How do you deal with difficult family inolved in the care of our mother?

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My mom recently moved into my home with my husband and myself. My remaining brother and 4 sisters were dead set against this move. My mother is in fair health which she requires many trips to many different doctors. she lived in a senior high rise/low income apartment complex. She had no home to sell or car and what belongings she had were in a one bedroom apt. She offered my siblings to take what they wanted but they chose very little and refused to help move. They have not spoken to my mom or me in 3 months. My mom has her own phone line and they have the number no calls or cards for mothers day either. they say i am just after her money. There really isn't any but her social security. She does have a few credit cards. I must add now my mom's body might be failing her but she has her mind. They hired an attorney to try and get her to hand over copy of all her statements. She went to her attorney and he wrote them a letter on her behalf and gave them what we thought was what they wanted. Yesterday they sent a certified letter to my mom written by one of them on behalf of all of them. But once again it was only about her finances and what i was doing with her money. I swear there is no money except this s.s. income. Once again not one word asking how she was doing and how she was feeling and was i taking care fo all her medical needs. This is certainly harder than I thought it was going to be. There solution was to stay in that apt. or nursing home. I just can't do that yet. How do I handle this? Will this go on forever?

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Hi Mssarge,

I would encourage you to respond to your relatives like this. Video tape an interview with you & your mom discussing what assets she has (nothing but SS) and what her intentions are in living with you (help support companionship). If she truly has nothing but social security, make a spreadsheet of her living expenses - and since they will probably be well over what she gets from SS, split the excess by the number of siblings and let each and every one of them know that you would like them to *help mom out* - - they can take off & use their time to go and buy the diapers, meds, special diet, cable....and provide outings,entertainment, etc.

If it is a misunderstanding or perhaps family dynamic like jealousy, they will come around. If they are truly just in it for the money they can be assured that you have put them on notice of the help your mom would like and if they choose not to it is documented.

Don't let them make you feel bad - it is infinitely more expensive and lifechanging to care for someone. SO hey, they can help too. (keep smiling - and doing the right thing)
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I feel for you. Stay in your heart, and keep a clear mind. Take care of yourself. Meditate, breath deep, listen to music that warms you whenever you can. Perhaps your mom would benefit from doing these things as well. I encourage you to keep a journal on this experience, being sure to reference every bit of correspondence you receive regarding your mom (other than junk mail of course) as well as copies of what you send out. Keep those in it's own file center/envelope, etc. Be copious to protect yourself. Be as transparent as possible.
I would encourage you to craft a heartfelt letter to accompany all the financials -- the letter to illuminate what life is like for Mom, and for you. Include her expenses and highlight the ones you've been absorbing. Then request, as they only seem interested in the money, they contribute their share to her expenses rather than you bearing the full weight of it.
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It is a shame that so often children are only concerned about their parent's money! It sounds as though you are doing the right thing for your mom. Perhaps, once your siblings realize that there is no estate, they will come to their senses. Or, once they have seen her finances, you need to let them know how much THEY will need to contribute for her care! Taking someone into your home increses your expenses and social security can't support an elderly person and their medical needs. I'm sure it is hard to be treated this way by your family, but remember you are doing this for the benefit of your mother. Someday they will have to deal with the way they have acted!
Brendalou
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