Can POA restrict visitation by an abusive relative?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

First brother takes care of Mother, who has dementia. Second brother has visits with Mother and verbally and physically abuses first brother, creating legal issues. Third brother has the power of attorney over Mother. What does third brother need to do to prevent second brother from visiting Mother and creating problems for first brother while he is providing care for Mother?

Expert Answers

I know of no simple solution to your question. You want to know how one brother, with a POA from your mother, can restrict another brother from visiting and abusing her. A third brother takes care of the mother, who has dementia.

My first question is; Where is the mother living? Is she living in a facility, or in her or another's private home? If she is living in a facility, the brother with the POA can instruct the staff of that facility to refuse admittance to the "bad" brother. It's uncertain how effective that ban would be. If the mother is living in a private home, it seems more difficult to officially deny permission to visit to the "bad" brother. Who would enforce this decision?

The brother with the POA could go to court and seek a restraining order against the "bad" brother from visiting the mother. Of course, this would cost money for attorney's fees. And the POA brother would have to produce evidence to convince the court that the "bad": brother is so threatening to the mother's well being that he should be banned from visiting her. And even if the POA brother got a restraining order, it is not self-enforcing. If the "bad"brother violated that order, the POA brother would have to go back to court top have the "bad" brother held in contempt of court

Realistically, some kind of self-help seems what is needed here. I express no opinion of what that self-help could be.