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I have been the sole caregiver for my Mom who has alzheimers and has had a stroke. She lives with me and I am her POA. I have a Sister that lives out of town that hasn't as much as called her in about 6mths. My brother lives around the corner and only comes by to pick up his mail, or wants money ( that will stop now because the last time my Mom wrote him a check the bank called me because she wrote it on a check book I stopped payment on because she said it was lost) he even Ushers in Church and doesn't even acknowlegde her presence half the time.(luckly my Church Family is aware of who cares for her) He won't even answer his phone when I call for fear I will ask him to watch Mom. I have given up my life to care for her. I can't work and I have exhausted my savings and working on killing my 401K to survive. Mom does have a savings which leaves money for the three of us at her death. I have been paying her bills, buying her medicine and a new wardrode (due to excessive weight loss). My siblings have just accussed me of spending her money-I have records of my expenses so I am not worrried about that. My question is can I legally bill them from there inheritance for my care, considering they wanted to put her in a nursing home and she made it clear she would rather die, and if she was in a nursing home they really wouldn't get nothing they would take it all.. I do everything for her, take her to her several Dr. appointments, Church EVERY Sunday and even take her to my friends house when I need to get out. Hopefully someone can give me some direction.

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oh my oh my i do know this story so well MY FAMILY SUED ME for saying i spent my fathers money and boy was it a fight the only mistake i made i didnt keep records but at the end i won they found out the real story of everything and now the other memberof the family is paying the piper not me cuz he knew what he did and didnt stand up but i did...families can be vindictive they may not come by or call but at the end they will try and fight you and they can but it doesnt mean they will win i am a living witness..i didnt get no lawyer or nothing i stood alone with my man of 25 yrs and i put it in gods hands my family didnt speak to me for a yr which i didint care cuz i know i didnt do ANYTHING wrong i gave up 6 yrs of my life to take care of my dad and i to had a sibling that live right up the street let alone down around the corner. i cried many many nights cuz of what my family did to me they even tried to barr me from the funeral but like i said i went to that funeral i got into that FAMILY
car and set right next to my sister they didnt scare me with their legal stuff cuz i know and my parents knew i took care of them so as long as i did what i was suppose to do i did no wrong...and they found out at the end that i was the wrong person they went after....GOD IS GOOD
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I'm sorry that you and so many other members are dealing with this alone. My mother in law has Alzheimer's and my husband's two siblings and their spouses are supportive to differing extents, but supportive nonetheless. As previously commented, you definitely should not be depleting your own funds when your mother has money set aside. I'm sure that being that you are the primary (ONLY) caregiver for your mom, you should be able to get an attorney to grant you power of attorney over your mother's savings so that you can utilize her money for her care. Just get your documentation together and see a lawyer. -I pray that it all works out for you, hang in there!
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Lilliput,
I think we are twins! I agree with, and live every thought you are thinking. Especially the thought of how we can be related to these selfish, none caring siblings. I asked my mother just a few days ago how could I possiblilty be related to them. But she gives them excuses, because..... they are her children too. I'm meeting with an estate lawyer tomorrow cause I know my bi-polar sister will come knocking when they're gone, and I've done all the work, all the appointments, all the shopping. Lilliput, we both need to get past the anger to move on. It's the only way.
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I do not mind making the sacrifices I do for my Mom. But I absolutely loathe what these deadbeat siblings do to us. I guess you could say that the will have to suffer their own divine justice. However, for now, I am living in this life and I do not want to feel as though I have this hammer over my head just waiting to drop on the day Mom passes.
I swear that I knew things would be like this from a young age. My sib always threw tantrums, always got his way, and was selfish to the core from day one. How do people get this way? We grew up in the same family.
As I write this, I am throughly exhausted...spent the entire day with Mom going to all her doc.s appts, getting her lunch, and doing errands. Then for the icing on the cake she calls me when I get home with a complaint about a doc that "charged her too much." (this is the same guy who usually does not charge her for most office visits.) I am so mad I can't see straight. I often think of shipping her back to my errant sib. But, that would be signing her death sentence because he would just neglect her.
So here we all sit...between a rock and a hard place. Wowww.....our rewards better be in heaven because on Earth, it is just work and more work.
As everyone said above, take care of yourself, document where you can, then tell the sibs to take a short walk off a long cliff. (a PG-rated version of what I am REALLY thinking)
I am just too no-nonsense today......
Lilli
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It all sounds so ugly, a contract for the petty cash I need for my pocket! how did it come to this?
But you are all correct, I need to arm myself against the onslaught that I know is coming. It isn't like mom has any money, and she and i have always, even before she started with the strokes, just threw whatever money was needed for whatever into the mix and didn't keep track. if I had it in my pocket, I paid the bill, if she had it she did. no problem.
But now that I can't leave the house for the hours I would have to to work, and I sitter would cost more than I would make, things are all on mom's dime, and since my sister has stolen my third of dad's estate, things are Very Tight.
I will go to a local family atty for a basic contract though, and I'm making sure that her Dr., and CNA and anybody else I can find know exactly what's going on.
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Speak with an elder law attorney in your area (use your mother's money to pay for this) and determine the appropriate dollar amount monthly to "pay yourself" for your mother's care in your home. Include food, utilities, transportation, etc. The fact that you are not working due to being the sole caregiver for your mom means that you are very entitled to a daily fee (just as if she were living in an assisted living) and respite services (paid with her money). If you have receipts for clothing, supplies, etc that you have purchased on your mother's behalf take that money back out from her funds. Keep PERFECT records - to the penny! Your local senior citizens law office may have a system already developed that you can use or your attorney may also have one. Just because you are her daughter does not mean you are required to give up your life and face financial ruin.
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OOps, I wasn't finished yet......
TENNESSEE, what type of legal contract are you referring to? I also have a deadbeat sibling. I would like to have my ducks in a row the day she comes around expecting what she feels is her rightful share. So many weeks, even months can go by before she shows her face. And when she does, the first thing you'll hear are her excuses of why she hasn't been there.....blah blah blah. She pops in for a short time, and then you don't see her for a long long time...I guess she feels as if she's done her good deed. It's a shame because she lives less than 10 minutes away. I have asked her to help me help dad and just ended up with her being a no show with a lot of excuses. I have learned not to expect anything from her. And I'm ok with that....After my mother died unexpectedly in the hospital last year, I had to make a choice. 4 years prior to my moms death, I had been running myself ragged trying to work and help dad take care of mom, who had dementia. His health was also failing due to COPD. During that time, she was
never around to help. Dad is now 84 and in the last stages. He has been hospitalized twice already in the last 9 months. Since July, he has been an in-home hospice patient. Even after she was shocked to see him in that state of health, she still does not come by to see if he needs any type of assistance. Not even a phone call. In her mind I guess a magic fairy comes in and cleans the house, does the grocery shopping, cooks his meals, pays his bills, pick up and gives him his meds, washes his clothes, changes his linen, helps him to the bathroom and makes sure his home is safe and comfortable. In March of this year, I made the choice to leave my full time job, so I could provide care for my father, because it was so difficult to find a caregiver that is affordable and able to provide the care needed not only for his health, but also his well being. Anyway, needless to say, I have no income coming in, I am not building retirement or SS for my later years,and I have to battle depression because I have no outside social world.. Thank God for this site! I know the services I provide have monetary value. And when it's all said in done, I seriously doubt I will hear the words..."Please take a portion of my share for all the work you did to keep mom and dad happy and comfortable during their last days". I WANNA BE READY!
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TENNESSEE, what type of legal contract are you referring to? I also have a deadbeat sibling. I would like to have my ducks in a row the day she comes around expecting what she feels is her rightful share. So many weeks, even months can go by before she shows her face. And when she does, the first thing you'll hear are the excuses of why she hasn't been there.....blah blah blah. It's a shame because she lives less than 10 minutes away. I have learned xpect anything from her
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Tennessee is right. And every situation is different. But it does really come down to what is in writing and legal.
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While I was struggling along taking care of dad alone,my brothers both armed themselves with lawyers.I begged them to help as did my dad,they gave us no assisatance.I figured with their lack of concern,visits,phone calls,and care it would be cut and dry legally-it wasn't.It falls back on the caregiver,your siblings can always scream abuse,thief-whatever they want-you have the burden of proof in the end.If you are their alone with parent ,who's going to say what you did. The lawyer asked me if I took care of my dad out of love-I responded,'YES'.Wrong thing to say legally-meant I was not entitle to compansation. If you want to get paid you have to have a written contract thats legal.My brothers claimed that they were entitled to a third of the inheritance-judge does not care that they did not do a third of the work. The legal system loves and makes a whole lot of money off of feuding siblings.[It is a money making racket,the legal system does not care about you-your parent or the circumstances they want to get as much money as possible off of someones death.]Familys that don't stick together play right into their hands.Can't take advantage of a close knit family.Caregivers have very few rights-you need to be aware of what rights you do and don't have,I BET YOUR SIBLINGS have their ducks in a row for later..
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I don't think you can leagally bill them for your care of your mother, but it would be nice, wouldn't it? You should keep records of expenses, that's good. You should contact a lawyer. If your siblings are anything like mine, THEY already have and you'll be left defending yourself. Know what your rights are now, not later. I'm in the same position. Moved my parents out of the house falling apart around them and two deadbeat siblings. My sister only wants their money, (and they live on social security), but she is still looking for handouts at 50 years old. My brother lives far enough away and just claims he's too busy. Dad has Alzheimers and dementia and he's angry all the time. I do everything for them as they do not drive. ALL the doctor's appointments (for both of them), church every Sunday, CVS, the grocery store, setting up services like Meals on Wheels, and so on. I have a family of my own, two teen-aged children, a wonderful husband, (thank you God), and my own small business which is tanking because of the time I spend taking care of them. Let's try to do what others have mentioned here about simply putting our siblings out of our mind because they have abandoned us.
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Thank you. I would hate to have a stranger care of her but your right, I 'll be broke without funds to care for myself.
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If your Mother has money in a savings account it should be used for HER care. Unless she were destitute, you should not deplete your savings and especailly your retirement fund. Who will be your support system when you reach this point?
My sib was helping himself to "loans" which he never paid back. I pleaded with my Mom to not continue to lend him money, so he made her sign up for a credit card and take an advance which he never paid back. I finally had her financial advisor set up a trust fund for her. I consider all her assets her own...not and inheritance for any of us. I use her funds for her care only. Keep records, but, as Ted said, do not go crazy with it...we get criticized no matter what. I do not charge Mom for my time...although, some on this site do...nothing wrong with that, but I would set up a contract.
You are not helping your Mom if you are suffering yourself. Caregivers are heavy on the "giving" but tend to neglect ourselves. Please think about your future too...your sibs should not benefit from all your work. Spend your Mom's money on her care....that's what it is there for.
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You ask a very good question, since I have not been able to find any resources (other than medicaid, which we are not eligible) where a family member can get paid for care giving services. I quit my job to care for my father. Fortunately, I have a sister who lives out of town, and for a yr has driven home every weekend to help care for dad. God Bless her! On the other hand, I have a sister who lives less than 10 minutes away.... A total deadbeat....She won't share her time to help take care of dad, but I bet she won't mind equally sharing any inheritance.
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I am in the same situation. I have two siblings, I am the yougest, and then I have a niece, whom my parents have raised since she was 18 months old. Two of those three people only show up, when they need a 'handout', and the other one calls them when she's having a cookout, or celebration for a member of her family. Now, my sister lives about 20 minutes away, knowing that my parents don't drive. She never considers the fact that, we might have something we want to do, or possibly my 13 yr old daughter needs me. My sister never offers ti pick them up, go for groceries, Dr appts, nothing! But, if I allow myself to dwell 'there' , I would be really bitter. So, just as your situation, I encourage you, to be 'present'. Enjoy your time with your mom. In some ways, they are missing out on a special time. I've laughed more with my parents o we the past 8 months, than I have in a long time. It's almost like they've given up their parental 'preaching/teaching' , and we've become great friends. I'm very thankful for this time, and strive to be a blessing, and make a difference in their days. And as the previous person said, your siblings will be old one day too, and if they have children, they are setting an example by their actions. None of this is easy, but you are doing the right thing, and you will have no regrets later on, as your siblings might.-- Good Luck
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I agree with Ted. I had a lot of anger about my sibling not stepping up to the plate and then I had to realize he will not change. He didn't even visit my mom when she lived a few steps away, so her surely will not visit when she is a 4 hour drive away near me. Its not worth the energy to dwell on family members who are selfish and are not present. All I can say is shame on them. Someday they too may be older and perhaps they won't have an army of folks coming to spend some time with them. Stay strong and be there for your mom. She needs you.
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I am in an extremely similar situation, and my only advice is to put your siblings completely out of your mind. I care for our mom with absolutely NO help or support or even phone calls from my brother or sister, but when I questioned my sister about her mis-handling of my father's estate, I got nothing but hateful, abusive responses (her guilt talking) that almost threw me over the edge and come close to landing mom in a nursing home.
I have stop communiticated with both of them for the time-being. If they want to talk to mom they can know her seperate number, but they don't call. When all is said and done, I will look at the legalities of what my sister has done, but for now I must focus on trying to make this time as comfortable as possible for mom. And for myself.
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