My brother who'll be out of prison in 3 weeks wants to live with our mother, but he steals from her and manipulates her. She is staying with us now, but wants to go home. What should we do?


My 73 yr old mom has Alzheimer's. Her mom died at 72 with the same. She recently had cataract surgery and is staying with me. She constantly wants to go home. My brother is getting out of prison in 3 wks and wants to live with her. I do not want him around as he steals thousands and manipulates her. I have a Power of Attorney for her. Every few minutes is Groundhog Day and I don't know what to do. If he comes to my house, it is possible that I will be in jail afterwards. I have spoken to my mom about living in a place where people can monitor her meds, (lots of them) and who comes to see her, plus her checkbook, jewelry, etc. would not be accessible to him that way. Anybody who has gone thru this have any words of wisdom as to how to handle. She agrees then disagrees that this would be a good option, but worries about her son when he gets out. By the way, I am the responsible clean up person.

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We had a situation in my community where the elderly woman was not only stolen from but physically abused. You are right in trying to get your mom into assisted living or somewhere secure.

I'd try your long-term care ombudsman for advice on making the move. Go to or your state website under "aging." You'll find the one who represents you. They have a lot of information for you and should be able to help you find a way to get her into a safe environment.
Take care and good luck,
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My mom is 86, has a very clear mind at present, and lives in her own home. She has 5 children, myself and my twin sister who is on a second marriage and not closeby. I am 100 miles from mom and my husband is retired and I work parttime. I could come to mom's aid if she ever needed me but so far she thinks she is handling herself well because one of my younger brothers who never married (he is 51, I am 60) chooses live with (or rather "off of") her. Mom gets the rest of her children, as I also have an older brother in Florida and youngest brother about 15 miles from mom with work and wife and family, to believe the our brother who lives with her is taking on all the "caregiving" responsibilities. The truth is, he doesn't work unless he wants to, complains about his back, knees, etc. yet can do construction work if he needs enough money for his cigarettes and alcohol. He has never discussed his addictions but has taken mom for a couple thousand before by looking over her shoulder in the grocery store and getting her pin number, going to ATM machine and taking out enough to have a wild party with Mexicans one Christmas Eve (this was years ago but it shocked all of us, as our mom is a retired nurse and our dad was a Baptist minister prior to his failing health and death from cancer in 1996. I have tried to talk with my brother before but all he wants is for someone to take care of him while he keeps up his addictions or bad habits. I can understand when someone with bad habits who tries their best to overcome them but it takes lots of love and empathy and "enabling" to put up with chronic bad habits, until finally a point of resolution is necessary. No one wants to talk with mom about our brother who is there, keeping her from living "alone" yet making her lifestyle less positive than it could be because of his negative behavior. He smokes only outside on the porch, but we aren't sure and no one can be sure, what drugs may be in his system that mom would not notice.
My mom expects my brother to keep her home in good shape and I think he wants to be as helpful for her as he can, yet he has no thought of himself, of making himself a more dependable, reliable person by being responsible, keeping a car available and keeping his driver's license so he can take her to the grocery store or doctor's visits. Mom doesn't ever want to ask her children for money but my brother who lives with her will often tell us mom needs "this" or "that" for her computer or a new dish washer, etc. and we know it is because our brother wants to use these things too, and does us them.
Thank you for listening to my caregiving story. One day I may have to bring my mother to live with me; however, I pray the day never comes that my brother who lives with her needs help from me. I'm sorry but...what goes around often comes around.
This is a statement I have made after much thought and lots of time alone with God in prayer.
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I wish my brother would do that much, even companionship, but he is a snake. He steals, lies, takes advantage and is waiting for the next handout. My mom, forgets what he has done 15 minutes before, therefore, he does more bad things. He has bad friends, in and out of prison and I don't want to live in fear or make him mad. I am at wits end as what to do. Attorneys only write letters and police have their hands tied until they "catch" him, meanwhile, I have 3 wks before he hits the street. Anybody have any great ideas?
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Thank you for the response. This is a difficult 2 edged sword and I am having a difficult time walking the line.
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Be clear-headed and practical about this situation. Forget for a moment that your bro is a family member. Would you allow a former felon to move in with your Mom. What would you do to protect her?
I have paid caregivers who come in once and awhile to help Mom. I have removed all her valuables from her home and store them in my home...that way you are removing temptation. Have her mail forwarded to you. Get her PoA and set up an online account at her bank to monitor her finances.
I (along with several of my friends) were so appalled when we found out that our siblings were taking money from our parents. My brother coaxed my Mom into getting a credit card then took out a cash advance on it, promised to pay it back, and never did. He lives a chaotic life - but she insists that she does not want to "give up on him." I said, "he has given up on you." He hasn't been here to visit her in 3 years.
I know how you feel. You do not want to tell your Mom what to feel about her son, on the other hand, you need to protect her.
Users have oh so many ways to take advantage. But I am also vigilant about intercepting anyone who wants take what is not theirs.
My mother and brother have very similar the absolute worse things for themselves then come to others for help. I have been "batting clean-up" for years.
You do not have to welcome your brother into your home. You mother should stay with you until you have found a safe placement for her. And monitor all of her investments and finances.
Once your brother sees that she is no longer a meal ticket he will move onto the next victim.

Good shouldn't have to deal with this in addtion to caring for your mother....Lilli
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