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My MIL has a POA that names her husband. It then list my SIL, SIL #2, then my husband. My FIL recently changed his POA (and all other legal paperwork) naming me. My MIL got diagnosed with dementia almost 3 years ago. The FIL, SIL #1 and my husband starred fighting over what to do, how to care for mom. While they fought I started taking care of MIL. Now years after the fighting is worse; SIL #1 blames FIL for the dementia, husband tries to play peacemaker and SIL #2 just calls for updates (she lives across country). At every appointment for MIL, FIL tells them to work me me. This is doctos, nursing, assisted living facility, pharmacy even insurance companies. BUT we just found out FIL has to have major surgery. Estimated 4mth recovery. SIL#1 has threatened FIL (many times) she will take MIL away at first opportunity. MIL does not want this; FIL and MIL have good relationship. SIL swears that is the dementia talking.

My question - I have FIL's POA for everything, MIL's POA has the order listed. While FIL is in hospital does he "lose" MIL's POA and go to SIL #1? Can we get FIL to sign a "Healthcare Representative" form with all doctors and etc. for him and MIL ? Is that legal? ethical?
(I've been online researching and that seems like the only other option) Does anyone know another way to protect.
Fyi... SIL#1 only visits MIL every 4 -6 weeks and wants her in a NH now. According to doctors I am giving her excellent care, but while FIL is in hospital I've moved Mom into AL facility. SIL #1 doesn't think this is good enough. Tried discussion FIL, SIL#1 and husband cannot remain calm. I've made all arrangements.

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No, the MIL has to change her choices of POA, the fil cannot do it for her simply by being her POA...I am my mother's POA and I am not permitted to change moms #1 and #2 poa both of whom haven't spoken to us in 6 years going on 7
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When you get the real answer from an attorney, I'm sure many of us would benefit from having the answer. Thanks.
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Woah here too...i can only respond to one part Generally, in theory the POA would turn over POA to the next person in line stating he cannot service from this date to this date ---due to his surgery...the 2nd poa can act if the first one is unable or unwilling to....if the FIL's brain will be ok post surgery he could remain POA--your best bet is to inquire with attorney. I had a springing poa with mom and as soon as the letter from the doctor stating mom was mid alzheimer's the poa "sprung" if you wll and I took over...I didn't need to see an attorney or anything... but I don't know if one has to do something formal if they cannot or will not serve as poa---insofar as springing goes, maybe your father in law won't have any duties during his recovery ....
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By this I mean, a caregiver who periodically uses shame or humiliation to get a cognitively slow patient to do what they should, instead of working with them in a proper manner for someone who needs time to absorb one thought before giving them another, makes a point of leaving that patient out of normal conversational topics because they don't want to take the time to explain everything, leaving the patient feeling useless and unnecessary to even their own life, particularly if the patient has PTSD which requires that their ego be carefully guarded because lack of self esteem causes them pain.
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I beg to differ about causing dementia. Alcoholism and drugs can be caused by depression and stress. Alcoholism and drugs can hasten or worsen dementia. So by not being patient or respectful of someone who is dependent on your care, you could cause their depression and a spiraling dementia. I suspect this in my own family but live too far away to help at the moment. Of course I could be wrong, so don't want to accuse someone if they are indeed doing the right thing, so the confusion and guilt is daunting.
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Thank you everyone. I've met with lawyers. I've agreed to stay "on" for the FIL until he recieves the "all clear" from the heart surgeon with future stop date if he comes out with complications.
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Ferris you are amazing with your knowledge! I would still go see the attorney because although Ferris spelled it out for you, you now need to have it signed, sealed and delivered.

As far as I am concerned anyone who refuses to go to an informational class on dementia and Alzheimer's when their loved one has it, should be whipped with a wet noodle. Really???? They need the information and from now on if they act up I would tell them to shut up if they are so lax that they refuse to seek the simple knowledge they need to understand the disease.

I do have to say that the doctor at USC did tell us that he felt that my mother had brought her dementia on herself. He felt that she had locked herself away after my father's death which led her right into dementia. He is a Neurologist and specialist in Alzheimer's.
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Well now that I've gone back and re read the part about your husband didn't want you to take the POA. You can rescind it if you want to.Just because someone name you it doesn't mean you have to accept it.
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YES, you need to protect in-laws and yourself first and foremost. You can not change anyone they have to want to change themselves. If husband and SIL don't want to go to support group that's up to them. Don't waste your time and energy worrying about what they want. It's whats best for their parent's and you that counts. One way to protect yourself is to get a note book and keep notes on daily basis. Think "Who What When Where and How" document the care given to dispel accusations of neglect or whatever should they ever arise. I think under the circumstances you did what needed to be done as far as putting MIL in assisted living while tending to FIL .Once your FIL dies you will no longer have POA and since SIL has MIL's let her take care of her unless you want to see if she will make you POA . It's much easier to be the caregiver when you also have their POA. As far as SIL in NH wanting to her up there, it's always the out of state children that usually cause problems. You can only be responsible for yourself and ones you are giving care to. Just to be on safe side ask lawyer how that POA business works concerning MIL while FIL incapacitated. I have durable POA which stays in force when my mom doesn't have her mind anymore and also her MPOA. It would be good for IN-LAWS POAs to change to durable if they aren't already. Hope this helps.
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He doesn't want the POA. He didn't want me getting it. He wants everyone to work together. He tries to play peacemaker between his sister and his mom's husband, but ends up apart of it instead. It's only been the last week he has started to acknowledge they have been too busy fighting and doing nothing. I get many "thank you" and "sorry, I have to work late". He will help when I demand it but it turns into "why can't you make Mom do" this or that. He's trying which is better than I had before.

Pstiegman - I've tried family meetings. So many variations - only the direct family no inlaws, only the mom, daughter and son, with a 3rd party present, in a neutral location. One time I even tried putting them in the car together. They scream and threaten each other. It upsets my MIL every time. I've told them they are not allowed to fight in front of her. SIL does it anyways.

Agreed completely on the marriage statement. It amazes this is HIS Mom. Again this past week we've had some honest talks about the situation. I also regularly see a therapist.
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julidu...Thanks for explaining the SIL relationship. What about the son...your husband?
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Yes, julidu, you are jumping inbetween a rock and a hard place, and saving the world could cost you your marriage down the road. Save that first. Your SIL has anxiety and despair grinding away at her better judgment and she might get a clearer picture if she came to town. All the siblings need to sit down and compare what they observe with their parents, we did this and it was so enlightening. Take a back seat and leave the room while they repair family dynamics.
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My in-laws married after all the kids were adults. My In-laws actually had all the original POA's done years ago and reviewed them with all the kids.

The SIL causing drama is moms daughter. FIL's daughter lives across the country, she's great about calling and checking in but that's it. When FIL informed me of his change, I'm the one that called her to make sure it was ok. FIL has his wife's POA. As soon as Mom lost most of her cognitive function SIL started blaming him.
It's so sad. He is so scared for his wife and her favorite child blames him for it. She is mad this happened to her Mom and has to have someone to blame. She has let the anger consume her. I spent the first almost 2 years trying to appease her, but she can't. It's all about her. She "knows". She's forgotten I spent 6 months telling her and my husband something is wrong. You need to go to her doctor. One doctor told her it might have been a stroke and BAM. The family fighting started, so I helping MIL while they fought. Next thing I know I'm the caregiver. I've set up care schedule, online calendars even went home to visit my family for a week and they keep fighting not doing a thing for MIL. They all have a great ideas but even better excuses.
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I find it interesting that your Father-In-Law has named you, his Daughter-In-Law, his POA, rather than one of his children. Do his children know this? I've witnessed family feuds, over similar circumstances...where In-Laws were told to butt-out during decision making...not their business. With the situation in my family the feud was between a daughter and a daughter-in-law concerning the care of the elderly mother/mother-in-law. After the blow-up, they didn't speak to one another for 25 years.

Sometimes, peoples' pride & ego can be hurt and boundaries are drawn at such stressful times, and they lash out...eventhough intentions of those with which they are upset, were good. If the children know that you have POA for their father, could that be causing the turmoil and lack of calmness when discussing serious matters, such as your father's future?
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I've reviewed the FIL's paperwork made an appointment with his lawyers (feel kinda bad, for the legal charges he's going to pay BUT if he wants it done right!). I've set up an appointment with a social worker at the hospital to start setting up his post surgery care. Discussed with the husband the SIL (and HIM!) going to a support group. All I can say is WOW that's not an option; both or either one.

Maybe I can set-up an appointment for SIL with her Mom's doctor. When I discussed the issue with him, his advice was to stop spending money and time on all her BS. Get her to a therapist. Maybe if she heard it directly from him? OR Am I still trying to "save the world" and I just need to protect my in-laws and say to "blank" with her.

(Now chatting in my head boundaries, boundaries, boundaries... do not set myself up again! )
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You will never sort this out without the help of a Judge in the Surrogate's court. Now go get a lawyer.
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Since your sister-in-law is already angry, suggest she go to an Alzheimer's support group near her to vent her frustrations about her mother getting dementia, and/or she can seek counseling. Either way, some of that anger will be redirected at the disease, rather than at you...Best wishes and hugs to your father-in-law for a speedy surgery recovery!
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Why don't you go with your FIL when he meets with the lawyer so you can ask any questions you have. Is this an elde rcare lawyer? You definitely want to deal with an elder care lawyer.
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Thank you everyone. The SIL is so mad her mom is sick she's become blind to everything. Before her mom got sick they were very close. It's sad. I've tried to make sure someone is present when she visits.
Ferris1 - I'm going to dive deeper into all my FIL's paperwork. He just meet with his Lawyer to redo everything naming me. I might be back with more questions :-)
Thanks again everyone.
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I liked ferris's statement about no one can cause another's dementia. It is astounding to me that anyone would accuse another of actually causing it. The statement shows a tremendous amount of naivete and what she just does not know!
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I am dizzy from all your acronyms, but here goes. No, your father-in-law only loses his POA for your mother-in-law while he is under anesthetic and you are his POA, so that makes you responsible for your mother-in-law UNTIL he regains consciousness. You do not lose the POA from your father-in-law unless he changes that decision and/or he dies. I believe your POA trumps your mother-in-law's POA given to others when she has dementia. But to be safe, get your father-in-law to appoint you MPOA and for your mother-in-law since he is her first choice of POA. Moving your mother-in-law like your sister-in-law wants to do would be most disruptive. Also inform your sister-in-law NO ONE can "cause" another person's dementia and her lack of information about the disease is proof she should NOT be taking care of your mother-in-law. She clearly hasn't a clue what dementia is. You stay strong for them (FIL & MIL).
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Sorry, I meant LIFT you and yours up in prayer.
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My heart goes out to you. I am going thru something concerning my Fathers POA as well. Good Luck and I will life you and yours up in prayer.
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Whoa! This problem could have a complicated outcome. This maybe a case where you MUST file for guardianship. OMG, it is such an expensive process when there is in fighting.
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