My Mother (84) fell recently and It's becoming a frequent occurrence. Any advice?

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My sister, an LPN lives with her and the will states she is the legal medical advisor. My father died 5 years ago, the will keeps being revised. In the original will everything was divided equally between the 4 children, now my sister is inheirting everything. After my mom's fall, my sister opted to treat her at home, with pain meds, and oxygen .. I live out of state. I received an e-mail a week after the fall from my sister, because my brother told her too. (He meant for her to tell me about the fall and the will changes) My sister took my mom to family doctor after a week; sent me the e-mail about the fall (only) but they had good news; the x-rays showed no broken bones? I sent her an e-mail asking why she waited a week, she said mom didn't want to go to ER and that she had to respect her wishes!! My Mom fell 4 years ago while I was there visiting and she didn't want to go to ER then either. I loaded her up into the car, and took her anyway. She needed alot of stitches in her head, and they kept her overnight for observation. I also asked my siter in that e-mail if the doctor (small rural town) had requested an MRI. The MRI done when I was there shows she had been having mini strokes" No,MRI was ordered only PT. " I'm thinking my sister does not want a repeat MRI ,because I'm sure she actually does know enough, that it would probably void all the new wills. Questions I have are: 1. What are laws regarding taking an elderly parent to ER against their will? I've also thought of talking to my mom's doctor and telling her my sister gave her pain pills (from who knows where?) and oxygen? and waited a week for her to be seen. I would also be able to express my concerns to her about my mom's mental stability. My mother was very hostile and agressive with me when I spoke with her on the phone. I'm sure she thought I knew about the will changes from the e-mail my sister sent ,when I was simply calling to talk about her fall and to see how she was doing.( I didn't know anything about new changes). I'm very upset with lots of things...my mom's treatment towards me, (which started after my father died. My mom always thought I loved him more) . Her anger and hostility intensified when my sister moved in to her house, My sister whom is over 50, never liked me because in her words I was thinner, prettier and people liked me better. I have never done or said anything bad to her. The last time I was visiting my mom, my sister got so angry with me, she grabed me by my throat and was shaking me up and down. I left not saying anything to her, The next day in front of my mom, I said in a regular voice, to my sister, if you do that to me again, I will call the police. My mom, said" You would do that to your own sister"? I know if I talk with her doctor, social workers etc. will become involved, with the possibility of my sister losing her job. I think there is the potential of her killing my mother, ( not intentionally) but due to an over elaluation of her knowledge,(in my opinion.) My mom wants to stay in her home, and obviously is happy with her care and the caretaker. That would all change I'm sure if I( talked with her doctor) In the call with my mother she said I had lots of wrong information, no, she didn't buy my sister a car ( butmy sisters e-mail , she said she paid her back?) she never co-signed a $40,000 loan for my sister to pay back her credit card debt, but then she did remember the back calling her about the money? My 85 y/o mother just finished paying off her loan. No, she never paid off the mortgage of the sisters boyfriends property when it was going into foreclosure(she was living with him, there was never any paperwork) My mother told me we were all treated the same in the will, ( None of these things are true.) All her anger was being directed at my brother who owes her over $100,000. She was yelling at me, like it was my fault"I'll never see any of that money
" In my sisters second e-mail "they are concerned about running out of money" My older brother who lives near them, saw my sisters name on the bank deposit slip on my moms table. My sister is only the health advisor? That should be the executor (the other brother) right? I sent my mom an e-mail requesting that my name be completely taken out of the will ( I think there are some stocks in my name.I don't know because I've never seen it) I wrote I do not want anything from her, and all I had ever wanted was just her love. Of course,.
I've heard nothing from my mom. Meanwhile my older brother said the holy spirit visited him, and said my mother would die soon) The same thing happened before my father past away? Should I just let whatever is going to happen, happen? Neither of my brothers are talking with my mom. There isn't really very much medically wrong with my mom. It does bother me that the sister talks so much to her about dying and her medications,etc.and then that's what my mom has to think about when she is home alone all day. I don't think that is very healthy. What should I do?

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Wonderful answers here - many different viewpoints, each with validity from the information that we have.

I agree that it's easy to point fingers when you aren't on the scene, but I also understand that it's hard for someone away from the situation if they worry about possible mistreatment of the loved one. Facts are hard to come by because of different viewpoints.

You may have to just step back, contact your mom when you can, and if you have actual proof of mistreatment - financial or physical/emotional - then call adult protective services and let the system do what it does.

None of this is easy for anyone. Counseling may help you handle it better and decide whether or not you should take action.

Please update us when you can.
Carol
Deep breath.

Okay.

Your mother is 85. If the MRI showed that she is having repeated mini-strokes I would interpret that to mean that she probably has vascular dementia. Inform yourself about it.

Over a period of about three years, my mother became an increasing falls risk. As it was, we were frequent flyers at our local ER; if I'd taken her there every time she'd fallen we'd have had to pay rent. Legally, unless your mother has been certified as lacking capacity, your mother has the final say on whether or not she accepts medical treatment. Ethically, even if her capacity is in doubt her wishes should still be consulted and should only be overruled if it is clearly necessary. Deciding when it is necessary is of course the tricky bit. It's a judgement call that depends on knowing your mother, knowing the risks and weighing the pros and cons. You have to be there, so to speak. You have to know what you're doing. Reckon you qualify, do you?

Medically: to justify an MRI or any other investigation, there has to be a point. What do you imagine a repeat MRI would tell your mother's doctor that he doesn't already know? Here's an idea: maybe he didn't order this expensive investigation because he didn't think it useful or necessary to irradiate your mother's head. Or, if you prefer, maybe he's in cahoots with your sister to make sure she gets all the money heh heh heh...

Actually, you know what, I don't want to go on about it. You're not there, you're not involved, you say you're concerned only about your mother's health and then say there's nothing much wrong with her medically via saying that your sister informs you only reluctantly when there's an incident and having based this entire thread (which is all about money) on the pretext that you're concerned about increasingly frequent falls - in brief, what do you know about it? You know nothing - or rather you know just enough to hide in the trees, snipe at your sister and belittle her abilities which, by the way, have kept your mother safe and comfortable at home for five years.

You have no idea of the amount of work that your sister is undertaking. Either help, or shove off out of it. I didn't get to take my SIL warmly by the throat but my God I've never been closer to punching anybody in the face. After reading your post, I can only conclude that you must be even more of a thorn in your sister's flesh than my SIL was in mine, and my heart goes out to her.

An executor is a person responsible for carrying out a will after a person's death. Your mother's money while she is alive, if she is unable to manage it herself, should be handled by somebody with power of attorney. That could be your brother, but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with its being your sister if your mother authorises her to do it; and if you're no more reliably informed about your mother's finances than you seem to be about her health care then perhaps you had better keep out of it. Clearly, what is certain is that your mother didn't choose you for the job; which means it's none of your business.

And your mother's will is also none of your damned business until after her death. If you enjoy wasting money you can always challenge its validity on her passing.

Yeah, I'm often tempted to throttle people who have never done or said anything bad too… Wish I'd been a fly on the wall when that scene played.
Ok, here is my thoughts. I think I am the "bad" sister in this scenerio. My mother is elderly, 93, and lives in her house. I am on all her bank accounts, drive her car, basically take care of her.

My younger sister, much like the one in the first post, absolutely believes that I am taking advantage of our mother, that I have directed what she put in the will (I've read the will - she left odd, random things to each of us 5 children - I foresee trouble ahead when this will is read, but that's what Mom decreed), that I am not concerned about her medical condition, that Mom "just sits in the house all day and never gets to go anywhere", and on and on. I think for adult children who aren't present and rarely visit, and only gather their information from chance remarks or random emails, that the caregiver gets a very bad rap. I do everything I can for our mother's welfare, both physical, mental, and financial - I am not 'taking' anything, money or material wise - I wish I could get my younger sister to see that.
I would remove myself from all of this drama and just visit my mother as often as I could. If she is being mistreated report it. Don't worry about her attitude towards you or why she has one. There is really no way of knowing. Just make sure she's safe and taken care of.
It is obvious the two of them do not want your input, and if your sister has power of attorney and medical power of attorney, then you cannot talk with your mother's doctor or anyone else without her permission. It sounds like you are more angry about the change of the Will and being excluded. If your mother thinks you loved your father more than she, then that's what happened in her mind. Wish them well, keep yourself safe, and let all the money issues die.
In the interests of constructive discussion…

I must say you're remarkably au fait with your mother's routine. Considering that you are in no way included in it. Sorry, that's not constructive. I'll start again.

Where are you getting your information?
What changes to your mother's care do you feel would benefit your mother?
Do you have any concrete reasons to believe that your mother's health and long term prognosis are at risk through failings on your sister's part?
What improvements to your relationships with a) your mother and b) your sister would you like to see happen?

One thing I can explain, and I'll also take the opportunity to apologise to you for responding angrily to your post instead of reflecting first and collecting myself: why everyone is being so harsh and critical. There is a phenomenon known in caregiving circles as "The Seagull" - the person who flies in, makes a heck of a row, craps all over everything and then flies off again. They're not popular with the actual caregivers. That's why.
Leastfavorite, Reading your note I extracted what seem to be the key questions and points:
"What are laws regarding taking an elderly parent to ER against their will?" Probably no criminal law would apply as you are a direct descendant trying to do the right thing. Civil law might allow the person in control of her medical care to try and take you to court, but it's iffy.
"I've also thought of talking to my mom's doctor." You are not the medical care surrogate for your Mom, but you can always offer your input to the doctor. Do not expect him/her to respond with any information as privacy rules prevent them from commenting on your input. Fax them the information you think they need to know if you think you must do so. However, you anticipate causing problems for your sister and I doubt that would be the case. You will probably just be categorized as a trouble-maker.
"I'll never see any of that money." I certainly agree with that, and the money topic, when mixed with fighting with your sister, makes it appear you are money-hungry.
"I sent my mom an e-mail requesting that my name be completely taken out of the will." Best to leave the will alone. You won't get any money, so best to just refuse to think about it anymore.
"Should I just let whatever is going to happen, happen?" Absolutely.
"What should I do?" Send Mom cheerful greeting cards with just your signature, no comments. Wait for her to call you. Find other things to do and worry about. Consider volunteering for seniors or homeless animals near your home where your concern and compassion will be more welcome.
I am sympathetic to the caregiver here. She is probably doing a good job. It is so easy to criticize from afar- my siblings all think I am taking advantage of my Mom - she is 91 and thrilled to be home and cared for. My siblings all truly believe she should be in nursing home for various reasons.

We have nurses come here on a regular basis, my Mom;s blood pressure is down to normal, her edema is coming down, I take her to doctors appointments and also to lunch with her friends which she loves. I read to her alot and fix nutritious meals, drive her everywhere, do all the housework. She is very happy with our situation and my siblings are furious.

Seems to be a common situation and my heart goes out to the caregiver. I agree with most of the statements so far supporting the caregiver. Sorry.
Oh incidentally , and because yesterday was 'one of those days' anyone who thinks that your sister is 'just giving her a protein shake' has missed the point if they share a home. My mother is demanding in the extreme and if your mother has had alzheimers meds for 5 years chances are she is in the moderate to severe stages of alzheimers or certainly heading that way. That means that she will be very demanding of your sister's time and time is precious when you go to work - you need 'me time' and I will lay odds your sister isn't getting any.

When I say put up or shut up I don't mean it offensively at all .....it is an expression. I gave my opinion earlier and I stand by it. If I THOUGHT a relative of mine was being abused or was at risk I would consult with APS and express my concerns. There is no question of should I? Why would you be wondering what to do - it is clear.

We also use another expression better to be safe than to be sorry. Say to APS - I may be worrying unnecessarily BUT ...and express your concerns. AND DIARY that you have done so - if ever you need proof you have acted appropriately you will then be able to show you acted in good faith. It will however destroy the familial relationships you may have but you have to understand that that may happen, and probably will happen. It should not be part of the decision making process however.

Even if they are unfounded as I said previously , to do nothing is, of itself, neglect. So either contact them and express your concerns or let it go. You are the one who has to live with the consequences if there is abuse going on , not anyone else and certainly not us.

So YOU have to make a decision, do you physically visit and assess the situation which you are NOT qualified to do incidentally because you are too close to the situation familial speaking or...... do you let the professionals, who are independent and removed from the emotional attributes of this issue, do their job and assess the situation. If they go in - and they find all to be well, then your mind will be at rest, if they find abuse then they will act you can rest assured.

The process is simple
1 Why do I think that there is abuse?
List reasons
2 Why do I think Mum is at risk?
List reasons
3 Is there any information to support my beliefs?
List support
4 What emotional baggage am I importing
List baggage and be honest
5 From the information I have gathered can I make an unemotional assessment?

If yes, go for it, if not, consult someone who can i.e. APS





As the sibling who did the most care, yet was the target of constant criticism from those watching from the distance, I speak with some authority on this. It is hard enough to care for an aging parent without the added stress of sibling wars. Take 2-3 weeks off your job, go there and do some 24/7 care so your sister has some relief. Then you will also be in a position to better determine your Mother's needs, and the legal/financial setup. It is a shame that so much is focused right now on how the money is being divided amongst the kids, not caring what is left. Your mother is going to very much need any savings if her mental and physical health deteriorate into needing specialized nursing care. Take some time off, go there, spend some real quality time caring and observing. Again parents quite often get snappy with their adult children, it is what it is. But make no mistake, she know you are there for her and appreciates the company. You only have this opportunity once, when she is gone, you will be torn with regrets if you don't at least take the time and try to help right there by her side. Good advice on seeing a counselor, many Senior Services Centers have free counseling for caregivers of aging parents.

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