Family Caregiver vs. Family Member w/ Power of Attorney

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hgshamp
Family Caregiver vs. Family Member w/ Power of Attorney

Perhaps someone out there could set me in direction to get some help. My family & I (my husband & 4 children) have been caring for my grandparents (Grandpa passed just before Thanksgiving) for nearly 3 1/2 years now. My uncle holds their Power of Attorney. Their house has been reverse mortgaged & we do not have access to any of their other assets (not that we are interested). However, the heater has been out since before LAST winter & my uncle said that he does not want to repair/replace it. We are using several space heaters to attempt to keep warm, which has increased our electric bill 200% (yes, we pay most of the household utilities)!! We asked him to help pay the difference in the electric bill, which he did, but then he cut back on the monthly amount that he has been giving me to help pay the bills & buy groceries, etc. for her, by 75%!! His reasoning was that SHE is not the only one that uses the heat. My grandmother gets cold when it is 90 degrees outside, so she is absolutely freezing with the high in the house rarely reaching 69 degrees and the lows usually around 52-54 degrees. We keep her bundled in sweatshirts, jackets & blankets and the rest of us just muddle through.
We have managed to work together (my uncle & I) for the last 3 years to make things tolerable for everyone, I would hate to ruin that relationship, but what can be done to get him to take this heater thing seriously?? A friend has said this is tantamount to elder abuse, but who is at fault?? My uncle for not taking care of the property, as he has Power of Attorney, or my husband & me seeing that we are responsible for her daily care??

You need to have a very

You need to have a very serious talk with your Uncle I'm not going to call it abuse as long as you have some heat but it may be a code violation. It needs to be dealt with even though it might be expensive. Also if you are caregiving you should remind your uncle that it would cost money to replace that.

From a person who is a state

From a person who is a state worker in Human Resources:

1. This is considered elder abuse on the part of your uncle b/c he is not maintaining adequate heat in the house. Consider him equal to a negligent landlord, which is also against state law.

2.B/c you are needing to use multiple space heaters in place of properly working furnace, Uncle is causing a fire hazard and possible carbon dioxide poisoning. CO2 could be leaking from the furnace.

3. Go to your city hall and find your Code Enforcement Officer. Run the situation by him and see if when central heat is not properly maintained, is it a violation of city code.

4. Fire Marshall -- You may want to check with this person also because of the possibility of CO2 leakage/poisoning.

5. In no way are you and your husband responsible for elder abuse as long as you are actively pursuing other avenues to rectify the situation.

6. Social Security does not recognize POA. Would you be willing to be the representative payee for Grandma's Social Security check? It would be deposited in an account your uncle would have no access to if you become the representative payee.

7. Grandma's rent. . . Take the previous month's bills [electrical, water/sewer, gas, trash pickup, telephone, groceries, (insurance & taxes on the house divided by 12) and any other bills. Add them together and divide by the # of people in the house. That is your Grandmother's rent.

8. Please consult with an attorney who specializes in elder law. Your local lawyer referral service can give you recommendations. Check www.naela.org/findlawyer, The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Hope this is a start.
xoxoxo

I would say this is neglect

I would say this is neglect by Uncle at the very least. Plus, space heaters can be dangerous. They cause fires and can emit carbon monoxide. Making a formal complaint against your uncle may be your only recourse. Attorney's are expensive. See if the above suggestions work for you. You may have to break down and repair the heater because while everyone is discussing who's responsible for the bill Grandma is freezing to death. I am NEVER cold, I'm always hot but upper 50's would be freezing even to ME.

I am super sensative to # 7

I am super sensative to # 7 above. We took payment of home help grant checks from 2006-2009 for my mom.. we covered expenses for her for 1996-2005 before we ever had her apply for medicaid it wasn't on our radar cuz we had means to help..stressful as it was. my mom has lived with me since 1996, she's now 75 i'm now 44. my kids (3 of them 14, 11, 5) were not born, but now know ONLY a life that is chaotic and caregiver/patient infused with poop & pee smells, caregiver & provider traffic in/out of our home for years.. everything must be locked up, we 've never used our own home's hallway bathroom until this year (we mortgaged our current home in 2000 - not my mom's asset..) we have devoted (mainly because of my commitment to her) more than 70% of my time towards her care her life...things are moving in a different direction now.. However, to the point of #7 - I had ONLY signed and agreed to be the recipient of that ward check "home help grant" because she did NOT have sufficient funds to pay other caregivers. She was always mentally capable however physically unable to sign her name - the application for the home help program was filled out based on area agency suggesting we try for this as an added benefit at DHS (My mom was on another medicaid program at 2005 called choice waiver which provided some financial return to me for care.. but by no means anything near what we have put out or put into her life quality AND have asked for area agency to staff it numerous times to no avail.. staffing for short visits to change incontinent 3 x day was the component being covered.. anyways, in 2009 it was discovered during a DHS or AAA1B visit with my mom which I happened to be present at (sometimes I was home when they came other times she met with the agents on own); in this case it was revealed that she should NOT have been enrolled in that 2nd program it was a medicaid violation.. so we were investigated and I had a notice months later that the outcome was a release of financial liability via a status the notice called "administrative oversight" and had personal conversations with the aaa1b / dhs worker on behalf or with my mom which indicated we should not be worried it's all cleared... That's how I recall this.. However, in 2013 I received a notice that I (not my mom) Must repay $27,000+ for the home help program of $665 /mo .. her caregiving is typically NOT event 24 x 2 but costs at $1500-2500 /mo depending on what I can cover and not get paid for (or my kids or family friends etc..).. it's a LONG ordeal however I'm being asked to SIGN an "INTENTIONAL OVERPAYMENT AGREEMENTH" and/or still possibly be at risk for federal criminal MEdicaid fraud charges... When getting to the root of this issue the govt says there was no document that they can find that is a notice of administrative oversight or clearance.. I now don't have that notice either and most of my mom's years of boxes of papers are now being opened and sorted (literally 7-10 storage boxes of papers -s he can't use her arms, her legs or her neck down she's incontinant and I deal with crisis of the day or issue of the week to maintain her in our home.. never ever did I even handle her checking book balancing noone did, it was not on my radar.. keeping her healthy, fed, and clean was always my priority.(besides my kids, my regular work job and my husband & life!).. anyways, it's an ordeal and it got worse.. the govt is claiming that I am responsible for all my mom's medicaid benefits if they turn up overpaid or whatever..so why did I sign anything in the first place? BECAUSE medicaid and medicare and even private pay providers back in 2006/2009 were requiring a signature on documents and she could not sign.. so I would ONLY sign if I was present and when they asked me to sign her name I would say NO that's fraud.. Out of pure desparation to get past the dispute of they need a signature she cannot sign.. I would sign this way "my name for her name" - this is the root of why I am being called the "Client" and anything she has received essentially is considered an extension to me... I'm Disgusted and at the moment practically paralized in this situation myself.. TRYING to release it to GOD knowing my truth of what was sacrificed and that monies received were NOT a financial gain - gainful employment is a joke for me and I never stopped trying, in hindsight should have chose between my life or hers "to live.. not meaning physical death, but more a metaphoric life ..emotional / time wise.." I currently am struggling with her physical needs, her medicaid beneficiary sitautions - legal ones, my 3 kids and work as self-employed (lost over 5 clients this past 3 months, all had signed contracts SIGNIF money none of which will be received because of the chaotic non-professional schedule I kept on delivery of those sold services....Lost to the unpredictable bowel movements of my mom, the no-show caregivers, the legal distractions, the emotional turmoil and then my kids minor items like a forgotten lunch during school year or a lost shoe, tummy ache... MY BAD JUDGEMENT translated to my kids as lessons to aim to learn from: 1) DO NOT SIGN anything NO Matter the pressure unless you are willing to be on the hook for the value - EVEN if you say, I'm worried to sign something with my name on it and the person says back it's not going to ever be an issue it's just paperwork I need to complete for my job.... 2)BEFORE COMMITTING TIME To anything or one eliminate another commitment - My desire to help overtook my logic of 24 hours in a day of which humans need at least 4 hours of sleep every so often !! MY apologies for invading your posts, but I'm deeply distrubed in this arrangement and the timing of reading the note above about considering taking money on behalf of someone else... whooo it was a bit too close to my raw angst as a caregiver of 20+ years caring for my mom in MY home from age early 20's to 44 from 0 kids to 3 and to be where we are now....ugrgrg GOD Bless you all and may everyone find peace in their own paths, I'm seeking that now for mine and praying the paths affected by my bad judgements with good intensions are able to be cleared up of the obstacles potentially blocking journeys. Thanks for the vent forumn, hopefully I'm not kicked out :( caregiver burned out years ago.. me

correction #6 above (about

correction #6 above (about considering the soc sec check to your account..) - blessed to have ability to even see that correction, but just blown away by the reality of my 1/2 lifelong caregiver journey :) peace!

EdwinBrown
Late to read, but was

Late to read, but was searching for the same.