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Every time I try to discuss moving my mother into a care facility or my own home, I am cut short because she is supporting my 54 y/o sister who lives with her, drives her car, spends her money on groceries, etc. The problem is, my mother's dementia is getting worse and she needs help with bathing, mobility, meal preparation, medicine, etc. She won't leave my sister (her "baby"), but my sister will not provide consistent, good care (I suspect she is over-using pain meds and is often asleep). I am the power of attorney (both health and financial) and feel like I need to make a move regardless, but my sister is really good at making me feel guilty. I cannot have my sister in my home. Is it cruel to move my mom against her will?

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I might be tempted to call Adult Protective Services at the least for advice. Explain what you’ve written here, that your
Impaired mother is at risk, living with her drug-addicted daughter who does not care for her properly. You might also use the therapeutic fib and tell Mom that sister will be coming along later.

Before you do anything, make sure you have Durable Power of Attorney so that sister does not continue to live in Mom’s house. You may also want to consult an attorney so that you can legally toss your sister out, sell the house and the car and use the funds for Mom’s care.
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IsntEasy Apr 6, 2019
Actually, you bring up a potential solution. If mom and sis move into an IL apartment, that may solve the issue. It’s not that unusual.
Does sis have any income? If so, it may be enough to cover the second person fee for mom’s IL apartment.
It could be a problem when mom dies. If sis doesn’t inherit enough money to stay, she’d have to move out of IL.
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Do you have POA financial and medical? Without them likely you can't do much.

I agree with seeing a lawyer, reporting to APS, and also contacting your mum's doctor for his(her) advice. As she has dementia, this situation will get more and more dangerous for your mum in several ways, She needs intervention.
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mmcmahon12000 Apr 6, 2019
She already said that she does(both financial and medical). Go back and read the original post.
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Unfortunately this may be one of the situations where a LO has the right to make bad choices. If her dementia is mild and she is still legally competent, your POA won’t help you. Please think carefully before you do anything that she won’t agree with. If APS or some other body can force the issue, that’s fine, but don’t force things yourself if you are likely to be challenged successfully by mother or sister. You could end up with things being much worse.
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mmcmahon12000 Apr 6, 2019
I doubt that as her sister is the one guilt tripping her about their mother. Without the POA, her sister can do nothing to stop OP from moving Mom where she needs to be.
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I believe your sister needs just as much help & guidance as your mom! Is she collecting SSI? Does she work at least p/t? Does sis help take care of your mom? Is mom mobile & able to do ADL? Does mom have her marbles? I’d see an Atty & get financial concerns straightened out. If sis don’t participate in care of mom now, she surely won’t when mom gets worse. If sis is capable, she can get paid for taking care of mom. Hugs 🤗
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what is your plan for your sister? Would she continue to stay in mom’s place? Does she have enough income to pay for the upkeep?
It will be much easier to get mom to move if there is a plan for the daughter she clearly feels responsible for. In the meantime, home care a couple of hours a day may be enough.
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gdaughter Apr 6, 2019
and I wonder if the daughter may qualify for some in-home care as well.
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I am in the exact same situation! For me its my 62 year old head injured brother. Mom (now with dementia) has bankrupted herself over him and does not seem to understand they will both be out on the streets soon if the house isn't sold. Unfortunately I've been told by APS and the PD that renters rights protect my brother and we would need to go through a lengthy eviction process. APS can't help him if he doesn't accept their help. Mom won't kick him out as he would end up homeless. Mom won't agree to sell the house because "what would I do with your brother"? APS, PD, SW all tell me I cant force her to do anything unless I become her guardian. I'm not even her POA at this point. There is simply no money for attorneys and I live in another state an 8 hour drive. Round and round we go. I feel your pain and frustration and wish you luck!
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mmcmahon12000 Apr 6, 2019
You tell your Mom to start taking care of herself without your brother when she says that again. He's an adult, so is she, they both need to be away from eachother as they've formed an unhealthy dependence on eachother. Emphasize to your Mom that without selling her house, she won't have anything to look after herself or anyone else. Then take it from there . Good luck.
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No it's not. Doing so actually protects both you and your mother. And why are you letting your sister guilt trip you over her inability to be independent at age 54?!? If it were me, I'd be slapping her silly and saying GROW UP! She's 54 years old, supposed to be a grown woman so she needs to start acting her age instead of her shoe size! As for your Mom, get her into care a.s.a.p because sooner or later she's going to get hurt under such limited care with your sister. Then the authorities have all the ammunition they need to come after you bc your the POA. I'm not trying to scare you but that's your Mom! Step up and start taking care of her.
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Here’s what we did. We left a calendar with what our expectations were. Brother and sister lived with Mom. If they didn’t initial we had to ask did you feed mom? Did you make sure Mom got a shower? Did Mom brush her teeth? Did mom get her pills? Etc. there was always excuses. The tipping point was walking in with Mom sleeping in her own feces and no sheets on the bed. Because of the “renters” rule of 60 days notice. We gave them 4 months notice. Luckily at the family meeting well before we had Mom on a memory care waitlist and they called with an opening.

Ignore the guilt from the “renter”. You are POA for a reason and were/are trusted.
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Not cruel to move your Mom.
You are doing what you are supposed to do....Looking out for her, let me repeat that HER best interests.
You have a duty to provide care for your Mom, you should not feel guilty. I am guessing this is why YOU were made POA and not your sister. Is there something in the back of your Moms mind that when she made that decision that SHE knew you could do what she could not do?
You have a few options.
If the money is not needed at this time for your Moms move to AL or Memory Care then set up a rental agreement with your sister and rent the house to her. You have to do so using fair market value for the rental. The money to be used for the upkeep of the house any left for your Moms care.
Or
Give notice to your sister that the house will be sold and the money used for Moms care.
either way make sure that it is done with the intent that if you have to apply for Medicaid that any transaction will be looked at under a microscope.
At his point your mom and you are enabling your sister to maintain the lifestyle that she has and there is no incentive for her to change.
You might be wise to contact an Elder Care Attorney just in case it is needed. Depending on what problems your sister might have you may have to become Legal Guardian for your Mom if worse case scenario comes about.
(don't even want to think that you might have to become guardian for your sister as well but that is a whole 'nuther post!)
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Your mom made you POA for a reason. She has trust that you will make the best decisions for her. It does sound as though your sister may not have her best interests at heart. Although you see your mom still caring for her "baby", I'm sure your mom is fully aware that her "baby" couldn't make the decisions as you are capable. She knew what she was doing. You will make the hard, but appropriate and necessary decisions.
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In a word...imo...yes...because it is going against your mother's wishes...and right or wrong in re to your sister, it will cause your mother distress which will make matters worse and could contribute to a worsening of the dementia in addition to some potential worsening due to a change in her long-time environment. If you have POA than get hold of all the funds, give mom an "allowance" and sister will not have mom's funds as much. BUT you may not realize all that your sibling is doing even by being present and a built in alert system many hours of the day. You can arrange for in-home help to assist mom, meals on wheels. And can make it clear for things to continue that sister has to do SOME things to assist. Be careful what you wish for because having mom move in with you may be way more than you bargained for.
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Wow does that ever sound like something I have just gone through. My mom is 85 years old. She has been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment. I live in SC and she lives in PA. Last year during several of our phone calls ....I called her daily...She told me she just wasn't right. That maybe I needed to put her on the AL list...so I did... when I drove up, which is a 12 hour trip... I saw how unable she was to perform her daily activities... was in bed most of the day, was not taking her medication, was very apathetic, did not cook anymore, was unable to balance her checkbook, missed Dr appts...the list goes on. The kicker was she has been a caregiver her whole life...and for the past 15 years had her 38 year old grandson living with her. He has bad mental illness, OCD and anxiety issues..not able to work but was collecting SSI. It was not my mom's house. It was my step sisters and mom had a life estate to live there. So in July after seeing my mom I told her I was putting her in assisted living. A wonderful place where she previously worked. She told me that she couldn't go until her grandson had a place to live. I told her he would never havd the incentive to get a place unless he was made to. He knew he couldn't stay in the house forever. I had POA, and I placed her in the AL facility in her home gown. Her car was also sold. I told my nephew he would have to look for a place to live. This story can get lengthy but he got his counselor to help him complete the apps for Public Housing. In the meantime my mom was calling me every day threatening to walk back to her house...She hated it at AL...She said it wss a nice place but just not for her. In light of this My one brother who lives in NC drove to PA in Oct and packed what we could in his car, and moved her into my house that is owned by my me and my boyfriend. I finally caught wind that an apt wax offerdd to my nephew. This was in Nov. I told him he had to take it. He had the opportunity to take whatever contents from my mom's house to furnish his new apt. Knowing that he can't do anything on his own, I talked to the apt mgr and told her we would pay his first months rent. $225 which included all utilities.
Just so we could hold it for him. We were not able to drive up till end of Jan and we moved him out of the house. The month before he moved he threatened to kill himself. My mom had to live with this kind of talk for 15 years. Also, I do have another brother who lived only 2 miles from my mom, but my mom didn't like anyone coming into the house. She never said it but we all knew it was because he was so protective of her grandson. My brother in PA respected her wishes, which I am not sure that I would have. He did call her every day but that's just not good enough when ones cognitive functions are going downhill. It would have been an awful ending if my mom died while in the house. Her grandson would have been evicted from the house, been homeless as no one would have taken him in as he is hard to Live with. These are tough decisions to make and yes they take a lot of time, effort and work. My mom was priority but something had to be done with the grandson so that my mom wouldn't have to worry about him. I took charge of ghat situation also. Well guess what.. he's in a good place now, the house is being sold next week, and my mom still worries about him. Contact an elder lawyer and get his advice on what he thinks may be the best . Hugs are going to you. I hate you have to go through this. I never in a million years thought I would have to be my mom's caregiver. I love her so much though and she doesn't have the means for AL down here. Much more expensive in PA. There is no help with AL in SC. For now I am ok with her being with us but it does closet you in your house if you can't leave her alone which I cant. I am looking for help. Good luck to you.
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Gdaughter has a point. You mother is probably happy to have someone else in the house even if she isn't getting everything she needs. You could formalize your sister's responsibilities with a care-giver agreement and you could install security cameras to find out how much your sister really is doing. It's easy to make assumptions from the outside. Care facilities just cannot provide what family can.
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The issues in our society we face with mental illness, drug abuse, and declining health in later years are enormous and the lack of resources is abominable.  There is no easy answer.  Finding answers for your mother without finding answers for your sister will be no comfort at all to your mother.  Trust me when I say that she will go down quickly if your sister is not in a good place. 

There is no easy way to say this, but you have two problems to solve, which means that you need to spend time, creativity and ask for help via community resources. 

I would recommend that you keep Adult Protective Services out of the mix; the government is not great at solving problems and caring, but they are great with dictating the rules. Neither do they work and play well with others. With POA, you can already dictate the rules; you just don't want the guilt associated with it.  And until you come up with the best possible solution, you will feel guilty. 

That means starting with an elder care attorney for starters and taking a good look at the finances.  What can your mother afford?  Does your sister work?  Can she work?  Is caregiving her sole job?  Do you or other family members help? Is your sister mentally ill, drug-addicted, or both?  Does she see a counselor or psychiatrist?  It's possible that needs real help herself.  If you have performed any caregiving for an extended period of time, you know what it can do to someone. It can cause depression and act as a catalyst for alcohol or drug abuse. It can eradicate all the joy of life.  It's always more complicated than that, and your sister probably has a pattern of using others to avoid taking responsibility for her own needs, but her problems aren't going to go away by themselves.   

You need to dig in and get some real answers so that you know what your options are.  I'm so sorry; this is incredibly hard, and none of us are equipped to deal with it.  We have to advocate for anyone in our families who is vulnerable and not able to fend for themselves, even if it's against someone in our own family.
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anoni0000 Apr 7, 2019
Oh, boy, can protective services ever mess things up...I could tell you a horror story
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It’s interesting that you have power of attorney while your sister who lives there does not. I’d say that you are in charge and you need to do what you think is best. Yes. Do it.
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I second talking to an attorney, who will be able to advise you as to how to properly utilize the POA to make decisions in your mom's best interest. If mom has a dementia diagnosis, you should be able to activate the POA, but I'd check with the attorney before making any moves.

It does sound like your mom needs assisted living, to include medication management. If she is not able to perform her ADLs and is not taking her meds properly, the situation she is currently in is a danger to her health. Not to mention, it sounds like she is being financially exploited by your sister.

Your sister will continue to try to make you feel guilty because her meal ticket is about to get cut off. I wouldn't let her guilt tripping get to you. As long as you are doing what is best for your mom, you don't have anything to feel guilty for.

As mentioned by another poster, you can also discuss with the attorney the possibility of a rental agreement should allowing your sister to continue to live in the home be a possibility agreed upon by you and your sister, provided she pays rent and is responsible for utilities, her own bills, etc. The rental income, however, may affect your mom's Medicaid application should she need to apply, so I'd be sure and ask about how to properly account for that as well. Sister should not have access to your mom's bank accounts if you are the POA.
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That's a real concern to have your mother living with your sister, who is abusing medication. Her cycle of drug abuse won't stop unless she seeks help. Don't let your sister play the guilt card. It's all about mom's care. Time for the 54 year old "baby" sis to seek help.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Your sister has no right to make you feel guilty! She is the one who should feel guilty for sponging off your mom yet not helping her out. A woman I know was living with her mom and supposed to be helping her...she was too lazy to do anything. Her siblings got together and made her buy the house and took the mom out to assisted living. This would only work if sister has a job though and willingly pays for the house. This woman was too lazy to move so she reluctantly agreed to buy the house as moving was her only alternative and packing all those things was too much for her.
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I also wanted to add, if there is drug abuse that could not end well. My husband's sister was this way living with MIL, supposed to be caring for her but doing drugs in her room instead. Made up story she was too "ill" with an inherited disease to work, claiming the disease came from MIL's side to inspire pity, guilt, and lots of cash and cars given. We found out about the cash later. Sister in law could do no wrong in MIL's eyes. MIL would get angry if anyone so much as said anything against SIL Then one day SIL overdosed and now MIL is alone and my husband is now her sole caregiver. All this after we went through 17 years of caring for my mom, the last two very rough.
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My god, YOU should not feel guilty. Your mother should be the one to feel guilty for enabling your sister and making it difficult for you. You have the Power of Attorney. Do something at once to separate your mother and your sister - your sister needs to stand on her own feet and contribute. Your mother needs help and that means you have to use your legal means to move her somewhere. Given the circumstances, you have the power - now use it to move your mother - end of statement. And just maybe then your sister will realize what she once had is gone and will grow up. And if she doesn't, and makes your life hell, walk away from your sister. She doesn't deserve you.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Mom needs to be moved for her own wellbeing and safety. Take car and sell it before telling sister what is in the works, remove valuables from the home too, guarantee sis will sell them to support her drug addiction. Go thru everything in the home, gather important papers, bank statements, blank checks, credit card statements etc. Take to your house. Does mom own her home? Hard part will be evicting sis or getting her to pay fair market rent on property. There are children who care about and take care of parents, and there are those that exploit the situation, take what they want due to their entitlement attitude, and never help. You main concern is mom, tell sis to go to rehab, apply for assistance, grow up, and start behaving like an adult by supporting herself. Things to check on before taking action, did mom put sis on bank accounts? If so you may need to straighten it out either by closing it and opening new one "for benefit of mom" with you as signer. Did mom put sis on house deed? Car title? Credit cards? If on house or car, not much you can do unless you can prove mom was not able to make these decisions. May need to speak to lawyer about this. House deed can be researched via county recorder office. Do not approach sis about anything as far as moving mom until you do your homework and due diligence. 2 birds with 1 stone, you verify all info before acting, avoiding potential problems, you are able to help and protect mom to the best of your ability. Good luck, remember sis is not going to be happy, you are taking away her meal ticket.
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