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If a person has power of attorney, is he or she legally responsible if the patient drives and hits/kills someone? The patient's MRI was normal and he was diagnosed as having very early-stage dementia.

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If the man's really compos mentis I dare say he can figure out how to get more keys. And if not, then...

Might be quite a neat test!
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Countrymouse - if they've taken the keys isn't the intent the same and actually leaving the car just a matter of semantics?
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Possibly because they could be charged with theft, as in the intention permanently to deprive a person of his property.

The "patient" as Uncle John describes him has just had a normal MRI and what sounds like a very tentative diagnosis of "very early-stage dementia." Based on what, we know not. But in any case he's not likely to be legally incompetent, and the family can't just pinch his car unless they've got a lot more than that to go on.

Let's hope they can persuade him instead, before things get any worse.
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If you're concerned about him having squirreled away a car key - why not disable the car or better yet, have it removed altogether?
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Thanks to everyone who answered my question about the responsibilities a person with POA has. The answers were extremely helpful. The suspicion is that the patient may have access to car keys he's hidden, but this is unlikely since the entire house was thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom and his belongings purged.
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He did nothing to make sure she was safe. He inherited her from my dad and treated her as my dad did. She has been babied and is very stubborn. Brother also has issues, come to find out. He is an alcoholic and animal hoarder so I think it is a mental health issue, not an issue of neglect. Charges unresolved at this point. It's all very dysfunctional. I know you are not unsympathetic. I have read many of your posts and know you to be fair and kind but also very forthright!
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But if he hadn't been living with your mother, if in fact your mother had refused to allow him into the house or to let him call other people to assist her, then he couldn't have been charged. As it was, he was necessarily aware of her condition and still left her alone. Had he asked for an assessment for her? What was the outcome of the charges?

I'm not unsympathetic - as if! How could I be? - to the difficulty of combining care taking and paid work; but if he couldn't be there what did he do to make sure she was safe?
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I beg to differ this time CM. My mother has not been declared incompetent. My brother was living with her, in her house. While he was at work one day, the neighbor called the police and APS was also called. He was charged with neglect of an elder. They said he left her home alone for hours at a time (he worked). Totally different scenario, of course. That being said Bella7, POA doesn't make you any more responsible for an adult than no POA. Guardianship would. If father's doctor has said he is competent, then the responsibility is off of you Bella7.
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If your parent is competent, if your parent has not been officially declared incompetent, then you are not responsible for his or her welfare. Your parent is responsible for his or her own decisions. While that is the case, your POA does not give you the authority to override your parent's wishes and you therefore cannot be held responsible for the consequences.
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He knows he should stay in assisted-living and I have had that talk with him but he's determined to come home
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I just need to know what my responsibilities are legally so I don't get into trouble with him coming back home And not taking proper care of himself
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I am my father's POA also,  he's going to be leaving assisted-living to come back to his home and I am worried what my responsibilities are being his POA....like him not taking his meds right, self-care... he will have some help at home weekly but he thinks he can do the rest all by himself...his doctor has declared him competent... he has severe diabetic retinopathy he, uncontrolled diabetes, and six months ago had a stroke and declared legally blind but he says he's not
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You are only responsible to assist with paying bills when he cannot. You are not his guardian
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From what I understand about POA, no. However, how was someone with early stage dementia able to get ahold of keys to the car? More details, please?
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