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Our 91 yr old mom is in ICU today sfter taking an overdose of sleeping pills. I am 69, eldest son. I was working in the basement at mom's when I overheard a very loud exchange upstairs. Sister was screaming insults, badgering, shouting mom down in a most insulting disrespectful humiliating way. I think it odd that 2 other sisters had called last night both saying mom was perfectly fine and in good spirits then I get email from POA today stating that mom had a meltdown and tried to kill herself last night. Orders were given to hospital not to talk to anyone who calls. Mom may now go into a home for observation and we are all outraged at this hostility and lack of real care. My sister doesnt know I overheard the incident. Confronting her is not a safe option No one can afford an attorney and we need help!

This is a difficult set of circumstances but don't be so quick to contact APS because things don't always work in your favor when they are involved. It is best to see if it can be worked out within the family first, especially if this is the first time that you have heard your sister speak to your mother in this manner. Your sister may be stressed and does not know where to turn. My mother and I were the best of friends we could talk about anything, we confided in each other. However, after she was diagnosed with Alzheimers and vascular dementia that all changed. My husband couldn't understand why I stayed my distance as much as possible (she came to live with us after her diagnosis). One day my mother thought my husband had left home but he was still in the bedroom resting. I asked her a very simple question and it started out well and then she started cursing, yelling and screaming. My husband emerged from the bedroom and said I know this can be handled better than this, she almost jumped out of her skin. She said I thought you were gone and then immediately turned around and went back to her bedroom without saying a word. That wasn't the first time she had done this but it was the first time he heard her. As the disease progressed she didn't care if he heard her or not and he even got a few tongue lashings. I eventually moved my mother into a memory care facility because it was way to much for one person.
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Reply to Grace21
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Yeah there’s absolutely no reason to call APS and no APS assessment is needed. Not to be rude but are people using their thinking caps today? The mother is in the ICU. She is in the hospital where she needs to be and where she will get the help she needs. She’s there because she tried to kill herself. Where do you think she would be if APS came in and determined she was suicidal and needed intervention? In the hospital where she is now, receiving mental health treatment. The POA, if it’s not one of your sisters who went after mom, needs to remove mom from the situation. Your sister(s)/are the problem. let mom get the help she needs for her mental health. It will probably be easier to remove mom from the situation then the sisters.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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I posted earlier and then my electric shut off. Big winds here in S Jersey.

What I had written was at this point APS should not be called. This may have been a one time thing out off frustration. Don't get the Government involved till u have the full story.

Mom is going to be seen by a Psychiatrist. I think he needs to be informed in what you overheard. It may have been a catalyst for Moms attempt. You also need to tell sister you overheard. Maybe she should talk to the Psychiatrist. If being care provider to Mom and POA are too much for her, then maybe she should step down. Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. Seems like other siblings live close by to help Mom or maybe its time for an AL.

This has to be resolved for Moms sake. There should be no secrets. The Dr. can't help Mom if he doesn't know the facts.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I disagree with calling APS. I think this family needs to have a SIT-DOWN and talk this through. If this sister is mean spirited and hot-tempered, then why was she allowed to be her Mother's caregiver in the first place. If this is a caring, loving family - and I suspect they are - then they should work this out together. It's difficult enough.
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Reply to dlpandjep
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Sister is the one that needs help
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Reply to shad250
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Because the situation has reached a point of crisis I agree with the writer who stated Protective Services should do an assessment. It may be that if the daughter who has the primary burden and the physical, mental, and emotional stress of caring for mom 7 days a week is just at the end of the rope. It's also possible that this is her normal personality. If the latter, this should have been evident in earlier years. The daughter needs help, support, and guidance as well. If APS determines that the relationship was abusive then legal actions may need to be taken. I'd suggest calling any elder care attorney's office and asking for a referral to a legal aid assistance program.
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Reply to AginginPLaceLLC
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Don't base your opinion of your sister on one incident or even just this period of her life, unless she has always been this way she may be burned out and in need of your grace. I would be deeply ashamed if anyone ever witnessed some of the things I said and did during my life - I've always had a temper and in my caregiving years like many others in that position I was often pushed beyond my physical and mental capabilities - the difference of course is that my mother didn't attempt to self destruct. Make your priority right now finding appropriate living arrangements and care for your mother apart from your sister.
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Reply to cwillie
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dlpandjep Apr 30, 2020
Bless you cwillie. I always read your comments and appreciate your sound and compassionate advice. There have been times when I lost my temper and said things I regret - and doubt there's a care giver who hasn't. Thank you for sharing your heart and helping me forgive myself. I hope rationalson will consider what you've written.

A very sad and unfortunate situation and sounds like the family needs to step up and make changes so that this won't happen again.
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I'm so sorry for what happened to your mom.  Maybe call Adult Protective Services, and explain all that happened.  They may investigate, help, or refer you to options, hopefully, quickly.  Explain that's it's important you remain anonymous so as not to set off your volatile sister. 

There are attorneys that work pro bono on limited things.  You might Google free legal aid in your area to see if you can find any that may help advise you.
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Reply to lilhelp
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Lymie61 Apr 30, 2020
If they are looking at it as an attempted suicide hopefully Protective Services and or other officials need to be called but even if not it’s the perfect excuse or “cover” if you will for them getting involved. That doesn’t necessarily mean your sister is the villain here, it may just mean she needs more help than she realizes or is willing to ask for so I would make sure she, the hospital, any APS people involved all know that you and your other siblings are ready willing and able to help without making the POA feel threatened or minimized (Sally I know how much more this has probably become, you are doing so much and you shouldn’t have to take that on alone, please tell us what I can do to help you”). Maybe the POA sister knows mom needs to be in a care facility but was fearful you would all fight her and she’s using this opportunity to make it happen, maybe she’s on the fence too, knows it’s time but doesn’t want it to be so she’s afraid her siblings will be able to talk her out of it easily or maybe there is something going on mom doesn’t want you all to know and sister is keeping a promise to mom, are these possibilities?
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