llcrss Asked November 2012

What to do? Should I start over and try to bring my mom closer to me?

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For 3 yrs, I have been one of the DPOA's for my mom after my brother (who was the sole DPOA) committed credit card fraud on my mom. I am the youngest of the 4 by 13 years...they are all 60+. I have taken care of bills, visited every month ( I live 7 hrs away), sometimes more, taken her to doctor appts, surgeries, planned birthday parties, and overall, just enjoyed my visits with her so much.

After being diagnosed with dementia, she had to move in with a sister who lived close to her and was there a year.....a whole other story. I visited regularly and provided all my moms needs financially while she was there ( I am payee representative of her two small checks.) I have another sister who lived by her, but she only visited my mom once a week at my other sister's house, and would not go get her to stay at her house at all. So, back in May, my husband and I drove there to pick her up to stay with us for 2 weeks to give my sister a break. While here one week, she fell getting up out of bed and broke her hip. Horrible. My husband and I stayed at hospital 24/7 in shifts...after a couple of weeks I had to get her into a nursing home with rehabilitation. All of the family wanted her to go back to NC, except the one sister. That sister became mad because she said if our mom went there she would not be able to visit her all the time. (?) She doesn't have a job and her only past time is cleaning her house.

The decision was made to transport my mom back to her home town to honor her wishes, and because there was more family and friends there to support her. Also, I was having a hard time finding a rehabilitation center here that would accept her with dementia. The hospital was going to release her and a decision had to be made. Long story short, I got her transported back. My husband and I followed the ambulance on the 7 hour trip...arrived there at 2 a.m. Made sure she was settled in at the hospital. Stayed until late next day and drove back home. Drove back next week and got her into a nursing home rehab. Did all admission paperwork, went down to social services to do medicaid paperwork, etc.

She has been in nursing home since - May 30. She was transitioned from short term to long term care. I have continued to visit every couple weeks, use her money to buy clothes, needed items. Always, of course, purchase things with my own money and we always have to stay in a hotel when we visit.

Today, my sisters called to tell me they are no longer going to visit the nursing home...they want me to come get her and bring her back to TN....Since I'm in charge. Unbelievable. They go up several days a week at lunch for an hour or so. When I visit, which granted isn't every week, I spend about 14 hours total with her. I do nothing but stay with her since I can't be there all the time. My brother, by the way, lives 3 hours away and hasn't visited her since Labor Day. He said he can't drive that far when doesn't even talk to him much.

Her medicaid hasn't even been approved there yet. She has lost almost 10 lbs. in 2 months and I already had hospice helping for the last couple of months. Now, they want me to move her in her condition, and just do whatever I need to do because of their selfishness. What should I do? It would be easier on me if she were here because I could see her more (without complaining) and not drive 14 hours roundtrip. But, other thing to consider is when she passes one day, her burial will be in NC.

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llcrss Nov 2012
My brother is joint on the DPOA. My mom initially had him as her POA, which was perfectly fine with me until he got drunk and told a sister he had credit cards in my moms name. After we found out about the mess he created for her, one of my sisters and others wanted me to get a DPOA in my name only. My mom had already started showing signs of dementia, but it was either get the DPOA changed fast, or she would not be taken care of. I felt like I didn't want to completely push him aside, but I just wanted a "checks and balances". I had been helping her with doctor appointments, etc anyway. He hardly ever went home to see her, and the only time he did make time it seemed was to 'conduct business'. We now know most of that was self help business. Anyway, I just had the attorney add me, thinking my brother would come around and work together to help her. The sister giving me the hardest time right now wanted me to do it alone, and she wanted me to take him to court. ME. Giving orders from the sidelines.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I am checking into what I would have to do to get her TN Medicaid, and if I can now. Also, I'm not sure what will happen if I remove her from the current nursing home in NC since Medicaid has not started. She's been there 6 mos. I so hate to remove her from the place she has grown accustomed to and the nurses she likes. Also, her two sisters (one is 88) who visit her will be heartbroken that they will not be able to see her.
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cmagnum Nov 2012
Are you joint POA with your brother or are you the back up person in case he is unable or not willing to do what a POA needs to do? His name should not even be on that POA after his credit card fraud on your mom. Has your brother said anything about moving mom closer to you?

It does sound like your care for your mother would be less stressful by having her closer to you. I wish you the best in dealing with these family dynamics plus the stress of making sure your mother is safe and cared for.
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ladee1 Nov 2012
Well, sounds like some jealousy and resentment on her part, so go ahead and be in charge then... do what you feel is in the best interest for your mom.... this 'sib war' that starts has a memory of its own in most cases, and stuff like this brings it out in the open....
Sounds like you have been taking good care of her so far, so continue doing it.... if she doesn't want to be involved, I don't know that I would listen to the 'you are in charge' comment either.
If she doesn't want to talk it out, then leave it alone....prayers for you to get mom closer to you and settled in..... sounds like you would be less stressed and worried..... hugs to you...
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llcrss Nov 2012
Thanks ladee. I asked this sister if she wanted to also be POA, two years ago when it was done. She is 15 yrs my elder and lives in the same town as my mom. She did not want any commitments and declined. I have always included them, asked them for suggestions, and kept them aware of everything. I had to drive 7 hours to take my mother to doctors appointments and for her cateract surgeries. When I would ask this sister if she could help (since she lived there), she would say "I'm not the one in charge." She refused having her name on the POA, but wants to tell me what to do and when to do it. Exhausting.
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ladee1 Nov 2012
Sounds like there is more going on here than your mothers care.... before I moved her again, I would try to find out what the real problem is... why is your sis saying it that way, 'since you are in charge', sounds as tho they may have wanted or needed to have more input, or did she? Either way, find out what is going on before you put mom thur more changes.... and just because that's what she wants, doesn't make it a workable solution.... so let us know what you find out..... hugs to you...
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llcrss Nov 2012
I had hoped we could all work together in doing the best for my mom. When my brother was the only POA, I still went home and helped my mom. I didn't need a document to tell me I needed to help my mom.
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llcrss Nov 2012
My brother is also on the POA, my mom added me after my brother's misdoings. I asked my sister if she wanted to be added since she lived close to my mom, but she didn't want to be because she said she did not want the responsibility. She just wanted me to do the business while she told me what to do. Now, she has the nerve to say "since I'm in charge" I also need to take care of her. It's too bad she misses the joy of visiting her and only sees it as an obligation.

I need to find out how to get her medicaid in TN and then what will happen to the bill at the current nursing home since NC Medicaid hasn't been approved.
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Forgot to add: Your Mother is the primary concern...her being safe, comfortable and well cared for at this stage of her life. This should never be about what is convenient for the non-caregivers.
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If you are the primary caregiver, Mother needs to be closer to you. Your siblings are truly being selfish. You apparently have made a good choice in living arrangements for your Mother and should stick to it. Good luck!
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