How do you know if your elderly is competent or incompetent? When is it time?

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About my Aunt I'm taking care of, She's 88 yrs old with dementia. She hasn't been prescribe any medication for dementia by her doctor. With that said, this means she is legally compatent at this time. My Aunt lives alone in her own home as she wishes/demands to do. I gave her options to either move in with us in our home or we move in with her to help care for her. She refused both options. She demands to keep living in her home alone.
Six months ago, one of my cousin's was her live-in caregiver. During that time many strange issues came about. I became concerned of how the cousin was doing things for our Aunt. To make a long story short. I learned that my cousin was beating our Aunt. Police and adult social services was called. The cousin was arrested for battery towards the Aunt. The family members had doubts that our cousin would do such a thing. I talked with the police detective in charge of the case and adult social services. They both tell me there is no doubt your cousin did these things to your Aunt. Photos of fresh bruises was tookin. And as I spoke with my Aunt's doctor this has happened before that I didn't know. So, I learned there is no doubt. After the cousin went to jail. Knowone was looking after our Aunt. The family refused to help the Aunt as afraid to be the next to go to jail if they try to attempt to help her as I was told by all family members I spoke with. I became concern of my Aunt. So, I decided to walk into this line of fire to help her. I am now caregiver for my Aunt. And her durable POA.

The reason why I became my Aunt's POA is because of two reasons.
(1)Know other family or friend was willing to stepup to this plate to help her.
(2)I was told by her attorney that he felt that my Aunt will need a POA.
So, in a way. I had no choice but to be her POA. If I didn't she would have knowone to help her. Was I forced in this? May sound harsh, Ya, in a way I feel I was. I took on this POA job without a step by step manual or instructions. I'm not brain smart or a attorney to know this POA job I learned.
Compatent or not?
As I am my Aunt's Caregiver & Durable POA. I'm running into many problems with this POA I feel. I was told since I'm my Aunt's POA I can't be hired/paid for my Caregiver services is this true? Is it because, this isn't my Mother it's a Aunt? I don't understand? If my Aunt is legally compatent? She should be able to hire me and pay me or am I wrong? Everyone I talk to about this question tells me to ask the attorney of this POA. I did ask. Without any help in return. The attorney's thinking is for me to go for Guardenship of my Aunt. This seems to be too extream I feel. Just so I can be paid for caregiver services. I think the attorney just wants to make more money.
The issues,
My Aunt refuses to spend any of her money. I'm losing money out of my own pocket by helping her as her caregiver. Just in gas alone is costing me over $160 a month to drive to her home not including runnings I do for my Aunt. My Aunt's desire is to live alone. In order for her to keep doing this requires her to spend money that she refuses to do. Example, she needs a stair ramp installed to her home. She needs life alert. She fell 3 times within a week while alone. She refuses to spend a dime. I don't have the money to pay for this stuff she needs, She has the money but, refuses to do so. By her refusing makes me look like a bad caregiver. I'm her durable POA but, I'm not allowed to spend any of her money without her permission for her needs? Sounds to me that this POA paper work is worthless. As I am her DPOA. I feel I should be able to use her funds to buy these things she needs in order for her to keep living alone in her home. As long as I keep copies of every dime spent as her POA. I shouldn't have a problem spending her money for her needs. What am I not seeing? I'm Durable POA at her bank. But, I can't touch her money? Is this POA worthless to me? Sounds like I should of just been Joint on her bank account instead. Should I stop being her POA? I feel my Aunt is incompatent by her refusing to spend and her memory loss and many other things she does.
Incompatent, Who makes that decision? She had the same doctor for yrs. The doctor I'm sure see's that she's incompatent. He told her the other day no more nite driving. To me, I feel the doctor is waiting for me to say she's incompatent. Making me look like the bad person taking away her rights. As if he refuses to say the word waiting for me to say it.
I need advice please?
Thanks!

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MY brother is 93 I am POA , I think her Dr should make a statement to pay to have these things done reason her safety and a written statement would help also being it is a safety factor
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hermom, see an attorney and file a petition for Guardianship. Competence can only be declared in a court of law. Your two MD letters would be filed with the petition.
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Do I have to provide two doctor notices to declare my mom incapacitated in the state of California
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how can you get incompetent changed back to competent mom had a uti that was really bad and had stopped taking her meds at the time Now uti is healed and she wants to come home (with our help for she is 87 ) any one go through this ??
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What are the signs that your elderly parent in becoming incompetent?
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I feel for you on this. I filed a petition to declare my mother incompetent and get guardianship, I was already taking care of her and three doctors said she was incompetent. All the lawyers acted like I was a villain for doing this when I was protecting her assets from some unscrupulous relatives. I found out that legal definitions were not necessarily the same as medical definitions. Also, dementia in certain stages makes people paranoid- she told the lawyers I was stealing from her and they acted like they believed her (all very painful to me) and of course they did not find any wrongdoing. So of course if you have to do the right thing in order to help her and you get backing from other relatives, then I would advise you to go ahead and file for guardianship. Since my mother had a trust naming me as successor trustee for incapacity luckily I can spend the money for her care without guardianship. She is now in a later stage and doing very well in my care and the relatives have no way to bully her as they were doing before.
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Whether or not your aunt is being prescribed medications doesn't have anything to do with a diagnosis of dementia--there are not many meds for this, and they are not very effective long-term--some will slow the progression somewhat, and some people do not respond. A diagnosis is usually made by observation and some neurological tests can give some information.
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HELP! I have a dear, elderly friend who is 89 years old. During a very difficult time in December, set adjusted her trust naming a professional fiduciary in the event of being declared incompetent, and listing her nephews (in their 60's) as heirs. Enter me, she called me almost hysterical about her horrible nephews. We tried to change her trust, but they contacted a doctor who saw her 9 months prior, and said she was incompetent. Enter the fiduciary. She has mild dementia, but wants to change her trust. The fiduciary won't allow money (she is fairly wealthy) for the attorney. What is my recourse?
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when mom ran outside in just her robe in the dead of winter when it was 11 degrees outside i knew it was time, but i watched and waited for 18 months until she had a major stroke and it was obvious to everyone that some one had to do things for her.. if durring those 18 months i had seen her make some huge erratic financial purchase i would have stepped in to stop or slow it down until more rational thinking would take over.... but even then you must go slow on taking over EVERY aspect of a person's life... for example they may not be able to balance the check book any more, but still they can brush their own teeth and get satisfaction from that, and believe me you want them to feel in control of as much they can handle, and your job is to watch very carefully and be ready to gently step in and help
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I just went through a similar situation with my mother, and it sounds like you have what is called a springing power of attorney rather than durable power of attorney. In a springing power of attorney you do not become her poa until she is declared incompetent. This would have to be done by a MD, but shouldn't be too hard to get if she will go to the MD and you give her physician a heads up. Once you are her POA you should be able to access funds to pay for her needs including reimbusement for your gas etc. Just keep good records for what you are reimbursing. POA paperwork does allow the individual to indicate that you can be paid for your time and services as well. I expect your Aunt did not put that in hers if she is afraid to spend money.
If you can't get that then you will need to go for Guardianship which also requires a MD statement and a judge to award the guardianship. If she is putting herself in danger though it shouldn't be too hard to get that and doesn't cost too much. You may need to get this as well before you can get her the help, or to the facility that would best serve her. We had to get guardianship, my mother had to be hospitalized and stabilized on medication for her anxiety and combativeness. Then she was able to be discharged to an assisted living unit for memory care. She is not happy 100%, but is safer and at least I am not worrying every momment whether she is in danger. We offered her to live with us and she refused and then were building in lots of caregivers which she also refused, leaving us little choice.
As her wonderful gerontologist said to me, "the stronger and more determined a persons' will is, the more difficult it is for them to give in to let other's help."
I wish you the best as you try to get your Aunt what she needs, if not what she wants. Dementia really can cause a person who maybe was a little eccentric, become someone who really cannot make sense of the world around them. Then fear of what they are loosing can cause them to really dig in and refuse change. It is very sad.
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