Brother pulling rank to keep Mother away from family...

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This is probably more of a vent than a question--but I have been seething since last last night over this: Mother (88) lives in an apt with brother and his family. He has become VERY suspicious of any family visiting mother and what she is saying to us. We had a family mtg at my request 3-4 months ago and it was disastrous. He became absolutely hysterical and literally screamed at me (primarily) about my constant nagging and trying to "fix" things. He doesn't want ANYONE doing ANYTHING for mother, yet he will not do things for her himself. She complains mightily at the lack of care. After that storm, I did stay away for a while. My 3 other sibs, though promising to visit, have remained firmly MIA. I did tell mother a little bit about the mtg, as we were discussing her care. Brother had played it out to be me trying to run the show. (Which is absolutely the LAST thing in the world I want to do). But brother has dug in his heels and mother's care has gone noticeably downhill. She needs a LOT more help and brother will not allow anyone into his home, so mother doesn't get the help she needs, from family or from a Home Health Agency. I have tried to step in again, NOT doing things brother won't let me do, but tippy-toeing around his wrath. It's ridiculous. Jut some specific tasks that mother asked me to do. Not one thing more. Last week she was sick. He hadn't checked on her in days. I was there to give her some soup I'd made, and she was too sick to eat it. I stayed and helped her a little, but she owns 2 feral cockatiels and their feathers and dander make me quite sick to be around. I got a small feather in my eye, it irritated my eye severely by the time it worked itself out-- and I actually went to the eye Dr. (My BIL) who said it looked awful and that I am obviously VERY allergic to these birds. $100 in dr bill and eyedrops---and the warning to not get around these birds. Now, cleaning their cage is beyond mother's scope. She just can't do it. So, it hasn't been washed in probably a year. It NEEDS a serious powerwash and the birds need baths too. Feathers, poop and bird dander combine with the dust to make the air in mother's house unbreathable. Along with the open bathroom garbage packed with soaking wet depends, her apartment is gag worthy. I'm not even allowed to throw out the trash. I kindly asked brother if he could powerwash the cage and see if the birds could be washed. He replied (angrily) that I am not to touch a thing at mother's and if I want to visit her, I have to meet with her in the common living room. Well--that's fine, but brother has 2 dogs, neither is housebroken and 5 cats--also tend to use the whole house as an open litterbox. There is frequently a large, smelly "offering" sitting in the LR--and nobody notices for a day or so. Gross. Brother said if it wasn't MEDICALLY necessary for mother, he wasn't doing anything else for her. Cleaning the cage isn't "medically necessary". I can't talk to this guy. He is walking anger. Any comment on mother's obvious decline is met with vociferous denial--that she is perfectly FINE. Last week, Mother asked if she could live with me. Says she can't take the loneliness and lack of care from brother. I told her no. She made this choice 21 years ago and it's one she has to live with. Also, I can't make my home be appropriate for her, nor do I have a wish to have any more involvement in her life that I do. Brother is her POA, but she's not incompetent, so using THAT as a power play is stupid. My other 3 sibs are MIA and do not do anything. Brother's go-to for everything is to blow up in furious anger. Usually shuts me right down. I can't handle it. So we're once again back to "you can see mother on MY terms." I think he is emotionally abusive to her. Well, no, I KNOW he is. She was a horrible mother to him and he's getting his payback. SO sad. Just wondering if a call to APS would start something I'd really regret or if I should just obey brother's orders. I do not need this in my life, but she IS my mother. It's pure guilt that keeps me going back. Obligation. Do we EVER overcome that?

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Yes--APS contacted. They did promise that it would be "anonymous tip" so as not to make the whole situation worse. I don't know if they'll actually do anything. This was more so I could wash my hands of it.

APS made a visit several years ago. A neighbor called. Mother had complained to this neighbor and she called APS. Mother was just blowing off steam, but this woman took her seriously and, well, a visit ensued. Brother was irate and figured out pretty quickly who'd called.

As I said, Mother can call me, or my other brother or my 2 sisters and we will have her out of there in a hot minute. But she is choosing to live there, and we can't change anything about that situation.

It is what it is.
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Midkid said in her earlier post:

"APS has been contacted. I can't do any more."

So APS is aware of the situation, whether they pursue it or not.
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I agree with Becky please call APS
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I would call APS if for no other reason than to get the pet filth in the home under control. No elderly person or anyone else should be living under these conditions. I would also discuss your mother not receiving care and be isolated.
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Holiday--
You nailed it.
She picked moving in with Brother 20+ years ago, with daddy. We all tried to talk them into an ALF apartment, which they could have managed. She knew the family she was going to live with--I think she thought it would be great, and it has been anything but.

I honestly think she thought she wouldn't ever have to stop driving, being more independent but she's not "wise" enough to see that Brother has some very serious mental health issues re: control over others.

Yep, she picked her poison, and picks it again every single day. My 2 sisters and I have all told her if she really wants out, we will come get her and make it happen.

She doesn't want. So there it is.

BTW, not being "able" to do PT caregiving anymore is actually quite freeing. I can do lunch with mother and a couple of errands, and that's fine.

And for the record, as much as she says the birds don't bother HER, her nose runs 24/7 and she has a rattling cough all the time. It never stops. I developed this allergy as I have been helping out 2-3 days per week for years.
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Well there is NO solution then. Because filth is harmful to elders health. (I’m allergic to a lot as well and bird dropping and dander is on the list.)

Your mom picked her poison so forget about it.
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Holiday--
Thanks for your concern. APS has been contacted. I can't do any more.
My best guess is that absolutely nothing will come of the report, even IF they follow up. Mother has options, she refuses outside help and she is not living in squalor. Her place isn't up to MY standards, but she's got food, shelter and a FT caregiver. Unless SHE says something about feeling scared, trapped or abused, nothing is going to happen but to enrage brother.

None of my other sibs are involved nor do they care to be.

We have flat out asked mother if she wants to continue to living there (she can afford IL or a SNF--whatever she wants)....but insists she is 'content'.

I wouldn't be charged with negligence---I reported what I see/saw and that's about all I can do. Will be taking mother to lunch this week and we will speak frankly. IF she is unhappy enough, we can facilitate a move to a facility. That won't happen. Mother is competent and so she can decide what she wants. I might "encourage" her to appoint my other brother full POA and take it away from the brother she lives with. That may help a little--in time. Right now POA means nothing.

W/O question, this brother needs some counseling and help. But he won't ever, ever, ever accept that he is less than "perfect" and so, what more can I do?
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Something is going to happen while your crazy brother tortures your mother at his leisure. Her dire illness or death. YOU knew about the Living conditions. I suggest you routinely report your brother to the police and geriatric abuse people. You’ll both be charged with negligence.
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Just an update, and my place to vent a little.
Haven't seen or talked with mother in over 2 weeks. Yesterday a family wedding, so all that...brother brought mother and I went with my other brother to the ceremony & wedding breakfast. Brother asked what was going on with mom and I told him about the stupid "shutdown" over the birdcage--and he sighed and said "I know I haven't been up to see mom like I should. I'll clean it when I go". I responded, "R won't let you. Seriously, this is a big thing for him. He will not let us even wash her windows or clean the carpet where their dogs have peed. He won't allow anything". Another deep sigh and we talked about other things.

At the wedding breakfast, mother kept waving at me and saying 'I need to talk to you!' I was busy with the food, and finally found time to sit by her for 5 minutes--(brother had been hanging onto her wheelchair and I wouldn't talk to her with him there, but he plopped her in a corner and sat elsewhere, so I was able to speak freely.

She asked why I hadn't been around, she had some little projects she wanted me to do. I told her honestly that I had a severe allergic reaction to the birds and had been on cortisone drops for over a week to heal my eyes. She said "well, that's what I heard, but it's ridiculous. I live with those birds and they don't bother me! R says you are making this up". I pointed to my BIL, who is my eye dr and said "Fine. Go ask G what he found in my eyes." She backed down a little. Said she missed me. But I told her I was not allowed to come to her apartment, we had to "visit" in the common living room. She was angry about brother, but she'll NEVER say anything to him. I told her I would take her to lunch one day this week. Said that's really all I am allowed to do.

She felt bad, said R was definitely "going through something" and I agreed, but told her that I wasn't going to be a part of his sick dynamic, told her I'd call her in couple days and left.

Mother is not going to bite the hand that feeds her. She chooses this dynamic, this living arrangement. As much as she complains, she doesn't want me or anyone else to "fix" it.

Then truth finally shone through for me. Complaining about R but not doing or saying anything to him--her problem. I'm done.
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Tucsonjane--

He is not her financial "dude" (I can't say POA b/c we're not to that point) my other brother is. He keeps tabs on her bank acct & spending money. She has a checkbook and writes checks for her 4-5 bills per month--mostly to catalog orders. She carries cash for her groceries and the occasional lunch out. Other brother handles this, so there are no financial shenanigans, I'm positive. My oldest brother (now deceased) stole well over $150K from mother and dad and never paid back a cent. This was in 1985 when $150K was a lot of money. (got them to take a 2nd mortgage) So--mother and dad had their finances taken over many years ago by accountant brother--we just couldn't trust mother wouldn't continue to support loser brother. (She still did, but couldn't give him more than $200 a month).

I think he is "getting back" at her for her sub-par parenting when we were kids. He was abused, along with me and my younger sister and mother knew about it and never did a thing. Just told us we were all lying (we didn't talk about this as a "group" until a few months ago, that's how well it was covered up.) Sickening.

Brother was severely affected by this. He will admit to that. BUT--he WANTED mother and daddy to move into his home. Daddy passed from PD 14 years ago. Mother is still hanging in there, 88 and counting. I did ask brother a few months ago if he regretted doing this and it was met with a resounding "I'd NEVER do this again."

I think he's just royally screwed up in the head. Having 20 years of therapy behind me, I can manage and usually see things pretty clearly. He refuses all kinds of therapy or any kind of help. His go-to for any uncomfortable emotion is red hot anger.

I do think he is extremely upset and defensive when somebody points out a "flaw" in his caregiving. Like, ballistic anger.

The kicker, is that all of us sibs have offered help, financially and physical. He refuses it all. Maybe being a martyr is keeping him happy, Who knows? We all stand to inherit a very small amount if mother dies. $10K? Won't make a ripple in my life.

And no, mother pays for nothing, no rent, nothing. I think she pays $15 a month for the cellphone she can't use.
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