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What if I don't have POA but suspect a problem?

My mother and I are estranged. I have always suspected that she has cognitive and emotional problems, but she's also an alcoholic and there's a lot of overlap there. She passes every cognitive test she's been given--she hasn't been diagnosed with dementia.

She does however, turn to people I don't know for caregiving. For instance, she has someone's name on her checks that I don't know. She will not tell me who her power of attorney is, etc.

I've suggested we go to counselling or see a psychiatrist together. She says I can just talk to her directly, but this does not work. She eludes my serious eldercare questions with trivial talk or worse yet, accusations.

Are my hands tied regarding this and will I just have to wait for the grand reveal when something happens to her or when she dies? I don't want this. Do you have suggestions?

Status: Open    Sep 20, 2015 - 10:30 AM

Elder Law

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Sep 29, 2015 - 11:40 AM

If she is competent she can choose whom she wants to give her assistance with her finances and her care. You can suggest that she see an elder law attorney to discuss any issues related to need for skilled nursing placment within the next 5 years. Tell her to go without you so that you do not influence what she tells the doctor. If the attorney suspects abuse or exploitation he/she will have to notify DHR, DHS, DFACS, etc. If there is no dementia, no exploitation and she does not appear to be at risk for exploitation there is nothing you can do. You could tell her doctor your observations but the doctor likely cannot tell you anything about your mother. If the doctor has observed anything that indicates lack of capacity a letter stating such could be provided to you or the probate judge for your county. Hopefully you will continue to work on the relationship with your mother and regain her trust.

Oct 29, 2015 - 01:02 PM

You can always call your local agency on aging to investigate potential elder abuse. As an interested party could certainly ask for an inquiry.

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Oct 29, 2015 - 01:02 PM

You can always call your local agency on aging to investigate potential elder abuse. As an interested party could certainly ask for an inquiry.
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