If there's a family conflict over power of attorney with my sister, can she stop us from visiting our mother?

2 answers | Last updated: Nov 13, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

If there's a family conflict over power of attorney with my sister, can she stop us from visiting our mother? Can my sister, who has power of attorney over my mother (who has dementia and is in a nursing home ) keep my mothers medical health from us by telling the nursing staff not to tell the other siblings anything about my mother's health? Also, can she keep us from seeing my mother just out of spite?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

If your sister has merely threatened to keep the other siblings out of the information loop and to ban you from visiting your mother, her threats are probably empty. Unless there is evidence that you have physically or financially abused your mother, most nursing facilities will actively encourage visits and the free flow of information.

Occasionally, however, there can be a bad egg sibling who does truly act out of spite—and is good at convincing outsiders that his or her version of events is the only one.


In either case, you should voice your concerns to the nursing home administrators, who may even intervene or help set up a staggered visitation schedule to help avoid squabbles on the premises.


If you don’t get the help you need from the nursing home administrators, take the next step by contacting the nursing home’s ombudsman—a person outside the facility and not associated with the company who is responsible for investigating complaints, reporting allegations of elder abuse, and helping residents and family members solve problems through mediation. You can find local contacts and information through the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.

Community Answers

Sweetadeline62 answered...

We have a bad egg sibling who has POA (medical and financial) and keeps me and my siblings away because he likes to control. He abuses his power and uses the POA to keep us in check. He is a master at lying and very believable. He is an alcoholic, a master manipulator and abuses our mother, emotionally, verbally, physically,financially and isolates her from family and friends.He is very argumentative and hostile. My siblings stay away to avoid confrontation.

She is not in a nursing home yet but he claims he is going to do so because we have reported him to local and state EPS and the police. We were told to go back to court it's a civil matter. If and when he puts her in a nursing home, I am sure we will be restricted also. So this was helpful for me to know.