Can my POA brother place restrictions on my visits or outings with my Mom? - AgingCare.com

Can my POA brother place restrictions on my visits or outings with my Mom?

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Mom was put in a nursing home back in 2010, 6 years after dad passed away. They has been a lot of sibling dissention since and is getting worse. Mom as been at this nursing home for a little over 2. I am 5 hours away and don't get to see her as much as I'd like. The brothers live close and the youngest has POA and has made noises about me at the home. We stopped talking as it never leads to anything about the topic at hand, Mom, The brothers do not know what Mom needs usually and she and I get along great so she leans on me for support, but there is a limit to what I can really do. She has asked to be takent to her house, which has not been lived in for 4 years now, so my oldest daughter, who would so anything for her, took her to see her house. She was not happy with the lack of maintainence on the yard, shrubs and trees. Needless to say, the brothers have told her that the septic system and water lined are in need of repair and they are not doing anyhing about it. So all that made her very upset. Now, today, oldest brother, who has been a bully all of his life, writes this daughter and threatens her that he will tell them at the nursing home that she nor I will be able to take her out. He is not POA but could convince brother with it to do this, I fear. Can this be done? His threat was if we did again, but I also told this brother that ' you dont; have as much power as you think you have to keep us away', a taunt now that I pray won't /can't occur. Thoughts on this?? Can I be stopped from taking her out or seeing her. She is in a Mediacre nuersing home in Texas.

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Your question was "Can my POA brother place restrictions on my visits?"

The answer is yes, very probably he could. That doesn't mean he is always right or that he has never made a mistake in caregiving or that restricting you would be a good thing. But he has POA and he could do that. For your mother's sake as well as for your own, I think you want to avoid that. I think you want to cooperate with your brother. Perhaps propose the you give him a list of the outings you might take Mom on, for his information. If he feels like you are respecting his authority maybe you'll have more peace.

I am very glad for you that your mother's dementia is mild so far, and that she is healthy. Dementia is a progressive disease which means it gets worse. I'm sorry if I sounded snarky in saying it, but I truly believe that the best thing you can do for yourself and your mother is develop a better understanding of dementia. You did that about UTIs ... good for you! Now expand your knowledge of dementia symptoms and behaviors.
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A word of caution. Do NOT take them back to the house. It stirs up a real hornet's nest. She will obsess and cry for days. Been there, had some helpful relatives do that and it really sent mom into orbit.
It's a terrible tease for the patient, to show them something they can no longer have, and see it so changed really rips their heart out.
Even if it had been fixed up, it still would not be the same for her, she would still be upset that the past was altered in her mind..
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Thank you b8alou for replying and for your apology. I was a bit caught off guard by some if the responses I was getting, Mom gets around and has a pretty sound mind for all she has been thru, thank God. Back when she was first put in a nursing home it looked bleak. She hardly knew what was going on and scared. After Dad passed in '04 she was getting along pretty good in by herslf and taking care of business at home. I would call her and try to visit her as much as I could. So I knew she had a history of UTI's, somethignI used to have more of..anyway..she had one and stopped taking her antibiotic. Well she started hallucinating, seeing us as kids climbing out the locked windows and such!! I would hear this on the phone and be freaked out!! Called my brother who lived close to her-I am 5 hrs away- and he checked in on her. That passed then some time after that, Mom backed itno someones fence and they took away her keys. She went to the hospital for tests and there was pre-determination of Alz. The patch did no good because what the underlying issue was was the untreated, rampant UTI as was discovered after some time. Then brother moved Mom into his house and started her on other mediaction that realy made her act erratic and then was told to increase it. Turned Mom into a zombie!! Drooling and could barely get around..I cried when I left her that day!! Neices who saw her knew something was not right.. and come to find out, it was the medication doing that to her. The dr changed her medication and lo and behold she was more herself and knew everybody again. She stayed in her bed all the time at the first nursing home. I beleive she was so depressed at being in this situation and she was getting shunned by a lot of family members to make matters worse..All this going on and I am so far away. Her sister tried to see Mom and was very concerned and the brothers blocked her from all of that. Mom and her sister had been getting thier relationship back on track and was very concerned for Mom. I was made NOT to let her sister know where or how Mom was. I followed orders that I now regret. Mom was sooo hurt that she could not see her sister, per my brothers orders..Now her sister is dead and I feel horrible that I was made to ignore her. Anyway, she eventually went into assisted living and was doing much better with that. Had a lot of friends there..then the UTI's flared up again and they asked that Mom be moved itnto a nursing home. Another move...She had 2 broken legs in the middle of all of that in another nursing home..Daughter who is a social worker says these kind of moves on the elderly is very hard on them, She had worked at a nursing home. To shorten up my already long story Mom is doing much better lately. I have said how clear our conversations and her letters are..daughter who hasnt seen her in a while and read a letter from her that she had sent as a birthday card to me! (She writes me a lot btw.) She said from reading it you couldn't tell there was anything wrong with her.
As you stated about not putting problems out to her with no ending, that is what I don't do.The brothers told Mom about the broken condition of the house.and Now I have no answer for her..I hear about her sleepless night because she has no more control over anything. She was thinkful to see her house and a neighbor brought her some roses from Mom's house and told her that her sons were going to mow her yard. She felt much better after that. Sadly, the brothers and my sister have a lot old issues and every time we talk it turns bad. They wouldn;t listento me about anything,,I knew Mom had the bad UITs that were making it seem like she was demented. I did a lot of research on that and the drs agreed that that di cause her a lot of problms. And as I have said, I know mom has some dementia, but all I can say is she is doing very well, The brothers had said back when she was going thru the beginnings of this, that she woudl outlive us all,,Oh, and she has had open-heart surgey back before all this happened,
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If I came across as snarky, I truly apologize. I don't have POA for my mom for finances and all three of us kids have medical POA. Our Mom is now 91, in a NH. Post stroke, post hip fracture, CHF, aphasia, pleural effusion and 4 bouts of pneumonia since January.

Since she was about 85, I realized that my mother was becoming increasingly anxious about everything and at the time, I made up a maxim which I communicated to my brothers, my kids and extended family. NEVER TELL MOM A STORY WITH NO ENDING. In other words, don't tell you have a symptom and are going for tests. Don't tell her that she may need a new sewer line. Don't tell her that the archdiocese might close her local church. Only tell her things that have closure built in. If you have any influence over your brothers, you might get them to think about this. Of course, that WOULD require THEM to think like grownups! ( that was snarkiness!)
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A lot of the feedback from my question all are well-intentioned and somewhat snarky, will take that with a grain of salt, and from my take on it all, some of you probably have POA and have had to deal with their siblings or other family members when I comes to not being in the best interest of the patient. If us 4 kids got along before dad's death 10 years ago, nasty sisters in law too, this might be easier to manage. What I DO know what is upsetting her are my brothers,not ME, one with POA telling her that the house needs about $6000 in repairs and it's not getting repaired, (know now why after messaging other brother on the subject) sleepless nights she is having over that. Ever since they told her about it, when I call her that is all she wants to talk about and knowing that she ca't do anything about it, really gets to her. So spend a lot of phone time trying to calm her down about it. So is that in the best interest of her with her aware of a bad situation and hands tied, and my daughter did the wrong thing in letting her see the outside of her house?? REALLY?? Oh, and neigher brother that live near her have been to see her in over a month and JUST did find out after Mom finally called him, that she was taken to her house and it had been a FULL month since.. Just because one has POA he doesn;t mean he is doing all the right things for her and in her best interest. I was living hnear her when the suggstion of her changing POA to me was discussed btw...Long distance now certainly would not be working. He overmedicated her when she was staying at their house at the beginnig of our odessey, until older brother and wife stepped in and then got the correct care and the right medication for her. Yes granddaughter was well-intentioned and was trying to please her grandmother.. I will not berate her for that. Mom thanked her for taking her. And no one is thiking of taking her back there. She is not confused as to which 'home' she is speaking of, which one of you suggested, which is the house her and dad spent over 40 years together in about 5 miles from the nursing home, not her childhood home that she and I have talked about. She knows the differnece. My visits with my Mom do not upset her. She was upset and she and shared a good cry over it being the 10th anniversay of dad's passing. She shared that with me. So am I wrong for that as well?? She and I have always been close. I sit and talk with her and may take her out to eat once in a while. I call her I DO know full well that my mother has dementia. No I do not see her a lot, but I do get detailed letters from her that are cognisent and clear, and I and we have lots of clear conversations and I am totally happy about that that we have those times. I DO know my Mom! That's the good
part. I am not ignorant on the subject as some of you have suggested. She does have her bad days. She is not bed-ridden and is very active.
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susie, your intentions are wonderful. Your heart is in the right place. Gold stars for motives.

I do not trust your judgment of your brothers or your perception of what is best for your mother now because your mother has been diagnosed with dementia, and you do not understand what that means. Not your fault. Nobody is born knowing about dementia and most of us haven't learned about it at school. But unless you are willing to educate yourself about it you need some guidance. Your brothers may be jerks in how they try to provide some guidance or at least try to protect your mother from your well-intented ignorance, but the POA really has a responsibility to do that.

My husband lived with dementia for 10 years. He could often have perfectly lucid and normal conversations. But there were also times he saw things no one else saw. There was a time when he sincerely thought he was an airplane. He remembered his school bus driver from childhood (he was 82 at the time), knew his name, his normal route, that he gave each kid something for Christmas, etc. But he couldn't remember if he'd eaten lunch or not. My mother, in her 90s now, remembers things from my childhood but doesn't always remember that my husband died two years ago. Being able to remember the past is absolutely no evidence that a person doesn't have dementia.

Your mother wanted "closure" and that does sound reasonable. But a person with dementia is losing her ability to reason and must depend on those who love her and care for her to do the reasoning about what is in her best interest.

I don't mean to criticize your lack of understanding of dementia. Each of us caregivers of loved ones with this hideous disease started out knowing very little about it. I just know that being an effective caregiver for someone with the disease requires learning about the symptoms, behaviors, and impairments that go with it.

Your mother does need a daughter's love, and the company of a granddaughter. I surely hope you can make enough peace with the POA brother to be able to continue to provide that.
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Susie, I feel sad for your daughter - she wanted to do a lovely thing for her grandma, but all that happened was that your mother got terribly upset by it. Not what she intended at all, of course.

Your brother couldn't possibly have just picked up the phone and explained in a friendly way? Tsk. Unfortunately, caregivers' tempers do fray and run short. I hope your daughter isn't feeling too crushed or angry.

To answer your question, the people responsible for your mother's care are duty bound to act in her best interests. If it were the case, for example, that visits from you ended with her being distressed or put at risk, then yes they most certainly could prevent you from visiting. But it isn't at that extreme stage, I really doubt that your brother wants your mother to be anything but as happy and comfortable as possible, and as long as your mother wants to see you then that's what matters. It is also, I agree, important that there is someone around who understands her feminine side. Not many sons, however dutiful and however hard they try, can tell the difference between Lisle stockings and 10 denier, for a light-hearted instance.

Cross-posting, only just saw your additional post. Seize the day! - if there's even a slight thawing in your relationship with your brother, now that you can work with. Eyes on the prize, of making your mother happy. Believe me, I know how hard this is - three years of hard graft and I'm just about speaking to my POA brother. Just. Fingers crossed!

By the way, my mother can talk a good talk, too. But she gets lost between the bathroom and her sitting room. And whereas she used to be able to name all the senior people in government, she now claims that she doesn't know what the current Prime Minister is called because she doesn't think much of him. Hmmmm… Best to keep your grain of salt to hand!
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Sorry Susie, but if you think that your mother being able to tell you the details of her childhood accurately indicates that she doesn't have dementia, then you really don't have a good handle on what dementia is all about. Please do some reading.
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To say you don't trust my judgement of my brothers is a total misjudgment. Mom has told me they don't know what she needs and she saymid she needed to see her house for closure. She has full comprehension if our conversations and knows what is going on. She has some memory issues, but she us 88 and talks to me about her childhood in detail. Same stories she's told me for years. So non of us are seeing the so called Alzheimer's that she has. The brothers don't visit her much and have been staying away since they told her the problems with the house. When I call her that is her concern that started long before she saw the house from the outside only.
The brother with POA has lost mom's checkbook and mismanaged her care at first. Mom was going to make me POA after that but didn't want oldest brother mad. Yeah it would be nice to put down all the childhood bs, but doubt that'll ever happen. It has been a fight amongst us four kids for years. And the animosity is just getting worse So the exchange between he and I today, was better. There was total agreement that no one
was taking her back.
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Susie, I hope that you'll take what Jeanne said to heart. In addition, I want say that what a dementia patients "wants" is not necessarily what they need. So if your mother is saying she wants to go home, it may not necessarily mean she wants to go to that home that she lived in most recently, it may mean her childhood home. Some trips down memory lane that would have been a comfort to a person with an undamaged brain (oh, look how that's changed, they remodeled that old house) may upset a demented elder in a way that seems unwarranted to us.

You say that your mother is in a Medicare nursing home. I assume you mean Medicaid, since Medicare will not pay for long term care, unless it's for temporary rehab. If Mom is on Medicaid, it means she has no funds of her own. Therefore, there is no money to maintain the house. It will be sold and the proceeds will go to Medicaid Recovery to pay, in part, for mom care after she passes. Your mom would have difficulty comprehending that if she has even mild dementia I think.

I'm sorry that you're farther away from mom than you'd like to be, but most of us find that having an elder situated physically close to one child, usually the one who is POA is best, especially in emergency situations. Unless you're willing to take on this burden as a whole ( managing her care, visiting several times a week, dealing with her doctors and care providers) I would try to work with your brothers and be on the same page with them. Frankly if my daughter took my mother out oh her NH without my brother (who is POA)'s consent and permission, I 'D be furious at her. Why would you upset her?

Please, as Jeanne said, learn more about dementia and hang around on this board and find out more about ways to support your mom.
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