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I need help, my mother lives in NY State, I'm in Indy, she is in very poor health and recovering from surgery. She lives with my out of work youngest brother who is using her pention and SS to make his house payments and pay utilities. She is supposed to be getting therapy and moving around but she sits all day in a chair watching tv. The only bathroom is upstairs (a climb she cannot make unless she crawls up) so she limits herself to one or two trips a day. I'm worried about pressure sores and her not getting enough exercise. When I ask my brother how she is he yells at me to mind my own business and my last visit there he threatened to beat me up....I have tried to call her physician but they won't talk to me. What are my options?

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Regardless of your brother's financial position, he has no right to "blow up" at you, or much less threaten you. I have seen this behavior before, close up and personal. It is a way of repelling people so they will not ask the tough questions.
Something tells me that you have a "gut reaction" to this situation. Go with that and do not delay. Only you know what is appropriate in investigating this situation. If your Mom is truly in distress, act immediately but have a plan before you dive in. Does she have an alternative and safe place to go, even if it is temporary until you can think things through? Will your brother truly become physically violent? If so, inform the authorities and have them accompany you to her home. If he is taking financial advantage, get her PoAs and check her finances.
It is okay for a live-in family caregiver to expect the parent to chip in for the things they share. It is not okay for the child to be "living off" the parent and providing little to no care - that is called abuse and it happens far too often.
So many of us have "bully" siblings. Do what is right for your parent first....worry about your sibling relationship later. I lose no sleep over mine.
good luck
Lilli
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Would also like to add, If this were my mother and my brother, I could so hear him tell me that he would kick my a#% if he was stressed and angry. Do I think he would hurt me? No. Do I think he would ever hurt mt mom? Never.
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I didn't get to finish my post I was called away to caregiver duties lol, I have seen some good advice on this post. I can also see this is an emotional issue for many, with people seemingly coming from both sides. All seem to agree that if you are sure your mom is in trouble you hould seek help, the main thing is to be sure before you do anything drastic. Because yes if abuse is happening she needs help. But It could create so many problems if its not true, that's why I said in my unfinished post "if that's the case" but I also invite you to stop and think before you jump to conclusions. A couple people made a good point. What is the mom saying? Maybe with the economy like it is and a loss of a job maybe it was in part her decision to move in with him, maybe she wanted to help her son keep his home. That's sounds like a lot of mothers I know. Maybe it was cheaper for her to help him than it was for her to pay for nursing care. My whole life I have heard of people "taking advantage" and" living off" an elderly. After reading so many stories and to my shock being accused of this myself (at this point I wish she had something that could help) thank god we have no mortgage or we would be in real trouble. I have learned that I will no longer jump to the conclusion that these people are monsters and believe every story I hear. These monsters might just be caregivers, that have opened their heart and home to someone they love. A vey selfless act. Not saying this is the case here, just sayin.
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I totally agree w/ Luvmom. My youngest brother was a special favorite of my Mom. Even though he wasn't the most reliable, Mom trusted him, and took his advice, and entered into partnerships, etc. with him. Even though we siblings knew what was going on, and knew he didn't always give her the best direction, we knew he would never do anyting to harm Mom, and we stepped back, allowing her to decide for herself. My brother always had her back covered, no matter what. That's my experience. It may not be yours, but think about what Luvmom has said. Is your bro good, or is he bad? You probably know the answer to that.
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Please remember, if you do this, your relationship is over and there is no forgiving if you are wrong, Also, if this mess ever ends up and court and you falsely accused him, you look bad in the eyes of the court for making false accusations. You know your brother deep down, would he do anything to harm his own mother? If he is taking care of her, I doubt it, or he would put her in a nursing home and then take her money. Just thinking, from experience. Think..........................................
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Call the authorities in the county in which "they" live. It sounds that she will be afraid to speak her mind due to aftermath incidents which probably will happen. Someone has to take the reighs to get her out of there and with his attiude and yes I'll say stealing "her" finances he will have some explaining for sure but I would rather have a sibling angry with me rather than the fact he lack of care (to put it nicely) could cost her life.
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I really feel for you, I think your Brother's behaviour is disgusting. My solution is for you or another family Member, become your Mothers' Power of Attorney, where you have complete control of your Mothers' finances. Also I have had similar problems trying to get information from a Doctor, regarding my Brother. Also one of my Daughters is my Medical Power of Attorney, this gives her the Right to obtain all of my Medical Information. Hope all works out for you. Regards, Gossip. xoxoxoxox
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Your mother had surgery but is she still a functioning adult making her own decisions? If she can manage her toilet routine she is probably pretty good mentally. How long ago was the surgery and health problems?

Your brother may be under a lot of stress caring for her if she is suffering from dementia and sometimes elderly people just will not exercise. Many do sit or sleep most of the day and no amount of nagging from us can force them to do what they "need" to do according to what we want for them.

If she was in the hospital for surgery then she qualifies for Home Health care and they can keep an eye on her. But be careful,, as some of the others have said - she may end up in a nursing home (bad) or with you. Home Health can be intrusive and a HH social worker can report your mother and take over IF THEY DO NOT agree with your MOTHER's desires. I doubt this would happen since she lives with your brother.

If she is crawling up & down the stairs twice a day to use the restroom I do not think you need to worry about exercise at all.

If she is eating, using the restroom and getting up to use the restroom then leave them alone unless your mother is talking to you and reporting abuse or if she is not able to report abuse.
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One more thought. Do not warn your brother that you are calling in a referral. Let the investigators contact him without his having an opportunity to come up with a cover story or to threatening your mom to protect him or fix up the house, her appearance, etc. You identity as the reporting party is confidential and protected by law.
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As a Child Protective Services Social Worker, I suggest that you contact the Adult Protective Services Agency in the county in which your mother resides. They will initiate an investigation, including looking at the way your brother administers her financial resources. Forget lawyers, or other disease specific althernatives. APS is there just for this kind of situation. Best of luck!
Sherrie
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Hey Bookwoorm, some good advice has been given. I do think that Mommag has a great point. Your brother may be "up against the wall" on this, and doing the best he can under the circumstances. However, one thing that no one has mentioned so far is "WHAT DOES YOUR MOM THINK?" You said she was in very bad health, but can she speak? Can she think for herself, and express her opinions and desires? If she can, then you must ask her if she is okay where she is, and how she is being cared for, or NOT. If she is in her right mind, and still chooses to crawl upstairs to the bathroom (although that doesn't seem right under any circumstances) so that she can continue to live w/ your brother rather than go to a nursing home, then you should probably leave it alone, and just go and visit as often as you can. And when you visit, try very hard not to be overly critical w/ your brother, unless you see definite signs of ABUSE and NEGLECT. Those would be circumstances that you would have to act on regardless of how much your mother may insist that everything is okay.

Good luck, Bookwoorm. I feel for you on this one!!
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I believe your main concern is your Mom's health issues, and that is #1 priority. If this is your main concern you need to get very real about the big picture. You need to be proactive, get a full understanding of her care, needs, medication, finances and legal papers in order to do so. If your brother is taking the steps for Mom in good faith and his intentions are good he may just be overwhelmed and stressed and in need of your support. If this is the case, offer help and understanding in anyway you can, even if he needs you to make phone calls or anything you can do from a distance. Noone wants the job as caregiver but when you are the one, accusations and critisism are not welome, in fact it creates agression towards the one making them, you may not be doing that intentionally but he may see it that way. Native American quote "Do not judge a man until you walk a mile in his mocasins." Dr.'s by law cannot release anyones info it is called HIPPA if your Mom signs HIPPA forms for every Dr. caring for her giving you permission to release the info, then by Law you have that right. So get mom to sign them for you. Adult protective services is a resource that you may need to check into, if he reacts the same after offering help and you still believe he has ill intentions. They will take over and look for someone else to care for her, if noone is willing state will take over for her protection. Keep in mind to hire homecare is very expensive and long term residency is even more costly and these alternative options do not mean the best option or peace of mind for either you or your brother. I suggest working together for the best solution overall no matter what it takes. Very important that every cent of her income and assets be in order, logged and for her personal care needs only. In the event of bills occured during someone elses care and power of her monies, may be ordered by law to be repayed if not accounted for. I aquired alot of knowledge of legal issues, resources and finacial issues on the web you need laws for her residential county and state. Good Luck!!! Keep us informed we are here for support and to guide you... experience is a great teacher.
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This is true.... You do need proof before you start accusing. If he is doing this. He does need to be reported. Brother or not. To I think if she is okay. He should discuss this with you. My brother did the same thing to me. Said my dad was fine. When I got there. it was the heat of the summer... he had no AC, his house wasn't fit to live in. It was awful. They never went to check on him and he lived 100 ft away from them. I thought to myself would my brother do this. Yes he would... why? cause he is a mean man. No person deserves to live like this. Me and my brother dont talk much anymore because the way he treated my dad. If I would never gone there... I would never know that he was ill. If you are worried... You need to go check on her. You can also be held responsible. In the eyes of the law.
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Here is my tough-love opinion. You "could" be right but...I think you need to think seriously about this and also, I agree with Daniel, Go Visit and see for yourself. Sometimes the caretakers get defensive because they are doing all the work and the siblings who do nothing want to know and suggest everything, The ones who talk the most, do the least. Think long and hard. What is your brother like? YOU know what kind of a person he is deep inside, would he do anything wrong? If you report him, your ties with him are cut forever!!!!! The first thing you mention (as does my sibling), is MONEY, why? Your concern should be with your Moms care, not her money, that comes 2nd to her care yet you mention it first. Just as my sibling, she wants to make sure Mom's okay but to make sure that there is money left for HER in the end. If you report your brother and its not true what you are accusing, YOU will look like the bad person and it will only hurt you in the long run. So think, think long and hard and better yet, book a flight. Good luck.
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You need to go see for yourself. Than get medical Power of Attorney so the Doctor can talk to you. I went through this with my dad.
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Get on a plane and visit.
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Call social services before it is too late. Saying this from experience. My brother did the same thing to my father. Kept telling me he was ok. Than when I got there and brought him home with me. We found out he was in terrible condition. We lost him. Call them dont wait.
mike quest
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Neheaton, perhaps the sister is nagging and threatening him. We do not have his side of the story. Let the authorities check up on the mom and go from there. I can understand the brother being defensive...perhaps he is overwhelmed.
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Look up your local Council on Aging (phone book or internet). They can help. Good luck to you and I hope your mother gets the help she needs.
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But even if the person has to 'live off' their parent for the time being, is that a reason to threaten her with 'beating her up'? There is something wrong with this picture. From an outsiders view, I'm wondering WHY he's so defensive unless he's doing something he shouldn't be doing. Anyway, all the other suggestions are spot on I would think.
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Im gonna have to play devils advocate to. By all means if you feel she is being abused get it checked out. If you are more upset about him using her money for bills, try not to be critical of this, I am staying home now to take care of a realitive who has no money, the finacial hardship that we have due to the loss of one income is very hard, not to mention all it takes for the litle things they need everyday, he has to keep a home for her to live in. I wish she had something to help with, coming from a person with a tremendous amout of pride,
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I am going to play the devil's advocate here. Who has Power of Attorney? Have you ever had your mother in your home for more than a visit? Are you willing to have her come live with you permanently? Go ahead and have her checked upon by the authorities but be prepared to face the chance that your mother has to be moved to a nursing home or come to live with you. Your brother may be doing the best he can and in order for him to care for your mother, he has to use her money to pay the bills. I know that I cannot hold a job and also care for my mother and I have to use her money for food and electric bills and other items that my kids need. Give your brother a warning that you are sending the authorities.
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Yes, call the local social services agency. They will help you. That's their job. They helped me when my dad became outrageous and I feared for my mom's safety. Now they check in on them on a regualr basis. Explain the situation and try to be very matter-of-fact. Does your mother have a phone? Can you speak with her directly? I don't understand why the doctors won't talk to you....Perhaps another trip is in order.
Good luck, Make those calls!!
-SS
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Rigtht on, Bookworm. Do not wait. Contact the local Social Services, Council on Aging or whatever resourses you have. Your mother's health and maybe her life is at stake.
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Listen to" altersheim", Make those calls to local agencies,you can start with alzheimers group, senior services, whatever,they can direct you.If you have ANY indication that she is being abused in any way,then by all means call the local Police Dept.Good luck and God Bless. D.
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You can call social services in the city where your mother lives and explain the situation and that you fear for her safety and well-being. In our state it is called the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. They will send someone to check out the situation to make sure that your mother is not being abused. Or you could call the local police department and they should be able to direct you to the correct department.
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