She has a will, power of attorney and health care legal documents. She is living alone and lives in Florida in the winter and in CT in the summer.

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Now you and sis need to step up. If you both do nothing and she is at risk, the doctor may report to the county aging department who will get a court appointed guardian and conservator, essentially removing your POA.Determine where she will live. No more travelling. Make sure whatever state she is in is set up with proper Medicare. If mom is resistant, then you will have to get guardianship in one of the state's. Mind you, it is best to keep her close to family. However I will bet that memory care in CT will be a lot more expensive than FL
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Reply to MACinCT
Riverdale Feb 9, 2019
I would tend to agree with you regarding prices of facilities in CT vs FL but it may depend on where in CT. I had my mother in AL in NY. It was very expensive but we were not very far from the city there. Now she is in AL in SC and the cost is about half. There it is not far from Charleston. If we were in a different part of SC the cost would be lower. I think it is very important to be near a family member. We are leaving NY for good and will be in SC fulltime soon. I think the costs in CT will be a similar situation. The costs will be higher depending on the proximity to NYC.
My sister and I are designated as the POA. This is new to us and we just received the letter from the doctor stating that she is incompetent to make health or legal decisions. The problem is is that I do not know how to proceed for our first step. Any help would be appreciated. My mother is not aware that the doctor declared her incompetent. Do I need to go to court? This is very overwhelming and don't know where to start as I am in CT and she is in FL.
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Reply to wendyalf
golden23 Feb 8, 2019
((((((Wendy))))) It is very distressing.. Did her doctor in Fl let you know about this? Could you get an opinion from him regarding the safety of your mum continuing to live alone? Your or her local Agency for Aging can be a good resource. Also any Alz or dementia community group

No, you don't have to go to court. Once she has been declared incompetent more POA's are automatically activated. You could check with the attorney who drew it up. You do need to keep a copy of the POA with you to deal with her bank(s) and any other businesses. Most banks (not all) are cooperative and happy to deal with the POA. I just went to my mother's bank with my copy of the POA and they "put me in the system" so I could write checks on her account signed "my name, POA to mother's name"

If I were you, I would go visit your mother (with your sister if possible) and spend some time (a couple of weeks if possible?) with her seeing how she is managing. Check through her mail and other papers for unpaid bills and such -anything indicating that she is not managing her finances properly, Check her frig/freezer/cupboards for outdated/moldy foods. See how well she manages her daily living activities -bathing, dressing housework, meal prep etc. Is she paranoid or otherwise frightened? Is she safe handling the stove and microwave? Is she sleeping and eating well? Is she still driving?- Is she managing any meds she is taking? You really need to spend a little time with her to get a good picture of how she is managing.

Re her health decisions, again you need to have a copy of the health care proxy document with you to talk to her doctor(s), pharmacist etc.

Talk to her about wanting to help her with paying her bills and managing anything she is not managing, This can be tricky. Some seniors resist giving up their independence. Many post here about those problems and others have good ideas.

I suspect that since your mother has been declared incompetent to handle er affairs that she should not be living alone much longer if at all. You and your sister need to consider what that next step in your mother;s care should be - moving in with one if you, or moving to an assisted lining for example, where meals would be made and some one could manage her medication etc. Be aware that if you have a job, and or a family, moving a in a parent with dementia can make for many difficulties.

I sense you are really shocked by your mother's decline. Let me just say that we all came to this as novices, and fumbled our way through it There is great help here from people with parents/relatives at various stages, and in various conditions. Problems handling finances is often an early sign of dementia. Trust your intuition. You and your sister know your mother better than anyone. Hope this helps. Do ask more questions as you need to. ((((((hugs)))))) Let us know how you and your sister are doing and how you mum is. Absolutely it is very overwhelming.
If no one is challenging the POA and the POA is willing to take over administrative and decision making for your mother, then the POA needs to get the "springing" documents (letters from one or more doctors stating she is incompetent) and begin taking care of mother and her business. First make sure her bills on being paid and start an inventory of your mother's resources and what she needs right now. Then start researching her diagnosis so you can anticipate what her future needs are. Research how much meeting those needs in FL and CT will cost and what services are available in each location. Is there family to provide overnight and support in each state? There are a lot of decisions to be made but you don't need to make all of them overnight or even in the next month. Stabilize your mother's current situation then evaluate/plan to meet near term needs. If resources allow, you could also engage a case manager to handle some to all of this (pay monthly bills, take mom to appointments, check in on her, etc).
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Reply to TNtechie

I would say start taking over all her financial affairs if you are not already. Also have her tested for ADL's (activities of daily living). Does she have Alz or vascular dementia or...? Knowing what disease she has can help you to plan ahead. Does she have enough money for care at home? She will be needing help at some point. What are your plans for when she cannot live alone any more? If you are looking at medicaid at some time in the future, learn about it and particularly the "look back" period. Is she near you in Fla or CT? Become knowledgeable about the disease she has. There is lots of info on the internet and other places. A little more information about you and her would be helpful. There is a rough journey ahead.
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Reply to golden23

She will need a Guardian.
That can be a family member or one can be appointed by the court.
The POA could become Guardian if they want to.
This is something that you should discuss with an attorney better one that has experience in Elder Care Law.
There is quite a bit of paperwork to do for a Guardian and it will require filing papers with the court.
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Reply to Grandma1954

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