My mother has vascular dementia, has lost her license and depends on me for grocery shopping, scheduling doctor's appointment's and interpreting their comments, ordering and giving her her medications, making sure her dogs have meds, calling repair men...use to do her bills but she has accused me of stealing from her. She's told everyone she talks to friends, neighbors, other family members, her cleaner. She got her neighbor to get her into her accounts and the institution determined that I had not been stealing, nothing had been taken out of the account. But she is still accusing me. She has not gone back to anyone and told them that I actually had not been stealing. That same neighbor gave her her Humira injection and I almost gave her another one the same day. I happened to see the used pen on the counter just before I gave her the shot. She blames me for losing her license and not getting it back for her. I spent one year setting up tests neurologist, GP and driving school. She did not past any of the tests, not even close, including cognitive function exam. That was two years ago. I have not stolen from her. I do her paperwork for her. She sat at the table with me while I paid her property taxes online, gave her the receipt and she still accuses me of stealing the money. I've taken care of her for the past 3 years and the previous 4 years I took care of her and her then boyfriend who was in a wheelchair from a stroke. And it goes on and on.

I've hired caregivers to come in and help--but she either runs them off or won't let them in. She did let one come in but would not pay her. I had to pay her. My sister and I both have tried to get her to go into a residential facility but she refuses.

My mother told me that I don't do much for her. I can't do anymore and I'm thinking about doing less. My sister lives 3 hours away so I do everything.

I'm so tired and unhappy.

Starting with some comments from your profile:

"My sister says she would help my mother if mother went into a Care Home and made my sister successor trustee."
"...diagnosed with vascular dementia since 2009..."

Not likely your mother is of sound enough mind to make these changes. Sometimes in early dementia they can still sign paperwork, but now? I doubt it. Even the change in 2013 might be questionable, but that's not the subject here. Also, talk is cheap. She *says* she would help (how many on the forum have heard that before???)

"I was one of those who promised to never put her in a home."

Hindsight, 20/20. Very often we recommend not saying this to a LO. All too often is isn't a promise we can keep. However, even if you DIDN'T "promise" this, she'd still refuse to move. That isn't the real issue, which is how to get her to move. We had to use a fib to facilitate mom's move (elsewhere discussed what EC atty said and what we did - mom was NOT going to move!) I never promised my mother anything. The biggest issue, esp for older adults, is what they have for images of a "home" - dating back SO long ago! They were likely dreary awful places!
This is a promise that you are going to have to break. You either need to find a place and move her there, or give in and let the state take over, but either way, she'll end up in a "home." It would be better for you and her to choose the place that YOU like, and not let the state make that decision, plus take and allocate ALL of her assets.

"She refused to pay the last home care giver I hired, she ran her off and I had to pay."

Do you have POA? Why on earth would you pay if you have POA? Use her funds to pay. I never asked my mother to pay ME, but would have her pay for items I purchased for her. Once I took over her account, I was able to get a debit card in my name for her account (two of us were on the acct.) I use that for her purchases.

"She won't even let them in."

Been there, done that. Tried bringing in aides with plan to increase when needed and keep her in her own place longer. Less than 2 months, nope, not coming in!

"I need to find out if I'm obligated to take care of her because I'm successor trustee."

"A Successor Trustee is the person responsible for administering the trust after its Grantor either passes away or becomes “Incapacitated” – that is, unable to administer the trust for themselves." (

NOTHING about that talks about caring for the person. Some people even think accepting POAs means you care for the person - NO. Even guardianship wouldn't require caring for the person. ANYONE can be named a trustee, POA or guardian, even a non-relative. Do you think they would accept that "honor" if it meant caring physically for the person? Nope!

"I wonder if I can refuse to be ST."

That's a bit more complicated, BUT, it could take legal action and if there's no secondary appointed, does the state step in? I wouldn't recommend resigning or trying to change the trustee. You are NOT required to care for the person, just managing the trust when they no longer can. Caring for her is what we need to focus on. Finding a way to move her to a safe facility, despite her refusal to move. I also touched on this in replies to other comments. I will repeat here that the EC atty told me we couldn't force mom to move, despite dementia, and suggested guardianship, but the facility wouldn't take her then. We had to "wing" it, and come up with a fib scenario that worked. Better to have mom angry with you from a distance than what you're dealing with now, all the time!

I also discussed what to do about the finances in other replies. You need to get all paperwork out, have billing address changed to yours, sign up for rep payee, do not work with her on finances, take it over and away!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to disgustedtoo

You can't change your mother. You can't reason with her broken brain. You can only change you. Your mother does not get to refuse what's in her best interest. You have accepted her nonsense long enough - even explained yourself to her countless times - and clearly that's not working out for you although it's working out great for your mother!

You are tired and unhappy. The only thing that will make you feel less tired and less unhappy is joining forces with your sister and putting her in ALF. Stop propping her up in her charade of independence. Her needs will only increase.

Stop her as soon as she starts accusing you of anything. Tell her "No, you will not speak to me like that".

Until you find a spot for her, please pay caregivers using her checkbook, not yours. If she doesn't like it, that's too bad. You just need to get through the transition period between her living alone and moving to ALF.

You need to have a heart to heart with your sister. You need to be honest with your sister that you no longer can "do everything" for your mother. Ask her to tour ALFs near her. Tell her you will be touring ALFs near you. Get the ball rolling.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

It seems like an impossible situation to be in, doesn’t it?

No one can force a parent to go into a facility.

Adult children become frustrated. Parents become very dependent on their children.

It’s a never ending cycle! Honestly, your sibling could live 5 minutes away and still do nothing! I dealt with this in my family. It usually does fall on one person.

Does anyone have a perfect answer? Nope! It depends on your particular circumstances.

I do wish you the very best and hope with all of my heart that you find the best solution possible for your situation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

So much good advice in the previous comments. So tell us...are you going to follow the advice? I saw in your profile where you promised her to never put her in a facility. Are you going to let that promise going to ruin YOUR life?

You've done more than enough -- caring for her boyfriend and her. She should not be living by herself. And you know that.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to CTTN55

"My sister and I both have tried to get her to go into a residential facility but she refuses".

Of course. From Mother's point of view: Why leave her home? Where she is comfortable. Where she has daughters at her beck & call.

So the current arrangent works for Mother. But does it work for you? For your Sister?

If not, obtain a Social Worker to assisted with the steps necessary.

This may be adding non-family home help - or it may be placement in a memory care residence.

Vascular Dementia is a beast - robbing people of their empathy, reasoning & judgement (although some personalities may have lacked empathy & been entitled since year dot...)

If reason is gone, you will need to go behind the scenes & just arrange it.

Many hope for change but I find being ACTIVE is better.

Best of luck. Let us know how you progress.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Beatty
disgustedtoo 5 hours ago
"Many hope for change but I find being ACTIVE is better."

Or the hospital emergency...

ACTIVE IS BETTER! Otherwise, it might be too late...

I posted some of what we did in response to other comments.
I have a similar situation. And It is so draining. I feel like the rug is pulled out from under me every time I get the energy up to take care of all her stuff in addition to my own. She makes me want to give up, again and again. The more I do the worse it gets. But, you can't really walk away from your own mother. Especially when she is very old. But, she refuses to do anything positive, argues every little thing, is nasty and downright uncooperative regarding safety issues. Then she gets mad at ME when I have to watch out for her and am doing all the work! I'm too old for this. I do love all the comments. Thanks for bringing this issue up. Take care.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to KatherineDenice

I don't know what legitimate diagnosis you have on your Mom, but even a POA may not allow you to place her in memory care without her permission. And it looks like that is where this is heading. I would stop playing co in keeping Mom in her home. It clearly now is dangerous for her in terms of medications and in terms of money at risk with neighbor around.
If Mom does end up with hospitalization (almost a given with vascular dementia) you may have a social worker who, with one simple call to a judge, can get you "temporary guardianship" and who can find appropriate placement for her.
Piper is correct in that when we on forum see the words "but Mom refuses" it triggers something within us. My brother was diagnosed with "probable" early Lewy's Dementia, and was still so with it that he literally BEGGED me to help him sell his home, get him settled in a good ALF, take over management of bills, account, become Trustee of his Trust and keep him safe. That so rarely happens. Usually what happens is what is happening to your Mom and you.
Think of utilizing APS for "adult at risk" when Mom doesn't allow your care, and is in a position of being possible prey to a group of people "caring for her". In all likelihood these are good and caring and concerned people. But it only takes that one bad apple to lead to catastrophe in some way.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer
disgustedtoo 5 hours ago
"If Mom does end up with hospitalization (almost a given with vascular dementia)..."

Could you elaborate? Is there something about vascular dementia I haven't seen? Honestly I don't think waiting for that "emergency" is the right way to tackle the issue. It is often suggested, and that's fine for those who aren't cognitively challenged and refuse to move. For those with dementia, we still aren't "allowed" to make them do what they refuse to do, but we have to tackle these issues with some sense! Police won't take license away until AFTER the accident. Am I going to wait for mom to kill herself or someone else? Nope. Same for her refusal to move. Guardianship gives you the power, but the facility wouldn't take her if we did that. We just had to get creative, come up with a plausible fib and take her there (staff actually told me "just get her here, we'll take it from there.)

Mom was and has been healthy and doing just fine in MC these past 4 years. NO hospitalizations. We never had her tested, but all fingers point to vascular dementia. In her case, I don't see why she would have ended up in a hospital if we didn't have to move her. She was already 90 or 91 when I realized something was up and did my research. She was 92-3 when we moved her to MC. No medical emergencies, living there almost 4 years, until she had a stroke early October this year. She REFUSED to be taken to the hospital (EMT called me, like I'm going to force her to go? I left it for him - if YOU can convince her to go, fine, but NO hospitalization. Not even sure what taking her there and testing was going to accomplish - she refused still. She even got mad at the nurse for calling them!)

Now, in my reply to another comment, I did mention cellulitis, which is a serious infection. She injured her shin, didn't mention it to any of us, but did tell neighbor she "bruised" her leg. Neighbor called me to report this. I was unable to go check at the time, but OB was arriving the next night for the planned move. I instructed him to send a picture and when I got it, I had to almost threaten him to take her NOW to the ER. So, yes, she had to go to the ER, but that would NOT have happened if we weren't moving her!

That said, most likely if we were not moving her at that time, she wouldn't have made it to a hospital - she'd be dead. She didn't have enough sense to know it was bad and could lead to sepsis. My car was out of commission and next trip down to get or bring supplies and visit probably would've been too late.

So, I'm not a big fan of the "wait for the emergency", not when dealing with those who have cognitive disorders. They are a walking disaster waiting to happen! Although we can't force them (even staff told me they can't force residents to do what they refuse to do, they have to get creative and coax them, often making it seem like their idea!), there are ways to work "around" the refusal. Given a choice of having my mother injure herself, burn the place down, wander and get lost, better to have her pissed off at us!
You are dealing with someone suffering from a Dementia. The one who does the most, gets the crap.

I hope someone has POA because its needed now. If its effective upon Mom being incompetent to handle her own affairs, then time for you to take over. Get a letter from the Neurologist confirming the diagnosis. Its now what Mom needs, not what she wants. She is not capable in making informed decisions. You need to make those decisions for her. If she can afford it, an AL would be nice. If not, that may be a problem because Dementia alone may not get her into LTC unless more advanced.

Try (and its hard) to let what Mom says roll off your back. Chalk it up to the Dementia. Not sure why, but money always seems to be something they are fixated on.

Your neighbor seems to be a good person. You might mention that if she gives Mom a shot, she needs to inform u she did so. Actually, I would not have any medication within reach of your Mom. I did a med planner every week for Mom. That and her meds went on the highest shelf in her kitchen cabinets. My nephew gave her her meds daily. Never letting her see where he got them from.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
disgustedtoo 5 hours ago
Most everything here is spot on.

The one they see/rely on the most is usually the one pooped on.
The meds need to be out of reach for others, including the neighbor.
If you understand dementia, you understand this is what they do/say.
Their reality has changed and you have to adjust to it, not change it.
Hard as it is, try to let these things roll on by. Don't take them to heart.

As for the finances, I would ask sister to take her out and take EVERY bill, statement, any and ALL paperwork out of the house. I had to do this with my mother, after I took over her finances. She was digging out old papers and confusing me with them! Out of sight, out of mind. She never asked about them. I didn't live nearby, so I temp forwarded her mail to me, so I could get all the billers, addresses and phone numbers and have billing address changed to my address. From there I could set up payments online every month (I don't do the auto-pay.) This doesn't work for federal mail, such as SS paperwork. If you are managing her SS funds, you should sign up as rep payee (legally SS requires this anyway.) If she doesn't see any bills or statements, she can't complain about them! I took POA to CU and changed the address on the account (she had added YB and I already long ago.) The one thing I missed was the insurance, as that was billed/paid yearly. When that came, she called the bank to get checks. They were sent to me. She called again and was told I have them. Never heard a word from her!!

It's nice to want to share with her and explain, and show her, but this is what is in her head and you can't change that. As for what she tells others, unless they are going to poke their nose in, ignore it. If the bank checked and said all was good, get it in writing - if need be, show that to the busybodies to shut them up. Tell them mom has dementia and THINKS all kinds of things are going on that are not. It's none of their business, but if telling them this will stop them poking in where they aren't wanted, go for it!

For moving: mom's plans before dementia included AL. After, nope. I tried various times to bring up AL, nope. Brothers suggested living with them. Nope. Initially I tried bringing in aides, 1hr/day, to get her used to them and planned to increase days/times as needed. Nope. Less than 2 months later, she refused to let them in. So, plan B was to find a nice place for her. EC atty told me we couldn't force her to move, despite having dementia, and we would have to seek guardianship. Facility chosen wouldn't accept a committal. So, we had to create a scenario. She was actually the catalyst, as she injured her shin and developed cellulitis. YB wrote fake letter from Hospital saying she either moves where we choose, or they will place her! Madder than a wet hen, but she went with bros (I stayed OUT of the actual move.) Once in MC, she can't get out, so despite begging YB (never me!!) to take her back to the condo, she was there to stay. 9 months later, she forgot the condo and focused on her mother and her previous house (40+ years gone and 25+ years sold.)

So, start planning now. Check out places and make a plan. Get all the paperwork out and have bills mailed to you. Figure out what furniture and clothing, etc will fit in the place(s) you like. When the time comes, have those items moved while you and/or sister take her out, and bring her there, presumably for lunch or dinner, then excuse yourselves to use the bathroom or something and leave.

When dementia is at work, we can't wait for them to agree to anything. Mom was adamant and repeated all the time that she was "fine, independent and could cook." Answer: D - none of the above. We couldn't leave her there, as anything could happen. If we hadn't planned the move when we did, the cellulitis could've killed her before I went for the next visit/grocery trip! Wandering. Starting fires. Falling/getting hurt. Other medical emergencies. There are just so many dangers for those with dementia!
Appreciate knowing that someone understands what it's like.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to NoLife

No you are not obligated to care for her whether you're the trustee or not. And having been diagnosed with VaD, she won't legitimently be able to change any documents she has created. You need to muster up the courage to tell her you can no longer tolerate her animosity and that you are getting a social worker involved. She won't like it but don't be dissuaded. It'll take a real commitment on your part to do this. She can no longer be safe living by herself and your health is at stake. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and explain your situation. There is help out there for you and your mom. You might want to tell her neighbor also so he knows what's going on. The ultimate solution is to place your mom in a care facility where her meds and care will be managed and you can once again get a good night's sleep knowing this.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to sjplegacy

"She refuses"..... when I see those words my stomach turns because that tells me some adult child somewhere is trying to keep some half-baked elder safe and likely walking on egg-shells while the elder continues to "refuse" help, and in many cases (like yours, and mine btw) treating the adult child poorly and even with abuse.

Stop doing things for her. Let her realize she DOES need help. If she calls you for help tell her that it's time for assisted living. If she refuses and expects you to endlessly prop up her charade of "independence" with little appreciation tell her you are done. She can either go to ALF with your help and guidance, or the state can decide her future, how her money is spent, and what facility she ends up living in.

See if that changes her tune.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to ExhaustedPiper
lkdrymom Nov 22, 2020
I agree. Slowly back away. Let her see how much you really do but not doing any of it. I have never been able to understand why so many people continue to try and help those who treat them badly or accuse them falsely.
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