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I live with my parents and am the primary caregiver. I have POA for them. Siblings have recently, without even asking my parents, gotten house keys. They did only have one key, but now they also have made a key for the deadbolt. This is the lock we use when we are at home. When there is someone at home to unlock the door I don't understand why they would need to get in? My mother is not happy that they would also be able to come in and 'snoop around.' She has already caught DIL looking through financial papers. I am worried that they will come in before we have gotten up and scare me - thinking that a burglar has gotten in. My mother wants to change the lock but also worried that they will just stop coming to help with anything. We are getting the feeling that they will help when they can control everything. Already had some boundary problems. Caught in the middle - help!

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I'm sure it must be stressful but as long as they are competent and don't want to change, it's a moot point. Even if they were found incompetent, they would have to prove some great negligence or misconduct by you. You mentioned before that your mom doesn't like drama, this is definitely drama so I would mention that. Also, it sounds like your mom has a habit of giving mixed messages and getting you in a bad guy position. For example, if she says she doesn't want them in the house but leaves it to you to enforce and plays dumb when they ask her, they can interpret it as you're interfering with things of your own volition. If/when someone comes to interview them, they are going to have to say what they mean, otherwise this issue is not going to end. So many people don't like to cause trouble by speaking up and don't realize they are making it much worse. Good luck
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After thinking about this a little more, I wanted to add two things. First - your brother can not go to court to have you legally removed as POA. This is a "power" that was given to you by your parents and your parents are the only people who can take it away and appoint anyone else. The exception would be to prove that your parents are incompetent and rather than having POA, your brother would have to file for guardianship - which is a long, expensive process, especially if your parents fight being deemed incompetent. So you need to really find out where your parents stand on this - without them playing both ends against the middle. The second thing - my brother at one point had the brilliant idea that he would assume POA, take care of all the finances - and I would continue to do all the grunt work - dr appointments, filling medication boxes, shop for depends/baby wipes etc and visit twice a week. HA HA! Ya, right. I told him it was an all or nothing deal for me. I would suggest you let both your brother and your parents know it is the same for you. If your parents realize they may loose you as their caregiver, they might just take a stand and stop vacillating. My attitude was - shop for the depends and then have to ask my brother for the money to pay for them? I think not.
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I have been calling on him to do more things and I think that's the problem - they have a certain lifestyle and it is putting a crimp in that lifestyle ( yet they had no problem with me constantly being busy) Honestly, if someone can not give their parent only one or two hours of their time....
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Well, bummer! In my first reply I mentioned a red flag of concern - I guess this is it. Try to keep in mind that if you've done nothing wrong and your parents are supportive of you remaining POA and their caregiver, you likely have little to worry about. Personally, I'm an obsessive worrier so I understand how this is easy to get you spun up - but try not to let it. Still - if it were me, I think I would try to jot down a few notes documenting this whole key thing. I doubt a judge would look kindly on your brother sneaking keys and lurking around the house without permission. I have to say it would almost serve them right if you said "fine", gave them what they think they want - pack your bags and leave. So many siblings huff and puff but when it comes right down to it, they don't have a clue as to all that you do, how hard it is to be a caregiver and just what it takes in terms of commitment/loss of personal time and freedom to be the responsible party. My brother went through a short phase saying he was gonna be POA and about a year ago actually was visiting my mom three times a week. But after the winter and spring came - things he wanted to do, vacations he wanted to take etc, soon it was only twice a week visits and last week he didn't visit at all - fresh off two seperate out of state vacations. I haven't had a vacation in almost six years! Needless to say I think my brother has finally gotten the point - that he's just not up to the personal sacrifice it takes to do what I do. Sooo - deep breaths and solider on doing what you do and try not to dwell on this bump in the road until you actually receive legal notification that something is in the works. If your brother has no proof you've acted inappropriately he may even have a hard time finding an attorney willing to represent him.
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I would consult with an Elder Law attorney who is experienced in litigation with this type of case, so that you know the law and what to expect if they do file an action.

It might be stressful, but I would work on making things calm in the home. If your parents are competent, then the siblings will likely lose in court. And even if they are found incompetent, the person who was the appointed POA and already helping the parents would mean a lot and carry some weight.

People can say a lot of things, but what does it really mean? I wouldn't let them make me sick.
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Well it appears that brother and sister in law are planning to take me to court to get the POA away from me - the key that my mom was upset about ( I 'planted' the idea in her brain, he says) and having to get my dad's keys. These people have went off the deep end and seem to want control of my dad (he says, 'no way') I think they just want me totally out of the scene - this is how much hatred.

I asked dad if he wanted them to have guardianship of him, or control his finances, driving, etc. I told him that if he wanted it, I would do it. He said he did not want that at all.

I was told today by caregiver support office that I should call police when they came in belligerent, and get them escorted off the property. They are very active in their church so all the members would likely take their sides. God only knows what cock and bull story they have told people. My parents are very private people - especially my mom - and have felt that sister in law had too much influence over my brother. Hence the concern about the keys.
This has upset me so much that I had to go to the ER.
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Idk what your state Medicaid long term managed care provides but in NY, it does cover rides to the dr so if they get approved, you won't have to worry about that issue. And depending on need, they should be approved for X number of in home aide hours. You can either hire your own person or have an agency send their people.
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A security system would be a good idea. No, my mother would forget the code anyway, so that wouldn't be a problem. I've had the POA for about seven years, but suddenly they are interested.
We put the chain on last night, so there would not be 'burglars' in the house early this morning.
Trying to get them on Medicaid too, so we could get help with bathing, etc. Brother apparently no longer going to help with it since they cannot control the situation. The main help has been with appointments and transport.
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Can you afford a security system? I use frontpoint. That way if you're not home and they come in the cops will come, unless you think you're mom will give them the security code. It sounds like you're in the middle of more situations than this one so are you 100% sure your mom isn't giving mixed messages and puts you in the line of fire? I get the idea that your brother is drama anyway so if he's going to be a pita anyway, might as well change the locks and let the temper tantrums happen. I know that it sucks if they are telling people lies but you have to let that go because you know the truth and you can't worry about the neighbors. How much help do they provide? Is it worth the trouble? Why is he asking about paperwork? Is the poa a new thing?
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Well the two people in my family that I could talk to are relatives and one tells me to not trust siblings one minute, and the other always seems to find some excuse for them and that I am over reacting.
Not much help there....
There seems to be some kind of divide and conquer attitude about my parents. Things seem to happen when only one parent is present.
My mom is more suspicious about intent than my dad is. I guess I am wondering why there is suddenly so much interest in financial matters when I have been holding down the fort for so long?
Now it's like the house suddenly has a revolving door.
I really hate to think that they may have went onto my bedroom when I was not there.
I told my mother about the suggestions and she is all for changing the locks - but I just feel
like we are being blackmailed. 'Either do what I want, or I won't help you anymore.'
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If there is dysfunction in the family, act accordingly. Keep the wolves away from the door.
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All the precautions, all the locks in the world won't help if you ALLOW people, anyone, to look at your papers, wander the house, intimidate, Mom so she is cringing. Have them call ahead.
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Another perspective: This is family. Maybe you are,all on Mom's side and suspecting each other.
You have them in the home. It is an open door policy.
Have that family meeting, keep things open. Have a lawyer present to answer their questions. Mom's idea of having a social worker do it was not far off, a "mediator" of some kind is needed.
Maybe they have concerns about you? Maybe,Mom has mentioned something to them?
Maybe Mom has concerns she cannot bring up to you, or you and them together.

Anything can be going on, it is not unusual for the 'patient' creating chaos among siblings, due to their own fears.

If you have an open door policy, keep the lines of communication open or you will have an adversarial position or war with family members. Until you know there is evil intent, or narcissism, tread carefully.

Who is going to be your best friend (family member/sibling) when Mom is gone someday? Pick that person, start an open communication. imo.

Keep reading on the forum-choose now how you want this to be beneficial for the best outcome for Mom, and each of the siblings.

One thing I did was to put all important papers in one room, with a lock on the door. No roaming allowed, no holiday home tours. ,Lol.
My medicine cabinet does not hold ANY pills whatsoever. I installed a mirrored medicine cabinet (done easily) in the one bedroom.
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Your siblings' conduct sounds rather bizarre. I'd secure the house and the heck with how they feel. Is there some downside to being frowned upon by people who treat their mom like that? But, I am a direct person and have no issue with saying what I think. No one else in my family is like that so...I'm not sure if it's virtue or a vice. I get why your mom may be docile about it.

I'd also triple check your mom's Durable POA, Healthcare POA and Will to ensure there are no mistakes or issues. They seem like the type who might contest.

If they are holding their assistance over being in charge of the money......really? I'm not sure that I would trust them to help. They may be too busy with the bank records instead of assisting with caretaking.
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I have to admit I would freak out if I heard someone in the house when I was not expecting anyone... And the chain type door locks could stop the overnight visits. But I agree a family meeting might be best, and the locking file cabinet.
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We had the keys hanging at the same place where the doctor appointments are written down - in a cabinet near a wipe off board, so I am guessing that they got the keys then - or maybe back when parents could travel overnight, they left a key with them in case. I don't know how many they have made.

There is a locked cabinet, but mail had just come with bank account info and she was looking at that. My mother was sitting there cringing - but would not speak up. Last time they went on a trip, my mom was afraid that they had looked for documents in the house.
The latch is a great idea for when we are here, but when we are not...

This is one of the things that drive me crazy - both parents will fuss about things, but, when given the chance, they will back down ( what my siblings count on) and be afraid to confront. So guess who gets to do the dirty work? I told my mom about the posted comments about a family meeting and she strongly agreed - but it's 'oh maybe we can find a social worker who will come and tell them.'
Argggh!

So anything I tell them, then think that it's MY idea and that I am jealous or something. God only knows what they are telling in the neighborhood...

They also just walk all over the house, and my brother calls it ' my house,' and it's not - he has his own house. He keeps asking me about legal matters, too, and what type of POA document that I have. (Didn't tell him.) I think that my parents feel that they will only come and help them out IF they can have control. It IS beginning to feel that way.

I suppose I could tell them that I would call the police if I think that there is a burglar in the house ( the look on their face would almost be worth it!)
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Obtaining keys through devious means is not allowed.
Especially by Sil-does her husband know she did this?
Ask him.
Then, change the locks-at Mom's reauest of course.
Send whoever took the keys the bill for changing the locks.

If you are being exploited, or mom is "afraid" someone won't help if you stick up for your safety, security, and privacy rights, then you don't need that kind of blackmailing-type of help.
Who should be offended, the person making the offense?
Again, you are there, what is the need for keys beyond you?

You will find a way to do this nicely.
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I am curious how did the siblings get the house keys without even asking? Somebody had to give one of them the keys in order for duplicates to be made.
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I like the idea about the numbered door locks that you can program with a code, but, I would reconsider placing the POA's in the bank deposit box, because unless you are listed as an approved person with the bank, they won't let you gain access to the lockbox if mom or dad got sick and you needed to get to them.
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Check out the new numbered door locks with the key pad. They replace the old deadbolt door locks. You can change the 4 digit code every day if you want. Just say that it had become apparent that there were too many keys running around and that you all as the house occupants were uncomfortable with that many keys out. Ditto the locking file cabinet. Better yet, take all the REALLY important papers to a safety deposit box in the bank that only Mom and the POA have access to. Being the POA is hard enough without having to worry if somebody is going to "borrow" important papers. Just my 2 cents.
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Something else just occurred to me; does you mom have dementia?

My mom has dementia, and frankly, before I believe ANYTHING she tells me these days, I look for outside confirmation. So, siblings have keys (do they?) and she's caught SIL snooping (has she?).

These kinds of situations are SO fraught for families. Before you accuse anyone of anything, see if there is a way of ascertaining the facts. Just a caution.
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I would suspect that mother isn't big on confronting family members and telling them to turn in the keys.....I mean...who would feel comfortable doing that? Many seniors are low key and don't want to rock the boat, set off family feuds or create a scene. I know my mom or dad would never do that. They would likely be a little more devious and just change the locks, without warning anyone. And hide the new keys, so the nosey family members can't make themselves a new copy. And if anyone ever has the nerve to ask, you just say that so many keys got gone, that you had to put new ones in.

If you are the duly appointed POA, they don't need to be nosing around the paperwork.

You may need to have a way for family members to get in in case of an emergency, but there are ways to do that to, that might not include other family members having a key.
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I agree that it's time for a family meeting and a locked filing cabinet.

Be aware of the fact that "asking for the keys to be returned" doesn't guarantee you anything; they may have made more copies.
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Oh, I second the locking file cabinet!!
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My gut reaction was "change the locks - today". But jeannegibbs is right, the more mature route would be to call a family meeting. Having keys to the house is wise when you have vulnerable seniors living alone - but since you are there it just doesn't seem necessary at this time and it is in fact, an invasion of both yours and your parents privacy. The fact that they got keys with anyone's knowledge or permission is a red flag for concern. If you can not get them to surrender the keys, get the locks changed. If it were me, I'd take the added step of getting a sturdy locking file cabinet and ensure that sensitive material is always locked up.
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Sounds like it is time for a family meeting. Mother needs to express her wishes to the entire family. She needs to ask for the keys back, or to say she is changing the locks, and why. She is entitled to make those kinds of rules for her own home.

You should not be caught in the middle, if Mother is still able to express her wishes.
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If you don't want to change the locks you can install some simple night latches, at least they will ensure nobody walks in on you while you are at home.
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