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My 89 yo parents live in a house and so have two caregivers to transfer my mom to and from potty to bed and back to chair etc. I am POA but not legal guardian....now there is dementia with both and I just found out that mom and dad agreed to give the one caregiver a "loan" for $2800! (her car is always breaking down). Because I cannot refute their offering to her...I did write up an personal loan agreement for her to sign (with NO hope of ever seeing it repaid). Is it time to go to court for full guardianship so I have the power to protect them from this sort of thing? They have limited funds to last their final years and I handle all the check/bill payments....as they cannot. We cannot lose this caregiver as they are very scarce here.

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I'd see the attorney who drew up the POA. He or she could advise you on whether your state would allow you to completely take over their finances or if you need to go farther and try for guardianship. This can be difficult and expensive but it's sometimes needed. Try the attorney first and go from there.
Carol
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Lynn - the DPOA that was done for your folks, did they have an atty do this? If so, I'd contact that atty and ask if they do guardianships and a ballpark figure of the costs and what type of guardianships are available for your state. Like some are just for finances; others for the entire person. Guardianships since they are a defined legal process have a somewhat substantial cost. Based on what others have posted on this site…. maybe 4K - 8K plus will require annual or semi annual filings with the court.

If there wasn't an atty. involved for the DPOA, then I'd suggest you contact the Area of Aging for your region. All states have AoA but their HQ may be in a bigger city. AoA are part of your states Council of Governments which are in all states and serve as kinda a bridge between federal and private grant $ and are paid by your tax $. Some AoA are big full standing agencies (like Houston's AoA) but are still under the COG umbrella for funding (like for Houston it is part of the Houston Galveston COG). The AoA will have names of resources for doing guardianships for low-income situations.

The situation for your folks to be quite honest sounds like it's just one event from there being a domino of problems…… they are both aging, with dementia, living in a home and mom cannot walk on her own if there is an emergency and need 2 caregivers and their funds are limited. They need to be somewhere that has 24/7 skilled oversight. If they are low income, they will qualify financially for Medicaid; mom certainly will for the "medically at need" part for Medicaid & perhaps your dad will also. What is keeping you as DPOA from finding a facility for them and moving them into it and then selling their home? If they need to apply for Medicaid, it's good that you got the caregiver to sign off that the $ 2800 is a "loan", otherwise it will look like gifting and penalize their Medicaid application. Once you move them into a secure place, then The house can be sold and depending on how much it sells for either used towards a spend-down on things they need (like prepaid funeral & burial policy, new eyeglasses & hearing aids, clothing better designed for living in a facility) if it's especially low value OR if the house is worth a lot of $ it enables them to have more options as to the type of facility to be in before they become impoverished and on Medicaid.

What happens if there is any kind of emergency? or bad weather conditions? or other unexpected situation? for them as your mom sounds like she is totally dependent on others. Dad is old as well and with his dementia he may not be able to really do what needs to happen in emergency situation. What then….
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I think you may be able to handle this with the poas you have. My POA for my folks gives me all rights to handle their finances and care. It does not stipulate that they must be incompetent for me to control everything on their behalf. I've been doing everything for a couple of years. Dad with dementia, thinks mom takes care of things, mom knows I do it all and she's fine with that. She can barely drag herself through the day much less deal with bills and finances.

Review you POA with an attorney and determine the scope of your abilities.
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A DPOA is used to avoid guardianship. Guardianship is costly and you are inviting the court system into your lives. You have the authority as DPOA to override the loan they offered. If the caregiver is through an agency you call the agency. Personally if someone is asking your parents for money as DPOA I would remove them from their role as Caregiver. An employee should NEVER accept a loan or money outside of agreed wages even if it is offered.
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I thank you all for your supportive answers and concerns!!! I've gotten final word from my parents atty that all you say is true and I am final word on all of their affairs without the courts involvement!
I also will be taking this loan out of the caregiver's wages until paid...she signed a note to that effect.
I've do have possession of all checks, credit cards etc as I do all finances.
It seems that this issue is resolved and I appreciate this website so much! It's help me in so many ways in the past months...thanks to you ALL!!! love and peace
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You probably already know this but your folks cannot have access to the funds. With dementia they are prime targets for scammers. Don't hesitate to do a little fibbing to make life easier and get stuff done.

And, promises your folks make to people do not have to be kept. You are the gatekeeper. Judge what is legit and what is not.

Good luck to you. Two parents with dementia is a handful.
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Windyridge, et al, I did just hear from our family ATTY who drafted the POAs and she says as you do...no need for legal guardianship...the POAs cover it all.
Thank you all for your guidance and assistance...love and peace
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You can not avoid court if you want to become guardian.
And you will have to return to court, or at least the lawyer will about every 6 months. You will need to keep detailed receipts as to how money was spent and for who. (You buy Dad a pair of shoes and Mom a blouse each has to be noted.)

I think you could recover the money "loaned" to the caregiver. This is Elder Abuse and you could press charges.
If you are going to obtain guardianship and have contact with the lawyer I suggest that you have them draft a letter to the "caregiver" and explain if the money is not returned charges will be brought against them for abuse. (If this is their job they will run the risk of loosing any further employment) I also suggest you find another caregiver.
One way I found 2 good (great) caregivers I contacted the local Community College. They have a CNA program and they also train EMS as well as a Pre-nursing program. I asked in an email to the director if she knew of any students that would want to do private care-giving. I got calls from about 4 people and the first 2 I talked to I hired.

If both are showing signs of dementia it might be time to look for Memory Care for both of them so that they can be together in a new environment together. Both will need more and more care and if one can not care for the other you will eventually have to get help 24/7
If funds are limited you might want to begin the application process for Medicaid. Even if they are turned down at this point at least getting the process started will make it easier in 6 months, 12 months or when ever it is necessary.
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Since you handle all the money, how was this "loan" made? Did they just have $2800 laying about the house? Tell the caregiver, since you are your parents POA, there will be no more "loans", the only money will be for paid caregiving services, and this caregiver is not to ask your parents for any money. Then I would start deducting small amounts from her paycheck to pay on her "loan" until it is paid off. You do have leverage since you control the purse strings. It is not the first time people have been taken advantage of by caregivers. Watch their backs and make sure you make all conditions of employment clear to this caregiver. You have the power. (You can tell your parents not to give money or possessions to this caregiver, but they will forget). Take all money out of their hands so none will be missing...
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I'm sure your parents' caregivers are not doing it for free and you do not give any information in terms of their financial arrangements or caregiver's contracts. As POA you can become their caregiver. If you think you can do better, then by all means do so. It's easy to dictate care at a distance and expect caregivers to do everything for free -- when you don't have to do the work--so why not do the work yourself.
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