Unjust Cruelty: Parents moved apart after 61 yrs.

  1. My Mom and Dad have been married for 61 years. My parents gave power of attorney to 2 of my sisters. I would like info and advice from you to resolve a situation...
    Like I said, Mom and Dad have been married for 61 years. Mother just got diagnosed with AD and a week later Dad went into surgery for gall bladder removal - came out fine. Mother was taken home that night by my sister. Mother fell in driveway and hit her head on the car while falling. Mother was transported to the ER where she was drugged with Ativan, restrained and of course did not understand what was happening to her...She fought (I would have probably done the same in the situation)...But afterwards, my father went to a nursing home for recovery, my mother was scheduled to join him while he recovered. With the ER incident, my sisters decided to put my mother in a long term care facility away from my father - and vowed to never let them see each other again. (I dont understand this, but) I am an wound care RN in the nursing home where Mother was placed. I have seen my Mother all day long while at work and my heart breaks for her. I do not have Power of Attorney that was given to my 2 sisters years ago. My Mother and Dad had lived together in their home until my Dad's surgery (a week ago). For whatever reason, my sister recorded my Dad saying that he never wanted to see my Mother again. Not able to believe this, I went to see my Dad and ask him for myself. He said that he never said this, and that he wanted to be with my mother every second that they had left. He also said that my sisters had told him that she had lost her mind and became violent so they had no choice but to institutionalize her at another facility. (so therefore they lied to him...) My father will be sent home in about 15 more days.
    My mother has no history of violence other than the ER situation. My mother does not understand why she is in the nursing home, and looks for my Dad constantly. She walks the halls, looking in every room for him, all day long. When my sisters visit, they insist on the doctor being called for a X1 dose of Haldol, so my Mom will be basically a rag doll while they are there visiting. (I guess so they can visit without seeing the agony my Mother is induring) My sisters have her glasses and she is not able to see well. Which they have neglected to bring to her after repeated requests. I have made every attempt to convence them that there are other options besides the nursing home and the separation (which is hurting both of my parents). They refuse, period.
    Please advise me of what I can do or how to go about it, to get them home and back together. This is a cruel, heartless injustice.
    Thank you.
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    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 2; Likes: 4
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  3. by   Txnursekristi
    consult an attorney.
  4. by   Jolie
    Perhaps your sisters would agree to professional mediation to help resolve this issue in a manner that is acceptable to all.

    Alternately, while your mother may not be capable of making decisions for herself, it sounds like your dad is. He could arrange (with your assistance) to move to your mom's facility.

    Your sisters may have medical POA, but that doesn't over-rule your father's decision making while he is of sound mind.

    He may wish to re-think his appointment of your sisters to this role for himself.

    My best to everyone.
  5. by   llg
    Yes. Consult an attorney.

    Why don't you simply tell your father to revoke the power of attorney he gave to your sisters? He is still of sound mind, isn't he? If so, he can take command of the situation.
  6. by   NurseCharliRN
    Yes, My Father is still of sound mind. I will attempt to talk to him to see if he will revolk the POA given to my sisters. I wouldn't understand why he wouldn't. But if he doesn't...for whatever reason...I guess an attorney would be the next step. Thank you for your replys, they are greatly apprechiated.
    I can not understand the cruelty my sisters are demonstrating - at all.
  7. by   mazy
    I'm a little confused. Maybe I'm completely wrong here, but my understanding was that as long as a person is competent to make his own decisions about healthcare, than that decision overrides that of the POA. The POA can only step in when the individual is unable to make their own decisions.

    Even your mother, with dementia, if she can be shown to be aware and competent tenough to make her own care decisions, should have some say over what happens to her.

    Definitely consult an attorney on this. Also I would suggest that you try talking to the social workers at both facilities. It's true you don't have access to your parents' health information, but you can alert them to the family situation so that they have a better understanding of what your parents are dealing with emotionally and can provide some comfort for them, and be involved in psych tx options while this gets worked out.
  8. by   StrwbryblndRN
    Wow!, Sorry this has happened.
    I would have him make his own decisions if possible.
    Is there a reason why he is taking so long to recover at a LTC after a choli?
  9. by   JustBeachyNurse
    it is my understanding that a medical poa only goes into effect when the individual is incapacitated to the point where they cannot make rational decisions. if your father is of sound mind, the medical poa is not in effect and your sisters have no say.one question: why would a physician give an order for haldol upon your simply your sisters' request/insistence? wouldn't your mother's nurse not intervene and decline the use of a chemical restraint that is not warranted?

    from mayo clinic: ( www.mayoclinic.com/health/living-wills/ha00014 )
    "medical or health care power of attorney (poa). the medical poa is a legal document that designates an individual — referred to as your health care agent or proxy — to make medical decisions for you in the event that you're unable to do so. however, it is different from a power of attorney authorizing someone to make financial transactions for you."

    if you are capable, the medical poa is not in effect. there is nothing for your father to revoke if he is now competent.

    a medical care power of attorney is a document that appoints someone else to make decisions regarding your medical care. another name for this document is called durable power of attorney for health care. you should know the law regarding this document because of its importance...your medical power of attorney is indefinite unless it has a specific termination date, you revoke it or you become reasonably healthy." ( http://elder-law.lawyers.com/health-...-attorney.html ) (emphasis added in red)

    another resource: http://www.dementiacaregiving101.com...-attorney.html

    good luck. perhaps an attorney or mediation may be needed. but if you father is competent, there is no reason that your sisters' poa is in effect. generally spouse trumps poa in many states so you father would have a say on your mother's treatment/placement, but you would need to speak with an attorney or perhaps the senior services department/ombudsman in your state.
  10. by   Esme12
    Sounds like you need to talk with an attorney and you need to talk to your Dad AND your sisters. Family dynamics in times of stress like this can be difficult.. Momnstudent has some great suggestions and has given you excellent information. We cannot offer legal advice but I am unclear why your sisters get to decide this when your father is legally competent. My prayers for your Dads recovery
  11. by   tnbutterfly
    We cannot give legal advice here. Only an attorney can advise you properly. If your dad is mentally competent, the healthcare POA has no authority. Your sisters are authorized to deal with all medical situations only when your dad cannot speak for himself. You will want to consult an attorney, esp if he wants to change his POA for the future. It sounds like the sisters are way out of line.

    We wish you the best of luck in getting your parents back together.