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We have been trying to help a 93 yr old neighbor who has been neglected by the women who has power of attorney over her care. Filed three separate cases with Detroit DHS who proved to be useless. What can we do?

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I agree. Try to contact Social Services, then I would try with the Agency of Aging. Hope this helps!
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What a wonder person you are for taking in Angel's dog. Hope Angel knows you have her dog so she won't be worried. I would send a note to the nursing home and ask them to tell her you have her dog.

And what a fabulous idea about using one of those portable doorbells for someone who is in bed and needs your help. I'll have to remember that :)
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Thank you to all that given advise and criticism. I wish I had come across this site while I was caring for my mom..my mom died feb 12 2014, she had parkinsons and copd, she moved in my home 6 years before she passed and for the last 4 of her life I was 24hr caring for her, we had a home depot door bell on her hospital bed that when she needed me I was there. I needed this forum so bad then but maybe was to into the throws of her care to much to have even found this site. my mom was my world and I had her power of attorney and never ever would have or could have treated someone in the way I have watched. people don't get involved because it isn't there business, its to ugly or time. trying to get this neighbor help and now she's in a home without her dog, yes she is fed and bathed, and the poa doesn't want me or anyone to see her and of course I talked to her in the begining to have someone come in to care for her but she is to busy spending angels money . she suspects me as someone who contacted DHS. she might have been a friend to angel 40 yrs ago but shes no friend now! Good luck to all of you caring for your families, your tired, frustrated and need help that I"m sure your not getting enough of. God Bless you guys and I'll post again if I see angel , and Ill take good care of her dog in the meantime!!
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nadia556, since this woman is now getting care, and chances are from rehab she will go to an assistant living facility, sounds like she won't be returning to her home since items from her home are being removed.

No need to keep worrying about her... now you can visit, and bring along the dog if the dog has a clean bill of health. By the way, who told you she can't have visitors?
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nadia thankgod there are people like you around! POA can take a case to court if a person is a danger to herself and refuses help? So this wasnt done then? yes stories like this would break your heart youre doing the right thing and being an animal lover thankgod youre taking care of him!
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she has dimentia and still has the right to proper care. she is powerless by herself. her home was over 100 degrees and she didn't how to even get a fan....Is that what has become of all of us, that we don't care because of this....such an issue.....I doubt when she gave power to this women she didn't think this would happen. its hard to even watch yet alone be involved. she has money and could have stayed in her own home with people there to care for her. now she doesn't even have the only thing she loved more than anything, her dog. her home had dog beds, dog toys everywhere......thats ALL that was important to her! and she is powerless to the one making the calls for her life!!!!!!!!! Powerless
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nadia556, could it be that in the past that Angel refused any type of medical care? The POA can only do so much if someone doesn't want any help.
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OK, better understood now. Obviously you are the only one who cares & God bless you for your efforts. You are doing the right thing.
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the day the third case was filed to the DHS for neglect we had to call an ambulance for my neighbor who I'll call angel....angel was dizzy, couldn't walk right, dehydrated and blood presser 210 over 100, I contacted the women with the poa..her number was on the fridge. asked what hospital to use for her doctor..aside from an ortho dr due to a fall 3 to 4 yrs prior, angel didn't have a dr. she has the right to medical care!! So DHS contacted again. person with poa letting now one see angel, saying we where bad. When angel was taken to hospital I promised her I would care for her dog who was in as bad condition as she was. she loved her dog more than anything. she was sent to rehab from hospital, where she is now...poa wont tell anybody where angel is tells the men who are throwing angels life into a dumpster in her driveway that a women stole angels dog.....today I found where angel is and I will reunite her with her dog again no matter what......Nobody cares........angel has lived in horrable conditions with NO family. her husband and son have passed and NOBODY can make the women deciding angels life be a human being. So what do I have to gain by helping....NOTHING! I"m sure this place where angel is has been told she is to not have visitors but I"m bringing her dog in and to reunite angel with people she loves and knows....when its on the news people say oh isn't that sad!!!
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nadia556, if you could please go back to my posted comment and answer some of those questions, that would be very helpful.
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Hi. I'm the one who wrote the question, I am a she. Thank you Lois for your concern. This women didn't have food...toenails 4 inches long. So dehydrated her skin when picked up stayed like a tent......I have nothing to gain at all!! She needs help and her person with her poa is a horrible person . I keep thinking she should have to live in the conditions she had my neighbor live in. I need help...
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POA or DPOA is a voluntary position and says one MAY act on the behalf of another. It does NOT make them responsible for that person! That would be a guardianship and it is usually limited.
The last 16 years of my life have been dominated by the care of my mother who happens to be a manipulative narcissist of the highest degree. I can only thank my God that her dementia is advancing in a manner that eases her death grip on me.
Do I need to tell anyone how sick I am of this caregiver witch-hunt and intended crucifixion of those of us who set our lives on a shelf for decades in order to care for loved ones who don't necessarily love us? How dare you!
If there is a real danger to the elder then report it. Obviously your prior reports went nowhere for a reason. You yourself stated that the elder was "independent" and may have refused help.
Judge not lest you be judged.
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Individual perspective has a lot to do with it. My parent has a "friend" who is closer to my age. She calls or drops in for a visit, but never gets to the "down and dirty" of care -- she's always "too busy for that." She drops in for a cup of tea and a fun chat but does not "listen" to what my parent really wants/needs. But, because she's there and I'm not, she thinks she can send me snarky notes on email telling me everything I'm doing wrong. My parent also "quotes" what this person says, especially when the person encourages her self-indulgent and sometimes destructive behavior. Every day I'm working on something online or by phone to find ways to help/coordinate things for my parent and to "pick up the pieces" when something has gone wrong. Her "friend" is not doing this! When I am at my parent's house I am cleaning, shopping, cooking, coordinating with a variety of agencies who help my parent. I am taking my parent places she needs/wants to go. I am doing the best I can and my efforts are overshadowed by the person who "drops in." Of course my parent is going to complain -- it's making conversation -- elder style!

So, before a "concerned" person questions a POA/caregiver, they need to look at the living environment, the health of the elder, the complexities of the aging process, and be sure -- absolutely sure they are correct in their assessment of neglect. This may or may not be helpful to this comment thread, but it is another side of the issue.
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Hang the respect and seek to aid the victim. If the neglect warrants it report it as a case of elder abuse to your local police.
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my aunt was pretty neglected when i hooked up with her a year ago . i jumped in there and started bringing her QOL up and up and the example that i provided caused the pia to hop in there and do her part . i have a very flexible work schedule so i understand everyone cant do this but it sure worked in our case . pia is so jealous now she wont even speak to me . good . i dont particularily like her anyway but shes gotten off her behind and is helping her mother . thats all that matters to me ..
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nadia556, do you personally know who the woman is who has the POA for your 93 year old neighbor? Can you call her and tell her what you are witnessing your neighbor doing, and gently suggest she come over to check on the 93 year olds wellbeing?

Is the POA woman a relative of your neighbor or doe she have no relation to her at all? If you haven't seen her in awhile, maybe something happened to her like a serious illness or maybe she had died. If she was an only relative of the neighbor, or a friend who had POA, maybe no one knows she was a POA. Or maybe there never was anyone to look over the wellbeing of this 93 year old woman.
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Thanks Castle and GardenArtist for your feedback. I read your responses to my husband and he wanted me to let you know that he appreciated your thoughts.
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Oops, my computer sent before I finished - I just think that the best job of family, is to show they are concerned and care about a vulnerable member. Sometimes distance or lack of options prevent real help - but finding a way to stay in touch and value the relationship -- can help enormously - there are lots of fix-it people in the world, but only one family for us all. Working to get some regular contact, and take the criticism as temporary and misguided, and not the elder's real focus - they don't know how to say I need you, I need you to care about me now, and love me - so they may criticize - they are just giving voice to some of the questions and uncertainties they face now and are afraid of. So just say, that sounds rough, or that's a shame, would you like me to try to fix anything - and otherwise, just say, "good to talk with you". You'll hear then, of any risks that arise, and will feel less obligated, and more eager, to try to help, out of caring.
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Emma, it sounds as if your husband is designated as Personal Representative in your MIL's Will, and if so, and/or unless there are very peculiar circumstances and terms in that will, those powers don't vest until your MIL dies. Your husband can't act on them as they're not yet conferred; they're powers that are contingent on your MIL's death.

For him to act on her behalf legally and/or financially while she's alive, he'd have to be named as attorney-in-fact in a Durable of Attorney. To make medical decisions on her behalf, the appropriate document would be a Health Care Proxy, a/k/a Living Will.

Hope this helps clarify the issues.
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Hello Emmabean - so many situations exist in elder care. So many angles, what is morally right, what is fair, what is possible, what is positive, and what is legal -

I'd suggest that your husband spend some time visiting and asking questions about elders and dementia, closer to where you live - so he can understand better, not trying to decide too quickly what to do with his mother.

For there are patterns set up - in the past, I think many women bought into the cultural expectation that their job was to support men to go out to work - as if that was the only stage in life - many did not train their sons in how to help them, for the expectations described independence, all around.

Suddenly, when elders get frail, no one knows how to change the conversation patterns. They don't know what else can be done - and children of the elderly may have good ideas, but sometimes think the parent will be lucid enough to make a decision, but most elderly are afraid of change - there senses are not as good as they were, they find they have risks of falling and forgetfulness, and can't imagine that any new situation will be something they could like. So all the refusals and blame are part of the shift in cognitive abilities.

Only thing I know that works, is to drop any expectation of agreement on what is sensible. Instead, make weekly phonecalls, just to stay in touch. Maybe keep them short, always try to add in some positives - saying "good to talk with you". "Glad to know you're there." During those calls, you can listen for any stories of things that went wrong or risks, but just empathize with the difficulties, ask and find out, if the mother has anyone near her, that Does check on her, anyone who could be called to help - and establish a friendly relationship with such people.

With that kind of focus, over time,
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I'd like to raise the same question that Dave did--"What do you mean by having POA over her care"? I ask because my husband has been "given" POA in his mother's will but has not "acted" on that power. Long story short, hIs mother is 92, lives in a different state than us (CA), and is a hoarder of the first degree. She is showing some signs of dementia but is still (seemingly) doing OK day to day. My husband visits her every month or two (we both work full time) and she is ALWAYS angry with him--he can do nothing right in her eyes. He tries many approaches--from just visiting her and acting as if nothing was wrong--to getting rid of the 3 junk bicycles that she had by her back door ("I rode that blue one just last week!"). She gets pissed at him no matter what--he can't win.

That said--since he HAS been given POA and DPOA in her will, does that mean he actually HAS it now and IS neglecting her? I must add that her POA states that she can verbally revoke it at any time. He is worried that if he does something, such as mediate certain elements of her current "lifestyle choices," she will revoke it and he won't be able to exercise it when he absolutely needs to. For example, if she falls and must be moved to assisted living or a retirement home.

So, is he legally neglecting her? I know I probably sound callous, but we really are at a loss as to how to proceed. He's afraid that anything he does to "help," like move her closer to us (she said, "absolutely not"), or to a nice assisted living apartment, or to even just clean her house well enough to allow her to have a housekeeper come once a week, will cause her to revoke the POA. Any helpful advice?
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I guess living in a small town or in the country in the Midwest all my live has narrowed my view. We have always had wonderful neighbors - I cannot imagine mean interference described here, but leading a sheltered life has led to my belief in the best of folks first. Lucky me, I guess.
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Appreciate the issues here, they are really important, and involve attention and focus of a caregiver - so anyone who has that role, needs to be respected. Sometimes a relative who is distant, doesn't understand the number of times an elder can be frightened alone, for when they ask, many elders tend to say, "I'm OK" - for they don't want to cause trouble. Sorry that I referred to a 95 year old man - when the writer was concerned about a 93 year old woman! In both cases, they have done well to manage independently until that age - AND, it's important to note that the nature of aging is to decline, so whatever plan has been working to date, needs someone visiting at least, on a weekly basis, at most 2 weeks, to verify that person's assertions on the phone, offer company, and be there to fix what often breaks and needs repair - and see first hand, how the person is doing.
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Not a question just a TY accusing neglect or abuse is an awful thing to do... ive had it done in 2 states by my siblings cause i am my mommas POA and my sister is pissed cause she has no control of mommas money n shes the onr who took advantage n got her name on a visa to use 6000k for he sons braces.... she knew momma wldnt remember it...... well i take great care of momma.. baths 2x a wk 2-3 meals a day.... take her to local senior center to play bingo.. she helps with housework.... mainly she isnt sittin in an apt smokin her life away......PLS PLS just have good concrete proof of neglect on POA before bringing in authorities--- its awful for me n momma... she doesnt even want to see or talk to her 2 kids for all they are doin....both times APS came out they found out momma was n is bein cared for.........
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I'm very glad this topic came up, as I find it a very difficult one to address. I understand like Rich, that is is easier to be a part-time, back-seat driver, than it is to actually be responsible for caring for that individual. At the same time, what we need is more acceptable, non-official ways, to offer suggestions - for the other extreme doesn't work well either - the caregiver who gets no outside input, can be applying very limited interventions and help for someone. There are indeed two sets of issues (at least) - the care of the fragile elder, and the self care needs of the caregiver - which should ideally, include a format for receiving and reviewing suggestions, reading them at their pace. As a caregiver, I find input always important, but people who then rush to make decisions, rather than allow me to consider and integrate that input, that process is disrespetful of me and of the complexity of the struggle to see and meet care needs. Sadly, care agencies often lack the sensitivity to evaluate the elder, offer suggestions, and ask the caregiver to report back, help the caregiver improve, or state their idea, before trying to replace them - for there are many ways to provide care - if the man is 95, he's done pretty well already with the independent approach - most elders don't make it to 95.
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Rich985, you must have read a different post than I did, because the one I read sounded like I was a truly concerned person, who has proof of neglect.. You told him to take a break from his bitterness, I disagree, maybe if more people would be concerned there would be less elderly abuse.
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Lois, in the Detroit and some surrounding areas, neighbors "concerns" amount to meddling. In my area, if a neighbor doesn't like someone or has a control issue, filing complaints is a way to "get even" for a perceived grievance really based on that individual's inability to be tolerant of neighbors. It's a reflection of how some people don't know how to get along with others and resolve problems with resorting to involving the authorities.

An example: a man on my street pulled a gun on a construction worker who was walking on his lawn. From what the neighbors told me, this man was so angry that his precious lawn was being walked on that he went inside, got a gun and came back out with it. Thanksfully he's dead now so any lawn trespassers don't have to worry about being shot.

A lot of homes in Detroit have become substandard, there's a lot of blight, and some people just don't have the resources to keep up the home as others.

Maybe the concern is legitimate, maybe it's not.

What I've been wondering is how the OP knew that someone held a POA, and whether it's really a Health Care Proxy or a DPOA. And what help has the OP offered before, during and after filing the complaints? I doubt those questions will be answered; they typically aren't with this kind of question.
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I think youve obviously reported this so the authorities are aware if anything happens to her then at least you did your best. In the meantime keep an eye on her and just make sure shes ok i dont know what else you can do? I have a neighbour who lived on his own for years he had no children and his wife passed away NEVER have i seen anyone at his house UNTIL he fell, all of a sudden HIS nephew appeared??????? and put him in a home hes now up doing the old mans house up? where did he come from and how come ive never seen him? I asked this old man if he needed anything to ask me he was very independant so sad he fell but he is 95! one day i saw the nephew and asked him if his uncle was doing ok and if i could get him some sweets and could he give them to him? he said he dosnt eat sweets? oh yes he does i used to see him down the shops buying jellies! what a prick! he must be going to get the house now which sickens you he appears when theres a smell of money its disgusting! Im glad there are neighbours like me and you its amazing what you notice going on!
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CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT ON ELDER AFFAIRS, A GOVERNMENT AGENCY. GO ON LINE AND SEE HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT. THEY WILL COME AND CHECK OUT THE SITUATION.
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Documenting is the first step. And , being a caregiver, I am sensitive to criticism. If someone wanted to arrest me, I suppose they could. But I am giving as much as I can possibly give. I run out of steam or I get sick or I just need to veg sometimes. My husband even says I beat him. He is joking and we all know it. I told him he'd better be careful who he say that to or he will find himself in a nursing home and me in jail. If the caregiver (as you say POA) is overwhelmed, how about looking for a way to get them more help. No one asks for this job. chris
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