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My mother is 98 years old. She can't see, hear well or walk. She doesn't have Alzheimer's, but she does have mild moments of dementia where she sees things and talks out of her head. We have overheard conversations and have had others report to us that my sister is trying to talk my mother into changing her will and leaving everything to her. She's gone so far as to call attorneys to see if they would come out to the house to have her sign the paperwork. My sister is a part time caregiver for my mother and my brother is the other. she lives with my mother and has a full time job, but she does not contribute financially to the household. I and my two other brothers handle any major expenses and home repairs. She lives there free of charge and will continue to live there for free if anything happens to our mother.

Right now, our mother is in no shape mentally to be signing any legal or financial papers. We feel my sister is trying to bully our mother into signing things over to her. She's already taken the jewelry. Now she's trying to get her to sign things over by threatening not to do things for her. How do we go about making sure this does not happen? I live out of town and she is the only one that lives in the home so she is doing this behind our backs when we are not there. My mother has been clear about her wishes for years. She is in no shape to make those kind of decisions now.

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Someone who is not local and has no responsibility for a very elderly person truly has NO idea what is involved. My mother lives with me (has for 20 yrs and is now 89). Caring for her is truly a full-time job (although I also work but have flexible hours). I not only am her companion nearly 24/7 which includes listening to the same stories repeatedly, setting her tv station to movies she wants to see, I am her chauffeur (to doctors, salons, shopping), her chef (grocery shopping and cooking what she wants for dinner every night regardless of what I would like), and I handle all the things she doesn't understand (bills, investment statements, ordering prescriptions and picking them up, etc). It's generous of you to pay for home repairs but I almost have no life outside of her care (probably like your sister). So, before you assume your sister does nothing, walk in their shoes for just a week. Sorry for venting but those who have not done it don't know what's involved. If you don't want your sister to receive (a probably deserved) more than her fair share, use your funds to hire professional caregivers for your mother. The cost of that care is what your sister deserves.
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Wow ! This sure hits home . I am the primary caregiver for my mom who has dementia even though I have four siblings living. You have absolutely no idea how much work goes into taking care of an elderly parent plus your sister has to work so if I understand correctly you feel that she should be paying rent ! Well then someone should be paying her for taking care of your mother. It's so nice of you and your other siblings to help out with some major repairs when needed but believe me it's nothing compared to the sacrifices made when you need to care for an elderly parent. I'm sure she feels she's entitled . When you say your mother's being bullied into signing things over to her ? Is this just hearsay or have you witnessed this personally. Maybe you should spend your future vacations with your mother and see what it takes to take care of her . I think it might help to soften your attitude towards your sister.
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Taking care of an elder parent, is no piece of cake. You say, your sister lives with her, and cares for her. What do you do? Maybe I am lucky, that I have no siblings. At least I won't have to fight with them, after Mom is gone!
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This is what happens when things are not done like a business. If the sister living in mom's house were to pay herself a salary in the legal sense (taxes, social security etc.) and pay a reasonable rent to live there and continue with her current job, there would be more transparency and possibly fewer hard feelings. When mom dies, then her will can be carried through because family caregivers were provided for prior to her death. One other thing about family caregivers; they are not always the best. If a person is working outside and trying to be a caregiver, it may not be possible to give 100% to both. Therefore if finances allow it, use your loved ones savings to help with their care while they are living rather than try to save it for after they die. I don't think today's seniors had a clue what was going to be in store for them when they wrote their wills. They thought they would die in their homes and their kids would get an inheritance. Few envisioned living for years with dementia and would probably be horrified if they could read and understand these posts. Even with what we know today, the planning conversations are still inadequate. Sorry to ramble, but it can be so hard to remain nonjudgemental. This forum is very helpful, but sometimes I can't help but think, "back off!"
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RareFind, were you ever a prison warden?
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Zbrown1117, something just dawned on me, how do you know what your sister is doing if you live out of town? You mentioned you had overheard conversations, but how?

And you mentioned others are telling you what you sister is doing. Who are these "others"? Friends, relatives? Who are they talking to to get this information? Are they talking to your mother? If this information is coming from your mother, please please note that with memory issues there are stages, and one stage is telling stories that aren't true just to get attention.

As for the jewelry, how to do you know you sister took the jewelry? Have you seen it missing from your Mom's room? Maybe your sister placed it in a safe place because Mom was giving away her jewelry to other people [again, this is common with memory issues].

Your sister could be totally innocent of all your charges.
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Why not talk to your Mom and sister about the situation? You have overheard? People have reported to you? If your sister lives with your Mom then she is full time care taker. Your sister has two full time jobs. She works full time and takes care of your Mom. It doesn't sound like you have any idea of what it takes to be a care giver. Do you pay your sister a salary? You should. The only thing you seem to care about is your Mom's money. What about your Mom's happiness? You said your sister doesn't contribute to the household? Seriously? Does she take your mom to the doctors? Pick up her perscriptions? Organize her medications? Feed her? Shop for her? Help her bathe and get dressed? I think your sister deserves the money. She is there for your Mom. You are out of town, and don't really know what is going on and don't have the courage to pick up the phone and talk to your sister and ask her what is going on.
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I agree with Mincemeat 100%. Do it tomorrow.
Also I would install a "nanny cam" in your mother's house. This will give you first hand knowledge about what your sister is doing. You might think that is too expensive or too complicated. But with your mother's condition and you are not there, you should know what is going on in your mother's house 24/7. A nanny cam will also show you if your mother is wandering at night or if your sister is allowing strangers in the house.
I provide caregivers for those with memory loss. I soon will insist that new clients install a nanny cam before we start working with them.
Good luck. You need to be vigilant about your sister's activities.
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FF makes good points. I handle the financial as well as the legal issues (which can often become complex) but there's no comparison with the ease of doing that vs. the repeated monotony of medical visits, the discomfort of going to and returning from the ER in the early hours of the morning during winter (especially when the wind chills are in the single digits), the drudgery of shopping....Handling the business aspect of caregiving is the easy part.

I think it would be helpful to spend a few weeks substituting for your sister so you know exactly what she's going through. Let her take a vacation.

Until someone walks in the shoes of the live-in caregiver, it's only a mental exercise, not a real sense of what it's like, to imagine how demanding and fatiguing it is.
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this is not directed to person to posted...but all siblings who read this post! lol

im the primary care for my parents...7 yrs now. 1 brother did everything he could to block my father from changing his will!! well toooo bad, when my brother stopped coming over or talking to them for at least a year...my father changed the will because he saw me working to care for them 24/7!! SOME CARETAKERS GIVE UP NOT ONLY JOBS...BUT ALL THEIR FRIENDS AND ACTIVITIES TOO! than is not uncommon! so all you selfish, do nothing siblings...hope you eat it when you lose your rights!!
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