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How do you do this if the person has no one else to step in and/or is incompetent to appoint POA or DPOA? If they are insisting on living unsafely alone? How do you go about getting out of Dodge without getting in trouble with the law?

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Your other option is to call 911 and ask the police and ambulance to remove the person for his or her own safety because the situation is unsafe. It may not make you the most popular with that person, but this person would be on the way to do a better situation for him or her. Three days in the hospital gains up to 100 days of Medicare funded rehab. Use that time to obtain Medicaid and then a long term NH.

If necessary, you could go further and seek guardianship after having the person declared incompetent. Then it would be completely your decision where this person lives. As the POA, you have already been named by the person as his or her choice for making decisions, and would be viewed favorably by the courts. Unfortunately, this will cost money but should be paid for by the person for whom you are caring.

It's hard. Pam has a good point, but there are other options than letting the county take over. We've read too many horror stories about court-appointed attorney guardians who steal their wards blind. But in your case, you care enough to want the best for the person or you wouldn't be asking the question.
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You call your county office of the aging, and you ask them to take over. Then you resign your POA, in writing and submit that to the patient and the social worker. You have tried your best to save them; let the state take over. Social services will check on her and pursue protective custody.
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