The POA now wants to be called if my friend (97) is taken out for a day trip. Is she overstepping her "power"? - AgingCare.com

The POA now wants to be called if my friend (97) is taken out for a day trip. Is she overstepping her "power"?

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My 97 yr old friend, AL, hasnt been out of the nursing home since she entered, 12 mo ago. In Feb, C. came up to take her out. POA was called by the nurse, and C was told she could not take AL to her house. So C didnt take her out. 5 months go by, and AL really wants to go out to her home. Nurse had no problem with me signing AL out. We went to her home,which is padlocked, unbeknown to AL, but neighbor had the key. Took AL to the bank. She had some business to take care of. POA found out I took AL out. For revenge, the POA shut off AL's telephone, and now has told the nursing home social worker that if someone wants to take AL out for the day, POA wants to be called. And there are only 3 people who would take AL out, and POA has a power trip going, so we 3 know we will never be able to take AL out if POA has to be called. Is this legal in the state of North Carolina?

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I would imagine that the protection of vulnerable adults is very much legal in the State of North Carolina. And if anyone I cared about lived there, then I for one would be glad of it.

You don't seem to have grasped that someone who holds Power of Attorney for another person is legally responsible for protecting that person's best interests. So if your friend's POA gets freaked out when you take her back to her old house - which could set her back weeks emotionally - or to the bank - and I echo the question, what business was it that she needed to take care of? - are you really surprised? The POA is accountable for your friend's wellbeing. You are not helping.

If you really want to contribute to your friend's wellbeing, visit her in the NH and provide her with companionship and conversation. And then, if your friend still wants to go out and about, discuss it beforehand with your friend's POA. Act responsibly, and maybe she'll begin to trust you - but if you turn this into a fight about legal technicalities you'll get nowhere, and your friend will be deprived of any activities you might have been able to offer. What are you hoping to achieve?
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Who is the "C" who tried to take the patient out but was blocked in doing so? What's her/his involvement? Is he/she part of the "3" who would allegedly be the only ones to take the patient out?

What do you mean by:

"And there are only 3 people who would take AL out". What's the role and/or relationship of this triumvirate?
Your involvement in AL's life and ire at the actions of the person acting as proxy just require a lot more background than you've provided.

I think you have a "lot of 'splainin' to do."
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Karen; you seem to be looking at this issue through the lens of your own needs. the POA is on a "power trip"? AL GAVE the responsibility to act on her behalf; if you believe that power is misplaced, as in the case of financial exploitation, then you have a duty to report.

However, if what the POA is trying to do is keep AL safe and secure (financially and in all other ways), then s/he is simply trying to carry out that responsibility and you are interfering.

If you take AL to the bank and she makes a withdrawal, because ne'er do well nephew is begging her for drug money, is this responsible? If she's decided to gift monies to staff, and it causes problems with her Medicaid eligibility in a years' time, is that responsible? If she returns to her home, trips and falls and breaks a hip, is that responsible? Or if she refuses to leave?

I don't think you've thought this out. I understand Telephone Assurance programs but can't understand how someone in a NH would need one. If you were taking my frail 92 YO mother out of her NH without my knowledge and permission, I'd be plenty upset and would react in the same way that AL's POA is reacting. I'd be quite suspicious and might consider an order or protection.
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You ask about the legality. We'd need to know more to even give a lay opinion. Does AL have some dementia? Does POA have both financial and medical POA status? But I know that informally many (most?) care centers will try to honor the wishes of their contact person regardless of that person's legal status. So even if POA has no "legal" authority, she has the cooperation of the Nursing Home. Perhaps you could get a police escort to visit AL if necessary, but I doubt you'd be allowed to remove her from the facility. (This may depend somewhat on AL's mental status, as it is listed in her medical record -- not as you see it.)

Bottom line? If you want a legal opinion on this, see a lawyer with all the relevant data.

We do often hear about an "evil" POA who is only on a power trip. I do believe such people exist. You have to bear in mind that AL CHOSE this person to help her when she could no longer do certain things for herself. If AL is legally competent she could unchoose her. If she is not competent to do that, then there is a huge issue here you haven't touched on.

Maybe this poor woman is not being told about her financial situation. And maybe that is for self-serving reasons on the POA's part. Or, as we so very often find, AL really can't understand her finances. Maybe POA has tried to explain multiple times and now just says "don't worry about it, you have enough money to see you through the rest of your life, and for a nice funeral." Many of us have had to resort to that vague statement with our elders.

And you came in to visit this woman and took her to her bank?!! Without consulting her POA or a close family member?!! She is 97 years old and incapacitated enough to need a nursing home and you just waltzed in and took her to the bank!!!?? And you can't figure out why that might bother the person who has a Legal Obligation to help this woman with her finances? What? Are you serious? You are lucky you are still allowed to visit AL. If I were the POA in that situation I would be trying to get a restraining order to keep you away from my vulnerable charge!

There are many posts on here trying to decide whether persons in a care facility should be taken to visit their old homes. Lots of case histories. Lots of "what would be best for them" discussions. But you, as a "friend" decide on your own what is best (or don't care what is best) and bring this 97 yo vision-impaired lady to visit her padlocked home.

I will truly try to keep an open mind, and I look forward to hearing more explanations. But as it stands right now, I am very very glad you are not my mother's "friend."
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I also sense there's more going on in this situation.

Perhaps you could help us understand your relationship to this woman. Your profile states that she's your friend, through what's described as a "Phone Assurance" program. I just googled this term and found that there are various cell lifeline services, but I found nothing specifically called "Phone Assurance."

Could you explain this, how you got in contact with the 97 year old woman, what your role is?

I think that kind of information is necessary for posters to completely understand your position and perspective.

Personally I think it might be time to get APS involved to ensure that the 97 year old woman's finances and home are protected.
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A 97-year-old woman shouldn't be taken out by anyone without family's permission -- or, barring that, by the person she trusted enough to take care of her when she could no longer take care of herself.

And why are you taking her to her home? And her bank? You have flirted with a very dangerous perception. Even my OWN perception doubts your intentions. Personally, I think you are completely out of line.
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I have a feeling a lot more is going on here...what's the background story? What's the POA's relationship to your 97-year old friend? What kind of business was she doing at the bank? If I was the POA, I'd be concerned that people were taking her to the bank to get money from her. And there may be a good reason why it's not a good idea for her to return to her home - we see that a lot on these boards. Seniors who will never be able to go home want to go home. To take them there upsets them immensely.

It seems as though you believe the POA has dishonorable intentions. Tell us more about the background of all of you. I have no idea if the POA has the legal right to stop people from visiting, but something just doesn't sound right in all of this.

Why wouldn't you want the POA to know you want to take your friend out to lunch or to your house for a visit? Usually someone is in a nursing home because they need to be there. Being taken away from that supportive environment by friends may not be in the best interests of the patient, no matter how well-meaning.
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