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I'm feeling a bit panicky right now. Both of my parents had neuro and psychological testing. My Dad was deemed incompetent (no surprise) but my Mom was found to be fine. My sister has announced that she is going to a lawyer to seek guardianship for Dad and wants me or my brother to act as second guardian. She said there can only be two guardians. My sister is controlling and abusive and I am not convinced this is our best course of action so I opted out but my brother said he would do it, that is UNTIL he tried to voice an opinion and my sister shut him down then announced that she could not work with him.

The disagreement was over Dads safety living at home with my elderly Mom as his primary caregiver. My brother and I are very worried because Mom might not have dementia but she makes very poor decisions and does risky things like haul laundry up and down rickety cellar stairs. She had a broken hip a few years ago and has an awful time with stairs. She will not let the homemaker do it. I told her I would do the laundry when I visit but she is impatient and will not wait. She has messed up Dads meds a couple times. My Dad is extremely frail and now has moderate dementia. He cannot be left alone. None of us siblings is in a position to take on the job of full time cargiver. We are over there helping when we can and they have visiting nurses and PT but my folks are home alone all night. Dad is up and down which makes it hard for Mom to get enough sleep plus he is very unstable on his feet, especially at night. When I brought these things up to my sister she dismissed my concerns and said anyone could have an accident, My brother wants to try and convince my folks to move into assisted living, my sister wants them to stay home. Mom wants to stay home as well of course but my sister does not even want my brother to bring up the subject. When my brother and I both told her we should at least talk about it she began accusing us of having selfish motives. She does that whenever people don't agree with her.

I could go on and on but I should stop here and just ask my question. If my sister gets guardianship I assume my brother and I will no longer have any say in my parents care. If under her guardianship I feel my parents are not safe and she will not listen what should I do? I have heard a lot about Elder Protective Services here, is that the only option? What are the downfalls?

I REALLY don't want my sister to be my parents sole guardian, I know my Mom doesn't want her having complete charge either she told me that. But Mom is intimidated by her especially since sister is the one managing the health care stuff which Mom finds baffling. I think Mom could contest guardianship but if she did it would cause WW3 with my sister. I don't think that's the right way to go, the stress would be awful on my folks. I am so lost with all of this.

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That was lovely PSSmith. You have a beautiful Easter as well.
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Blessed Easter Tryingmybest. What a wonderful reminder that mans' seemingly impossible mires are where He shines brightest.
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Thank you PSSmith. Wise words!

My brother has again agreed to guardianship. We had our conference call this past Tuesday and he made an about face on the subject of keeping Dad at home and said he would not consider having Dad placed anywhere else.

I was a little bewildered because we both agreed that the priority was making sure Dad was in a place where he was safe. Hopefully that would be home but if not we would do what was needed. After the conference conversation he called me to say he was just trying to placate my sister. He said he hoped I didn't feel blindsided. I basically told him I can't keep up with the roller coaster of family politics and he should do what he thinks is best. The next day he called to tell me he looked into the lawyer my sister chose and he's not happy with the guys ratings and reputation. Ugh No way I'm getting involved in that.

Deep down I do believe that everyone involved is just trying to do the best thing. It's just that years of mistrust, dysfunction and "set in stone" dynamics have broken us. The only thing I CAN do at this point is let go and pray.
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What is needed for me to become guardian of my elderly brother who is in ICU under heavy sedation on a ventilator
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Dear Tryingmybest,
As I understand it, there are at least two professional aspects to caring for the elderly infirm. Executorship (which is sometimes confused with guardianship) is care of the "protected person"'s finances. Guardianship is care of the protected person's health and well being. The executor is often an attorney or accountant. The guardian may be a social worker or nurse, for instance. It's dicey when the same family member controls both the money and the health/well being. There is always a temptation to burn down the finances of the protected person's to pocket fees for oneself. That is why it is better to hire separate independent guardians and executors.

Try not to prejudge your sister at this time. Your parents actually put you in this corner when they decided they were impervious to the onslaughts of age we all suffer.

Pray for her, your brother and your parents. Serve where you can. If they are really being criminally neglected, abused, or exploited call APS in a New York minute. Otherwise, release your parents to God's loving care.

Peace!
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Thank you Babalou, I will keep that in mind. We had our conference call last night and my brother and sister are going to share guardianship for Dad. My sister said that she and the lawyer are going to hard sell Mom on the idea but they are not really going to tell her that it would mean she no longer has a say in Dads affairs. Mom will be primary caregiver but she will have no legal say. I'm not happy about that but honestly I just don't have it in me to fight the tide. Mom is a grown up and apparently still in her right mind.

I did tell my siblings that I am fully aware that I will have no legal say regarding Dad if they become his guardians but I will not hesitate to call elder protective services if I think he is at risk and they do not at least listen to my concerns. They were unhappy with that but too bad. I will continue to help my parents to the best of my ability.

There is a part of me that thinks my siblings are more focused on preserving my parents assets than doing what is best for their well being. The lawyer they are going to to implement guardianship is an elder finance lawyer. We had a consultation with him a month back and never once did he talk about my parents life-needs or safety, it was all about the money. At least twice I had to tell him that preserving assets is not the top priority, my parents well being is. I would hate to think Dad was being kept at home to save money.
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Often, eldercare attorneys will give you a free half hour consult.
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I think I am going to suggest to both of my siblings that we call elder protective services for an assessment of my Dads situation before talking guardianship. Whatever they say we should all agree to abide by.

Mom can make her own decisions, if she wants to put herself at risk that is her choice. Dad on the other hand is unable to decide things for himself and he needs to be protected. If EPS says Dad is safe at home with Mom I will feel better about keeping things as they are.

Tonight we had scheduled a conference call but my sister preempted that by calling us both today with news of her plans to seek guardiandship. She still has not given us much info on Dads health status so I am hoping to learn more about that during the call. I visited my folks today for a couple hours and Dad can't even speak an entire sentence. I'm all over the place here. Sorry about that. This is really making me nuts. Time to go meditate and breathe.
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Thanks Looloo. I'll talk to my brother. What a mess.
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Hi Trying, it sounds like you're in a terrible predicament. Maybe if you and brother can pool your resources just to have a consult w/an elder law attorney. He/she might be able to guide you a little better. Lots of luck to you.
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Thank you Looloo. Unfortunately no one has POA of any kind because my parents would not agree to it. My sister is their medical proxy but not POA.

I am so torn. I was just talking to a friend on the phone and they suggested my brother and I contest my sister on guardianship but my sister has deep pockets and my brother and I do not. We could never afford that. Also what kind of position would that put my Mom in? I know my sister is going to tell her that my brother and I want to put them out of their house and she will keep that from happening. Frankly I don't think any of us should have guardianship at this point. I think it should be an unbiased party but again there are no funds for that.
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Hi Tryingmybest, sorry you're going through all this. I hope others chime in here, because I'm no expert, but here goes:
I think if you and your brother get along well together and see eye to eye on AL for your parents, then if possible, discuss it without your sister. WWIII is probably inevitable where she is concerned, but if you and your brother are united, then your parents have the best chance of getting their needs met. Not their wants, their NEEDS. And it sounds like they both need Assisted Living now.
You didn't mention who, if anyone, has POA and Medical POA. Is this paperwork in order? If your parents aren't completely obsinate or combative, then if you and/or your brother have POA, that is all the authority you'll need. Guardianship won't be necessary.
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