My sister and I are named as POA for my Mom. How do I know when I can use it when making a decision for my Mom's well being? - AgingCare.com

My sister and I are named as POA for my Mom. How do I know when I can use it when making a decision for my Mom's well being?

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My Mother has been living with my sister (POA). She recently moved into a hotel with her boyfriend. Took my Mom to another sister and told the family NOT to tell me. I have since found out. The other sister home situation is a 3 bedroom, 1 bath with 15 people living there. Some taking prescription drugs and some smoke weed. There are adults and children. I feel my Mom is in an unhealthy environment and I consider that to be Elder Abuse. Does her current environment fall under Elder Abuse? The sister who dropped her off had access to my mothers bank account and has been using my mothers money without my mothers knowledge leaving her at times with only $72 left. Now I'm not sure who has access, maybe both sisters now. The older sister (POA) told the younger sister that she couldn't get in contact with me so my mom could come and stay with me which is a lie because I was at her house 3 days before she moved. Older sister told me they where moving to a house all the while knowing she was moving into a hotel with her boyfriend and leaving my mom with the younger sister. What are my rights as a POA to get my mom to my home to live? My mom has early stages of dementia and thinks she is visiting my younger sister and is going to return to the apartment with the older sister. She has no clue my older sister is living in a hotel. What can I do? By the way, my younger sister does not talk to me and hasn't for 5 years now over past disputes with my mother's well being. She has talked to my other sister either until a couple of months ago. Now this. Neither sister still hasn't contacted me to let me know where my mom is. I have tried to contact my older sister (POA) but she isn't responding to any of my calls, voicemails or Face Book.

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Well I'm going today to get my mom and bring her home with me today. I talked to APS and they said that I can use my POA. I am going with a family member and the police so that there is no problems. I don't want my mom upset by all this. I doubt very much that my sister/shared POA will bother trying to get my mom from me given her situation (living in a motel). This is not the route I wanted to take but they really leave me no choice given they aren't responding to my phone calls or messages. My mother comes first and her well being is the most important thing right now.
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Reply to dlachica
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Well! Given that your sister has dumped your mother in an overcrowded and drug-infested house, and buggered off with her new bloke for fun-and-games in a hotel, then even if technically she has power of attorney for your mother - shared with you, anyway - good luck to her trying to use it to claim authority for decision-making. How ironic would she have to be?!

But do take advice, and don't attempt the intervention alone. You need to be absolutely certain not only that you are behaving strictly in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations, but also that there is no other information about your mother that has been kept back from you that may have a bearing on whether you are able to care for her. Tread carefully.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I will be able to accommodate my mother by placing her in my home. There is no obstacle for me to go get my mom. I wasn't sure if my POA sister had a say so in my decision to go get my mom. If the case is straightforward in me going to go get my Mom with the help of APS and/or police then that is the route I will take. Then I will take care of her finances and any additional matters concerning my mom. I appreciate all of the feedback. Thank you.
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Reply to dlachica
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Are you going to be able to accommodate your mother at your home? If not, what is your plan for her?

Once you've decided where your mother is to go, given that the first POA sister has removed herself from the scene, I should have thought it would be comparatively straightforward to enlist the help of APS and/or the police, go and collect your mother, and install her in her new, safe environment. No? What would be the main obstacles to your doing that?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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If you're not sure where your mom is living or in what kind of environment she's in my suggestion is to call an Elder Abuse hotline in the area in which you think your mom is living. Priority #1 is to find out where your mom is, if she's safe, and to move her somewhere else if necessary. Priority #2 is the money. Priority #3 would be to take your mom to an attorney to have your sister removed as POA. Only 1 person needs to be POA and it sounds like your sister hasn't demonstrated the sense of responsibility it takes to be POA.

But one thing at a time.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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dlachica, I'm sorry for your situation. Obviously your family has become dysfunctional, which is putting your mother's well-being at risk. The document that names you and your sister as POA agents will tell you whether it became effective upon it being signed or if something has to happen before it becomes effective (e.g. a doctor's determination of incompetence). The POA document should also say what your responsibilities and authority are regarding your mother's affairs and whether you and your sister are co-agents or if one is primary and the other is secondary.

It's hard to say if your mother's current living condition (w. 15 other people in a small house) is abusive, but it easily could be. You could call your state's elder abuse hotline and/or office on aging to have the situation investigated.

Given the level of family dysfunction, lack of communication, and possible abuse toward your mother, the ultimate solution to protect your mother's well-being may be guardianship and conservatorship. Your state's office on aging should be able to help you decide if that will be necessary. Best wishes.
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