i am gma's primary caregiver. my sister who lives in another state agreed to help me take care of gma by taking over gma's financial mess and with gma's approval, she granted her power of attorney in sept.

gma has been put on a $50 a week allowance, her utilities are getting paid but any time i have asked my sister to send gma extra money for a hair cut, a heater or even groceries my sister says "gma has no money" then she will ignore my calls for about a week.

i know my gma's monthly income. i know what she spends on groceries and how much it cost to get her hair cut but what i don't know is where gma's money is being spent and neither does gma.

as POA she is required to keep records and keep gma's finances seperate from her own but is there something i can ask my sister to send every month showing exactly where gma's money is being spent? i would like to get every one's opinion about this matter before i ask my sister for this because i feel it might become an issue.

any suggestions or advice?

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You can certainly ask your sister. It is a perfectly reasonable request.

She does not legally have to grant your request, though, unless that is spelled out in the POA document. It might be more persuasive coming directly from gma.

According the the USDA, the average weekly cost of food for a female over 70 is $45.70, at a moderate level food plan. How did your sister come up with a $50 allowance? Can you calmly explain to your sister than the allowance needs to be adjusted, and why? Perhaps save receipts, and show her the USDA statistics?

If your sister is resistant to sharing financial information with you and/or providing a more adequate allowance, you have some leverage points.

Gma can revoke the POA and turn that role over to you. I realize that you do not want to handle the finances, but if that is what it takes for gma to feel comfortable in knowing where her money goes and for you to have adequate funds to care for her, then maybe this has to be considered.

You can also explain that you cannot deal with the lack on money and you will need to back off on the caregiving you provide. Sister will have to use gma's money to hire a part-time caregiver. Maybe someone else will figure out how to make $50 allowance stretch to cover $70 expenses. You can't.

Be sure that your sister knows that you and gma appreciate the hard work she is doing and you know she has gma's best interest at heart. (Let's hope so anyway.) But gma needs the comfort of knowing exactly where her money is going, and you need a larger weekly allowance for her. Be polite, but firm. Try not to come across as threatening, but let your sister know that this cannot continue as it is.

Good luck!
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