My functioning alcoholic sister and her daughter (now 19) moved in with my mother six years ago. Going against all common sense, medical advice and ethics, my sister has been providing my mother with alcohol which I believe has caused numerous health issues and several falls.

My sister insists my mom begs her and she just can't say no. It's a stereotypical enabling relationship.

Mom is currently in a rehab for broken ribs and elbow due to a fall. She THRIVES in facilities because she is well taken care of and not drinking.

Last year I attempted to bring Mom to live with me but she wasn't interested and her doctor said she is of sound mind so I can't force her.

I'm flying down next week to visit and would like advice on what I can say to my sister to scare her straight. I don't really want to call elder abuse but I will if I have to. My sister also has a temper and I'm concerned she'll take any probing out on my mother.

Are there any agencies I can call or even pay to help monitor my mother?

Wish I could fix them all!!!!

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If Mom is competent to make her own decisions, even if you have POA, you can do nothing about her home life. POA only kicks in when a person is not capable of making their own decisions. If Mom chooses to abuse alcohol and sister provides it for her, that’s not abuse. If it can be proven that Mom is not competent, then you call APS on your sister.

Most of these facilities have social workers. Call now while Mom is still there and share your concerns with them. Once she’s discharged, their responsibility for her is over.
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worriedinCali Jan 2019
POA does not kick in only when a person is incapable of making their own decisions—again seems to be a common misconception on this forum. A POA can go into affect the moment it is signed. A springing POA goes into affect when the person is unable to make decisions on their own or other things happen as outlined in the POA.
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I am sorry to be the bear of bad news but there really is nothing you can do.

Have lived with alcoholic parents when I was young I learned that it is up to them to get clean. You can not stop them from drinking. The old saying, "They have to hit rock bottom" is very true. It also sounds like your sister and mom have a co-dependant relationship going on. If that is the fact, it is my experience that is a relationship that you can not come between. They will fight to stay with eachother! In fact, again based on my experience, if they feel you are a threat to that relationship they will gang up on you!

I must ask, "why do you feel the need to fix them?" This question may seem obvious, but I a sure you it's not! Your first answer will be because you love them. Which is true. Your second answer will probably be you want mom to have a better life. Again true! But you also have a driving motive that you are probably not aware of! I asked because I lived with what you are now facing. I am not saying your heart isn't in the right place! I am asking you, why do ypu feel that you have to "fix them all?"

We have no control what other people say or do. We can only control our reaction to it!

I do wish you the best of luck. And I hope your mom stops drinking!

Helpful Answer (3)
Michelle54 Jan 2019
Thanks so much for your kind heart-ed response. I appreciate your input.
I do know I can't fix anyone, but sometimes it's good to hear it from an objective person.
Warm wishes,
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