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Good luck, Avie!
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Avie,

You might find these lessons helpful along the way.

"15 Lessons From the Caregiver of an Elderly Parent"
http://www.divinity.duke.edu/initiatives-centers/clergy-health-initiative/connection/john-m-crowe
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thank you for your advice!
I've come to the decision that if my mother and elderly brother are doing okay in their own home, then they should not have to sell & move because we want them to. I realize it's a huge adjustment and very disruptive for someone of her age (83) to move from a home that she's lived in nearly all her life. There are many things that need to be discussed with my mother and my disabled brother. I know mom is his guardian so this is something I must find out soon -- we need to set into place a guardian to take over should she pass before him. I am also going to find out about a Living Will. I know mom has a Will, but I need to know if she has or would like a Living Will. I want to find out if my brother also has a Will in place. So much to think about, but if we do it over a period of time and do it when our elderly parents are competent and able to help us help them, then we will all feel much better having all these things taken care of.
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My first answer would be no-since she seems to be doing well on her own I would encourage her to see an elder lawyer to make sure she has a will and a health care proxy so her wishes are followed if she is not able to make decisions about her health and maybe an account to advise her on her assests-but if she is foolish about her money she will be the one who is hurt and I would discuss what will happen to your brother if something happened to her and these things have to be done 5 years ahead of time if she were to need medicaide so she should have done this-of course you can not make her do what needs to be done-my Mom is 91 and after a friend died she said she does not want anything done to keep her alive and I told her it has to be in writing she told me our sister would do everything so her no decision was really a decision-to leave it up to others. I was so glad my husband had it in writing when he became critical at 71 last year my son and I had the decision together and we knew what he wanted-of course as soon as I got to the ER a nurse insisted I sign a DNR and I said no not at this time I had not even seen him by then and my adult kids did not know he was sick-and do not let any medicial person tell you once a person is on life support they can not come off it that is bunk-my sister was told that my mother is real deaf and a doc got her to sign a DNR we had my husband on life support from the Tue he was admitted until Thur afternoon and took him off and he passed away 12 hrs. later after I knew there was no chance for recovery.
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If you keep pushing your mother about moving in with you, she may then doubt your intentions about asking her to give you Durable POA and Medical POA for her future care when she is not competent our of fear that you will use those now to force her hand. It's a delicate balance between respecting their independence and genuine ability and wisely preparing for the future.

As long as she is competent, there is really not much you can do. Is your mother's house only in her name? Who has medical and durable POA for your brother? If it is your mother, then the documents need modifying to add your name in the event she becomes incompetent or dies whichever comes first. Does your mother have a will and do you know where it is? Does your mother have a living will and do you know where that is?

Until her doctor or another doctor or a home health person tells you that it is not safe for her to live in her own and/or is incompetent to handle her business in a business like manner, then there an't much you can do. We have such a limited definition of competency. My mother lived at home and got around while failing to pay taxes, various bills, and never told anyone until 2009. This had been going on since 2004. It's a mess, so just because she can function on some level does not mean she can conduct her business. Make sure your mom's bills and taxes are up to date. Old people can be very private and secret as well as their siblings know things that for some reason they will not tell the adult child as in my own case. My aunt knew that my mother and step dad had not paid taxes since 2004 for 5 years but did not think it was her place to tattle on her older sister. She's also in massive disbelief that my mom is as bad off as she is.
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Maybe appealing to her at a level that helps her to see that at 83, she needs to start planning for your disabled brother's life transition if she should die before he does? Ask her what her wishes are if that should happen. Use that discussion as a spring-board to ask her if she has a will, or anything that is legally enforceable, that would ensure that her wishes are honored. (That assumes that your brother would not be able to live independently if she dies first, of course.)

I'd try a practical approach based on the fact that you have said that she is able to care for herself, drive, and make other decisions in her life and your brother's.

If true, she may also need to be reminded that your brother's medical condition may require more hands-on assistive care even as she is growing older and not able to increase her direct care assistance to him. Then, what is her plan?

I wouldn't scare her, I would just try to talk her through the harsh realities of aging, aging with a disability, and being socially isolated from one's family due to age-related medical issues. May it never happen to her, but, you are right to have started looking ahead to assist her and your brother.

I hope it all works for the best for you, your Mom and your brother. It is very challenging, I know.
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Thanks for your help and sharing your own situations. It's very helpful.
I would like to know how you talked your mother to leave her home? This is where I am now. My mom at this point is competent, can take care of herself, drive and pay her bills. However, my brother and I are concerned about her throwing her money away . . . given we have no legal control over her finances, we really can't do much. so, we are brainstorming of ways to get her out of that house and closer to one of us. Yet, mom has no desire to leave that house, says she does not want to sell it even after my brother and I offered to do everything for her in the transition. We understand the emotional ties to her home, yet we also are thinking more logically too. We just feel if we could be closer to her, we could help her out more and oversee things. but, we live in different states and are not able to relocate at this time. It's a very hard decision to make and I don't want to force her to do anything she does not want to do, but as long as they can think straight, are competent, and say no, what are we to do? For me, logic takes over, but for mom,, I know it's not logic -- it's more emotional, but not very possible for me to relocate at this time or my brother. At this stage however, our mother (83) and our disabled brother (52) are doing okay, but I'm concerned that there will be atime when they can't be there alone so I am just thinking of our options to have some sort of idea or plan. We can't sell her house without her agreeing to it, so that's pretty much a done deal. I even try talking to her about how nice it would be to live near me, see the grandkids, get away from winters, she'd have me to take her to doctor appts., etc. there are so many pluses to her/them moving closer to me, than to stay there without family around. I'm just not sure what we are able to do as long as she can decide for herself . . .. yet we risk daily her getting involved with a door to door contractor or scammer or who knows what else that she could end up throwing away her money -- thinking she's making a good decision. She's used to the 1950's and how she could trust everyone. Any advice would be appreciated if you have something more to share or any ideas. Thanks so much.
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I agree with Lilliput. I have a picky picky 85 year old mother and 52 year old mentally disabled sister who were living together for years and recently had to make the same decision that you are making. After talking to friends and family, I decided to try outside help first. Because of their age difference and needs, my sister is in a board and care and my mother is in an assisted living situation. I was surpised that my mom agreed to this since she never wanted my sister away from her and never wanted to leave her home. I do visit them often and after 8 months it is working out just fine for both of them. It is a hard decision, but I think I made the right choice.
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Avie: shouldering the responsibility of caring for a senior is an enourmous undertaking. It really changes your life in ways you cannot fathom. Adding your brother into the mix might be a bit daunting if you are new to caregiving.
Is it possible to move them to a facility that is close to you so that you can monitor their health and well-being?
Be absolutely certain that you can handle all the drama that comes with moving two adults into your home. It would be so disruptive to their lives if you decide later that it isn't working. I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but I have read so many posts on this forum from people who wished that they had thought through the consequences before they moved a loved one into their home.
Right now, my Mom lives in her own place...but will soon need more help. I am planning on buying a condo or a home with a separate apartment so Mom can maintain her "independence." This is very important to her and I am trying so hard to respect her wishes.
Caring for a loved one is draining, time-consuming, and can make your friends and other family members scatter. It is also a rewarding and kind thing to do for a loved one. Just, please, go into it with your eyes opened.
Best of luck to you...
Lilli
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