Ok, so where was I? Oh, yes…so, after I returned home, across the country, I just couldn’t bear the thought of my family living in that environment. I knew they needed help, to get rid of the hoard, to get and keep the house clean, to help them bathe and take them to appointments and errands. And to make sure they put their feet up and actually go to bed and take their pills.
So, I searched out on the internet where to begin, and found the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and was directed to the local AAA for their region, aka ‘Milestones’. So, I talked to them, and had a very interested and helpful counselor. She told me they do what is called ‘Options Counseling’ for the elderly who are either at risk for or are self-neglecting. That fits my family exactly. They don’t have the authority to remove anyone unless a judge or doctor has ruled them incompetent. So, my making this call had nothing to do with using POA, nor did it have anything to do with removal. It simply was a way for my family to be told what would need to be done to make the house habitable so they could stay there after the leave the nursing home where they are for rehab. I also found that while the Police will be more than happy to do a wellness check, if the home is habitable, and the family has not been found incompetent, then even the police can do nothing. So all I have done is ask for an outside party to explain that they really need to make their house habitable so they can stay there, since they don’t want to listen to me.
Well, I tried to call them at the nursing home, but when they found out it was me calling, they told the nurses they didn’t want to talk to me. So, I tried again last night, and just got told they were busy. So I tried again today, and one was sleeping and the other being showered. (If she really accepted a real shower, I am impressed by the staff there!!). So, they are avoiding me, and are not being very subtle about it. So, I guess I am persona non grata since I care about their well-being. And it’s not only them, it’s my step-mother too. She is my late father’s wife, who was like my family’s own son. He would never have allowed them to live as they are now. He would have cleaned the house out himself or moved them to a facility. Not because he would be upset, because he would just never let them live in such an intolerable state. His wife, R, has been pushing to get them out of their home for the last 3 years since my dad died, and now that I am in agreement with her, and am actively pushing AAA and Milestones and the doctor to help get them into a home or to fix up their own home, she is suddenly on their side, suddenly against them having a habitable home or moving to a nursing home. She is suddenly not on my side of my family’s best interest. She is not returning my phone calls, not replying to my emails, and told the lady at AAA that I was no longer POA (even tho talking to AAA/Milestones does not require POA, nor does asking them to provide Options Counseling)….but she and the sisters have failed to put in writing that I am not POA any longer and have failed to execute a new POA without my name, and have not told the healthcare providers that are caring for them that I am no longer their POA….so I question the validity of the statement by my step-mom to the AAA that I am no longer POA for the sisters. But that aside, I have done nothing that requires the use of POA in the first place!!
So, I get why my cousins, the sisters, are upset with me, because they don’t want to have to change, don’t want to get rid of the hoard or have someone clean the house and them and take them places. But they need it. And if they don’t accept it, they are self-neglecting, and maybe I can get a doctor or judge to agree. But what I don’t get is why my step-mom has made such an about face after being so gung-ho on getting them moved. Why does she suddenly want them to stay in such an environment, without help, when she’s been pushing for just that for 3 years? Why is she shunning me just as the cousins are? These two sisters are my only family outside of my kids, and she is helping turn them away from me when all I am trying to do is make sure they take care of themselves and live in decent quarters and have the help they need. I would do this for anyone I saw or knew who needed help. This is just what people do. Right?