I have been caring for my mom that lives with Alzheimer's for 18 months. This began when her husband had to be hospitalized then rehab followed for several months. When this first occurred my siblings wanted to pay me for being with mom, but I said no, let's wait to see what happens. Well here we are, I am still here, caring for both of them with over $20,000.00 in expenses out of pocket for mom alone, to say nothing of no payment for this task.
We have just started to work through the process of trying to determine what mom owes me, she planned well for her retirement, and what I should be paid. But is has gotten really ugly, in fact my brother and sister requested an investigation by Adult Protection Services in our area, not just one, but two, one for my mom the other for her husband. I haven't done anything to raise this sort of issue. I am in the process of obtaining letters from neighbors and medical care providers to document my excellent care for them. I don't even know what the accusations are yet, but am still absolutely flaberghasted by them taking this sort of action. All over money, and paying me what this service is worth, it is definitely a 24/7 job which they have done little to assist. Their concern is that the share and share alike clause will change because of payment to me for service. But share and share alike has more than on connotation, not just the benefit after death, but also the responsibility when care is needed.
When soon after it became 24/7 I had to Confess it IS..I am Thankful that My Mother ... Most of the Time she does say Thank You... for taking such good care of her..
As others have said, exactly when a POA should step in and act on the principle's behalf is a tricky area. One of my children is listed as my POA. As far as any of my kids are concerned I am perfectly fine to take care of my own affairs (and I am). I set it up years ahead of need, "just in case." If the POA or any of the other kids said, "Mom, are you paying all your insurance premiums?" my answer would probably be along the lines of "My financial affairs are none of your concern, thank you anyway."
Even if a POA suspected the principle was not quite with it anymore, and said "you really should not let this policy lapse, let me take care of it for you," if the principle objected and was still competent in the legal sense there would be nothing the POA could do about it. The POA can take over if the principle agrees it is time OR if the principle is judged incompetent. But the POA cannot do things against the principle's wishes. (Or else I would not have made the assignment years ahead of need -- nor would anyone else!)
Unfortunately financial responsibility is often on of the first skills to go when dementia starts. A person can do an awful lot of financial damage before anyone is even aware there is a problem. It is not fair to blame a POA for not preventing this if that person didn't even know there was a problem and that they should start to take an interest in the financial affairs.
I wonder how often this happens that folks developing dementia, not able to make good business decisions themselves, stop paying on a policy of this sort, then lose benefits because of others negligence. This seems it should be an issue that our lazy congressmen should look at. I'm sure it happens often.
Has anyone taken out a separate credit card for paying their parent's bills? Does anyone have any suggestions for protecting yourself when everyone else decides it is your job & does not want to do it? Does anyone know if it helps that my name is on my mother's accounts?
Now, get yourself to an Elder Law attorney, and get yourself compensated!
When I accomplished the perfect solution to Mom's 24/7 care needs and told my sister that she will be cared for in an excellent place. My sister said "I didn't agree to this."..... Yet she wouldn't take Mom for an hour out to lunch or anything without being a pain about it. She did not want to help at all and surely not pay for anything Mom needed. She was mad she wasn't going to get money when Mom died I guess. So I bluntly said "you have these other choices... You can care for Mom 24/.... or you can pay the bill of $10,000 a month.... or go with the plan I arranged." That shut her up!!!! It seems that this Thankless Job brings out the best and worst in people, there are those who do the right thing,, those who use others as an escape to get out of doing what's right. As long as your doing the right thing and the best you can under circumstances you are given. You are blessed and will be Thankful in your heart.
For awhile, I resented the episodes, the nagging, the continuous repetition of the same question over and over, the verbal abuse she bombards me with, etc. Then I started to educate myself on alzheimer's and dementia and my feelings/thoughts about it have shifted completely. She can't help it. It's a horrible disease and there isn't a darn thing she can do about it. Nor I. Except be there for her, through thick and thin. It's just me and her, I have no siblings and when dad passed away, the rest of the family basically drifted away from us since they wanted no part of it. I don't see it as a thankless job anymore. I see it the same way a mother would if they give birth to a handicapped child. Yes it is a burden but all you can do is ask God to help you carry the load. And trust me, He will.
But it is no one's fault. (There are exceptions, where one child is basically stealing from the parent.) It is really sad when some siblings, in their great disappointment, start looking to assign blame.
Welcome the APS investigation. And see an Elder Law attorney about drawing up a personal care agreement, spelling out what you are providing and what your mother is paying you. Get the expenses-to-date settled as quickly as possible.