I have Power of Attorney for my mom, can a nursing home choose not to honor it?

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Hello,
I brought Mom to Amarillo in Sept 2009 with my oldest brothers consent. He had the durable POA over her healthcare at that time. He lives in Ca. and hasn't
seen her since the beginning of 2007 after Dad passed. He refused to share the POA so Mom asked me to take over since I had been her & Dad's caregiver for over 10 yrs. Mom has Dementia and I was told that my POA isn't valid because she had been found incompetent (June 2010) of making her own decisions the month prior to giving me the POA. A lawyer told me it is valid because TX law says it doesn't matter if she was incompetent or not if it was her wish.
The Notary wouldn't even validate the POA until she felt confident it was indeed Mom's wish after asking Mom pertinent questions.
When my brother found out I had gotten POA he was very angry. The rest home said he told them not to allow me to take Mom anywhere out of the building. I was trying to find a home closer to me so I could care for her more often. She is in Canyon, Tx right now which is about a 20-25 min drive and there are no Hospitals there. Before Easter this year I had come to visit Mom and she was in bed clutching her swollen abdomen, crying in pain (she has severe Diverticulitis).
She said she'd been hurting all night. I went to the front desk asking for a nurse. Her nurse was out of building. I told them I would wait an hour & if she didn't return by then that I would drive Mom to Hospital. They had refused to call an ambulance. I waited an hour then asked them for a wheelchair.
They refused that too. I found an empty one and took Mom to the front door where we were stopped by a bodyguard. They called the Police and I got a trespass warning.
It took about a month before I was allowed to see Mom again, with supervision but couldn't take her anywhere. Then was allowed to go to her room again. After about 2-3 wks. the head nurse said I couldn't go to her room. I told her I had permission from 2 other staff members. She wouldn't budge.
The next morning, I contacted a lawyer & told him the situation. He said no one can keep me from seeing my mother unless I had done something wrong. I don't believe that loving & caring for my mother is wrong.
So, on the 15th of July, I took a friend with me as witness. We went to Moms room and within 10 min Stephanie (head nurse) and another nurse came in to tell me I could only see Mom in
the Lobby under supervision. I told her what the lawyer said but she didn't care. Mother even told them that she wants me to care for her, not my brother because I am here and he isn't and because he never calls, writes or sees her, etc. They ignored her.
I refused to leave Mom's room and Stephanie called the police and had me arrested. I served 2 days in jail (never been in jail in my life!) and was so scared. Mom is 87, I am 59. Mom got very upset and they blamed me.
I called the rest home yesterday to talk to the new Administrator. Of course
Stephanie was in the office & had the speaker phone on. I was told in so many words that I could never see Mom again. They won't even let her call me or me call her. I do not understand how they can get away with this abuse! Mother has not been anywhere out of that place since Easter this year. I have taken my son to see her a few times to check on her but I haven't seen her now in 3 months.
I love & respect my mother with all my heart. How can total strangers be allowed to tear families apart?
I have called every lawyer in the book, talked to the Police, called the TV stations, the Newspapers, etc but no one seems to be able to help us.
The Police themselves advised me to file a Civil suit but I have no money.
Even Stephanie told me on the phone that maybe I should get a lawyer. They know I can't afford $200-300 an hour. Plus at Mom's age I'm afraid it would take too long. I don't want her to forget who I am.
What can I do? We are both so unhappy. My son videotaped her 2wks ago.
She said she wants to see me and wants me to care for her.
What is happening to us is so very cruel.
I am so stressed out that I often can't concentrate at my job. I have lost weight and cry a lot. I work for a nursing service as a provider caring for people.
Why can't I care for my own mother?
Is there a way to correct this so they will honor my POA?

I don't know what else to say. There is so much more to this story but I am hoping this is enough.
Thank You for your time.

Sincerely,
Lost without Mom...
Olivia

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Contact your state's ombudsman for the elderly. Look for your area's agency on aging. Document, document, document. Often a daily diary is admissible in court. And, don't give up. Let us know how it goes, k?
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I was poa for my father. He was dx with dementia and under psych eval and dr. eval, he was placed in a memory care facility. Dr for nursing home and my attorney and I had a three way conference call to discuss need for 24 hr. care in a locked unit due to flight risk and hostility. Family member went to visit brought attorney and notary and rewrote poa naming her. I got a call from facility stating that they have a new poa and will only honor most current dated poa document and advised me to contact agency on aging after informing me that they took my father and left. AOA advised me to file immediate intervention before the court. Intervention was filied, multiple court dates attorney dates and legal fees at my expense. judge ruled to continue in 30 days and see if family could work out the situation which I thought was a disgrace. my attorney said we were concerned about his medications. judge said it is my fathers business if he chooses to take meds or not, never even reviewed his dementia dx and evaluations for the past year. he failed 6 eval by psych nurse, md, psychologist. my attorney advised me that the further I wnet with this pursuit the more costly it would be. I now owe my attorney $6000.00 for calls, meetings and representing me in court. Where is the liability? If the md at the nursing home stated and wrote failed evals multiple times and assured me an my attorney that he needs 24 hr care in locked dementia unit and received my father into their facility with my poa, how could they allow a new poa to be written in their unit and honor it if their documents state, "not competent to make his own decisions, dx dementia"? Are they at fault for my bill and the risk of my father being hurt or wondering?
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Olivia,
I'm very sorry about the ordeal you and your family have been going through.
As for the legal questions about the Power of Attorney: I am not an attorney, but based on what you've posted, I think the nursing home is within its rights to take your brother’s instructions over yours, since your mother named your brother as her agent for healthcare decisions while she was legally competent, and she didn’t change that until after she had been declared incompetent. However, as her daughter, you are certainly entitled to question how the care is being given, especially if you see she is not receiving proper medical attention.

The most urgent question is- is your mother not receiving proper medical attention? What are her needs based on her condition, and are those needs not being met? Her primary physician is the best person to discuss this with. If her primary physician feels her medical needs are not being attended to properly, there is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. If you can get the physician to voice his/her concerns in a meeting/ phone call or in a letter, you have an important tool for getting things done. The nursing home would be taking a huge legal risk by defying her physician’s recommendations.
Since the nursing home is taking direction from your brother, can you come to an understanding with him and find a way to work together? Since you live much closer to your mother than him and you have caregiving experience, it would benefit everyone for you to be the “eyes on the ground”, especially if there is the urgent issue of the medical care. If you believe that he is basically competent and willing to act on your mother’s behalf (even if he’s difficult to work with), you can do more for her by allowing him to have final say on decisions but making sure they are good decisions and done promptly.

If you are unable to work within your brother’s legal authority, and you are convinced he is not acting in your mother’s best interest, your next step is to go to court. If your finances don’t allow you to hire an attorney to represent you, you should contact a legal aid society in Texas and apply for free legal representation. You will need concrete evidence that your mother is being neglected or mistreated- specific dates, times, medical reports, etc.

I can tell you are trying to do what’s best for your mother, and that you are committed to helping her. It sounds like things are emotionally charged right now, and when emotions are high it can work against you. In a tough situation where the stakes are so high, it is important to be super-focused and not allow emotions to get in the way. By choosing the actions that are most likely to get results, you can get the best results for your mom.
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