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My father's wife is the “responsible party” and we do not have a relationship. He fell and was hospitalized last week and I was not informed. His wife threatens that "she will not even tell me when he is dead!” I asked the memory care facility to add me also as an emergency contact so I can be informed when there is a medical emergency- and was told no, only if she adds me herself. Is this correct? It made me sick to see staples in his head and not even know he had fallen...so do I have any rights to be informed?

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I am not an attorney, but ask one if the patient has the right to put you on his/her emergency list. In some cases, the person is aware what an emergency is, and knows you are the son, daughter, and might have the right to put you on the emergency list also. I am sick of self centered people rushing their spouse/parent to an attorney, getting POA's then making all the decisions THEY WANT, not the patient's desires. There must be some way to interrupt the self centered ones that hurry the patient to an attorney. I would sue my niece if I could afford its, but she will use my sister's money to fight anything that goes against her selfish wishes. She denied my sister's boyfriend of 7 years any contact with him for the first 2 months she was put in a group home, because my niece didn't like him;. She put my sister in the cheapest home she could find, to save money for her own inheritance. I have to drive 140 round trip to bring my sister home for a day, and my niece refused to move her closer, (although she promised me she would prior to dumping her in the cheapest place possible)it might cost a little more than the place she is now at. My sister requested me to be co-power of attorney in a video, and in front of her friends she signed a paper stating she wanted me to be co-power of attorney. My sister's attorney said he did not like co-power of attorney and denied my a meeting with my sister. The attorney said my niece could put my sister anywhere, even though all of her relatives are closer to my home. There has to be some way that the attorneys who are being paid from the patient's money, and only honoring the desires of the POA and not the patient, can be stopped from this money making setup. I do not want any of my sisters money and I told the attorney this. By the way, this attorney is supposed to be an elder law attorney.
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worriedinCali Mar 24, 2020
Your really think being co-POA will with your niece was a good idea? It would have required you to work with her and agree on everything. You have disagreed with everything she’s done so.....the attorney did the right thing. He saved you a lot of trouble! You need to realize that this isn’t about you and what you want. It’s about what’s best for your sister. Your niece is under no obligation to consider to the wants of other people.
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I really feel for you that she threatens not contacting you if your dad passes. I get the sense my brother and SIL will do the same thing to me. It breaks my heart. I honestly don’t know how to deal with this. I’m thinking perhaps hire a mediator.
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This is happening to me in the case of my mom. My brother and his wife signed mom in to assisted living and didn’t list me as an emergency contact. Mom wants me listed. Brother travels for work and defers mom’s care to his wife (my SIL). So I am being shut out by my brother’s wife.
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Annessister Mar 24, 2020
This system is broken, and breaks apart families. I'm sorry that happened to you.
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Have you considered speaking to an elder law attorney or a social worker to help your issue? However, I believe that it is true about the wife being the only contact.
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my2cents Mar 24, 2020
Definitely talk to an atty to help you get whatever document you need to ensure you are informed. If he passed, the same situation is going to come up where funeral home may not talk to you.
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You have no rights at present time, not when it comes to the facility he is in. If your dad is mentally competent he can add you as a contact. If he’s not, now would be a good time to patch things up with his wife and convince her to add your name.
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I believe that's correct. My sister, who lives out of state, was not added to the visitor's list when my mother went into memory care -- I was the responsible party and POA. Until I approved in writing, my sister was not able to visit or call my mother. It was pretty strict.
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Do you have any funds to connect with an elder law attorney? As a child that might be a way...legally, through the court system...it's the only way I can think of. It's a very unfortunate and scary situation. Can get ugly especially after someone passes as well. Had an uncle who married for the first time to a witch at 65+. Thankfully he had a will and pre-nup agreement of some sort...but when he had a massive heart attack...the medical decisions were really in the spouses hands. It was decades ago when people were less aware of things...she did take into consideration what the rest of the family thought. He died. Then her true colors really came shining through. Things he owned disappeared until someone said something about an item in particular. He left all his belongings, furniture to my mother. She was kind enough to let the witch use/enjoy them until she made other plans. In the meantime there was a house fire....damages...spouse collected from the insurance company but never reimbursed my mother for the losses and being out of state it would have been a hassle...Not telling this as materialistic ...just to demonstrate how life can get ugly with the spouses.
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His wife is in control. SHE is the Lioness at the Gate, as dear old Dr. Laura used to call it. To get to your father you must make peace with her. That is what I would suggest. You might try a letter. If your relationship was good with your father, when he was well, you should tell her that you two had a very loving relationship. You should tell her that it is your wish, as his daughter, to be able to visit him, that you understand that the time, the amount of time and the number of times is in her control, and you throw yourself upon her mercy. I would beg, to be frank, if this were my father. Not only that but I would be asking her if there is anything else that I can do to help her in this time, which you understand, though you have not a history of getting along, must be very difficult for her. If the answer is STILL no, then you have your answer. I am so very sorry. This must be heartbreaking.
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gdaughter Mar 23, 2020
all good suggestions unless the estate/money is at hand.
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I have a dear friend whose father remarried after her mother’s death. His life changed radically. They moved out of state. He called to let his daughter know he was in the hospital. The daughter traveled to see him and his wife refused for the daughter to talk to medical staff and asked her to leave. When her father died the daughter was not notified. It’s very sad and I’m sure happens everyday. I’m sorry you are in this position.
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Ur profile says Dad has a Dementia. Because of this he can't add you as someone who can be informed and get info. The wife is in control. Sorry.
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thepianist Mar 23, 2020
It's important for us all to realize that a diagnosis of dementia is not in and of itself does not lead to a conclusion of legal incompetence. See an elder attorney with experience in defending persons with dementia who are in danger of being declared incompetent against their interests. Yes, many times a person with dementia is in fact incompetent to make decisions, but this is not automatic. See an attorney to learn the best avenue for you to take.
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Unfortunately, his wife controls it.  Very sorry.
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