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Sister has MPOA over Alzheimer sufferer who needs 24/7 care. The woman lives with her son and his girlfriend who is doing minimal care and leaving her home alone for hours at a time. She falls and can't get up by herself, wanders off and won't eat unless she is directed to. The son and GF neglect her, but not quite bad enough for Social Services to immediately remove her although it has been medically noted she is malnourished and dehydrated during a number of MD visits. The woman's son has FPOA, but won't allow access to financial documents in order to apply for Medi-cal or to allow her sister who has the MPOA to find a suitable placement in a care home. The sister and SS have requested the financial docs, but he is not cooperating? My friend does not have the means to pay an attorney to get FPOA. The sons ONLY concern is that he will be forced to move from the house when his mother is placed in care due to a reverse mortgage on the home. He is hostile and obstructive at every step. My elderly friend is trying to take care of her beloved sisters medical needs, but needs financial documents to start application processes, and to know how much is available to put her sister in the best place possible.

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It looks like the police are going to get involved, which is a very good thing. She was getting additional help a couple times a week from hospice care, but the hospice people are refusing to return to the house due to the lack of cooperation from the son and GF, and the liability involved. They say it's too dangerous for her in-home. The Adult Protective Services contact hasn't answered the hospice care or sister's phone calles, but hospice contacted the police about it, and they interviewed my friend about the situation with her sister. I bet the police will get a response for APS! Things may start happening quickly. I sure hope so.

When my friend took her home her sister tried to walk out of the house because the son's GF kept telling her she was hoping she'd die while she was in the hospital, and kept asking when she was going to die already. The poor woman couldn't even make it all the way to the door standing up, and she scooted to the door and kept begging her sister to "GO!". She even remembered her loving sister's name while she was begging. (My friend was occupied on the phone with hospice when this happened.) This situation is tragic. The poor woman was such a loving and giving person, and she's not really being difficult when approached kindly. Kindness is something her son and GF are unable to offer anyone. I hope things move quickly from here. Thank you to all you who responded.
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It may be difficult for this person to get photos. He or She is probably watched while she visits.
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Yes, my friend would like to hire an attorney, but she is unable to due to financial constraints. She is 81 years old, and is living on limited SS funds. She has contacted multiple pro-bono attorneys. The problem is that it's taking way longer with free help and no single attorney is dedicated to the case. In the mean time her sister is in danger of falling or wondering off, and her son doesn't even make sure she is eating and drinking regularly. You would think that would be enough for the authorities, but it's not. One person cares-another person treats my friend like she is JUST an old lady who doesn't know what she's talking about. My friend is a very robust and mentally healthy individual who just wants to make sure her beloved older sister is being cared for. Her nephew only cares about how his life will be affected when his mother is removed to a care facility. He's a deeply angry and disturbed man who has his live-in alcoholic girlfriend with him. They have both lost their humanity and accuse the 87 years old mother of faking her health issues and confusion as she succumbs to Alzheimer's. Their treatment of her is hateful and callous. I wish I could help my older friend financially, but I am disabled and on a limited income myself. I can only offer emotional support.
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Hire an attorney
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Thanks for the clarification.

This might help in getting free legal advice:

1. Limited free advice: senior centers and municipal centers sometimes have free legal advice weekly or biweekly. The issues are general, but from my experience the attorneys often do this just to be helpful, and others do it to recruit clients. But it might be a start with suggestions on action the sister can pursue.

In my area, a few of the local law schools also have free legal clinics, sometimes held at the local bar library. It's my understanding that law students participate, and I don't know what level of supervision they have.

2. Pro bono (free) legal help can be provided by attorneys, sometimes in large corporate law firms with policies of free work for the indigent or needy. Contact the California Bar: here are some hits for pro bono services:

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=california+bar+association+pro+bono.

If the sister could find an estate planning or elder law firm that offers pro bono services, she'd have hit the jackpot in her legal search.

Good luck to the sister; thinking about the suffering that poor woman is enduring is making my blood curdle.
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APS and SS have been contacted even prior to the wandering episode. They have been investigation but whatever they're assessing is just short of them pulling her out. I think they're so overburdened in SoCal the threshold for action is quite far from what we think is abuse. I have already told the sister to contact law enforcement in the son refuses to let her see her sister(hasn't happened yet). She is trying to get free legal help and a loan for the $1000 court fee, but this is still at least four months off. Something needs to happen sooner.
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Another thought - if the sister is afraid to contact authorities because of retaliation from her nephew (?), she can take photographs and anonymously send them to APS, law enforcement, AAA, or even a local tv station which would see the merit of intervention to assist an elderly lady in trouble get help.
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I would consider being malnourished and dehydrated to be medical emergencies in an elderly person, especially one who has mobility and wandering problems.

I don't understand that the neglect isn't considered enough for SS intervention. It seems to be that charges are appropriate for the son's neglect if not sanctioned abuse through neglect of his mother.

What about Adult Protective Services, or are they the same in your area of California?

Has the sister contacted APS? Can she photograph and document the falls and malnourished condition? What about the wandering? If law enforcement found her, they may have photos as well.

Your profile states that you're caring for someone; is that someone other than the woman of whom you write, because if you're involved in any way with caring for this woman, I would be concerned about your legal liability.

Your friend is the sister of the woman with Alzheimers?

As I see it, the "given" in this situation is that the son and GF won't cooperate. How else will the sister be able to access financial information?

Guardianship? That might be the obvious solution but it will be a legal battle.

Calling APS, or even law enforcement after a wandering episode? They might contact APS if they feel, as seems obvious to me, that the woman is neglected. If so, and if APS becomes involved my understanding is that it could institute legal proceedings which supercede and rescind the brother's authority under the financial POA. I haven't been through this, so I'm just opining here.

I think this poor lady need to have some legal intervention by authorities, and the sooner the better. No one should be allowed to become dehydrated or become a wanderer.

I think the sister needs to get the authorities involved ASAP.
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