Q: My mother is 80 years old and showing signs of dementia. 14 years-ago a man lived in her house. Throughout those years my mother lived with uncertainty and anguish because this man is alcoholic. am vacationing in her house now. But the man harasses me. I want to leave the house but I cannot bear to leave my mother in her situation now. The man does not work. He claims that he is a paid caregiver of my mother. But now he controls her finances. She derives her income from a survivorship pension from her husband a federal employee who passed away in 1994.
A: This is a difficult situation. I suggest you speak with a local attorney who handles elder law and guardianship. Yes, mother can appoint you as her agent on a Power of Attorney, if she desires to and she is competent. If you feel she is not competent and being exploited, you may need to file a petition in court to be her guardian. This would give you power to have this man removed from her life. You may also want to contact Adult Protective Services to see if they will do a home visit. Their input and direction may be helpful.