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Hello my step dad has raised us since we were toddlers. My step dad gets a social security check and has dementia. My mom always mistreated him cause he didn't know any better and loved her. She never worked and he managed to take care of all of us. We just found out she put him in a nursing home. He's not capable of signing anything or agreeing to anything and she knows it. We're pretty sure she has doctored up documents and has some kind of power of attorney. She has insurance on him as well. She stopped wanting him decades ago but he couldn't see that. She only stayed cause he was a good provider and didn't have to work. She wouldn't divorce him either knowing she didn't want him years ago. It's all about the little funds he receives. This is why she would never divorce him. If one of us decides to let him live with us how does that work? She will put up a fight I'm sure. She may even have papers stating no one is to go get him from nursing home. I plan to go visit him today. Would we have to pay an attorney to help us get him? She just left him there and has no plans on seeing him. It's like she's waiting on him to pass away. It's very sad. We just want to let him live with us and care for him like he did for us all those years.

For SDad to be in a NH he had to be evaluated and a doctor sign off especially if on Medicaid. Do you really think Mom is gaining from this. If there is money, she is paying at least 10k a month for his care. If on Medicaid his SS and pension goes for his care. Mom will not be left indigent so there r adjustments. So she is not getting rich while he is in NH. For whatever reason. Mom doesn't feel she can care for Dad. That is her choice and POA gives her the right to make decisions for him if he is found incompetent.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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You say you have only just found out that your much loved stepfather is in a nursing home.

Well, as it's only just now that you've heard this news, first of all find out a lot more about what has been going on.

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

I hope your Stepdad's care arrangements turn out to be much better for him than it looked at first sight.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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First, your should talk to your mother about helping with your step-father's care. Be pleasant about it - no accusations or attitude that your mother had basically abandoned your step-father or how mean she was in the past. See what she will tell you or you can determine from a walk around the house or a visit to your step-father. Things like who is your step-father's PCP, what medications does he take, does your mother have POA or is she merely exercising her spousal rights (in many states no POA is needed with a doctor's letter declaring someone is incompetent, the spouse is the default decision maker), etc. If your step-father has not been declared incompetent and agreed to his placement, get him to sign a HIPPA form so you can discuss his condition with his doctors; maybe consider asking him to sign POAs. Don't be disappointed if he is willing to leave things in his wife's hands; he may not agree with your view of his marriage.

If your step-father is incompetent and your mother is as resistant as you expect, then your best bet is probably going to be getting an elder law attorney and filing for guardianship and conservatorship (these are separate in some states but still usually combined). Most attorneys are going to want an up-front retainer but if you are granted guardianship it will be reimbursed from your step-father's funds. The court will appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the situation that will be able to access your step-father's medical and financial records.

As guardian you will be able to decide where your step-father lives and be able to spend his money for his care, subject to court review and approval. You will be required to submit a comprehensive report at least annually on expenses and the state of his finances; many states have additional requirements. If you plan on being a personal care giver you will need prior court approval for any funds paid to you. Paying outside caregivers for in home respite care is easier, usually only requiring an accounting of the expense. During the court hearing for my father's guardianship, I presented my plan to manage his assets and care so I got approval to sale his home to fund his MC at the time the guardianship was granted. It's not enough to feel you can provide better care, you need to show the judge a plan that shows you know how to provide that better care. A court hearing is not always required for Court approval after you have guardianship, sometimes all you need to do is submit the request in writing to the court.

Please remember that as his wife, your mother has the right to spend his money pretty much as she pleases. It is very unlikely that any court will find she is mismanaging his money in any significant manner. At home care is not necessarily preferred by the court either, depending on your step-father's current condition. Most dementia patients will require a facility in the disease's advanced state. At home care that conserves assets until facility care is required is viewed more favorably. I believe one of the things that greatly helped my guardianship petition was I had a plan for managing the money from the sale of the house and rental property to maximize its potential to provide care for both my father and mother for a number of years.

Guardianship is not an easy road, either obtaining or handling all the responsibilities. Be sure you and your siblings really want this and are ready to handle all those responsibilities before you start down this path.
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Reply to TNtechie
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He would not be there if his doctor agreed that this was the best option for him. Evidently, his care became too difficult for your mom, it does for many. How often did you see stepdad before the placement? What do you know about stepdad's illnesses and care needs?

I would make every effort to see what you can do for mom that would help instead of blaming mom for the placement. We really need much more information.
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Reply to gladimhere
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