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I am so stressed out with all the appts, taking care of her home that I am thinking of revoking my power of attorney but I don't want to deal with the family if I do. My sister is power of financial & has it made. She still works & does one errand with my mom per week. My mom & I had a tiff this week & I am totally upset about it. I did talk to her social worker but I am so lost right now & not sure if my mother is in early stages of dementia. My family does not know what I have gone thru the last 6 years after I retired. I just want to run & hide or leave the state.

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Being her medical POA doesn't obligate you to run and fetch for her, even if it is for medical appointment, your only obligation is to step in and make the final choices in regards to her care IF she can no longer speak for herself. You need to learn how to say no and/or to delegate tasks that could be done by others, and POA has nothing to do with that.
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C is absolutely right, especially since you have family (are there other sibs?) As has been said many times on this site, you can only be used if you will allow yourself to be.

I had Durable Power of Attorney for my mother, which means I handled medical AND financial. Financial is no fun either, especially if Mom still lives in her own home. I’m sure your sister doesn’t expect kudos for each check she writes or every bill she pays.

Call your sister and tell her you need a break from being Mom’s transport, etc. Also tell her you lost it with Mom and you’ve felt awful ever since. Ask her for what she thinks could be done within the parameters of Mom’s finances and insurance. I’m not sure but Medicare may cover medical transport for her. She could also have an aide for a few hours a week (or day) Some aide’s will also transport to appointments. There is a retired gentleman in my town who does medical transport. We also have a county transport with handicap vans. They load and unload and will do everything but get the person back into their actual house.

You should not have to get to the the point of frustration and burnout. You’re not an only child.
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Deanna16 Nov 30, 2018
I am the only child as far taking care of my mother for medical task. my sister & I are not on speaking terms. I know for a fact my mother would never do any other transport but from me. And if I did that I would be the worse family member that ever existed.
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There is no such thing as to delegate. My only left sibling that lives in my town is not speaking to me. As in the past I asked her to help when my mom was in re hab nursing home & bluntly said NO. My mother is very spoiled by the family & I know if I open pandoras box all hell will break loose & of course blame will be put on me. My mother is in very good health for her age. she is still on her own (94). I hate the drama & I am making my self literally sick. How can you say no when there will be consequences for me??
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anonymous594015 Dec 10, 2018
How can you say no without consequences?
You can't.
I like the advice others gave about counseling. You may have to try a couple of therapists to find one that is a good fit for you. But you definitely will have an easier time dealing with your family if you talk over where your your boundaries are vs where you would like them to be with an impartial person.
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Uber? Public transit? Hired aides/companions? Just stopping some of the needless appointments altogether?
You mention taking care of her home: why are you doing that - hire a cleaning service once a month and call it sufficient.
Order her groceries on line or pick up her shopping list and shop without her.

I've watched so many people over my lifetime who refuse to make the relatively minor changes that would make their life situations tenable so instead had to use the nuclear option - would revoking your POA and stepping back really be so much easier than implementing change?
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Deanna16 Nov 30, 2018
My mother is about to be 95 & on her own. As far as her home I do her yard work,pulling weeds, cutting some grass,planting etc. which is not an easy task, plus fall cleanup,interviews with social services. When I do stop at the house especially summer she finds something for me to do. When I asked her for my other sister to help..she said she was afraid she would have a heartattack (61). I myself am an active person so I do tutoring, other volunteer work. I need that for "me" time. Thank you for your response. I will try to implement change. I have been doing more research on POA .
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If Mom can make her own decisions your POA is not in effect. Sister being her financial should be making sure bills are paid and upkeep on house is done if Mom can't handle it anymore. What kind of care are you doing on the house, cleaning? A woman living alone should not need much cleaning done. If she has money, she can hire someone to clean.

What kind of appts does she have. I found with Mom that some of her appts could be cut down. When it was found she had a thickening on the top of her stomach, I took her to a specialist. He felt it was caused by her GERD but saw her every six months for a while to make sure there were no changes. When it got to be hard getting her out we went to a year. There are some things once the initial problem is under control a PCP can keep check on it. Mom was going to her PCP every two months, why? When he asked her why was she there, that was the last time she went unless she was sick or needed prescriptions renewed. So maybe look at her appts and see if they r really needed.

Having a POA does not mean you are responsible for being at the beck and call of that person. It only comes into effect when the person can no longer make informed decisions. Medical POA allows you to talk to doctors and make decisions about Moms health when she no longer can. So, since Mom seems to be able to make decisions ur POA means nothing.

Now, you set boundries what u will and will not do. Call your office of aging and see what services they provide. They may have bus services. My Moms appts were made around my schedule. I also had one day a week we did shopping and errands. Her pharmacy was on the way to her house, so no problem picking up her prescriptions when she needed them. I also went to Church with her each week after she couldn't drive.

I used to drive a family to drs. in DE, we lived in NJ so it was just over the bridge. What always got me with them and a friend I have...needing to have to find someone to drive them they don't make it easier on the driver and find local doctors. And if they had local doctors they could take advantage of Senior bussing.

What I am trying to say its what u do is not responsibilites of a POA but maybe a daughter's for a mother. If getting too much then u may need to see what can be cut back on or done by someone else.
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It sounds like you won't stand up to yourself against your mother's and family's opinion of you. They are not unhappy - you are. If you don't make the change - no one will. At some point you might decide that you are too unhappy to care what they think - then you'll set some boundaries or tell your mom there are other options than making a slave of you. I hope you can discover some strength to do this, otherwise the load will grow and grow. Therapy?
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Being POA is stressful...I am going through it myself, so I understand...I also understand having the disagreements with mom...it takes a couple of days to get over them. Thankfully, it's only me. I don't have to deal with brothers and sisters close by, giving me their 2 cents, but not doing a thing. I have a sister two states away who hasn't helped with anything and is not part of the decision-making. First, you should see a counselor -- keep it to yourself, your family doesn't need to know. You need someone to vent to and feel safe in doing so. There's nothing wrong with asking for help from an agency; someone to come in and help with your mom. You don't say how old your mother is, but it sounds like her upper 80s -- if not dementia, then old-age-brain, which can be rather narcissistic and stubborn and unfiltered. Can you have a discussion with your family members/sister?
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jacobsonbob Dec 10, 2018
The OP said her mother is almost 95.
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Did you ever think about assisted living? Sometimes we need to put our foot down, and say this is what's going to happen.
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Deanna16 Dec 16, 2018
We did apply for assistant living but she did not qualify ( 3yrs ago). She is still on her own & does well. Let me tell you my mom is 95 & feisty and pretty much of sound mind. She could run for the senate.
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I agree with others here that you are confused what medical powerof attorney means. It doesn’t require you to transport her. You say she is of sound mind so right now she doesn’t need your help in medical decisions...or does she? Sometimes it’s good to be at an appointment to hear what the doctor or PA says and to fill in the blanks. But you can decide that. And yes..how important are the appointments? Our city has a service called Go Go Grandparent which provides senior transportation. See if something like that is available.
You are doing weeding and other chores by your own decision to do so. If it’s making you lose your sanity to do all this then stop and ask yourself the question..."is my sanity important?" If the answer is no, then keep on doing it. If the answer is yes, then grow a spine, set boundaries and level with your mom what needs to be hired out. Who gives a flying flip if "she wants me to do it". She’s not in charge of your boundaries...you are. So toughen up or you will be going further down the rabbit hole. This may sound harsh...but no one can change this but you. And YES you can decide you don’t wish to be medical POA if that’s what you want.
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Helping77 Dec 10, 2018
You did read she's been doing this for SIX years correct? You need to grow an empathy nerve because you are not in her shoes and do not know what her daily life is like
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What was the tiff about?

The reason I ask is that it can be very revealing. For example, if it was about *nothing* - whether the weather forecaster's sweater was appropriate for a morning tv programme, whether they do or don't put vitamins in a breakfast cereal - that can say a lot about how much strain your relationship is under. If it was about something obviously important that your mother refuses to hear about, that says more about her. If it was about a battle you'd have done much better not even to pick - more about you.

That's why I ask, is all.
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Your sister who apparently has some sort of Power of Attorney, Needs now to sit down with you and talk it all out. Perhaps now it is time to talk to a Nursing Facility that will take Mom in. However, Medicaid will surely rob her of all of her finances, if she is over the level, unless something is as of now, all set up which prevents it. Kudos if this has been done.
No one says you have to stay stressed out. There is always a solution when a parent is at this stage, and a Home or a More appropriate place for Mom or even for A Dad, Is at your finger tips, Where they can get the Best of care.
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Isthisrealyreal Dec 10, 2018
How can you say Medicaid will rob her? If Medicaid is needed, tax payers are footing the bill for care, why should I pay for anyone to receive care and their kids get an inheritance?

The money the government pays is tax dollars and the less they recover the more we all pay. Maybe you think that is appropriate but it is NOT!
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Because I was retired, everyone thought I had all the time in the world to help Mom. Over time, help turned into enabling. I was so resentful and didn’t know how to dial it back. “Look after their needs, not necessarily their wants” was advice given to me on this forum. It helped me tremendously to set boundaries. Most of what you are doing isn’t a need (pulling weeds, lawn clean up are 2 examples).  

Decide what you will continue to do & what you no longer will do and stick with those boundaries. Your mantra to yourself when bullied to do something by Mom & anyone else is “I am entitled to a life”. That was another piece of advice on here — that no one should give up their own life to ensure our LO continues with the life they have been accustomed to living. In my case I was driving an hour (one way) 4x/week to “help” Mom and staying all day — food shopping, cooking (& making sure plates were made up for the other 3 days), laundry, cleaning, baths, hair appointments, doctor appointments, snow shoveling, in-home communion visits, & anything else she “needed”. Mom was giving me “gas money” that didn’t really cover the gas & Financial POA sister was questioning where Mom’s cash was going.  

Hubby lost his job, and that was the impetus I needed. I informed siblings (all in denial) that I needed to go back to work & Mom required daily care in order to stay in the house — care that would cost money. I was willing to continue doing it but now I would have to be paid. Oh my, it got ugly. VERY ugly. Mom, meanwhile, understood why I could now only come once a week (with hubby now) & thankfully she was grateful for that.  

Financial POA sister lived 2 miles from Mom & she got the calls from Mom — sometimes 5 a day. After 3 weeks sister relented about paying me but brothers still fought it. By then I had decided an aide doing the bulk of it was better. Aide was there 3x/week and she only did “light” cooking & cleaning, bathing, and would take her to weekly hair appointments. That is when I found out everyone had their own definition of “light” cooking & cleaning. Oh, and there was always an excuse why baths weren’t given & hair appointments not happening. Sister took over the food shopping & she complained incessantly.  I went 2x/wk & made up plates for the other days, brother went 1x/wk, & sister went 1x/wk — lo & behold, we ALL got paid for our time! We hired others to do house cleaning, yard work, & snow shoveling and paid for grocery delivery.  

It’s not only children that need a village to raise — the elderly need a village as well. And a flexible one at that. As Mom’s needs increased, so too did our time there. We all were adjusting & stressing ourselves out. Again, Fate stepped in — the 4th winter was expected to be a doozy & I informed sister if the weather was bad I was NOT driving an hour when she lived 2 miles away with a 4WD vehicle.  

We ended up moving Mom to my house (a disaster which only lasted 2 months), then AL close by sister (with us 3 siblings visiting on different days + the aide there 3 days), & finally a NH (still with us + aide there 5 of the 7 days). Mom’s journey was about 8 years. We learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and life during it.  

All that to say YOU matter, boundaries are necessary, and needs WILL increase. Hugs to you — heed the advice of others here — YOU DO MATTER.
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Sit down with a lawyer and your sister. Two different POA's sounds fishy. Who is in control of your mother's decisions? If you are doing the work you should be in control of all aspects. That way you can hire people to help with the situation. If you are not in control seriously consider walking away and let your sister take on all the responsibilities. No medal is given for being used.
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bettina Dec 10, 2018
No medal is given for being used. Amen!
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1) Having POA and doing all of her errands and care, etc are two different things. Anyone can run your mom around to appointments. Anyone can clean her house. Hire people to do as much of this as you need to (using your Mom's funds, of course).

2) If you think your Mom may have dementia, she almost certainly does. By the time loved ones see signs, it's usually well into the dementia journey. Before her next appointment, ask her doctor to give her a 'mini-mental,' That's a quick test that isn't foolproof (you can definitely have dementia and still pass it), but will certainly pick up on it if it's a little more advanced.
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You are not being selfish because you want to get out of the POA. You are burnt out from all the responsibilty. You may have thought that your retirement years would be rest and relaxation but with aging parents, that side tracked your plan. I think you should talk to your family members and tell them that each one need to have 1 or 2 days to help out more. Your sister is still working but she may have sick leave or vacation time to use to help out more. Second, ask her social worker to get her a part time caregiver to visit for 4 hours. Lastly, if all else fails, talk to the department of aging in your city, they may be able to provide some help. You need a temporary change to rejuvenate and have a few "Me-time" hours or days to recover. Be well.
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You might consider hiring a geriatric case manager - this is a professional who can help you orchestrate and implement a care plan or sit down with your family to address how best to help your parent. Sometimes a neutral third party can listen and validate everyone's wishes while empowering the members to work towards a common goal. I am sure your local Area Agency on Aging can assist with referrals for such a person.
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I agree with those here who say you need to examine what you can do, and also what you are willing to continue to do -- keeping in mind that you have a right to pursue your own dreams and take care of your own needs.

Now, I also know from personal experience how very painful it is to watch a loved one decline, and that there are those of us who feel the guilt immensely when others seem to shrug it off or make excuses. They are out of town or have young children -- and you are there, so they don't have to do anything and can even find it in their selfish hearts to criticize you.

But, it's time to focus on you and how to extract yourself from this trap. So, go armed with a list of what you are willing to do -- and keep it narrow. And then, the list of things that others will need to address and take care of.

It's time for confronting those who are not carrying their weight and informing them that you are stepping down as POA for healthcare and caring needs, except for the XYZ list (leaving a few items on the list for bargaining room.) Starting first with the sister with POA, have a sit-down meeting, with your list. Have your why points in mind as well -- but most important is to keep remembering that you have the right to a life of your own. And, you have no absolute duty to carry this load for so long virtually alone.

You and your siblings -- and your LO, if she is aware of her finances and not in the throes of dementia -- need to meet with an elder lawyer for planning purposes. What are her assets? What pensions does she receive? Does she have enough assets to pay for in-home care -- and for how long? And, what will you need to do to spend down to Medicaid?

Work with the elder lawyer and the social worker you speak of to extricate from this vicious cycle you are in.

I am an attorney, but not an elder care attorney. My mother is 95 and in memory care. She is very weak and mostly incontinent. I know how hard this all is, but through this slow, painful, emotional time, I made the very difficult decision that I have to work and cannot also care for my mom. My sister is out of state and absolutely no help, so I have all the POAs and health care rep rights -- and I found a place where my mom would be relatively safe and cared for as she declines. The staff there are amazing, but the place is not ideal. One of the harder things is to find a Memory Care facility that takes Medicaid after spend-down.

To those who are upset that Medicaid forces people to spend all their assets -- well, that's the law. This is where an elder lawyer and the Council on Aging and also a social worker can help -- if you are at that point. But the point is to plan and work for resolution of the family issues here.

Finally, if your sister with the POA -- or anyone else -- refuses to consider these issues, it is definitely time for you to step down as care-giver, head held high, remembering first and foremost that you are not a victim and you are not a door mat. Try to remain rational and focused on your rights as well as your LO's legitimate needs.

And, good luck.
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As long as you keep enabling your mother, nothing will change. Your sister doesn't talk to you because she doesn't need to talk to you because you do whatever your mother asks of you.

You are enabling your mother's bad behavior by giving into her whims. If she won't accept transportation from anyone but you that's ridiculous. Step back from playing Driving Miss Daisy and let your mother and sister figure out new transportation. And while they're at it, let them find a gardener.

Learn to establish healthy boundaries with your mother. If you don't, nothing will change. In fact, only more demands will be made of you.

You can choose to either enable your mother and continue to be miserable and possibly resentful, or you can stand up for yourself and do for your mother that which you want to do with love.
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azilmedia Dec 14, 2018
your prior reply to Deanna has really resonated with me so thank you for what you wrote her. I have wondered about my situation with the codependency, the setting of boundaries, the requests for help with an immediate response time (otherwise she will keep repeating herself). I feel like I am a good trained Pablov’s dog who reacts to her needs. I will start thinking or reacting differently from now on I hope.
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For those who thought I was being "mean" in my reply...I do get it! I’m not without empathy. I’ve been caring for my dad as POA medical and financial for 5 years. But I’ve come to realize that the only way I can do this and survive (and yes I’ve had melt down and illness) is to grow a spine and set boundaries and not let him dictate. We have to decide who is in control or we will end up stressed and sick to the max. It’s hard, but we have to ask ourselves the tough questions. The longer I’ve done this the more pragmatic and realistic I’ve become. Complaining is fine, venting is helpful, but not doing something doesn’t get us anywhere.
Now what is not known here is the true relationship. Is their codependency or enabling etc. only the poster who writes knows. But therapy can be helpful if one can’t make the decision on one's own. I hope dear lady you can find a solution so you can have some peace.
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All this stepping and fetching is not part of medical POA requirements - no hands on care is necessary. And the house? Not at all.  I can understand that you are exhausted.  I'm afraid you have to detach from caring what your family thinks - that is emotional blackmail and they will do it forever because it shifts the load from them to you.  You can gradually learn to say "NO" when your boundaries are crossed - they will get used to it and more to the point you will feel good about yourself. Keep in mind that moral integrity is not about what anybody "feels" - it is fact based not emotional.  Sounds like mom is ready for AL. Keeping her lifestyle humming along is nobody's responsibility, regardless of what she thinks.
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Do you think your family might be able to offer some support? Perhaps, the work taking care of her home could be shared or you might consider hiring someone to help out. If you ask for help, you’re letting your family know you need their help. If you are no longer doing the work, then who will it fall to? If you ask for help and it’s given, that’s wonderful and if not, your family will likely be willing to discuss possibilities to ease some of your burden. I’m guessing they’re thankful that you are there to do it and would rather offer some sort of assistance than see you give it up completely.
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Deanna: Remember~this too shall end.
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If you want to abandon your POA and there's no one to take over, you can - as a very last resort - Call an attorney and request she be put under a Conservatorship. It will be lengthy, legal and expensive to do. Someone else, at great expense, will take over all.
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OP has not been back since Nov 30.
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hi Deanna6,

i have just started my journey with my mom in our home and i posted about it recently so by no means I am an expert. However, I have a friend who has been at it for two years and is very helpful. She has suggested to me to actually look for docs who do house calls who then connect you to other home resources. In my case, I am looking into it because transporting my mother myself is very hard with the limited mobility she has. And having someone come to the home will be a diversion from the daily routine. I haven’t tried it yet of course but it sounded like great advice. My mother suffers of dimentia as well so the constant forgetfulness and repetitiveness definitely try my patience. Hang in there! Because that’s all we can do especially if siblings aren’t carrying their own weight.
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It is actually great that she is healthy and sharp, the alternatives are really awful and so much harder to cope with.

If she is running you ragged see if your community has a public transportation plan in place for seniors that can no longer drive. It is super cheap, picks them up at home and takes them on their appointments drops them off at home. You would have to verify how it works in your community.

It is okay for you to tell her no, helping her find alternatives is a gift and when we are the ones requiring help we can't be bossy and picky. I know people do but it is not okay and you can stop being manipulated by them.

You are obviously stressed to the hilt and feel like you have no life. It is not fair for anyone to devour our life, tell her no and start taking control of your life back.

Hugs
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