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Does a health care proxy gives the right to send mom to a home?

This question is actually about my godmother who never had kids and I'm the only family member she has close to her. I'm the one that has been sort of taking care of her and supporting her through the first stages of her diagnosis. We are also second cousins (my mom is her direct first cousin).

My godmother has been first diagnosed with Alzheimers over a year ago, and now her diagnosis changed to frontal lobe dementia. Doctors understand that she can not live by herself any more and have suggested that she gets either a home attendant 24/7, or to move into a assisting living facility. She is still very capable and has good mobility, however she has a mild congnitive decline, borderline moderate cognitive decline. She has always been very independent and she is very convinced that there's nothing wrong with her. I know that relocating her to an assisted living facility with memory care is something that she will not be too happy about, however doctors, health care proxy, POA, acountant and I believe it will be the best for her.

My question would be the following:

If my godmother doesn't cooperate with the idea of moving into an assisted living facility, can the health care proxy and/or POA make that decision for her?

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide me.

Best regards

Status: Open    Aug 27, 2016 - 05:23 PM

Dementia, Elder Law > Guardianship

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Expert Answers

Aug 31, 2016 - 11:17 AM

First, it does depend on the state she lives in. Talk to an Elder Law attorney in that state and she/he can give you specifics. In general though, unless you have been appointed as her Guardian, she has the freedom to say no to your request to move into the ALF. You have no parental-type authority over her. Even if you were her Guardian, if she is raising heck over being placed there, many facilities will simply tell you that they don't want her. There is no "guardianship Police" or anyone who can compel her to move. You would have a better chance with a Guardianship, but it isn't a guaranty, in other words.
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By wljohns on Sep 04, 2016 - 10:49 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

When my friends with no children and no close family members made me their power of attorney for the health care and their finances (2 different documents), they checked the boxes giving me complete authority to make decisions, even if they disagreed with their ideas. I acted carefully about this, just monitoring their spending at first, then progressively helping them more and more after their licenses were revoked and finally finding an AL facility with nice sized memory care units and convinced them they needed to do this once the wife became incontinent and started to wander, needing 24 hour care. They didn't want to leave their condo, either, but in the end there was little choice. I was able to make their memory care apartment look just like their bedroom and den at home, the two places they spent almost all of their time. Once they moved in, there was no talk about going back to their condo, they felt like they were "home." I just assumed those notarized POA forms gave me the authority the forms said they did, so I don't understand this other aspect about not being able to compel them to move.

By stephanie.jackson.1270 on Sep 05, 2016 - 06:00 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I'm in the same boat as the last responder. My mother-in-law is between stage 4 and 5 of Alzhiemer's disease and she currently has 24 hour care. My husband is her POA and we want to relocate her from her home in Maryland to a memory care facility in Ohio where we live and I assumed we could do this because of my husbands POA. Do we need to obtain a court order to become her legal guardians as well?

By anisenholtz on Sep 10, 2016 - 05:31 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

When my mother was unable to live on her own, we were able to get her to leave her house by first getting her doctor to tell her she could no longer be alone in her house. She listens to her MD when she will not listen to anyone else! Then we took her on a 'college tour' of facilities we thought she might like (we pre-visited then only showed her the 'finalists'). Most places have 'respite care' options whereby they will take someone for a short time - say a month. We told my mom she could try out the places she liked, then move on to try out a different place. Her house was waiting for her, just as she left it. We did this mid-winter, so it was like going on a vacation. We called it 'Camp Grandma'.

Not having it be a 'final' decision made the process easier for her to handle. The downside to this is the furnishings in the room are what the AL place has on hand, not her things. When she moved in for real and we were able to set up her apartment with the furniture and art she was used to, she was much happier.

We kept her house for some time after her move (it was not a big expense). There was a lot of clean-out to do before the sale, and I live out of state. When I would visit for several days at a time, I would take my mom back to her house and give her a small job (sort through a drawer, eg) while I tackled clearing out something else. There were items that would keep her occupied for hours, too, like sorting through boxes of old cards and letters. She eventually tossed almost all, but it was good for her to go down memory lane and feel part of the process of the house sale.

My cousin had my aunt live with his family when she could no longer live alone. They utilized respite care and Senior Daycare during this time. When it was time for my aunt to be in AL full time, it was an easy transition as she was used to the facility because she had been there for respite care.

In both cases, having a slow move and involving my mom and aunt in the decision process was less frightening and stressful. We told my mom (truthfully) that nice places book up, and she should make the move before it becomes an emergency, like after a fall, when she might not be able to get into the place she wants.

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