I need input / guidance regarding my Mother "83 yrs old", diagnosed with Alzheimer's / Dementia and sibling complications. I do not even know where to begin, as this is so complicated... however, I need help from those who are currently, or have experienced a similar situation to what I am currently experiencing. I will try to be brief, yet as detailed as possible. About 10 years ago, Mom was diagnosed with Leukemia, however, she is still alive after a lot of chemo and prayer. The Leukemia was in remission for years and then about 1 1/2 years ago it resurfaced. It appears that it was this last bout of chemo that affected her memory, well, at least that is what my siblings and I believe. Mom was different... she was a woman who lived for her children (there are 5 of us, ages 48 to 63, two girls / three boys and 11 Grandchildren), a very loving, caring, nurturing Mom who talked to her children daily, especially my younger brother, who I will refer to as S, and I. The oldest, my sister, who I will refer to as K, was a bit more independent, however, still close to Mom. My two older brothers, who I will refer to as, T & W, were always Mom's heartache... Lot's of drugs... jail... inability to support themselves... very needy. In fact my brother W, lived with Mom and our late Step Father with his two sons... never paying a dime, or lending to the household in a positive way. I guess one could say that he was and still is a burden on the family (now lives in his son's basement) and society... in and out of prison spanning 35 years. After our Step Father passed, Mom's beautiful home turned into a drug house... strangers in and out / girlfriends moved in... it was awful. The photo's I have, which we took of Mom's home prior to having to gut it (my childhood home) are devastating, these photo's were taken in 2007. Years prior to this, Mom feared for her safety, so she packed a suitcase and moved in with my younger brother S, where she remained for almost seven years. During these years, the house became close to unlivable, but Mom insisted that W could live there, as she feared that he would not have anywhere to live. Unfortunately, Mom was on a very tight budget, collecting only social security... so she paid her mortgage and S paid all utilities... her cell phone and her auto insurance (for 7 years). I paid Mom's health insurance... flew her from Chicago to Los Angeles (where I lived) at least two times per year... I took her on numerous trips with me... gave her money... purchased clothes / makeup and paid her mortgage on several occasions when she could not... My older sister also paid her mortgage and helped Mom from losing her home at one point by helping her to refinance. All of this primarily due to my needy brother W, and her fear of what might happen to him. Of course there is so much more detail, however that is the gist. Now, fast forwarding to a year ago, shortly after her last bout of chemo and after 3 different doctors diagnosed Mom with mild to moderate dementia, Brother W kidnapped her. Now mom always had a soft spot and or weak spot for him, perhaps it was because he was a mess / needy and Mom likes to be needed. Since Mom is not in her right frame of mind due to the Dementia... she is very, very easily influenced... so W begins to brainwash Mom... and before we knew it, he closes her bank account, which my brother S was on with her for 10 plus years and managing all her bills. W then takes her social security, using the money at the local casino, and paying for his personal bills, thus defaulting on almost all of Moms bills, he take power of attorney and because he cannot drive legally (lost his license years ago), Mom is his chauffeur (an 83 year old woman!). Somehow, W got another Doctor to reavaluate Mom and this new Doctor states that she does not have dementia... Mind you, 3 Doctors diagnosed her with Alzheimers / Dementia, the one Dr. is the head of neurology at Northwestern University. Mom had to take a driving test in June of this year, and she failed... her license was revoked, however, W told her that she passed and is still letting her drive. Now, to add insult to injury, the manipulator that W is, coerced my oldest brother T and they are now both in cahoots. They will not allow Mom to see, or talk to K, S, or I. In fact, they will not even allow Mom to speak to her 81 year old sister, whom she is very close with. I reached out to the local police and the county / state elderly guardianship program and the long of the short, their hands are tied because they said that Mom is happy being with W and his family and she is okay not talking to her three other children (K, S and I)... the very three that she was always the closest to. The state elder program said that the only thing that we can do is hire an attorney, at the tune of $10,000.00 plus, in an effort to gain guardianship. What a mess... And, why have a state run entity, when they cannot intervene due to state laws?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
My dad had dementia related to liver failure. His dementia was so subtle only those that knew him the best could tell, otherwise he seemed completely lucid. If he had been questioned by an authority (like APS) he would have come off as totally competent when he was anything but. I realized how completely vulnerable he was and it terrified me. He was in a skilled nursing facility so that eased my anxiety a bit but I was still nervous about it.

Your mom is just as vulnerable as you know. If your goal is to see your mom, spend some time with her, you'll have to go through your brother. Is it fair? No. But if you want to see her and have a relationship with her try emailing or texting your brother and ask to see your mom. Yes, it's wrong what he's done and he's a bad person and all of that but you wrote that you just want to see your mom. He's the gatekeeper. You'll have to go through him. I know it's awful and unfair and you must be very angry at the situation but to see your mom you're going to have to do what you have to do to see her. He's going to be suspicious if he allows it so no big moves on your part. The other poster's have said that this situation happens frequently and it does but what we've also heard a lot about here is one sibling removing the elderly parent so that no one knows where the parent is.

Leave the baggage and resentment at the door if you can and just enjoy being with your mom.
Helpful Answer (1)

Lynn, I feel your pain. But all the states are very concerned with the civil rights of senior and disabled persons. Your mother has dementia, but as Tacy said was she deemed "incompetent" by her doctors? If not, APS can't do anything if your mother says she is fine and appears health and in clean environment. You've put APS on notice that you are concerned about your mother - if she is not deemed incompetent through a court, she has every right to make bad decisions. The same way that your brothers made bad ones that your mother could not prevent. Chemo does change brain chemistry (docs actually call it chemobrain) and personality changes can occur. Things you could do? You could follow your mother in your car when she is driving and report dangerous driving to police department so that she is stopped while driving. This is nuclear as there will be a record of who called if you call 911. You can call a non-emergency number or the Department of Public Safety in your state.
You can notify the Department of Motor Vehicles that a vehicle is being operated by a non-licensed driver that you suspect has no license and insurance. If you were POA, and you know who used to carry her auto insurance, you can call her auto insurance company about the license being revoked. Unfortunately, the government's hands are tied when it comes to protecting elders if they are deemed competent (the default unless you get guardianship through a court using letters and testimony). This prevents equally unscrupulous folks from being put in a home against their will if they are ok just because family says they are not. My heart hurts for you. I think you will have to Let Go and just be there for her when she gets sick again and they ditch her. Unfortunately for her, all the gifting to sons will make her ineligible for Medicaid. A story often told on this website. So sorry.
Helpful Answer (0)

Thank you for your time and input. I truly appreciate it.

I actually did call the county Adult Protective Services. They have done several wellness checks, one just yesterday. They privately asked Mom many questions, including, how she felt about not talking to, or seeing her other three children, and Mom responded that she is okay with that. So, so heartbreaking, because the Mother I knew would have never said that about any of her children... all of us were her world. Adult Protective Services and several police departments are aware of Mom illegally driving and they said nothing can be done unless she is pulled over by an officer.

As for the Power of Attorney, about 2 months ago my Brother S and Sister K, miraculously found Mom alone at home and they took her to have W removed from POA... She is now her own POA.

I just do not understand how states can fund entities like "Adult Protective Services, which concur that their is definite neglect / abuse, but because of the intricicy of state laws for seniors (more, or less, protecting the abuser), their hands are tied.
Helpful Answer (0)

What a sad and terrible mess this is!

If mom still has funds, you and your siblings could be reimbursed for the guardianship fees if that makes any difference to you.

I think that in your shoes what I would do is call the local (local to where mom is) Adult Protective Services and ask for a wellness check. You tell them what you've told us, and that you're concerned for your mom's welfare and safety, especially since you seem to have evidence that her license has been revoked. If your bother has POA and is allowing her to drive, I believe that, in and of itself, in some jurisdictions, could be considered negligence and/or abuse.

I believe that in some states there is a DMV form you can fill out to report an unsafe driver. And I'm sure that her insurance company, if you know who that is, would be interested.

I'm hoping that some others will be along with better advise for you.
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter