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POA Adjustment, Quality of Life for Mom, & Some Venting
Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:57 AM
Joined: 12/18/2019
Posts: 2

It's been a year after my mom's diagnosis and I'm still feel like I have no idea what to do. My mom was diagnosed with EO Alzheimers at age 60 December 2018.  She is currently in a nursing home and has an outside hospice care provider. My brother is 25 and is her POA and is completely unfit. the diagnosis was so abrupt I went on autopilot and allowed him to become the POA because I was in shock. I am 23 and I've always been the one in my family to take care of everything (scheduling drs appts, updating paperwork, ensuring bills were paid for, cleaning grocery shopping, and overall caring for mom and the house while my brother was causing financial hardships) My brother and I don't have a history of getting along. He was the screw-up-college dropout  and I was more like the older sibling though I'm younger. I regret allowing him to become POA. I don't even know what I was thinking. I was so stressed out with school and the new normal of my life, I just allowed it to happen because I felt so shocked. At the time of her diagnosis, I also loss supportive relationships with my father, aunts, uncles, and cousins and was left alone.  The entire family took her diagnosis bad. They were against her being placed in a nursing home and against the diagnosis. Now, no one talks to each other. I just don't know what direction to take. I know I need to get the full POA in my name, that is a goal for January, but how do I go about it? How should I go about it with my brother? Will I need his consent? I don't even talk to him.

Also, my mom's nursing home isn't up to par. The nursing home lost her glasses and aren't trying to replace them. I provided them with her prescription and they came up with an excuse to why they can't replace them. The excuse was that they are unable to transport her to the eye doctor. Which is irrelevant because they had a copy of the prescription, they could just order the glasses! The nurses are rude. Her nursing home also doesn't have an Alzheimers unit. I am strongly considering placing her somewhere new when I get POA. How do transfers work? What are they like?

My mom quality of life is very low. She is 61 completely incontinent, has to be spoon-fed, has tremors, immobile, has to have a bed bath, and is morbidly obese. Prior to the diagnosis, we never discussed what she would want if these things were to happen. I remember her sharing with me that she was afraid to die, but looked forward to being reunited with passed loved ones. I have no idea how to make sure her wishes are honored because she cannot communicate her needs. What can I do to improve her quality of life? I feel like a failure of a daughter because I don't know what to do and allowed her care to be in the hands of low quality providers. How much should I visit? Honestly, I can go about 3 weeks without visiting or calling to check on her because I put myself in autopilot and get consumed with school and work. I am in the process of seeking a therapist because I believe my actions during this process has to do with underlying emotions and trauma. I want to be a better daughter to my mom and I am filled with guilt because I feel like I am responsible for this mess. 

Please provide any advice you can.

Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2019 12:42 AM
Joined: 5/2/2014
Posts: 760

Hi there,

sorry no one has responded to your post. You may want to post on the caregiver board where you might get more responses from others who have been in similar situations. Yours if a tough one and you may have to seek out an elder care attorney. Your mom at this stage of the disease is not capable of changing the POA. As hard as it is, you need to come together as a family and decide how to best handle her care. If this is not possible, that is where an attorney would need to be hired and you would have to seek legal guardianship. it is a long and expensive process when family members are not in agreeance.

Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2019 6:15 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 4157

I am so sorry you and your family are facing this disease.

Given your description of your mom's progression, she would not be deemed competent to sign documents naming you her POA. You would have to go the route of guardianship which, as Tink mentioned, is not inexpensive, a sure thing or even something that can be done quickly. The process would likely damage whatever relationship you have with family unless the consensus it that your brother has been negligent. 

Even if you did manage to get guardianship, transferring your mom to a better SNF may not be easy unless she has considerable assets to self-pay. If she's on Medicaid, it might be difficult to get a Medicaid bed in a better facility without a long waitlist. 

IMO, the best thing you can do for your mom's quality of life is to visit her often. I think working with a therapist is a great idea. This is a lot to process at such a young age.
Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2019 10:59 AM
Joined: 12/18/2019
Posts: 2

Thank you!