My mom had a series of strokes a few years ago. She has dementia. My brother got power of attorney since she was living with him and his wife. However, My brother's wife does not get along with our mom so they found an assisted living facility where she lived for a couple of years. During her time in the ALF, my brother and his wife very rarely visited her. At holidays and special days, I noticed that the only gifts and cards she received were only from my wife and me. She then ended up in the hospital. When I found out about mom being in the hospital (through a nurse at the assisted living facility), I contacted the hospital. They said she was released. I went to my brother and asked him where she was. he said she was in rehab at a nursing home. Before I could go see her, My brother said she was back in the hospital with dehydration and her kidneys were shutting down. He was quick to say that he would make funeral arrangements.My wife and I went to see her. She looked like she was on her deathbed. After about a week , she was ok to leave the hospital. During her time in the hospital, she said she wanted to go home. To live with us. I told her that I would work on it. I told my brother to let me know when she was to be released. He never did. I found out from the hospital. I called him. He said that dropped our mom off at the same nursing home. I told him that my wife and I want mom to live with us. He did not respond. My wife and I have visited her several times. One day, my wife asked mom if she had seen my brother and his wife, she said no, they're bad. My Wife asked mom if she wanted to come live with us. She said yes and that she is very lonely. I sent texts to my brother about it with no response. I called the other day and told him we wanted mom to come live with us so we can spend time with her, take her out to eat, go shopping and lead a more normal life and so we can care for her and where she will be comfortable, happier and surrounded by us (her loving family around her and not strangers), He said he did not think it was a good idea and that he would not wish that on anyone (referring to mom). I asked why. He said because of how she is. I said that the nursing home was a place where people just wait to die. He agreed and said that there is a resident there who is 104 years old and , he said, she don't even want to die. That was a rude and cruel statement. He has had full power and access to mom's retirement income (which she doesn't even see) and we don't know hoe to make him account for her money and where its going. When I asked him how much it costs for mom to be in this nursing home, he said it doesn't cost anything. Medicare pays for it. So where is her income going? With the amount of money she makes, we could afford to have a nurse to come by and check on her while she stays with us. They also have her on a regular solid food diet and she has no bottom teeth (she has dentures and no one can tell me where her bottom teeth are). She has to borrow a sweater from the nursing home to stay warm (why? My brother could get her one with her money). My wife said that she will buy to give to her. Mom has very few clothes and no personal items besides toothbrush, toothpaste, her glasses and few clothes and no shoes. My wife and I believe he wants her to stay there so he can keep and use her money for himself. He doesn't seem to care if she dies. I believe that he has life insurance policies on her so when she does pass away, he and his wife will collect. I want my mom to live with me and my wife, but he will not agree. I can't afford an attorney but we really want mom to live with us. We want what is best for her and my brother only wants money. What can my wife and I do to get mom out of the nursing home and here with us?

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Hi there. Like the others, I'm sorry for the difficult situation you face.

Here are a few concrete ideas:

1. Have you seen the Power of Attorney and Health Care Surrogate paperwork with your own eyes? If not, it is time to get hold of a copy. Depending upon what these documents say, you might have some options.

2. Assuming that the documents are valid and were sign when your mother had capacity to do so, then they are the governing documents and if they appoint your brother as sole decision maker then that limits your options. If you feel that your mother is being abused (including financially) by your brother, you can make a report to adult protective services or petition the court for guardianship. However, if you go this route, you will need to be able to make the case that your mother is suffering from abuse or neglect and that it is because of something your brother is (or is not) doing.

3. Try to have a family meeting with your brother and work through some of these issues, perhaps with an objective third party facilitating the conversation(s). Perhaps there are answers to many of your questions and once you know those answers your brother's decision making will make more sense to you.

It can be very difficult to be the sibling on the "outside" and I always coach my clients who are the POAs, etc. to over-communicate with their siblings to avoid a scenario like this one.

Good luck!

Sheri Samotin, CPC, PDMM
Author of Facing the Finish: A Road Map for Aging Parents and Adult Children
Helpful Answer (0)

First I'm sorry this is happening...

She will not be on medicare for long, brother will have to apply for medicaid and they will look back 5 years of her funds to see where she spent the money. So if brother is POA he will have to show receipts, bank statements etc. of where Mom spent the money. If she isn't approved for medicaid she'll have to private pay until she is approved.. So as POA he'll have to find monthly payments..

That being said: I understand you're love and concern for your Mom but care giving is a tough job.. Please read through this forum , all of us are exhausted and financially strapped..If Mom has dementia which I assume she does, being lonely and depression is part of the disease..

Visit her often, you can still care for her in the NH.. just remember they are professionals and there are more of them then just you and your wife..So she will have professionals caring for her who aren't tired, physically and emotionally.

Hugs to you.. Again please read thru forum regarding the effects of having your loved one at your home..
Helpful Answer (12)

Honestly I don't think you know what you are facing if you take your mom in. If you aren't happy with the nursing home, then find another one, but don't assume such a responsibility when it most likely isn't necessary. Unless of course you are ready to give up your life as you know it. It's not fun, and for me at least, it is far far far far from rewarding.
Helpful Answer (6)

My sister had POA for my mother and put her in Assisted Living (actually, a Senior apartment with a cafeteria.. no real "assistance"..).. My husband and I kidnapped her from there and she has been living with us ever since- about a year and a half. It was a real mess at the time, but it all worked out.
She wanted to come live with us and she did. She terminated my sisters POA and eventually gave me POA.

That said, it is a tough road to travel. We are blessed in having two ladies who come and stay with my mom during the day and sometimes on weekends...otherwise it would be alot harder. She does enjoy going to yard sales and second hand stores. Even has a guy at church she is sweet on. She is doing much better now than when she was in Assisted Living. That's the important part.
Helpful Answer (5)

Since you seem to think that his actions may be motivated by your brother wanting to keep her retirement money for himself, I'd like to point out a few things:

Medicare does NOT pay for long-term nursing home care. (It does cover temporary rehab stays.)

Medicaid does cover nursing home care. But in that case the retirement money all goes to the nursing home, and Medicaid pays the amount the pension doesn't cover. Mom gets a small allowance. The POA gets nothing.

So ... I don't see what your brother has to gain financially by keeping her in NH. He cannot be keeping her retirement money if she is on Medicaid. And if she is not on Medicaid, then she must be paying for the NH out of her pension. How could he gain?

If you really have reason to think that he is using Mom's money for himself and not for her, please report your concern to Adult Protective Services. They will investigate. But somehow the NH is getting paid for caring for Mom, and that will have to involve them taking her pension. Just keep that in mind.

The other topic I'd like to comment on is the nature of dementia. I really don't think that people with dementia lie, but they have their own view of reality. Many caregivers wind up the "bad guys" in the eyes of the person with dementia they are caring for. Tragically a son who has sacrificed greatly for a parent will be accused of stealing from her; a daughter who gave up a career and is doing without many things to care for her parent will be badmouthed to other relatives as being selfish. Persons with dementia might claim their caregiver never feeds them or abuses them or leaves them alone all day, when none of this is true at all. I'm not sure you can take your mother literally when she says your brother is "bad."

How much help did you and your wife provide when Mom was living with your brother? Did you call daily to see how everything was going? Did you take her for a weekend every month, so they could have time to themselves? Did you come by and take Mom out to eat and to sales? How often did you see her and get to see her dementia symptoms? Sometimes -- and I certainly don't know if it applies in this case -- the caregiving couple get to feeling like they are in this all alone, and so they later don't bother to keep the siblings informed.

Whatever is hampering communications between you and your brother, my hope is that it can heal, and you can start sharing your concerns with each other. You will have your brother in your life longer than either of you will have your mother.
Helpful Answer (5)

Definitely read more in this forum, many have had to face what you are facing. Leave her in the NH for a while and visit often. When she says she wants to go home, try to find out where home is, to her. You may find she's talking about a place she lived long ago, as a child or young bride, not home as you are thinking of it. Let the skilled NH staff help you care for her, there in a safe place with the facilities needed to help her. It's not just a place that people go to die, it's a place for people to be helped. And let go of the money concerns; most likely, the state will take care of getting the money back from your brother when the time comes.

Please, don't rush to take her 'home'. Let go of these fears and worry, just be there for her.
Helpful Answer (4)

KD your brother's attitude might have a lot to do with the years your mother spent living in his and his wife's home. How long was that, three or more years? That's plenty of time for relationships to turn very sour. I'm not saying it makes it ok for him to seem indifferent to his mother's welfare (let aside the financial queries for now); just that it may not be as straightforward as it looks to you.

It should also give you pause for thought, before you and your wife offer to take your mother into your home. How did your brother and your mother get on in days gone by? Because if all used to be well, and now it isn't, you should bear in mind that you could end up in very similar shoes to his unless you're careful. Little old ladies are not sugar and spice and all things nice, or not necessarily, anyway.

Turning to the more concrete issues of what is going on with your mother's income and care costs, posters above are right to say that at some point - whether for your information or otherwise - your brother is going to be called to account for every penny of your mother's money. Any skulduggery will come to light. Without POA you have no business to insist on being given information, but as your mother's son, or for that matter as a concerned member of the public, you have every right to raise questions. You could approach APS, you could speak to the manager of the NH where your mother currently is, or her social worker if she has one; or, of course, you could speak to your brother. Unless you've severed all contact with him, there is nothing wrong with asking him reasonable questions and expecting a reasonable answer. Don't send texts or emails - they're prone to being overlooked, as well as actively ignored. Pick up the phone and speak to him.

Your brother's having said he "wouldn't wish that on anyone" makes me strongly suspect that he and, perhaps more likely, his wife have suffered a severe case of caregiver burnout. It jaundices a person, sometimes permanently. Learn from his experience, ask more about it, perhaps show him some sympathy and understanding. Then you can act as your mother's advocate on the basis of much better information.

Best of luck. Whether or not you do decide to bring your mother to live with you, having gained agreement to this, you are clearly determined to do your best for her. I wish you every success.
Helpful Answer (4)

I have a different take than most here. It sounds like your Mom might be close to death, and you might get good services from contacting Hospice, she can have hospice in a NH or in a private home. Feeling the way she does, I bet home is where when she opens her eyes she sees a familiar face. From what I read, she knows who you are, so you are Home, NOT a NH or a rehab facility. tell your brother you know she will need a lot of care, you feel it is cheaper to hire someone to come in daily than to stay in the NH, but you need her funds to pay for it. This is of course assuming you have the xtra room in your home. If she can think and feel do not leave her alone with strangers all day. Make your brother come to Jesus and threaten to absolve the POA because he is not acting in her best interests as such, as proven by her time in the hospitals..... God bless you.
Helpful Answer (3)

Well, I will probably be the minority here; however, I would NOT leave her in the place from which she has already winded up in a hospital twice!

I tended my mother for 18 yrs. She had parkinsons disease with episodes of dimentia getting worse toward the end. The other posters are right in that it will take a lot out of you to care for your mother in her condition; however, the way I got around all that is:

1. Had a nursing assistant come in to tend her 4 hrs a day 7 days a week; and
2. Choosing to live in the country where I could walk out among God's trees and spend time with my small herd of dairy goats.

In your situation where your brother has POA and you cannot afford an attorney, I personally would handle it differently, though you may not be in condition to do so. I would leave that POA holding brother with the responsibilities that go along with that, report a "possible" abuse of such to the local authorities, find myself a place (home) for my family to live where your brother cannot find you and kidnap my mother! But that is me!!!
Helpful Answer (2)

I agree with Assandache7 and Tennie - please read stories in this forum and get a real feel for what we, as caregivers, are faced with on a 24/7 basis. I can only speak for myself but I don't have a life anymore - everything revolves around my Dad. If I need or want to get away for a few days, I have to pay someone to stay with him and that doesn't come cheap! As I was prior to moving my Dad in with my husband and me, I fear you may not realize how "needy" your Mom really is. I suggest visiting her on a regular basis and you, of course, could take her out to eat or take her for a short visit to your home at times - just make sure she is comfortable and knows she is loved.
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