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I have 6 sibling, but I am the only one who helps my mom clean, takes her out shopping, and spends quality time with her. We have gone shopping together for the last 25 years, but now suddenly that she is diagnosed with alzheimers my sisters are questioning how she spends her money! Occasionally my mom will buy my gas and get me small things because she wants to repay me for all of my help. I would never ever take advantage of my mother and almost always refuse her when she wants to get me anything, but occasionally i'll let her get the gas because I drive to and from her apartment almost every day. I am so angry at my sisters for talking behind my back. I just don't know what to do. I already spoke to one sister and told her my mom has always spent her money that way, and she has enough of it to get her through her life. She is only in early dementia, and I want her to enjoy her life. She is 77 and deserves to have fun. Any advice?

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Nothing substantive to add to the good thoughts already shared, but a friend recently shared a saying that seems appropriate here....rude, but maybe appropriate.

If you're talking behind my back, that's the perfection location from which to kiss my a**.

Hang in.
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My first thought is....you need to be installed as your Mom's POA. Since you are the one who has cared the most, it should be you. Money does the weirdest things to a family. Try to nip all that problem in the bud as soon as possible. TT
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Quite honestly, the dementia might reach the point plus the addition of other health issues that might take place over time that just might get over your head.

Legally, once a doctor declares your mom incompetent to handle her own affairs in a business like manner, that is going to be another story. it is not a matter of her not being able to take care of herself which very often is a physical thing, but it is a matter of being of sound mind enough to conduct one's financial business in a business like manner. My mother and step-dad were taking care of themselves rather fine for several years while neither one of them was competent to tend to their taxes nor willing to do anything but keep this a secret until 2009.

Practically speaking, your oldest sister could go to your mom's bank, give them a copy of the POA and tell them your mother is in sad shape and walla she is in charge. The way Durable POAs are written up in this state, there is not a requirement for 2 doctors unless the parent puts that in their. I have two noterized statements from my mother's doctors saying she is not competent to conduct her own business to protect her in case someone gets her to sign some financial item that is really not in her best interest. Have you read the actual POA? Do you know where a copy of it is? Does the lawyer who wrote it up have a copy. In some states, people file the durable POA with the county register of deeds. I'd find that document if I were you. Bitching is not going to carry much weight for a very long time if you don't have the legal authority on your side. My step-dad has bitched about my mother being in the nursing home and about me having both the medical and durable POA, but that was my mother's choice and wisely so because in his terrible state of mind and body she would be dead by now. I'm so glad in this situation not to have siblings because I have both POA's, I'm the executor of my mother's estate; I'm the sole inheritor of her entire estate; I'm trustee of all the farm land she inherited from her mother; my name has been on all of her private accounts for the past five years and I have right of survivorship to both her personal securities and to the car which title is only in her name. My mom and step-dad agreed when they got married that they would leave their stuff to their children.

If you try to hide her incompetence and complete as well as sign tax returns for her without the proper legal authority, the IRS is going to want to know who the POA is. I know this from working on cleaning up my mother and step-dad's past due taxes back to 2004. He is able to sign, but his son could sign as the POA but he is afraid of his dad.

Your mother does have the right while she is in her sound mind to take the POA away from the one sibling and give it to you, but you better get that done quickly. I would be careful of making enemies of family members before you have some legal backing. BTW, who has the medical POA? Better get both of those as soon as possible.
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Kristy, i'm second oldest of seven and Mom has dementia and Parkinsons. My siblings talked me into quitting my job in May of 2007, to care for Mom full time. Guess what? I'm still here 24/7 and they are nowhere to be seen The house was signed over to me because I have lived in it all but 2 years of 59, and care for Mom. My dad died almost 30 years ago, at the age of 54, leaving Mom with the 2 youngest at home. i have been carting her around since then. She never drove. She can no longer walk alone and has not a clue most of the time. She doesn't recognize a few of her children because they never visit. My older sister is in Virginia, and we are in Mass. The rest of the sibs are all close with2 being about 45 minutes away. the oldest sister comes for 3 weeks in the summer and stays to help. She is well off and pays for everything while here. Last year she bought closed circuit cameras for mom's apartment, so I could keep an eye on her on my laptop. this year she got an infrared for the bedroom so I can check on her in the dark. It's amazing. This sister contributes more and spends more time with Mom than all of the rest.
I am in charge of all her bills, and everything to do with keeping her at home. 4 siblings don't care about the money, but I know I will get sh!T When Mom is gone. I say let them at me. Can't do any worse than they already have. Help her use up as much of her money as you can. Make sure there is nothing left for them. It is your mom's money, not theirs.
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Sylvester18,

I understand exactly what your saying, and I believe what your saying is true. I think the most painful thing in all of this is not how they make me feel, but how they make my mother feel. I am the one who has to hear her cry and listen to her ask why they don't care about her. I'm the one who tells her she is the best mom in the world, so it's them not her that has the problem. She has said so many times that she is just a burden, and I have told her how much I love and need her. It seems to help, but being a mom myself I cannot imagine both of my children being at my side if I was ill. I guess your right, and it's just going to be me and her until she passes and them I guarantee they will be running to get there share of the inheritance. It makes me sick! I have resigned to the fact that I will never again have a close relationship with my sisters. I have lost so much respect for them as people. If you ever need someone to talk to, I will be here for you. I am new on here, so I don't know my way around very well, but if I can do anything to help any of you please let me know. I know how it feels to feel completely alone. I will never give up the fight to keep her going! This women is a supermom and she just doesn't realize it. She has given me the courage to fight my own battles, and I will continue to fight forever! God Bless!
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Kristy, it will eat you up to wonder WHY the others don't help out, trust me, it isn't bothering them in the least and you are staying upset with them. SCREW them. They are the ones missing out, this situation can be handled better on your part if you concentrate solely on scheduling things YOUR way, and the others, when and if they want to visit, abide by YOUR way of doing things. And if they don't like it, allow the "biggest bitch" to come up in you and tell them, "well, this is the way it is, your input was wanted at one point, but now it is not needed. I have EVERYTHING under control." The most hurtful thing I think I have dealt with through my ordeal with my Mom is knowing that I am by myself in it, and that no matter how much I ask for help, they will not be there for me, and if I am hurt by it, just think how much more my Mom is hurt by it. I really believe my part of my Mom's bitterness is from being "abandoned" by her daughters. I have come to the point that if I see my sisters or don't, so be it. Life goes on, and you always hear family is there for family when they need you most. WHAT A BIG FAT LIE THAT IS.
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Thank you to all of you for sharing your comments and advice. Honestly, this whole thing seems to have made my mom stronger. She was really getting depressed about her condition and when this happened it really made her angry, and honestly made her stronger. She refuses to let go of her money until she can no longer think for herself, and only God knows when that will be. Thank you again for all of your kind words.
kristy
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kristywi - I agree with all the comments about getting your mom's paper, wishes, etc. in order. It's great that your family sat down and talked about this, but is that in writing?

There is a great document called Five Wishes that talks about what someone wants during their life and at the end. In most states it is legal as a durable poa for healthcare. But it is much more than that, how they want to live, what type of care they want, even funeral wishes. Google it and you can get a copy online. I think it is $5. I filled it out with my mom right after her diagnosis (my dr. office gave it to me).

I understand why you want to keep the financial POA from being activated for as long as possible. Unfortunately, we had to do my mom's very early so we could manage her money. If you think at all that your sister with the POA is going to make things difficult for you, talk to your mom and family about it now. Don't wait until your mom can't specify her wishes and you're not able to do anything. You don't want to be the one still running all Mom's errands but your sister refuses you gas money.

Good luck. Enjoy the time and close relationship you have with your mom. I feel sorry for your siblings that they aren't doing the same.
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MADE A BOO BOO:

I meant to say "... invite your sisters and WATCH her spend her hard-earned money."

Good night family.

-- ED
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KRISTY:

What are they so worried about? That there won't be any money left for them after your Mom passes? Whenever your mother wants to paint the town, ask her to invite your sisters and her spend her hard-earned money. That should reduce the amount of hooey they talk about you. Whether you do the right thing or not, they'll always talk. Instead of taking things so personally, flip the script on them whenever they start flapping their gums. Make this part of your repertoire: "Don't hate honey. ... Participate."

Talk to you soon.

-- ED
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Kristy, My mother-in-law depends on mostly me to help her these days. I pay the bills, do errands, take her to doctor appts. She always buys the gas when I'm running around with her. She has early dementia and is legally blind but is pretty sharp when it comes to spending her money. I didn't used to let her buy gas when I first started doing this 3 years ago, but then she told me the only thing that she has, is money. It's the only way she can contribute, and it gives her pleasure to take me to lunch/buy gas whatever. It just happens to mostly be me since we spend so much time together. However, when any family member takes her places she buys their gas too, so it's no big deal. I take her to movies, parks, drives and to the mall to walk. Her spending money on gas is a no brainer in order to make her happy.
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Kristy: You are doing all the right things. Sit with your mother, enjoy time with her, gather her stories on tape/video/written if you can. There are many resources that will help you gather the 'story of her life'. There are many many questions I wish I would have asked my mother that I didn't , and we had a very close relationship all our lives.

I know how difficult it can be to be the 'one' that is doing most if not ALL of the work, but in the end, you will never regret it. Make sure you have your mother's HEALTH CARE PROXY and know her wishes regarding "end of life" decisions because with a family so large if there aren't advance directives in place, majority (family) can rule.

I would also make sure that your mother have a will drawn up of course after talking to an elder lawyer. So many others have said the same thing about the elder lawyer,and it can't be stressed enough.

To others it won't matter what you do, it won't be good enough. To others it will be YOU that took advantage of Mom, but YOU will know the truth. Document what you do, and keep track if you so desire. It won't hurt and may actually help you overall.

Stay strong, and enjoy your time with your mother!
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You have made a good start. I might start writing down things. Carry a little notebook in your pocket. Because the state will start getting involved and the everything has to be accounted for. She needs food, clean clothes, helper kits, etc. You seem to be a kind, selfless person. The state will want her to have in-home care. Eventually you will need to be paid whether you are family or not.
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Lilli,

I agree with you 100%. I spend so much time getting to know things about my mom. We talk very intimately about her past. I love hearing about her childhood. My sisters don't even know my mom. She had such a tough life, and now she has to carry this burden. I always tell her I don't want her money, her time is much more valuable! Thank you so much for reminding me of whats important. All of you are wondering people. It is so nice to be able to talk with someone that understands. God Bless all of you!
Kristy
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Lilli is correct on that. Boy o a few years ago people would call about donations and want to speak specifically with the older person...mmhm. Just keep track and keep your moms interests first and let them know it.
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There will always be those who want to pick the pockets of the elderly: family, businesses, friends.... The only one standing in the way of the inevitable is you. Do not take any grief from the sibs. Do what is right. Don't go overboard on the "bookkeeping" just make sure her check book is in order. How dare they question what you are doing with her money??? Tell them that you would be happy to go over the "books" when them when they each come over and take Mom for an outing every week. Your Mom knows that what you are doing is selfless...that's all that counts. I always tell my Mom to spend her money on herself...for the things she needs or wants. I don't want an "inheritance" - that is for others to fight over. My payment is much more rewarding that what can be earned with paper and coin.
Good luck...stay strong,
Lilli
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It is good she has an advocate, and as long as you are there day to day and working for her benefit that has some weight if things get legal. I know she will be grateful that you looked after her when things got hardest and, well people started lining up at the trough so to speak, not to insult pigs that is, just people. Petty, selfish and greedy...Stick to your guns!
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Unfortunately my mom made my oldest sister her POA. But, this is only supposed to go into effect when my mom can no longer take care of herself. So far, she is doing ok as long as I am here to help her out. It's sad how children can take advantage of there own mom. It is my understanding that my sister cannot touch my mothers money until 2 doctors legally declare her incapable of taking care of herself, and I will do everything in my power to keep this from happening for a very long time. I understand what all of you are saying and thank you so much for responding, I have been feeling so alone in all of this. I just know that my sisters and brothers are in for quite a surprise if they try messing with my mom because I can be the biggest bitch alive and will do whatever it takes to protect my mom. She has been so scared that they are going to put her in a home, how pathetic is that! She has dementia, which is enough to worry about and now she has to worry weather her own children might put her away. I told her I will always be here for her and will not let that happen
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When these situations arise, either the sibs band together or they all head for the hills except the last one who gets to be "it". Looks like you're seeing this first hand. Pirate and J are right, get to an elder lawyer soon and put in motion what is best for your mother. If you think you're pissed off now, just wait and see what happens as the years drag on. Your sibs have only just begun.
I have one sister. Flies in to see mom for 4 days every 3-4 years. Need I say more?
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Pirate is right, set everything up now while she has her faculties and can tell you what she wants done. It will only get more complicated as time passes. And there are a lot of people who understand what you are dealing with here. I hope this helps.
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kristy...don't feel alone...you know how many times I have seen folks write out this same scenario....I would keep a sharp eye on everything that you and mommo do. Better yet have a living will/trust written up by an Estate Lawyer. That will settle most of it. Her money is her money while she is still alive...when they loose their faculties is the problem hence the POA and the Health Proxy takes over as well.
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Because they can. It really is a complex and messy issue all around, it will bring in all kinds of past resentments and issues unrelated to the situation, Try and stay focused do what is best for your mom and you and get all the help you need from friends family social services. Don't let em box you in.
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HAHAHA Thanks PirateGal! I have already spoken to one sister and I was really pissed off! I am the youngest in the family, and the only one who is really taking care of my mom. The best part of it that all 7 of us got together when she was diagnosed and all agreed to what we would do for her, so far, it's me and a sister that lives 2 hours away that have kept there end of the bargain, the others are just to busy (bullshit). She is our mother and has given her entire life to raise us, I just can't understand how they can let her down like this.
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Worse than a child, they are treating her like an old person who is spending their inheritance. It is uncomfortable for everyone. Remind them she is competent and set down plans for what she wants done with her monies and tell them it is not their business, seek legal help when necessary, you may want to seek power of attorney and be a co signer on the checking accounts.
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Thanks for your response. The funny thing here is that my mom is in early onset dementia, so she is still quite aware of her money. I am the one who helps her pay her bills and write her checks. The funniest part of this is that these same two sisters were the ones telling my mom to spend her money! They wanted her to buy whatever her heart desired, but when she suddenly started buying things they questioned what was going on. My mom is so upset with them because she feels there treating her like a child. It's just a bad situation all around.
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I would tell them...that your mom is in charge of her monies and if she gives you some for gas that is HER BUSINESS and not theirs! Geesh...blood suckers!
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Oh boy the siblings and money issue. Trust me they wouldn't be there if there wasn't any. Try and be above board keep track of all monies on hard copy and talk to them about it. It is so common they want no of the work but will question what the caregiver does with the funds...Best Wishes in this one, lots here understand this one.
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