Y'all know my story. 88 yo mother lives with brother in small apt attached to his home. He is her primary caregiver--(and very defensive about the role). She allows me to come in a few times a week, but still looks to brother for all medical advice, etc. They have a very weird relationship--- Mother is failing. She has been sick since about the first of Nov. UTI, URI, one ER visit to rule out anything "serious", more GI problems, vomiting, not eating...I really thought she was not going to live through Christmas. She is "better", but not back to baseline of Nov. Much less mobile, much frailer, often bladder incontinent, less able to string together words and sentences--I know that one serious fall will do her in. My other 3 siblings are mostly MIA. They don't know nor seem to care what happens to mother. I get it, she would never have won mother of the year, but she IS our mother, and we all need to be on the same page, carewise. I emailed everyone and asked for a family meeting (just sibs, no spouses) and asked brother with POA to bring mother's LTC policy and anything else he feels appropriate to know. I actually have them all coming over Tues night. Amazing. Mom needs more care. About 6 months ago I had her ready for an in home care company to come in 2xs a week. Brother talked her out of it ("they steal from you, they'll steal your identity"--basically he preyed on her worst fears and she balked.) I actually WORKED for this company for years and I was pretty offended that brother kind of threw me under the bus.... Anyhow--going forward--please help me think of topics we need to discuss. I can GIVE great advice, but this is my own family and I feel frozen. Mother has mild-moderate dementia, brother says she's fine. His plan is to keep her home until she dies. He said (a direct quite) "when she can no longer walk, I will install a Hoyer lift above her bed, hoist her up in the morning, change her diaper and plop her in a wheelchair and park her at the kitchen table for the day". Uh, no, pal, this is inhumane. So--she has funds for in home care, also for a moderately priced ALF--but she's too frail for that, I fear. Money is not an issue, 2 of my sibs are wealthy beyond their needs, so we don't have to worry (luckily). Just need some topics and questions we can banter about. I've tried and tried to get all my sibs to have this meeting for a couple of years--now mom is so sick and's like we're too late, but I'm going to do the best I can. Thanks in advance. Any advice welcome!

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I’m at a loss.

Bert will allow this. Bert won’t allow that. Why does everyone give Bert so much power? Is there no one in Berts four siblings that is able to stand up to him - to tell him he’s acting like a jackass? What about POA brother? Surely he has some authority?

After all - she is all of yours mother - not just Berts. Yes - I understand she lives with him - more or less - but it’s not like that is the only option. Not if your better off financially sibs are willing to help out to the length you’ve described.

What I can’t fathom is what it is Burt is getting out of all of this. But if you actually suspect that “pay-back” may be the root, you need to have one of your sibs on the lookout. Clearly it can’t be you. Bad mother or not - no elder deserves to be treated like a brainless prisoner - to be mechanical lifted and diapered once - then left to sit. And sit. Like you said it’s inhuman. Does Bert understand that his “custody” of mother can be legally challenged and her person removed from his home?

I recall you saying APS was once contacted on your mothers behalf regarding Burt. Have you reconsidered the validity of that call at all? I think I might - based on what you’re now describing.

Anyhoo - for sure the whole situation sucks. But I tend to think you’re well out of it - at least for the time being. But I am sorry you had to go through this cluster F of a meeting. Your intentions were good.
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Mid, I hope your endoscopy went well!

Here is the tough news. If brother has POA ( mom gave it to him, same with my mom) and he's doing the caregiving, I'd lay out the alternatives to the sibs, but not try to convince anyone, and not try to get into a head to head with brother. He and mom clearly have this worked out.

So, something like "it seems to me that mom has taken a real turn for the worse in the last few weeks. I think perhaps it is time to get hospice involved".

Let them discuss alternatives to Hospice, not alternatives to " No change".
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Make out an one-year plan of where Mom will live, the funds she would use for care, is her Will updated, etc. and throw into it the "what ifs".

Example of the what ifs, what would brother do if Mom is scared of the Hoyer lift? My Mom was terrified being lifted in that thing at the nursing home, she be shaking and crying.... so one of the stronger male aides was able to lift my Mom from her bed to her wheelchair, and that worked soooo much better, Mom felt so safe in his arms.

Another what ifs, what if Mom needs help during the night numerous times.... would brother be able to fall right back to sleep afterwards or would he lay awake for an hour waiting for Mom's next call for him? What would he do so he could get his much needed sleep.

See where I am going with this.
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Need a plan in place for respite for brother.
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Meeting is tonight--in 2 hours. I am sick to my stomach, hoping this actually solves some problems and doesn't create more. We are not very close, us sibs, and there's always a rogue in the group. Pray for me??
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It could not have gone much worse. I had typed up a sheet with some bullet points to talk about, tried to get everyone to stay on topic, but brother mom lives with came loaded for bear. (He also brought his wife, which made me angry since I had specifically asked for NO SPOUSES! She is a sweetie, really, but she relays all this personal info to her parents, who live close to me and it's very uncomfortable!!)

Anyway, I lost any semblance of control immediately. Brother was angry and let us all know it. Finally, youngest sis says "why don't we each take 5 uninterrupted minutes to voice our concerns then move on". She said her bit, then other brother, who basically just agrees with everything (Dr No Shot), then as older sister begins, brother--let's call him Bert, for sake of clarity--just begins this tirade of anger. He is yelling so loud and being so mean...screaming at ME because if I come to mother's and do ANYTHING for her, evidently, she gets mad at him and he has to deal with her. I was shut down, 100%. I had to excuse myself for a few minutes to gain control (had started a migraine by then, so I needed to dose it)...went back in and he just kept it up. Sister was trying to make some really good points, such as, what can we do NOW to help mother? IS she really as sick as she seems to be? What can we do to help? And Bert is just shooting down every single thing anyone says or suggests. I folded up my papers and threw them away.

All I said in my 5 minutes, between screaming fits from Bert was that I was concerned as mother complained so much and it was so hard to know what was truly "real" and what was "fake". I am a fixer at heart and NOT trying to help is not in my DNA. Bert told me I was not welcome in the house unless he was home and I called first. The other sibs said he was being harsh--but it IS his house, and I can't argue.

In the end, all we accomplished was making me cry, and for doing GOOD things--evidently mother absolutely hates me touching any of her things and I am not to wash a dish, go to the store or throw out trash. I can come up and talk to her and I can do a puzzle with her, but no more. Mother has NEVER said she hates me cleaning for her, she always has a list of things to do....but, I'm shut down.

The other sibs just kind of sat there--Bert exhausted himself and began to cry, out of anger and frustration towards me. I could have been a bigger person and hugged him, but he was just so out of control. Also, I don't like him very much right now.

We did talk about EOL issues, and Bert let us know that HE and only HE is in control of mother's care. All the other sibs asked was that he please start keeping us in the loop.
Maybe he will, maybe he won't. He did say that he wouldn't be opposed to Hospice when the time comes, but he WILL NOT ALLOW mother to go into ANY kind of nursing home, long term care, in home aides, nothing. She will die at his home. Period. When I mentioned that he was NOT the only one with a voice in this, he blew up again--and I gave up. He has mother so brainwashed she will believe anything he tells her.

The only "good thing" that came, is that the 3 MIA sibs will now make sure they visit once a week. They have all 3 been truly Missing in Action...and NOTHING bothers them. I'm taking a couple months off. Bert hurt me so badly. Here I am trying to lift a load for him and I really thought he might hit me, he was so mad.

And yeah, this guy has some REALLY serious mommy issues.

Sitting here, weeping. b/c I feel such a failure. I am no good at confrontation, and truly, knew Bert would be angry, but, wow, I was seriously scared.

It's over and I expect we will never talk about this again. Bert can do as he pleases, I'm now persona non grata. My older sister did offer to pay for ANYTHING that's needed, as did my younger brother. They are both very wealthy. I didn't offer, as I can't do that, I'm not working and I'm not asking my poor hubby to foot the bill for anything.

All in all, it was absolutely horrible.
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Mid, I'm so sorry that it didn't go as you had hoped. What you want for your mom is the best care, right?

Well, Mom won. It always amazes me how some mothers can play their kids off against each other. Your mother tells brother one thing and then guilts you for not doing more. The only way to sanity, for you, is to walk away and let your mom have what she wants. Which is to stay in her space with no interference.

Your mom is competent enough to complain to her friends. Her friends could pick up a phone and call APS, or your brother.

I think the only path for you to take right now is to acede to your mom's wishes and bow out the way your siblings have.

Visit if you feel the need. If mom asks you to do something, I'd quote what your brother told you if it makes you feel better.
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(As usual), I agree with BarbBrooklyn. Your mother has treated you so horribly in the past -- why not step out the way your siblings have?

Now that the other sibs have agreed to each stop in once a week, they can be in the best position to report Bert too APS. (Who reported him the other time?) One thing I've noticed is that you seem to be more concerned about your mother than the others....why is that? You certainly weren't her golden child.

If she is still competent (which she is, right?), then she is living the life that she wants. Bert may be keeping her hostage (and I do agree that some of what you describe sounds like neglect, if not outright abuse), but she must like it that way? Is it really a case of Stockholm Syndrome?
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I agree with Barb and CTTN - you've done your part, now step away and live your life. Your mom has chosen her path and it foolishly doesn't include you. Let your siblings keep you posted on mom's care (if they go) and if not, oh well. You don't have control and you've done what you can. You did the noble thing and got kicked in the teeth for it. So now you can step away with a clear conscience and take care of YOURSELF for a change. Leave mom and brother to their own devices. {{{Hugs}}}
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He's mentally ill and he's an idiot besides .
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