My mother has early stage dementia, which she refuses to acknowledge and refuses help.

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My sister had our mother live with her for 3 years until our mother's angry and seemingly manipulative ways became too much for her and her family. She is now in the nicest retirement facility she can afford. I have had power of attorney to pay her bills, taxes, etc, but now she thinks she can and should handle her finances and plans to revoke it. (She has not officially been diagnosed with dementia, but the track record of failing memory is quite clear.) I fear that if she does revoke POA, she'll not have enough money left when she absolutely needs a memory care facility. But I feel powerless - there is no reasoning with her and she won't acknowledge her limitations. What can I do?

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I went to talk to the Doctor first, taking the Power of Attorney and Guardianship docs. Then l took my partner 'to renew' prescriptions and check Blood pressure and the Doctor suggested he had a few memory problems. It was the only way l could get the help and diagnosis for him. Some creative thinking with these difficult situations can be wonderful and ease the situation. Good luck!
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Mincemeat gives good advice here. Another angle to consider:

My Dad has mild moving into moderate dementia, I have POA and access to funds, pay bills etc. Like your mom, my dad thinks he's just fine. I don't try and convince him otherwise, it's just no use. I was able to get him to sign the POA and banking papers under the guise "If anything should ever happen to you".

I take care of all the bills and finances but Dad thinks mom does it. Neither are capable of the tasks at this point.

I would never get anything done trying to reason with or get my dads approval. I just do it and fib when I have to. And I've been fibbing quite a bit the last couple of years. There's just no other way.

Depending on your moms level of dementia this may not work. But there might be a way to make her think she's in control. This is the worst place to be with elders. They are not competent any longer in a practical sense but still LEGALLY competent. It forces us as caregivers to be clever. There's no shame in this. Do what ya gotta do.
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That your mom wants to revoke your POA now seems like she might be feeling that she's not in control which may have come on when she moved out of your sister's house. Or her dementia has advanced to a point where she can't make sound decisions anymore. People appoint POA's because it's the responsible and prudent thing to do. That she wants to revoke it tells me that she's not thinking clearly.

Can you hand all of her stuff back over to her, essentially giving her control over her affairs, and still maintain POA? She doesn't have to revoke it officially because that would probably be a disaster down the road although you don't tell her this.

As POA you can still keep an eye on her affairs from a distance while she is trying to handle them herself without letting her know you're doing so. Before you hand everything back over make sure you've copied down account numbers and such.

Once things are back in her hands see how she does. If she begins to make a mess of things you can take care of that as POA. Just give her the illusion of being in control and see if that pacifies her. Don't urge her to reconsider revoking the POA, don't mention it at all. Just give her all the information she needs and see what happens. Take her through everything, make sure she's caught up. This can also hopefully distract her from officially revoking the POA.
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I forgot to add one thing. Ask that attorney if you can, as POA, create a trust account for future health care needs. It depends on the laws of your state. That way, if you are stripped of your POA, some of the funds could be protected? Good luck with this project.
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Talk to the attorney who created the POA and share your concern. If they will not support you, contact your own elder care attorney. Keep in mind that the attorney who created the POA represents your mother and you are consulting with them in order to preserve your mother's finances for future care. Until diagnosed, your mother can revoke the POA, but sharing your concern with her attorney before she contacts them could go a long way....just depends on the attorney's outlook.
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