Their home is absolutely filthy, and dirty: mouse droppings on counters, junk crammed everywhere, (including inside the dishwasher), unusable bedrooms due to piles of boxes and trash, etc. They have lots of cats: urine smells and stains, cat hair and cat litter everywhere. They also have an aggressive cat that scratches and bites my mom. When I bring any of this up, they both get defensive and tell me everything is fine, and that I make a big deal out of everything. It’s truly a health hazard and I can’t believe they think it’s ok to live this way. Truly, it’s a biohazard. Does my brother get to make all of her decisions because he has POA? He makes terrible decisions because he can’t tell the difference anymore. Ideally, I’d like my mom to live with me (I have three young children who she should see more often), but my brother says she doesn’t want to (when I ask her, she says she does). I’ve offered to hire cleaners, housekeepers, home health care aides for her if she wants to stay in her house, but they keep refusing.

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This is a health and safety issue. It sounds as though they may need guardianship by the State. I would not become involved yourself, because you would be helpless in this struggle, especially so as a family member. This is a mental issue more than a dementia one, but when it slips into health, safety and fire hazard issue it becomes the business of the state. I would report it. I am so sorry and so sad for you, but I cannot see how you can help them without this backup.
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You need to call Adult Protection Services and ask for them to investigate the situation. Think twice about Mom coming to live with you.
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This is not something you can handle by yourself. You are dealing with two people who are mentally ill. Hoarding is a disease just as alcoholism or drug addiction is. They are also guilty of animal abuse and if you called your local spca they will come get the cats and probably also report the filthy living conditions. If your mother is suffering from dementia and your brother’s POA is in effect, he is guilty of abuse of a vulnerable Senior. You have grounds for ending this situation. Call your local sheriff who will call APS. They will both be removed from the situation and the POA will most likely be revoked. At that point, you should consult an attorney and go for guardianship of your mother.
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