What should I do if my sister flew my mom down to be with her and is not letting her go back home?

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Well we have been taking care of my husbands mom for the past 4 months, she has Alzheimer's, and she is not getting any better. His sister from Florida thought it would be nice to have her come down and spend Christmas with her. So without even tell mom she bought the tickets (using moms money) and flew in to pick her up. Well just today we found out she is not going to let mom come back. We feel that she had this planned all along. Mom belongs in a assistant living place not cooped up in someones house out in the middle of no where. She seems to believe that she knows what is best for mom after only living with her for 2 weeks. We even had mom at a doctors and he said she should not be cooped up, she should be with people her own age and active. Now she is saying that she is going to need moms money every month. Why we don't know being that she works and she is an adult. Sometimes she works 13 hours a day. How is she going to take care of someone that needs constant care. We need to find out what we can do about this so she doesn't take all of moms money. Any advice????

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
I certainly do understand your concern as I had the same for one of my relatives a few years ago. My major question would be her true motivation for wanting to assume caring for Mother. For example, does it so happen that Mother is rather well off financially and perhaps she is not? If this is not the case, then my level of concern would be significantly less than if that were the situation.

It appears based on your comments that perhaps there has not yet been adequate communication between all parties involved. If this is the case, I would highly recommend for all of her children to have a group discussion about the "plan" for Mother's care in a very calm manner with "Mother's best interests" being stated at the beginning as the focus for the conversation.

If there is some concern regarding the proper use of Mother's funds, then perhaps it would be wise for "accountability" purposes, for an agreement to be reached between the adult children to revise her accounts to require the consent of two people in order to take funds from Mother's account such as for example, your husband and his sister. I highly recommend that this be discussed tactfully in a manner that does not negatively reflect on anyone as to indicate that they are not trusted to properly utilize and manage Mother's assets. Otherwise, hard feelings would most likely result which certainly is not in the best interests of anyone concerned.

Subject to her motivations being pure, please consider that she may truly believe that the best care is given in a home environment rather than in a facility. I also caution you regarding accepting without any question absolutely everything any doctor says is best.

My Mother was told by a doctor that it would be best for her to go ahead and place me in a care facility when I was only a four months old. That doctor told her that I was so brain damaged that I never would be able to do anything for myself. HA! I currently hold a Master degree in business management to include a perfect GPA of 4.0 on a 4.0 scale from the very beginning of my Bachelor program through the end of my Master (Distinquished Graduate), have been married to the same wonderful man for 24 years, have a 21 year old son that has already completed his Bachelor degree with a 3.895 GPA and already has a high paying full time position as well as I am a highly paid professional that has been employed full time for the past 28 years. The point is I am quite sure that I would not be enjoying the wonderful life I have now and my wonderful son would probably have never even existed if my Mother would have decided to proceed with what that doctor told her was best.

I personally agree with those that think the best care is in a home environment and not in any type of facility unless there is absolutely not another available option. It is not possible to really know what is actually going on 24/7 in any facility or if proper care is being consistently provided. Also, proper care will never equate to the "loving" care of a family member in my opinion. To be honest, I actually would rather be dead than have to go live in other than a home environment. Especially so if with a bunch of other people because I enjoy my privacy as well as sanitary conditions. It is simply not possible for any place with multiple residents to remain as sanitary as my home, especially not with elderly residents since many have bladder and bowel issues.

I have had Cerebral Palsy since birth and am in a power wheelchair myself yet I care for not one but two elderly relatives in their 80s and 90s. I had three to care for at once until my Dad passed away in 2005 at age 88. Of course, I do not do everything for them myself but I certainly do see to it that all of their needs are met. My out of state cousins come to visit my Mom and Aunt from time to time and they always comment on what an outstanding job that I am doing caring for them. Therefore, no matter the circumstances, I truly believe that where there is a will, there is also a way, with God's help, of course.

If she had Mother for two weeks then I would suspect that she has some idea of the level of effort involved to care for her. If she fully understands what is on the horizon is completely another story though so I would do my best to ensure that she does completely understand.

The bottom line is that if her motivations for doing this are indeed honorable and she is the one that will be taking care of Mother, then she should have Mother's funding available to do it. Just because she has a job does not mean that she should also have to expend her own funds to care for Mother in addition to the responsibility that she is assuming for her care. If Mother has the funds available to pay for her needs then she should be paying for them and not any of her children. I make quite a lot of money but I utilize my Mother's and Aunt's funds to supply their needs. However, if it ever got to the point that they did not have any funds available, I certainly would spend my very last dime to ensure their needs were properly met as well as to keep them in their own home just as long as possible even if I have to end up hiring nurses 24/7 to come in and help me do it.

I know just how stressful and difficult it is to make decisions pertaining to the care of loved ones so I shall keep you all in my prayers. Please do count your blessings though that you do not have to make all of the decisions alone as I do being an only child because I can assure you that it is tough duty. I do pray that I have shared something here that will be of assistance to you and your family.

Cathie V - you didn't say what type of care you were giving your mother in law - was she living with you? How was it that if she has alzheimers this is only an issue now - but not when her daughter was taking her home to floriday. What did her son, your husband say at the time.
the reason I ask these questions is that yes, Alzheimers is very labor intensive, but it sounds as if something else is going on there. Family dynamics are interesting - usually though when I hear a 'daughter-law' saying somebody's parent needs to be in a facility, I like to weigh in with questions just to bring some balance to the post. Heres why:

in 2000 my sister & her husband signed my mom into a SNF after a minor surgery claiming that they wanted to have a "family thanksgiving". They lived in my mom's house and signed her in the *day before her birthday* and *two days before thanksgiving*. I called the hospital from work to see what time I should pick her up & boy did I get to the snf FAST,......my mom was in shock & crying begging me to take her home....nobody told her anything other than her daughter had signed her in. yeah right.

my sister did not have a POA or any legal standing - she just had no sense of right & wrong and an unemployed husband. I called my sister from the SNF to let her know I was bringing mom home and she & her husband came screaming down claiming "mom needs to be with people her own age for the holidays - we want to have a family thanksgiving & have already invited people" ... sad eh? she then suggested that since I was single, maybe mom should just live with me & my sister would keep living in my mom's house. hah!

Cathi v. I don't know your situation, but please look into your heart & consider whether you are supporting your husband's family talking out what is best for mom. Take care
HIs sister will not discuss anything, she won't answer the phone and when you do talk to her she uses the power of attorney line. My Husband, in her eyes has nothing to say in this matter. We have had Mom at our house for the past 4 to 5 months. She need constant care..... She doesn't not shower, wash her hair, eat properly, can't take her meds on her own, forget everything in 5 minutes, losses mail, ect. His sister has made a decision with her live in boyfriend(that can't hold a job). We are concerned about taking her away from her family and friends in Il. Her sister is up here. Mom, before she left, hated the thought of moving there, hated her boyfriend and had a different attitude all together before she left.
Yes I agree she needs to be with family, but not all the way down there. His sister works 12 to 13 hours a day, she Can't be alone at all, but she seems to think its ok. I am just mad at how she went about this and that she needs money, (HELP WITH THE MORTGAGE) What happens if she takes all the money and Mom really needs help and there is no money left.
We just think they are taking full advantage of moms money, and yes she has a good amount. She (sister) is very unstable herself and we are just scared for mom.

We have tryed to get her to come up here to sit down and chat and even asked her to be able to keep tab on the money...again NO comes out of her mouth. UGH
I also had many of the same thoughts as Cat as well as observed a situation as she and you both described which is a very sad state of affairs indeed. I am not an expert in this area but if Mother has properly executed a power of attorney to the sister and not to your husband, then it probably will be hard to reverse her decision to keep her unless it can be sustained that Mother is being neglected or abused. If Mother is not currently of sound mind, a power of attorney revocation could not be made by her at this juncture but could by a Judge if circumstances were to warrant it in their opinion. I think the State would probably then be placed as her guardian so that is something to consider as well.

Perhaps your husband should consider reporting the circumstances to authorities in the area where she lives as well as to the State DHR if he is indeed concerned for her safety. I think there are also some hotlines that have been established to report suspected abuse/neglect of the elderly. I know I saw quite a list of numbers for such reports on a poster at a nursing home. I think the authorities would then monitor Mother at the home and just knowing that she will be watched may change things. I will pray that everything works out in Mother's best interests whatever that may be.

Hey Cathie V

what type of POA does the sister have & when was the mother diagnosed with Alzheimers? Just because a person has a POA doesn't give them carte blanche.

You might consider contacting you local area agency on aging and asking as a special case to consult with your state ombudsman. Make it clear that you are asking for advice for yourself so they don't tell you it's not their job (which technically would be correct.) ALthough Only Child has made an excellent logical suggestion, the sad truth of the matter is neither state dept of health would cover this, you are dealing with two jurisdictions and APS is usually overwhelmed with their caseloads. You could contact Public Guardian through the Probate Court in the new state of residence, and your own state which is your mom-in-law's address of record - - they can give you some guidance as well.

If you are committed to getting your mom-in-law out of there, it can be done, but it will take alot of work. Is there anyone in that state who can visit her - or are you able to go yourself to see what is actually happening? I can give you a bit of advice, but what I say will depend on circumstances. In advance I wish you good luck and best wishes. No matter what happens stay calm and keep in mind your goal which is to keep your mom-in-law safe and cared for as she deserves, Alz or not.


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