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ELDERLY MUM - POA QUESTION

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
58
My elderly Mum is 89, lives alone about three-quarters of an hour's drive away from myself - her only child *daughter) and next-of-kin; her only other known living relatives are my married daughter who lives and works in London and a male cousin up in Yorkshire . Mum has been widowed for 17 years and has numerous medical complaints - asthma, emphysema, diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration and within the past year has also been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). She's also deaf as a post and refuses to wear her hearing aids so trying to communicate with her id difficult and stressful at the best of times !

With the coronavirus lockdown, not only is Mum having great difficulty in either doing her grocery shopping or getting anyone to go shop for her, but she's also constantly complaining she's lonely, doesn't see anyone as well as giving me an ear-bending every time I speak to her about how I 'ought' to have moved nearer to her when I separated from my now ex-husband six years ago, so that I could be of help to her and she could help me out if I became ill. I've told Mum that my moving back to Southampton after 47 years of living in Portsmouth is out of the question because my home and lifestyle is in Portsmouth now, and nor am I prepared to get rid of my pets simply for Mum's convenience so that it would be easier for me to be, I n effect her unpaid carer.

Mum has now got to the stage where she admits openly that she can't manage by herself in the bungalow where she's lived for over 40 years and has started talking about going into full-time residential care; she would be a self-funder, although as she's never ever discussed the state of her finances with me I don't know the exact state of her finances. I strongly suspect she doesn't have any idea of the cost of full-time residential care. If Mum had to go into a care home, she says there's one she would particularly like to go into subject to there being a vacancy of course BUT it's in a location somewhat difficult for me to get to by public transport (my finances are such that I will be selling my car in the near future).

My big question is that I've told Mum openly that should she decide that a care home is what she definitely wants, then without a POA being set up to give me the proper legal authority to decide where she lives and to access her funds to pay for said care, I don't wish to get involved in this situation at all - and if she goes into her preferred care home of choice it will be very awkward for us to visit her there. Mum says she's got a POA set up but can't say with whom, and it certainly isn't with me because I've never been asked to sign any official documentation about this. So either Mum hasn't got a POA set up at all, or it's with someone else! I have therefore this afternoon sent off the OPG100 form to the Office of Public Guardian to find out whether there is any sort of POA registered with them.

If I ere to be given the relevant POA then because I am the next-of-kin and will shortly not have any transport because I am going to have to sell my car, I would obviously want to find a care home for Mum that's near to where I live and which is easy for me to get to for visiting; there is actually a new, purpose0build care home specialisi9ng for people with dementia opened up only recently and what's good about it is that not only is it within walking distance of where I live but I've read good reports of it also. It's privately-owned so would be quite expensive of course - and there's also the only council home for people with dementia that's also within easy walking distance from where I live too, so that's an alternative I could consider. BUT without the proper legal authority to make these sorts of decisions for Mum I'm not prepared to get involved.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation of having to find a care home for a relative, that's not in the location the relative would prefer and if so what sorts of problems have you faced with this?
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
313
My elderly Mum is 89, lives alone about three-quarters of an hour's drive away from myself - her only child *daughter) and next-of-kin; her only other known living relatives are my married daughter who lives and works in London and a male cousin up in Yorkshire . Mum has been widowed for 17 years and has numerous medical complaints - asthma, emphysema, diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration and within the past year has also been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). She's also deaf as a post and refuses to wear her hearing aids so trying to communicate with her id difficult and stressful at the best of times !

With the coronavirus lockdown, not only is Mum having great difficulty in either doing her grocery shopping or getting anyone to go shop for her, but she's also constantly complaining she's lonely, doesn't see anyone...
Hello - just a quick thought - would mum be better in independent living? With a cafe and games room and a community around, plus some supervision and of course the option to have carers visit if she needs them for medical help?
She sounds so 'with it' in terms of where she wants to live and, indeed, where you should live and who has her LPA (which I find very intriguing, if someone else is on the LPA, not you, why aren't they helping out?) I wonder if it's a bit soon? But of course, you know her medical needs much better. But if you can widen options to independent living maybe there is somewhere closer you could think of?

My dad liked the idea of a home where one of his friends (long gone now) lived but it was so expensive we never brought it up when he needed to move, but he is in a lovely place now, after trying out independent living and failing to live independently even with a lot of help. You'd soon know if mum wasn't coping in an independent living facility.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,824
North West
My elderly Mum is 89, lives alone about three-quarters of an hour's drive away from myself - her only child *daughter) and next-of-kin; her only other known living relatives are my married daughter who lives and works in London and a male cousin up in Yorkshire . Mum has been widowed for 17 years and has numerous medical complaints - asthma, emphysema, diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration and within the past year has also been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). She's also deaf as a post and refuses to wear her hearing aids so trying to communicate with her id difficult and stressful at the best of times !

With the coronavirus lockdown, not only is Mum having great difficulty in either doing her grocery shopping or getting anyone to go shop for her, but she's also constantly complaining she's lonely, doesn't see anyone as well as giving me an ear-bending every time I speak to her about how I 'ought' to have moved nearer to her when I separated from my now ex-husband six years ago, so that I could be of help to her and she could help me out if I became ill. I've told Mum that my moving back to Southampton after 47 years of living in Portsmouth is out of the question because my home and lifestyle is in Portsmouth now, and nor am I prepared to get rid of my pets simply for Mum's convenience so that it would be easier for me to be, I n effect her unpaid carer.

Mum has now got to the stage where she admits openly that she can't manage by herself in the bungalow where she's lived for over 40 years and has started talking about going into full-time residential care; she would be a self-funder, although as she's never ever discussed the state of her finances with me I don't know the exact state of her finances. I strongly suspect she doesn't have any idea of the cost of full-time residential care. If Mum had to go into a care home, she says there's one she would particularly like to go into subject to there being a vacancy of course BUT it's in a location somewhat difficult for me to get to by public transport (my finances are such that I will be selling my car in the near future).

My big question is that I've told Mum openly that should she decide that a care home is what she definitely wants, then without a POA being set up to give me the proper legal authority to decide where she lives and to access her funds to pay for said care, I don't wish to get involved in this situation at all - and if she goes into her preferred care home of choice it will be very awkward for us to visit her there. Mum says she's got a POA set up but can't say with whom, and it certainly isn't with me because I've never been asked to sign any official documentation about this. So either Mum hasn't got a POA set up at all, or it's with someone else! I have therefore this afternoon sent off the OPG100 form to the Office of Public Guardian to find out whether there is any sort of POA registered with them.

If I ere to be given the relevant POA then because I am the next-of-kin and will shortly not have any transport because I am going to have to sell my car, I would obviously want to find a care home for Mum that's near to where I live and which is easy for me to get to for visiting; there is actually a new, purpose0build care home specialisi9ng for people with dementia opened up only recently and what's good about it is that not only is it within walking distance of where I live but I've read good reports of it also. It's privately-owned so would be quite expensive of course - and there's also the only council home for people with dementia that's also within easy walking distance from where I live too, so that's an alternative I could consider. BUT without the proper legal authority to make these sorts of decisions for Mum I'm not prepared to get involved.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation of having to find a care home for a relative, that's not in the location the relative would prefer and if so what sorts of problems have you faced with this?
I see your dilemma, but having LPA does not mean you can over rule your mum if she has capacity, which it seems she does from your explanation of matters, and you may get a shock if she objects to being placed in the wrong care home and deemed to have capacity as she would be returned home -and rightly so. An LPA is not a license to dictate the terms on which you will act. Perhaps better to aid your mum to carry out her wishes as matters stand and avoid a more difficult situation and potentially damaging one -just a thought
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,994
London
There are two LPAs: one for property & finances and one for health & welfare. To sign them she must be fully compos mentis, which also means for the time being you cannot take over in respect of the health one and can only assist with finances if she agrees to that (when you find out whether there is one or not). Therefore, for now, all you could do is gently make suggestions and show her the care home you prefer - but you cannot overrule her.

In terms of difficulties shopping, could you set up weekly deliveries for her? At her age, she should be given a priority slot anyway, but at least at my local Asda, online slots are now available again to the general public.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,281
I agree with @Palerider and @Beate . Having LPA doesn't overrule your mum's wishes if she has capacity. She sounds very manipulative and I agree with trying to find out whether LPA exists, I suspect not. I think this may be perhaps emotional blackmail to try and get you to do what she wants, ie move closer. She probably has no idea about the cost of care as you say. I would be trying to put help in place . If you obtain LPA for finances and she agrees to your access, you can arrange care and help yourself as she is self-funding
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
295
im almost through the process and is long drawn out process that i had help with from alzheimers society which i recommend they took me right through it and filling trhe forms with me.its only if my husband loses capacity and is in his best interests. he can ask me to talk for him as he gets confused with illness and dates eg at the gp.
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
58
I agree with @Palerider and @Beate . Having LPA doesn't overrule your mum's wishes if she has capacity. She sounds very manipulative and I agree with trying to find out whether LPA exists, I suspect not. I think this may be perhaps emotional blackmail to try and get you to do what she wants, ie move closer. She probably has no idea about the cost of care as you say. I would be trying to put help in place . If you obtain LPA for finances and she agrees to your access, you can arrange care and help yourself as she is self-funding
I think you're definitely right about the emotional blackmail bit; Mum has always been like this and it's partly why my now ex-husband wouldn't have anything to do with her for the last few years we were together. I can see why Mum would want to have me living close by her, but she doesn't seem to appreciate that I've lived in Portsmouth for 47 years now so this is my home and where my life is - also, having not been involved in moving house for over forty years she doesn't realise how much the cost of moving house is (even if I was prepared to uproot my home and life, which I'm not). Mum says that if only she knew, she#d help me out financially, but knowing Mum if that were the case then she's expect to have a say in where I lived which I've never agreed to at all. And with Mum also being deaf & refusing to wear her hearing aids it'd be next to impossible trying to explain anything to her.
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
58
There are two LPAs: one for property & finances and one for health & welfare. To sign them she must be fully compos mentis, which also means for the time being you cannot take over in respect of the health one and can only assist with finances if she agrees to that (when you find out whether there is one or not). Therefore, for now, all you could do is gently make suggestions and show her the care home you prefer - but you cannot overrule her.

In terms of difficulties shopping, could you set up weekly deliveries for her? At her age, she should be given a priority slot anyway, but at least at my local Asda, online slots are now available again to the general public.
I've mentioned the prospect of weekly online deliveries, but it would have to be organised from my end as Mum doesn't have/believe in the internet, and she wouldn't be willing to give me her bank details so I could arrange payment direct from her bank account. Mum still believes she 'must' get to see the groceries in person before she decides what to buy - and even if she did otherwise agree to my organising an online delivery for her she'd still have to phone through her list to me first - which is where the difficulty arises because she's so very hard of hearing that telephone conversations are virtually impossible :(
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,873
Dorset
It sounds like your Mum could do with carers going in and doing her shopping and things for her, could you suggest that to her?
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
58
It sounds like your Mum could do with carers going in and doing her shopping and things for her, could you suggest that to her?
Mum had had a friend come to take her grocery shopping once a week, but the friend hasn't been since the pandemic started so Mum has to struggle out on her own to get her shopping. Neighbours can't help as they're all even older that she is. She used to have a cleaner come in once a week to do the dusting and vacuuming, but not since the pandemic started. I have suggested getting a carer/companion to come in (before the pandemic started) but she's always refused this because she doesn't like strangers or people she doesn't know coming into her home.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,873
Dorset
Everyone is a stranger until you get to know them!
Maybe you could make enquiries with a Care firm to see if they have any spare capacity to help your Mum once a week? If they can send the same person on a regular basis then she would get used to them.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,994
London
Can you find the Covid Mutual Aid group for her area and explain the problem? She's elderly and vulnerable, they can get shopping to her if she agrees. They have a huge network now, and churches are helping too with food parcels. They wouldn't even have to come in, just drop the shopping in front of the door.
 

Roseleigh

Registered User
Dec 26, 2016
322
Your mum sounds like a difficult character BUT being difficult and stubborn is unfortunately often a feature of early dementia (MCD) . My mother is rather similar to your mum though somewhat healthier, and less far down the road.

I suggest that you gird yourself with patience and try to have a serious face to face talk with your mum. Its positive that at least she is willing to consider a care home. Try too to get to the bottom of the LPA thing. It may be a figment of her imagination, or she may have lied be cause she cannnot accept she needs one - deluded. There are a lot of things to consider here. Does she own her own home , and would she wish you to inherit it? If so then it would be wise to try to avoid a care home . If she were to move near you into a sheltered flat, and if you are prepared to give her some support, then she may be able to see out her days there and the inheritance preserved.

If she is NOT in her own home then you may be able to get her in to the council care home or council sheltered accomodation near you, on medical grounds. You have to try to communicate with her to get the outcome thats best for both of you or else it will rumble on until a crisis takes out of your hands and social care step in.
 

mikemikemike

New member
Apr 16, 2020
7
As I understand it - One potential fallback in the event of her being deemed not capable of consenting to important decisions, applying for guardianship might be worth looking into.
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
58
Your mum sounds like a difficult character BUT being difficult and stubborn is unfortunately often a feature of early dementia (MCD) . My mother is rather similar to your mum though somewhat healthier, and less far down the road.

I suggest that you gird yourself with patience and try to have a serious face to face talk with your mum. Its positive that at least she is willing to consider a care home. Try too to get to the bottom of the LPA thing. It may be a figment of her imagination, or she may have lied be cause she cannnot accept she needs one - deluded. There are a lot of things to consider here. Does she own her own home , and would she wish you to inherit it? If so then it would be wise to try to avoid a care home . If she were to move near you into a sheltered flat, and if you are prepared to give her some support, then she may be able to see out her days there and the inheritance preserved.

If she is NOT in her own home then you may be able to get her in to the council care home or council sheltered accomodation near you, on medical grounds. You have to try to communicate with her to get the outcome thats best for both of you or else it will rumble on until a crisis takes out of your hands and social care step in.
Mum owns her bungalow; the mortgage has long since been paid up. She says she wants to stay in the bungalow for as long as possible, to preserve it as my and my daughter's 'inheritance'. Both my daughter and I agree that if Mum were to need to sell her home in order to fund her care then so be it; Mum's having proper care is more important to us than an inheritance.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,145
Mum owns her bungalow; the mortgage has long since been paid up. She says she wants to stay in the bungalow for as long as possible, to preserve it as my and my daughter's 'inheritance'. Both my daughter and I agree that if Mum were to need to sell her home in order to fund her care then so be it; Mum's having proper care is more important to us than an inheritance.
Myself and my sister feel exactly the same way. I expect that most people would prefer to leave their family an inheritance but we're currently in the process of selling mum's home (which has been in the family for 90 years) as ensuring that she gets the level of care that she needs is far more more important to us than any inheritance.
 

Roseleigh

Registered User
Dec 26, 2016
322
Mum owns her bungalow; the mortgage has long since been paid up. She says she wants to stay in the bungalow for as long as possible, to preserve it as my and my daughter's 'inheritance'. Both my daughter and I agree that if Mum were to need to sell her home in order to fund her care then so be it; Mum's having proper care is more important to us than an inheritance.
OK I hope you didnt think I was suggesting that you didnt want her to have proper care to protect the inheritance , I wasn't, but at the same time its important to acknowledge that its your mums preference to preserve her home to pass on to her descendents, just as no doubt you hope to pass on yours to your daughter.
Bearing this in mind the best option would seem to be some kind of private
sheltered accomodation near you, that she could purchase, preferably the 'extra care' type where she has the option to eat in the restaurant, get help when she needs it etc.
Her dementia may never become severe , it sometimes seems to be slow in the very e lderly.
This way she would be able to preserve a property investment.
You could also maybe rent out her bungalow and she rent a flat?

Seems to be a lot in Portmouth!
 
Last edited:

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,824
North West
Mum owns her bungalow; the mortgage has long since been paid up. She says she wants to stay in the bungalow for as long as possible, to preserve it as my and my daughter's 'inheritance'. Both my daughter and I agree that if Mum were to need to sell her home in order to fund her care then so be it; Mum's having proper care is more important to us than an inheritance.
My mum was the same originally and was clear about remaining at home to the point she had refused LPA for health and well being (this is when she still had capacity and good clarity on matters). I think it is a hard path to take and eventually the point came where mum couldn't stay at home. After some fights with the SS and informing her solicitors of her decline she finally went into care last November. I think from my own experience its something we have to keep check on and take things as they come, which makes it hard to plan ahead. But I felt it was best to place mum into care when she had lost her ability to know -her awareness as it seemed kinder than forcing her earlier on -which I could not have done in any event. Even so it has been hard not having her in her home and the guilt was overwhelming at times and still is, exacerbated by visiting restrictions.

It would be hard for you to visit your mum if she went into a care home of her choice, but it maybe that you have to allow her that grace rather than force an issue which I know isn't ideal from your end of matters. But as others have said there are options to try first before looking at care homes which may work well or not (in mums case she refused the carers most of the time).
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
58
My mum was the same originally and was clear about remaining at home to the point she had refused LPA for health and well being (this is when she still had capacity and good clarity on matters). I think it is a hard path to take and eventually the point came where mum couldn't stay at home. After some fights with the SS and informing her solicitors of her decline she finally went into care last November. I think from my own experience its something we have to keep check on and take things as they come, which makes it hard to plan ahead. But I felt it was best to place mum into care when she had lost her ability to know -her awareness as it seemed kinder than forcing her earlier on -which I could not have done in any event. Even so it has been hard not having her in her home and the guilt was overwhelming at times and still is, exacerbated by visiting restrictions.

It would be hard for you to visit your mum if she went into a care home of her choice, but it maybe that you have to allow her that grace rather than force an issue which I know isn't ideal from your end of matters. But as others have said there are options to try first before looking at care homes which may work well or not (in mums case she refused the carers most of the time).
So long as Mum has her wits about her and if she decides she wants to go inti residential care - if the place she wants to go into is difficult fir me to get to, that's not the main worry. The main worry, which ,y daughter agrees with me on, is that Mum is happy and well cared for wherever she may go to. But I have made it crystal clear to her that if she decides she wants to go into a place that's awkward for me to get to then she must accept that she'll see me less often than she's like.
 

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