Out of decisions about her care & doesn't seem to want me around. She takes decent care of my mom but isn't comfortable getting her out of house/ out of car etc. which concerns me. My mom isn't being mistreated but stepdad doesn't value quality of life as he thinks she will just forget anyway. She has worked for us for 6 months, in which time he has given her 2 raises- she makes more than any of other caregivers- and she doesn't like if I ask her to do moms hair the way she's always had it or take mom out more- she said,' who do I work for' to my stepdad in that instance. I feel tension when around her. To complicate matters the house & finances are my moms left to her from my dads estate but she gave stepdad lifetime tenency( while symptomatic but undiagnosed.) He has become increasingly possessive of the money & gives me a hard time about buying mom winter shoes with HER money, clothes etc. I am the only sibling actively involved in moms daily care( up at house 3 or 4x week- scheduled in as caregiver 10 hours wk) My attorney brother is POA & health care proxy but relationship w/ him & other brothers strained due to resentment over their not seeing/ helping mom much. My mom married this guy 8 years ago- 2 years in they were having trouble but then she got sick- diagnosed Alzheimer's 5 years ago. They had a prenup but that got voided when changed will to protect house if she needs nursing home. He just put his name on her account so he could sign checks. Feels like he & caregiver playing house up at moms & I have no peace of mind at all over this - am I crazy?

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Thank you all for responding. I can't tell you what it means to get feedback from people who have been in the trenches- my relief was immediate. I would like to write more & respond to questions asked but in a time crunch with work right now so it will have to wait. Again, thank you all for taking the time to answer.
Helpful Answer (3)

You've already gotten good advice. I just want to emphasize and focus on a few points.

This is a situation of not being able to win, so join them. Make overtures toward your nonparticipatory brother and try to get him involved in oversight. Can you appeal to his sense of filial relationship, or perhaps his ego? Whatever works; try to get him to be more concerned.

And, much as it might be distasteful (and I can understand how it is), try to become more friendly with the caregiver. Perhaps you could offer to fill in when she's not available, or make some nonthreatening gesture to establish a relationship that's more congenial for you (and for her, since she probably also resents what she might consider as your intervention).

I wonder also if there's resentment b/c he's your stepfather - not on your part, but his. He may feel that your mother is now HIS wife, you're not his natural child, and he doesn't want you involved. I'm definitely not trying to be blunt or hurtful, but I was trying to think why he's acting as he is.
Helpful Answer (1)

I agree with Countrymouse.

The caregiver takes her marching orders from the person who pays her---your mom's husband. And while the caregiver's comment to you about who she works for was a bit abrupt she's right. But I'm sure it must have hurt. That's your mom and you want to be involved in her care. The caregiver should understand this.

As for your stepfather getting his name on your mom's accounts so he can sign checks that's appropriate under the circumstances. The minute my elderly father moved in with me and I became his caregiver he and I went down to the bank and had my name added to his accounts.

Your stepfather sounds like he's concerned about finances, a legitimate concern under the circumstances. He's probably calculating in his head how much your mom's care costs and how much it will cost if she has to go into a nursing home. And he could have put her in a nursing home but he didn't. He's caring for her at home.

Do you have a reason why your stepfather would shut you out? You spend 10 hours a week with your mom caring for her. Is he trying to get you to come over less?

If you're concerned about your relationship with the caregiver approach her and say something like, "I feel we got off on the wrong foot and I'd like to change that." It doesn't matter who's right or who should make the first move. You don't want tension in the air when you're with your mom.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's at home has to be a collaboration. Your mom is fortunate in that she has 3 people who are caring for her and seeing to her needs. If you know how to fix your mom's hair the way she likes it that's something you can do for your mom and let your stepfather be the caregiver's boss.
Helpful Answer (1)

You are not crazy.

You are also not responsible for this situation, something to remember when it's keeping you awake at night.

Your brother is responsible for ensuring your mother's wellbeing. Alert him to concerns, sticking to known facts and keeping your tone as neutral as you humanly can. Reset relationships with the caregiver by nodding and smiling more and being *incredibly* selective about which battles you pick. Focus on contributing your presence to your mother's quality of life, which is the one thing you definitely can accomplish as long as things don't go any further awry between you and her resident caregivers.

I feel for you, I really do. People getting cavalier about things like hairstyle preference and enrichment activities because "she won't remember anyway" turn the stomach, and it's poor practice in terms of dementia care. But knowing that your mother is fundamentally well cared for is the big consolation to be grateful for.

Your mother chose her healthcare proxy. It's her doing that you don't have more authority to intervene. Well! - a pity, but hardly your fault.

Stick with it. Turning up and being a friendly face is a big deal, and at your mother's stage in life it's what matters most.
Helpful Answer (4)

I'm not saying you don't have valid concerns, but you may want to consider a different perspective:

Their marriage had had barely begun when she began to change, and soon after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Rather than cut and run, he has stuck by her. Unless she has very considerable assets the money being spent on her care will eventually use up all of it, in fact if he had left her she would have most likely already be paying for AL/Memory Care. Perhaps he has become a penny pincher because he understands just how expensive her care really is and the need to make it last?
When you go shopping for her do you discuss the need for these items, or do you purchase first and ask for reimbursement later? I really do understand the desire to keep alive the image of the parent as she once was, but has this become something you care about more than she does?

As for the feeling that "he & caregiver playing house up at moms", do you believe they are romantically involved, or is it just that her relationship with him is so much better than yours?
Helpful Answer (2)

If you disagree with how your brother who is the POA and Healthcare POA is handling it, you might consult your own attorney to find out your options. It sounds like a real messy situation.
Helpful Answer (2)

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