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Dad is 89, with moderate dementia (personality intact, but little short term memory and no ability to manage his own affairs, which I do as his POA). His wife died a year ago and he wanted to stay in his house. Although I live out of state I have cobbled together in-home care for him, which has been immensely stressful but he tells me it will kill him if he has to move to AL.


His primary caregiver does a good job of looking after him, but recently I caught her being dishonest with me and I'm very concerned. Short back-story: I have 1/2 siblings in another country, also my dad's children, one of whom keeps asking to see his will (he is not wealthy) and they are upset I'm in charge of his finances. Like REALLY upset. One of them is a ruthless narcissist who will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. I've already told her A. he made a will after his wife's death last year and B. he's since been diagnosed with dementia and deemed incompetent to sign anymore paperwork.


But she is coming to visit soon, and has been constantly messaging and calling his caregiver to discuss my dad's will, her suspicions (which have no founding) etc. Problem is caretaker talks to sibling and discusses these matters, and doesn't tell me. Not only that, caregiver denied talking to her! She was hiding it from me. As I am the one legally responsible for my dad's care and finances, this was a red flag.


Also: 1/2 sibs called APS on me last year and they investigated and found nothing wrong and closed the case.


Any thoughts on how to handle this? My concerns are:


1. can't trust caregiver, but need her as she's good with dad and I don't live here and have no one else.


Is it ok for her to be communicating with other family members (not POAs) about my dad's affairs?


2. 1/2 sib is visiting and will cause much havoc (she always does) trying to rewrite dad's documents, will in particular, despite warnings from lawyer and myself.


Thanks for any thoughts!

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It's unethical for your caregiver to be discussing your dad's financials or any other aspect of his personal private business with anyone. Additionally, caregivers should not be inserting themselves into family business. Family situations can be complicated enough without a stranger who is not family weighing in.

I also agree that there should be more than one caregiver for the practical reasons listed (what do you do if she gets sick or needs a day off). That's she's good with your dad is one thing but she's dishonest and you admitted that you can't trust her. You must be able to trust the person who is caring for your dad. She's already demonstrated bad judgement at least once.

And on your last point, your 1/2 sibling can desire to change your dad's will all she wants but a will is a legal document that requires your dad's signature. If your dad isn't competent to sign or doesn't want to sign she's going to be wasting her time. Especially if there's a lawyer involved.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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No, it's not alright for a caregiver to be communicating with others about Dad's affairs - financial or medical - unless a competent Dad or POA has given permission. Dad's privacy rights continue to his death.

It is appropriate for a caregiver to provide general status information - your father is feeling well today, enjoyed his breakfast, took a walk, etc. to a family member as long as the POA or employer has not forbidden contact. In some situations it is necessary to restrict contact. I have a toxic sibling that is allowed to see my father in MC as long as he abides by the rules (don't upset Dad, don't badmouth MC to Dad, treat MC staff with courtesy) but is not allowed to contact my mother at her request.

The caregiver is your employee and like any employer you have the right to set the conditions and rules of employment. Total honesty would be a major requirement for me - if your caregiver lies about talking with half-sibs because that makes her uncomfortable, what makes you think she won't lie about some aspect of your father's care when she's "uncomfortable" about it?

Depending on a single caregiver when you are so far away is problematical anyway. Eventually either your caregiver is going to be ill, go on vacation, quit or your dad's care giving needs will increase beyond what that single care giver can provide. If Dad still has friends or family that visit in his home, please consider moving your Dad to a nice MC close to his home. If Dad is isolated in his home, please consider a nice MC closer to you. Dad may well benefit from the greater socialization in the MC and adjust easier than you believe.
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Reply to TNtechie
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Double check the paperwork you have giving evidence that your father has been 'deemed incompetent' to sign any more paperwork. And make sure you keep those documents safe - you need to absolutely sure they stick. Safeguard the other important documents as well, including the will.

I would suggest then that you show the evidence documents to your carer. She was obviously feeling guilty and embarrassed when she denied talking about it. Perhaps you drop your step sister in it and say that you understood from her that the carer had discussed it. You say that you don't know if that is right or wrong, but you would like her to know the true situation. Make sure she understands and is convinced. Then ask her please not to support any attempt to discuss or arrange any new documentation. With luck, that might change the carer's ideas of who is right or wrong, and get her helping you as well as your father.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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