My husband, a close family friend and I have been the only ones to care for my 92 year old mother with congestive heart failure over the past fifteen years. She is in assisted living and not cooperating. She refuses to eat meals and wants to live on candy and cake she has sneaked in to her. She has been hospitalized for edema four times in 2.5 months. She refuses to walk for circulation, even a few steps. She will not get out of her chair. Her apartment is nothing but garbage such as candy wrappers and old doughnuts and salty deli meat. I have not had the opportunity to have her POA activated. It was scheduled to be done this week. The nurse from assisted living told me that, if she wouldn’t follow the rules, she would need to go to a skilled care unit because they are not equipped to meet her needs if she refuses to cooperate. We tried to tell her that she needs proper nutrition, to walk a bit and not leave her apartment in such a condition if she wants to continue to reside there. She has become very angry and complains that we are lecturing her. She became very angry and cried to my brother that my husband and I are mistreating her. As a result, my brother, who has done nothing for her, threatened my husband and me with complaints of abuse of my mother. We were dumbfounded. I am a licensed professional and can not afford such complaints. My husband has sacrificed for my mother more than he ever did for his own parents. She is manipulating the situation because she wants to just sit in her chair and eat candy. However, she wants me there at her beck and call daily and sitting day and night in the hospital when she goes because of her poor decisions. I have a business I own and need to be there. I finally told my brother that I will refuse to act as POA because we can not have these allegations. He has become even more volatile since then because he does not want the responsibility. Any suggestions?

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Thank you all for your responses. I have caught my mother in many misrepresentations. I spoke with the nurses at the AL, who completely contradicted what my mother has been telling me. I am convinced that my mother has serious cognitive issues. I would gladly be POA if I did not have these obstructions, as my brother. He has a history of this type of behavior and will go public if he feels to do so. I believe you are right as to backing off a bit. The AL told me today that they will follow up on her and report back to me. As to the housekeeping, it is not just messy. They are cleaning regularly. She is just messing it up so badly afterwards. For example, I cleaned up some of her garbage and rotted food on Tuesday. The nurses spent an hour cleaning up more of her mess on Wednesday while she slept. It was even worse than before on Sunday. Previously, she was a very tidy person.
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I suggest that you keep a journal of any conversations that you have with your Mom or your brother. A Monthly Planner book works well for this purpose. Just write down short summary of who you talked to, in person or per telephone, what you talked about and what the other person(s) said.

For now, I think that you need to take a step backwards and let your Mom make her own decisions and suffer the consequences, whether that is having to move to a skilled care unit or being hospitalized again and again.

It might be better if you tell your brother that:
“I see no need to activate the POA at this time as Mom is able to make her own decisions.” (abet poor ones) “And if she has to move to a skilled care facility, I will assist in getting Mom settled into her new room at the skilled care facility.” “If Mom ends up hospitalized again, I will visit Mom periodically, but not every day, as I have a business to run.”

I understand your reason for NOT wanting to be your Mom's POA. BUT I am wondering, if in the future, when your Mom's health gets worse and she really, truly CANNOT make decisions for herself---Will you be upset if you are not allowed to participate in making decisions regarding your Mom’s care then? Because that is what might happen if you continue to refuse to be your Mom’s POA and your brother doesn’t want to be your Mom’s POA. The court might have to intervene and appoint someone other than family members as POA or guardian.
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Agree with FF ones tastes do change and eating sensibly is not on the top of a priority list for a 92 year old.
Do you actually expect her to pick up the candy wrappers and put them in the trash?
Can she actually see the mess she makes?
I can understand why the staff is fed up with picking up after her but that is what they are paid to do.
Maybe it is the time to move her to a higher level of care. I am sure she wan't agree because this will restrict her freedom to go and buy her goodies but she is unlikely to become better behaved.
Are you sure she is telling stories to your brother or is he embroidering what he sees?
Stop spending as much time with her and simply don't answer the phone .. Tell her you will call at a certain time each day and follow through. Don't be guilted into buying goodies for her at least for a trial period. it might turn out that it is better for her to be eating garbge than nothing at all.
Let Al make the decision that she is no longer suitable for their establishment and find a decent nursing home.
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TwoWorlds, I am confused. You mentioned your Mom lives in Assisted Living. Usually such places have daily or weekly housekeeping and daily or weekly linen service. Just wondering why your Mom's apartment is so messed up.

Now, we all need to understand that when a person reaches 92, she has lived a very long life. She is tired. Exercise is not easy at that age. Heck, I use to be gym rat but now being in my 70's, those days are long gone.

As we get older our sense of taste starts to disappear except for sugary items. So I can fully understand why your Mom wants candy and cake. My parents were in their 90's, and my Mom's grocery list was mainly the bakery and cookie aisle. Then I realized they have lived to be in the 90's, so having more snacks isn't going to hurt them. Now, if your Mom has a problem with being diabetic, then that's a different story.

Has your Mom been tested for memory issues. Sounds like she is telling tall tales to your Brother, and sadly he is believing them. Here is an excellent article regarding this

Time to start saying to your Mom "sorry, I cannot possibly do that" any time she calls and wants you to do this or that.
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Sounds like time to back off. I wouldn’t take any action on POA for now, just let mom and brother sit and stew for a bit. Don’t be available, let her eat and do as she pleases, and see how things go. You’re being manipulated and I’ll hope you’ll step away and take a break
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Step out and let her have it her way.

If she is in AL you have made sure she is safe, as can be, and cared for. That is all you can do.

Tell your brother that his threats are why you will not be POA, if he chooses not to step up, then the state can assign a guardian.

I'm so sorry that you are being so used by this person called mom. However, it is important to protect your family, elder abuse charges are no joke and can ruin your lives, just the accusation can destroy you.

I personally would block both their numbers and be done with these cruel destructive games they play.
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So do you go to visit her daily?

She is making her own decisions about how she wants to live her life. I think you should refuse to act as POA and step out of the picture.

I am so sorry she is putting you through this!
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