How to protect mother since I do not have POA?

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My mother lives in Texas and since my younger brother also lives in Texas, he has a power of attorney. He has managed to ruin last Christmas and now this Christmas because he so desperately wants to put her in a house with four other women where she would be in a room with one other woman and just sit there and wait to die. She has a 2800 square foot house and she wants to stay in her house. She now has help two half days a week and the woman who helps her prepares meals and leaves them in individual portions, does her laundry and ironing, washes and rolls Mother's hair and gives her manicures. Mother has another group of people who come in to clean the house. Mother is very happy with this arrangement but my brother is determined to move her out of the house. Mother and I talked about this and she wants to stay in her house. If she does have to leave there at some point, she wants to go to Carillon where several of her friends have lived and where she will have people with whom to play cards and dominos, participate in exercise programs, seasonal programs, etc. My mother has the money to afford either of those kinds of care. I feel like my brother's sole motivation is to have as much of her money left as possible when she dies. I feel like the money is hers, she earned it, and if every dime of it is spent on her, that is as it should be. He just keeps on about moving her and I have no idea how to protect her since I do not have a power of attorney or any kind of authority. Although my brother does not really do all that much for her, he does buy her groceries once a week and bring them over (she has given him a credit card). He also takes her to Dr. appointments. I have told her that she can just call the grocery store once a week and for $10, they will pick out whatever is on the list and bring it to the house. Also, Caroline, the lady who works for Mother, could take her to her Dr.'s appointments and then the doctor could send a report to her so that all of us know how she is doing. She feels so dependent on my brother because he is the only one in the same town that she is willing to go along with anything he wants. She even told me that he took her Medicare card and her supplemental insurance card and keeps them in his wallet. I told her that she needs to get those back because if something happened to her at the house (she has one of those Life Alert things that she wears around her neck), she might not be able to get treatment or her treatment might be delayed. At Christmas last year, my brother bought my mother one of those lift chairs (out of Mother's money) and my niece wanted the old chair that Mother used to sit in. My brother's wife said that Mother should not let anything leave her house because they were going to sell it all in an estate sale. Mother also said at Christmas that she wanted each of the grandchildren to go through her house and pick one thing that would remind them of her. My sister-in-law again said "No, we are going to have an estate sale." Mother's will used to state that she wanted to leave $10,000 to each of her grandchildren and my brother took her to the lawyer's office and told the lawyer to take the grandchildren out of the will. Also, we had a brother who died in 2008 and Mother had her will fixed where if one of her children died, their children would receive the inheritance. My brother got my deceased brother's family completely removed from the will. I am really not concerned about the will except that it shows how much control he has over her. My concern is for my mother. She has always been a wonderful mother to all of us and I just can't believe that my brother would try to put her in a place that would crush her spirit and depress her to death.

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I also kept my Dad's Medicare and secondary insurance card with me, as Dad wasn't very organized in his later years. We would get to the doctor's office and Dad would have six copies of his social security card, but no Medicare card :P

Any time my Dad went to the ER via 911, the hospital already had all of his information on file like his Medicare, secondary insurance, Living Will, etc. All I had to do was show Dad's driver's license that had photo ID.
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Oops. Cut off the last words -- several thousand dollars a month.
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It is hard to know what to say. First of all I would say that 24/7 care in a facility of any type does not come cheap, so I doubt your brother wants to put her in the residential home to save money. It is much cheaper to stay at home unless extensive care is needed. However, if extensive care and supervision is needed, a facility is much more affordable.

I don't see where you mention what is wrong with your mother and why she needs care. It may be that your brother is acting in her best interest if she requires extensive care. As mentioned, parents can showtime for phone calls and short visits, but people who are around all the time are the ones who know the true picture. I think the idea of going for an extensive visit is a good one if you have enough time. That will give you a better idea of what is going on.

I have to mention that I also carry my mother's ID and insurance cards with me much of the time. If I don't have them with me, they are in my dresser drawer. The reason I carry them is we go to the doctor quite often, and I've been caught a few times without them when they've been needed. I carry them to make up for my own forgetfulness. In our case it doesn't matter, since my mother doesn't leave the house without me.

If your mother required 24/7 care, how would you handle it? How long do you think her money would hold out if that care cost
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I'm guessing you don't live in Texas. I agree she should stay at home as long as possible. To determine if she is safe at home and alone for long periods, you need to go there and stay with her a full week. Carefully observe her mobility and ADL's (activities of daily living) such as dressing, feeding, bathing and toileting. Then make your decision.
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My first though was what kind of Attorney did your brother take your mother to where he was allowed to do all the talking? Being Power of Attorney only kicks in when the person one represent is no longer able to make clear decisions. Sounds like your brother is over stepping his bounds, big time.

When I had my 90+ parents in to see an Elder Law Attorney to update their Wills, I sat quietly while the Attorney asked my parents a lot of questions to get an idea of what "they" wanted to have in their Will.

May I ask how old is your Mother? I found, depending on the generation, if there is a son he will become Power of Attorney because of the old stereotype that a male is much smarter when it comes to managing such affairs. I remember a case where a son became his parents financial Power of Attorney even though he was terrible with handling money... the parents never even thought to give that POA to their daughter, who was a CPA.

How often do you visit your Mom? If you live quite a distance, it could be time to put your boots on the ground in Texas and see what is really going on. If you are only contacting your Mom by telephone, she could have dementia and is "showboating" when you are calling. Call her in the evenings and see how she sounds.
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