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Help With My Elderly Aunt

My name is Anna, and I live in Kentucky.  I have an elderly aunt who is 86 years old who lives in Florida.  She is married, but her husband is now in a nursing home.  She has no children, and all of her sisters and brothers have passed except her  nieces, my sister and I.    My aunt is very healthy and gets around better than I do.

In a situation like this, what is a solution?   Her husband's daughter has his power of attorney, but my aunt has not given a power of attorney yet, and tries to hide the fact that she has enough money and more to keep  her.   His children does not like her, which does not add to the situation.

She is calling me and my sister wanting us to come to Florida and help her get situated.  What is some ideas that we can look out. We have talked to her about assisted living, but she says she does not have the money, which she does.   As far as I can tell, her mind is quite good, but no one her age needs to be alone in Florida without any support.

I would try to bring her to Kentucky, but with her husband still living in a nursing home,  and the fact that they have property and all their assets there, I am up a tree trying to  figure it out. I would appreciate any information you can supply.  Or, if you know of a government agency in Florida that could give me some information on the elderly, I sure would appreciate it. Thank you for any help you can give Anna in Kentucky

Anna in Kentucky, 59

Dear Anna,

There are several factors to consider. The first is that your aunt is functioning on her own and appears to be independent of thought and action and therefore can make her own decisions and choices. She may be requesting your assistance, but you and/or your aunt need to consider speaking with an elder care attorney. Your aunt has a living husband (in a nursing home), he has children who may have different needs for themselves and their father. Your aunt's husband, has given his power of attorney to his children. Your aunt needs to make sure her legal rights are also protected with a will, health care proxy, durable power of attorney, and any other issues of importance to her.

Also for you and your aunt to consider: different states have different laws regarding a number of issues that you have mentioned.  Only an elder care lawyer can properly advise you and your aunt. As you may know, lawyers charge by the hour, so make sure you have all your questions thought out and written out before you go to an appointment, and bring paper and pen so that you can take notes.  You may also find guidance and/or information from the Department for the Aging in your state or your aunt’s state.

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