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She only has a few days left, and for years she has groomed everyone, including her DPOA, to let her die at home. Now the DPOA (non-family member) has chosen to keep her in a hospital against her expressed (and very coherent) desire to die at home with family. This is very heartbreaking. Her DPOA isn't even in state anymore, yet is forcing the family to watch her waste away in a hospital bed without the dignity she insisted on. None of us want her to die. But her DPOA is making it worse for her and everyone in the family.

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Who would be available to care for grandma around the clock, at home?

If you think that you'd like to be in charge of arranging for grandma to die at home, approach the social work department at the hospital and tell them that you would like to arrange for emergency guardianship. Make sure this is what grandma really wants, because it's going to cost her thousands and thousands of dollars, for guardianship, medical transport and in home health services.

Make sure you arrange for a home health agency to have 24/7 aides at her home . You probably want to set up hospice services as well.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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If she is in the hospital there should be an ethics committee, if she is competent and able to make her choices known that must be taken into consideration.
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Reply to cwillie
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It is NOT the DPOA who is authorized to make medical decisions. Who is the medical POA? Often this person is named in the advance healthcare directive.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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My post vanished. So I'll repost.

Jeanne makes an excellent point. Medical decision making is typically not included in a financial/legal DPOA. And the hospital should NOT be relying on, accepting decisions, discussing or providing HIPAA covered information to someone not authorized.

The person named as proxy in the DPOA should NOT be making medical decisions. Contact the hospital, go directly to the Administrator if you have to, and make it clear that decisions are being made without proper authority. Raise the HIPAA breach; that should get someone's attention very quickly.

But legitimate authority also addresses the other issue Jeanne raised. Has anyone in fact been appointed to handle medical decisions? You stated that the "the original hospital she went to overrode my grandmother's DNR in the first place". What happened in this situation, and did it contribute to the existing situation? Was the DNR integrated or combined into a health care proxy (Living Will, e.g.)?

You and the family will need to quickly mobilize to address this situation and get the DPOA proxy out of the picture. If you have to, on Monday start calling elder law attorneys in your area (I assume you're close to the hospital geographically?) and ask about immediate intervention. You'll need someone skilled in this area, with litigation or injunctive relief experience.

But contact the hospital Administrator today.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Gerrysgirl, you say the DPOA is "taking advantage" of the difficulties other family members have in getting your grandmother's case across.

But that word "advantage" is exactly what puzzles me.

The DPOA knows your grandmother's wishes. The means to get her home and cared for are all in place. The hospital social worker is on board.

What possible advantage is there to the DPOA in going against what *everybody* else wants? What reason is s/he giving for refusing to okay the move home?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Talk to the social worker who can advise on emergency guardianship, and a lawyer. It depends upon how the dpoa is written.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I have DPOA for both Financial and Health for my stepfather, and it is my responsibility to oversee his care and honor his wishes. As defined in his Trust documents, the DPOA givs me the authority to make all healthcare decisions. My own father passed recently and his wife behaved despicably in all areas of his passing. My resolution came in these three words: “He chose her.” And though I and my sisters believe she was responsible for his ultimate passing, I was reminded if these three words: “He chose her.” It is unfortunate seeing someone violating your mother’s last wishes and you may be legally able to challenge them. This being said and having relocated my stepfather several times, I also understand the stress, angst, costs - emotional and financial, to move a loved one. I am sorry you’re having to go through this. The solace might be found in surrounding you dear mother with your presence, love, and prayers to make her transition as peaceful as possible under the circumstances. I wish you comfort throughout.
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Reply to Lulu4jelmp
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@BarbBrooklyn, thank you for your questions and advice.
We set up in-home hospice care for her that was to start this coming Monday. My step-mother, who has been her caretaker for the past three years, is still here, and I am here. So she would have around the clock care for her duration.
The DPOA knows this, even had the hospital hospice social worker confirm that she'd be more comfortable at home, yet the DPOA still insists.
Also, the original hospital she went to overrode my grandmother's DNR in the first place. I'm thinking that should be cause to dismiss any documents they had on file concerning her death?
Grandma can't speak, but she communicates with head nods and eye rolls. Doesn't her coherency override a DPOA?
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Reply to Gerrysgirl
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Hospital may have suggested DPOA keep her where she is, less of a liability risk for them plus the option to use their hospice services.
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Reply to shad250
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Shad your cynicism is misplaced this time - the hospital's own hospice social worker, we are told, has agreed the lady would be more comfortable at home.

I'm still wondering what the DPOA's reasoning is.
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