90 year old mother (mild dementia) wants to relocate. To what extent am I responsible?

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Hello. I live with my 90 year old mother with incontinence issues, unsteady walking. I've been taking care of her since dad died (20 years ago), whereas my 3 siblings have not been keeping in touch - 3 very brief emails a year, e.g. "Happy-new-year"; "thanks-you too"; "speak-to-you-later" type.


Her condition (incontinence, insomnia, dementia) got more critical over the past 4 years. She has a pretty demanding character: demands to go to church (Sunday mass), yet wakes up at 2 pm - so we miss it - and then she complains for missing it.


Over the past few weeks she wants to visit my brother (overseas) who has 3 little kids. She talks about her grand children, and her desire to see them is immense. My brother has been a little better than the other 2 siblings and my mom made it clear that her last wish is to travel overseas, see his kids "and then die".


She was never very responsible, so she has not signed (refuses to sign) any power-of-attorney, related to health issues, distribution of family property, or other documents. At the same time she's always been CLINGING to me while the other siblings have taken for granted my care-giving, financial and emotional support to our mother.


So we made arrangements for mom's relocation, brother said he'd LOVE her to stay and connect with his kids while she says this is her last wish.


***


So the question is, to which extent am I responsible for them to get along? For him to feed and clean her? For her to behave and stay safe?


FYI in the past I used to call her 5 times a day and was sending her money each month, but honestly none of this was appreciated by her or the siblings or any relatives.


Thanks for your help.

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Thanks very much. Family friend will be accompanying her. She is very loud in stating her wish to leave. The doctor could change her mind, yet she threatens to leave the house if i dont let her see the grandchildren. She refuses to have a nurse or companion. If she leaves the house i ll be in trouble with authorities as i am supposed to protect her. Thanks for your help.
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Ahmijoy Aug 1, 2018
I don’t know your mother, but from what you’ve told us, I wonder if your mother’s dementia has progressed and is now more serious than “mild”.

She sounds very intimidating.she yells and threatens until she gets her way. Kind of like a two year-old. What would she do if she threatened to leave the house and you told her “Go ahead. Then I’ll call the police and they’ll go get you and take you to the hospital!”

It sounds like you have a history of letting Mom run the show. Perhaps she was like this all your life and the dementia has only made the situation worse.

If your mother has not seen a doctor lately, she could have undiagnosed health concerns. Those conditions could flare up during a long flight. There is no place to land a plane for a medical emergency over the ocean. How would the family friend handle this? Mom may not be able to get up and move around on the plane. Once the plane has landed, she could be in dire straits getting out of the seat and walking. Blood clots in the legs can happen, especially in the elderly. What if Mom decides she doesn’t like her seat assignment or her seat companions and starts loudly complaining?

I understand you are intimidated by your mother and you will give in to any demand she makes, even if it’s not in her best interests. I have sympathy for the family friend. It has potential for being a long, unpleasant trip. I hope I’m wrong and Mom arrives safely and that she behaves once she’s living with your brother and his family. Good luck.
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I second what Ahmijoy stated about checking with her doctor. I don't think he or she will OK a person with dementia traveling by themselves on an hours long trip, by air.
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Well, I’m assuming that it’s a done deal that Mom will be relocating overseas? If you have no binding contracts with her, such as POA, guardianship or a Caregiver Agreement, then legally, you’re free and clear. If she’s going to be thousands of miles away living with your brother, that’s for him to worry about now and not you. There’s no way other than FaceTime or Skype that you could keep a visual on her. I hope, since Brother has been pretty much MIA, he and his family understand what theyre getting into. But that’s not your worry either. If brother decides this isn’t for him, will you ship her back to the US?

How is a very elderly lady with dementia going to travel overseas? Are you accompanying her? Others on this site have strongly recommended against traveling by air with people who suffer from dementia. Toileting can be an huge issue. If she becomes anxious, will you be able to calm her down?

Understand that along with dementia comes obsessive behavior. What Mom demands might not be in her best interests. For sure I would check with her doctor to make sure she is able to make the trip.
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