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My mother and I are discussing changing her Power of Attorney for Personal Care to me instead of her sister (who has made it a pattern to try and "pawn off" my mom because she (my aunt) is busy (which she is)), but my mother and my aunt are both a bit concerned about how far away I live. Is a 5/6 hour distance something to be concerned about? I make decent money working part time so I am available most of the time (I work up to 8 hours, 3 days a week when I am in my home city), and even though I don't currently drive I have more than one friend who has said they will drop everything to bring me to my mom if it's an emergency.


Time for some backstory if you want:


My mother has had multiple myeloma since 2013. She had a couple of really good years after her initial stem cell transplant, but her cancer came back in March 2020 and she just had her second stem cell transplant in Sept. I am currently living with her while she get accustomed to having in-home care (3 or 4 hours a day) and since she is post-surgery and low energy from chemo, she needs more support now than she (hopefully) will in a couple of months.


There is no way of knowing if my mother will have great years again, and her health can change very quickly. Once I am back home, I have the ability to get here to her in an emergency (I would probably take 6/7 hours but I could make phone calls during the trip) and I know who locally to her I should contact if something more urgent than that happens.


I want to tell my mom that me living in a different province is not an issue, but I want to be telling her the truth when I say it. Is there more to being her PoA that I'm not thinking of that I wouldn't be able to do from 6 hours away?


Thanks

I think it's very doable in the short-term, but once her health declines and care becomes more intense I think not. Have you discussed her relocating to be close to you? She may not be thinking about loneliness but it is a huge concern. She has no idea how time-consuming long-distance caregiving can be on the adult child. The closer she is to you, the better, in my opinion.
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Reply to Geaton777
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As long as you're available it shouldn't be impossible; it's more of a difficulty when a POA is hard to get hold of (or get a response from) when there are key decisions to be made.

Her local network is very important, though - can you use the time you're spending with her now to build up your relationship with those contacts?

Where has aunt been falling short? If you look carefully at what she hasn't been able/willing to manage, that will give you further clues about whether you can realistically cope with the job.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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CharlesK Oct 23, 2020
It is definitely my plan while I'm here (I've been here less than a week) to make sure I have a line of contact with everyone I need to. I already have most of them (some are mom's longtime friends, there's only a couple that I don't know or have only met a couple times).

It is a bit of a long story but basically my aunt has made quite a few decisions that have more to do with it being easier for my aunt than comfortable for my mother.

I lived with my mother for 6 months in 2019 while I was doing some spiritual growth (that's something my mom had been doing for a while and I wanted to try living by her model) so I am very familiar with my mother, her medical wishes, and what's important to her in her day-to-day schedule.
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You call this Personal POA. That may be a Canadian term I am unaware of. In the State we have POA for Health decisions, and can have also for financial. For health the number of miles away make little difference. Doctors can still share medical information with you when needed and you can still make decisions by phone when you need to (I was able to do this for my brother, who lived the length of the State away. I will say it is a bit more difficult to get things done, be called and informed when they can no longer make their own decision, but it can be done as long as you stay informed while your Mom can make her wishes know, and stay up to date. I cannot see a reason you cannot serve as health POA.
I did financial POA also from half the state away. Difficult to set up and needed a few trips, but easily accomplished once bills were mailed to me, and with branch banking.
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CharlesK Oct 23, 2020
From what I have found online, PoAPC and PoA for Health Decisions are very similar, yes. I'm glad to hear that you didn't have much issue with doing it from a distance! I was thinking the same thing, that I can make phone calls all day long, but I wanted to be sure when I tell my mom she doesn't need to worry about that. Thank you!
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