Sue called regarding her 90 year old aunt, Amelia, who had a series of strokes. For the past 6 months she had a live in aide assisting her but it was what Sue told me about that aide which was so troubling.
Amelia happened to mention that the aide took her to see an attorney who prepared legal documents for her, naming the aide as her agent under power of attorney, representative under her health care directive and executor of her estate in her will. Amelia refused to let Sue see the documents so she does not know whether the will leaves her assets to the aide. Sue called to find out what she can or should do.
I asked Sue where she found the aide. She said her aunt found the aide through an agency. But, then she told me that the agency has refused to do anything about the situation. That didn’t sound right to me but then Sue told me that Amelia pays the aide directly. She paid the agency $6000. That told me what I needed to know. Amelia didn’t go through a traditional home health agency in which the aide works for the agency. She hired a company that for a “finder’s fee”, finds an aide to work for her. They are paid their fee but then they claim no involvement or oversight of the aide. The transaction is now between Amelia and the aide. They have offered no help.
To make the problem even more complicated, Sue told me that Amelia does not want Sue to meddle. She says she is fine. It’s not clear whether Amelia lacks mental capacity or not. It’s also impossible to know whether the aide is helping herself to Amelia’s money. No one is saying.
So what are Sue’s options? We’ll talk about that next week.