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Mother has Congesitve Heart Failure almost 8 years. She was hospitalized again on December 24th for fluid build up in her lungs. My husband I took her to the ER. My brother has just sent a letter blaming my mother, almost 88 years old for everything. Reading it made me sick to my stomach. He is 50 and stupid.
He wrote us all about how she wound up in the hospital and it was her fault because she is not taking her water pill regularly; he blames her for staying in bed a lot (yes, she does because her condition has progressed to the point where she can hardly function), he blames her for not exercising ... he wants her to climb flights of stairs and take walks. He want her to eat regularly ... she does not experience hunger pangs any longer. I am SICK AND TIRED OF HIS TYRANNICAL WAYS. At first he was on my case, then he got on my brother's case and the two of them almost got physical, and now he is blaming my mother.
I am so sick of the dysfunction. She is doing the best she can.
Maybe he is in denial and not stupid. Whatever. I am just venting that he is becoming a part of the problem not the solution. She lives alone, is not incompetent mentally and so we cannot "force" her to do anything. She now is getting to the point where she can no longer stand him. So, when I wrote last time thinking it was ME, I was wrong. He is just one big pain in the a**. He loves to give orders and judge. All I can do is all I can do. I cannot force her to do anything.
I hate all of this. Can anyone relate to having a bully in the family????
Hugs & Prayers to All,
Jackie

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bccamper said: "Back in the day, our great-grandparents and grandparents got old, they got sick and they died. Circle of Life. We miss them terribly, but it is what it is. Nowadays, we think we should be able to turn back or at least stop time - to cure old age, a certain diet will cure dementia, a certain exercise regimen will cure Parkinson's - or whatever. But, it turns out we are only human after all."

So very true. Thank you for posting this.
Jackie J
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Jeanne: Oh, but he does. After the brought her home from the hospital, he sent everyone a long note criticizing her for laying in bed, not climbing flights of stairs and a lot of nonsense and telling us all to "encourage" her. Truly that letter was coming out of the mouth of a healthy man who has never known a sick day in his life let alone severe congestive heart failure and other ailments and being age 88! I was going to answer him & family (this was a group email) but then I thought, let it go. He is not worth any more agitation on my part. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but there comes a time when you just have to stay away from some for your own health and peace of mind. He may love her but he is still a bully (in general) and a know it all. I am keeping my distance.
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JackieJ, you seem very insightful and I think you are handling things as best you can. Feel free to vent any time!

(Too bad your brother doesn't have a better audience for venting to than his poor mother.)
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Actually, there is no right answer, I think. We all just do the best we can do with what we are given. It is very frustrating at times, and especially when we are hands on caregivers. We think that there has to be an answer or a cure or a better way to do things, when in fact there may not be.

Back in the day, our great-grandparents and grandparents got old, they got sick and they died. Circle of Life. We miss them terribly, but it is what it is. Nowadays, we think we should be able to turn back or at least stop time - to cure old age, a certain diet will cure dementia, a certain exercise regimen will cure Parkinson's - or whatever. But, it turns out we are only human after all. But vent away. That is one reason that forums like this exist. Your mother is a lucky woman to have people in her life who care.
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You both make good points. I cannot do POA as I am disabled myself, and the truth is, though he is "pushy", he does have her best interests at heart. She may or may not have dementia, but no doctor has noticed it. I brought this to my brother's attention. In a way, since I cannot take over full-care, I am limited in what I can ask for. I see that. I will have to deal with this complex thing and just try to stay away from him as much as possible and do my best in my own way for her. I think he may be "blaming the victim" due to frustration that she is not going to get better .. it is a form of grief ... you get angry at them for getting sick and not getting better. Wanting her to do all of those things, while not realistic, is wanting her to get better. Being angry is anger at the fact that she will not. I am just venting the frustrations here. I wish we, as a family, could work together in a better way, but hard times really bring out the dysfunctionality. I just spoke to her and she is, again, singing my brother's praises. Fine. I am glad they are in good graces again. She is very changeable. I believe she has some cognitive decline; I believe he knows it too. We can only do what we can do ... the rest is in God's hands.
I am so grateful for your responses and for the time you take to listen to me vent. Thank you.
I know you all have your plates overfull and I have prayed for all of you who take care of them and for them. I admire you all. Bless you
Jackie
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I don't know your history, so I may be totally off base here. It sounds as though your brother has his heart in the right place, it's just his way of saying things that comes off so strong. I notice you actually agree with him on some things, and none of the items mentioned were unreasonable except perhaps the level of exercise. Men usually think in a more practical, problem solving manner, which comes off as uncaring sometimes. It's also possible that brother is actually a little scared to see his mother so vulnerable and ill and was just venting. Perhaps his biggest mistake was in actually mailing the letter. Hope your mother improves quickly.
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This is your brother who has P O A? I would send him a certified, return receipt letter stating that you can no longer care for mom after January 10th. It is his choice from that time forward to arrange for her care. Book a hotel for the week following that date or arrange to stay with friends.

The person who does the caregiving needs to have poa. End of story. Oh, and your mom needs to be seen by a geriatric neuropsychologist who can do cognitive testing that will tell you about her reasoning skills. Sorry, will tell HIM about her reasoning skills.
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