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Old 10-08-2016, 03:09 PM
 
2,564 posts, read 3,084,851 times
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It's been a long and arduous road since our beloved Step-Father passed away in 2014. Since then, my brother and I have taken full custody of our 78 year old mother's care, health needs, wellbeing, financial security, living arrangements, etc.. She now lives with my brother; the younger of her two sons.

Since 2014, my brother and I have not ceased from searching for ways to improve mother's quality of life. As 2016 unfolded - despite mother's perfect physical condition - finding a suitable Caregiver was the only factor escaping our grasp. In August of this year, by gracious chance, we stumbled upon a Caregiver able to fulfill mother's needs and wants 4 times per week/5 hours per day. While not religious, my brother and I considered the Caregiver as the absolute closest thing to a Religious Experience. We had finally covered mother's last and only need.

By the end of August 2016, mother had a secure monthly income, healthcare, shelter, recreation and activities, and finally, a concerned Caregiver who accompanied her 4x's/wk; someone who joyfully took her anywhere she needed or wanted to go to. We had finally reached Nirvana . . . but it was short lived.

One thing about mother: she is a very difficult person, who speaks, acts, and reasons from nothing more than raw impulse. Despite her years, she is still the quintessential attractive woman; the type who could say or do anything she wants, without repercussions simply because she's always been attractive.

This past week she called to let me know she had fired the Caregiver and was in the process of moving to a Senior Apartment complex wherein her monthly rent would increase by $400/month as compared to her current rent contribution. During the conversation, she insultingly made unsubstantiated accusations against my brother, the Caregiver, and myself - the people most concerned for her wellbeing. She spoke of wanting the freedom to "make her own decisions" far and away for the watchful eyes of her sons; and on, and on.

My brother and I - while not surprised - are nevertheless saddened and concerned for her. She has once again made an impulsive decision and a series of baseless accusations. She is about to tear down all we have done for her with immense laborious effort and sacrifice.

I spoke to my brother just this morning. Our decision? To get out of her way. To not get involved in the series of events which will unavoidably result in her own demise. Ultimately, she will only have herself to blame. We have done everything within our power to make her life whole.

Has anyone reading this dealt with a similarly difficult parent?
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:06 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 5,249,971 times
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I have had to deal with a similarly difficult sister in law who is disabled. One thing that my husband and I learned was that a person who has not been deemed incompetent by a court has a right to make horrible decisions. You can advise, and you can work hard to help them make better decisions, but ultimately you cannot make the decisions for them. (The exception would be if you actually have guardianship.) So you can keep trying, but I agree that there are times that you can do nothing. You need to not feel guilty about this, since you really are not in control. I would advise staying in touch, not breaking contact, in case your mom has a change of heart or a change in her status and actually wants you help. I had some problems like this with my mom also. My sisters and I had to give in, but less than a year later, she started to sink into her dementia and started being happy that we were stepping in (at that point we got all her legal work done, including Durable Power of Attorney and Medical POA.) Sometimes we have no real alternative but to stand aside, at least for a while.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:45 PM
 
2,564 posts, read 3,084,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
I have had to deal with a similarly difficult sister in law who is disabled. One thing that my husband and I learned was that a person who has not been deemed incompetent by a court has a right to make horrible decisions. You can advise, and you can work hard to help them make better decisions, but ultimately you cannot make the decisions for them. (The exception would be if you actually have guardianship.) So you can keep trying, but I agree that there are times that you can do nothing. You need to not feel guilty about this, since you really are not in control. I would advise staying in touch, not breaking contact, in case your mom has a change of heart or a change in her status and actually wants you help. I had some problems like this with my mom also. My sisters and I had to give in, but less than a year later, she started to sink into her dementia and started being happy that we were stepping in (at that point we got all her legal work done, including Durable Power of Attorney and Medical POA.) Sometimes we have no real alternative but to stand aside, at least for a while.
Thank you. My brother and I have POA but we don't want to wield it over her. It's tough dealing with someone like this.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:36 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 5,249,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
Thank you. My brother and I have POA but we don't want to wield it over her. It's tough dealing with someone like this.
Yes, it is tough. My sister and I discovered that we each had different "talents" in how successful we were with talking to her. For example, my sister could deal with her clothes, her hygiene, haircuts and furniture much better than I could. I was better at trying to explain financial and medical things. So we kind of had a tag team, depending on the problem at the time.

My understanding is that a POA never takes power away from the person; you can't make a decision for them over their objection. The person giving the power to the other can always say "no, that's not what I want" and that has legal weight over people like you and me. Also keep in mind that once the person dies, the POA is no longer relevant. That's why you need a will and a designated executor.
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:24 PM
 
Location: SW US
1,996 posts, read 1,853,151 times
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OP, you may want to post this in the Caregiving forum instead. We have had/are having many discussions about this kind of thing there. You may get more responses and ideas. A moderator may be able to move it there for you.
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