Guilty feeling

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Five years ago, my father passed away. Since then my mother has not taken very good care of herself. It started slowly and not in very obvious ways. Over the years, different habits have surfaced...for instance, instead of saving her $ to pay for and make sure she has all of medications she needs, she takes and goes on weekends away with the "girls". Another good example, she lives in Senior Living (Government financial assisted living), yet because she is unwilling to give up total independence, she takes out a loan for a new car!!! I grant you, it's a new used car at $300 a month in payments that she can't afford!!!
When I say anything that sounds remotely like I might suggest my sister take over as total POA (she currently only has POA over medical), my sister gets very defensive. She says things like "Our mother is 75 years old...she needs to set up a budget that she can live with in and stick to it". I counter with "She has made sevreal budgets up for herself over the years and has not once stuck with them!"
Bottom line I need help getting my sister and I on the page about our mother. My sister is 10 years older than my self and therefore has been given more of the responsibilty over Mom's care. That was by my parents choice while Dad was still alive and I don't have a problem with their decision.
I have so much to say, I could ramble on for hours. If anyone out there has even so much as an incling of how I am feeling, please let me know.

6 Comments

Dear tiger, I know how much this hurts. I have felt helpless, at times, not knowing what to do, and sometimes even what or who to ask. I know the frustration of trying to convince others of something, reason with those who do not understand, and lacking information, wisdom and judgement. My heart goes out to you. The best hope I can offer is that you seek answers through prayer. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. God can make a way where there seems to be no way. Sending you hugs to comfort and let you know you're not alone.
Tiger,

It's time to let the little tiger in you become a big tiger and stop being intimidated by your older sister. Ask your mother for Durable POA. Your mother most likely needs to see a doctor to evaluate her competency to handle her own affairs. Is there anyone who your sister tends to listen to who might be able to influcence her in the right direction? Reading back over your story, I must say that your sister sounds like she is in total denial of your mother's true situation.
Thank you all for your kind words...they are helpful. I must say in my sister's defense, my mom lives in the Milwaukee area and sister is in Illinois. It has been discussed that mom move in with my sister but, my mom is not ready to leave all of her friends and church. I fear the time has come where mom no longer has the option to make that decision for herself anymore. And I cannot totally agree with the idea that my sister is in total denial about my mom...she had my had set up and ready to sign up for Medicaid about a year ago. That was when mom's car took a dump and she decided she needed a car to "keep her independence". By going out and buying a used car from a dealership that did the financing for her, she no longer qualified for Medicaid. Therefore, I don't think it's totally that my sister is in denial as much as I think they both are in denial of what is going on.

I must stop myself here or again I will ramble on.

Thank you all again for your kind and warm thoughts and wishes...more importantly, your understanding.
Dear tiger, I can relate to your distress. I also wish I didn't know what I know in our situation, being powerless. To watch others control things when we disagree is usually not pleasant. However, there will come a time, when decline may trump poor planning and decision-making. Hope you enjoy the good moments with your Mom, and are taking care of you. Bless you.
Tiger,

I agree that both you mother and older sister sound like they are equally in denial like my mother and step-dad. While my mother has come to accept that she is where she needs to be, my step-dad has had an understandibly hard journey about this. I've had to use both my DPOA and MPOA to protect my mother's well being from his crazy requests. He's not all there either and is declining. However, he's not given either of his adult children either POA for him. Durable covers real estate as well as business. It is far broader in its legal power than just a business POA.

You have said where your mother lives and where your sister lives, but where do you live? I agree that it would be best for your mother to stay where her freinds and church is. That is important and helpful to my mother also.

Now that she no longer qualifies for medicaide, how are her assited living and medical bills paid?

Does you mother have any other relatives or close friend in that town who see how things really are that could possibly get this accross to your sister?

If I were you, I would be beyond growling about this, I would be ready to pounce on it and get this matter resolved to continue my earlier analogy. In my opion you can either view yourself as a victim watching all of this from the outside or you can get in there and do something. I think I'd start with possibly getting an atty where you mother lives and then contacting some people where your mother lives who are in the area of elder care.

I know this was the case with my mother, but if I mentioned that her life long family atty thought something was a good idea, she was more open to it. Is there anyone like that whose opinion you can first get and then honestly share with your mother?
Wow, he said it well! Hire an attorney to look after her best interests, and ask that he/she be paid from her assets. If your sis needs a tune up, Mom will be protected, and you'll rest easier. Excellent advice. I'll be doing the same. Thanks :)

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