Brother is mom's POA but neglects her. He tells me I am a busybody for trying to help. What are my legal rights?

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My brother lives near my 87 year old mother, who lives alone in her own home. I live 2 hours away, came home for Christmas, was shocked at the condition my mother and the house is in. My brother is POA, doesn't do anything more than talk, tells mom about "Obamacare and socialism". She needs help now. She will only tell me her problems, hides things from everyone else, cries to me on the phone that she is lonely and that I must come live there and take care of her. I am the only daughter, her mother did this to her.
When I try to work with my brother to get mom social services, he calls me a busybody, says over his dead body, and he won't return my phone calls.
My mother was sick for a week after Christmas, must have gotten the bronchitis I had when I went there, didn't call me until a week later, wouldn't call the doctor or anyone else. Blamed me for making her sick!

I am trying to get well enough to start an internship next week, finish school, and get a job. I am 55. My mother needs so many things that I can't provide (and I won't take abuse) but social services can.
The problem is that my brother is in the way, he could stop everything I try to do to help her because I need her consent to get her the services she needs, like LifeAlert. (She could not get out of the house or notify anyone if there was an emergency).
Also, his house is being foreclosed on, he is thinking of moving in with her, but he won't lift a finger to fix the hole in the foundation (bad for heating costs in PA in January), and she pays her own fuel oil bills.

I am scared of him (PTSD-VIETNAM), of her (I am in therapy for PTSD from child abuse and must keep some distance to stay balanced), naturally I am worried about her and want to help, but she's being abusive towards me, he will abuse me, he may try to sue me, who knows what else?

I know I could go to protective services, but I am afraid that everyone will blow up and cause me more stress, which my doctors will not allow...this family makes me mentally and physically sick. I NEED AN ADVOCATE, MODERATOR, A SANE NO NONSENSE PERSON TO PROTECT ME! And I don't have the money to pay an attorney. I am on disability, trying to finish school to finally get back to work, my student loan is $34,000, and my husband works long hours to take care of both of us and our house.

What are my legal rights? Is there any way I can get an advocate to help me be the adult or should I just ignore everyone? Would I be negligent then? Any suggestions are entirely welcome.
Thanks for hearing me out, gang.

Answers 1 to 10 of 13
Wow--you should talk to an attorney. Too many complications, especially if you are dealing with possible violence and abuse.
Whatever you do it's going to cost money for decent help, so better be prepared and protected! Otherwise, you are not going to get anywhere.
In reading your post, the thing that I kept thinking was that you would FEEL so much better about this whole situation if somehow you and your brother could get along and be on cooperative speaking terms..... If perhaps a face-to-face meeting with your brother might help to bring about a thaw in your relationship and enable you both to come to terms about a workable plan of action for your mother's welfare. If you and your brother could accomplish this, it would prevent a lot of headache and anxiety which would surely go along with seeking legal counsel ( which would keep the situation in "conflict mode".) Good luck
agree with anne123, but would get Attorney BEFORE meeting with brother. Go armed. Be on offense, hold the cards. He knows you're scare of him, so do you want to change that?
What do you think?
You say you are in therapy. Can you describe the situation for your therapist and ask the therapist for advice?
I am in therapy, won't see them til later this week. I can describe the situation, then. We do role playing to help me say what I have to say without emotion taking over all logic. It's just that they (he and mom) trip my trigger so fast that years of therapy has not stopped them from blowing my mind. He talks loud, finger in your face, no time for comment. He believes that taking help from the state is fascism and has my mom brainwashed. Christina28 has a point, play stupid, but hold the aces. He doesn't know he could be in deep for neglect.
I just can't believe that I got out of that place 30 years ago because of abuse and now I am being bullied back into it again.
I am sorry for what you are going through; I understand the history and the situation somewhat. I am the middle kid and my 2 yr older brother is a narcissist whom my 85 yr old mom has enabled; he is verbally abusive to me and does nothing physically or emotionally to help mom, in mod/severe dementia, but tells the world about ALL HE DOES - he lives next door, has 5 cars monopolizing her garage, and now that I as POA have moved in and am putting up some boundaries so I can clean up her house and try to feel at home here, she complains to him that I am taking over and every time I say something about his cats running in the door or him NOT owning the garage, she gets pissy and asks me why I am so hateful. I too had some child hood issues to deal with and being here again in this house with mom sticking up for his irresponsible actions is enough to make me scream and think some really bad thoughts. Anyway, if there are legal services or legal aid in your area, consult them about your concerns. I believe you can call the police to do a welfare check and probably social services - there are separate ones for seniors and they seem to take it seriously. Also, at least call any and all senior services in her area and you are bound to find someone who will investigate and keep you anonymous. You have a right to visit and you will have to stand up to your brother and ignore his comments - I know, easier said than done, but you will be stronger for it. Take someone with you to visit so you don't feel alone and vulnerable etc. Utmost, take care of yourself first. You have been through enough and I hope you get some support and guidance so that you are ok and your mom is ok and your brother has someone watching him like a social worker or other agency, etc.
If your mother is not currently in immediate danger of harm and you have time to try different things, other than asking authorities to check on your mother, maybe you could ask your therapist about you writing your brother a non threatening letter, expressing your worry about your mother, what you think she needs help with, phone numbers, etc of who she can contact or he can contact on her behalf to get this help and offer to assist if he wants. That way you avoid a face to face confrontation. he has time to read and absorb your concerns without having you there for him to react confrontationally. If he ignores it, you can then think about what if anything you want to do next. What do your husband and son suggest be done? Is your mother able to leave the house? Does she have a doctor? Are there neighbors, other relatives or friends of your mother or brother who might get involved to assist? Perhaps you can also ask your mother to put her needs/wants in writing to you so you have some documentation that she does want assistance. However, only you know the best course to follow and the personalities and mental conditions of thoseinvolved That's why I suggest you discuss this with your therapist, who is an expert at dealing with all these issues or family members since,unlike me, they know the people and the situation and you. If mental illness is involved, you won't be able to talk this over rationally and your choices may be limited if you chose to get involved. If you can't afford an attorney, see if legal aid services can help you. This site locates legal services by state
Top Answer
Sometimes it is just impossible to help people. You try to help your Mom and she "abuses" you. Then there is you brother, his political views should be just that "his". But she put him in charge. Would she turn on you if you called someone about elder abuse and then side with him? Is it worth it? Sometimes we just have to let it go and protect ourselves. My Mom has some personality disorder and put my brother in charge of everything. She thinks I want her money (which is not true) After much heartbreak and emotional turmoil, I finally realized that if you are elderly and you have loving, caring children who want to care for you, you are very lucky. Those who don't appreciate this get what they deserve. Ask yourself, couldn't your Mom end this pretty easily by taking the POA from your brother, it is easy to do. I personally have distanced myself from my brother and Mom, the hateful and undeserved things she has and continues to say about me are unhealthy. She will be provided for but I will not be doing the providing.
Js, Besides your brother being a bully, his reality of America is skewed because of what he's been through in life, especially Vietnam so he has an agenda of his own aside from your mother.
You don't say whether it was your mother or father or both that abused you when you were growing up. I ask because unless you can separate your mother from your brother for at least a short time, there is little hope that you can deprogram her in order to help her. You said he has POA but that is for finances only I thought, what about DPOA which is supposed to be the medical end of the POA thing? Depending whether you can stand having her around you for a few weeks in order to start the deprogramming, only then can you initiate change. I also am interested to hear what your husband has to say about all this. He has ONLY your best interests in mind, so maybe he ought to be the barometer you go by instead of the years of terror you had growing up, and trying to figure out what to do now.
My mother assigned my brother as POA for finances and medical. Lousy attorney. I sent her a medical POA to have executed. My mother and my father abused me along with my brothers. I was a very lonely little girl. My mom tends to make me feel like a little girl again when she speaks to me. PTSD.
I called Protective Services, and the Area Aging Office is contacting my mother and looking in to the situation. I am required to detach by orders of my psychiatrist and my therapist. It still hurts, but at least I am sheltered from any further abuse and I have support for my emotional battles.
My husband understands, but is not as supportive as he could be. He did not grow up like this and has trouble relating, especially to the PTSD, he just knows what I go through.
I appreciate the comment. It helps when others understand.

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