My father is living in a skilled nursing facility. His choice and its a place he feels safe. Money is not an issue. He was presented with other options but when it was time to proceed with them, he refused and wanted to stay there. He has done well, participating in activities and making friends. Then my brother entered the picture and for two years now, has destroyed my relationship I had with my father. Feeding his lies and telling him he shouldn't be living there. This brother has made attempts to remove me as the health care proxy and the primary contact. Lawyers have been hired by my brother for my father accusing me of spending/stealing his money (proven false). It has become so bad that my father is no longing speaking to me. He verbally abuses me and has become aggressive. The social worker has asked my brother to sit down with all of us (3 siblings) but he refuses. She also reminded my brother that all this negativity was only hurting my father. Is there any thing I can do to help my father?

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My own father was a narcissist, and took a lot of pleasure in watching the results of the way he tried to set people against each other, particularly me and my two sisters. There is a 1970s book by Eric Berne called 'The Games People Play', and this game is called 'Let's You and Him Fight'. My father didn't succeed with us, we knew him too well and swapped information. Yours sounds like he is succeeding. With luck, he will fall out with EB (or EB will fall out with him if EB doesn't get what he wants).

Some POAs require all three to sign, but some allow any one to sign. You should check the detail of yours. If it is 'any to sign', you may be better off getting legal advice to challenge it now, relying on the doctor's certificate that he wasn't mentally competent. That probably depends on money - eg can EB sell your father's house.

However I would really repeat what I said above: "You don't want to go bankrupt chasing this. Upsetting though it is, you may be better off to walk away from it."
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The EB has always had a "relationship" with our father but it is more of a buddy, lets have a beer kind of relationship. We (my older brother and I) are on the same page with regards to our father. My father has always counted on me to help him with health issues or banking, etc. He also gave me his house years ago when both my brothers had their own homes and as it was the home I lived in with my grandparents. The EB has not spoken to me in over 20 years due to me helping our mother with a problem she had with him. She is deceased. The EB does not speak to my other brother. An olive branch had been extended to the EB several times in the past (the birth of his first child, etc) but retracted after what he did to our mother as she laid dying. The will my father did had his money divided by 3. I am not certain if the EB had a new will completed. The doctor has documented that my father is unable to provide consent to establish a POA due to his cognitive impairment. The EB has contacted many attorneys, one changed the POA from just myself to all 3 of us even with the doctors note. Then he found another one stating that I do not provide my father with banking statements. (I have gone many times and he does not want to know) With the POA, the EB can go directly to the bank and look or get a copy but chooses to upset my father. Lawyers have gone through the statements and found everything in order. The lies the EB has told my father are many from his car not being in the driveway (when it was) to spending his money and going on trips. (all proven false) When he started to see my father in the nursing home, all he wanted was my fathers key to the house. He never got it. This EB has always been a bully and intimidating. I believe he is emotionally abusing my father but I can do nothing about it. Now my father will not have me checking on his room, making sure his personal items (razor) are working, that his sheets on his bed are clean and there is no moldy food in this drawers. The EB only goes up to make sure he is still angry at me.
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I have been thinking about this difficult problem since you posted, which is why this is a long answer.

Is anyone on speaking terms with Estranged Brother (EB)? Can anyone get a handle on why he is behaving this way? Is it money (the most obvious one)? Is there any evidence to back that up? Is there any evidence that he is telling your father lies, and exactly what they are? Why has your father gone along with EB and why is he not on speaking terms with you?

Where does the third sibling fit in? Does he/she go along with EB? Is he/she on better terms with your father? Is he/she still on speaking terms with EB? What does he/she think about it all?

Can you find out if your father has made a will, changed it recently eg in favour or EB, and where the will is?

You say that this has already got into the legal system once, so you should know how expensive and stressful that is, as well as not always resolving all the problems. The first strategy I can think of is to apply for guardianship for your father, and then make an application for a Restraining Order keeping EB away from your father. I am sure that you will see that the odds are stacked against you, if your father is on EB’s side and is reasonably competent. EB will probably counter with his own application. You will need your third sibling to join you, and some evidence about why EB should be kept away from your father, hence all the questions above.

Perhaps one more strategy if the will hasn’t already been changed in favour of EB, is to get a diagnosis that father is no longer competent to change it (or to sell off other assets). If money is behind EB’s motivation, blocking off that possibility might lead to him backing off completely.

Whether this is all worth pursuing probably depends on how much money is involved – or if it isn’t money, whether there is something else of real importance involved. You don't want to go bankrupt chasing this. Upsetting though it is, you may just be better off to walk away from it.

One little possibility is that things may change. EB has only been on the scene for 2 years, and he may develop something new to get interested in – like a girl friend on the other side of the country. If he does persuade your father to move out, particularly to move in with him, he may find that it is much harder than he expected and may back out all by himself. This might be the only bright side!

You have my sympathy.
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anonymous849934 Oct 2018
Thanks for replying to my dilemma. I just had another thought. My father's long time attorney said something to me two years ago that really made sense. He said, "Your father is pitting you and your siblings against each other". I told my oldest brother and he said "YES!" So this is one big part of the problem now. I would of never thought in a million years a parent would do this but looking back,,,I see many instances where he has done this.
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