's another appointment you could try to set up once you get the health proxy things lined up.
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Reply to ExhaustedPiper
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Mdelong, perhaps you would consider speaking to an elder care attorney and ask for a reference to a geriatric care manager. We did this with my mother in law and the woman was literally a God send because her objective and professional findings of my MIL's overall needs brought the siblings together on issues that they were in strife about. It immediately helped everyone in so many ways and also helped to put the wheels in motion to get the best care FOR HER.

Here's a link that may be helpful to you...
https://www.aginglifecare.org/ALCA/About_Aging_Life_Care/ALCA/About_Aging_Life_Care/What_you_need_to_know.aspx
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Reply to Suede26
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I took my dad to a dr appt. Simply askedd doc to determine and diagnose his dementia. That was it. She asked a few questions and diagnosed him with severe dementia. Took him to a new doc. New doc said that wasnt a legit way to diagnose. Wither way it stuck and now its part of his medical record for his medicare/caid. I do NOT recommend calling the police. As a retired LEO I can tell you the trauma will never leave her memory and it will backfire on you. Also, you dont need POA to get an appt and diagnosis.
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Reply to ShenaD
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Have your mom evaluated by a Neuropsychologist to determine her ability for self-care. I would suggest you speak with an Elder Law Attorney to determine if the POA needs to be updated.
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Reply to coqui4pr
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Have you considered letting her live with you? surely she can't live alone. Start with her primary care doctor..and she may need both neurological and psychiatric evaluations.
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Reply to cetude
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JoAnn29 Apr 18, 2019
She has a husband.
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To schedule an appointment with the doctor just call and schedule, if you have to make the appointment as if it is her calling. You know most of the info, birth-date, insurance numbers....
Another option would be to schedule an appointment with a new doctor that will accept the fact that you are POA for Health. Changing doctors is not ideal but it does not make sense to stay with a doctor she /you can not make an appointment to see.
If the doctors will not let you schedule an appointment the next step would be...
Next time she goes "5150" call the police and tell them that she is a danger. To herself or you or a family member. That should get a transport to the hospital where she can be evaluated.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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