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My mom is 74-years-old and has a 25 year gambling addiction and some sort of mental decline (maybe like Dementia) due to cholesterol blockages in the main arteries in her brain. I have noticed that she can't spell or read anymore and recently asked me to get her an old manual type of sewing machine, because she can't seem to figure out how to use hers anymore (she sewed on it for 30 years). She also is scared to drive and recently drove away from the gas station with the pump handle in her tank. She's also very moody, argumentative, paranoid and seems very depressed. She says childish things like "I'm going to run away and you'll never see me again" or "I can take care of myself and I don't need your help."


My Dad died two years ago and my failure-to-launch, 53-year-old brother, who is also a gambling addict and has mental instability due to Meth use lives with her and takes her Social Security. I was left as Trustee over their estate and I pay all my Mom's bills and make sure the house is taken care of. They gamble away her Social Security. I hate that I'm legally required to enable their gambling. They want for nothing.


She keeps allowing family members who are hard on their luck move in with her and then they use her. I recently had to evict my half-brother and his wife from her house through legal proceedings (they wouldn't leave.) I had to kick my abusive uncle out of her house earlier this year. She also has retained a lawyer to fight the validity of the Trust that was set up for her, because she feels I'm controlling her too much and she should be able to spend the money as she sees fit. She would become destitute in no time.


She's supposed to have brain surgery to place shunts in the arteries in her brain to restore blood flow and oxygen to her brain. It's a serious surgery and I get that, but she's scared and refusing to even see the Neurosurgeon. However, it's crazy to think that a Dementia patient could be cured from Dementia by such a surgery.


She also does not manage her Diabetes well, her High Cholesterol or her High Blood Pressure. I know she's not eating well either and doesn't seem to make meals anymore. She also wreaks of urine and BO and doesn't shower often, claiming it damages her skin and makes her break out.


A person's independence and autonomy are probably the most precious thing you have at the end of your life. I take it very seriously. Coupled with her gambling addiction and co-dependence with my brother, who threatens suicide often, I feel stuck between a rock and hard place.


I would love to have my mom live with me, as she could be a part of our family and I'm a stay-at-home-mom. I know the transition would be hard on her, but she's still pretty mobile and not deathly ill. Does anyone have any insight on this?


I also have to deal with my mentally unstable brother. Gawd...I know he would be homeless if I didn't intervene. I've talked to gambling recovery centers, but they won't take him, because he has auditory hallucinations and threatens suicide. What do you do for a person like him?


My attorney says I should obtain Guardianship over my mom and even consider it for my brother. Based on what I've written, is it time? I feel utterly torn up about taking a step like that. Also, I DO NOT want to put my mom through that, because I know she'll fight like hell and what if the judge says she's fine?


Any insight would be so helpful to me.


Sheila

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Sheila,
Can you get some in home health care for your mom? We got my MIL on state funded in home support services.... she calls her caregiver, her "housekeeper", and says she does nothing except clean her apartment; but she actually gets her to bathe, fixes her meals, reminds her to take her medication, etc. It is keeping her out of assisted living facilities for now. My MIL also feels/says she can take care of herself, and doesn't need anyone, but she shows us weekly that she cannot.
But in home care is helping us for now, and as her needs increase, will become a transition into assisted living in the future.
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Hi Shiela,

I just want to add my voice to the chorus of others advising you NOT to move your mom in with you. This situation is not healthy or safe for you or your family! And it is really important for you to figure out where you will draw a boundary - how much are you willing to do when your help is also enabling dysfunction? It isn't your fault, but it seems you are keeping the leaky ship afloat and that is taking a big toll. You have every right to ask the court for more authority. I have trouble believing that any judge would say she is "fine." Depending on the judge, he or she may be more or less inclined to intervene. But pushing through that process will get you more clarity with your family on what you can and can't do legally, and what you are and aren't willing to manage for your mom and brother going forward.

Jane
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Your mother's mental problems sound a lot like my father with vascular dementia, who was also very independent and wanted to make all his own decisions. Because of the medical evidence, actually gaining guardianship of my father was not particularly difficult in legal sense but did come at an emotional cost. I got to a point where I knew my father needed help and I was to best person to provide that help. The father that taught me to make my own decisions and stand by them regardless of what others thought and said suddenly found that determination applied to him. Vascular dementia is very insidious in that it leaves portions of our loved ones very much still visible while taking many basic skills and much to all of their judgment/decision making abilities.

I recommend you get in the right mindset and apply for guardianship of your mother. Have a plan for how you will care for your mother - in the short and long terms - to present to the judge. I would not bring someone with dementia who has already exhibited aggression toward you into your home. Find a good MC or two and plan a placement there. Although he didn't want to leave his home for an MC, my father is doing much better there, physically and mentally, within weeks of the move. Until the MC, I don't think my father ever took his medications as prescribed. He's always clean and presentable now, the panic attacks that he had suffered regularly for years are gone. Over 3 years later I have no regrets and much comfort from seeing him doing so well.

You may consider conservatorship for your brother if you believe it would help him and/or you manage your stress over his living conditions. You cannot really help an addict if doesn't want to be helped. A family from our church had an addicted member who they gained financial conservatorship over. They used his funds (SSD) to provide a apartment in a area he wanted stocked with food and paid his utilities. They gave him limited spending/pocket money on a weekly basis. Often he would not stay in the apartment, preferring to use his pocket money on his addictions and hang out with homeless addicts. It may not be as easy to gain an actual guardianship for your brother just based on his addiction.
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janeinspain Feb 3, 2019
Great advice!
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BSSMB02;

As for the surgery, no one can make her get this done. As you noted, no, it will not cure the dementia, but depending on the cause(s) of her dementia, it might help some or slow down the progression. That is a discussion you would need to have with a neurosurgeon who is familiar with her case. However, any surgery has risks and sometimes can exacerbate her symptoms (can be temporary, but I have read others saying the person never went back to pre-surgery level.) Again, if she will not agree to see a neurosurgeon and/or get this done, it is not likely something to fret about.

You said: "She also does not manage her Diabetes well, her High Cholesterol or her High Blood Pressure. I know she's not eating well either and doesn't seem to make meals anymore. She also wreaks of urine and BO and doesn't shower often, claiming it damages her skin and makes her break out."

ALL these are also signs of some kind of dementia. With MC/AL, her medication would be handled by the staff, she likely will eat better (mom had resorted to packaged foods and frozen dinners, likely having forgotten how to prepare anything.) All these *might* help with some of her symptoms (it will not cure anything, but getting regular meds and proper food can make her feel somewhat better.)

The staff would also ensure she gets more regular body care, such as showering. Yet another reason to NOT move her in with you - you'll likely spend hours dealing with anger and frustration trying to get her to comply with ANY of these issues!!! For your peace of mind and sanity, let those who are paid to do this handle it!! We also had to resort to a mild dose of anti-anxiety meds (Lorazepam) during the initial move and later only as needed if she has sun-downing moments from time to time that they cannot resolve with refocus/redirect (worst one was the result of a UTI.) Generally these are not needed, and it also doesn't require time to build up - works right away, about 15-20 minutes.
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BSSMB02;

All the details you gave sounds like some kind of dementia. At some point, especially if you go for guardianship, you will need a diagnosis or two. We never did this (we had the irrevocable trust, will, medical/financial DPOA set up already.) It was considered as she refused to move ANYWHERE. She was adamant like your mom that she can care for herself (not.) The attorney told us we couldn't just "drag her out of the house", but the facility would not accept committals (guardianship.) In the end, because she injured her leg/developed cellulitis just before the move, one brother wrote a letter from 'Elder Services' at the treating hospital and in it told her she either moves where we decide or they will place her. She was MAD, but reluctantly went with my brothers (I stayed out of the move!), grumbling all the way.

When you say Trustee over the estate - is this an actual trust fund? All assets other than SS held there? Irrevocable? Is the house in mom's name or is it also under the trust? If yes to all, then her assets are safe. If the trust is irrevocable, she can't make changes to it, lawyer or not, without trustee approval. If you manage all the funds (other than SS), how does she hire an attorney?

Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/irrevocabletrust.asp:
What is an Irrevocable Trust
An irrevocable trust cannot be modified, amended or terminated without the permission of the grantor's named beneficiary or beneficiaries. The grantor, having transferred assets into the trust, effectively removes all of their rights of ownership to the assets and the trust. This is the opposite of a revocable trust, 
which allows the grantor to modify the trust.
...and...
Irrevocable Trust Basics
An irrevocable trust has a grantor, a trustee and a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Once the grantor places an asset in an irrevocable trust, it is a gift to the trust and the grantor cannot revoke it. The grantor can dictate the terms, rules and uses of the trust assets with the consent of the trustee and the beneficiary.

Others moving in will increase costs (utilities, etc.) and can contribute to degrading the home. Keep them out or if possible, GET them out!

You said:" I hate that I'm legally required to enable their gambling."
 Actually you aren't. If you get approved as rep payee for SS, then they cannot use her money. What is his source of income, if any?

You said: "She keeps allowing family members who are hard on their luck move in with her and then they use her."
 This IS considered Elder Abuse, as well as your brother is taking money from her SS. Distasteful as it is, you could report him to APS and SS. It will potentially cause problems, but you are going to have problems no matter what. It sounds like your mom will have to move to AL, preferably MC so she cannot wander away/leave because she hates it! At that point, if you have power over the house, prep it for sale and sell it, putting the proceeds into the trust for mom's care.

See my other posts regarding how to protect her SS money (FREE) and comments about guardianship.
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BSSMB02;

I am breaking up my responses to deal with several issues separately . This one is to discuss guardianship.

You said: "My attorney says I should obtain Guardianship over my mom and even consider it for my brother. Based on what I've written, is it time? I feel utterly torn up about taking a step like that. Also, I DO NOT want to put my mom through that, because I know she'll fight like hell and what if the judge says she's fine?"
...plus...
"She also has retained a lawyer to fight the validity of the Trust that was set up for her, because she feels I'm controlling her too much and she should be able to spend the money as she sees fit. She would become destitute in no time."

Guardianship is a big and expensive journey, but if you do not currently have any DPOA, this is something you will likely have to do at some point (probably sooner rather than later, based on all your posts.) You will need medical documentation as well. The courts might order additional investigation AND will retain another attorney for her, since your comments say she will dispute it - this will add to the cost of obtaining guardianship. Most likely in the end they will approve it, based on what you have said so far, but it will be expensive and exhausting as well as causing rifts and guilt. If this is what needs to be done, you have to steel yourself for all this!

Indeed a person's independence and autonomy are very precious, no matter what stage of life, but when it becomes a choice between keeping someone safe and letting them run amok, safe is better. One thing you will have to learn to do is NOT allow any feelings like this (or anything either she or your brother might say or do) cause you guilt or second guess your decisions. It is the right thing to do and you have to learn to let any guilt go. Look at it from your current role as a mother - do you allow your children to run amok, or do you keep them safe and apply some restrictions based on age/ability? This would be no different, except that it is your mother (or brother.) They clearly cannot care for themselves.

I did already comment on mom moving in with you, but wanted to add that while you realize the transition will be hard on her, have you considered how hard this will be for you AND your family? Our parents and mom's sisters took turns caring for our grandmother and that was great, however she did not have dementia. Caring for someone who needs help but is still more or less functional is NOT the same! Our mother was also still mobile (we DID have to take the car away even before deciding to move her) and is not ill (mainly BP meds, macular degeneration, lot of hearing loss), but it was not safe for her to remain home alone and she refused to move in with us (no way would I be able to take this on, one brother couldn't really as he is still working and the other... not a good idea.)

As for your brother - I don't think gambling recovery is the answer, even if they would take him. One has to WANT to recover, and it doesn't sound like he's anywhere near that boat! If he has hallucinations and threatens suicide, should he be committed somewhere? You CAN petition the STATE to take on guardianship. You will have enough to deal with your mother's guardianship and care. Hopefully the trust is set up just for your mom, so they cannot access that for his care. If he is not gainfully employed, the state would have to take over. I personally would not consider taking on guardianship for him, but clearly something needs to be done.
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BSSMB02;

Others have said do not move her in with you and you seem to have realized this is a bad idea. Good. She is already having issues with you and will likely become even more difficult if/when you move her. More on this and other issues later.

BEFORE making any decision about guardianship:

For starters, call your local SS office and set up an appointment to become Representative Payee. This is FREE, no cost other than your time. Please do not call the main SS number - you'll be on hold forever and likely still have to call the local office! This will circumvent your brother using any of mom's SS. YOU will have control over those funds!

They will ask a lot of questions and submit the request for review. If you inform them with as much information as possible as to how her SS funds are being "used", they will likely agree, especially if your brother is taking money from her. You will have to set up a special bank account in your name as rep payee for your mom - no one else can access the account and no other funds can be put into it. First payment after they approve it will be an actual check, but once approved and the account is set up, you can call the local office again and have electronic deposit set up. It will also automatically stop any current electronic payment, if she has that set up now. ALL FREE and fairly easy.

NOTE: SS does NOT accept using POA of any kind (no federal entity will.) Doing it this way means having to keep good records and reporting each year how the funds were used for the person - this can be done online and was easy - I just did my first one (easiest for me as mom's SS only covers about 1/4 the AL cost and was reported that way. No other details were needed. If you decide to move mom, do it that way and use other funds for the rest of AL and incidentals as I have done.)

Forgot to add warning - they will send notification to mom if this is requested/approved. It was not an issue for me as I had taken over her bills and regular account, therefore was able to use the SS to make necessary payments. The problem came after we moved her to MC/AL and I could not change the address without taking over (and between this and the federal pension is when I found out that they won't honor POAs of any kind!) Once the condo was sold, the mailing of important information would become an issue. In her case, the letter went to MC/AL and they held any regular mail/bills for me. So she never saw this, but unless all her mail comes to you, THIS could be a bit of a problem as she could possibly call them and dispute it. Given that she cannot follow through on some issues, it is possible that she would not be able to work through this process, but I had to add the warning for you and anyone else considering this.
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BSSMB02- okay and so sorry to hear that. Understood.
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A gambling addiction of that duration is going to be VERY hard to stop, BUT ... it can happen, athough SHE has to want to stop. She should definitely not be driving. She has a whole host of problems ... from being an enabler to health issues that she ignores. I am praying for you. Her childish mindset of "running away" and thinking that bathing is bad for the body makes it seem as though her brain is more broken than not. I don't know of any judge seeing her that would think she's fine ... unless she suddenly "showtimes," but then she would also have to bathe.

An addiction site called Reformers Unanimous.com could help her, BUT SHE HAS TO WANT THE HELP! Your brother also needs to seek out this site before he is found deceased. "What do you do for a person like him?" is just that. He can get in-house residential treatment, BUT, AND I REITERATE. HE MUST WANT IT.

https://rurecovery.com
Call Us Today! 866.733.6768 | weneedu@reformu.com
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BSSMB02 Feb 1, 2019
While it's kind of you to recommend a program you believe in, my brother would be a living nightmare in their care. He has visual and auditory hallucinations several times a day. He screams at himself in the bathroom; screaming every filthy thing you can imagine at himself and others. He's volatile, angry, and most definitely does NOT WANT help. Also, we grew up in a fundamentally religious home. There is NO WAY I would put him through fundamental Christianity again. Nope.
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Wow - what a sad and complicated situation.
Many good comments/suggestions.
I agree - do not bring her into your home. You need the mental space and refuge.

One thing I can add is to connect with NAMI - National alliance on Mental Illness. They have excellent educational programs and support groups for family members. May provide support and clarity re you brother.

You are not alone - and you are thinking clearly - trust your gut.
Good Luck! -
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Do you think she will adjust without gambling in your home? Or will you be okay with that? Will you have to transport her back and forth to the casino? Let her take a taxi or UBER if she goes daily, so you won’t be inconvenienced.

Addicts don’t stop and usually get worse, especially since she has a partner in crime (your brother). He will be hanging out at your home. Not an ideal situation for anyone.

It's hard under any circumstances having a parent live with them. Trust me I know. My mom has lived with me since 2005 and I am exhausted! She needs help daily with everything. I am planning to look at facilities in my area for my mom in the near future.

I am torn, feeling guilty but I can’t hang in limbo anymore wondering what is available for her. So, I am at least going to start looking and then decide what options are out there.

I would not have been able to even think about future plans for her without the encouragement of the wonderful, smart and compassionate posters on this site.

My heart goes out to you and I wish you the very best. I completely understand about your brother as well.

The only memories I have of my brother since I was around 6 years old was him being addicted to heroin. Please don’t do that to your children. Don’t let him be a major influence in their lives. It’s so confusing to a child. I know first hand how it feels. They can care about him as their uncle but he doesn’t have to live with you and wreck havoc on your lives.

I look back and see where the innocence of my childhood was robbed from me. Of course in those days, my parents struggled terribly with how to deal with it and I know they did their best. There were no support groups for families then. There was a lot of shame. My heart aches for all who are struggling with addiction and their families. Thank God, no one else in our family struggled with addiction. Some parents have several children who become addicts.

I took care of my brother knowing full well that he would eventually die due to his addiction. He had Hep C, no cure then. I will never forget being at his side in hospice on that last day (I did forgive him) or making his final arrangements, which was to be cremated.

I hung on because I felt a responsibility to my mother. I felt so badly about her losing her first born son.

Please take care of yourself. I am just now realizing that my life matters. I owe a lot to the other posters who have pointed out things that I really needed to look at and I am grateful to everyone for being honest with me.

Transitional times are tough. We get set into a routine and lose ourselves but it’s time that we find ourselves again. Hopefully, without too much guilt. If we experience some guilt, let’s hope it isn’t for too long so we can finally learn to live our lives in peace.

It doesn’t mean that we are heartless or don’t care about others but we are equally as important. It has taken a long time for that to sink in my thick skull!
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As I see it,....Mom is somewhat handicapped, intellectually/mentally, and doesn't seem to be able to make wise decisions. Also sounds like she may be listening to what other people say about you and your "controlling" attitude.

We went through getting guardianship for my MIL and it was the best thing we could have done for her. We needed a medical psychiatrist/cologist to proclaim that she was not mentally able to handle her own medical/monetary/safety any longer by herself. Since you are the only one looking after her own good, the judge probably won't say no to your claim.

It's not a happy situation, but you need to protect Mom from herself. Driving away with the pump still in the car is a great indicator of not thinking properly.

You need to go for it for Mom, and she will fight you on this, but also for your own peace of mind...knowing that you are doing the best for her.

Good luck.
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Reply to nebbish1964
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Thank you so much for all your replies. I have so much to consider! I am definitely walking away from this with the thought that having her live with me is NOT a viable solution.

It's bizarre how you can feel blindsided all of a sudden. I thought she was okay living on her own, but I now see that she needs more assistance than I imagined.

You've all been so gracious to respond. Thank you!
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Before I tackle some of your concerns let me say this, "She can not move in with you". You need somewhere to go to regroup and keep your sanity. Your family also needs their safe haven and please do not rob them of that. Your moms mental state could cause some emotional scars to all of you.

Both of my parents have Alzheimer's. My Dad is going on his 8th year and my Mom was diagnosed a little over a year. They live in their home they've shared for 60 years.

Mother shows the same personality issues you are dealing with. Your brother is my sister. My sister may not have a drug addiction but a shopping addiction and she is sucking my parents resources dry. She has no desire to care for my parents but she did agree to take charge of my dads meds by taping them to the front door in the morning. She has no problem asking my mother for money when no one is around since Mom will not remember anyway.

Mom is verbally abusive, complains I control her, I'm stealing from her, threatens to kill herself or me, doesn't take a shower and spells retching. I refuse to take her anywhere or color her hair until she takes a shower which doesn't always work. Sometimes I have to use the reward system to get things done.

I work full time and have been fortunate to find a women who, in time ( it took awhile) mother really likes She takes great care of both of my parents but I do not try to burden her with them. I am hoping to find another provides soon who will be as compassionate and caring.

So now I have taken over my moms med routine, check her sugar and give her her eye drops before the provider gets there in the morning. I give her the evening meds after dinner. My parents can no longer care for themselves. They cannot even get coffee for themselves much less feed themselves. I do their clothes shopping, groceries, pay bills, and doctor's appts.

My other siblings have health problems or are slowly burning out. I was never that strong but became stronger realizing I couldn't expect my parents to be that couple I remember so long ago because they will never come back.

I am looking into Guardianship since that will be the only way I can protect my parents assets. In Texas abuse of the elderly is a serious matter. Since both my parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's I need to make sure that I will be able to take care of them.

For the sake of your parent and yourself, BE STRONG. Do what needs to be done for the welfare of your Mom but also safeguard your family.
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disgustedtoo Feb 2, 2019
You can start by applying to be rep payee for SS (see my post to Op about this.) It is free and does not require an attorney (does take a little of your time, requires a special account for each of them and yes, you also have to account for how the money is spent every year, but this can be done online.)

If that is their only source of income, doing this would curtail sister's ability to scum money from mom (or dad) as she would not have any to give! I did NOT have to bring any kind of Dx, just called local office, made appointment, answered their questions and waited for approval!
Some details in my first post to BSSMB02.

If they have other assets or income, if you have DPOA you might be able to protect them without guardianship (federal income requires a different process like SS - no federal acknowledgement for POA of any kind.) The last option is guardianship.
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I would hightail it to the lawyer and immediately start the guardianship process. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, she will fight you. Yes, it will be burdensome to you. But you have no alternative. To best protect your mother, please follow your lawyers advice. You must be strong.

My sister and I had to conserve our mother (in our state, it is called conservatorship, not guardianship). She fought us tooth and nail, even enlisted the help of a friend to advocate on her behalf, but we prevailed because it was obvious that Mom needed help and we needed to be in control. She took the final judgment very hard and throughout much of her remaining years she remembered it until she entered the later stages of dementia. But, it had to be this way.

Good luck and all the best to you and your family.

p.s. I would think twice before bringing your Mom into your home. She would be probably best served in a good facility nearby, assuming she can afford it. You will need the mental and emotional space as her dementia progresses. It wouldn't be fair to your husband and children to take this on.
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Reply to ClaudiaHCA
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Isthisrealyreal makes some very good points. Wow, this is a very difficult situation you're in! God bless you for sticking by your mom's side all this time.

I have been involved in a guardianship for a disabled person and you should go in with your eyes open. I'm not sure if it's the same in every state, but in Texas we had to account for EVERY PENNY of what was done with the person's own money. We had to submit an annual report to the court for approval. It had to balance TO THE PENNY every time. This also added to the expenses in the form of legal fees. I would say a guardianship is the last resort. If you can get it done with a trust or POA, do it.

Another thing about guardianship: your other relatives have to be notified when it happens, and they can contest it and so forth. As Isthisrealyreal said, the attorneys are the only ones who win in all of this.
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ClaudiaHCA Feb 1, 2019
I disagree that the lawyers are the only ones who benefit. The process of obtaining a guardianship does cost money and there are burdensome rules to follow, but these are far outweighed by the benefits of being in charge and being able to protect the mother or disabled person.
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Obtain guardianship for them both. Your lawyer can start you off with the papetwork and gove you help in getting a psychologist to diagnose them. Start asap because they will be on you all this year.
The other family members need to get a life and stop leaching off your mother.
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I have a couple of questions.

Is the Trust irrevocable? If yes, she has found a sleaze ball attorney that is going to bilk her out of money and the sad thing is the Trust will have to pay.

There has to be some pretty serious issues for a court to intervene on a irrevocable trust. Get an attorney, I would not us the same one that created the trust, who is probably a fine attorney, but will not look at his own work with objective eyes, no one does. Have the trust reviewed for legality, start keeping track in a journal of everything that is happening with your mom. If the new attorney sees nothing wrong, no loop holes and believes that it will stand up in court, have him send a heavy letter to the attorney, he may be able to state that no attorney fees will be paid from the trust funds, he/she will know the legalities of that.

You are going to have to be aggressive in stopping this whole circus of legal wrangling. People have the idea that attorneys have ethics and morals, not so much (nothing personal anyone), there are some but they are all trying to earn a living and will twist the law and cost people loads of money, in the end they are the only winner.

If your mom is entitled to her SS as her pocket money, you need to stop worrying about how she spends it, your dad, I assume, knew what he was doing. Let her spend her money however she wants, you have to do what the trust says as trustee, if you don't want to do that you can appoint another trustee.

Secondly, has your brother been declared incompetent or is he just a dead beat druggie? If he has been declared then you need to call 911 every time he threatens suicide, actually even if he is just a dead beat druggie you need to call 911 every time. He may have special consideration if he has been declared, if not, you can call APS and file a complaint of financial exploitation of a vulnerable senior.

You need to NOT subject your family to this woman and her son, you will regret bringing her into your home from day one. She already thinks you have to much control, what do you think she will do when she is in your home and has no independence at all? She will make your life, your husbands life and your kids life a living nightmare.

This is her money, left to her by her husband. She needs to be taken care of and if that means every penny goes to that care, so be it. You intervening and bringing her home will destroy you and your family. There is no cure for what ails her. Let her have her fun with her SS, do what you are supposed to do as trustee and go live your life. You are entitled to compensation as trustee, take it. Minimize contact with your mom and brother, life will happen and she will need more care , at that point you make decisions about where to place her or to bring in home health.
You are trying to control her and her pocket money and that makes all of us angry, once you stop, you will see the situation calm down.

Read the stories on this website and you will know what you are asking for by thinking you can fix her by bringing her to your house. You need a wake up call. No offense intended, you just don't have any idea how bad of an idea it is, yet.
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disgustedtoo Feb 2, 2019
One of my comments covered the attempt to change the trust. Irrevocable is NOT changeable by the "grantor". I do not think mom, lawyer or not, can do a thing about this without trustee (OP) approval.

If anything, I would take on that attorney and tell him/her s/he could be up on charges for fraud and for misleading/taking advantage of an elder if s/he is telling the mother this is possible!

Read more at:
Investopedia page www.investopedia.com/terms/i/irrevocabletrust.asp
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I think the lawyer wants you to get Guardianship because she is trying to break the trust and doesn't seem to be making good decisions about herself. I would follow his advice, and also for your brother if possible. Be careful about taking an angry, hostile person into your home. She may make it unbearable for you and your family. You might need to get a house cleaner/cook/aide to stop in and cook for her, do her laundry and clean, and help her shower and drive her places and make sure she takes her medications, but if she is refusing to do these things, nobody can force her to do them. And she may not accept having aides. You also can't force her to have an operation if she doesn't want to have it. Try not to dictate to her how to spend her money, as long as there is enough for her to do what she wants, even if you don't agree with how she spends it. As Guardian, you can have her checks and bills sent to you, and you can give her an allowance for her spending money, but she may not like this.
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It's so sweet of you to think that by bringing mom home, you are going to magically solve all her problems--it won't happen.

AL's exist for this exact reason. People THINK they can "fix mom/dad" and bring them home and within weeks, or months are rethinking their decisions.

As far as guardianship--I think you will have to buck up and get an attorney. This is n't something you can apply for an wait--you have to actively work on it..

The brother? I have much less sympathy for him. Right now, focus on mom and getting her to a safer place.

My kids, when faced with the possible option of having their dying Grandpa move in with us, all said they would leave. My first responsibility was to my kids--and so we worked around things to keep him in his home.

Caregiving takes 24/7/365, if you attempt to do it yourself, and I have, many times for my DH who is incredibly accident prone and just has bad luck with health--by the time he is rehabbed enough to go back to regular life, I am a mess, crying all the time and depressed.

Good luck with this--and be patient.
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Riverdale Feb 1, 2019
So how do you manage? Where do you find the strength? I am coping with moving and my husband is dragging the process with sentimental items like old notes. I just want to vaporize.
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My mom will continue to fall regardless of location, but it is time for AL..
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I am in the process of getting guardianship of my mother, who will fight me till the end. It is tearing me apart emotionally, but logically it is the right step. I have doctors notes now stating she cannot make an informed decisions for her health care. The cost is extremely high for an attorney...
I'm in the process of attempting to "trick" her into AL.... She was recently hospitialized, another bad fall in bathroom with 18 staples to the head, had a UTI, contracted CDIF, has demientia, incontienent, personality wise stubborn as a bull to me and from lack of being up is now a 2 person assist, with terrible rashes, and broken skin in her private areas-- she has been moved to a skilled nursing place with the infections (beaumont hospital Royal Oak, Mi kicked her out- they needed the bed and insurance BS with medicare even though she has BC medigap).
I may or may not be able to convince her to go to AL, but attorneys ready, drafted the petition. My mom will be going to AL-willing or not... and then I have the guilt that she will die once she is at the AL.. There comes a time when you just cannot do it all.. I've tried short term caregivers for over a year now at her home, 24/7 caretakers for 3 months at her home and 24/6 live in care at her home-It's just not working .... she still continues to fall and chronic UTI's ,
She will not be going home with me, I have two older sisters who haven't visited my mom at all and they live 10 mins from her. I drive 45 mins,I'm single and took care of my moms mother at my house who was a sweetheart while caring for her. . Its a roller coaster with my mother, but I have to take of myself, and have to be reminded of the that all time. You break with no support, if you break no one there for mom and your daily living. It's is sooooooo hard...emotionally, physcially.... You are not alone !
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Riverdale Feb 1, 2019
You should feel no quilt. You have been through hell. It sounds that she might be too bad off for AL and may need NH but if it works out for you I am happy for you.
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Tread VERY CAREFULLY when considering guardianship discussions.  Today’s adult guardianship adjudication process is a haven for the criminal element and you are very likely to be financially exploited by this system versus protected by it. While theoretically a proper solution in some situations, abusive guardianships have become a $1.5 trillion cottage industry growing at tsunami speed of greed, abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Watch the international award-winning documentary THE GUARDIANS (available on iTunes and Amazon) - the true story of Las Vegas victims and their predators; check out www.aaapg.net for testimonials, media reports, and jaw-dropping reports; and contact www.cearjustice.org for guidance and advocacy efforts. I know personally the indescribable pain, suffering, and betrayal of trust that guardianships can cause. Valentine's Day 2019 will mark the second anniversary of my 93-year old mother's passing...an ironic reminder how greed can destroy love. I am still fighting for justice for her, for my parent's wishes to be respected and my father's legacy to be honored. This is year seven of my fight.
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ClaudiaHCA Feb 1, 2019
I don't quite understand your comments. Weren't you the one who was granted guardianship or did you have a 3rd party take that on? If the latter, then I can understand the comments. But, for any responsible and ethical family member considering this important step and who will take on the medical and financial duties, then guardianship is a good thing. It protects the demented patient.
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It sounds like you NEED to obtain Guardianship for your Mother.
Just the fact that her mental capacity is declining is enough. But the fact that your brother is taking advantage of her is another reason.
And it also sounds like your brother need a guardian as well.
If you can not handle both, and it is a very big task, obtain guardianship for your mother and the state can become guardian for your brother. If the lawyer is suggesting the guardianship I am sure that he/she would not recommend it if he were not sure guardianship would be granted.

As far as the surgery for your mom, it may prevent further damage by allowing blood and oxygen to be restored fully BUT it will NOT reverse damage that has been done and if the blockages return you will have the same problems again. At 74 this is a tough decision.

As far as having your mom move in with you..what would you do with the house? Your brother can't possibly live there by himself. Is your house easily converted to one that can be easily converted to handicapped accessible? No carpet? no stairs that you mom would have to navigate? large bathroom that a walker, wheelchair can get into and move? shower that has no barrier? How will your family feel when and if 90% of your time is with your mom when she needs more care? Can you and will you be able to use the funds from selling the house to hire help because you will need it. House adaptations and hiring help from the sale is something that you will have to discuss with the lawyer. (and I hope the lawyer is well versed in elder law)
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I really feel for you and know how torn you must be. I can’t advise you as I am feeling somewhat the same. My mom is showing signs of dementia and I have been to see her doctor twice and he is ignoring me. She knows how to fool the outside world. We live in Canada and I have been told to go to a community care government run organization(by friends) and apparently they will get mom tested. Mom has always said she hates the community care people and she will have her back up and probably figure out it was me who asked for testing. My mom is sweet as pie to everyone else but can be very cutting to me. I like you are between a rock and a hard place. I wish you peace in what path you chose. I wish I could offer you more but know you are not alone and whatever we both chose it was best for us at the time.
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From my unique personal experiences I would always advocate to prepare in advance. This will lessen your stress SO MUCH! Remember if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of them.
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My mother agreed to move in with me and my partner. Note: she AGREED. She lived for a further seven years, and by the end of her life I was exhausted, broke and single.

Your mother will fight you tooth and nail. Also, many of her issues are intrinsic to her: she will import her addictions and her dramas into your home, where your children are growing up. You can stop her bringing your brother and her circus of undesirables with her, but you can't stop her bringing the habits and personality that fostered the situation in the first place and make her now advanced ill health so incredibly difficult to manage.

Do not bring your mother to live with you. Do not.

None of this is your fault; but what I think is even more important is that there is no way you can gain control of this situation - you, a lay person, with no legal or mental health or social work training and nothing but love and your sense of duty to work with. It's unreasonable to expect so much of yourself.

I agree with your attorney that guardianship is the answer; but I don't think you should be the guardian. Ask your attorney whose hands it would be better placed in.
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Monkeydoo Feb 1, 2019
You are so spot on! Your kids must come first! Once you lose your peace you have lost everything!
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Taking on this huge responsibility would be a Huge One, hun, For even your Mom. Talk to Adult Protective services and a Social Worker for your Bro, To get back on the Right Track. You have your hands full and with Taking on Guardianship, You will never have your Life Back.
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Can you afford the cost? Because if you can, I would go for guardianship for Mom. I would not bring her to your house to live but I would find her a nice AL. This way she will be contained. No one can move in with her. You can sell the house for her care. Only going out when you take her. As guardian you can say who can take her off the premises. She needs to be fully evaluated. Which as a guardian you have controll over.

I would not get guardianship over your brother. I know you feel some responsibility here but you can't help those who are not ready to be helped. You really have to let them reach bottom. With guardianship you are responsible to the state and once gotten, they are not quick to let you revolk it. Let the state take guardianship if it comes to that.

Your priority is to "your" family. Your husband and children. Moving Mom in is not fair to any of them. Dementia is hard to deal with when your my age and retired. I can't imagine dealing with it when I had a family to care for. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Its like caring for another child who can't be reasoned with.

Moms Dementia may be caused by blockages in the brain. Her brain is not getting the oxygen it needs. Once it does, her symptoms may improve. You really need to discuss this with her doctor. What are the risks and what good will come out of it. What will Mom need in the aftermath. Rehab? You are going to have to weigh the costs. No money for extended rehab? Then maybe she will need Medicaid to pick up what Medicare doesn't cover. And this needs to be discussed when Mom is admitted to rehab. You have to be upfront with her finances.
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