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 How do we remove him from the environment? 
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 8
Post How do we remove him from the environment?
This continues to be such a nightmare... I have Dad's POA obtained upon disability (2 doctors have certified in writing...) my 78 yo father has been in a relationship with his 85 yo gf for 16 years. However, he has refused her proposals to him to get married, has lied for years and to anyone who will listen that they are engaged, and he reiterated and reinforced his legal paperwork in 2000 - again declaring that I - his oldest child - should have his DPOA upon disability, be his medical advocate, and be his co-executor of his estate.

Although he has always kept his condo, he has been living with her full time (in Michigan - no common law spouse) for the past roughly 8 years. Dad had LBD, with an MMSE of 20, but he remains more mentally capable of decision making than his gf. (um - that is NOT saying much...) Her physical health however, remains much better than his, and she can still cook, laundry, etc.

Dad's health has been badly deteriorating this past year. His doctor ordered visiting nursing. Dad fell a couple time in as many weeks, and gf wouldn't allow medical visits. "Severe non-compliance" with regard to many medical issues. She hides his walker on him, won't allow grab bars in necessary places, won't pick up all throw rugs, insists upon dispensing his medications by transfering them into incorrectly labeled pills bottles, rather than using pill cases, insists he uses stairs when they have been determined lethal. APS was notified, and an ongoing investigation is underway. However, since I now have dpoa, state informs me that it is my responsibility to figure out what to do.

Such a long story, but hired 24 hr. PA to live with them. This is helpful, although I now find out things like when he spills water, she yells at him. When he won't use stairs due to his feeling weak, she yells at both of them. She tells me to go to hell. She believe she won't have to deal with the PA much longer, and can kick her out of the house.

Dad loves her. He is honestly at the point, that if I came to take him - even for breakfast, he would probably sit on the kitchen floor and hold his breath until he turned blue, to prevent me from taking him out of the home.

This is heart breaking frankly. I live in MA - he in MI.

I'm already forwarding all his mail from the condo. (He never took mail at her home, except his medications from the VA...) I can get med.s to be sent here too.

I can trick him into getting out of the house by having his brother or friends take him out to lunch. I can buy new clothes for him...

This just so horrible. He absolutely knows that she is endangering his life, she lies, etc. he doesn't care - he is willing to bargain *anything* just to stay there.

It's heart breaking. My Dad was such a brilliant eye doctor. It kills me to see him this messed up.

Honestly, honestly - I feel if I leave him there, I feel I'm leaving him in a potentially abusive, neglectful, and perhaps even exploitive situation. The case worker for the state of Michigan writes to me, "I believe that you are a credible and responsible decision-maker, capable of arranging for appropriate care for your father."

I feel so sick. Ok - so after trying harder than you can imagine, my decision is that he must be removed from the environment. Now - how in the WORLD do I do that????

Please, has anyone else gone through something like this? Maybe he just isn't far enough gone, to trick him? What have others done? How do I get him on a plane if he doesn't want to go? Do I place him in a nursing home in MI, against his will? That would go against everything I've ever promised him.

I do have my siblings support - although one has thought me foolish for ever allow him to return to that environment - the other thinks I need to gain his full cooperation, and not pull any "fast ones".

thoughts? please??


Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:35 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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You need to get an attorney. The POA is irrelevant. You must be granted guardianship (conservatorship) of your father. This is a matter for the courts.

In California, this costs about $20K. Start with naela.org to find an elder law attorney near your father.

You should keep his MDs informed. You might contact a social worker at the VA to see if they can offer any guidance.


Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:17 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Vermont
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Dear Cbowlby - I am so sorry for your situation. You must be about ready to tear your hair out over this. Definitely you need to get an attorney. I guess in that situation I'd do whatever it took to get him out of his living situation. Last year I thought I was going to have to trick my dad out of his home and move him into ALF. I knew he wasn't safe at home and needed 24 hour care (because of falls, not eating, bathroom issues, etc.) and he was refusing to even talk about ALF. Luckily he eventually made the decision to move to an ALF that he liked, but I would have gotten him there somehow, even trickery. "Desparate times call for desparate measures." These decisions aren't easy, for sure, but you have to do what you know is in his best interest in the long run..... I wish you all the best in dealing with this incredibly challenging situation. Lynn


Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:49 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:17 pm
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Location: Arkansas
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Joined: 11 Jan 2009
Posts: 76
Location: Arkansas
Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:54 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My family and I had a similar nightmare in getting my mom away from her abusive husband that wouldn't let her move with me as a matter of control. My mother was afriad of him but also felt her loyality to him. We had to keep everything on a friendly "we all want what is best for mom" mode. With a last minute "tug of war" getting mom out of their house to get to the airport, I was able to get mom to come visit me and "give him a break from "caring" for mom". We could only get mom to stay one month then he pressed her to come back. He wouldn't pay for help even tho they had the money. Catholic chaities sent lady 4 hrs 4x a week. My sisters and I flew crossed the US to care for her almost nonstop at our own expience, till mom broke her hip. We finially got her with me. He came 6 mon. later. He still won't let loose of mom's money but is going to have to go bankruped soon (got scammed badly).I'm trying to get him out of my house. Mom doesn't even care if he is here anymore. We have been nice to him for my mom's sake but this has been horriable! I think they are in need of our making those hard discussion for them more then they will let us know.


Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:02 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Vermont
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They need us to make decisions for them. Period. They lose their ability to analyze, reason, understand, make positive choices based on the data that is right in front of them. As someone on the forum just wrote "their reasoner is broken." You can't have a rational discussion with someone who has lost their rationality, no matter how sound their decisions used to be. It just cannot be done. We have to take charge of doing the best we can for them, no matter what. It is not easy, it is not fun, it is in fact, heartbreaking for the most part, but you just have to do it and carry on. It wasn't easy for me, still isn't all that easy, but you do get used to making all their decisions so it gets somewhat easier after a few months. Do I like it? Absolutely not. But you gotta do what you've gotta do. All the best, Lynn


Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:18 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3176
Location: WA
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Well stated, Lynn!


Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:39 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 8
Post New Case Worker
I just received a call from a new case worker from his health care provider. I'm relieved they are giving us one. I'm happy for her to try to work with them. I was greatly heartened by her concern for my father's civil liberties, her instant understanding of my concerns, and her instant ability to recognize exactly the appropriate resources to rally to address my concerns.

I feel I may have an experience resource here who can help me make the best decisions at the correct times, in the most helpful ways. I've little doubt he'll ultimately end up living with us here in MA - it's just the when and hows that have me so troubled...

(And then once he is here, that might be when the real fun begins...) I'll keep you posted, and I'm *still* very interested in your first hand experiences with this difficult transition.

c


Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:47 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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Despite this new resource, you still need to get an attorney.


Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:48 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 8
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I'm with you - my attorney in MA suggests I work with Dad's attorney until I no longer feel comfortable. He set up the DPOA upon disability with Dad, as well as all the other legal paperwork in 2000, and we have been in touch.

I just wrote him again with more specific questions. I also have the name of another attorney in the area that specializes in Elder law. This other fellow seems to be at the top of everyone's list - was recommended by two independent professionals and was top of the list in the community at the site recommended previously.

c


Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:06 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Vermont
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Sounds like you are headed in a good direction. Try to keep your own strength up at this very complicated and stressful time. LYnn


Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:30 pm
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Post I feel your pain!
I wish I had an easy answer for you. I too had a somewhat similar situation.
It is such a fine line to walk, a balancing act between honoring his wishes and keeping him safe.
After my father died my mother lived alone when she wasn't with me due to an illness of some sort. My only sister in Minn.(I'm in Cal) didn't think there was anything wrong with Mom.... She wasn't getting the calls from the police and neighbors. Mom didn't tell her about my father having an affair... She wasn't there to pick up the pieces or mend the wounds from falls etc.
Mom loved her home of 60 years and did not want to leave. I could not use the AD word around her and never Knew she had LB/AD. My mom had always been a challenge! You could never reason with her before LB let alone with it! She made her desires known loud and clear. "You just want to lock me up and throw away the key" I finally got her into AL which did not go as well has I had hoped. She did not want me to bring her bed or sell the house(which lost $300,000 cuz I didn't ) because she needed to know the house was there when she returned.
How did I do it? First I had to get my sister on board with wasn't easy either. My sister suffers from a personality disorder... kinda like being bi-polar. I paid to have my sister come to my home, where my mom was living at the time. I had her pick out an AL facility... We broke into Mom's house to get her belongings. I didn't want to ask Mom for her key... Keep in mind I had been talking to Mom about this for years. At this point she did not know what we were up to. To tell you the truth I can't remember how I actually told her we were going. I do remember sitting around my table, stood up, took her by the hand and walked her to my car. Sometimes words get in the way! We thought we might have to carry her into the facility due to her stubborness. She walked in with my holding her hand. We had a drink at the "social" before going to her room. My sister is a good decorator and we had prepared her room with all of Mom's beloved things. It was good for her for the first year or so. Then well.... I moved her home with me. I have decided when I get to this point I want in home care and have purchased Long Term healthcare insurance in hopes it helps to pay for the care.
As far as your father goes try and be as honest as you can but remember you don't have to say EVERYTHING on your mind. It sounds like the woman he is living with is a case! (like my nurse sister) You probably do need legal support. One good thing in my case was Mom and Dad had a trust drawn up before Dad passed. I just had to figure out the trust and then become trustee once Mom's dementia got so bad.
One more thing I learned- protect them at home or in your home for as long as you can. What seems like bad gets worse.... AL facilites are not the same as nursing homes. They do not have medical care like you would expect and nursing homes are more for physical issues from my perspective.
Good luck! My prayers are with you.
Sharon10


Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:10 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 8
Post He is here!
I wanted to update this group...

It was a very very difficult struggle... and we are still in a transition process. But, this is nearing the end of Dad's second week here, and both he and the woman he has been with, understand that he is not returning.

I had four different agencies involved with this case - including the state he lived in due to one of the medical groups having contacted Adult Protective Services. It was just that clear to everyone, that the combination of his medical needs and her denial of that reality, was a fundamental threat to his life. Her refusal to allow him to use the commode on the toilet, which resulted in completely unnecessary humiliation, the forks, knives, and dishes being thrown around, combined with one of the medical groups refusing to send any single person there (would have to come in teams - presumably to have a witness) just left no doubt that allowing my father to stay there, would be down right immoral.

A case manager (from heaven - I am certain) flew him here. Frankly, I afraid if I went, he would argue with me to the point of making a scene at the airport. With the case manager, they had a lovely flight, chatted, etc. Dad is really such a pleasant fellow. Most everyone, even in her family with the exception of herself and one daughter, seem to understand I had tried everything and there really were no other options. She and one of her daughters seem to want to press the point - perhaps in a court of law. But, even Dad doesn't want that.

He had asked me how we can hurt her the least. I told him we need to allow her to re-engage with the world. Have his friend take her to lunch - encourage her to go back to her health club - go to the salon - invite her to visit here if she would like. But, that the worst thing for her would be if this ended up in court. Honestly, she would be humiliated and the only ones who would benefit from the experience would be the lawyers. He understood that.

It is still hard. They still speak each night, and likely will for a while.

Dad had wanted to send her some money, as he has been giving her money for years for food, etc. I told him I thought that was a good idea. He seemed surprised - he said he thought he'd have to take me to court to be allowed to send her money.

I told him that at least from his family's perspective, none of this was about money. That this was all about his health and safety. It is his money, and he should spend it in ways that give him comfort and keep him safe and healthy. Hearing this seemed to turned the tide in his mind, and he began to recognize how incorrect information about his family had been burned into his mind. He turned to me and said, "You really aren't doing this to be vindictive, are you?"

I sighed - nearly cried - and said, "Oh Dad, never."

This has really been a nightmare...

But, if anyone else finds themselves in such a difficult spot, all I can say is hang in there. Constantly remind yourself of the goal, and not all the outrageously unfair obstacles that prevent you from doing what you know is in your loved ones best interest. I could never have kept this perspective without my husband. He has been wonderful through this whole thing, and really enjoys having his father-in-law hanging around. My brother and sister have also rallied - thank goodness. I don't know what would have happened if we had splinter over all this...

In the end, despite the injustice of this disease too, I am so grateful for what I hope to be years of pleasant moments, spent together as a family..

I think I can start to breath again...

thanks for listening

(And I'm sure I'll be seeing you in the other topic areas!!!))


Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:36 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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Sounds like you are doing a great job!

I worry that you are depending on your dad to be somewhat rationale...


Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:53 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3176
Location: WA
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I'm happy for you that this situation has been resolved amicably. I do hope, however, that someone in your family has a legal and medical POA for your father, because the time will come when you will need it. You are in my prayers. --Pat


Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:54 am
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:39 pm
Posts: 92
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God bless you for your loving care for your dad. You will never regret doing all you're doing. It will be a big change in your lives, but rewarding in the end. My prayers for peace in your family.
Judy


Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:58 am
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