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My mom has alzheimer's/dementia and moved in with me two years ago. She doesn't need medical care, or getting dressed/bathroom yet. She does need help with everything else like all food/drink, she doesnt know how to operate the TV etc. and does not know how to get her own food, what a refrigerator is, etc. (just confused) So I have been doing everything, breakfast, meds, lunch, monitor blood pressure (she has stage 3 kidney dis) and dinner - and tracking her sodium/protein. My sister that lives across the country handles my moms finances. After she moved in I was laid off - but was getting unemployment, and able to pay (almost) for everything with my mom contributing a portion, and then I was home to take mom to her many doctor appts, etc. Well now, my unemployment has run out, and I still have not found a job. We are in california where the recovery is slower, and I am looking for a job - anyway- my sister thinks my mom , me and my teenage daughter should all move to live with her - (we have tried this before and none of us liked it) So I told her I was not doing that again, and if it came down to it, I will live in my car, and my daughter can go stay at her dads. My sister and her husband are in a panic acting like the end of the world is here. The situation is my moms social security covers the expenses except for groceries, which I am going to buy with the food stamp amount I receive for my daughter and I. My mom has savings, bonds, etc. not a lot, but some, and I have told my sister that I realize my mom will probably have to dip into that a few times but it shouldn't be a lot and that I plan on getting a job, and when I do, I still want my mom to live with us, and I will replenish whatever money has been taken out to cover the months I wasnt able to contribute my share. I have talked to my mom about it, and I think she understands a little, but when I have tried to explain the financial part of it, she gets very confused and frustrated and says she doesnt know if she has any money (which is why she isnt handling it anymore) SO of course I want to do whats best for my mom, and if its better for her to live somewhere else, maybe assisted living where they adjust the amount of "help" she receives, since she doesnt need medical attention, or have her live in senior living and have someone come to her place maybe 2 times per day? I just know her last apartment (which was just an apartment for seniors and about 500 sq feet) was only $400 less than what the house we are in right now costs, and it has 3 bedrooms, 1 for each of us, and you can not find places this cheap in CA. My mom's doctor has us scheduled for a "senior evaluation" and after all the doctors complete their evaluation I am almost certain they will not want my mom living alone. So in order to get my sister off my back, and to quit making me feel worse than I do - I was going to tell her (and her husband) that they can figure out what to do and leave me out of the equasion and give them these choices: 1) have my mom move in with them (they already told me they will NOT have my mom -unless I am there to take care of her- move in with them as they can not handle it) 2) have my mom move into assisted living which will cost 3 times what this place costs, 3) have my mom move into a small sr. apartment and have someone come to her place at least 2x per day and take her to her doctor / physical therapy appointments(but I am almost certain the evaluation will state this is not a good choice) or 4) we all stay here - and tough it out - I contribute food and any money I can get for child support (which is only $200 per month) and unfortunately we will have draw some of my moms savings out - BUT with the understanding I WILL GET A JOB and that I will continue to do what I'm doing, and when I get a job and go back to work I will repay whatever money was removed due to my lack of employment - and with the understanding that once I go back to work, we will need someone to come in while I'm at work to provide my mom with lunch, help her get her soaps on, dr. appts, etc. WOW I have really rambled, but I am so upset that my sister and her husband are treating me this way - like everything is my fault- which is why I want to give them the choices, or to let the ball be in their court, with me totally out of the game - because I dont want or need the added stress they have placed on me. I guess what I would like is an outside opinion as to what would be better - not for me or my sister or my daughter, but BEST for my mom!
I am really sorry I wrote so much - guess I had a lot to vent - but thanks for reading - and I will appreciate ALL advice!

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Wow, I read all of the responses since last visit and I don't know what to say except thank you - thank you for taking time to read my super long question - and the time to write your heart-felt answers! I sincerely appreciate all of the suggestions and encouragement. Reading all of them really helped, at least I know I am not crazy, or thinking foolishly, and I do appreciate that! I am going to ask about the POA because I honestly know that I will always only do anything or everything in my mom's best interest. I think I was more worried about what my sister and her husband thought of me (they had made a comment about my "lifestyle" whatever that meant) but as all of you said, when the family member is not even involved with any aspect they just don't have any idea what is involved with the care of the parent, they are just ignorant of all that each day entails for the person providing the care. So I made an attempt with 3 phone calls and a long email - to contact my sister and she wrote back 1 sentence - "I never got your voice messages. Did you get a job?" but luckily for me - I had read all of your caring, thoughtful, experienced suggestions/encouragements - and that gave me strength to let it roll off of me- I am here, doing every thing possible to take care of my mom, daughter and find a job, and I will not let what my uninvolved family think bother me now or in the future - and if I start feeling like I did the night I wrote the long question - I will come back here and read what all you wonderful, caring, loving caregivers wrote to me - Thank you all more than words could ever say- and I thank God for your kindness when it was so desperately needed!! Take care ! Pam
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Pam I can understand your desire for many reasons such as not having to feed everyone from food stamps, feeling an improved sense of self-esteem, plus the parental need to provide for your two year old daughter both now and down through the years along with building some retirement for your own senior years. I am glad that you are having your mother evaluated for the current status of her medical situation. I wish you well with all that is on your plate.
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Pam I agree with the other answers...you are your Moms sole care giver. You should not have to worry about getting a JOB, YOU HAVE A FULL TIME ONE NOW. I know this because I am the sole caregiver of my husband with ALZ since 2007. He has no idea who i am and can not do anything for him self. He cant carry on a consersation and is just here. He loves to eat so that is one good thing but I have two very able bodied sons who live in the same town that never come..well they come on Holidays???? Why that is so important and everyother day is not I cant understand. But I could go on and on about that. But you take care of your Mom and do what you need to do, but as far as going to find a job, you dont need to find one...it found you.
God Bless you and your Mom and daughter
keep in touch
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As RLP pointed out, you are not unemployed-- you are just not getting paid for what you do. Have you read this article on this site? https://www.agingcare.com/135476

Would you mom qualify for Medicaid, since she has stage 3 kidney disease as well as Alzheimer's and cannot take care of herself? She may have to use up some of what she has in savings first, but in the long run it might be the best approach. Are there other assistance programs for the elderly in your area? When Mom has that senior evaluation will be a good time to ask all kinds of these questions. The clinic should be able to at least direct you to some resources.

I don't quite understand where Sister is coming from. What is the panic? Is she concerned about your mother, or that you are getting some benefit from mother helping out with the house payments? Here's a news flash: Your mother is not going to get through this without spending her savings one way or the other. What is Sister trying to hold on to it for? Mom's old age? I'd say we're there, folks.

Sister may be a very caring person, but it is pretty hard to tell from across the country just what the true situation is.

Hang in there! (And everything is NOT YOUR FAULT!) Tell Sister I said so. :)
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If someone does not now have durable POA, they do not have the legal authority to be handling your mother's finances. You might not want to fight that battle, but it must be done soon or someone is going to take your mother to court for gaurdianship and have her declared incompetent. So, who is the battle with? Is it your mother or your sister? Also, someone really needs to get medical POA soon before she is declared incompetent or neither of you will be able to help your mother medically when she can't speak for herself.
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I thank you guys soooooo much - its so wonderful to know that I'm not alone in this adventure - and that all of you are in similar situations. I often come here to read advice, etc. and its always full of encouragement and compassion! I guess as caregivers, we know what compassion is. I truly thank you, each of you, and I am going to write out the options (after the senior evaluation) but I feel in my heart, my mom wants to be with us, me & my daughter, and to stay here where she is familiar, and I hope somehow my mom can express this to my sister - I agree about the POA but that is another battle that I don't have the energy for. Thank you all again - and I will be back - at least once a week, and hopefully one day I can share advice with someone and make them feel better, as you have done for me!! Take care of your loved ones - but most importantly, take care of YOU! Thank you !!!!!
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Was either your mother or father a veteran. VA benefits cover some family in-home care. You can call the VA...but I haven't had much luck with them getting information. The best thing to do is call an assisted living center and ask which company they use to help file VA forms. These companies really know what they are doing and can often get the benefits faster.
good luck.
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Pam, I just had another thought. You view yourself as unemployed, but you really aren't. You are providing the care your mother needs and that care would have to be paid for if you had a job outside of the home. Actually, your sister needs to educate herself and realize you are your mother's best financial choice. She seems to want to hang onto your mother's savings when your mother needs it the most. Take care. Rebecca
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I think some of us are given the gift of being able to care for our elders, and the siblings who do not share the gift feel very guilty , try to control things , and make life more difficult than they realize. The options you have listed sound reasonable, but if your sister has your mother's best interests at heart, she needs to understand that there is only so much you can do under the circumstances. Also, why is your sister so hesitant to release your mother's money for her well-being? What if you keep receipts and the issue is handled in a business like manner? Would your sister be more open to that type of situation? Also, who has Power of Attorney ? Caregiving is expensive and you need help. Can you find free legal advice? Best wishes and please stay in touch. Rebecca
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You are a wonderful daughter to take such good care of your Mother.

You said that your sister has control over your Mother's finances, does she have POA? If she does not, I would suggest that you get POA and take control as you have all of the responsibilities for the care of your Mother and are doing a great job.
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