Can our brother keep us from seeing our mother?


My brother had good intentions when asking our mother to live with he and his wife. However, as her health declined and she needed care, he lacks the compassion, patience and skills to do so. He has become verbally abusive so I contacted Adult Protective Services. My two older sisters supported my decision and now he won't allow us to see our mother. Is there anything we can do?

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I need some more details about your mother before I can correctly identify the problem. However, who has POA? Just because your mother is living with your brother, unless he has a POA signed by her without her being incompetent, ask your local sheriff to go over with you to ask why he won't let you and your sisters see your mother. That way you have a law enforcement officer with you and things will not get out of hand. Family quarrels can quickly escalate into a deadly scenario, so make sure you are safe!
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This is an all too common issue these days and is just going to get worse as more and more of our parents continue to live longer and need more care.

Does anyone have Power of Attorney yet? Not only for getting her medical care, but for her finances? It's possible your brother doesn't want anyone to see her because he has taken control of her finances and doesn't want the rest of the family to know until she passes. At that point, you'll find out the brother inherited everything and the rest of you were cut out of the will. I'm not saying this is for certain, but it's a HUGE possibility. Now, playing Devil's Advocate here, your brother may have other reasons for not wanting you guys around. There's the possibility your brother may also have already gotten the POA so he can have her placed in a Nursing Home/Assisted Living facility. He may feel he's doing right by her and be resentful that his siblings don't appreciate all he's done for her. Stop and take a hard/honest look at what is happening and ask yourself some hard questions. Has your brother been caring for your Mom all by himself without any help from his siblings? If yes, for how long? Have you, his siblings, been helping him in any way? Have you been contributing financially and offering to come over and give him a break every day or at least a couple times a week? What have you guys contributed during the time he has carried the burden? Have you guys helped cover her medicine costs, her food, her clothing, gas to get her to and from the doctor, contributed to taking her to the doctor, helping see she's bathed and medicine given on time, seen her bills were paid on time, helped pay for her bills? He may be getting overwhelmed and if you guys weren't contributing and he's been doing this a while, calling APS on him may have been the "proverbial straw" for him. Try to see this from both sides, and maybe you guys will be able to talk and work things out.

Talk to her doctor if you can. If your Mom signed a Hippa listing her children, then you can. If she didn't, it will be much harder. But, as her children, you all have a right to know that your Mom is being cared for properly.

You didn't say what Adult Protective Services responded. Have they checked on her and reported back? If not, why not? Whom did they report to? If they haven't responded, and you can't talk to your brother, even after mentioning "you're sorry" if you having been an active supporter in the past, but would like to step up now, then, call the police if you fear she is being mistreated. They have to respond, and at least you'll have peace of mind that she is okay until you can get this settled. Tell the police up front that you have called APS and what their response was (if you got one) and if they haven't responded to you, tell the police you are fearful of what is happening to her while APS "gets to her case".

You and your other siblings might want to hire an Elderly Care Attorney to see to your mother's well-being. An EC Attorney specializes in these types of issues (and all things the elderly person needs tended to).

Good luck to you, no one should be kept from their parents.
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Is there a 3rd party family member or friend who can talk to all of you? In wild also call her doctor explain the situation and ask for group therapy.
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