Elderly / Power of Attorney Abuse
October 23, 2012 11:35 AM Subscribe
What can I do to protect my elderly mom from my abusive and greedy sister?
My sister, who has power of attorney over all of our 85 year old mother's affairs, verbally abuses her on an almost daily basis and takes her sweet time getting her the medical care she needs when she's sick, and now that mom is in hospital, she is telling the doctors that mom wants limited care because she has "lived too long" and wants to "die naturally." She even told a nurse "mom doesn't need that" - referring to an antibiotic injection. Oh and mom's house has somehow gone up for sale while mom is in hospital.
Based on her actions and what visitors to the hospital have overheard, I believe with every fiber of my being that my sister is abusing her power of attorney and doing her best to withhold treatment that could prolong mom's life, while not doing anything illegal to shorten it - if that makes sense. For example, she told the doctors mom doesn't want treatment when in reality mom doesn't want to be put on life support if that's the only option left which is VERY different from mom doesn't want an antibiotic to cure an infection. Do you get what I'm saying?
But my hands are tied because mom has given my sister all the legal power, so how do I prove that she is not only abusing her power of attorney but also trying to hasten mom's death by misrepresenting my mom's wishes to the doctors?
I do not have the means to hire a lawyer or anything like that because I'm on disability for Post-Traumatic Stress, Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia, which, in itself, makes me look like the "crazy paranoid sister" who is just imagining things.
I did contact the hospital to voice my concerns and begged them not to listen to my sister but to do everything within their power to treat mom aggressively for everything that CAN be treated, no matter how old she is or how sick she is. They assured me that their first priority is always patient care BUT because mom can't communicate her wishes herself, they have to do what the power of attorney (my sister) decides.
How do I protect my mother? How do I get anyone to listen and do something before it's too late?
We're all in Ontario Canada, if that matters.