Does an Advance Health Care Directive (Health Care Power of Attorney) trump the rules of a nursing home?

My mother lives in a memory care facility. She was prescribed a medication that makes her dizzy which always leads to a trip to the ER. The facility called me to share she was having dizzy spells, sleeping too much and experiencing incontinence. We both deduced it was this medication. I asked the staff to please stop giving it to her, they said no. When I insisted as her POA, they still said no. I understand they need a doctor’s order to stop medication officially and I offered to do so but it was too late; she ended up going to the ER. What good is an Advance Care Directive or Medical POA if I can’t use it to help my mom?

Asked on October 9, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A POA only gives you the same rights that your mother would have herself if she were in the position to make decisions about her own health care.  Apparently, even if they had a patient who had her wits about her and said I do not want to take that anymore, they would still bring it to her until the doctor said to stop.  It is a stupid rule, but at least if a person does not want to take medicine, the person can simply not swallow it.  You can not do that for your mother.  But a POA does not give you any more rights to dictate care than your mother would have herself if she were in her right mind.

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