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Mom has been living with me for 5 months she has been diagnosed with early stages of dementia. My sister and I are not on good terms but I will not stop them of spending time together. Within 5 months she's only asked for my mom to stay with her twice and both times I feel that she took mom to the cleaners. In between that time not one phone call to see how she was doing. First time she allowed mom to max out her credit card for a $1200 dollar for a television for her(my sister). Second time mom drained out her checking account for her xmas present $400 dollars (my sister) and now I'm left with having to pay moms monthly bills. I know how mom can be at times she thinks she can afford anything, and mom doesn't remember her outstanding bills that she made of which I've been managing for 2 years with her monthly social security, at times I've been having to put in my own money to help pay for her bills. My sister is in the medical field (hospice) and she should know how a person with any stage of dementia can be. My mom is on a fixed income as any senior citizen.I cant confront my sister because I know we will get into an argument. If I had give in for all the things mom wanted to buy for me I'd probably have everything that I would have dreamed of, I can not comprehend how a person could do that to a person with dementia on top of that her own daughter. I just don't have it in my nature to stop mom from seeing her when my sister asks for her. Please if any one has any thoughts about the situation it be greatly appreciated.

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hapEtimes, Medicaid is a needs-based program. If you have plenty of money you cannot accept taxpayer money to pay for your care. Medicaid has rules to ensure that somebody with plenty of money doesn't just give it to family and then claim to be poor. Medicaid looks at how money was spent in the past 5 years. If there are large gifts, that may disqualify the applicant for a period of time.

Maybe your mother will never need to apply for Medicaid. But with people living longer and end-of-life expenses rising so rapidly, it is surprising who winds up needing assistance. Best not to do anything that will make that assistance harder to get if it becomes necessary.
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Cm thanks for the advice I'm certainly using it. Started letter this morning mailing it on Monday.
BB thanks for your advice u think or anyone else can elaborate on the medicaid part?
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hapEtimes, I feel so sorry for You because You are a very loyal loving Daughter with a conscience. Unfortunately Your Sister is none of these things. She has no moral standard, She's just a user who cares about NO ONE except Her own Selfish Self. Next time Your Mum goes to stay at Your Sisters place, make sure that Your Mum does not bring Her cheque book, or wads of cash. As time passes You will have to confront Your Sister Head on, and lay it on the line to Her since You are Your Mothers protector...otherwise Sister will literally drain Your Mom dry.
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CM, well drafted letter; good approach
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hapEtimes, since your sister is in the profession she will, as you point out, know the ethics of this. You'll have to communicate the problem in a way that doesn't require a response from her: write her a neutrally phrased letter citing the specifics that you've just told us about, so for example...

Dear Sister

On [date] mother paid $xxxx.95 for a television as a gift to you. On [date] she made a payment by credit card of $xxx which she explained was for your Christmas present.

Mother's fixed income is c. $x,000 per month and her savings total approximately $xxxx. Her expenses, all-in, are on average $x,000 per month. As you will understand then, even though it has always been her habit to be very generous, her budget does not allow for expensive gifts; so please in future do not accept any items from her of greater value than $xx at [Christmas and birthdays, or whatever your family celebrates] only.

With many thanks for your understanding, [signed you].

You're not accusing her of anything, you're not requiring her to do anything, you're just spelling out the facts of your mother's financial situation - which, to be fair, she may not properly have grasped. If she still wants to take offence at that - well! What can you say? Let her take offence. All you've done is make the situation clear and fair.
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Follow the advice above and stop paying Mom's bills. They are not your responsibility. If she is living with you what bills does she have?
Take her Credit card and checkbook away before she goes to see sister. Let Mom take a few $s with her and if possible an outdated credit card that won't work. If you thin sister is forging mom's signature take mom to the bank to request a copy of the check then file charges. It sounds as though Mom may be further into the dementia than the diagnosis says. POA is essential get is before sis does. Sis is already behaving badly at the very least so don't be intimidated, she will continue as long as you don't stop her and Mom clearly wants to give both her daughters presents. Leave the high balance on the cc for the time being and pay the bills as soon as Mom's money hits the bank. If they are not set amounts each make a good guess and pay ahead of time so there is no money there for sis to spend.
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I'm often amazed that family can be so blind to what should be obvious. Sis "should" know that mom has a fixed income but does she really understand that she can't pay her debts? If you can't get into it with her without it getting emotional then write it out, don't be accusatory, just include the simple facts - assets/income vs liabilities/debts. Mention that sometimes you have had to chip in to keep mom afloat.
Oh, and following everyone's advice about POA and confiscating the cheques and credit cards is important too.
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Who has poa?

You don't care for a person you don't have poa for. Take mom to see an elder care lawyer ( many will give you a free first consultation). Have the lawyer explain to mom the realities of her finances and the fact that someone else ( you) needs to manage her money. Set up a caregiving contract so that you are fairly compensated for caregiving. Get checkbok and credit card out of her purse and keep them under lock and key.

Have the lawyer draft a letter to sis telling her that if she accepts any more " gifts" from mom, she wil be reported to the police for elder abuse. You realize hat these " gifts" will render mom ineligible for Medicaid when she needs it, right?

If mom thinks this is crazy and won't give up her ability to gift, you are in a very bad place. In that situation, having her live with your sister might be a better option.

Make it clear to that THIS situation can't continue.
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What your sister is doing is abusive, illegal, and unethical. You can't confront her? You are afraid of an argument? What?

Please, protect your mother! Are you her POA?
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