Can a power of attorney exist over both parents in a single document? - AgingCare.com

Can a power of attorney exist over both parents in a single document?

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My dad, 80 has asked for help with my mom,82 who is suffering from dementia but not been officially diagnosed. She will not let anybody,including my dad attend a Drs appt. with her. She is physically in good health, not on a lot of medications but is slipping bad. They are living independently now and Dad wants and needs help. I am the oldest and living the nearest and have taken care of their needs when asked for a long time. When doing the POA can I do it for both parents on a single document? This is dads wish to simplify the process because then mom wont ask him a thousand times what is it that she signed.

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For every single person, young or old, if you do not already have current documents and all of your affairs in perfect order, stop everything and do it immediately. God help you when something happens and this has not been done. You have a chance that your life and all you plans and wishes will be totally destroyed. Don't let that happen. Do it now. I have done this since I am in my 20's and I am now 83. I update everything every six months to a year and now I am at peace whatever comes down the pike. DO NOT WAIT - IT COULD BE TOO LATE!
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I am the POA for a friend of mine and was given authority for both he finances and medical care. There is also a 2nd. and 3rd. POA with the same authority. For now, I make all the decisions, but keep the other 2 informed of what I am doing so they are up to speed. I am also the executor of his estate after he passes, so I know the big picture of his intentions. It is a relief not to have family members trying to undermine my efforts and take money for themselves and I make sure not one penny comes to me in case anyone should ever question my care. There are no children, either, so no concerns about saving any of the estate for heirs. It's still a big job to do this, but without emotional stress caused by others. My friend was not resistant to medical care, but I still had someone come to his condo to do a wellness check. I called Adult Protective Services about a concern and they came to see my friends. That might be a way to have your mom get checked out by a doctor or nurse type person. The lady who came could tell me pretty accurately about how much longer the wife would live with her frontal temporal dementia. And they have good advice for how to proceed based on what they find. Good luck with this!
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I think this is if caregiver has a POA for medical. How I understand it is without a POA (or spouse lists other spouse on hospital records) even a spouse cannot be told what is going on if other spouse is not able to give permission. Thats why its so important to set up POAs no matter how old ur. A spouse has a right to keep health information to themselves. A doctor cannot give that info out. My mothers and nephews POAs are on file with their doctors and local hodpital. Moms even with her health insurance so I can handle problems.
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As many have already said, each parent needs to have capacity to give POA to someone else and they can't be combined. It's unclear whether your mother still has enough decision-capacity left to assign a POA. If she does it with a lawyer they are supposed to check that she has capacity to sign the document. Guardianship is expensive and time consuming, so would be good if you can avoid it.

Regarding your mom refusing to let anyone go to the doctor with her, it is indeed common. I would suggest you contact the doctor though. First, you want to make sure he/she is aware that you think your mother has developed dementia. HIPAA doesn't prevent you from disclosing things to the doctor. Second, you can express your concern that she's refusing to let anyone accompany her, and see if the doctor would be willing to encourage your mom to have someone come to the visits. Sometimes the influence of a doctor can help with this. Lastly, the doctor might be able to encourage her to complete a durable POA for health, assuming the doctor feels she has capacity. Even if she keeps forgetting what she signed, if she's consistent in saying "If I were injured or couldn't make medical decisions, here's who should do it for me," she might be deemed to have enough capacity.

Last but not least, I recommend you review the government FAQs on HIPAA and disclosure to family and friends. Clinicians can exercise judgment and release information if they think a patient has lost capacity to decide on this and if it's in the best interest of the patient.
https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/faq/disclosures-to-family-and-friends
For instance:
"Q: If the patient is not present or is incapacitated, may a health care provider still share the patient’s health information with family, friends, or others involved in the patient’s care or payment for care?

A: Yes. If the patient is not present or is incapacitated, a health care provider may share the patient’s information with family, friends, or others as long as the health care provider determines, based on professional judgment, that it is in the best interest of the patient."
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Because I live in same town as my mother, I have both Durable POA and Medical POA, with my daughter, an RN, as secondary on the medical. My husband and I are planning on getting both with each taking care of the other. Each daughter will be secondary, one for financial and the other medical since she is an RN. Other daughter is better with money.
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It is not uncommon for the elder, in this case your mother, to shy away from assistance, e.g. refuses to let anyone, even her spouse, go along to the doctor's appointment(s) with them. And why? Because their minds, sadly, have changed and their decision-making skills are oftentimes non-existent and/or altered if you will and should be left to someone else. I have seen it time and time again.
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Each of your parents should prepare and sign what is sometimes called a "durable power of attorney for health care." This document can go by other names, including "Advance Health Care Directive." This document is designed to be effective if the signer has become incompetent and can no longer make his or he own health care decisions.
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Just wanted to put in my two cents. In seeking guardianship if the principal is in agreement or is deemed unable to participate in the process - largely due to competency- the need to legal representation and the court process can be waived. The court will however likely want to have independent evaluations done to determine if this is the case. As far as having the same or different person as medical and financial DPOA- this is a matter of opinion. If two separate people can work well together it can be a good call. However, in more adversarial situation having one cook in the kitchen can be a better call.
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Here in my State, one person can be both the medical Power of Attorney and the financial Power of Attorney.

Plus the Elder Law Attorney also recommended having a second person named as POA.   If there isn't anyone else, then one of the Attorney's at the firm can be the financial POA or a CPA could be appointed, if they do that type of work.   The Attorney cannot be medical POA, that has to be a relative or a really good friend.
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I am going to be 75 and in good health. Only thing stopping my good health is this world. A school bus hit me about three weeks ago. (their fault). Thing like that change my good health. Things out of our control. I have already signed a document on my medical requests and who will care for me and who will make the final decisions. I have even written my obituary so the kids don't have to dig through everything to remember who is this and that. Makes my life a lot more rested. But, I agree with everyone that there should be separate documents. After all, they each will have their own wishes about decisions at the very end.
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