Support for parent in memory care facility

Andrew Rozynski and David John Hommel
My mom has celiac disease and dementia. She lives in a memory care unit and the staff are saying that she asks for glutenous food and they are not allowed to deny her that saying it is her "right" to have it. She can't make safe decisions for herself because of her dementia but she still has personal rights. I am her activated health care proxy and power of attorney so how can I enforce the gluten-free diet? What should I do - eating gluten is making her sick?


As the activated health care proxy and power of attorney for your mother, you have the authority to make healthcare decisions on her behalf, including enforcing a GF diet. It's essential to communicate with the care facility’s staff and management to ensure they understand the seriousness of celiac disease and the importance of a strict GF diet for your mother's health. Provide them with clear instructions and potentially involve a dietician or physician to offer guidance on managing her diet. If the facility is unable or unwilling to comply, you might need to consider alternative arrangements that can better cater to her dietary needs. Additionally, you may consult with an attorney specializing in elder law or disability rights for further legal advice specific to your situation.

Published April 7, 2024

Note: This information is provided by NCA, Andrew Rozynski, and David John Hommel. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA, Andrew Rozynski, or David John Hommel by providing this information.

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