What are my rights in visiting my Dad who wants to see me? - AgingCare.com

What are my rights in visiting my Dad who wants to see me?

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My brother has restricted me from visiting my dad who lives in his home in Vegas. My three sisters and I found my father in dirty, unsafe, unhealthy conditions 3 years ago in the care of my brother and his wife. They live in Las Vegas, NV and we live in Phoenix, AZ. My brother is seldomly home and leaves the full time care of our father to his wife. She had children and her own aging parents to care for and often seems overwhelmed. After returning to Phoenix, my sisters and I had a Nevada soicial worker visit the home to check on my father, assess his situation in hopes of offering assistance to my sister-in-law in his care. (hygeine help, food preparation, mental help, etc) My brother took offense to this visit and interpreted it as an "attack on him". He has now told me and my sisters we are ONLY welcome to visit our father during his supervision. He travels extensively and is rarely home. He has thrown out a single date in December for me and my sisters to visit. We too, have busy schedules, childeren, other obligations and would like to visit on a continuous basis when in town for conferences or during times when his health procedures arise. (currently)

Our dad loves his daughters and loves to visit with us whenever it's possible but is also reluctant to make waves with my brother and his wife.

What are our rights in visiting my father, especially now that his health is declining and has impending surgical procedures coming up.?

Thank you for any advice you can offer.

Melanie in Phoenix, AZ

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Maybe thanks and gratitude would help here. Send your sister in law some flowers with a heartfelt apology. Explain you see that calling in the social worker was a slap in the face, and you are sorry. tell her what a wonderful job she is doing, and you are so grateful. Sit down with your brother and apoligize to him. Ask how you can help care for your father? Listen and do what he says.

Maybe you could take your father for a month, giving your sister in law a break, and you an understanding of how much work is involved in caring for an elderly person. . You can write your father, and ask his advice on how to make the situation better. Google how to care for the caregiver, and implement the suggestions.

As a caregiver, one of the hardest things to accept and causes the most bitterness, is relatives who blow into town, upset the routine, offer only criticism, and blow out again giving neither respite or help. If you are guilty of any of this then you need to fix the situation with your brother and sister in law. Offering isn't doing. Can you pay for a housecleaner, a companion for your father for a day, anything that relieves some of your sister in law's burden. It sounds like you all love your father, and want the best for him. Where there is love and humility, there are solutions
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Just to add a bit to the discussion! We (the children) have offered assistance to my father's wife on several occasions, only to be rebuffed or ignored. Keeping in mind that I am the only child living in state, and we are all working. So I don't think it's always the issue that the caretaker is not being offered help. My father's wife would rather play the victim than ask for help, and I can't control that.
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Hi Melanie, I live in Sun City. Welcome to my past world with three sisters and a brother who limited me access to our mother. You don't say what the social worker found. Did they know she was coming? I worked for CPS and needed to make an appointment (so they would be home). You can go to court, get an order to see him, but you also don't say if he has POA. If he does, he holds all the cards. Him being angry the social worker showed up is no surprise. I turned in my oldest sister to CPS, and she came to my apt. banging on my window. I did not let her in, but things were never the same. SO, either make amends with your brother, get an order to see your father, or take a vacation trip to LV (it isn't that far - take 93, over Hoover), and hope for the best. Family relationships are very complex, and we never choose our family members. Write your father, send him cards, and you will know you have done what you were allowed to do. That may be all you can do. Best of luck! Ferris
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The issue isn't what your "rights" are -- unless you want to make this some kind of legal battle. The issue is that your brother is offended. As others have said, it's understandable that he's offended -- but whether or not it's understandable, that's the roadblock here. You don't need to defend your rights as much as you need to resolve some things in your relationship with your brother. I'm sure it's true that your father loves you and wants to see you....don't you think he also wants to see his children get along? And that getting along is key to working together for his benefit? There are so many stories of sibling conflict on this website, and people seem to forget that "winning" the conflict isn't the way to go; it's figuring out how to get along in the first place. And that includes being respectful of each other's feelings and empathically addressing hurts that happen along the way.
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As a caregiver who is often criticized but rarely offered constructive help from my husband's daughters I can't help but agree with your brother. Calling in a social worker to "help" without discussing it with them was most likely a "slap in the face" to them.

Obviously the social worker did not have him removed so they found his living conditions acceptable. Would have probably been even more so if you and your sisters had maybe helped clean up - taken your father to give your sister in law a break that she could have made things better for him and her, maybe I have this wrong, perhaps you offered this?
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I don't have much help to offer here, other than that I/we are in a somewhat similar situation. The three of us - the kids - are usually blocked from seeing our father by his wife. I am curious as to whether there is a legal right of children to see their parents if that's what both parties desire, or not. I would bet this hasn't been addressed in most family courts.
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What's more to the point is that your father has a right to see his children when he wants to. I realise that doesn't help from a practical point of view - your father's not going to start thumping the table and insisting - but I hope it will make you feel more comfortable about asserting a principle. It's your father's right you're protecting here, rather than your own, if you see what I mean.

It sounds to me as if your brother has overreacted because his wife was upset - not so much with you in particular, as about the whole situation, maybe feeling that she was failing to live up to standards or expectations, or something like that. I'm sure you weren't having a go at her, not at all; but if there's one killer phrase that sets the cat among the pigeons it's "I was only trying to help." It would stand to reason that your brother wants to make sure it doesn't happen again by insisting on being present when you visit.

Well, that's always negotiable - at least he hasn't said never darken my door again.

Going back a bit, did you really call the social worker without so much as discussing it with your sister in law? Um. If so, to be blunt, that was a bit dim of you. How did you expect her to feel? How would you feel if you were doing your best and somebody did that to you? I hope I've got that bit wrong. Could you clarify, please?
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Did you ask your brother's wife if she'd like some help with his care before you called in the social worker? If so, he should not have thought the visit was an attack on him. It sounds like, for now, you will need to "obey" your brother's rules and make supervised visits only. As his health keeps declining and he needs more care, they will be ready for more help with him.
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