I'm worried my brother isn't caring for my mother. When I ask how she is - he yells at me, even threatened to beat me up. I've tried calling her physicians but they won't talk to me. What are my options?

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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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