I live in NY state and am a Canadian citizen. We are a small family, just my parents, older twin brothers, a SIL and some nieces and a nephew who live 2-3 hours from my parents, all of them in Ontario. Mom and Dad have always had a distant relationship with people in general and are not particularly close to my brothers. At 96 and 91 there are very few family friends left and no extended family.

Dad had several falls in the summer so I drove up and ended up staying 3 months while I got them into a nursing home together (same room). This was done with input from my siblings and once they had moved into the home I stayed in Canada and helped acclimate them to their new normal, closed their apartment, organized the removal of any furniture and other items that we siblings were not going to take. Suffice to say it was a lot of work, it was very costly for my household and once one of the bros found out that our parents would not be moving to a home nearer to him immediately, he and my SIL were upset and stopped returning my texts which obviously made an already emotional situation harder.

When the original applications were put in, my bro and SIL looked at a place 6 miles from them (they live out in the country and this place, while lovely is also rural) Unfortunately it has a 3 year wait and when I spoke to the director she told me she does not encourage couples to be in the same room. This is non-negotiable for my parents and perhaps it's something that could change but at the time we were making arrangements, decisions had to be made quickly and as a result they are now in the same community that they've lived for the last 30 years with no one nearby.

Daily I call to check on them and get the standard, 'we're not happy, we don't like the food, the doctor, the people etc etc.' Last week on one of my mom's more lucid days I asked if she wanted me to start looking for other nursing homes. She said no, that they would get use to it eventually.

On Sunday when I spoke to my dad he mentioned that my bros and SIL had visited on Saturday. (which is great but ya know what would be even better? Checking to see if my parents need anything brought to them ie. toiletries) Today it was the same old song and dance. The doctor is useless blah, blah, blah and I gently had the same conversation with my dad (she's got dementia, he's getting forgetful) about looking for other homes and his response was that my brother is already doing that. Imagine my surprise.

I'm POA, I get regular calls from the nurses w/updates, I take care of all the banking, arrange transportation to and from specialist appointments and yes, I'm the point person with the healthcare coordinator who would have to be involved in order to move my parents from one part of the province to the other.

Suffice to say I have no clue what my brother 'thinks' he's doing but without speaking to the appropriate contacts he's wasting his time and potentially annoying the director at the home closer to him. (I would love for my parents to be near him and I'm working to make that happen but duplication of work isn't going to get the job done) My brother has lost his drivers license 6 times and is always just one too many beers away from losing it again. I mention this because in the event that this happens it puts my parents in even greater jeopardy. Brother losing his job would mean he'd lose another job since he's a mechanic and SIL's just started a business so her time is not her own. They've only recently moved to the rural location and we could very well find that my parents are in the middle of nowhere with me unable to help because I'm unfamiliar with the area & haven't any contacts that would be able to assist etc etc. Unfortunately neither my brother nor SIL are planners and so what may seem like a great idea at the time will not have been researched at all.

My brother, SIL and I are currently not at a place where making contact and discussing is an option. Feedback??

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Unfortunately he can spin his wheels and there isn't any thing you can do.

He will find out that you didn't move them for lack of beds. Not because you have anything against him.

You know you will never be able to have a reasonable conversation with him, alcoholism makes that impossible, I know, my brother thinks that yelling insults and accusations is having a conversation. Not for me, I just hang up.

You have done a great job getting your parents into a facility that allows them to stay together and get the care they need. Most likely they will never be happy about it but with luck they will adjust and find some joy and happiness.

Tough job, well done!

Hugs! You will never get thanks for all you do, might as well come to terms with it now, it makes it easier.
Helpful Answer (11)
BaileyP3 Jan 2019
Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. You have no idea how much it means. Thank goodness I have a wonderful husband that's helped me through this.
I would not entertain any suggestion of relocating your parents to be closer to your brother. They made you POA. His DUI record suggests he is unreliable, and he may be looking at your parents' finances as a way to keep him afloat if he is in financial difficulty. Do you have any info or intuition about that? If anything, it would be better if they moved closer to you. I would be very cautious to ensure your brother does not try to get your parents to sign any documents conveying any control to him. Very difficult situation. Also, even if your brother fails to respond to your texts, you can text him: "Hey I heard you and SIL visited. Next time you come give me a ring, and also can you pick up X,Y,Z?" He may ignore but you can continue doing what is right to maintain open communication. It is a good goal, as long as he is not abusive. Plus good for him to know you are keeping tabs on the big picture. Good luck!

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The economics & the alcoholism point to a bad living arrangement for your parents with or near this brother. Innocently he may have just told parents he’d look into placement near him. His in over his head finances & 1 beer away from a DUI doesn’t give me confidence in his ability or willingness to follow through. I imagine your SIL has her hands more than full & if clear headed can see that the aging parents probably are going to land solely on her shoulders. I’d imagine she wouldn’t help turn the wheels. Let him spin but touch base with her care team at the facility to clarify that you alone are in charge & they shouldn’t share more than basic information with siblings. The home has probably seen this before. As for how you came across, you sound like you got the job done efficiently & in line with the wishes of your parents. I’d be grateful.
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BaileyP3 Jan 2019
Right you are on the potential bad living arrangement for my parents. My parents are prone to negativity (always have been) plus my brother is very critical so I have no doubt that he and my SIL heard my parents complain and thought they could do a better job getting my parents situated.
I didn't suspect there was any malicious intent initially (and I definitely can be a skeptic) until my husband and I spoke about this and he senses that this is my brother's feeble attempt at taking control of the situation and one upping me. Interestingly, in an email to my SIL I pointed out the lion's share of the work will fall on her if they move and it didn't phase her. For 7 years, each time my brother visited my parents she had to drive him since he had no license and public transportation wasn't a viable option.

I'm sure she naively thinks having my parents nearby would be easier on her although I suspect she doesn't know the amount of work involved. She's always had a strained relationship with my mother and to add to it her own parents passed in the last several years. It was her younger sister who took care of placing their parent in a facility and her younger brother that was executor I presume because she's not good with money. Ironically, my SIL worked in the finance dept at a nursing home for 10 years so you'd think she would understand how this works but either she didn't pay attention to the business she was in or she's willfully siding with my brother due to the alcoholism and his violent tendencies. (honestly I expected when she received the inheritance from her parents that she would divorce my brother, instead she foolishly bought a house that needed a large mortgage and is the proud owner of a business franchise.)

You've given me food for thought. I'll make a point of contacting the staff and confirming who is being given information about my parents. As of Christmas Day when I spoke to the staff the head nurse was under the impression that I was an only child so it's doubtful that anyone would be quick to share info.

Thanks for the response Momshelp.
The POA hires and fires the caregivers and determine the living situation - and so much more. Your brother has no authority to manage any aspect of your parents’ care or finances without your signature and approval.

Please alert the current Home of your brother’s Intentions. Your parents may not know the best way to say “no” to your brother about moving.

At their age, I would not move your parents further away from you! Honestly, I wouldn’t move them at all. Your brother would be unable to cover any additional expense or emergency decisions without your approval unless you are willing to completely turn over POA ability to him. As you stated, his history would not give most families or professionals very much confidence in his ability to adequately caring out the duties and responsibilities of the POA!.

Your job job as POA would be a nightmare if you live so far away! The sibling closest to one’s parents is often the best scenario.

I was POA and executor for my mother after my dad died and my sisters became furious and vindictive once they realized they couldn’t control me or mom’s situation. My sisters have gone through 4 lawyers and wasted over $100,000 of money in the estate by continually threatening lawsuits. Mom died exactly one year ago this week and the two sisters are still trying to sue for the most mundane issues. Needless to say, our family has been forever fractured.
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sunbrooke Jan 2019
Hi sscoale,
I am currently going through what you described in your last paragraph (I'm POA, vindictive sisters, etc) and it's the most horrible thing. My dad does not have a lot of money and I very carefully and creatively was keeping him in his home, but since they've started a court case his funds are dwindling and he will be on welfare within a year at this rate.
Ironically, their case also caused him to lose state services (they called APS and this was the result) so he's now paying more for care, plus an agency appointed by APS recommends my father to move to assisted living, which all the sisters are adamatley opposed to (despite the evidence that he can't afford to stay in his home and that THEIR case is what brought the professional recommendation).
I'd love to hear any tips you have for curtailing the madness.
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You've done everything right. Your parents are safe and cared for, and together (!). You expended a tremendous amount of time, energy, money and concern to get to this point. Obviously you couldn't wait 3 years for a placement when your parents at this advanced age.

I believe you have to step back a bit and start making sure you care for yourself. You can call your parents 3 or 4 times a week, that would be more than enough. It would probably help you to feel better if you are able to go visit them once a month or every other month-- whatever you can do, as I'm not sure of the distance you need to travel. Take some time every week to do something FUN.

As to your siblings, since they do have access to email, I would start writing a weekly note about what is going on with your parents. In that email, include their phone number and address, and you can make suggestions about what they might need, ie, what your siblings or any other extended family or friends might send to them. You can suggest they visit. Just make sure this email is objective. Have a trusted friend read it if necessary. You just want to present the facts with little to no emotion.

Definitely make yourself known to the NH and inform the director of the situation with your siblings.

Wishing you all the best luck as you go through this difficult journey.
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BaileyP3 Jan 2019
Thanks for these tips and words of encouragement Rabanette. Actually I had been emailing regular updates and it's likely time to restart. Funny that you'd suggest that I give them suggestion about things my parents might need. I did exactly that and was told I was being a control freak. (Somebody has to lead the damn parade and I was the only one stepping up so I guess my siblings are in for a surprise if they attempt a mutiny :-)))

Fortunately the staff and I are in regular contact; unfortunately the staff have seen and heard so little from my brothers that they were under the impression I'm an only child. (I suppose that says a lot about how much my parents discuss their sons and grandchildren.)

Thank you so much for the well wishes, back at ya :-))
It appears that you have, and are doing all the right things, which is what is best for your parents. In my 37 years of Senior Services it is very common for families to be at odds. Changing residence for elder couples who have lived comfortably in their home for many years is very challenging especially, the change is not initiated by the parents, or they are not sure of their decision to move, there is usually an adjustment period. They understand a change is needed, but it takes time to adjust, and the sibling (s) usually adjust, but the complaints sometimes do not. You mentioned the distance the family is from the residence, sometimes it is what is best, convenience, and close proximity is not all ways the best choice. Consider having a caregiver, or someone like myself to do personal visits a couple times a week, and keep you updated during this period. This allows them time to adjust while accepting their new home, without having to hear about the family disagreements that may come up during your weekly phone calls. Discussions will shift to adjusting, and more pleasantries when you visit or , and call. I offer consultations on various processes that arise when moving from your home to a facility residence.
Best Regards
Helpful Answer (7)

First off I don't understand why the facility discourages couples from sharing a room. That makes no sense at all to me but anyhow.

This all sounds too familiar. I was in charge of everything for my Mom when she went into nursing care. The lead up to the nursing care, the time she was in nursing care and the aftermath when she passed. Occasionally my siblings would pipe in with criticism and unhelpful advice. They visited with flowers and stuffed animals, nothing useful.

My advice to you would be stick to your guns. Ignore the complaints from your parents. They could be on cloud nine and ten in heaven and most likely would find things to gripe about. That's par for the course at their age and with their conditions. Your brother sounds like he is just puffing out his chest trying to gain favor with your parents perhaps? Doubt that he will follow through with anything. Maybe do up a list of your responsibilities i.e. your parents and see how many he thinks he can handle. Most probably require a sober person who has a driving license.

Good Luck to you!
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BaileyP3 Jan 2019
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When my married friends made me their #1 POA over all their finances and health care decisions, I gulped at the responsibilities and started visiting assisted living places. I had never been to any before and only by having their tour could I find out all the details about costs. They needed to go to a memory care apartment as a married couple since the wife was looking for her husband as soon as they were apart. She had been diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia and he had short term memory failure and could not process that she was changing in her abilities.
All the newer AL places had apartments in memory care consisting of one small room with a bathroom, barely large enough for a single person, let alone a married couple. I finally found a place that had converted an AL floor to memory care and I had a choice of a two bedroom, one bedroom, or efficiency apartment.
It took about 2 1/2 years to get them to go. By that time the wife was incontinent and starting to wander and needed 24 hour care. I tried that, but at $13,000. a month, needed to use the memory care apartment I had found and finally got them to move there. The wife lasted another 5 months before she could no longer swallow. The husband continues to live there now 4 years later. I was lucky and found a place that gives good care. And I am thankful they could be in a safe place and be together until she passed.
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sudalu Jan 2019
JohnnyJ, very admirable of you to take on the care of your friends. It's hard enough when it's a family member(s). I commend you. I commend all the caregivers of the world. I dread the day my family will have to take on that responsibility for me and/or my husband. I often wonder why we all strive to live so long when our bodies, minds, and finances, can no longer sustain us. $13000 a month for nursing home and memory care for living arrangements that the resident is basically unaware of, is a crying shame. But that's life.
I agree with janeinspain.  Your brother cannot do anything about the situation.  You are the POA.  I strongly suspect that if he did try to make himself POA, your parents would not be considered competent to sign the appointment.  Stop worrying about that part.  You have given many reasons your brothers should not have POA or even have your parents living close by.  That could be brought to a judge as many of those things, losing a license six times, are easily proven.
I also would question whether this is truly happening.  Did you ask the nursing home if your brother visited?  If he did, try to focus on the fact that he visited and cares.  You clearly, and rightfully, do not trust him.  However, you have the legal control.
My mil lives next door to us and has dementia.  My husband has POA and we both take care of her.  His siblings are scattered but one lives in town.  He refuses to help.  None of them speak to one another.  I feel very sad for my husband because I am afraid once his mother is gone, we will have absolutely no contact with two of the three siblings.  After living in the situation for seven years, and having my brother in law tell me 1)  He is not his mother's caregiver, nor my respite care and 2) My husband always does exactly what he wants with his mother and nothing he says or does will change the situation, I have come to realize my husband likes being in charge of his mom and likes things the way they are AND his siblings have no say in the care of their mother and resent that.  So, this situation will continue the way it is and I hope, for my husband's sake, he does have a relationship with his family once his mom passes.  I tell you this because I feel you are in the same situation.  My husband's oldest sibling is difficult and manipulative so I will be happy to have no more contact with her but the others are good siblings.  He will miss them if there is a falling out.  I think you need to think about whether you will want a relationship with your brothers when your parents pass.  You did explore the nursing home close by to your brothers so that is a wonderful gesture.  You might give them monthly updates as I am sure the nursing home is not permitted to do this.
You are doing an awesome job of taking care of your parents.  They are well cared for and in a safe place.  You have done your job.  They will get used to this home and I am sure they would not like the other home at first.  That one may seem nice to your parents because they would have family near by.  However, it is not an option.  It has a waiting list and the couples not sharing a room is non negotiable.  It might help if you remind your brother of those issues.
Good luck to you!  Your parents are lucky to have you!  You were chosen as POA for a reason.
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BaileyP3 Jan 2019
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I would get written documetation that your parents are not competant to make decisions like changing POA and file it locally and in area where your brother lives.
I have twice gone through situation where siblings swooped in, often conspiring with worker who was padding her bills or outright stole from the parents. Yet twice they succeeded in getting POA changed, last time was 6 weeks before Mom died. So beware, this stuff happens.

Number one rule of dealing with an alcoholic, if you really want to make them angry, mess with their version of reality!
I would contact the NH near them and discuss your concerns. Maybe they have suggestions for help if you did move them and he was unreliable, as is likely to be the case. Send them documetation that you are POA.
I am a little confused. You used to live in NY ( resident alien) & now everyone is in Canada. Make sure Documents done in US are redone or certified by a judge in Canada. The 2 country situation makes things difficult.
Also see if there is a Center on Adding or a church or non-profit that had volunteers who can visit your parents. It is important to have a fresh second set of eyes. Sometimes NH staff/ doctors are neglegent, or put parents where no one is actually checking in, in person, are lower priority, or their concerns are not taken seriously. Sometimes their concerns are valid..even with dementia!
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