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I have had years of being too tied to mom. I feel guilt bacause she is in bad place. But it was her doing. And she wont take suggestions. Wont accept help in the house. She complains about feeling pain, etc. Has the money to pay someone to help her. But is worried about brother being homeless after she dies. So she won't spend anymore than she has to. She insists he has to live in house when she dies. And will need lots of money for home and living expences. He has personality disorder and cant hold a job. He gets SSI. Been emotionally drained from mom several times over the past several years. Have to start concentrating on my own life more. She is 89 years old and uses a walker. Has several health problems. Brother lives with her. But doest help much. He is selfish and lazy. Most of my contact with mom is by phone. I only live anhour and a half away but. I go see her two to three times a year. I'm going to see her four times a year starting this year. Partly for her and partly to see when she gets so bad that I have to try to force help on her. She doesr want volunteer to help eighter. She has several reasons. And her being rigid, no one can influence her to do it.

Barbara

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I also agree with globetrotter in her last statements.... my mother refuses help from me, tells everyone that I treat her badly and she is all alone, no one to help her, she does everything by herself, and that I am never home. The only time she is nice to me, is when she makes a mistake, either by phone, in person, at home, forgetting to help with dad, because she got side tracked.... I am the scapegoat I guess. It's hard to fathom, because we used to tell each other everything.. But, me being a trusting soul, thinking she would not tell my secret feelings even from years ago, (my family has let me know now) now seem to be the "hit parade" of the neighborhood. It is very hard to be lied to, lied on just to make herself feel better and I am the cause of all things wrong. Now my brother steps in after he thinks dad is on his last leg. HE is the man of the house now.. my dad wouldn't even let him use a power tool, because he said, he wouldn't know what to do with it. which is true.... My dad and I were very close. It hurts like hell that I can't do more for him than what I'm doing. she relies and hangs on every word he makes. If I even mention his name, she screams that I hate him, I've always hated him...... I pray, and pray and God cannot give me more than I can handle, at least that's what I feel...
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sorry about that Ashlynne.... my point was that they wash their cars, trucks etc...wash their clothes daily, not mom and dad's..... do their chores as if they are home, but never offer to wash a car, clean a porch, cut the grass, but they are able to screw up my mom and dad's tv, computer, put holes in the wall to put up a window shade etc..... I guess, that was all I could come up with at the time..... NO, I do not let them drive or anything else that might harm them.... sorry, again guys..... I thought most of you guys were mind readers ;) lol
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Sounds like you are in a significantly difficult spot. I'm sure that a lot of water has already washed over the Dam so to speak.
You most likely have been patient and " been there" for them both over the years. It's never as easy as it seems looking in from the outside.
Do what you feel that you can with the energy you have, find a good support group to help you set healthy boundaries and learn to separate your feeling of "daughter guilt" from your Mom's right to manage or mis- manage her life as she sees fit. The hardest job is that of the loving relative who has to stand by and watch because you can't do anything to help. My heartfelt apologies, for a curt response.
Best of luck to you. Your are in a tough spot.
Getting an uninterested party set up as Payee might be a good idea. It would take the pressure off a bit.
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I was just giving backround information about my family. My original question still stands. Trying to distance myself emotionally from mom. That is what I want help with. And not to over react to everything she does and says.

Whatever bond ther is between brother and me is practically non existant. Mom doest have quite a lot of money. But she isnt poor eighter. It's just that she uses her savings to live on. Her income is a small social security check.

I am going to get profesional to run trust when mom dies. Wish I could get guardian for brother and mom. They both have legal right to make their own decisions. They are not incompetent. Just not realistic.

Barbara
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Barbara, did your mother directly ask you to take future responsibility for managing your brother's special needs trust? How long ago was this, was it 'way back when' things were normal and it was all hypothetical?

Other people will be far, far more knowledgeable about such options than I am, but surely it's time to look into what kind of guardianship-type arrangements can be set up for your mother's and your brother's long term care so that you can resign your involvement, and back out with no disgrace.

As far as I understand it, unless you can predict with any reasonable certainty how much money your mother's long term care might be expected to cost, you're not free to tie up her capital in your brother's trust in any case, are you?

But look. The idea of being legally responsible for this kind of major financial task, on behalf of people who won't or can't or anyway don't communicate openly with you at the very least - let alone co-operate or show any flexibility - well, it's just Mission Impossible. Why should you feel guilty about resigning it?

And caring for your brother doesn't equate to trying to deal with him in order to act on your behalf. Just because you care about him doesn't equip you with the kind of professional techniques that are needed to manage his behaviour, and vice versa not being able to work with him effectively doesn't mean you don't care about him. Also, although there is a bond between you, and naturally you feel something for him, that doesn't make him easily loveable. It's not of your making. It's sad, but it's not cause for *you* to have regrets about: what did you ever do to deserve it?

Given that it sounds like there is quite a lot of money to handle (even if most of it is spoken for by their care needs), and given that your mother is not helping you make sensible plans, and given that your mother may and your brother will have quite substantial needs looking ahead… I think it's a job for a professional, and you should hand over on those grounds quite apart from the emotional ones.

And actually, thinking that through, won't knowing that the plans are in safe hands make you much more relaxed when it comes to dealing with them purely as family members? Won't it take a lot of anxiety out of the picture?

Hugs, I know there's nothing simple about it.
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I wote that I hardly ever VISIT mom. NOT that I'm uninvolved in her life. I talk to her every other day the majority of the time. And have helped with many things over the years. Just not hands on care. She has legal document letting brother live in home after she dies. Special needs trust set up. No one would run it. So I agreed to. But with the normal expences mom has for living. including for my brother, I'm hesitant to put much of moms savings in the trust. Unless she is about to go in a nursing home. Then I would put most of the money in trust.
Cant comuicate with brother or mother. Both stuborn and have their emotional problems. Mom makes poor choices out of anxiety, rigidity, guilt about brother (she didnt dicipline him till age 10 - he had bad ashma), spent more time with her mother than my brother when he was growing up. Grandma had frequent nervice breakdowns. And she just doesn't want brother to be homeless. I care a little about brother. But we dont have relationship. Mom was alway partial to me. And he knew it. I tried to tell mom to stop. That it made things bad for me with brother. She wouldn't. His excessive anger from his personality disorder is part of what makes him unreasonable. So both mom and brother only see things the way they want to. Reality has no place in their life. This is my family.

Barbara
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Ladylee, I think the stress is on the "emotionally" part of that 'emotionally separating from Mom and feeling less guilt' headline to the thread. Which leads me to reflect on the 'go away don't leave me' double bind that children of borderline parents commonly get tangled in, and to wonder if others who are surer of the ground than I am might have comments to make?
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I'm kind of in the same boat as the original poster & I can understand. My mom used to call me daily to complain about issues - most of her own making. After giving advice and having it ignored but still the same issues complained about, I have had to significantly reduce the amount of time I talk to her to one time per week. She has tried to guilt me when I don't talk more than that and of course I felt guilty for a long time. You decide - if they are making decisions that are bad, but they are competent - you have no reason to feel guilty.
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Sorry , I don't understand why you need to separate from your Mom when you are not involved in her life more than a couple times a year.
Maybe it is too hard to be closer to her when she won't help herself or do anything that you suggest to make her life more comfortable.
It may feel uncomfortable but you might have to get in there and spend one day each weekend at her place helping her plan for the future.
your brother will need a special needs trust when she is gone to allow him to get income for life and the house with out losing his SSI.
Other wise he will lose his SSI and his Medicaid which is not a good idea. Plus if he has problems he may not manage the money in a way that will allow him to keep the house.
Mom could purchase a term life insurance policy that will go to fund the trust and she could place her home in the trust already while she is alive. She can lease the house back until her death.
Try to show her that you are interested in helping not changing everything she wants to do, but helping in a way that benefits both her and your brother.
An Estate planning attorney can help her to get her financial goals in place and still provide some money for her own care.
She does have the right to neglect herself but only to a point.
Your Local Alz and Dementia Agency should have some support groups that you can attend to help you to go through this process allowing your Mom to do as she pleases. ( Even though you don't think it is in her best interest) .
Good Luck to you. It is difficult to be in a situation like this.
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Ashlynne - you don't understand that ONE? You are doing better than me.
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Helpless you state both your parents have dementia and one is bed ridden, yet your siblings won't wash your parents cars? Both have dementia and one is bed ridden ... they drive? I don't understand that one
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If you keep hanging on to the guilt, you will never be able to heal.
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When we visit my mother, we always enjoy the visit. She buys us some Chinese food near her. We do not have anything like that where we live. We have Chinese, but it is not very good. We love to see her and take some of our dogs to visit. She loves that! The problem is that my husband has retired, but has taken another job to pay the bills. I am also working to pay the bills. She has plenty financially, My dad left her well off there. We, however, are still working and taking care of our dogs, going to church, etc. We do not see to have enough time. We live about 45 minutes from her. It is a dilemma, as we sometimes do not have enough money for things. We are having to be careful right now. Cannot afford to buy more gas until Social Security check comes in on Wednesday, so we are only taking the other vehicle, a 1999 truck. She has plenty of money, but we often don't. She does not seem to understand our situation. Obamacare has been a TERRIBLE expensive burden for us. We had been paying almost $1400. a month, and that left us 500 dollars a month to buy everything else. We were not allowed to change our insurance until the next enrollment period. They said we could fill out some paperwork online, but that would take a good bit of time. My husband's job is now paying for part of our insurance coverage... actually a good bit of it, so we are blessed in that way but everything seems to be so costly, that is it hard to get everything paid in a timely fashion... i.e., before it gets disconnected. Anyway, life goes on. God has not let anything terrible happen to us. I thank Him. God is good.
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I had a mother who married way too young, was totally ignorant of childbirth and parenting, and HATED every minute of being a 50's housewife and mother. My father was even younger. Both of them resented the HELL out of me, born exactly one year from the wedding date. They had 2 boys who were, of course, golden. one is extremely mentally ill, an obese grotesque poor thing who lives in a group home, and the other left home at 18, never came back, and is a riproaring success. So guess who never had the brains to blow town and was stuck with the two of them??? That would be ME! .... I 'took care' of mom who had Lewy Body Dementia, for 2-3 years, and it almost killed me. I could write a book about the weird experiences, and the sheer backbreaking mentally and physically draining WORK. Not all bad, but I resented I was stuck. Finally got her on Medicaid after she used up most of her savings paying for caregivers, she was falling down, cr@pping on the floor, and finally didn't know her own house, got her by the grace of god into a nursing home. Where she is perfectly happy (doesn't know she's in a nursing home) and the staff love her. I am lucky!!! I thought I would have a few short years before I died alone in my falling down house, I hope so! My health is bad. But she will outlive me. Beat among many other things: heart attack, cancer, broken knee, thyroid, and just recently: a broken hip! Doing SPLENDIDLY at age 87.
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Brother has Special needs trust. I am in charge. Afraid to put too much money in because mom might need it. Her normal living expences far exceed her income. Partlycause of home expences. Partly cause of brother expences. He wont eat hotdogs, and too many recalls on hamburger meat so he wont eat that. So mom buys him steak in addition to chicken. She also gave him access to her credit card. And he has to have the best of everything. So he has bought frying and cook pans that are expencive. In addition to other stuff. He used to buy double when he lived in an apartment. One for his apartment and one for moms house. I am POA for mom. Financial and health. She prepaid her funeral. Because when dad died she said she didnt have money for funeral. I think she could have paid part. But my husband and I paid half and anaunt payed the other half. I understand why mom doesnt want to see brother homeless. She has legal paper leaving home to brother to live in when she dies. I ha e no relationship with brother. He doesn't talk to me. I believe mom helped poision our relationship years ago when she showed favoritism to me. Beging her to stop did nothing. Because of his personality disorder I cant reason with brother. He Isn't reasonable and mom isn't eighter. Brother is highly inteligent but can't get along with people.

I read on another post that thedaughter had to think of her mother as a client rather than her mother in order to cope with her. I'm trying to think that way.

Barbara
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We all have to let go of others. It is hard. Do NOT feel guilty...that only breeds discontent,anger etc. If your brother is not well, do not expect him to be of much,if any help. He is probably struggling to keep his head above water. Maybe he feels disconnected from the situation as many persons with personality disorder do.
You cannot force your mom. I agree 100% 'pray for her and let God take care of the rest.' God has ways of letting problems sort themselves out. Be at peace.
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hadnuff - and others - sometimes you have to detach and distance emotionally for your own survival. When our parent refuses help there is not much we can do but watch things get worse and try to intervene then. Your mum has her plan and her priorities and at this point she is sticking to them despite her increasing needs.

Emotionally separating is for your survival and protection and that is good. Keeping in touch with her by phone and visiting 4 times a year to see what kind of needs she has and what is looming ahead is good.
Preparing yourself to intervene when you deem it necessary is good
Looking after your own emotional heath is good.

You certainly have my support. I have had to do the same thing,

Does anyone have POA medical and financial for your mum? You may have mentioned this in another post but I don't remember.

Have you some activities on mind to engage yourself and develop your own life?

Keep us updated. I wish you well in this very difficult situation ((((((((hugs))))))
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Has this elderly woman ever looked into any type of trust? Does she have anyone she can trust to be the trustee of the savings is another question. Having a trustee doesn't necessarily mean that trustee will do the right thing. I'm expecting some proceeds from my bio dad's life insurance since he died. I was looking into a trust myself and when I checked with a lawyer to see how they work, she told me that there's nothing stopping the trustee from misusing the money (since they now own it). This I think is why some people are pulling away from putting money into a trust from what I found during research. It would be a very smart move to speak to a lawyer about how to not get in a position of losing the money you work so hard to save if you plan on taking care of someone else when you're gone. Again, I think that the elderly woman is really putting forth a serious effort into doing the right thing for someone in need, I strongly agree there. I would definitely like to see her son be taken care of, I really would because I know what it's like to scrape by on SSI and even barely make it through the month. I know what it's like to do without just because you don't have enough money, and I even know what it's like to have to cut corners by cutting costs. This is why I would really like to see this disabled son be taken care of when the elderly woman is gone. I can only hope that she explores her options if she has not already done this because this is something we must all face sometime. Everyone has an estate whether it be big or small, and the last people you want to grab your estate is the state. The state can survive without an individual's savings and assets whereas a needy individual cannot. This is why I would really like to see this woman's wishes be carried out, I really would. Finally, no, caregiving should not be forced upon you. However, someone must do it. The secret is finding the right person who's actually cut out for caregiving so that the person being cared for is not abused. I saw the consequences of a caregiver abusing some down syndromes when she was not cut out to be a caregiver. I think this particular caregiver probably just did it for the money despite her not being able to handle the job. Sometimes the person who needs care may be better in a facility if a private caregiver cannot be found. Caregiving is definitely not an easy job, I agree with that. However, in the event of dealing with someone who needs provision later, someone needs to train the person how to handle the extra money they will be inheriting later. The last thing you want to do is squander your inheritance. Squandering your inheritance will leave you back in the same hole that your inheritance just pulled you out of. If this son is to inherit a house, he will definitely need proper training from someone on how to keep himself in that home. It would be very sad to see him lose that home that he inherited. This is why it's a very good idea to go through some kind of training on how to handle extra money and budgeting as well as saving for maintaining the house. Owning a house is much different than just renting. When your rent and something goes wrong you just call the landlord, whereas if you owned the home you have to come up with the money and have your home fixed. When you've lived on very little money for so long and suddenly inherit a very large amount, it can seem like a lot and you may be tempted to go on a shopping spree. This is why temptation should be avoided because what if something major went wrong with the house and that money that's now gone could have paid for that major repair? These are things to think about when a house is in your near future because homeownership is definitely very expensive. Sometimes homeownership is not easy where the repairs are necessary. Getting a home for the first time is a very exciting life event. Keeping that home requires serious effort on the part of the owner. Anytime a home is in your future along with extra money, careful planning must be made well in advance to make sure that the new recipient does not lose that home because again, homeownership is very expensive. This is why the intended recipient of the assets really needs to be given but I needed knowledge on everything he will be facing.

Finally, seeing a lawyer about asset protection is definitely a very smart move. You can definitely ask the lawyer how to protect against any potential threats of losing the assets and you may ask the lawyer about any concerns you have. I do hope that everything does turn out very well in the end because I would hate to see this brother continue scraping by and barely making it when he can have a far better life.
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Private; we all "get" that the mom is trying to help the brother. But she needs to set up a "special needs trust" to make that happen. simply socking away money isn't going to cut it; if mom needs NH care down the road, she will be forced to spend that money on her care. She needs to see an elder care attorney to set this up; not a DIY project.

There are many sad tales on this board of lovely parents who gifted or saved their money to leave to their children, disabled or not. Unfortunately, you need to understand how the needs assessment system in your particular state works in order to satisfy requirements, not assumptions based on what your neighbor told you 20 years ago. I believe that Barbara's heart is in the right place; she understands that her brother is disabled and worries about his future. But mom is not going about this in an intelligent sensible way, and I believe Barbara fears that she will be forced to care for her brother after Mom passes on.

"Giving up one's life" for another is something that some may choose to do; but is should be a conscious choice and not something foisted upon you.
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I went through something similar to this with my surrogate dad. He was a lot like you're describing so this really sounds familiar. As human beings, we want to remain as independent as possible even into old age. As human beings, our instinct is to lay up for our kids, so in that sense she's definitely on the right path of wanting to take care of someone who needs help after she dies. I can tell you from experience that SSI is very often not enough to carry you through the month, and I think your mom is most likely wanting to help your brother because he gets SSI. SSI is a needs-based program for those who have no assets. If your mom happens to own the house, she may very well want to give him his own house when she dies. The right thing to do is to help someone who's struggling financially, and it sounds to me like your mom may very well be making sacrifices for him now so that his life will be easier later. My surrogate dad had no one else but me to take care of during his old age because his wife and bio daughter both died, meaning he had no grandkids to spoil. This is why he took me under his wing. He provided for me many times and he got more money than me, which is why he made serious efforts to help me along by helping me through the month. Again, SSI is often not enough to get through the month because there is often more month than money. This is most likely why your mom is trying to lay off as much money as possible for your brother who gets SSI and has no assets. Your brother is probably not very stable because of this, and your mom probably just wants to make his life better later. If your mom would use reason to consider putting the money into some kind of special account, it would be safe and guaranteed to go to the intended purpose of caring for your brother. There are some things such as a trust or annuity among other options. CDs are a very good way of also building money.

When you're on SSI, you are allowed to own a home. However, when you own a home, you must be living in it and it must be your only residence. That means you can't have an additional vacation house elsewhere. That home must be your primary residence. Since your brother is most likely renting, this may be exactly why your mom insists on your brother living in her house when she dies. Instead of paying monthly rent, she is trying to give him the opportunity to own a home and just pay annual taxes. Anytime you're given this kind of opportunity, you want to save the money you would've paid on rent and just set it in a special account each month and don't touch it. When you get your taxes and find out what you owe, you can pay your taxes out of the money you saved throughout that year. Save what's left toward next year's taxes and keep building on it by continuing to put money away by repeating what you did before. If you put money aside for property taxes throughout the year, you'll have no problem keeping your home. What's especially hard though, is having to cough up a bunch of money toward major repair as well as minor ones. Let's say the furnace goes out or the roof leaks. These are major expenses every homeowner should save for. When SSI is your only income, this can be very hard if not impossible. This is probably what your mom has in mind, which is probably why she's saving money for his future and provision to stay in the house. I think this may very well be why your mom has really pulled the purse strings and tighten the belt by not spending any more than she must on anything. I don't blame anyone for wanting to help someone who needs it in this particular case because that's how it should be. When your mom is gone, that extra money is probably your brother's only chance at a better life. You may be able to survive without that savings, but he cannot. I can tell you that being on SSI and having that is your only income is not easy, and I don't blame your mom for wanting to provide for him when she's gone. I would do the same thing if I had a child who got only SSI and had no assets.

I think the reason why your mom is being so stubborn right now is for a few reasons. I think your mom wants to keep her independence for starters. No one wants to become dependent in their old age, no one. There is also a thing called self-preservation, and people will go out of their way to cleverly come up with ways to protect themselves and to make sure their plans are carried out.

As for her not wanting outside help, let me tell you that sometimes that help may be coming in to help all right, but end up helping themselves by stealing from whoever they're "helping". In this particular case I wouldn't blame her for not wanting anyone in her house. In fact, the elderly often become targets for theft and even scams. I think your mom is probably just trying to protect herself and any valuables that she has in that house, and I don't blame her if she's protecting valuables. We all obtain valuables at some point or another, and as we age we start planning our estates and writing out our wills in order to transfer certain valuables to certain people. If someone comes in and steals expensive jewelry that was included in your will for someone else, that jewelry is gone. There may be antiques in the home, and when you have antiques or any other valuables, your instinct is to protect those valuables by limiting who comes in your home, especially when items are very expensive and valuable. Your mom may be protecting things you don't even know about because it may be but she is protecting those items for certain people she intends to will them to when she's gone. In this case I don't blame her for being afraid to let anyone in the house, especially these days when the crime rate has increased. It may be that she just doesn't want anyone to know what she has, and as soon as you start letting people in, sooner or later someone will start snooping, which is how theft happens. The best way to prevent theft is to first be careful who you let in and never tell anyone what you have, and I'll explain why:

One time a friend was caring for her special needs daughter. She kept all of her daughters medical records on her laptop. People always came in and out of her house and she thought nothing of it. She often had her laptop sitting on the kitchen table near the door. One day that laptop came up missing along with her daughter's medical records. She sent out an alert on social media to all of her contacts. Most of us who didn't even know about the answer that were actually surprised as well as disgusted that something like this would happen. Apparently someone who knew her snuck in and stole the laptop, and it may have been someone she didn't know as well as she did other people, we don't know. All we knew was her laptop was missing and she never got it back. The last time she saw that laptop was on her kitchen table, and next time she turns around it's gone. This is why people should always be careful who comes into their house because you never know who may turn out to be a thief. This is also why valuables should be protected.
Again, your mom may have very legitimate reasons to protest outside help. As long as she can make decisions, I'm not sure there's really much you're going to be able to do in this case. All you can do is just watch over her and make sure no one takes advantage of her. You'll definitely want to make sure she has a will. That way, her intended wishes to provide for your disabled brother will be carried out. As long as you're disabled brother is actually paying his bills and buying his groceries like he supposed to and not wasting any of his SSI money, there's no reason why your mom can't help him when he comes short toward the mid to end of the month which is often when SSI recipients tend to run short. If the recipient has parents with more money, it's very normal to turn to family for extra help. Living on SSI is very hard, and this can depend on your monthly expenses.

What you can help your brother with is to see where all of his money is going and to guide him as to what he can do without. Let's say he has cable for instance. You can check to see if he has extra channels beyond basic. If he does, you can advise him to drop those extra channels to save money. If he can live without cable, you can encourage him to cut it off. You can also have him over to watch TV if he actually uses his cable and you intend to encourage him to cut it off to save money. Leave an open invite somewhere for him to come over and watch TV is what I was thinking.

Another thing is if he pays for a cell phone. Why pay for a cell phone when you're on SSI when there are free government phone with free airtime? There's another area where he can save money. A free government phone such as safe link or assurance would save your brother money he can't afford to spend. Let's say that sell phone he may have now runs $40-$60. That's money that could go toward groceries in the later part of the month. This is why there are free cell phones through a government program.

If your brother has a vehicle, check to see how much insurance he's paying, because there are most likely areas within your policy to make cuts and still keep your same coverage. Let's say you have full cover with certain benefits and you pay $40 for instance. If you call your insurance company and speak with an agent, you can still keep your same coverage but have your agent find certain areas where you can cut your bill down to $20 and still keep your same coverage with those benefits. I did this with progressive because I was paying $40 for quite some time and I was told before there were no discounts and that I was already paying the lowest amount possible for my coverage. When someone close to me found out, I had to explain to her the situation and she said call them back because I was paying the same amount she was and her husband were paying for two cars. When I told her that I checked on this once before, this is why she said to call them back. I didn't want to give up full cover because I had certain benefits including free towing. Reluctant, I called my agent back and told them what this person told me about the ability to cut my bill in half and still keep my coverage. I told my agent about the situation and I'm so glad I did because my bill is half of what I used to pay, which is more breathing room for a tiny SSI check.

Another area you can help your brother with is to see what his grocery bills run each month. Where he's shopping may not be the cheapest because groceries are definitely expensive these days. You may help him to start using coupons if he pays too much on groceries. Let's say he has a Hawkins or even a Buehlers in town. Let's say there's also a save a lot in that same town. Groceries at save a lot are much cheaper than Buehlers or Hawkins.

Any possible areas that you can encourage your brother to save money will help him lessen his need for his mom's money. That's not to say that he won't need help sometimes because of how little SSI pays out. SSI is a very tiny check, but there are ways to cut costs if you look for them.

As for the situation with your mom, another reason why she could be saving is for other personal expenses and to take care of herself as she ages. If she doesn't have Medicaid, she may very well have to pay for certain medical expenses such as medicine out of her own pocket. I'm sure that your mom probably has a very good legitimate reason for pinching every dime possible. This is something to consider because many people are like that. There are legitimate reasons for saving every dime possible, and then there are downright tightwads. There is a difference between tightwad and self provision for later necessary expenses.

Another thing I was thinking is maybe your mom is saving up to also pay for her final expenses. If she has life insurance, it may or may not cover everything such as grave opening and closing. I have heard horror stories where families have been told to cough up money for opening and closing. This is why it's always a smart move to save money for emergencies because you never know when you'll need it. Scammers know the elderly save money, which is why scammers target the elderly. This is why someone should be watching out for your mom. Scammers don't care who they hurt or how they may be robbing the intended victim because they don't care what they are taking away from those victims.

It may even be that your mom may not be getting much money and she just doesn't have the money to spend. This is just another slight possibility to look at, but I highly suspect she's probably saving to take care of her disabled son.

As for your mom's stubborn nests, all you can do is back off. If your mom starts declining too much, you may want to involve the APS as well as a lawyer to help you through the next step. If she must be placed into a nursing home down the road, there are things to do before hand such as putting any and all savings into a trust or other special account well in advance. In order to protect her house, it may be a smart move to transfer it over to her son well in advance of going to a nursing home. This will help to protect her assets so the nursing home cannot take them. If she ever needs Medicaid, they will most likely put a lien on the house and take from any sales proceeds to reimburse them for taking care of her. This is why transferring her house to her son now would be a wise move as well as taking steps to protect the savings that she intends to go to him. Perhaps taking those steps now would be very beneficial in various ways.
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Barbara, First, to stop the guilt and enable the healthy separation, this book helped me immensely: Boundaries Book By: Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend You can get it on Amazon, in paperback, even as a used book, for not much money....but if you, like I was, were raised by parents who somehow instilled that sense that they 'owned' you because your were created from their loins....this will help you see your relationship with them differently. I had to become POA for both my parents. Dad has now passed on, so it's only Mom....however SHE has been the royal manipulator, who honestly believes that all family owes her whatever she wants, and all for free, and anyone in the family, but especially her daughter, should be pleased and happy to give up their entire life to create some happiness for her. And she is an endless pit of pure need because she has NEVER been a self responsible woman, who could create for herself any happiness! She is a victim of the world, and everyone must attend to her and meet all her needs. This kind of a parent is NOT one that could come and live with me! Especially given that I a 71 yrs old and have a husband at home with Parkinson's disease, who also has never been able to get along with her, and HE has first priority in my life, as a spouse should have. She doesn't like him either, because he came into the picture and upset the applecart of hold she had on me. Now, with a POA....I do have a legal responsibility to keep my mother safe, and monitor her real and actual needs for medical care and safety etc....but I am not bound to be her slave. If you do not even have a power or attorney or guardianship etc at this point, you are under no obligations legally. So your responsibilities are to assess, watch for further decline, make sure she is paying bills and handling her money OK and that her medical needs are being taken care of....that's all you can do anyhow, legally. If she wants to allow the lazy brother to live there and she provide for him and chooses not to or is unable to help her out....that is her choice, until there are obvious problems. It appears as though she is able to drive, shop,buy food, cook for them and keep her house up to some sort of standard? But your assessment is that she's sort of 'on the edge' of things happening that are not good? If that's correct, the only steps you can take is to wait until there are clear problems with her paying bills, or eating right or having further medical problems, and then you could call in Adult Protective Services, or try to communicate what you are seeing with a physician she sees regularly and continue to have conversations about how she needs to think about help in various ways. But as long as she is deemed competent, it is amazing the leeway elderly people have to create havoc and bad situations in their lives, before any real action can take place to help them. Often, the only way to end of getting help is when something happens that gets the person hospitalized, because then you can step in and say that it's not safe for her to return home living by herself. Then, the caseworker, or discharge planner has to come up with a plan....which generally starts out with the person coming home with some in home care and assessment. THEN family works with those people to get them involved with what it takes to keep the elderly at home, or to assist in pushing for them to move to assisted living or in with family, if family wants to do that. But, without that legal ability like with a POA, you cannot force her to spend her money in any specific ways, nor can you mandate that she have in home care, or make any changes about your brother being in the home.....all you can do is watch, wait and assess. Based on my experience with my parents, you might want to start a journal, whereby you have a date and time and notes on your phone calls, visits, interactions, to help you if you do get to whre you need to present facts to any organization that might get involved. This also proves that YOU are concerned, watching, assessing and doing what you can to lead your mom into good choices. There is no need to feel guilt for where you are with her right now though, as there really is nothing else you can do. Get the book! It will help you get your mind in the right place!!
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Thank you, Jeaniepo and Midkid for your comments! I'm glad you found my comments helpful.
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Globetrotter--
Your comments are so profound and well stated!! EVERYONE on these boards with these same issues (all of us?) would benefit from reading what you just posted!
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Globetrotter , your post resonated with me. Thank you.
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"I have had years of being too tied to mom. I feel guilt because she is in bad place. But it was her doing. And she won't take suggestions...won't spend any more than she has to...Been emotionally drained from mom several times over the past several years."

Hadnuff, from what you say there appears to be two important factors that contribute to your sense of guilt. One tell tale sign is being "tied" to your mother for so many years. I am assuming that you mean emotional entanglement in the mother/daughter relationship. This can come from your mother's perceptions and expectations of that relationship which may be somewhat distorted and put unrealistic expectations on you. If I may share my own emotional entanglement with my mother, she would always say things to the effect of I really wanted you (as opposed to my other siblings? and "I don't know what I'd do without you (is your love based on duty/how much I can do for you). She expected me to have the same values, interests, tastes. I, too, was exceptionally close to her growing up and spent so much time emotionally protecting her from dad, who tended to be emotionally abusive and drank too much, that I didn't realize just how dysfunctional it was. I do love my mother, but as an adult I can see where the psychological boundaries were so often broken. Everything I did had to meet with her approval. In fact, looking back, I realized in some ways I was just as afraid of mom as I was of dad. How ironic that in dad's last years we grew so close and I truly loved him and forgave him for the things he did in the past. Now that I am an adult, I see my past/present relationship with mom in a new light and it is rather sad that this disease only illuminates my mother's dysfunction more than ever.

The other factor is burnout. Even though you are not there physically, there is still contact. She is still present in your mind. In fact, hearing her voice and not being physically present has its own type of distress. On the one hand, she is saying she doesn't want help, yet there is a nonverbal message that - you fill in the blank. Is it that you haven't done enough for her, she's disappointed in you, she's in pain and wants you to fix it, why are you doing anything about it. I live with mom 24-7 and she, too, rejects services from the community yet constantly expresses how she can't deal with the loneliness, boredom, anxiety, depression any longer. My hands are tied yet she gets furious with me when I go out to get groceries (which she always complains there is never enough of) or my part time work or church. It is very hard to feel emotional love when that manipulation is happening. However, love is not an emotion, it is a behaviour. It is okay to feel ticked off, disappointed and to take a stand, set psychological limits. If you don't want home care, of housekeeping or day program or whatever other service is available and appropriate, that is her choice; however, these are the consequences. I cannot rescue you. If I don't take care of myself, I can't be there for you. Empathy is not identifying with the pain, it is understanding how the person feels and acknowledging it. If you identify with the pain, you become just as distressed as your mother is, then tends to lead to anger and guilt. I love you, mother, and I will do whatever I can to support you, if you accept it, but I cannot go down this road with you. After all, what is guilt - it's a feeling that you should have done something you didn't do. How can you realistically help your mother? What can you realistically do if she refuses to accept help? I find these days, the only true way I can help my mother is to pray for her, then let God take care of the rest.
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Barbara, When I speak to children of people who need help, I suggest a meeting with the loved ones to speak to them about what they need. The older people feel that they have lost control when they see themselves deteriorate. The fact that she won't accept the help is because she doesn't want to lose that control. I am not sure where she lives but I might be able to assist in finding someone who can come and talk to her. Get in touch with me privately so we can chat if you want.
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I agree that we feel less alone by reading this site. I read it every day, and I appreciate each perspective.
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Thank you all for an interesting and enlightening discussion. We all seem to have very similar situations going on with our elders , and with ourselves as their adult children. Thank you all for your posts . I don't feel so alone.
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Hadnuff, you'll see by looking around on this site that there are many people struggling with caring for their elderly parents. I don't think you can quantify emotions; a person can feel enormous guilt and resentment regardless of the investment made in terms of time and effort. Sometimes because of it! Guilt if we're not spending enough time, resentment if we feel we're spending too much... although it's not always that straightforward. Examine your guilt, look at your mother's situation realistically (according to what you've shared, it doesn't seem as if she's begging for your help, but I could be wrong) and then do what you need to do; let go of your emotions. More often than not, it's our emotions that need to be dealt with, not the parent and/or living situation. It's hard to let go. I would teach you some tricks if I knew how!
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Hadnuff, you give yourself the right answer in the first couple of sentences of your post: your mother is in a bad place, it is her doing.

You do have one duty to your mother that I think you might find it helpful and comforting to work on: you have a duty to respect her choices. You can think, you can even say to her, "mother dearest, your life would be easier and your welfare more secure (and my worries about you significantly reduced) if you were to accept more help/evict my brother/move to an easier, more manageable home."

But once you have formed your opinion, really and truly *accept* that she, like any other competent adult, is rightly free to act on her own decisions.

And then you support her in them. As you are doing - by standing by, keeping watch, and being ready to help her when she's ready to let you. You're doing nothing wrong: separate your natural worries about her wellbeing from guilt you don't deserve to feel.
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