Am I the long-distance marriage counselor?

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So... for those of you I haven't met, here's the cast of characters...
1. Dad, 91, Parkinson's, moderative cognitive impairment, depression
2. Stepmom, 88, cancer
3. Brother, two years younger than me.
Dad and stepmom live in Mass.; I'm in Michigan, brother's in Seattle.

Dad went into the hospital in Feb. with blood clots, and we made the decision to move him into assisted living; we felt he could no longer get the care he needed at home, being nearly broke but having longterm care insurance to cover assisted living or nursing home costs. Stepmom remained at the house (which is in dad's name). At the time, Stepmom thought she would move into AL after several months (one issue being their dog, as the AL facility was not dog friendly).

Fast forward three months. Stepmom now says she has no plans to move into AL unless her health takes a radical turn for the worse (her son, at least, is not thrilled with this). Dad doesn't understand why she's not there, and thinks she's having an affair.

Tonight, she called, slightly panicked, after a pretty horrible day of accusations from Dad. She was worried he was somehow going to figure out how to call a cab and come to the house (which I think is exremely unlikely). I did tell her to alert the staff at the AL facility. Dad wound up calling my brother, claiming stepmom said he could only visit the house if my brother approved (and I highly doubt she actually said this).

Brother feels that stepmom created this situation and should take the lead to fix it. Can't really say I disagree, but figured I'd solicit some input from the crowd here on what I can/should be doing.

Ideas? Suggestions? I'd be tearing my hair out if I had any...

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GardenArtist--thanks for the input.
The answer to your first question is, I would agree, no. And the answer to the second question is, I would also agree, yes.
And that sounds like the answer to the question of "What should I do" is what my brother has suggested--tell Dad and stepmom they need to fix this on their own.
The only wild card--and my brother isn't entirely in agreement on this--is how much is due to Dad's depression and anxiety, and whether changes in medication might help the situation. Unfortunately, we so far have a social worker, a nurse practitioner/therapist, and potentially a psychiatrist involved, and it seems a bit uncoordinated...
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Adam, further thought....Ask yourself if the intervention of either you or your brother could (a) address (b) solve or (c) in any other way help to create a solution. I suspect the answer is no.

Also ask yourself, knowing your parents, if the intervention of either of you could lead to your parents eventually involving you in any disagreement they have, and I think the answer is probably yes.
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I think the disagreement is reflective of a growing emotional separation, and a growing apart of your parents as they consciously or unconsciously adjust to their separation.

Remembering how demanding her role was given her cancer and your father's declining health, she may be getting used to being on her own and just caring for herself, notwithstanding the fact that (if I remember correctly) earlier she had wanted to move to be with your father but was held back because of the dog.

When two people are living separately, there are bound to be changes in how each views his/her own situation.

I don't know that there is a solution, whether either you or your brother become involved. I think, unfortunately, that this is part of the separation and probably is only going to intensify. Sorry to be gloom predictor, but based on what you've written over the past months, this would be my call.

The situation could change though if she can no longer live alone and AL becomes necessary for her, but I think at this point it's hard to predict whether that would happen or not.
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Freqflyer: No IL facility as part of the AL community. She's talked about moving into an apartment closer to Dad--which, ironically, would be more expensive than either staying in the house or moving to AL (as she also has longterm care insurance). Stepmom's monthly income is about 3x dad's, so that's not an issue. However, she has asked about him moving back home with fulltime care, which my brother does not support (and will not support financially). As far as the dog, no family members nearby--her kids are in Princeton, Baltimore, and Los Angeles. And, at this point, I don't think the dog is the issue--I think it's "I'm not ready for assisted living".

Rainmom: at this point, less concerned with what to say to dad (who often doesn't remember conversations from one day to the next), and what to say to stepmom. I think my brother and are just about on the "this is between you two to work out. It's not our/my call" page, but I'm looking for a reality check from others who may have lived through something similar. And, based on talking to her--unless she's really an amazing actress--I don't think she said anything about my brother's "authority" to dad. If anything, she knows I am his health proxy and have his durable power of attorney and would have thrown me under the bus...
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Is the Assisted Living facility connected to an Independent Living facility? If so, is it dog friendly? I realize that cost would be an issue, but she could move there and have her meals with your Dad... thus hopefully erase his fears that his wife is having an affair.

Not sure how this would work if the house is sold, if there is enough equity to help fund your Stepmom's living expenses... or if this would throw a huge wrench into Medicaid if your Dad and/or both need it down the line.

Another option, since the AL will not take pets... can someone in the family foster the pet and bring it to AL for visits? Then maybe Stepmom could move in.
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Okay - never mind part of that. Just reread and see that you don't think SM would say that. I think you've got to determine if she actually did or not. Still - perhaps best to say to dad "this is between you two to work out. It's not our/my call".
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Sounds like SM is trying to make your brother into the bad guy. I'd tell her it was her fabrication, her mess to set right. I don't know how you can trust her to do that- and still keep your brother out of the middle of it. Your brother talking to your dad and saying he never said that is likely to cause more problems and upset your dad more. This is tough and you and your brother are best left out of it. Still - how she is gonna backtrack this is beyond me.
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