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I have durable power of attorney over my mom. She has dementia, is in a wheelchair, needs 24-7 care, and we feel he is not capable of taking care of her. He was ready to leave her in the nursing home for life, before my sister and I stepped in, and I have had her since May 27, 2016. Can he force me to make her go home with him? Thank you

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Dear Churchmouse, I have forgiven him, but always keep my good eye open. At one point I asked if he would consider selling the duplex, and he offered to pay her what she had put into it, plus 1-2% interest. And then he started noticing how well she was doing, and he went to CT to visit his brother last week, and I think his brother put a lot of ideas in his head about taking my mother back. But you are smart and correct, he is relying on dogged but groundless optimism. She would not respond to him the way she does to her two daughters...she would slide backwards, and he would back to square 100, with an aged and decrepit wife that he is incapable of having a relationship with. My gut feeling is that something would happen to her. I will have an open mind and look for signs that will ease the path for a face-saving way out for him. You are an intelligent and kind human being, Churchmouse. Thank you kindly for all your advice, which I will follow. Will post again after the action takes place:)
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Unfortunately, although the principles are the same, I'm in the UK and don't know what the procedure is in the States. But lots of other forum members will or I'm sure you could find out online. Google 'using DPOA process' or words to that effect, and narrow the answers down to your location.

Relax, because you have very sound arguments why your mother should not return to that house to be cared for solely by her husband, and he wouldn't be able just to whisk her off without your co-operation - it'd be impractical apart from anything else. The courts and the system get a bad press but after all it is their job to protect the vulnerable person.

I don't think the husband sounds evil, just hopeless and ill-informed and possibly guilty of dogged but groundless optimism. It is a fair assumption, all things being equal, that a married couple will want to be together; and normally everyone would facilitate that. But it's not set in stone. Keep an open mind for signs that your stepfather needs a face-saving way out. It could be that he really can't cope but is too ashamed or too sad or too weak to admit it; and if you suspect that might be so try not to blame him. He wouldn't be the first.
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Churchmouse, just to clarify, we are not asking for the concessions of the vehicle and living arrangement because we are letting Mama go back to him; it is just so that she could visit occasionally (we would be certain to have legal authority over where she lives (not with him)
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Dear Churchmouse, yes, he has visited the past few months. At the nursing facility when she was recovering, he visited but always closed the door while he was there. Sometimes the head admin reported she heard loud voices from the room. While she was in the physical therapy room he would go in and visit, and she immediately started her moaning and oh I can't do this it hurts. When my sister and I were in there she did very well. One time she told the therapist "see those two people sitting over there?, If I don't do this they will kill me (she said it with a smile) The facility finally banned her husband from going into the therapy room, since her demeanor totally changed. And yes, at home before she got sick w pneumonia and all this started, he did ignore her care. He combed her greasy hair back , polished her nails, and did the cooking. Of course there was companionship. Cards and dominoes and TV movies. But her toe nails---my sister had to take her to a podiatrist. Hygiene? None to speak of. When I would visit I would clean her up best I could, wash and cut her hair, but she wouldn't want to get dressed and go anywhere. Of course the vehicle and the concrete steps with the lift attached is not inviting to a person in a wheelchair. The worst offense was that she only received Tylenol. So sure, she was in pain, but it is amazing the difference in her demeanor today and 6 months ago. I would consider mediation. I would expect that he would sell their duplex and rent a wheelchair accessible home. He bought that brand new SUV when he was going to get rid of her...I would want him to sell the vehicle and purchase one suitable for her/ a seat height that is manageable/she gets into a regular car just fine. And you are so absolutely correct, he doesn't fully understand what he is undertaking. You have given me very good advice, which I will follow. Do I need an Order from the Court stating she has lost capacity (I like your term), or would a Doctor's write-up work?
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To be quite honest this guy sounds like a bit of a scoundrel. Maybe one out of a million old guys at age 85 could provide the care your mom needs and this guy ain't one of them. The new car stuff and money transfers are disturbing.

It's so clear you love your mom and take such good care of her. I hope you are able to prevail in this. Good luck.
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Jeannegibbs: Thank you, I will check into the exact type of POA my sister has. Mama says she wants to go home/but I think that shred of sense that is still intact realizes that to do this full time would not be in her best interest. I think Hannahhonne is right, a mediator to discuss some type of joint custody, once certain provisions are met by him. Mama has flourished, and I would not want her back under his care where she didn't do a darn thing for herself, including him not giving her the doctor's prescribed medicine. And to answer one of the other questions, she has not been found legally incompetent, but the NH eval put her at under age 10 mentally, 24-7 care. Thank you all. I will write again soon.
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Vtrenus, the first thing for you to do is establish that your mother has lost capacity: that her dementia is sufficiently advanced that she is no longer able to make these decisions for herself. Then your DPOA comes fully into action and you become responsible for making choices for her, acting as her agent if you like.

You are quite correct that your mother should not return to an environment that is not well adapted to her needs, and one where her primary caregiver (her husband) has demonstrated his scant understanding of her medical, nursing and care needs and, moreover, would struggle physically to meet the ongoing, increasing demands of caregiving.

I am pleased and relieved to hear that he is visiting her frequently; and he's been keeping up that schedule over these months, has he?

You know: it sounds as though he was hoping that if he ignored her symptoms they would go away, and then when it came to crisis point and he couldn't ignore them any more he was ready to give up. Now that you and your sister have provided help and your mother is so improved, it looks like plain sailing to him again. What he needs to understand is that your mother can *only* do this well with sufficient support and assistance, and that to deny those to her is a culpable form of neglect.

So if he won't countenance perhaps moving to a facility with her, or at least moving to a more accessible retirement apartment and accepting daily support in the home, and accepting that her continuing care needs will involve a steady increase in that support; then it's probably better for her long term wellbeing that she stays put: continuity in her care and her environment from this point is terribly important. And who, by the way, will be looking after him? No doubt he takes pride in his sprightliness for his age, quite right too, but at 85 he surely shouldn't take it for granted.

I'm not sure if this reassuring or not! - but you not only have (or soon will have, once you've got that assessment in hand) the power to act in your mother's best interests, you have a legal responsibility to do so. And you will have that duty unless you resign your POA.
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It could be that he's not good at dealing with sickness or might think drs are money hungry, etc. Some men are babies and aren't natural nuterers, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's trying to be abusive or neglectful. If he comes everyday and wants her home then I think you should try to work on a plan. You can't always judge by your ideas for a healthy marriage. How did your mom feel about him when she was all there? If despite his shortcomings, she wanted to be with him, then I think you need to give that some real weight in the decision. Maybe you can have some type of joint custody or he can call you without judgement if it's too much so you don't have to worry about him signing her into a NH.
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Do you have both financial and medical POA? Here is a description of what each authorizes:
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/things-you-can-and-cant-do-with-poa-152673.htm

Has your mother been found legally incompetent to make her own decisions? Are there doctors who would state that she can't make her own decisions?

It really sounds like she'd be better off with you, but there is the legal aspect to consider. Did she have help creating the POA document, from an Elder Law attorney? Perhaps it would be good to consult that lawyer now.
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I do respect the choice. However, he didn't allow her to take the prescribed medicine, she was constantly in pain, she became aged and decrepit, while he purchased a brand new vehicle, was ready to sign her into the NH for life, and drive his new vehicle to Connecticut. How do I let her go home to this? Perhaps a mediator will help us decide on a plan of action that is suitable for both. But I need to know that I hold the power to act in my mother's best interest. Thank you for your input.
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vtrenus, you and I were typing at the same time.

What does your mother want?
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You probably could not legally prevent her from going home with her husband. At least POA does not usually include authority to decide where someone will live. So count on powers of persuasion rather than your legal status.

You may well be right that her husband can't properly care for her. Could that be compensated for by in-home help? What do you see as his deficiencies as a caregiver?

Would both of them be more content if he visited at your house often? How far apart do you live?

She chose you as her POA; she chose him as her life partner. I would respect that choice as much as I possibly could.
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Dear Churchmouse: His visits to the home are not restricted. He generally comes 4-6 times a week, for 1.5-4 hrs each time. When she was restricted to a wheelchair, he enable her and did everything, including choosing her food. He manipulated her mind so that she believed the she would have all the side effects of the prescribed medication, so she constantly moaned and suffered out loud, didn't care for herself in the hygienic sense, and became totally dependent on him (over the last 5 yrs) She got pneumonia, was sent home after recovery, and he dropped her and she went to the hosp. and then a nursing facility (staff was not very competent) She fell out of the wheelchair, broke her hip, back to the hosp., and then the nursing facility. He bought a brand new vehicle, withdrew 20 thousand from her private account (she had this before their marriage) and put it in his individual MM account that he opened while they were married. He was ready to sign over her pension and SS to the government (thru his attorney) and put her in the home for life. She is not ready for a nursing home. My sister and I intercepted, and she has flourished. She walks with a walker occasionally, we get her in my sister's swimming pool, she brushes her teeth, washes herself, stands at the sink so I can wash her hair a couple of times, and does so much that she never did when she was with him. Now he sees this and wants her to come home. But he is 85, and wouldn't know what she could do and really couldn't do. There are elevated concrete steps to the entrance of their duplex, when I visited she was never out of her pjs, she was unclean, and he refused to hire any assistance to come into the home. He also told this to the admin person at the facility, that he would not pay for any assistance to come to the home. I just have a bad feeling, like the day I had the bad feeling when he going to his lawyers to get rid of her. I need to know that he can't force us to make her go home to that depressing inaccessible duplex. I have some ideas about mediation and some concessions to be made by both sides. Am I on the right track? I appreciate all your input. My sister is highly stressed right now. Thank you.
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Let me add this, Mother always wanted to go visit her house. She was in a NH. We told her to go ahead, but we are not helping, as we are in our 60s, ourselves. She never went.
If her husband comes and gets her, I am afraid that you can't stop him. Check the laws in your state.
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No, you have DPOA *for* your mother. Not over her. Your power is held on trust, granted to you by your mother, to act on your mother's behalf and in her best interests, taking into account your best judgement of what she herself would want were she still able to make informed choices.

If your mother gave you power of attorney, and your mother no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions of this importance, then it is your responsibility to decide for her where it is best for her to live. Her safety and physical wellbeing are, obviously, top priorities; but that does not mean that you have the right to sacrifice everything else that may be important to her.

She has now been living with you for nearly three months, is that correct? How many times has her husband been able to visit her in that time? Is it impossible for them to live together, with adequate support?
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