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Hi all, just a question. My mum (76) is suffering from encephalitis for the last 5 year's. My brother is getting career allowance for her as he lives at home, single never married (54). He doesn't help my mum I'm always doing the shopping,doc app, hospital, take care of her small farm etc. My mum always when I'm out with her is depressed as he shouts at her, doesn't clean the house, or small little things as sweep floor, clean sink, sometimes forgets to give her tabs. He also leaves her unattended while he goes off and tells no one. But he still expects mum to pay the bills, pay for shopping, and he lives there for free. Any advice would be great.

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Man in his fifties, never married, lives with Mama, doesn't contribute to household ... I wonder if Brother doesn't have his own mental health issues. (I'm NOT saying that any man in this situation must be mentally ill. Really. But it seems worth considering in this case.)

I am not so concerned about who is paying for groceries or who is taking mom shopping. What worries me is possible abuse. Have you seen him shout at your mom, or is that what she is telling you? Is the shouting frequent or once in a great while? (Caregivers on this forum, if you have NEVER shouted or spoken sharply to the person you care for, download the application for sainthood now.)

You think Mother is depressed? Has she been evaluated for that? Is she being treated?

Do you know for a fact that she isn't getting her medications properly? That is serious. I didn't take my own medications yesterday. Dang! I know better, but once in a while I forget. Could you help your brother/mother come up with a good reminder system? (And then come help me!)

I don't know what is considered "looking after" someone. Is it supposed to include housekeeping? (In the US, my sister got an allowance for looking after our mom, and a separate amount to hire housecleaning done.)

The carer allowance is to cover 35 hours a week, not 168 hours a week. Your brother -- any carer -- is entitled to time off and time away from the house. If your mother has been declared unable to stay at home alone for any period of time, then he certainly should make arrangements for someone else to be with her when he is not. I don't know how confused your mom is with encephalitis. Is she OK on her own for a few hours at a time?

If you feel that your brother's behavior in endangering your mother, I think you have an obligation to report it to Services for Older Adults and let them investigate OR do what you can to correct the problems (such as a medication reminder system). Neglect/abuse should not be ignored.

But if this is mostly about resenting that your brother is getting what appears to be a free ride, drop it. Life is too short and too precious to be wasted on resentment.
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Do you mean Carer's Allowance? As awarded by the DWP?

It's quite a rigmarole, applying for that: you can see the criteria online. They are stringent, and the allowance is meagre. If you really do have reason to believe that your brother lied in his application you can always shop him to the DWP; and if you are concerned about potential abuse you should report that to Services for Older Adults, whose contact details you can find on her local authority's website.

Hope you're ready to move in with your mother and look after her full time, then!
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If your mother is competent to manage her affairs, then not much you can do, BUT you can stop helping her out. You can control what you will do and set boundaries to protect yourself.
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I was thinking the other day that parents may wonder if they did the best they could when raising their children, or they may feel that they weren't good parents, or favored one or more child over the other...in other words, they reflect back on their parenting and may find it wanting.

That I think creates the environment for an adult child who thinks he/she wasn't treated as he/should have to manipulate into an enabling relationship with the "offending" parent. I.e., " I wasn't treated very well as a child. Why shouldn't I take money from her/him? Why SHOULD I help with her/his care?"

Another aspect which I've seen is that the parent herself or himself didn't have the best childhood, and felt that his/her parents weren't as good parents as they could have been. I think that gives rise not to sponging off a parent, but rather to a commitment that they won't treat their own children as they were treated.

Another opportunity for enabling to develop.

I'm not sure that once these situations segue into an enabling environment that there's much that can be done, if the issues of parenting and siblings are long standing ones.

I don't wish to be discouraging, but attitudes developed during childhood and then subsequent child rearing can be so entrenched that psychological care is necessary to get a the root of the issue.

Just my $.01 worth.
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Hi Jim,
I completely agree with Sunnygirl. If your mother is competent then it is her right to make her own (bad) decisions. If not, or if you feel she is being exploited you may need to seek legal counsel to find out how to improve the situation assuming your brother is not open to change.
Best of luck,
Margaret
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Is your mother still competent to make her own decisions? If so, i'm not sure what you can do, since, it's her say so that goes in her house. If she isn't competent, then, I'd seek legal advice on how to be appointed to act on her behalf and then set her house straight. I'm not sure which country you may be from, but, I'd check with the laws in your jurisdiction to make sure you are on sound legal footing. If brother is not helping mother and indeed using her resources, I'd insist that he make other arrangements.
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