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I am my father’s POA. He is 86 and experiencing fast cognitive decline. His gf has taken over his medical care. If he has given her POA, is this legal? They do not live together but she is restricting our access to him. Does anyone have advice?

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There can only be one POA. Check with the attorney that did your copy. They can find out if he redid the POA. Otherwise the family can stop her, but must want to be involved in his daily care. Also make sure that your father has a Medical POA. I would do it very quickly. You do need to have an attorney involved in all this.
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FloridaDD Aug 2, 2020
She might have gotten a POA AFTER OP did.  No requirement she go to the same lawyer.  No requirement in my state she go to a lawyer at all.  She would need at a minimum the Dad's signature notarized, and in the era of Corona that may not be easy.
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Keep your POA on you at all times. Go to your dad's and take him home with you (or stay there) for a little while anyway. She cannot restrict your access, keep that in mind. Reach out to his doctors & financial institutions and make sure they know you are his daughter, give them a copy of POA and tell them who is allowed to have info or give info about your dad. At the same time, and because it's difficult to put the entire story on here, find out if girlfriend has been making the right decisions for him. Has she been working with the doctors and giving him the assistance\care he needs. Has it been good and proper care? Has he been missing Dr appointments? Has anything changed? Then, you need to decide if you want to see him occasionally (like....just visiting your dad) or do you want to hire a caregiver or be his Caregiver and what role, if any, the girlfriend can play. Remember, if you are POA, it's your responsibility to make sure he is cared for. Which also means, you need to be involved in making any and all decisions.
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Reply to JBryan
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The gentleman in question is 87 (according to the OP's profile), lives in independent living, and is undergoing age-related decline with some form of Alzheimer's Disease and/or other dementia. The OP further states that he is "experiencing fast cognitive decline" which could mean pretty much anything. I have no idea whether this means he doesn't recognise her voice when she calls or if he's forgotten how to get to his own bathroom. It could mean *anything.*

But we don't know how long the "girlfriend" has been around, what is meant by "taken over" medical care, whether or not she has the father's verbal permission or any sort of formal POA, in what way she is restricting the family's access to the father, or indeed if she is in fact doing that.

So how anybody feels able to give advice beats me.
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FloridaDD Aug 2, 2020
I think investigating whether the GF has a valid POA (which many people have advised) is the best advice.
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In this age of COVID, reduced contact is the 100% correct thing... Without details it is hard to have empathy. I have been POA for several relatives. I make the major decisions, delegating the day to day whenever possible to local loved ones. I have food delivered to my elderly but healthy mom. Being 65 myself, I'm not exactly hitting the night clubs... I am in rural PA she urban NJ. Nope not going there.
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FloridaDD Aug 2, 2020
First, it may or may not be the GFs right to limit access.  Second, phone calls are certainly OK.

There is a major difference between hitting night clubs and visits with one person.  Mental house counts for something too.   If you do not want to visit, up to you.   But it does not make sense to everyone.  And btw, how do you know the food delivery leaves food at the front door, and what if elderly person cannot lift it.
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If you don't mind my asking - how long have they been a couple? If she hasn't known you and your family for very long could it be that dad, in his declining state, is telling her stories about you that just aren't true, but she is unaware that's the case?
Is the relationship between you and her in such disrepair that you wouldn't be willing or able to ask her, directly, why she is restricting access?
Sometimes being direct is the best way to be...if she has the ability to restrict access, and your goal is to see dad, you might be better off speaking with her about it.
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Reply to notgoodenough
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Imho, you SHOULD be concerned about the GF restricting access. Who has PoA?
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Reply to Llamalover47
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The whole situation is based on the "girlfriend" limiting access to the man's children. They are concerned, as they should be. It is a control issue, of which the "girlfriend" has ZERO right, regardless of how unworthy she may think his kids are.
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Reply to SouthernSun
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Just because they aren’t married doesn’t make her a gold digger and doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve respect. My partner and I have been together for 26 years. I am the POA for health. It makes sense because I am the one with him at all times. He Has dementia, urinary incontinence, other issues, and is no longer able to manage his own schedule or medications or drive. I have nursed him through three cancers over twenty years. I am with him 24/7, make and take him to all medical appointments, handle his meds, his food, and every aspect of his life. He has four adult children who barely call, let alone visit. I do this because I love this man with all my heart. So suddenly if he’s ill, everybody wants to be in charge? Maybe the girlfriend in question is in a similar situation. I just love it when nobody can be bothered with dad and leaves everything about his care on his girlfriend’s shoulders but the minute he gets sick, everyone surfaces and wants to be in charge whether for money or control or to try to diminish the girlfriend’s importance to their dad. Don’t be so quick to judge this woman. And if dad still has his mind, he’s an adult and able to decide who he wants in charge.
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FloridaDD Aug 1, 2020
But that is not this situation.   Here, OP says the GF is limiting access to dad.  That is a red flag.
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you need an attorney if she has a POA sounds like duplicate I am not an atttorney and offer no legal advice but this doesn't pass the smell test to a commone guy
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Reply to rayleahey
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If he has given her POA or a health care proxy, it’s legal. It doesn’t make a difference if they live together or not. What you need to do is find out if your dad has given his GF any authority-so start by asking him.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Not to sound cold hearted but always remember the POA becomes useless once Dad passes away.
Hope you have other documents like his will or his living trust if he has assets.
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Reply to Getkicksonrte66
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How, I mean in what way, is she restricting your access to him?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Someone restricting access to another person has something to hide. She has managed to convince him that you don't have his best interests at heart. If you have siblings, act as a united front. Get confirmation of dementia from his physician. Has she managed to get on his bank accounts, have his PIN number? Is she using his credit cards? Go in person to his bank. Go to his home and remove valuables such as jewelry, etc.
Be prepared to bring him to a family home until its straightened out, or stay with him in his. If you find fraud, get a restraining order served to prevent HER access to your father. If his mental decline is as you say, you have an obligation to protect him, regardless of his possible protest. She has crossed the line from companion to opportunist. The "girlfriend" sounds like she has an agenda that does not include you or your siblings. Act quickly.
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theguardian Aug 1, 2020
Not always so. In my situation I was married to my husband for 25 years but in all we've been together for over 35 years. He was previously married and has 3 adult children from that union all over the age of 50. I always encouraged my husband to have good relationships with his children. He was a excellent father. I never pushed for a relationship with his kids but instead gave them space and let them decide to pursue a relationship with me or not. They have a mother, I'm NOT a step mother but I am the woman married to their father. The daughters eventually came around but the son has always had a strained relationship with my husband. I observed the dynamics of the interaction and all seemed to be ok. That is until I noticed how often they were always asking him for money. I never said anything until he mentioned how tired he was of them always asking. Even than I told him no one was forcing him to say yes to their request all the time and it would probably be a good idea to say no once in awhile. He took my advise but over the years they never let up. Even after my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Not more than a couple of weeks after his son called him and asked him for $2500. (He knew his dad was terminal). Mind you he was already being treated aggressively for the cancer. Than the oldest daughter while visiting her father in the hospital declares in a conversation with me she had had a talk with her father about his end of life wishes and he had "signed a piece of paper saying he would take care of his EX WIFE and the younger daughter" I asked her to join me in the cafeteria and took her down to the lower floor respite room, closed the door and let her have it. I drew the proverbial line in the sand and dared her to cross it. I told her how horrible I thought her behavior was and how dare she bring her despicable agenda to light now in her fathers time of need. I threatened to ban she and her siblings any more private contact and would only allow supervised visits. And the war began. It breaks my heart to think of how my husband must have felt when she brought such a inappropriate topic up. You see as serious as my husbands condition was, from the first day we had the diagnosis he flat out refused to believe he wasn't going to beat the cancer. Up until that idiot did that, we had dug our heels in and were fighting with everything we had. His kids on the other hand only saw this as an urgency to hurry up and try to get whatever they could get their greedy hands on. And it wasn't just them. His own siblings have been trying to gain possession of my husbands things since the day my beloved passed. My point is, it's not always what you might think is going on. I miss my husband with every ounce of my being and can hardly breathe let alone find the strength to face my life without him. Writing this brings tears to my eyes and pain in my heart to re live that nightmare. They didn't love him, hell they didn't know him and one thing for sure, they didn't deserve him.
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There is a difference between POA and a health care proxy.
POA is a legal document that appoints an individual to handle finances and business matters.
Health care proxy is a legal document that appoints someone to make medical decisions, if person is unable speak for themselves.
Does gf have a legal document stating she can handle his medical affairs?
Why is gf restricting visits from family?
I would get in touch with elder abuse protection services, and see if they can help
Something is very wrong. Good luck!
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Isthisrealyreal Aug 1, 2020
Health proxy is called a Medical POA.

Just so you know.
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Of course, its not legal! IMMEDIATELY get legal counsel. Have them appoint you as his guardian, have all his assets reviewed to see if she has somehow convinced him into turning everything over to her, deeds, insurance policies, stocjs, bank account, medical HIPPA, any and all.
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worriedinCali Aug 1, 2020
You can’t possibly know if this is legal or not. Neither you or the OP for that matter know if dad has given his GF a healthcare proxy!
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You will have to check with clerk of courts. Then if Necessary get a probate attorney to file orders with court. If she has power of attorney she
had to do it prior to him being declared incompetent. Your attorney will guide you through the process. I am relating to you what I am going through, Good luck.
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worriedinCali Aug 1, 2020
The court of clerks wouldn’t know anything about this situation.
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As well as a POA,does he have a healthcare directive? If so did he assign her to make medical decisions on his behalf? These are things to look into. If it were me I would travel to dad and establish myself with doctors etc. If she is the one there everyday then they will look to her to partner with.
If you are assigned this provide copies to doctors. They all want this in place to know who to ask what from.
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Unfortunately a POA will not pertain to anything with his health so best to become his health proxy or power of medical attorney. Since you are family, you certainly have this right and she does not!
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Petition the Probate court for guardianship and Conservator before she does.
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DoWright Aug 3, 2020
Not all estates end up in probate court.
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You have your father's POA which is not the same thing as being his health representative. Take a look at your POA documentation. It might only give you decision-making authority over his finances and property, but not his person or his medical decisions. If you know the lawyer your dad used to do his POA give him a call and talk to him about it. I know that in my state (Connecticut) girlfriends or boyfriends have no legal status whatsoever in making financial or health decisions for their partners even if they live together unless it has been stipulated by the other partner in a legal document, because my state does not recognize "common law" marriage or "living together". If you have your father's POA he did that ahead of time and probably did a Health Care Representative document along with it at the lawyer's office. Many times when an aging person gets into a romantic relationship the other partner in it will often try to limit contact with adult kids or adult grandkids and will make sure they supervise any visits. The reason for this is they don't want the family to know they're spending the money and assets and know that can change in a second if their partner gets sick or dies. You have your dad's POA. Now is the time to transfer or change bank accounts, close his credit card accounts and have new ones issued, and inspect the credit card bills and bank account withdraws.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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I had the exact situation. Once my father couldn't make his own decisions and one had to be made about his final days my Dad's gf, who was friendly with the Palliative staff made the decision. When she told me " matter of factly" that she had decided where to send him for Hospice I was done. I let her be the "go to" while my Dad was cognitive. When my Dad was no longer cognitive I, as his POA I stepped in. It is YOUR legal responsibility to handle his care and you can be held liable if you do not fulfill his wishes. Step up now, don't delay. If need call someone in you Senior/Aging dept in your county. Dad chose you for a reason, honor his reason.
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Reply to AmyK97
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GF's restricting access to your father hints that all is not as it should be..
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I would just go.  I would send her a copy of my POA and tell her she has no power, see if she has a POA, and if she does, get copy.
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Takincare Aug 2, 2020
I agree to the go and show up unannounced, but I would not be showing my hand by sending her a copy of poa until the whole situation can be assessed and what actions need to be taken, if any. Give her forewarning and it may prod the girlfriend into hyperdrive to lock up loose ends on her part ie guardianship of dad or a legal change of poa before op shows up. Granted dad has cognitive decline but it would require courts, attorneys, time, and needless expense to have order rescinded. Easier for op to find out what is actually going on instead of giving dad's gf the opportunity to make the situation appear perfectly fine and dad's just confused.
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If you have POA, Go wherever your father is and visit him.

While he still has his mind, you need to talk with him and sign all paperwork that allows you to have complete control over h8m and his finances.

But, if he has his mind,, he can make his girlfriend whatever he wants.

In the meantime, let this girlfriend know that if she gives you any problems, you'll be the one not letting her see your father.

I would also call Elder Abuse and talk with them.
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Reply to bevthegreat
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Hey Susan, so sorry to hear your going through this at such a difficult time in your dads life journey. I went through all of this between 2015 & 2017, over 10 years my dads GF eroded my contact with my daddy and only telephoned my sister in NZ when a clinician informed her he had 48 hours to live, diagnosis Sepsis.

However, my oh so strong daddy and marvellous clinicians along with this awesome carer, he went on for another 2 years.

i took a career break (ambulance worker) and moved in with him, A) to care for him and B) to keep my eye on her!

it was the lesson of a life time to see just how the GF who had been married 4 times was so controlling.

Hang on in there & use this blog for support and expertise.
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Reply to BeBethany
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Since you have poa without any proof that she does, talk to his physician to see what dads diagnoses is what is going on with him. Dad may have signed a HIPPA form allowing them to share his information with the girlfriend. I'm assuming that she goes to appointments with him too. You do have the power to rescind HIPPA permission as POA, talk to doctor's nurse too, they are your greatest line of communication and defense for dad, explain about girlfriend situation and her sudden need to isolate and restrict him from family. Do you or another trusted family member live close enough to take him for office visits? This would be the first step to remove her control of the situation. If he does have dementia or as you stated is declining quickly, do you have his social security number? Run a credit check to make sure she hasn't opened and accounts with him, if she has close them, place a freeze on his credit so it doesn't happen. Are you on his bank accounts? Check those too for any fraudulent activity. Something doesn't sound right if she is attempting to restrict your contact with your dad, it doesn't add up to a caring relationship. Does dad live in his own home by himself? May be time for a live in companion or a move to a memory care facility that can meet his needs. You may need to get a no contact order for girlfriend if there is proof of wrongdoing on her part and also a chat with APS and the states attorney if needed.
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Reply to Takincare
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Did your father get a medical diagnosis of dementia or cognitive decline AFTER you were designated as PoA? If so, you have legal power to excise the GF. If he doesn't have dementia he can change his PoA at any time. But I wouldn't take her word for it, I'd demand proof.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Contact Protective Services at once!  Does she have POA?
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