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Pressing On
Lots of good advice here!

Yes, even if you are doing long-distance caregiving, you need your own lawyer on the ground who is familiar with the situation in that particular area.  I've never met mine, but she's "the" eldercare attorney there and is very willing to do phone consultations.  She also knows my Mom's attorney and has been able to work miracles with lawyer-to-lawyer calls.

Keeping a log is critical.  Which nurse/aid did you talk to, who called from the bank, etc. etc.  You'll be glad you did.

My parent now has another relative in charge, but I'm glad that I did this when I was the POC.

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I agree, get your own lawyer. I was able to find one who looked out for both my mother and me at a time when it was really needed. My mother's lawyer was worthless when I went to see him about a situation where Mom had people living with her taking advantage and she wouldn't listen to me or anyone else. Today it's a whole new ball game which I will put in an update post.
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Very good advice!!  I wish I'd read this before I was my mother's live-in caregiver for fifteen years; it would have saved a lot of heartaches for me when she died. 

On another note, there has been a lot of publicity on Mickey Rooney's story of being fleeced by "someone close" ... either a relative or close friend, I've never read exactly "who."  He says "My money was taken and misused" and also claims he was verbally abused.  An article on Rooney's situation appeared in the April 2011 AARP Bulletin.  These circumstances are sad and often repeated ones, and definitely should be cracked down on.

HOWEVER, I believe just as often, it is the elderly's caregiver who is the one abused.  I was, and many others here experienced this too, but for some reason, that situation never gets attention, and the general public turns a deaf ear to it.   
My list is long: 

For starters, her care was extensive.  She had a colostmy stomach and wore a bag which had to be changed at least once a day, and she had to be irrigated two or three times a week;

I was compelled to take early retirement and sacrificed my retirement benefits by $65,000 (if I live to be 82, which I probably will);

I was not paid a salary and room and board was not free;

in fact, I contributed toward household expenses when my mother's two retirements funds slightly exceeded my state salary. 

It was not me, but my  brother who had power of attorney over her so I had to go to him if I needed to have him approve a check for her care or personal items, and was always cross examined, plus give him the receipt!

My brother and his wife always managed to find something to critize about

He was spoiled rotten and jealous of the fact that I was living with "his mama" as he always referred to her;

yet glad that I, his only sibling, was taking good care of her and keeping her out of a nursing home. 

He never once gave me any words of appreciation for all that I did.  Worse than him was his wife, who had an inordinate interest in my mother's estate.  Long, long story which is told in detail in another thread.

I am writing AARP Bulletin and telling my story and suggest that they run a story on the flip side of the coin.  I urge others to join me in doing the same.

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Hi, yet another question for you all in this thread (for background, see this thread)...

Based on the advice of others, I've decided to limit contact and have tried to take steps to do so.  The NH keeps calling and I've let them know I've done all I can do and that I can't restrain my father if he's mentally capable and wants to go somewhere by himself.  So now they want me to write a letter of permission basically relieving them of liability.  I told them I'm not his decision maker, he is his own, but in response they say they need a letter from BOTH him and myself then.  I'm just wondering if anyone has had any experience with such?... time for me to consult a lawyer?  I don't want to be liable anymore than the NH does, and I don't believe either one of us (NH nor I) should be.
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Hi Janey

I am in the UK but would think that the basic principles still apply:

If your father is mentally competent he is legally able to make his own decisions however foolish or ill-advised they may be. You have no responsibility or right to deal with his affairs unless he wishes it AND you consent.

The nursing home is just looking to shift the potential liability. However they are pefectly capable of dealing with the situation without involving you.

As has been mentioned recently, what would happen if you weren't there?

Your Dad would still be an N, he would still want his own way, and if he insisted in leaving the NH they couldn't do anything about it, but they would get him to sign all the disclaimers they could.

I would keep stonewalling them.

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Wow thank you Lara, that's brilliant.  I have to consent!  I've only had about 2 hours of sleep and was feeling so mopey, but you made my day.  I feel much better now!
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Who would have ever thought that we would have to take such precautions when we said mama or daddy you are coming to live with me.  I certainly didn't and I'm none of you did either.  APS doesn't give a rats ass that you have give up your life, put everything you had planned for the future on the back burner so that you could make sure you honored your mother or father and gave them the most warm loving home you could provide instead of placing them in some rest home where some stranger who did not love them could check on them once or twice a day. 

It is a shame that in North Carolina it is easier to call APS and have them in someone's home within 24 hours on an anonymous phone call.  But if you want to make a complaint about someone in a nursing facility, you must fill out a form with all your information , the patient that you visit and how often you visit,  what happened, how it happened, where, who was involved, any witnesses, happen before? when?, how often, was it reported? Who was told? When were they told?  See they want so much detail if we complain about the facility  and then they give you a STATE MAIL SERVICE DROP BOX NUMBER  yes! after all that they want you to mail it in you don't even get to email or fax it in.  Now that is a Shame and Disgrace and the State of North Carolina which I dearly love should be be ashamed.  

The Adult Protective Service has been given too much power! Hell have of them don't even hold a degree yet they have been given a turn to sit on the District Attorney's Dick and are forgetting they too have mothers.  It is my prayer that God will remind them very soon.  
p.s.  I hope my southern honesty hasn't offended anyone if it did may I make my apology now

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Just wanted to let everyone know that this thread itself has been a great help!  I found it about two weeks ago, and had a visit by a social worker yesterday.  I certainly have to say a detailed journal; with date, time, activity, any details is a good thing to have.  Even down to how much food and drink is given at each time.  If you are emptying catheter bags and bed pans; try to document "output".  Keep receipts of what you spend on the person, and details if money is spent on you or your family (in order to avoid financial abuse allegations)  If sharing a home; have something written up documenting the arrangements to include if there is any rent, who pays what towards electric, and so forth.
  And something in general to keep in mind; trying to save their dignity wont save you from possible charges.  If any new readers have anything new to add; please do so.  I can use plenty of tips from different perspectives.
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Sorry if this comes up twice. Can't figure out how to get this to post!!

This is my second foray into the world of elder care. I have not been successful finding info online related to the in-law. So I started my own blog a few weeks ago. That has helped me mentally. I'd be more than happy for feedback and to hear that I'm not alone! Feel free to check out:  
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I am beginning to question whether caring for my father is the right thing to do. how will i ever have time to take care of him and spend all this time documenting everything? i barely have time for what i manage to get done as it is!
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Care-giving is must for all age group.
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Really appreciating you
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