How can I push my step-father to spend his money on Mom's care instead of a lawyer to fight me for guardianship? - AgingCare.com

How can I push my step-father to spend his money on Mom's care instead of a lawyer to fight me for guardianship?

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My mother has severe Alzheimer's. She was in the moderate stages in August 2015 when I first got involved after she left the house and walked 1 mile into another neighborhood and fell breaking her heel. 2 days later, she fell when getting out of bed and broke her wrist. For months me and my step-siblings worked with her and my step-father to help them with household duties, accompanied them to doctor appointments, and taught my step-father to deal with my mother's incontinence (properly cleaning and changing her, etc.). My mother is 75 now, and he is 87. There is a lot to this entire story, but I am going to try to hit the highlights. We tried to get him to allow care into his home, but he refused. Sadly, he has plenty of money set aside to provide care for her, but he refuses to spend it. He was hospitalized in December 2015 and at that moment we seized the opportunity to admit mom into the Senior Behavioral unit at the same hospital for her own safety. Once he was released, the Senior Behavioral unit would not allow my mother to leave until she was going to be given 24/7 care, proven in the home or at a facility. I took my step-father to court and gained guardianship (of the person) over my mother. I placed her in a memory care unit at the beginning of January 2016. I only did this because he refused to provide the medical care at home, otherwise I had no issue with her remaining there with him. He hired a lawyer and by April 2016 he took me back to court, agreed to her needs, and convinced the court to give him guardianship for the sake of their wedding vows. I was fine with that as long as he provided the 24/7 care. As I feared, he got the 24/7 care and continued it for a couple of months, then reduced it to 6 hours/day, 3 days/week. I tried to leave it alone, but continually worried of her wandering again, or not being kept clean due to her incontinence. I ended up filing a motion to remove his guardianship and we had another hearing in February 2017. The result of that hearing was that I was granted limited guardianship for rights to access all medical and non-medical records on my mother at any time through a court issued letter. My step-father added 1 more day per week to the caregivers, and every other Sunday. I since gathered all of her medical and non-medical history, noted my concerns, and filed another hearing to remove his guardianship which was set for 5/11/2017. Today I received a notice from his attorney that he has filed a "motion to dismiss" the hearing stating many things about me including that I have used my access to medical records as the basis of a plan to harass the guardian, and that I have no proof of any harm to the Ward/my mother. He also states that my mother continues to do much better under the care of her husband in her own home than she did under any staffed institution to which I with to lock her away in. The letter has me furious. Is there a process for me to follow now, legally, to push this? What is my next step in this game I play with his attorney? He has the money to pay this attorney, and if he would just put this money toward my mothers care, in their home, I would leave it alone. Can someone provide some direction on my next steps? Thanks so much,


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Thank you so much for the advice! I have a hearing tomorrow to once again fight this on my own, and we'll see where that goes. After that, I will definitely pursue the elder law attorneys consultations as suggested. I feel good about tomorrow, we will see! :)
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Guardian could remove her from the home if there is not an appropriate level of care. I would certainly talk to several elder law attorneys using their free initial consultations. Tell each you are not able to pay them, but that the funds would have to come from mom's assets, not yours.
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Hi there! The Guardian Ad-Litem has been representing my mom all along, and yes she does advocate that she needs 24/7 medical care. All of this has been handled through the Clerk of Court in our county. The first ruling in December 2015 made me my mom's official Guardian (of the person) and that is when my mother was officially declared incompetent, and her husband was also considered incompetent to care for her due to his obvious denial in the court of her Alzheimer's. It troubles me that he was able to convince the court in April 2016, when he took me back tor court with his attorney, to let him care of her and become her Guardian again for the sake of their wedding vows. The court granted his request and did acknowledge all medical statements that she needs 24/7 care, but as far as holding him accountable it goes no further than the court saying he must make sound decisions on her behalf. I do see in the Guardian information for NC that there are many written responsibilities of Guardian's so perhaps I can use this information when I take him back to court again. Thanks for that tip. After our court in Feb, he did increase the care in the home a bit, adding another day to the schedule (although this is non-medical care), so I feel if I continue to take him to court he will continue to add care. Now I filed again, and his attorney is filing to dismiss the case. I have researched and will file an opposition against the dismissal this week. Unfortunately this court only grants guardianship but doesn't get into the requirements or hold him accountable for his actions, at least until she ends up hurt or something I guess? I do speak with the Clerk of Court/Judge sometimes, although he also has to remain mutual. I have a good relationship with him and the Guardian Ad Litem. There is so much to this story I am sure there are missing pieces - let me know if you have other questions I can answer, and thanks so much for chatting through this with me, and for your advice!
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Page, without your own attorney will the ad litem state to the court what is needed by mom and that stepdad is not able to provide that level of care? Has the court found mom incompetent? What are the guardian's responsibilities assigned by the court? Do they give enough power to decide mom's living arrangements?

Often times court assigned guardian's are the best for all involved. It removes the dysfunctional family relationships from the equation. The guardian is mom's, watching out for her health and welfare only. They have to try to remain impartial towards others involved. The only job is what is best for mom. Was the decreased level of care included in a court order? Did the court order 24/7 care by someone other that stepdad? If so SD is in contempt.

You could send the judge a letter stating your concerns. Why was the guardian court appointed in the first place? How did that happen?
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Thanks so much for the quick reply! Families sure can get ugly and irrational - I am so sorry you have been through all of that! His health is not good - he had heart surgery many years ago and has a defibrillator, which actually is the only thing that gives me some peace - if something happens to him and his heart stops it notifies 911 or the doctors immediately. He can't hear, has a bad back, moves very slow, can't lift her if she falls, the list goes on and on. I also just found out last week that he has a melanoma on his arm and is to have surgery. I am waiting for his son to advise me when that is to be. He has millions of dollars, and mom always used to say she was well taken care of after he passes. Little did she know she would be facing Alzheimer's. I do have letters from her doctors indicating 24/7 care is needed, and they have been shared in court before.  It makes me so sad that he will spend thousands on this lawyer, at about $150/hour, when he could be putting $25/hour toward her care and I would leave him be! I do not have an attorney, although I do work closely with mom's Guardian Ad-Litem that was court appointed, but she cannot represent me as that would be a conflict. Do you think my only option at this point is to hire an attorney? I, unlike him, don't really have the funds to do that, but I will do anything to insure my mothers well being. Thanks again for the input!
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Do you have your own attorney? How is his health? I would not hesitate to play the age card. He could have his own health problems. And his age certainly does not make for a good care situation. What if something happens to him and your mom is the only one there?

Can you get a letter from her doctor stating 24/7 care from a pro is necessary?

My twisted sisters took me to court when I cared for mom for four years. They did not want her under my care, it started with an accusation of financial exploitation. HA! One twisted has mom's POA's and knew nothing of the sort was occurring. The court ordered I be paid to provide the care. Twisteds used about 120K of mom's funds taking me to court. They thought a facility would be cheaper. HA! Twisteds wore me down and I quit about Eight months after court decision. Then mom started paying the facility, $6,500 a month plus a private caregiver because of behaviors. So roughly 12-13k a month! I made a very small fraction of that!

Twisteds were more concerned about their inheritance, so spent so much for a court action? Families can get down right ugly and irrational.
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