Do I have any rights to find out information about my mother who is in a nursing home and very ill if my sister who is has her POA won’t tell me anything?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2011

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Do I have any rights to find out information about my mother who is in a nursing home and very ill if my sister who is has her POA won’t tell me anything?

My sister is POA. She has told the nursing home, regular physician, and hospitals (when mom is hospitalized) that other siblings are not to have any information about mom. We can only call her. Most times she does not answer out calls or conveniently her sell phone is not working well etc. (these are her excuses). We are all not interested in fighting her for POA. We would only like to be able to ask nurses or doctors questions on her condition, medications etc. My mother is in a nursing home 1 hour from my home, my sister (the POA) put mom in a home that is 5 minutes from where she lives.

Asked on October 2, 2011 under Estate Planning, Ohio


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for the situation that is unfolding here.  You sister is acting more as your Mother's guardian rather than a Power of Attorney, since a Power of Attorney is an appointment made by your Mother.  But the powers and duties can overlap if the POA is a general one "for all purposes."  But generally speaking, most facilities do not want to have to speak with a number of different siblings and would rather one contact person.  So that, coupled with the legal document, is enough for them to hold their hat on.  But I would press the doctors.  I would call the administrator of the nursing facility - or better yet, plan a trip to see Mom and g and speak with them while you are there - and explain the situation.  And I would speak with Mom about what your sister is up to, as I think that it is really only ging to get worse rather than better.  Good luck. 

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