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Need objective advice....

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Old 10-04-2015, 10:41 AM   #1
Diandra
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Default Need objective advice....

As I wrestle with this issue, I thought I would ask you all for your opinions.
Sometimes I think I am too close to look at this issue without a mountain of emotions clouding my judgement.
( Sorry, this is like a soap opera)

Some history:
5 years ago, after my father died, my mother was alone, in her home, a 3 hr drive from me. My 3 brothers, who all live much closer to her, or their spouses/kids were NOT helping her. I was driving up all the time to hire caregivers, take her to doc, etc. At the time, she had mild dementia. She was 88 then. She had never lived alone In her entire life.

I told her, due to my health issues, I could not continue handling her life long distance and gave her the choice of moving to assisted living or moving in with us. My brothers offered no help. Have always treated me like handling my parents issues and life was MY job. I love my parents, they were wonderful parents and I have been happy to help.

She moved in with us, to a spare bedroom. I cared for her daily. After a year, We realized, our house was too tiny for any of us to have privacy and we said, we would build an apt on our house or she can move to a facility near us. I conferred with my brothers because I was using some of her money to build the apt($50K of hers, $15k of ours). One brothers take was,, if you take any money out for apt, you have to pay it back to her account when she dies. (this brother also lived rent and food free for 8 yrs after a divorce..my Mom did his cooking and laundry)
I said, what about the daily care we give her, provide all her food, her utilities, chaffeur, etc. and never are compensated for that? He didn't care, yet when we have to be away and I ask he and his wife to take her for a week or two, they always say no, they are too busy(he is retired, wife works part time). Other brother ignores my requests but my oldest brother and his wife are helpful and felt it was fine to use her money, did not have to pay anything back.

Here is the issue:
I have been out of work on disability for many yrs, yet still cared for my parents and took my Mom in 4 yrs ago. In March of this year, I got cancer. I asked my brothers to help care for my Mom while I went through treatment. Only one brother offered help and he took her to his home.

My Mom has been at his home for 5 months. Due to all the changes in our lives, my husband has decided to retire early 2016 and we will be moving and NOT taking my mother as we are moving far from family.

I have asked my brother to tell her because I thought telling her over the phone is cruel(she has dementia) and he said, NO, I have to tell her. I said, you are suggesting I travel 3 hrs to tell her this? Can't you help me here? Every time I call, she asks when can she come home. This makes me think she is not happy there. I do know my brother and his wife have alcoholic issues and a big disagreement we have is, they let her drink as much wine as she wants, where I limit her to one glass a day, per doc orders. They leave the wine out and she drinks what she wants and it seems they just leave her alone all day, plunked in front of the TV with the remote.
Every time I call, that is what she is doing.

I gave them $3000 and my Moms credit card to pay for anything she needs, food, scripts, haircuts, anything. In the 5 months, there have only been two charges on her credit card, for a liquor store. This makes me think, is she getting her hair cut, are they refilling her scripts, taking her anywhere for entertainment? . I think they are just letting her sit there all day, alone.
Every time I ask my brother anything, he says he doesn't know, to ask his wife.
I call and text and she never answers and now they are asking for more money.
I said, you have her credit card which can be used for almost anything.
For the life of me, I cannot fathom why they won't use it.

I asked two nieces to stop by and just give me an idea of what is going on but, that never happens.

My brother said my Mom can stay living with them. I think she should be in assisted living, or at minimum, have someone come over every day to help entertain her and get her away from drinking wine and watching TV all day.

I am looking for advice on how to tell her she is not coming back here and advice on moving her to assisted living vs staying with my brother and his family,
where the care is not great but at least he has a lot of grown kids and grandkids and activity in his home(our home is just me and my husband and very little activity ).

Thanks for ready this really long post...I have been agonizing over this.
Diandra
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:46 AM   #2
St George 2013
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Default Dear Diandra

Bless your heart as I know what you are going through. It's so tough for us daughters where our mothers are concerned.

My mother paid for a 600 sq ft addition onto our house and moved in Feb 2014. There is only one house between mine and hers but with having just gone through chemo I know I needed her as close as possible to care for her and for her to care for me. She washes my dishes and clothes as she says this is her 'job'. And I do appreciate it and it keeps her active physically.

I only have one brother who is 7 years older than me. I'm 53. When she moved in her mind was still intact. She asked at that time that I give my brother 1/2 of what her addition cost when she is gone. My brother said not to worry about it and there is nothing in writing. I agreed at the time but my husband wasn't very happy with me. I take care of her 24/7 except for Wednesday. I take her to the hair salon at lunchtime on Wed and then he picks her up at 4 and takes her grocery shopping and then to his house to eat dinner. His total time with her is 3 +/- hours a week. He never calls her in between those times.

I finally told my husband that I would not be giving my brother any 'extra' money when she is gone. I am the exec of her and my dad's will as my brother is always in financial straights and they knew I would be fair with him. He and his wife make good money they just don't know how to manage it. Even though I won't be giving him the $25,000 plus and then splitting the rest I feel that it will be fair since I will/have been taking care of her for years even before she moved in with us. Every once in a blue moon I will ask him to take her to the dr if I'm in a flare and he does but he's not too nice to her about it and that really ticks me off to no end.

If there is nothing in writing about you paying one of your brothers back then I don't think it will matter other than that he will be mad at you. But sounds like you and he don't have much of a relationship anyway so it may not ever matter. Me and my brother are not close at all. He thinks we are because he throws out "I love you Sis" here and there. He has always been a very selfish and moody person. God bless his wife...she is awesome and loves him.

What about moving her to an assisted living close to where you are moving to ? So you can visit her when you want to. Or maybe you said that and I just didn't understand.

I don't think her life as it is is very good for her. If she is mobile and in assisted living they always have something going on....bingo, singings, hair salon on site and the such.

My mother's mind is now slipping....somedays it's very serious. She doesn't know what food is on her plate, asks very strange questions that she should know the answer to. I've noticed if I tell her something I know she won't like she may fixate on it for a morning and then she forgets I told her.

Example: We are going to spend Thanksgiving in the GA mountains. Me, my son Luke and my 3 grandsons will leave on Sunday.....my daughter Christina, her husband, granddaughter and my mom will be coming up Wed night. I'm doing this so I can go and do as I please Mon, Tues and Wed and then spend the rest of the week entertaining and being with her in the mountains while the rest of the family goes and does what they want. She was very upset with me and wanted to go when I went on Sunday. But now she has pretty much forgotten what I told her. Christina and her husband will come and stay with her Sunday till they leave on Wed. All this planning after I asked my brother to keep her from Wed of that week until we got home on Sun and he basically said no...they had too much going on. Thanks brother....appreciate the help !

Do you think your mom would be like mine and just forget you told her you would be moving even though she will keep asking to come home ? I know it's heartbreaking for you but I also know we have to take care of ourselves before we can care for others.

Not sure I helped any but I can see we have similar issues. My mother is fine financially and I will keep her in the addition as long as I can or until the money runs out if I have to get outside help with her. I told her and my brother I'd spend every last dime she had to take care of her and my brother agreed. My mom and dad saved every penny they could because they wanted to leave me and my brother with $. Told her I didn't care if there was any money left when she was gone as long as she has good care and everything she needs while here on this earth.

Please keep me posted on how you're dealing with this and how your mom is doing.

Forgot to add....my mom is 84 years old and has no major health issues. Smokes like a freight train but has very minor COPD. She only weighs 85 lbs and had gotten down to 79 while Bubba was sick and I could not tend to her as needed. She just doesn't respond as well to my daughter taking care of her. So since Aug 30th she has gone from 79 lbs to 85 lbs. A nurse comes in once a week and checks her bp, weight, meds and just how she is going in general. This was orders from the dr when she went in and weighted 79 lbs. Said she was malnution (sp). Also PT comes in 2 times a week because she also broke 2 ribs the night of my husband's visitation. They work with her on exercises to strengthen her legs.

Sorry to you that this was so long but I guess I needed to get it out there. Hoping you find the best solution for you and your mom.

With love and hugs......

Also want to share that my husband was a wonderful son. His mom lived with us for awhile and when in the nursing home he visited her 2 times a week, every week until she passed away in Feb 2014. This was a 45 minute drive one way.

Debi from Georgia
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:35 PM   #3
Diandra
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Hi Debi,
Somehow, I knew you would be the first to reply.

You did help.

Sadly, my nasty brother and I are co-executors of my Moms life and he warned me he was going to "Sue my aXX" when my Mom passed. A lovely guy. All he cares about is money. As I told him, how sad that he has made that a priority over his entire family, including his mother and only sister. Even his grown kids complain that is all he talks about when he rarely calls them.

No, there is nothing in writing about paying brother back, as a matter of fact, the financial advisor called him because initially he refused to sign off on withdrawing the money. She said, what does he expect to do with your Mom, just leave her? So, she called him, got him to sign off and had my Mom write and sign a letter that states she agrees with the withdrawal of the money to build an apt in my home. She said, with YOUR family, you need protection.

The reason we are not moving my mom with us is because we are going to be very far from the entire family and they don't visit when she is close, if she far, they will never come see her and I don't think that is fair to her. Also, we want to be free to travel or do what we please. When someone is in assisted living, they still need support and management and I can barely take care of myself right now.

I do agree, I may tell her and she will just forget.
I was thinking today, I may not be able to drive the 3 hrs to her but, I can hire a truck to bring my mothers things she needs,like her special recliner, her temperpedic bed, all her books and music, to her now and just drive with whomever I hire to drive the truck. I will call and just tell her we are bringing some of her things and tell her what is going on when I am there.

I just feel so bad for her but, I do have to take care of myself and focus on me and my husband. He has been a trooper through all this, has done more for my Mom than all my family combined. He is retiring and I owe what little energy I have to being with him. I hope it doesn't hurt you for me to say that knowing you just lost Bubba. I apologize if that is insensitive Debi.

I think of you all the time and am so sad for the grief you are dealing with.
Debi, the good thing is, you had a good man, a good marriage and loved deeply.
I know that only makes the pain worse but you had so many good years and lovely children and many folks never have that. I hope beautiful memory soothe you.

Sorry for being so self absorbed in this thread. These issues with my Mom taunt me all day long because they are unresolved...the thoughts are getting obsessive , like a hampster on a wheel. I just can't make them stop until I resolve it.

Thanks for your input dear one. I appreciate your kindness and compassion in reading through my very long post.

You have been, and continue to be, such a good daughter to your Mom. She is lucky to have you. Will you adopt me?

My best to you and your family,
D.
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:26 PM   #4
St George 2013
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Default Sweet Diandra :)

I so get what you are saying about you and your husband. I had to make some harsh rules for my mom before Bubba had his surgery in May. It drove him crazy to come home everyday and my mom be in the kitchen when he just wanted to go lay across the bed and talk to me.

At that time she was ok mentally and coming to my house at 10 every morning and staying until 4 pm. I had to tell her that at 4 she needed to go home and if she needed me during the evening to call me. She would just walk in and around our house until she found me. She would wake me up if I was asleep which drove Bubba crazy because he knew of the pain I was in.

I had promised myself that we were going to spend more time together doing things we wanted to do when he got well......so you can do that for me with your husband. Go and love each other. Your mother had her time and now it's your time. It's not like you are putting her on the side of the road. She will be taken care of.

Bless you and I have you in my thoughts and prayers daily. It's amazing to me how on the internet (this is the only site I use) get so close to people and us just 'get' each other. Just like a next door neighbor.

Debi from Georgia
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:15 PM   #5
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Dear Diandra,

I am so sorry to learn of your predicament. Not an easy position.

I do understand how the care of parents seems to fall on daughters. I see it everywhere.

I could relay many stories of people that have male siblings that fail to help. You are not alone but it is very sad that it seems to work out that way so often. I have seen a son step up to the plate but that is seldom the situation if there is a daughter.

I have no idea what to suggest but I know you will make the right decision for both you and your mother. I am just sorry that you are IN this situation.

Wishing you the best and that you can find some peace. I know this must be weighing heavily upon you as you struggle with finding the best solution.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diandra View Post
Hi Debi,
Somehow, I knew you would be the first to reply.
That is so true. Debi is such a comfort and a blessing to our community. I am in awe of how she has such compassion and offers such comfort to others while she is in the midst of grieving the loss of her husband.

She has such a selfless nature and sacrifices herself so often for others.

I am so glad she is here for you in your time of need and for all of us.

I know that my life has been blessed by her.
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