dhs came to the house friday with officers. they ask me questions about how i was taking care of my mom. i do not know who sent them or anything. the nurse assigned with my mom has disagreed with me about giving her lorazepn etc. if my mom is not in pain i do not want to give her pain medication etc. i do not know if she was the one to send dhs or not. i cannot be separated from my mom we are extremely close, more than other families (the truth). the nurse will no treat my mom for a kidney infection. she has dementia, i want her to die peacefully from dementia not a uti. i need advice please. do they have the power to separate me from my mom when i have power of attorney
This is a complex question. Someone must have reported you to adult protective services, as anyone in Tennessee is required by law to do if there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect or financial exploitation. In this case, it sounds like you are going against medical advice. While that is not abusive in and of itself, it becomes so if the decisions you make for her could result or have resulted in injury or neglect. I have seen several cases of adult children refusing to administer prescribed medication, and I must say in every case the adult child was wrong. Doctors normally don't prescribe things unless they believe the prescription is a medical necessity.
As POA, you do get discretion to make medical decisions (if you have medical Power of Attorney and a wide enough scope to make this decision). However, your decisions must line up with what your mother would have decided. If she left explicit instructions, great. If not, you have to try to figure out what she would want and then do it.
DHS/APS does indeed have power to remove her despite your POA, though the POA does give you some additional standing to challenge the removal. That is assuming the POA is valid. If she already had dementia when she signed I sincerely hope her attorney made all effort to confirm she understood what she was signing. If she was not competent to sign or if you were heavily involved in getting Power of Attorney for yourself, you've probably got an issue.
I'll also say this. APS in my experience ignores the vast majority of complaints and most do the bare minimum when they do safety checks on seniors. The fact that they did a safety check and found a big enough problem to remove your mother probably means she appeared to be in danger of abuse/neglect/financial exploitation. If you'd like to have her back living with you, you should think really hard about whether you were doing the right thing for her or not. Not for you, for her. Consider the fact that medical professionals and state abuse prevention agencies are in direct disagreement with you. I could be way off base, but it may well be that you were making the wrong decisions and need to reconsider your approach to your mother's care.
You will probably need an attorney to challenge the removal. I haven't experienced a challenge like that because in my experience it has been rare that APS would actually remove the person. However, in child protective services cases, challenging removal of a child is a rather complex matter, and I suspect this is too. You have to prove things like what is in your mother's best interests, and an attorney will have a better idea how to frame that argument.
This is not legal advice, but rather provision of legal information available to the public. For specific advice relevant to your specific factual situation, please hire an attorney.
Seems like you may actually need a Conservatorship as your mom is likely not competent to sign a power of attorney. This can be an expensive process and requires going to court. You can hire an attorney to petition the court to become her conservator.
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