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My mother has the beginnings of dementia and her health has taken a turn for the worse. This started late last Fall. Before this, my sister and other siblings would only see her sporadically. I would see her 2x's a week and my daughter would pop in every few days as she lives close by. My mother lives on her own but does have a health aide come 3x's a week to help with care during the day.

My siblings and I had a huge falling out 2 months ago because they were not pulling their fair share of the weight in taking care of my mother. I dealt with it and moved on. But then i got a new job and could no longer care for my mom the days I was, and I tried to switch the days, and my older sister flew off the handle and became very nasty and mean. She told me I wasn't needed at all and not to bother coming to see my mom. Bewildered, I let it go for a week to allow her time to cool off and to figure out what my set dates off were at work.

When I went back, I realized that she'd spread all these lies to my other 2 siblings and now none of them were talking to me and were not allowing me to see or talk to my mom. I was furious and called the cops when they wouldn't open the door and allow me to see my mom, I felt they were kidnapping her. When I did see my mom very briefly, she had a black eye and a bruised forehead. When I asked her about it, she said she fell and the wind pushed her. My siblings and I got into a bad argument about it.

The cops didn't take a report because they considered it a family matter and said to take it to family court. They didn't even bat an eye about the bruises when I pointed it out! Pissed about having the cops called my sister made up lies and got an order of protection against me! All I wanted was to see my mom and now she's on some crazy power struggle and does not want me to see her.
She and I have never had a great relationship, but we're family regardless. We all were getting along before all this, and now they all REFUSE to let me see my mom.

I considered filing for guardianship but I know they would contest it, and I was told it's a long and arduous process. My daughter has managed to make some visits to see my mom, but they're not nice to her either. They keep saying nasty things about me, and that I'm not needed. I've tried to call and talk nicely to them and see if we can work things out and they just hang up on me.
They are not in charge of my mom legally (at least not that I'm aware of), and they are constantly at my mother's house (purposefully) so I can't call or visit.
I'm at my wit's end about what to do. I just want to be able to see my mom equally, as they do. I cannot afford a lawyer to go to court on this, and I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Concerned Daughter in NY

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The police can't do anything because it is a family matter. They are not lawyers. If you are concerned, then you should ask a family lawyer. My question is who is your mom's power of attorney aka "POA"? If she doesn't have one, then this is what you should discuss with the family lawyer. POA's have control over the invalid's financial and health issues. Most lawyers have free consultation before you hire them so write down all your questions before your consultation. Hope this helps!
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Thanks you touched by angel, we definitely in similar boats.
Keep an eye out on this discussion thread, I've received
Pretty useful information so far. :) I hope the tides turn for us soon
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Hi, concernedny....I feel your pain and I know you must be very upset , worried & afraid for your Mom. I recently went through pretty much the same thing except I had been care giving for Mom 2 special needs younger sisters & younger brother who passed away in July 2012. My older sister and 2 older brothers got mad at me because I found out my sister had been taking S S A money from Mom & sisters for a long time, I threatened to report her next thing I know A P S is showing up, 3 weeks later I get served with an emergency protective order, haven't seen Mom or sisters in 3 months... I worry about them a lot I am at a loss for an answer for you because I haven't found answers with what I've got going on. Let me know if you have any ideas and I'll do the same. Take care
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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions, I really appreciate it--especially wuvsicecream--that a great idea on sending a certified letter to all detailing my concern and willingness to agree on a future care plan for our mom.

-Toninaf: My mom's siblings are all in other country. I do get along well with my nieces and nephews, and they along with my daughter have tried to mediate all this, but my siblings refuse to cooperate. The old health aide was very nice, and she used to give me updates on my mom when I called, but my sister had her changed and I've never met the new one, so she's more standoffish. I've tried calling the apt but no one picks up.
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concernedNY Good for you for being alert about the situation and for not ignoring this. From your question and the events you explained, I gather you truly care about what happens to your Mom. This care obviously reflected on your daughter too. So that tells me she learned from you, that family matters. When you wanted the siblings to help and upon their neglect, you then moved on, they must have gotten angered, because then they didn't have you as a puppet, so they feel you should be punished now. They know the best way to punish you is by not letting you get close to your Mom. The reality is that you do need to get them to understand that you care but you don't want to be the sole caregiver, and your absolutely right it's not fair to you.
If I were you I'd send them each a letter stating your concerns and the events as they transpired (leave out anger, you can feel it but not write it as they can use that against you). write all your efforts, time, concerns for your Mom, and the reality of your Mom's health in jeopardy. Then ask them to respond as to the future care plan and your wishes to pool together for your Mom's sake. I would send each sibling a copy certified with a receipt of receiving by signature of the letters, as well as sending a certified copy to Adult Senior Services, Adult Protective Services, Ombudsman (the protect elders in abusive care situations), Alzheimer's Association, any organization that understands your concerns and is there to help. List all names of who will be recieving the copies on this letter. You can find these offices in phone book, look under hotlines, or go to a Nursing Home in your Area and a social worker there should have any of the local elder resource contact info, they deal with this stuff regularly. I suggest a personal visit if you do this because SWer's are usually overwhelmed and don't have much time. The idea behind the certified letter's is, if you do seek Guardianship this will be proof and your leaving a paper trail of your actions and if they don't follow through, you also have proof of their neglect, in not acting on your Mother's behalf and that YOU have tried to do something. In seeking Guardianship a court wants proof of the health issues and the legal need for this to take place and to become an order of the court by law. Just like a child's custody a court will look at facts of care and neglect, abusive issues etc. , they want the person to be in the right hands for the right reasons. Without proof, it's just hearsay, and written certified letter on paper is proof of your real concerns and your actions and intentions on your acting for your Mom's behalf, in-fact state that in the letter.
In the mean time... write down any phone calls you make even if they hang up or don't return calls. Oh and don't mention the letter, If they contact you write down the info transpired in the call., emotions you feel how your Mom is doing or anything significant. I also suggest not to waist anytime trying to get things done the "normal way" what I mean is people change in these situations, the people you thought you knew, and thought would be there in a needed family crisis, often act as if they are strangers. You don't need a lawyer to do this and believe me if you act with your heart, selflessly and with kindness in your heart, help will be there. Just remember that actions speak louder than words. Good Luck!!! Hug your daughter too!!!
I say that because I saw a Mother/Daughter bond I never knew existed, until my Grandmother was ill, and I witnessed my Mom being there for her. I do believe this is how I was able to get through the family BS and by the way my Mom is doing very well considering her dementia...LOL I think I will be 6 feet under before her.
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I'm sorry but not entirely suprised the plice did not help. The correct agency to call is Adult Protective Services. They would be pretty well obligated to take a report of a balck eye and bruising. Would a pro bono lawyer be able to help you contest the restraining order? I'm assuming it was made on false pretenses, and wondering how on earth she managed to get it, when so many people can't get one against others who are really dangerous?
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You also mentioned and aide were you civil with her? Do you have a contact # for her? Maybe she can spy for you and even ask your mom if she has signed any papers? If she's still aiding for her?
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No mention of mothers relatives or nieces and nephews, what about your brothers or sisters-in-law? Do you have any civility with them?
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Unless you're a danger to your Mom and it's documented, I don't really see why you can't visit. Your sister is mad with you because she's overwhelmed. Still, you have a right to see your mother. You should, however, go to the nearest police precinct for tips on how to handle the situation without getting arrested. Push comes to shove, get a court order.
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Just a bit of advice, try to keep the emotion out of it and avoid sounding what could be considered or determined to be vindictive.
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No one has POA over my mother, since she never drew one up. At least not that I know of! My siblings changes the lock and now they have the only keys. They are not living there, but since neither of them works, they are constantly there.
Thank you for your suggestions. I will be calling APS.
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Call the local agency on aging for possible assistance. They would be able to direct you to Adult Protective Services in your area could offer you a great deal of assistance, especially if you suspect physical or emotional abuse.
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Did you have contact with her primary Dr.? What about Poa,ask Dr.s office tell them you're worried about her. So do your siblings have the only keys to your moms? are they living there? If they have Poa the siblings can pretty much do what they want. Goood luck.
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