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There is no type of documentation in place to allow my sister or I to make any decisions regarding her welfare. She has had someone living with her to help her ( I live 20 hours away) but we recently found out that the caregiver has been leaving her for unspecified amounts of time without letting anyone know. My mother ended up in the hospital while the "caregiver" was trying to cash checks at the bank on her account. A neighbor called and said she was also loading up a truck with my moms things. The hospital contacted my sister and advised her of the situation and said they would release her to her care. My mom only wants to go to her own home and refuses to consider any other options. The caregiver keeps contacting her and telling her she can come home and she'll take care of her. We have taken my moms cell phone, changed the locks on the house, and have been in contact with adult protective services since last June. I went to moms in June for 3 weeks and tried to make alternative living arrangements, but each time I arranged something, she refused to go. The agent says she's trying to coordinate with moms doctor to get her declared incompetent to care for herself, but she has not contacted me since I left. My sister nor I are able to have our mom live with us long term and her home is in horrible repair. We don't know where to begin to address these issues to get her the care she needs.

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What state and county is mom in? If she is not at home where is she? Has the county taken protective custody? Usually in a case like this where family is so distant, the patient becomes a ward of the state.
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Frustrated1120, can you give us some more information. What are the medical issues with your Mom. I see your profile says that Mom has age related decline. How old is your Mom, and where did she find this caregiver?

Curious who did the background check on the caregiver? Was she from an Agency? If from an Agency, then the Agency would be responsible for any missing items as they are bonded and insured.

You mentioned your Mom ended up in the hospital while the caregiver was at the bank. Who took your Mom to the hospital? Or did your Mom dial 911 herself? How did Mom know the caregiver was at the bank and cashing checks on her account? Have you contacted the bank as they have security cameras? And the bank should have copies of those checks. Was the police called?

Sounds like Mom is at a point where she need Assisted Living. I know she will refuse, but it comes a point where an elder no longer has a choice because their choices are not safe. Time to sell the house "as is" and take whatever equity you can and use it for Assisted Living. If Mom has no other funds, then it might be time to look into Medicaid which would help pay for nursing home care.

Otherwise, hiring from an Agency to have around the clock care could become very costly. For my Dad, when he lived at home, it was costing him $20k per month. Then Dad decided to move to senior living, and his Assisted Living was more like $7K per month.
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You are going to have to get legal guardianship to put her into care if APS will not act on her behalf. Is there dementia involved here?
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Also contact the local (to Mom) Area for Aging agency. You can find the contact info on this website. They might be able to help you find local resources. Also try to talk Mom into assigning Power of Attorney for financial and medical to someone. Ideally you or your sister, but anyone who is willing to take on the responsibility.
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Try a home care agency. Even Visiting Angels can arrange live in if desired, or shifts. The good thing is they are bonded and insured.
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