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Me again. Well, my POA brother emailed my husband and I on Friday that our Mom "expressed her desire to go home." So he authorized it. My mom has broken ribs, is completely blind and has had three urinary tract infections this year, one leading to a kidney infection and hospitalization. My husband and I were caring for her most of the time, including at night, getting up numerous times to help her turn over, take her to the bathroom, get medication, etc.


My usually absent and abusive brother has little knowledge of the care she needs but completely took over, brandishing his power of attorney when she was hospitalized in June and never letting go, even telling my mom's doctors not to discuss her condition or treatment with me.


I told my brother that I would be bringing a new POA document to the rehab center with a notary because Mom was not going to come home without me on her healthcare POA. He did not ask Mom but told me "Mom does not wish to make any changes at this time." My mom told me she would, but then when I told her I was bringing a notary she got scared because of my brother.

She came home Saturday and though my brother said he "has provided for her full in home care" and we were not needed, there is no one staying with her at night and she also has no one wiping her after urinary and bowel movements.

He continues to be verbally abusive (he also has a history of physical abuse), and still has my phone number blocked. I have filed a complaint with the Department on Aging about his abusiveness, his neglect, her inadequate home care and also financial issues which need to be answered, including possible mortgage fraud and definite credit card fraud. Since I told him I was going ahead with legal action to get POA away from him, he is now accusing ME of theft and threats and threatening to report me to police (he's a retired cop) and also report me for fraud based on our mom and I beginning a house refinancing together without his knowledge (again, she is totally competent and doesn't need his permission), in order to help my mom keep her house and close the credit cards he's been using in her name.

I am literally doubled over with stomach pain from stress and just made an appointment with a GI specialist. I am not going to go over to my Mom's and care for her without POA but I can't sit here while she is vulnerable either. I live just one block away, and so me just sitting here feel like I myself am neglecting her!

How do you "walk away" from a toxic, codependent, impossible situation like this when you are physically so close? How can I walk away from my Mom and not be seen as neglectful?


What about if I go to court? Won't I be seen as neglectful if I'm purposely refusing to take care of my mom without POA?

You can call Adult Protective Services and ask for them to investigate as your mother is a vulnerable adult. You can remain anonymous and know you have done all you can. Then you can walk away.
Of course it sounds like you and your family are very much entangled financially with your mother. That might take some doing to straighten out before you are totally free.
I wish you the best future and peace.
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Reply to PrairieLake
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The brain is an amazing organ. It can block out painful memories, even create physical pain to block out emotional pain (I had this happen.) You may have subconsciously blocked out certain events to "cope" with the situation.

It's great that you have a close relationship with most of your family. I would, of course, believe what your closest cousin told you but I would not go looking for more information on what mother and brother did to you. You may not like what you find. They are two "peas in a pod" as the old expression goes. Both sound like they have their priorities in the wrong places. It would be best to stay away from both of them. There's no law saying you have to love and include certain family members. (My son seems to know that one well.)

They are a toxic couple and should be very happy together. It's wonderful that the rest of the family can see them for who they REALLY are.

If you're having trouble with accepting that they are rotten to the core and don't care about you and you can't get them out of your life, then I would suggest seeing a therapist to help you straighten things out.

Good luck in the coming days ahead.
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Reply to SueC1957
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You guys are not going to believe this. As this has neen going on I've been talking to my cousins a lot. We have always been very close. I have bern discovering many things about my life which I apparently blocked out.

Last night my closest cousin told me something I completely don't remember. She said that when my dad died he left everything to me but my mom made me give half of it to my brother. She even petitioned to be executor of the estate so she could do this. My cousin said her mom and dad and my other aunts and uncles were all furious about it but I was trying to keep the peace and said it was fine. Apparently my brother was a lot more abusive to me than I even remember and our dad disinherited him. I don't remember this at all. I do remember that I paid for my college with the money he left me. My brother spent the rest of his money, probably on drugs, and our mom --I realize now--must have first mortgaged her house to pay his student loans and probably other debt of his hed already racked up. I am now starting to be very concerned that he may have done even worse things to me than I am even aware of. I cant believe I dont remember these things. I guess the pain was too much to handle.
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MountainMoose Jul 24, 2018
Oh, ChiGirl... I am so sorry. Please, for your sake, seek counseling to help you. You deserve better. Perhaps with a good counselor you can discover the truth--on so many levels. I wish you happiness. {hug}
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I like JoAnn's idea of putting the money you owe your Mom in a separate account (savings? maybe or in a CD) so that it is available if and when you are forced to pay it back to your Mom or she needs it for her own living expenses.

WTH!!!  I cannot believe what I just heard about your Mom!! I did not realize the animosity between her and you!!  Please do NOT attempt to get POA or guardianship of your Mom.  Let your ***** brother take care of your Mom because that is what she wants and nothing you do or say will ever change that. Sorry :(
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ChiGirl68 Jul 23, 2018
Thank you. Yes. I like this idea. I'm going to put the money in a separate account and not pursue POA or guardianship.
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To get POA your Mom would have to revolk your brothers. I don't see this happening. Guardianship will just bring you more problems because you brother would fight you in court. Your Mom can make her own decisions so u can't get guardianship.

I think you have made a good decision. You need to protect you and your family. I really don't know why you torture yourself for someone who doesn't know how to love. Believe me, there is no love between her and brother. PLEASE stick by ur guns. Hold on to that promissory note and the other info. The money you owe Mom, put in a bank acct. Brother will only spend it and Mom may need it someday. If brother makes a thing out of it tell him you have proof he has taken more than you owe.
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ChiGirl,

POA is ONLY valid when the person can no longer speak for themselves (illness-coma, dementia, etc.) NO ONE can force her to do anything UNTIL she is incapacitated and unable to communicate.

Walk away and never look back.

Do NOT try to fight him in court for POA. Why? When your mother, who is of sound mind, (?) wants him to do everything and obviously doesn't beleive you, give a cr*p about you or appreciate how you've helped her. She sounds like a cruel witch.

With what you've explained of her treatment of you, I honestly don't understand WHY you keep wanting to be involved with her. Are you trying to win her love? It won't happen. I'm sorry, your mother doesn't give a s--t about you. Go to a therapist and learn to get over it. Don't be traumatized- just channel your love and concern into someone or something else (a puppy comes to mind). Some of us have had less than stellar mothers. (Just check the Narcissistic Mother threads.)

Go ahead with the charges of extortion and fraud against your brother however. He's ripping her off blind and he needs to be caught. If he is caught and possibly locked up, find other arrangements for your mom. DO NOT bring her into your home to poison yourselves. Who cares that she was your egg donor. She sure treats you like h*ll. I'm surprised that you don't despise her.

You need to be done with them both. Don't let your culture dictate what you "should" do. You need to do what's best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.
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ChiGirl68 Jul 23, 2018
I absolutely hate her. I have for so long but have always taken care of her because I thought ... I don't know. I don't even know. Her sisters and brothers and neices and nephews...We have been so close and had so many good times. It is really only my mom and my brother who were the only people who weren't "on board" with our family closeness.

When she was in the hospital, my daughters and I grew all of her favorite flowers in the garden, put up new curtains, brought down her chair that she sat in when she was a teacher, to try and help her memory health. We brought down all of her beloved books, with the intention of reading them to her as she is blind.

There is NOTHING that I or anyone can do to go up against the will and desire of her Golden Child. It is never going to happen.

I got all of my dad's papers and mementos out of the house and brought them to my apartment. My daughter is moving out of her upstairs. My younger daughter told her she is never going to see her again, that her "grandma" was never that for her. My ex husband is a wishy washy waffler and will probably step in to live there and take care of her the first time she needs more help. I need to put him aside to. He has also substantially ruined my life by enabling my mom.
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Twenty minutes ago I said goodbye to my mom forever. After my brother accused me of stealing from her, I went over to talk to her and show her the promissory note she signed with me before she got sick. She is blind from macular degeneration and I tried to read it to her but she covered up her ears. She said my brother said I have to pay her back now for what I stole from her. I had brought along the current bank statements showing that my brother had written over 4,000 in checks last month from her bank account, that he had run up $6,000 in credit card charges, and the title history showing that he had taken five mortgages against her house. She told me that I needed to leave and if I didn't she was going to call the police. She told me am no longer welcome in her house. So my mom, who I literally stopped from killing herself when my dad died 35 years ago, who I left school for then and nursed back to stability, who forbade me from taking a scholarship to theater school, who forced me to have an abortion, who did not care at all when I was in a six car accident, sexually assaulted on the street at 18 or raped repeatedly by a judge and who has stood by while my brother took out $200,000 in mortgages against her house, forged her new estate documents to write me out, and who I have given up my life for for the past ten years since she went blind, told me to leave her home and never come back because my brother said I'm a thief.

I think I'm not ever going to come back.

Yes I have a stack of irrefutable evidence against him, but what I would get is POA or guardianship of her if I win, and honestly I never want to see her or hear her voice again as long as I live. She has poisoned our family, sickened my daughters, approved my brother and his wife using all of us,ripping her off for his entire adult life and disowning us because they are too good for our "hillbilly" family.

Should I even fight him in court or just leave her to live in the sick, lonely world he allows her?
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This is the woman who told you what she thinks of you by disinheriting you, correct? You said yourself she has taken advantage of you for years. Why do you care what happens to HER?

You were advised to let your mother and brother work things out, correct? Why aren't you doing that? Why are you a glutton for punishment?
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Reply to CTTN55
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I think that you are going to have to go for guardianship because your brother could bully your Mom into changing her POA back to him again.

When I petitioned for guardianship of my Mom, I bought a "Daily Planner" 8 inch X 11 inch from Walmart and made a journal.  I wrote daily about the phone calls I made & what was said/discussed, what happened when I visited Mom, what forms I had filled out, anything pertinent to the guardianship.  You need to do the same thing.
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Hi. I do have an appointment with an attorney for next week. Just not sure what to do right now. My brother has caregivers come in during the day. There is dishonesty here too because my mom can afford to pay for them but he gets some sort of discount for hardship, which she doesn't have. No one is with her at night. My husband has decided to go and stay there tonight and for the near future. I'll go over and clean up later and maybe pick her some flowers and make sure she has enough clothes, etc. What I would like is to have the court take away his powers of attorney. Of course, I know that leaves the issue of guardianship open, but maybe I could get that or my mom would voluntarily give POA to me. I know that we can't both have POA.
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Is your mom home with you and your husband? Ah, I see, she's in her own home. Since your mom has her faculties, your brother can't invoke the POA--or at least that depends on the wording of the document. You can care for your mom with or without the POA as she is mentally competent.

You've already made a report to the Dept of Aging, but I have no idea how long it'll be before they act or what the outcome may be.

The biggest point is your mother's fear of your brother and his verbal abusiveness to you all. If you have some proof of his abusiveness, you can call the police and file a complaint, and perhaps get a restraining order. He may be a retired lawman, but the law applies to him too. As far as his threats to report you to the police, tell him to go ahead. He'll have to provide proof of his claims against you. His actions accusing you without proof, he'll prove his unfitness and justify your concerns to all authorities that he's unfit to be POA.

It sounds like your brother has your mother under his thumb. Your poor mom needs you and your husband's care and support more than ever. Please don't walk away because of your brother's issues. Bullies back down with faced with someone emotionally stronger. Use your love of your mother to find the strength to help your mother. [Edited to add after reading DeeAnna's comment: she made a good point about holding off so the Dept of Aging can see your mom's true condition as provided by your brother]

If at any time you feel you or your mother is under any physical threat, call emergency police immediately. Best wishes to you and your husband and your mother.
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Reply to MountainMoose
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Now that you have filed a complaint with "the Department on Aging about his abusiveness, his neglect, her inadequate home care and also financial issues which need to be answered", you need to let the Dept. of Aging do their job.  (Is this the same as the Adult Protective Services in your state?)

You are NOT WALKING AWAY.  You are letting the LAW do their JOB by not interfering with your mother's situation.  You need to let the Dept. on Aging see your Mom in her "TRUE" ENVIRONMENT as provided by your brother (and not the environment that you and your husband have been making for your Mom in the past).  Is it easy?  NO!  But you need to let the authorities do their job.  Interfere only when your Mom is truly and sincerely in mortal danger. 

Think of what happens when someone complains of animal cruelty.  A case worker comes out and see that the animal(s) is/are being given food &/or water by the "concerned" neighbor(s), so the case worker cannot justify filing an "Abandonment" or "Cruelty" charge against the animal(s) owner because someone (even though it is not the owner) is taking care of the animal(s).  

Also, could it be that your brother is "just blowing smoke" when he threatens to report you to the police?  Since he is a retired cop, he knows what to say to scare people into acting the way he wants them to act.     {Comment section FROZEN UP ON ME-could not edit previous comments for 1-2 minutes}.

You need to "Wait Watchfully" for the Dept. of Aging to investigate your Mom's situation and not assist her in any way; otherwise, there is no "Abuse or Neglect" by your brother because he has YOU to take care of your Mother.  Sorry that this sounds so harsh.
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I have never understood why some people who have POA over an elderly parent go on such a power trip. I suffocated under responsibility when I was POA over my dad.

If you're able to get POA of your mom then what? You and your brother compete to see who's POA gets their way? I think you need something stronger than a POA. Have you considered seeing an attorney?

I don't know how your brother got POA or why you don't have POA but your mom's wellbeing and safety comes above all of that. It sounds like there's someone there with her during the day, is that right?

Not knowing the whole situation as I'm sure some of this stuff goes back years my suggestion is to start documenting everything if you haven't already. Document conversations, times, dates, and things said. It's not a diary, you don't have to go into the backstory, just a record of what happens and what is said by you, your brother, and your mom.

Have you considered legal guardianship? The upside is that it trumps POA. The downside is it takes a while and is very expensive.
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