Visiting resident restricted by POA, does she have the right to keep me out?

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I was a resident for a few weeks and became friends with my roommate. I have been discharged for quite some time and still go to visit this woman at least once a month, now her sister, who rarely visits, and is her POA doesn't want me to visit any longer. I think she is jealous because I bring nice things for her sister. The woman's daughter works there too but only stops in very early in the am while she is still in bed and that's her visit. I gave this woman a cell phone that belonged to another friend who didn't want it, and paid for it monthly. I provide her shampoo and body wash and lotions. Her family brings very little and visits very little. This woman still has her faculties and is very clear in her thoughts. Her sister does not want me to visit her anymore, because she is the POA, does she have this right to keep me out?

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Before you report any suspicions to anyone that anything untoward is or may be going on with your friend, I’d make darn sure I could back up any accusations I’d be making. Is the woman truly isolated, or are you the only one who isn’t allowed to visit? Any accusations you might make could be looked upon as “sour grapes” because you were told not to visit. If you make a stink, her family could retaliate and make things very uncomfortable for you.

Before I took it any further, I’d speak with the daughter and find out what’s going on. Unless, of course, you are not on speaking terms with the family. In which case it would absolutely be looked upon as sour grapes.

I would let the contract run out on the phone and not renew it. Then I would find myself a nice Senior Center or volunteer group and make some friends who appreciate my friendship. Consider this a lesson learned.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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If your friend is still mentally competent and only physically challenged, she can change her POA, could that be the fear?

I would call the ombudsman and have them go visit and let your friend know that she has say so over her life. Isolation from friends and loved ones is cruel and should be stopped by all means available.

I would not criticize any family members for what they are doing, you open a can of worms when you do that. My dad can say some of the most awful things and then he will tell others that the person he was talking to said it. He enjoys keeping everyone mad at everyone with him being the good guy, which is really difficult for some people to see. (Not saying your friend is like that but if she is constantly bad mouthing her family, could be she is telling them your conversations slightly altered.)

Talk to the daughter and hopefully she can get the aunt to let you visit. Just be mindful that people usually do the best they can, whether we personally think it's good enough or not is our problem, not theirs. So best to sympathize with friend but never add your 2 cents about how bad others are doing. Not trying to scold you, I have had people hate me because my dad has said I have said things that I didn't, people that know me know I will say it to you not about you, but people believe what they want to.

I pray you get to visit your friend and all is well on that front.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Even if the family and POA do not have the authority to ban you from visiting sometimes facilities like to err on the side of caution (also know as cover your a$$). Perhaps a third party can mediate this conflict or you and friend might want to contact the ombudsman.
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Reply to cwillie
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I think that there is more to the situation than what you know or realize.  As a family member, I would be "miffed" if my mother's former roommate gave her a cellphone (and also paid for the cellphone) without asking or telling me.  It would cause me to wonder what the motive was behind the gesture.

Since the daughter works at the facility, she is probably visiting her mother prior to starting her shift.  If I was working at the facility, I would do the same thing.  And I would not always visit after work (because I was too tired or needed to get home to my family) or on the weekends or evenings since I just saw my Mom that morning.  If there was a special event or activity, then I might attend that with my Mom.

It doesn't matter how often family members visit.  People can be lonely even if family members visit every day and even have a meal with their loved one.

Talk respectfully to the daughter and ask her why the sister has restricted your visits.  It is possible that your "former" roommate gets upset after you leave (because she can't leave) and then calls her sister to cry or complain that "nobody visits me" or "I want to go with my roommate".

Added:  You might also talk to the nurse manager or the social service worker assigned to the nursing unit to see if they can give you any insight as to why the sister is limiting your visits.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Actually - no. POA does not give a
person the authority to override the principals - your ex roommate - choices and decisions UNLESS the principal has been deemed legally incompetent and/or meets the criteria for activation of the POA as outlined in the document.

This seems to be a frequent misconception among POA’s - that merely having a POA document drawn up gives the POA person named immediate authority. It doesn’t.

In fact, in most states it is considered elder abuse to isolate the principal from friends and relatives.

Still, one would like to assume that the POA sister is acting in your friends best interest. Perhaps there are other reasons the sister is looking to limit your visits that you are unaware of. Have you tried to discuss the issue with her?
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Reply to Rainmom
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You’re welcome. I do feel, however, that we didn’t answer your question. I can “hear” that your feelings are hurt over the loss of the ability to visit with your friend. I can only suggest that you speak with the daughter who works there if she could spare you a minute. Speak frankly with her and tell her you miss your friend and feel the need for an explanation as to why you’re being denied visits with her.

One cannot know or understand the family dynamics in this situation. There could be things going on that you are not aware of. You have only your friend’s experiences to draw on. I know in my mother’s case, when she spoke about me, the things she told people...well, luckily they didn’t take her seriously or I would have faced Adult Protective Services. And, she was competent at that time too.

I do suspect that the purchase of the phone may have had something to do with your being shunned, especially since you are also footing the bill. The family may feel you think they weren’t providing for her and perhaps it would have been better if you’d cleared it with the sister/daughter first. Just my humble opinion.
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athena1234 Sep 17, 2018
Yes I agree with you that the phone is suspect and u should not step in as maybe she uses the phone to call her family too much and they do not like it and you should visit only not provide a phone and pay..my Aunt used her phone like a emergency to get attention calling the rescue squad to get attention...……..three times in one week from her home having panic attacks all just to demand that someone come and see her...
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Thank you for your answer< it is appreciated
No she is not incompetent, she's lonely and we enjoyed each others company,
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Reply to dorisg714
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It’s very curious that if you two were friends and you are nice enough to bring this lady small gifts of personal products that her sister would go so far as to ban your visits. Yes, as POA she does have that right to ask that someone not visit.

It’s really not for you to judge or say that the woman’s daughter is wrong for visiting when she does, be it early in the morning or late at night. Perhaps the daughter visits when she can, and it’s at that time. And perhaps the sister visits when she can as well.

Did you check with the daughter or the sister to see if giving your friend the telephone and paying for the service was alright with them before you did it? The woman may be calling them at all hours of the day and night. My mother did that to me until I had to take her phone. It was a kind gesture on your part, but there may have been a reason she did not have a phone.

Im sure your intentions with this friend were kind and good, but the family may feel you are interfering. Drop your friend a note occasionally or if she keeps the phone, call her. But I would not press the issue of visiting.
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dorisg714 Sep 14, 2018
Thank you for the reply, I understand better now. But,
#1, This woman is not incompetent.
#2. She already had a phone but wanted one like mine because
texting was too difficult on the phone she had.
#3. I paid for her phone because she never had the money to do it.
#4. Her sister rarely visits, she doesn't see her for weeks at a time.
#5. She doesn't have her sister's phone number.


In conclusion,
Now we don't get to enjoy each others company which saddens both of us. I don't think this should be taken away from her,
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It would depend on whether your friend has been deemed incompetent by medical staff.
Whether or not the POA has the legal authority to prohibit your visits if she were challenged, she may have the political clout within the facility to get her way.
Its unfortunate your friend is in such a situation. I’m sorry.
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