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I have two siblings who both live out of state. My brother still lives in our home town in PA. My sister is in Texas. My mom and I are in Florida.


I've mentioned here that I was starting to resent my siblings because neither of them have offered me any support since my mom moved here last Oct. Prior to last week I had only heard from them 3 times total. Last week I had a very emotional conversation with both of them and couldn't even hold back my tears when saying how hurt I was that they have not bothered to see how I've been doing going through all of this with our mom. Since then my sister has stepped up considerably and was also very supportive on the call. My brother on the other hand had a defensive reaction and I didn't hear from him again, until yesterday.


My mom called him for some help with her online banking which she has connected to Quicken, a tool she has used for many years. She kept locking herself out because she couldn't remember her passwords. I tried to fix it and in fact did fix it but she screwed it up again. So she decided to call my brother because he works in the computer field and can log onto her computer remotely. He spent a few hours on her computer and on the phone with her trying to fix the issue, but my mom wasn't understanding him and still kept messing it up, so it never did get fixed and now she is waiting for a new pin number from the bank to arrive in the mail. My brother got so frustrated with her he told her- Somebody needs to start paying your bills! - To which my mom replied- That's never going to happen!


So my brother calls me and was in a rage! He went on and on about how much time it took him and he lost work hours and she couldn't understand anything. In an attempt to calm him down I told him that next Tues we would be seeing a doctor who would be going over my mom's neuro-psych eval (which wasn't good) and the doctor was going to tell my mom a DPOA is needed. My brother asks- With who? And I said -- me. And he said - I'll do it. I replied - I have to do it, she lives here now, it's the practical thing to do because I will have to pay for her things here.


He went off! Screaming at me not to call him again and complain that I do everything.... it was bizarre. I told him I did not complain to him that I did everything, I was hurt by lack of personal support. He continued to rage anyway- saying he was never "consulted" when she moved here. I had to hang up due to his screaming and then he called back.


The conversation then turned to my mom's cabin that is about an hour from where he lives in PA. My mom has plans to go there the end of May. He resents that he will have to check on her frequently although she also has a best friend who lives close to her cottage.


I told him, this will be her last trip. All you have to do is help her sell the cottage (there is already a person who wants to buy it) and her car up there, and to pack up her personal things, and then she will be back here in FL for the rest of her life. I said she probably won't be up there more than a month or two at the most.


That wasn't good enough. He continued to rage and was barely making sense. Saying things like she should have moved next door to him, and he had no part in "the decision". I told him it was SOLELY my mom's decision to move here, and I went along with what SHE WANTED.


He then started making bizarre comments about how he lives paycheck to paycheck and doesn't have the money we do (meaning me and my sister) so he can't "move to Florida"... I couldn't take the yelling anymore so I hung up again.


All of my brother's problems are the result of his poor choices. He's been in prison, jail several times, multiple failed marriages.


I have this creepy feeling that he wants to control my mother's money for his own benefit. I also think he is angry her assets and money may have to go for advanced care and he won't get any inheritance. I'm now worried he will trick her into giving him DPOA in May.

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I'd like to chime in here on the brother making bad choices issue. Could he be taking your conversations the wrong way? He's been in prison and jail and has had divorces. This is much like my youngest son and brother, though they haven't ever been in prison for their "choices". It's the getting angry during conversations that caught my attention in your question. He might be overwhelmed with getting his life together and truly can't deal with more. Please don't bring up your brother's issues with the lawyer when you get the POA. You can have secondary, I think, if your mother insists on him having it, but really you should have it, since you look after her most of the time. My brother has POA and that's fine because we get along and he lives close, but the distance would make things difficult for you. Could you send emails instead of talking to your brother so he can digest before reacting?
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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Hugs, ExPip, you most certainly do deserve a break and I really hope you didn't think I don't understand that.

I too have been yelled at and hung up on by my brother, left holding the phone with a bemused expression on my face and no idea what I'd said to cause such outraged offence, so I do sympathise with that too.

I think the gist was that I was making my nephew feel guilty. I had sent an email cc'd to all grandchildren to let them know their granny would be in town if they wanted to drop in to see her.

I'm pretty sure that wasn't what was really upsetting him, though. But this was all a long time ago now and I have done all the caring about it that I am ever going to do. Gosh that feels good to say! This too will pass :)

Now then. The person responsible for this state of affairs is not you, not your sister and not your brother. It is your mother. Not because she is evilly manipulating all of you, but because she has not sorted herself out previously and the resulting frustration and donkey work are afflicting everyone and *worst of all* making you tread on one another.

That's never going to happen.
I'm fine.
I use online banking as I always have.
"All you have to do is..."

If ever the three of you needed a united front it is now.
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I would be caregiver trying to influence the lawyer by bringing up your brothers personal life. It is entirely up to your mother to choose a POA. There should be no need for you to go in and try to convince an attorney if anything if your mom is competent enough to assign a POA.
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worriedinCali May 3, 2019
Sorry that should I say “careful” not caregiver.
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I was kind of on your side until i saw the list you gave brother "all he has to do is sell her cabin and her car and pack up her personal things" plus check on her when she lives an hour from him. This is not little stuff. You need to ASK brother if he is willing to do this not TELL him. If he doesn't want to - then hire someone.

You seem frustrated that your siblings aren't helping with your mom but are wanting help on your terms with the list you want to give them. I'm not sure you can have it both ways.
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ExhaustedPiper May 3, 2019
You must have missed my post where I said I have not tasked my brother with anything! These are expectations that my mother has of him. He is free to tell HER no.

If he does, my sister will pick up the slack.
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You need to get the POA now. Mom is in her early stages but if she declines fast, then u will not be able to get it.

I just read that a felon can be a POA if he has turned his life around. You are right that you are the closer one so u should have it. If Mom says something about brother having it, explain to the lawyer that with several jail times and failed marriages, poor choices you don't feel he should have it.

When you get Moms diagnosis, ask the doctor to sit in front of her, look her in the eye and tell her what she has. Don't allow him to leave it up to you. She may not believe you but may a doctor.

I also think the online banking is not a good thing. Maybe better going back to checks.
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Isthisrealyreal May 3, 2019
Quicken is a bookkeeping program. Like a digital check book and general ledger.

Paying bills out of it is easier then writing a check, especially for someone that has used it for a long time.
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It isn't that I don't sympathise with you.

But I have been first line IT telephone support for a parent - anyone who knows me would see the irony of this - and I cannot help sympathising with your brother too. Tears before bedtime, every time.

Look. You had the conversation with both siblings saying, quite rightly, that you could do with a little more help round here. I'm very pleased that your sister responded so positively, and I hope that continues.

One thing your brother can do is deal with anything online. But to do that, he has to have the necessary authorisations. You don't fancy that because he might be scheming. So on the one hand you say "help" and on the other you say "bog off."

The problem you've given him to solve is: do more to help mother and support sister.

This particular problem, though, is not the result of his choices, poor or otherwise. It is the result of your mother's choice to move far away, and of your choice to support her, and of both of your choices that she should make this farewell trip to the cottage. Which includes a to do list that you have volunteered him for.

If you want him to butt out, fine. If you want him to help, fine. But don't make plans in which he has no say, make demands, make them harder than he thinks they need to be, stress him out, make him feel guilty, and blame him all at the same time.

Would it be impossible for you to travel with your mother when she goes back to PA later this month?
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ExhaustedPiper May 3, 2019
I should have been more clear, I have not tasked my brother to do anything. It's my mother that will be expecting his help at the cabin. If he doesn't want to help her he can tell her that.

No, I'm not traveling back to PA with her. My sister is facilitating all the travel and also volunteered to talk to her friends/neighbors there for frequent check ins and if my mom needs help from my brother and he refuses then she will go there to assist with selling the cottage.

I'll be taking a MUCH NEEDED break.
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