Thursday, October 01, 2009

Taking Some Steps

Ed, Jane and I visited a lawyer today to explore options for Mom's situation. She's still not coherent, cannot get out of bed or a chair without help and has other issues. The hospital has called Jane a couple of times to ask if anyone could care for her at home. That answer is a resounding NO.

So, thanks to my landlord's suggestion, we visited a lawyer today who specializes in Elder law. She was wonderful, guiding us through what steps we need to take.

First up, she and a notary need to visit Mom at the hospital to see if she's coherent enough to allow us to make Jane power of attorney. I think that means we need to visit her this weekend to let her know we're doing this for her. If she's not cogniazant enough to agree to a PoA, the next step is to appoint a guardian. The lawyer really wants us to try the PoA first-it's cheaper and easier to work with.

Then, she explained how their assets worked and can be protected. She agreed that we have to refuse Mom's return home, because Florida has Elder Abuse laws on the books that require health care providers to do everything they can to keep her safe. If she's released to home, and falls out of bed, it can cause trouble not for the hospital, but for Jane, because it would be charged that she wasn't caring for Mom properly.

There were a few annoying things and a few revelations that made my jaw hit the floor. I asked Jane to list all their credit cards, amounts due and who's name was on them. Instead, she just made a list of what they pay out every month. It ends up the lion's share of their debt is because they CHARGED the purchase of their swimming pool! Yikes. Oh, there was another money thing that really ticked me off-but Ed did warn me that when I found that one out, I would be furious. He was right.

There's other things that we have to do, and after we take care of Mom's situation, we'll have to do the same all over again with Jane, but knowing what needs to be done is a huge help.

Now, if only I could wiggle my nose or blink my eyes and make all the work finish itself. Alas, I'll be doing most of it. Yay.

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