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My father's new wife wants to put him in a nursing home. I have total power of attorney. How can I stop her? He does not want to ever go in one. My father remarried 2 1/2 years ago his new wife want him in a nursing home becasue she does not want to get a divorce. My father has dementia but is still driving and dementia is not severe. She keeps having a neurologist testing him and I want to know since I have all medical, financial and guardianship when needed also Executor of his estate. Can I stop her or does her being a spouse override my authority? My father does not have severe dementia and I believe she is using his dementia to basically get rid of him.

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oldcodger2 If you don't mind I'm going to send a copy of your post to my sister. If you haven't noticed I get a bit carried away with my words. Whenever I try to explain things to my sister she tunes out..... I am not sure if she's burnt out herself from raising 3 boys or she just dose not care about Mom or myself. She want control on paper but does not understand why you need these papers and why they are legally binding it is not a licence to control finances and healthcare so it works in your own favor, it's all about someone needing care.... a person granting a "trustworthy person" to act for "needs" when they can't make the right decisions on their own anymore (safely) for protection from themselves and others, who abuse a person in a weak, vulnerable, position ....IT IS.NOT A, your own needs ....come first Deal. Once you have that figured out as your new reality it's a rough road, but someone has to do it!!! No turning back. I find help from people because they see my care is whole hearted and I won't give up for the sake of Mom.
Your post sums it up quite precisely!!!
I can take my Mom's rejections because I know deep down I am the one she really trusts. Mom acts like she can do it all, still I believe it's out of embarrassing herself in front of me. So she rejects my taking her "Mom" status away. When it came time to signing papers, I looked her straight in her eye and said "do you trust me to protect you and keep you safe? " I really forgot about that but she reads my eyes still. She knows me just as I figured out that I know her. That's really the key. We are all so used to listening to words and making judgement and reacting to past actions. If you act with your whole heart and treat a person with the same respect you'd want, in any situation, you get better results and response. If anyone stands in my way watch out, because, I'll just run you over and continue as if you were a speed bump and each bump gives me more Gas, you may slow me down but never stop me. OMG I'm just like my MOM!!!
Well there I go again..... blab blab blab ..... Thanx for understanding and sharing your feelings, it helps a lot!
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Some great advice here - I don't know how ANYONE manages to successfully care for someone with Dementia. Day in and day out - 24/7 - I have seen what this has done to a friend of mine who's mother has serious dementia - does all sorts of things like wiping excrement onto the bathroom walls - urinating on the couch - wandering at night. Of course - she is in late stages, but I pray for my friend. She loves her mother but I am afraid she could die before her mother does. Unless we spend a day, weekend or week in the caregiver's shoes - there is just NO WAY to understand the day to day stress of dealing with someone in an alternate reality. Pray for your step mother and see if you can work together as adults. I have no personal experience with dementia - but my situation was enough to put me over the edge more than once. Keep us posted on how it goes with your dad and we will be thinking of you all. If only 'wishes' could come true - no one would ever suffer.
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Teresalee, how difficult this must be for you! You have loved your father way longer than 2.5 years! On the other hand, his wife is the person he chose to spend the rest of his life with. That is not a casual committment.

First and foremost, a peson with dementia SHOULD NOT DRIVE!! Please work with his wife if possible or alone if necessary and get him off the road. It is not a matter of simply having a memory lapse and getting lost. That is easily fixed. It is a matter of poor reaction time and especially of poor judgment. This is not a risk for your father alone ... it puts innocent bystanders at risk, too.

You think your father's dementia is not severe. Do you live with him? That is really the only way that you can know. Many early-stage dementia patients can "showtime" -- that is, pull it together and appear perfectly normal for short periods, sometimes even fooling doctors. It is only by seeing someone day after day, all day, that you really get a feel for their level of functioning.

You say that his wife is trying to get rid of him without getting a divorce. Has she said this? Could she possibly be trying to do what will be best for him?

If his wife is unable/unwilling to care for your dad, what is your plan for him? A person with dementia absolutely cannot live on his own. If it seems like he can now, remember that the disease progresses. How will he be next month? In three months?

If your medical POA is still valid, make an appointment with the neurologist, bringing the POA document, and find out the details about your father's health.

Offer to give your father's wife respite while you spend a weekend with him (as geewiz suggests). This, too, will help you understand your father's health issues.

If you could possibly see your way to working with dad's wife, as two women who love him, I predict a much better outcome than working against her. Of course that is not entirely within your control, but I recommend giving it your best shot.
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Teresalee My first reaction to your question is straight from my experiences.... you should do what's best for your Dad's quality of life. His money, assets, etc. are his and should be used to care for him. My second thought is driving with Dementia OMG EXTREMELY dangerous, this is priority, he may be able to drive, but he may get lost, do something to harm others or himself. Do you know what a "Silver Alert" is?.
It is a bulletin on highways when an elder is missing and/or driving, lost like an "Amber Alert" ""A crisis"".
Dementia has stages and different reasons for this diagnosis, many different types and most likely irreversible in an elder situation, unless a temporary reason for it. One thing for sure is.... in a permanent illness diagnosis.... it progresses with time, it may seem slow and under control right now but, unless you live with him you do not know what his wife goes through on a daily basis. My Mother in law committed suicide for this very reason. She was a wonderful loving caring person but that was too much for her, not ill herself at all. I almost lost it caring for my Mom with minimal help. My sister is mad because I put Mom in a NH and it's the best thing for her she's happy and well cared for. My Mom walked out of the house (as I was sleeping in same bed, in fear she'd escape) she climbed over me and walked in to a lake up to her chest 12:30 AM. The neighbor across the street, lake front had a dog that warned him my Mom was outside. When I retrieved her from the police dept (they were well aware of my situation of her wandering) she giggled and said these men are handsome, no clue she nearly drowned and thought she was in a really deep puddle... the lake is 14 miles long about 2- 8miles wide. and god knows how deep. That dog saved her life!!!! It may sound like I was careless for letting this happen but I did everything in my power to keep her safe it was ultimately impossible, a crisis situation, dangerous, for Mom and myself. Her 2nd day at the facility which has a care track system like a wireless fence without shock, alarms go off, doors won't open but she got out, 2 flights down past multiple people into elevators that shouldn't open and 2 doors to leave, all alarm equipped..... but.... my Mom, smart and sneaky, took the battery out of the bracelet that sets off the system if she goes near the exits and doors. It took her one day to figure this out but can't remember what she ate that day for lunch. One person can't handle the dangers involved, the care needs, the whole ordeal and it all gets progressively worse.
You may have options for getting help at home for his care. Can you speak to his wife rationally to see his daily needs are met. Is she OK mentally, physically, etc.
Is he a veteran, many options there for him. There is a care plan in need for his finances and future health needs. Try working it out for his sake and if you have trouble with understanding my reasons take him in your home for a week and I would bet you'll understand then.

If you have all the legalities in order....for his financial and care needs it is you legal obligation to see that you do things in "his benefit".

I am sorry if I am going overboard, but from my experiences, I need to express the reality of a crisis situation before it is too late.

My Mom now... has no desire to leave the NH, she's safe, clean, secure, independent (as much as possible) and has the best Quality of Life in the NH and I am at ease knowing she is not in danger and I am at rest knowing this.
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geewiz, excellent advice! It is the same thing I wondered.
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I am my Mom's POA. I have signed more papers and given more copies of this authorization in the past year than I ever could have imagined! When I signed her into an AL (memory care) it was my signature that did it. It seems that if you are the current POA, it would take your signature to have your Dad admitted to a SNF. (BTW who has medical decision making authority?)

You may want to give us more info/background. If you are not in the house with your Dad and his wife, you may not realize how much help he requires. Perhaps a home health aide or caregiver for a few hours each day would give the wife some time off. Alternatively, your Dad may just need that for the present and later an AL/Memory care unit. Both are less costly than SNF, unless he qualifies for medicaid.

Can you go and spend a full day with your Dad. Give his wife the day off and give yourself a chance to see how far along he may be in the disease process. I was shocked at how quickly my Mom deteriorated. Things went from her being totally independent (including her volunteering to help others) to having help 15 hours a week to a live in aide to AL --- this all happened within 8 months! My sibs thought I was making it up as to how much help she needed. I was the only one there with any regularity. Give the new wife the benefit of the doubt and assess yourself. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Nothing overrides the power of a guardian that I know about. Are you certain you have guardianship? They would not be able to change that once it was set up if I understand guardianships correctly. However, there is much I don't know.

If the wife is unable to care for your father, I understand the problem she is having. Do you have other accommodations in place for him? She does have rights as a spouse that includes access to money that they share. Do you have his unshared money set aside so that she cannot access it too freely? You may need that money to hire caregivers or place your father in AL or other facility. I don't know if the spouse is trustworthy or not, but there is nothing wrong with being cautious. It is your job as POA to look out for his best interests.

Your father does not have to go to a NH if he does not want to and is capable of living well on his own. It may soon be your job to find him a good place if the wife is insistent.
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talk to your attorney that did the power of attorney,because if you have that, and she (wife)did not take him to the attorney and have him change it,you should be able to stop it ,but make sure she did not have your father cancel the POA,he does have the power to do that w/o your permission.make sure she as his wife she has some rights,get with that attorney.good luck!
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