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Sadly we have alot of toxic families in this country and when an elderly parent is involved, the situation usually worsens. What is your mother's condition and how much care does she need? If she does not have cognitive impairment then you need to have a conversation with her to determine what her desires are. Tell her your concerns and ask her how she wants to be protected...physically, emotionally and financially. Then tell her that you would be willing to be the responsible party in the family to handle these needs. You will need to speak to an attorney to ensure that ALL proper documentation is in place. I'm not sure what you mean when you write, "how do I protect myself?" I assume you say this because you do not trust your siblings to do the right thing for everyone in the family. If your mother is not able to have the conversation with you about her total care, then you might need to seek the help of her attorney (if there is one) or seek help from your own attorney. If you are worried about your mother's safety in all areas of her life, then you need to act on her behalf legally. This is not going to be easy, but it is also a situation that probably requires some legal expertise. Having a Power of Attorney for Durable Assets, her Medical Healthcare Directive and perhaps being the trustee for her estate (regardless of the size) is the legal way to protect her and you. Your "toxic" siblings can scream and yell, but if the legal documents are in place, then you and she are protected. If she is incapable of making this decision (with your help), then you might need to seek the advice of her Primary Care Physician and explain your concerns about her physical care. The doctor can declare her incompetent and you can proceed this way. I hope this helps, but if you want to share more information about her here, I will be happy to continue the dialogue with you. This is a serious situation and you need to take action. Best of luck.
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Me about dysfunctional. This is not easy. Are you appointed to be her POA or Conservator? This needs to be worked out first because everyone will want to "be the one" so they can get to her money (speculating because this is what happened in my world)
Once you are the POA or conservator, just do your job and have nothing to do with any of them. Visit when they are not around and stay calm at hearings, meetings or doctors appointments. This is NOT always easy.
This site is GREAT for venting and for support. There is also support where you live. Most AL places have monthly meetings for anyone dealing with acting as a caregiver. Google Alzheimers support, type in your zip code, state, town and places will pop up for you to attend.
Two places near me are the 3nd Tuesday of the month, the other is the 2nd Monday of every month.
Do not feel embarrassed. EVERYONE needs someone to talk to and people that can walk you through the stages of care giving and how to handle family issues.
Talk therapy is also helpful to vent your family stuff and learn how to react to them.
I wish you the best and we are here if you have anything else to talk about~
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Arranging care for Mom outside of the family may be a good solution. Placing her in a long term care facility (at whatever care level she requires) may involve the least hazards and heartaches.
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