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I have 4 siblings (1 sis, 3 bros) in the area who all visit weekly. I know I need some help but I don't really know what would make this easier for me. I relocated and live with my mom but don't really have a life outside of catering to her activities and needs. I cook, clean, wash, taxi, plan activities, etc. During the week when she wants to do things, no one is available since they all work. I go to every mtg, party, funeral, MD app. My mom sleeps til late morning & gets scared/confused if I don't answer when she calls, so I'm afraid to leave her alone before she gets up. She can clean & dress herself but is unable to get food; fixing breakfast at 1pm is frustrating, esp because she doesn't want to eat again at 6. I am tired of cooking and haven't found a menu that is acceptable for both of us. Even if I cook something she likes, my bro criticizes if we have it as leftovers. My living space is in chaos yet everyone wants me to provide constant entertainment and stimulus. I suggested adult day care for some activities since she sits up and sleeps all day, but sis and 1 bro claim I am being selfish for not doing more things with her, that she has lots to do with her monthly mtgs and would be bored with adult day care. She doesn't walk well, blind in one eye and is getting more confused/forgetful every day. I take her with me when I do errands; she sits in the car so I can't tarry. What do I ask them to do? I feel busy all day but not productive. I am often told that I should devote my everything to my mother since she raised me is 85 and I have more time left than she does. I acknowledge all of this but my mother had 6 kids, not just me. I know I need to adjust my attitude; I am weary and haven't done anything to prepare myself for a life once my mother dies. I'm sixty & no way financially prepared to be homeless (bro's house and he's already told me I am out on that day) What can I do to help myself and still provide a quality life for my mother? I can't think straight.

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Wow! I can understand the stress you are going through! Stay strong, it is time to tell them if your going to put your two cents in. Then it is time to take your coat and shoes off and stay for 8 hrs twice a week!
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This is how the brother sleeps at night. You have to imagine time passing…

Oh dear, poor mother doesn't seem to be keeping on top of things.
I have POA, it is time to step up and be the Responsible One.
Oops - must sort out insurance cover on her house.
Well, the premiums aren't as much as I'd feared. I won't bother her with them. I'll just pay them myself. To give and not to count the cost… This is the noble thing to do.
[Insurance cover continues uneventfully, perhaps over some years]
[House fire occurs]
Thank goodness I caught that one! It is time to make a claim. I will deal efficiently with the administration of all this and arrange for her new accommodation.
I have done all of this work. Mother is safely housed once more. I paid the premiums on this policy. Therefore I am entitled to keep hold of the asset once she no longer needs it.

Seeing as the poor mother is unlikely by this time to be sure of what day it is, let alone whose name is on her insurance policies or the deeds to her house, she is not going to object. She is also not going to be aware of any shift in title. All she knows is that she has a roof over her head. Arguably, that is all she needs to know. After all, she has people she trusts taking care of her business, no?

Therefore, to the brother, the mother is coming to no harm from his weaselly sleight of hand and sleight of conscience. But if he thinks he is fulfilling his role a) as POA and b) as an insured client who is acting in "utmost good faith" he is much mistaken.

And when the mother's balance sheet is gone through, her assets and income and expenditure accounted for, does he think nobody will notice that there seems to be a house missing?
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When I got to the part of your post that said, "I know I need to adjust my attitude," I thought, yup, she sure does!

You need to start acknowledging that your life is every bit as worthy and valuable as your mother's life and as every one of your siblings and their spouses' lives. You need to stop playing doormat. You need to start treating yourself with the dignity you deserve.

So, please, first thing you do -- work on your attitude!
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oh gosh... can I borrow you Jessie and countrymouse? I'd love to have you sitting right next to me when I put my foot down!

I agree. They are laying a heavy guilt trip on you and pretty much making you feel worthless. There is another word for it, bullying. Perhaps it is time for you to really put your foot down and follow through with it. What is the worst they can do to you? Kick you out of the house? I highly doubt they will do that as it might mean they would have to participate in mother's care... *eye roll*

If it will help you get your point across, write it all down before you actually sit down and have an adult discussion with them and I do mean all of them. Just don't have your mother anywhere near while the conversation is going on. Trust me, there will be some very unhappy siblings as there should be. Also, mention without malice that the one particular siblings action regarding mom's house... could get him into a lot of legal trouble.

Why do people, especially siblings in this situation, think it is okay to mistreat the actual person whom is doing the most? Oh... I join you for the kick fest Jessie. I shall wear my steel toed boots ;)
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To quote words from one of my favorite group members, Countrymouse, from another thread: "fume seethe rant gnash *§@!¡**!**!! curses…" She said how I feel about your siblings so well. First of all, you had a right to be away for 40 years. You were making a living and having a life. Now that you are taking care of your mother, you still need to make a living and have a life. I know what you mean about people telling you that you need to be doing more. It sounds like they are laying a heavy guilt trip on you.

What your brother did with the house is really shady if your mother's name was on the deed and your parents paid the mortgage. Had they left the house only to him in the will? It sounds to me like perhaps he could have reimbursed himself for the insurance he paid for her, but that the house should have remained in her name. You may want to have someone look into abuse of the powers of his POA. Most states have strict laws banning the abuse of POA for personal gain. How are your mother's finances? I wondered why he paid for the insurance, instead of her. I pay my mother's home insurance with her money, not my own. She lives on a SS check and has enough to cover it. If he paid the insurance, he needs to explain why he didn't use her money to pay it, instead of pulling the fast one that he may have pulled.

You and I are about the same age, so I know so well how hard it is to carve out a life in a new area when caregiving a parent. My mother is a bit like yours in sleeping all morning, too. I don't battle her about this or try to get her on a schedule. Her life has been disorganized for as long as I can remember, so I don't feel pressed to try to organize it for her. That is not my job. My job is to make sure she is safe and cared for, while trying to live a life that is halfway bearable to myself. I know that people on the board know how difficult that is when we live with the parent.

I hope you don't mind a little advice that may help you keep your sanity. Decide what you can do for your mother and set limits so that you don't lose your own life. Keep some time every day for yourself. You know what your mother's needs are. Since she is still active, I imagine that she is able to do many things for herself. Is she able to stay alone for a few hours so you can go out? If she is, then take advantage of it while you can. If she or other people try to make you feel guilty for not being there all day every day, then it is not your fault. No one should have to be put in prison to care for an elder. That's like being punished for being born.

I'd like to come over and kick your brother. Maybe a few others would like to join me. He should be grateful you are there. It makes his life a lot easier. I hope you are able to find some ways to make your own life easier.
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Rena - "...The POA brother took the insurance money from Mom's house fire and bought home which he put in his name. Everyone was shocked…"

Shocked? I'm dumbfounded.

No. Just no no no.

Your brother, in his POA capacity, ought to have paid the insurance premiums on your mother's behalf using your mother's money.

By paying the premiums out of his own pocket, he has done two things.
1. If he took out the policy on your mother's house in his own name, he has left your mother uninsured. She herself was not covered for compensation in the event of her house burning down.
2. He has, when you analyse it, placed a bet with a bookmaker that your mother's house would burn down. He won the bet because your mother's house did burn down, he has pocketed his winnings, and she has been left without an asset that belonged to her. Shocked? Please don't tell me he's taken out life cover on her, too.

This is so fantastically an abuse of trust that I am, to use the technical term, gobsmacked that he had the brass b***s to be so damn smug about it.

Incidentally, if your brother took out the policy in your mother's name, then she was the policyholder and it doesn't matter two hoots who paid the premiums: any claim paid out under the policy is due to the policyholder. Can you check these details? Because if he's pocketed her settlement, that's straight theft.

It would serve him right if he gave the insurance company misleading information when he took out the policy, they decide his claim was fraudulent and they further decide to make an example of him. Then he'll find out what gold diggers look like. Only then your mother still wouldn't get her property back.

Stand tall on this: your mother needs her money for her care. Gold digger my a*se!
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Unless the brother that took the insurance money paid every one of the house payments or paid cash for the house that burned.....he is a criminal and charges should be filed against him. It is also known as elder abuse!

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength, knowing what one person is capable of handling and seeking assistance. Best of luck!
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Wow, sorry about all the stress and drama. It seems to me that if house insurance was in mom's name, your brother committed insurance fraud. You might want to point that out to him casually next time he bullies you.

Insurance money should gave gone towards mom's care, i.e., assisted living. I'm sure he feels really big conning his mother out of what should be a comfortable old age. He could have legally claimed his premiums, but not the settlement, unless the policy was in his name. If it was, he was within his rights. But it wasn't , was it?

Please don't have these discussions in front of your mom. Get yourself a therapist or mental health counselor who can help you work out these issues. Get a job at a day care and get back on track with career and planning for retirement.

Look into ALs that might be affordable with mom's social security. Is your state one that will accept Medicaid for Assisted Living? Be aware that if you apply for Medicaid, your brother's fraud may come to light. A better solution all around would be for you to be self supporting, brother sells the house to fund AL until Medicaid kicks in. Think about these alternative scenarios.
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Thanks all for your responses. Yes, we will spend Christmas at my uncle's. Last Thanksgiving we all 6 sat down but it degraded into name calling and both my sister and mother crying. This is the 2nd kind of tragedy, Jeanette B mentioned. The POA brother took the insurance money from Mom's house fire and bought home which he put in his name. Everyone was shocked; he said he paid insurance so he reaped the windfall; that I and another brother were gold diggers. It was horrible and we haven't had a family meeting since. Part because 1 bro lives out-of-state, (so it just the 5 of us here) and we are divided. I got the job because I am only one without a spouse or dependents and since I lived away for 40 years, "it's my turn". I think that is the real reason they are reluctant to help. We meet every Thursday for family night-I shop, cook and clean, but we all walk on eggshells so not to upset mom anymore. I did call a social worker last week for help in finding a place for her to go at least once a week and they are getting back to me I hope soon. She gave me the telephone number for dept for aging and I will call them after the holidays. I also talked to SIL about supporting me in asking that each that one day of the weekend to be caregiver. I know they will view this as weakness on my part but I can't do this by myself anymore. I do thank you for your support and will try to use this forum more often. It is really easy to get lost when you are lonely and afraid.
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My big concern is how and why did this fall on your shoulders? Unless I am mistaken your Mom reared 5 children; so it seems 4 are missing in action when it comes to taking care of their Mother!

You need to let the rest of the children know you will be getting at least a part time job after the first of the year; to provide for yourself as your dear brothers and sister plan to kick you to the curb once Mom is gone. This is not the way normal families treat each other and you need to take care of yourself first. There are perfectly good facilities for Mom or even in home care. You could be there at night or the others could take turns.

Do not allow yourself to be sacrificed because your brothers and sister said it is to be this way. They are completely wrong and need to face the reality of what they are trying to do to you! How I would love to sit down and talk to them!!!
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Start out by contacting your local area agency on aging; find out what supports and services are available. You may be able to get an assessment from them to analyze what supports your mom would benefit from.

Your profile says that your mom has diabetes; has she been evaluated for dementia, since you also say that she is "confused"?

I agree with Jeannette; your siblings should be giving you respite days each week. If they walk in your caregiver shoes, they will gain and much better understanding of why mom needs more outside stimulation.

I'm sorry about your job situation, as well as your housing situation. In part, you need respite so that you can work on your resume and look into housing options.
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I forgot to add another tragedy that often happens. Sibling part ways and a huge rift is torn in the family dynamics. For many of us it was our parent's that held the glue... this situation seems to unglue in an awful way. Be honest with them and sincere. If still no help do whatever needs done to safe yourself.
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Sorry you're so overwhelmed... boy do I understand that! Funny, I just mentioned last night that I had to adjust my attitude as well. I am the youngest and only daughter... 3 older brothers. Two whom live 20 minutes of us. They are zero help also. I too heard the sch-peal on what I neeeeeeeeeeed to be doing with and for my mother. I no longer listen to a word they have to say.

Not only do we carer's for our parent(s) get the joy of watching our loved one die a slower death, but we ourselves feel like we are dying right beside them. Frequentflyer is correct. More and more you hear of the carer have severe health issues.

Is your family coming by for the Holiday's? It would be a good time to ease into the conversation of "I need help"! Ask for at least one full day a week of respite for you. Let one of them sit with mom while you do whatever you please. Since you have more siblings than I, you should ask for two days of at least 6 hours. I bet they all change their annoying tune.

I know at least one of my brother's and his wife is coming for Christmas to eat my lovely prepared meal of take n bake pizza off paper plates. I no longer cook a big meal for them to enjoy while I slave away doing it all. My mother no longer cares what she eats and loves pizza. I will take this time to let them know that I need more help than a few hours a week from an agency. It's time for them to step up and be men and help their mother by helping me. Least that's what I have planned on saying... I may chicken out but I hope not!

Good luck and take care of YOU since there isn't anyone apparently going to help you with that.
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Even before you take any "corrective action" with regard to your siblings, you both would benefit from getting mom on a schedule, something like up at 7 AM, breakfast at 8; meals at regular times. Do not let her get out of rhythm with the rest of the world.
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First of all, tell your siblings that if your Mom went to adult day care, she would be around people of her own generation, thus her mind would be more stimulated. How do they know your Mom would be bored there? Good heavens, your Mom could eventually form friendships and eventually look forward to going. It doesn't matter if your Mom can't walk well and is blind in one eye.... many of the people attending adult day care have age related issues, too.

By the way, 1 out of every 3 Caregiver passes away leaving behind the person they are caring. Your siblings saying *you have more time left than she does* is ridicules. Your siblings need to come on this forum and read some of the forums to get a better idea of what is involved with Caregiving, and what can happen to the person doing all the work.
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YOU should adjust your attitude? How about your siblings (and your mom) adjusting theirs?

Why does anyone assume that she would be bored at adult day care?

have you looked into assisted living facilities?

Enough questions for now; just know that you are not the one with the problem.
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