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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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My 85 year-old father has Alzheimer's. He was recently admitted

Customer Question

my 85 year-old father has Alzheimer's. He was recently admitted to a long-term care facility in his home state, Mississippi. My stepmother has his power of attorney. Since visiting him a month ago, I have been unable to speak with him. First, he was in a locked ward of a psychiatric unit at an acute care facility. Since being moved to the nursing facility, I've been told he has needed time to adjust, that his social worker has been on vacation, etc. Yesterday, my stepmother called me to say she didn't appreciate my checking up on HER. All I've ever offered her is support and help (insofar as I can, 1,300 miles away). The assistant administrator of the nursing facility said she would have my dad's social worker facilitate Skype calls between us -- something my stepmother has refused to do (she's even refused to forward a picture one of his former nurses took of us on her iPad despite assuring me she has my email address). I should mention she's been the prototype of the evil stepmother for 40 years. Her level of cupidity knows no bounds. Yesterday, when I again offered her support, she said if I had a million dollars she'd take it. I laughed, thinking she was joking. She did not. She's behaving either (1) paranoid, or (2) guilty. Keeps bringing up having to take all his assets so Medicaid didn't, selling their house, etc. It's creepy though not unexpected. Just wondering if there's anything I can do -- write to a local judge in this Podunk backwater, perhaps -- and ask him to make sure my dad's social worker facilitates Skype calls -- we sent them an iPad loaded with Skype and set up an account for him. All they have to do is turn the thing on and open the app, then click my contact to call us. Yesterday, my stepmother said the assistant administrator had been sharing all my letters and emails to her with my stepmother, and they didn't know how to use the Skype (this is all after the assistant administrator said she would take custody of the device, and keep it locked up, and help my dad's social worker use it with him so we could call). I don't know what to believe; she's been nasty and undermining my whole life and seems determined to NEVER let me have a relationship with my father, even at the end of his life, with 1 brain cell left. He, by the way, was DELIGHTED to see me a month ago, and it gave him a lot of peace; he had been remonstrating himself for not being a better father. All I wanted to do is tell him he was the perfect father for me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
If I may ask, do you know if your step-mother has a legal power of attorney or guardianship over your father? If necessary, are you willing to pursue that yourself? Do you believe that your step-parent is hiding assets or in any way stealing funds from the estate? Please advise so that I can best answer based on your situation, thank you!