My mother has dementia and lives with my emotionally disturbed brother. What can I do?

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I have known my mother has had memory issues for over a decade. I finally got P.OA. In January, she finally was diagnosed with dementia. My situation is quite a rare one. My mother lives with my brother who has had agoraphobia for 30 years and also has some form of schizophrenia that makes him very angry. For at least 10 years he has stolen her medicine, her petty cash, and eats her meals on wheels. I have called the police many times but she will never admit any of this to anyone. He is pushing 50 and she is 80. He screams at her and did I mention he doesn't lift a finger to help her. Her house is almost hoarding like, very cluttered and smells etc.... I cannot care for her due to my autoimmune disease and other health problems. But, I visit her twice a week and take her anywhere she needs, so she doesn't drive. I do as much as possible but she lives a couple of hours away and the gas money alone is sucking me dry. I have contacted everyone you can think, Adult protection society, and social workers. But she won't complain about my brother and they cannot get in the house or reach her because my brother locks the doors and turns of the phone ringers. I have begged her to go into assisted living for her own sanity, she also has severe mobility issues, plus her mild dementia. Because her house is so cluttered, no one can really do much to help. Every day she gets more emotional but she has chosen this life. She will do anything to protect my brother. I take care of all her finances and do so much, I am becoming more ill by the day and I was told I could go to jail, since this on my part is a form of neglect. I am terrified of being in trouble for not helping my mother enough. She doesn't qualify for Medicaid or any other programs because she has a renter, she is very protective of him and he just takes advantage of her kindness. I do not know what to do. I feel so helpless. She didn't apply for tax exemption and we owe them 25,000 in back taxes, which legal aid couldn't get us out of. The house she lives in is in a trust, which also complicates things even more. What do I do? I have been feeling so alone.

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Children are not responsible for parents debts. If Mom owes taxes, that is on her. It's hard to watch people hit bottom and that is probably what is going to happen. Then let the authorities take over. Don't take her or him into your home. Even if this happens, Mom will probably never learn. Some things you have to just walk away.
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Please stop worrying about going to jail for neglect--that is not going to happen. You have tried everything. The unfortunate thing is that if your mom only has mild dementia, she can refuse to let you use the POA. (And a POA does not make you responsible for her actions.) Legal incompetence is usually a very low threshold. If she knows who the president is, knows her name and birthday--that's about all they care about. You should have a long talk with someone at APS about what you, and they, can and can't do to help. Explain the brother situation thoroughly. Sadly, sometimes there really isn't much you can do when an elderly person refuses offered help. Self-preservation is key here--don't let your own health suffer over that which you cannot control. As for the back taxes--if there is any legal obligation on your part, seek out a tax attorney. You may want to talk to a professional about dealing with your own fears and anxiety about this situation. Sometimes, letting go is the only thing we can do to stay sane. :( My thoughts are with you.
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I think you need a lawyer. Mom owes back taxes. Brother needs to be evicted. He is the abuser, not you. You have reached out and nothing has been done.
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If the police and APS can't get access to help your mother, what makes you believe you could be prosecuted for not being able to do more than they can?

I'm wondering what you wanted the POA for if your mother was clearly not going to permit you to use it?

Maybe you could try a different approach. Focus on your brother's needs. If he's been confined to the house with mental illness since the age of 20, and he's now 50, it isn't likely he'll ever be able to lead an independent life, is it? And your mother must be very afraid of what will become of him once he doesn't have her protection any more.

So, why not see what you can find out about what support might be available for him? Does he have mental health professionals or social workers helping him? It just occurs to me, that if you can get the ball rolling on a care plan for him, your mother might relax enough for you then to be able to help her.
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Probably not IRS taxes but maybe property taxes?
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Is your POA Durable? As her Durable POA, if she is incompetent, you actually MAY have the authority to do many types of things on her behalf that are for her well being. It sounds like her situation may be complicated, so, I 'd get a legal consult with attorneys who handle these type of matters all the time, so you know what the law is and what your options are.

You say she has a renter and that's why she can't get Medicaid. Is the renter your brother? Does he actually pay rent? If he is more harm than help with her, I'd explore eviction as an option. He may be entitled to benefits where he can be somewhere where he can get the help he needs. As your mom progresses with dementia, I'd consider whether it would be feasible for him to be her caretaker. So, I'd figure that out now.

Try to find a firm who has a tax attorney as well, so you can find out the options regarding your mom's tax debt. There are various ways to settle tax debt.

If the distance and your health prevent you from being able to handle her affairs and you think that she is incompetent, I'd seek legal advice on having the court appoint her a Guardian. The Guardian can then make the decisions on her behalf. An attorney who handles these type of cases can explain what evidence is required, the process and costs involved. In some places, if you prevail, your costs can be reimbursed if funds are available.
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I'm wondering who told you that you could go to jail?

Short term: begin documenting everything you do for your mom. Document everything having to do with your brother. Write down whom you've contacted and what the result was. Document the times your brother blocked access to your mom.

Neglect is paying your mom no attention and being indifferent to her situation. You're not being neglectful. You're powerless right now and that can feel like neglect but there's a huge distinction between the two.

When you've contacted APS do you inform them that your mentally ill brother lives there and has refused to allow anyone in to check on your mom? What about the police doing a well-check? The police aren't going to just go away because your brother is lurking behind the curtain waiting for them to leave. Try to get the police over there again.

And again, document everything you do and the outcome.

I see commercials on TV about people owing the IRS a ton of dough and they were able to settle for a much smaller amount with the help of some company, I don't know the name. There's just not 1 company that does this, there are several. That might be something you could look into for your mom. But when you say "we" owe them is that including you too?

Keep sounding the alarm on your mom's behalf. I'll tell you something about your brother. He's terrified that your mom will have to go into a nursing home which will stop his gravy train, that's why he ignores officials who come to check on her.

You might also need some legal advice regarding your mom's house. If she were to need a nursing home she'd have to qualify for Medicaid and the first thing she'd have to do is evict the renter. This is where some sound legal advice comes in.
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