Elder grief, son said he would never call his mother again.

Started by

Hello. I am a live in caregiver for my 93 year old mother. My older brother has decided I am stealing his "inheritance." Not true of course. I believe from his behavior he has mental issues. He called my mom and made wild accusations which caused her to cry. Days later he called again, got very confrontational with her on the phone, I interrupted, he was yelling at me on the phone, demanding. Because it was so disturbing, I went in mom's room and asked mom to hang up the phone. Mom heard him say he would never call again and obscene language she feels was directed at her. Mom is crying everyday and is quiet and moody. She wants to hear from her son. I cannot resolve things to his satisfaction. What can I do to help mom? It's not easy to get her out of the house. Could counseling help? Thanks for any reply.


I think it is appropriate for us to grieve our losses as they occur. In a very real way your mom feels she has lost her son. She may also be feeling regret, guilt, remorse, and responsibility for the way he turned out. She didn't mean to raise him as an ingrate.

If you think your brother is mentally unstable, you might talk to your mother about that. "Mom, I am so sorry Brother is not talking to us right now. I think he is mostly mad at me. But you know what? I think he is not quite himself. Over the last few years I think he has developed some mental or emotional problems. He wouldn't be behaving like this is he were well." Also don't try to talk her out of her grief. Acknowledge it. "I really miss Brother, too, Mom."

I'd give mom some time to process this situation, being gentle with her as she works through her grief.
Thumper107, I agree with jeannegibbs. Also please take into account your mom is 93. How old is your brother? Maybe 70? He may have some dementia of some sort going on also. Take care of your self as well as your mother. Hugs
This type of behavior from family members breaks my heart. When do our elderly get a chance to not have to deal with disruptive family members. My Mother is almost 90 and does not have the reserve to deal with anyone else's problems but there are still selfish family members who call her to try and figure out their messes. What I do is try and protect her as much as I can. If she has a grandchild on the phone upsetting her with the latest "baby Momma" drama I find a way to get her off the phone. I then try and tell the family members that their calls just upset Mom and they need to talk about something besides their problems. How about asking "How are you doing Grandma?" Instead of launching into their various problems and need for money. Just had to vent a little.....
Do you think he may take legal action against you or is he just being a bully? Your main concern is rightfully your Mother but you should be keeping accurate financial records.......just because. You would be amazed how quickly things can get out of hand when the courts get involved.
Thank you all for responding. I am working with an eldercare lawyer.and it is an obvious case of bullying. Well, I know how to deal with bullys, you win by not losing. And, of course, they play the victim when they lose! Don't give in.
burnwajaco, yes, he is about 67, and I believe he has dementia.
just protect your mom and yourself. If she wants to talk about your brother's behavior, let her and just be the kind ear she needs. She has to be upset, and she may not necessarily be looking for you to fix it, just listen and be sympathetic. God bless you for all you do.
my sister is similiar....i visited and was seen in a bank with my mom by brother in law; i have gone to the bank with my mom for 25 years during my entire flying career whenever i visited...why now are they so upset? After seeing me and mom in the bank...i didnt know what was brewing when we were seen. when mom and i got home i called my sister (would a thief do that) and that is when she tore into me accusing me of sneaking into town and stealing moms money; mom was crying as she could hear my sisters voice...i needed to tell sister mom had a large hernia (making mom look 5 months pregnant) and that we needed to do something. i never could get a word in edgwise because sister wouldnot stop the accusations. i finally saidk, i am taking mom home with me (from so ca to my home in No CA). i didnt have time to sit and argue...i couldn't just leave mom alone at home as she had the beginnings of dementia/alzheimer's. I had to do something and that was to take mom with me. Mom has been here 5 going on 6 years. i tried numerous times to get mom home to so ca again but sister would pull things like "you are poa, you figure it out"...how hard is it to find a facility 500 miles away? i wanted sister to locate a place that was close and convenient to sister but she would not cooperate. no one has seen mom in all this time, no gifts nada. its very sad that people are stupid and stubborn. sister told me to never contact her again...so i haven't.
I'm in a family situation similar, but I'm not unstable. The sister living with my 96-year old Dad for most all her life. He has always been taking care of her and thinks she can do no wrong, which I KNOW better. She has always said that his house is her's and wouldn't let me in at times. He cannot see this side of her. She quit her job to take care of him, but it's only because she wants everything. He's still having to pay her way at his age and it's not fair to him or the rest. She's got everyone snowed about this one and I've been marked as the black sheep even though I've always paid my own way since I was 18 and moved out then too. No matter how much I've done for my father, from even 2000 miles away, I can't do enough and he never let's me forget it. I am ill myself and too sick to travel. When I tried to surprise him on a visit in 10/2010, my friend and I were treated very poorly after traveling 2000 miles to see him. Because of that treatment, my own health has declined extremely and I am no longer able to travel because of it. I already have my own lawyer's in place to represent my interests when my Dad passes. I don't want it all, just my share for being one of the daughter's. By the way, this is because I was he 3rd child and was supposed to be a boy. My Dad has made a comment about that which stabbed me in the heart.
To Thumper107; I am so sorry that you and your mom have had to deal with this type of behavior from your brother. Try to just reassure her that maybe he will get some help and when he does she will see the son she has remembered him to be before all the changes took place in him. As far as counseling for your mom, being rejected by your own children hurts, no matter what age. Since her emotions are what they are you may consider counseling or just talk with her doctor. He may give you some good ideas also. I hope your brother gets help so he won't keep on hurting others, or himself as well. Words really do hurt us, and you being there for your mom and giving her comforting words will really do more good than you realize. I pray that you both will find God's peace in this temporary storm.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support