romada Asked June 2011

Should I force my brother to get an in-home caregiver for our mom who is suffering from dementia and post-operative head hematoma?

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I HAVE MEDICAL POWER OF ATTY & MY BROTHER HAS FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTY. HE DISAGREES WITH ME ABOUT GETTING IN-HOME CAREGIVER OR MOVING OUR MOM TO AN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY, EVEN THOUGH HER DR HAD ALREADY ADVISED US THAT OUR MOM SHOULD NOT LIVE ALONE. OUR MOM ALSO REFUSES TO GET ANY HELP & SHE IS CURRENTLY LIVING BY HERSELF IN HER OWN HOUSE. HIS EXCUSE WAS THAT OUR MOM DOESN'T WANT OR NEED HELP. HE ALSO CLAIMS THAT SHE DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY, BUT WHEN I MENTIONED ABOUT SELLING OR REVERSE MORTGAGING HER HOUSE, HE REFUSED THOSE OPTIONS AS WELL. CAN I JUST HIRE THE CAREGIVER & TELL THE AGENCY TO SEND THE BILL/S TO MY BROTHER?

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toadballet1 Jun 2011
If you are medical POA talk to her doctor and have him put in writing that your mother needs in-home care and cannot be left alone. Contact your hospital and ask which agency they use for in-home Medicare assistance. Also, if either your Mom or Dad were veterans, there is some assistance there.
It is your Mother's home and only asset. You were spot on to suggest that she either sell or reverse mortgage the house for her care.
If your brother continues to refuse, you may have to involve adult protective services. You will be armed with the doctor's evluation.
The other route is to apply for Medicaid. They will consider all her assets and ask her to "spend down" which may involve her house. At least that way she is getting the care she needs.
Also, speaking with an elder care attorney may be worth the time and cost.
good luck
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jeannegibbs Jun 2011
I am sorry for your distress. It is surely hard to see your mother not getting the help you think she needs, especially since her doctor thinks she needs help, too.

I don't know why your brother would take your mother's word that she doesn't need help. She has dementia, remember Brother? Her thinking and her grasp of reality is impaired.

Where do you and your brother each live, relative to your mother? In the same town? Some distance away?

Does she have enough money? What is her financial situation? If the only asset she has is her house she is probably eligible for a variety of programs and benefits, including Medicaid. Talk to the social worker at the hospital where your mom had surgery, for information about options available to you.

Why, specifically, can't she live alone? For example, does she have mobility issues, does she forget to eat, is she neglecting her hygene, has she fallen -- what are the issues that you and the doctor see that concern you but that your brother dismisses?

Do you have an idea of where your brother is coming from on this? Is he in denial about Mother's declining health? Is it just too painful for him to admit she is not the strong vibrant woman he wants her to be? Or does he maybe have some reluctance to spend money he hopes to inherit? Or has the "power" part of POA gone to his head? Maybe some insight into his motivations would help you figure out how to cope with this.

Hugs to you.
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