This is a call for advice. My mom has had Parkinson's and dementia for 5 years now and has slowly and steadily been declining. Our current caregivers are a mixed bag, and one in particular is giving her subpar care (refusing to cut her nails, sits her in front of TV all day, doesn't want my mom's sister over because she's bossy and points out her mistakes, can't take any critique or feedback, once had her on a wet bed pad for hours, also not skilled enough to hold her up when she has fainting spells, etc.). In her care, my mom is declining noticeably more quickly. We have other caregivers who are better and are now available to take over the schedule but my dad refuses. Context: he has a girlfriend who I believe is encouraging him to step back from my mother's care. He is currently on a 4-month long summer "respite" from my mom, so no one is there with her (I am on study abroad for the semester, a hard choice but I do feel as a person in their mid-20s it's my dad's responsibility more than mine to be there) AND he does not like the idea of this new schedule that would have only the better caregivers. The cost is the same. So the only possible conclusions I have are A) he's unwilling to admit that this caregiver is subpar because it would reflect badly on him or B) he and his gf are conspiring against my mom whether so intentionally or not, to have my mom decline faster and to the point she gets put in a home so he and his gf don't have to deal with her care anymore.
My questions are twofold: what do you think? Is it possible this nefarious plot is actually happening? And, what are the standards to define elder neglect? If I can prove that my dad is not doing what he ought to is there any way I can legally take over the responsibility of my mom's care (without my dad's consent)?