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I am an only child taking care of my mother who has dementia. She did not plan for any of her care needed as she aged and now we are struggling to care for her. We have no living will and no POA for her and she is beyond understanding to legally sign her name. What do I do at this point? I should also point out she has no living parents, grandparents or siblings.

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You didn't say how her finances are. If she has the resources to private pay, I would discuss placement in a facility with her doctor. If she doesn't have the resources to private pay, I would explore to see if she qualifies for financial assistance based on her condition. Some states provide financial assistance for seniors with disabilities who qualify. In NC, a family member may apply for financial resources like, long term care, without being the POA. It probably varies by state.

I would discuss the process of having her admitted to an appropriate facility, after she is assessed. Talk to the director about admission and how that might work, with you not having POA. Ask how they have handled similar cases in which no POA is available. A last resort would be filing with the court for Guardianship. I might consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction now, so you know what evidence they require.

If your mom gets a Social Security check, you an apply to be appointed as the Beneficiary Payee and that gives you the right to handle those funds for her benefit, even if you are not the POA. The Social Security website has details about that.
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If she is no longer competent, you can petition for guardianship, which can be expensive.

Alternatively a guardian could be appointed by the courts (an un-related, disinterested third party) to manage her affairs...but this would mean you lose decision making power.

When the next crisis happens (such as a fall) call the ambulance and have her taken to the doctor. The doctors/social worker will evaluate her care needs. Make sure you state that she cannot come back home with you, as you cannot provide the level of care she needs (24/7 care) and they will have to place her.

Angel
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I would call the Department of Ageing and tell them that her living with you and it isn't working out. You could ask about guardianship and get it.
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