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2 years ago after my mom’s hip fracture Brother got raving mad at me cause I set up a meeting with an elder care lawyer with mom (at mom’s request). He told me she didn’t need a lawyer! That he could handle everything with her checking account! He and his wife manage her finances cause he is joint owner on all bank accounts, CD’s, savings bonds and cash in the safety deposit box. So I don’t think he was designated POA at all.


Now mom is acutely ill, in my care in my home and we have to choose assisted living. She’s not willing to check herself in. How do we do this without POA? Worse yet what to do if there’s a medical crisis and she’s incapacitated?


I’m starting to worry that I’m going to have to assume sole care for my mother long term and I’m not in a financial position to do so. And suspicious as to why he is so secretive about this. I don’t even know if Mom has an Advance Directive and I’m the one taking her to hospitals.


Advice/thoughts!



T.

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Consulting the Elder Care Attorney is a great move if you can do that. As far as the hospital and doctors go she can give them direct permission for the moment since it sounds like she is of sound mind and able to do that now, in fact she can verbally give you authority in most areas and even with POA it's often needed or at least easier. That doesn't mean getting things in writing isn't still a good idea for the future especially and you can have POA as well as your brother which wont make dealing with him any easier in all likelihood but it does protect and help you if you have the need to get info on her finances or fill out official paperwork for Medicaid or AL say and he isn't cooperative. That way you can just go around him. A DPOA is a good idea too of course but remember POA doesn't give you the power to do something against your mothers wishes, I don't think you can force her into AL as long as she can think and speak for herself. POA allows you to work on her behalf she can still shut you down. I know this probably isn't what you want to hear but it sounds to me like you are going to have to find a way to tell your mom or make her come to her own realization that you aren't able to give her the care she needs anymore. As much as you love her and want what's best for her, in fact because you want what's best for her, you know that isn't having you be her primary care giver anymore. It doesn't sound like your brother and sister-in-laws is an option and living alone hasn't been for a while which is why you have been looking at AL situations. Encourage her to participate in choosing the place, make it clear you will be around a lot and always very involved (you aren't dumping her off in case that's a fear) and together you will find the best next step, the best situation for her. I know this sounds easier than it will be and it may take time so get it started but it's also the most loving and caring thing you can do for mom now by the sounds of it and you should not feel or allow anyone to make you feel guilty or badly about it. It's not uncommon that when people find the right place, usually not under the gun, the LO finds they are happier there than they were previously, especially with IL and AL.
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Reply to Lymie61
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Hi ladies, so 2 years mom did have a consult with the elder care lawyer. That’s when brother hit the roof and accused me of trying to get her money. I nursed her for months after that hip fracture and never took a dime from her - in fact it costed me money.

5 days ago I sent brother a friendly email updating him about endocrinologist and ER visit and inquired about the POA’s - “do you in fact have these documents”? Cause social worker asked if she has Advance Directive and she doesn’t even know. I told Tim how sick she is. He never responded. And he hasn’t called my mother either to even check on her. So I’ve contacted the elder care lawyer and told her I want to hire her.

Mom doesn’t want to go to assisted living. He’s been bullying her about it - she told the social worker he yells at her. It’s like he’s trying to force HER to make the decision so that tells me he has no real authority and it’s all bluster. She does however trust him with her money and he is joint owner of all her assets. She is NEVER going to willingly go to assisted living.

I’ve been through so much counseling due to the deaths of my husband and son and the way brother has treated me has hurt so bad emotionally. My therapist counseled that he is toxic to me and I should go no contact. That works until mom has a crisis. So here we are ...

Yes, I think mom is competent to sign POA’s but I don’t want no part of her finances - I would rather have a conservator. I can do the HCPOA as long as I can get her into a facility.
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Reply to Twillie
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Twillie,

I agree with everything that BarbBrooklyn wrote. Documentation is the best way to protect your mother's interests as well as yourself.

Taking on responsibility for your mother without having the written authority to do so is a recipe for disaster.

It sounds like your mother is able but not willing to ruffle feathers between you and your brother by making assisted living choices for herself; however, she is now in your home and you are taking care of her. You must protect her, yourself, and your family from your brother whose "bluster" will not help get the actual work of caregiving for your mother done.

Call upon that elder attorney again and make an appointment. You actually never said whether or not you followed through on meeting with that attorney or if you were bullied into canceling it by your blustering brother.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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I guess I might risk brother's wrath and send him an email or a certified letter (with a copy to the endo doc that mom just saw) indicating that there has been a medical determination that mother can no longer live unsupervised, and that the presence of the POA is needed at mom's next appointment.

And that you are currently providing 24/7 supervision.

Also add that if mother becomes acutely ill, that without POA input, mother will be forced to become a ward of the State; that will mean a guardian appointed and paid for out of mother's funds, all decisions about her care made by strangers AND paid for our of her funds until those are depleted.  THEN she goes onto Medicaid and the non-related guardian will have the ability to move your mother ANYWHERE in the State that there is an open Medicaid bed, without reference to where family lives.

You are just checking in with brother, in a friendly way, to make sure that he understands that these are the facts on the ground.

Is your mother still competent to re-assign POA?  Or visit an eldercare attorney?
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