My Dad has dementia and is in a nursing home, his wife will not allow them give us any info on him. Do we have any rights?

Asked about 2 years ago - Oxford, MA

The us and we are my sister and I. My father's wife is his poa and health care proxy. They live in Florida where he is in a nursing home and she lives in their maritial home. I live in Massachusetts and my sister lives in Indiana. Since his dementia is in the late stages he cannot communicate well enough to explain his own care to us. Also, he is not good speaking on the phone most days. His wife does not speak to my sister or I. He is 81 and his wife is 85. Do we, his natural children, have any rights to know about his medical care or medical/mental state?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Brian C. Snell

    Contributor Level 15

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Florida law may be better at answering this question since that is where your father lives. However, I would have to say that you have limited rights, unless you want to really upset the apple cart. I would suggest contacting the Ombudsman in Florida to express concern. They may have some advice they can share. Is it possible that you may be an alternate proxy for your dad?

    In order to get access to information, you may need to have his wife declared incompetent and then may need to pursue a guardianship for your dad. You may try first seeing if you can build a bridge with his wife. Good luck!

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have an office in... more
  2. E. Alexandra Golden

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . I agree with Attorney Snell that this issue will be governed by Florida law. Repost the question as if you lived in the town where the nursing home is located.

    Talk to the social worker at the nursing home. She will probably be barred by privacy laws from telling you anything about your father's condition, but that doesn't mean that she can't listen to your request to speak with your stepmother about your desire to know what's going on with your dad.

    E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are... more

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