Long Distance Elder Care: Are my hands tied?
January 16, 2012 7:15 AM Subscribe
Long distance elderly care dilemma: Advice on moving my 85-year old aunt to assisted living from a rehab center and out of her dilapidated house in rural upstate New York.
My 85- year old spinster aunt lives alone in a rural community in upstate NY. She is currently in a rehab facility where she was sent after a hospital stay that resulted from a visit to her doctor's office. She had gone for a regular checkup and the doctor discovered she had some significant lung and heart aliments that required immediate hospitalization. At the hospital, it was determined she was "deconditioned" and needed to build up some strength as well as receive on-going care. Hence, admisssion to a rehab center.
She refuses to sign a health care proxy, despite the entreaties of her new doctor, the facility social worker and myself. She also will not sign a power of attorney so I can manage her affairs (I am the only relative she has). Despite all this, she is mentally clear as a bell and despite some short term memory loss, quite competent.
On a visit last weekend, I saw that it is clear from her condition that she will never go to her home again and that assisted living is her next destination. I did stop by her house which is on a dead end street in a depressed area and which is basically falling apart.
My question: How do you liquidate a house and its contents if you have no legal standing? Are there agents or brokers who can do this for her? Given her condition--can't walk nor travel by herself--how does she get home to take stuff she wants? [She has nothing with her except the clothes she had when went to the doctor three weeks ago]. I don't have a key and I live 500 miles away.