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Being a PWD DPOA just isn't fair when the siblings do nothing. They can enjoy their family, see the grandchildren, go to bed and get up whenever they want, go on vacation, go out to eat, no ER sitting, no sitting in MCF for hours on end, no taking parent home due to their behavior, no dealing with the bad behavior, no getting turned down by almost every NH or facility in town. It makes me so angry and NO ONE CARES!!!! That's the way it seems to me. Too bad ,you have the DPOA so its your problem. I did not sign up for this job!
*Pulls the whistle cord to let off more steam* Toot-toot!
I'm in the same situation, only without any siblings to theoretically step in. It's a lonely feeling.
Miss Her, I completely understand your feelings. But honestly, it isn't 100% related to the roles you were named for in the will. In some ways this is the chicken and the egg dilemma. There's a reason your mom named you for these roles. And it sure wasn't to punish you. It's because knowing her children, she knew who would be the responsible party she could trust. (This is how we all pick our DOPA, MPOA, and Representative) If this is the "excuse" your siblings are offering for not doing anything, it's just that, an excuse. Because you being named as the DPOA shouldn't prevent any of them from showing up to help with care. Or time, or energy, or loving concern. Nor would it ever prevent them from providing support for their sister, when she needs and deserves it the most.
I was also named for every single role in my father's paperwork. It wasn't that I needed or wanted my siblings handling dad's bills, his medical issues, and eventually finalizing his estate. (They both lived in other states, so daily tasks would have been nearly impossible.) But it sure would have been nice if my crappy siblings had at least shown some loving support for OUR father throughout his illness. My brother didn't come home once in 4 years to see his dying father. My RN retired sister, made once (or maybe twice) a year visits, at her own convenience, for an hour (on a good day possibly two) When I point blank asked each of them which week they each would come in and take care of dad, both refused. My brother said I had people to help with that. (Just curious, but who exactly did my brother think I could hire to be Dad's one and only son?) My sister said she couldn't because of ........(drum roll please) snow. Of course I never heard a word from her for the next three years from March through November. LOL So apparently, in her world, it snows all year long.
There's only ONE thing I can promise you you're sibling will show up for. And that's whatever inheritance they think they are ENTITLED to. (which for the record, will be absolutely everything) And I mean every scrap of paper, every item of history, every nickel, any and every item of any value that is left. As examples, my brother even went so far as to list a pair of tweezers from the bathroom drawer in his request list. My sister requested every single instrument Dad ever owned, even though she never played any instrument in her life. (because apparently no one else would ever be interested in any of those things) They both requested every letter, every photo, any shred of family history, and any jewelry item our parents ever owned. My sister even found a way to have Dad's service flag presented to her at his graveside service. (Even though I had purchased this special service flag flown over the capitol in his honor.) And of course, their big issue was how much money they could possibly get. That was such a big deal, that my brother even requested a copy of Dad's will when Dad was still up walking and talking, and when I said no, he went so far as to hire an attorney in town to press the issue with Dad's attorney. (that little shanigan cost $750 in legal fees for Dad's attorney to protect his privacy)
We've all heard stories like this about crappy self centered family members. I was the lucky one (LOL) who got to experience it first hand. Oh lucky me!
What this experience really taught me is how important those documents really are. While I couldn't change what my father had written, it certainly did change what I have written and how I feel about all of this. Like you, I didn't ask for those roles, nor did my father ever ask me if I wanted any of this responsibility. But more importantly, he never expected to get AD. I'm sure he was hoping he'd quickly die of a heart attack. (That sure would have been easier than this disease) So without any consideration for what can happen in life, he never made any specific provisions for the time, energy, or possible ramifications of caregiving, or just the time it takes to be the personal representative on a will. My crappy siblings got to sit back, doing absolutely nothing once again, throughout this entire process. Yet they got exactly what I got when it came to finalizing the estate. You want to talk unfair??? NONE of this is fair. And as an added detail, had it not been for my efforts, there wouldn't have been any estate to worry about. It all would have been chewed up in nursing home costs.
Now having said all this, I hope you know that I would have taken care of my father if he had been dead broke, because I loved him with all of my heart. But I'd sure like to remind people who understand this disease, that it's no small task to care for someone with AD. (there's an understatement) Using those documents to make certain that those "tasks" are acknowledged and appreciated, is the right thing to do. At the very least, make certain that a caregiver isn't baring the brunt of your disease financially. Whether that's quitting a job, selling a business, or just covering the cost of daily living needs. Make certain that your MPOA, at the very least, receives some stipend for all the time they will spend helping with your end of life issues. Make certain that you specify some amount for the Personal Representative, knowing how much time and energy it takes to clean up an estate. (I spent a full year taking care of my father's estate)
I know that both of my parents loved all three of their children. And I also know they did an equal three way split on their wills, in an attempt to be fair to all of us. I also believe they were hoping that this would allow us to move forward without any hard feelings. But that motive completely backfired as far as I'm concerned. After witnessing my siblings total disregard for my father at the end of his life, and these vultures circling his casket upon his death, I will never speak to either one of them again. Their behavior should never have been rewarded. But it was. In equal shares, with their one daughter who did all the heavy lifting for many years.
So no Miss Her, none of this is fair. Not the years of care, not the time, worry, exhaustion, not the fact that these sibling give up nothing about their own self destined life to support THEIR parent. Yet I guarantee, they will show up with their hands out at the funeral. It's who they are, and unfortunately, who their parents have allowed them to be.
I have told all three of my children one thing. If you can't show up for me in life then don't show up at my funeral with your hand out. And they know I mean it.
I know that your siblings stink as bad as mine do. I also got the trustee but a couple of brothers and a niece started so much trouble, that I let the bank do that. Big troublemakers and long story involving the police!! NUTS
So yes. two live out of state and one lives 30 minutes away. Many dumb excuses but why bother asking. Wanted the close brother to sit with mom so I could attend a family function. He could not. He has a 10 hr a week job. He had the flu..Two weeks before I needed a few hours off! My daughter stayed and let me go. She hurt her back and it was a roller skating party. That was so sweet of her.
Yup, Too selfish to help clean out her house and put stuff in storage. Do worry about said stuff though.
Too lazy to help her move in and out of facilities. To selfish to call and ask how she is or even how I am.
Too selfish to attend holidays with her at facilities .
Too selfish to visit more then a half an hour when in town once a year. out of state
In state brother probably went to see his mom 10 times in the almost last 4 years.
This time I'm getting paid..ha But I have her 24/7
You should have charged the estate. Mom's trustee gets paid. Yes DPOA should get paid,too! We are the ones giving up our life!
Good idea HisDaughter..Do ensure that your DPOA gets something extra.
But TWEEZERS!!! That's insane!! I'm not too fond of mine, either. I have told them they will show up for money! Thanks..venting never ends does it? Deb
I am that person who would start mailing them his junk mail, old pots and pans, old underwear, holey socks, saying hey, dad wanted to do some cleaning and knew you want some of his stuff! Enjoy
Are the siblings that are POA, are they generally the eldest siblings? Wonder what the stats are on that. And if growing up the younger siblings felt "less" for being second. That's no excuse but i am curiious about thos family dynamics as I am an only.
I am the middle child. The second of two daughters, with one younger brother. My older sister was the RN in the family.
While statistically I think people often name their oldest child, or oldest son, my parents knew better. Their decision was really based on personality and attitude, as well as a lifetime of watching their children's behavior and actions.
But if you were to listen to either of my sibling's sob stories, (completely fabricated self serving garbage) apparently I was the only child that my parents actually loved. LOL. Good Lord, they couldn't (won't) even take responsibility for their own relationships with Mom and Dad. Apparently, that was also my fault. (and just so you know, I am actually laughing while writing this.) My sister was jealous of me since the day I was born, and even told me about this when I was in my mid 20s. Part of this, I'm sure, came from being their only child for 9 years. My brother was a narcissistic loser his entire life. You know, one of those living in the basement at mom and dad's till he was 26 years old. (actually it was the bedroom he'd "grown up" in)
But none of this changes the fact that we should recognize the extensive and time consuming roles we ask of people on our legal paperwork.
Well written His Daughter.
I am the oldest of three children with the POA and daily care of our mother with AD. My parents made me POA, health and financial, over 14 years ago when my father was still living, but with failing health. None of us ever expected AD to be in our future, but here it is!
My sister lives three hundred miles away and sends our mother a package and a letter once a week or so. She used to call once a week but mother can't really carry on a phone conversation anymore. She will come and stay with our mother so I can get a break when she can. Yes, it is at her convenience but I am glad she does whatever she can. My brother calls at least every other week. She talks for a minute or two and then hands the phone to me. I am glad he calls because I am developing a relationship with my brother that I haven't had for years in our life.
As the oldest child I was following the rules and things being fair was very important to me. Add to that growing up and being taught to play fair, etc. Imagine my surprise when the first time I mentioned something not being fair my parent's reply was, "Life isn't always fair". I have been reminded of that many times over the years. Never so much as over the past few years as our mother continues to decline.
I must close this post now even though there is more I want to say but my mothers ceaseless whimpering and whining because she is bored and cannot even focus on a television show while I collect my thoughts to type is driving me insane.
Miss Her, I get wanting some items of personal remembrance, but yes, TWEEZERS! The extensive, detailed and long 3-4 page lists of things my siblings requested was outrageous and simply insane. And this was on top of the car load they each took the day of his service. Trust me, there was no end to my siblings sense of Entitlement. About the only thing I ever wanted, was my father's two diamond rings. Ok, that sounds like something big, doesn't it. But what you need to know is these were both very inexpensive items, 40 years old, broken shank, chipped diamonds, etc. The only reason I even wanted them, was to give them to my sons, who were there all these years to mow dad's grass, shovel his drive, help me get dad to doctor appointments, etc. These grandson's added so much to his life. Combined, the value of these rings was about $1,200. (My siblings required that they were appraised.) But both my siblings wrote Dad's lawyer telling him that I shouldn't get to keep his rings. (Really? The daughter who took care of Dad for years was getting too much?) But this is how ENTITLED people think. But you know how this works, it all comes down to nothing but dollars and cents on paper. I told Dad's attorney, I was not giving my siblings either of those rings. They are on my son's finger today. (They certainly deserved them)
Sharon, I felt the same way about being fair. That is what my parents would have wanted. And they both knew, that's how I would handle things. (That's a huge portion of why they selected me.) But what we often see, is that "fair" in the minds of MIA siblings, means they never have to lift a finger, change anything about their life, participate in any way, but certainly expect to share equally in inheritance. And somehow, all those years of care magically disappear the minute your parent dies. Apparently, your years of sleepless night, zero vacation time, or not even getting to sleep with your husband, was meaningless. And I TOTALLY agree with the statement that "nothing in life is fair" But at least some consideration when drafting our legal paperwork is warranted and appropriate. I just know, that neither of my parents would have wanted it to work out the way it actually did. Not saying they would have been surprised with my siblings actions. But neither of them considered AD, or anticipated the years of care that disease would require, when they wrote their paperwork. I know they would have wanted to do things differently, if they'd have had a crystal ball. I guess for me, knowing the current and anticipated numbers of people who will be affected by this consuming disease, it only makes sense to consider this when writing our own wills. I sure don't want one of my children handling years of care on my behalf, without feeling that I am leaving something extra to that child. They would have deserved, and certainly earned it.
These stories are horrific because they are so common. But it helps me cope knowing that I am not the only one who has a sibling like this. My brother (45 minutes away) hasn't seen Mom in four years, no card on her birthday or Christmas, no call. He DID take advantage of her dementia to bilk her of $33,000 until I got ahold of her finances. He begs and begs me for money and finally, after I said NO for the ninth time, he stopped talking to me.
As I listen to these stories, it appalls me that someone can BE like this and THINK like this. My brother feels like he is entitled to the money because he is going to inherit it anyway, with no thought for his mother. She is 94 and can live for a long time. She needs her money, but he doesn't care.
Prior to my mom contracting dementia, she
allowed my divorced sister to move into and live rent free in a vacant
apartment in her house. Over the years my sister had offered very little
assistance or support for our mother as she became more and more confused.
Eventually I took an early retirement to move in with my mother and to care for
her. I have been doing this for 9 and one half years and my sister has
benefited from living free rent for all those years. Yet, any time I ask for
help, she will either grudgingly accept or proffer a lame excuse as to why she
is not able to. I realize that she is knows that I am doing this strictly for
our mom and that my sister is the lucky beneficiary, but I have saved her
thousands of dollars in rent over the years and you would think that she would
be way more supportive and maybe even volunteer to help without me having to
ask every time.
Also, doesn't it annoy you that our MIA siblings are seemingly
immune from the pain of seeing our LOs slowly succumb to the horrors of
Alzheimer's? On some level my sister loves my mother but doesn't mourn my mother's slow
decline. "The long goodbye" is a foreign concept to her. My sister's brain is wired so
differently than mine. I tolerate her. I take whatever assistance that she can
give me. I can't be angry with her because I feel that she can't help the way
that she is.
WOW Janis and Bob, holy moly! How did WE come out of these same homes? Same parents, same upbringing, same gene set? It constantly astounds me. I know my brother needs help. At the bare minimum he's got a personality disorder. And my sister has been a "victim" her entire life. Where the hell did these people come from?
I'm sorry both of you also share this sibling issue. For me, it was a major problem in the early years of caring for Dad. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. It simply made no sense. But once I got past it, things got easier. So this is why I always jump in for other people when this issue pops up. I think anything we can do, say or offer, can help caregivers get beyond this MIA issue. Because thinking about it all the time sure doesn't help.
And Janis, my brother thought we all should get $13,000 checks from Dad in 2013, because that's what the IRS allowed as a tax free gift that year. LOL. Here was his sick and dying father, still walking and talking, and my brother was trying to fleece his account. OMG! (Can anyone say narcissistic personality disorder?) Come to think of it, I should have told him I'd be happy to pay a doctor to treat his narcissism. (LOL, that might have been cheaper than paying Dad's attorney to protect his legal paperwork.) So of course I told him no! FIRMLY and in no uncertain terms. And just like your brother, that ended any and all conversations with my brother. But yee gads, like we don't have enough problems to deal with. Siblings can make it all so much easier.........But BAD siblings make it infinitely worse.
But you seriously have to get to the point where you privately laugh at these people. Otherwise you'll go nuts. Which is the reason this post was started to begin with.
You know what's really sad? The one person I understood throughout this process was my dad. And he was the person with a brain disease. But seriously, he made sense to me, him I could understand. And his disease explained the reason for odd behavior. But Dad never gave me the problems I had with my siblings. But my sibling? I swear they are both insane with severe personality problems. Oh well, while I wasn't blessed with decent siblings, I certainly had wonderful parents. I still miss them both.
I have similar stories...my parents were not loving, caring people and verbally abusive. After my dad died last year, my mom moved to be close to me. I have been managing her finances and serving as her primary caregiver ever since. I will note too that I work full-time and have young children.
My older sister, who lives out of town, is also named as health care proxy and POA. But, she is absolutely useless in helping care for my mother. And, she made a grab for my mom's money last year...arguing that she just wanted to take her inheritance early. Thankfully due to wonderful advice on this forum (thank you all!), I was able to tell her absolutely under no circumstances would she get my mom's money while my mom is still alive.
I know that my sister is waiting for her inheritance. Her family struggles financially due to poor spending habits and hoarding. To just illustrate how awful she is, she writes herself a check from my mom's account for gas, lodging and food every time she visits. I have decided to let that one go, because she only comes occasionally and I have to pick my battles.
But, here is how I have come to peace:
1) my mom decided to live near me for a reason. And, even though I did not sign up for this (and frankly don't even really like my mother), I thank god every day that my mom is not living near my sister. My sister would be incapable of pulling this off (she is so disorganized) and would probably be continually siphoning money;
2) I believe in Karma. Even though our inheritance is 50/50 and I get nothing extra for all I do, I think that somehow this will all sort itself out. Not that I wish ill on my sister, but my blessings will come some day in some form somehow;
3) I am providing a good role model for my children. What do you think that my sister's children see...and, how will they treat their mom when they are adults? As a cash cow??
While I sometimes feel angry and resentful about this, this is my reality. I can't be bogged down by those emotions: they are not productive. When I do start to feel resentment, I have to remind myself of what I said above. Somehow this journey has to be a blessing to me.
The forum has been amazing for me, too, as I realize that I am not alone.
I'm 50/50 with my sister as well as far as my mother's inheritance goes. I really don't need it, but my sister who, lives paycheck to paycheck, and has virtually nothing set aside for retirement could really use it. If she was nicer to me, I would give it all to her.
In our situations, I would never count on an inheritance being there at the end, as it may get used up to pay for future expenses.
Deanna_M, I admire your attitude. You are definitely a bigger, stronger person than your sister and that's reward in itself. Nobody can take that away from you and you're right; you are providing a very admirable role model for your children. You might not get recognition from your own family for this, but I admire you, what you're doing, and your attitude about it all.
Thanks, Kelly. While I seem like I have a positive attitude right now, I do have my moments of despair and self-pity!
This forum is a God-send to me and even though I don't post often, I read it every day for support. And, I have called the Alz hotline many times for help!
Thanks, His Daughter for your support. I'm still blown away by the attitude of my brother and especially since we came from the same parents! How did he turn into this? It is kind of a relief, though, that he won't speak to me anymore. I've spent hours on the phone with him listening to his sob stories and pleas for money. It's easier if he is out of the picture.
One thing I did learn, though, was to be thoroughly righteous with her money. I've paid for attorneys and real estate lawyers to protect her assets from my brother. They advised me to document everything carefully in case he decides to sue me or accuse me of mishandling her funds. It's incredible that I have to protect her from her own son!
Janis, you're welcome. And great thread as usual! This is one of the topics that I feel authors on AD don't discuss honestly. (MIA sibling and this inheritance topic) And it would be such a great help to primary caregivers if they did, since so many of us have to deal with these issues. And who would have ever guessed, we'd have to protect their money from our own siblings? It sure caught me off guard. (Another thing that honestly depressed me, and also made me very mad.) Wish I could answer why my brother turned out to be such a loser. That certainly wasn't what my parents wanted, or how he was raised to act.
Deanne, I totally agree that it's their money and every plug nickel should be spent on their care. That's what their savings was for.......their old age, no matter what happens. I also agree that we are providing a good role model for our children, and wanted to share this story. I have three adult children in their late 20s and early 30s. After my dad died, one day out of the blue, my daughter said, "Mom, the reason you act the way you do, is because you don't need Grandpa's money. The reason your sister and brother act like they do, is because they never made anything of themselves and they're dead broke. After what I witnessed, Mom, my goal in life is to be totally self sufficient so I never act like those people." I never had to say a word......she got it. But we've all heard of people like this, who's entire retirement plan is based solely on inheritance. (It's disgusting) And our children are watching.
Sadly, the money is all that they care about. (Or tweezers!) I was harassed over a mixer that mom gave me several years ago! (niece troublemaker) My brothers could care less about mom's mixer. lol
Caregiving Daughter, I'm so sorry you are to that stage. It's sure not easy. I certainly understand what it's like. I'll keep my fingers crossed this goes quickly for her. And that you'll be a peace along the way.
Miss Her, Don't you just love it when even your niece felt entitled to something she wanted. The day of my father's service, I felt like my sister was a bag women with a cart in hand, walking room by room saying "Mine, mine, mine" Sad, but that's exactly how she acted. But I love your LOL. We've got to laugh about some of this. All I know is if any one of my children act like this when I die, I'll come back and haunt them till they're dead.
And everyone's family situation is obviously somewhat different. I just know that for my siblings, possessions and money was the only thing that mattered. And they proved it repeatedly. The one thing I have always said is, Alzheimer's disease does not change family dynamics, it simply highlights family dysfunction.
That was a point that actually took me years to understand. I guess when Dad got sick, I really did expect that my siblings might rise to the occasion. That there might be at least some love there for Dad, that would allow pure empathy to shine through. But apparently, it doesn't work that way. Shallow self serving people, remain shallow self serving people. My dad used to say, "what else would you expect from _______" And he was right. I will always remember his wisdom. I should have embraced his words earlier.
Now, the only thing that makes me sad, is that I spent so much time being hurt and angry FOR MY DAD. I loved him so much and it made me so angry that at the end of his life, these children he had created, supported, cared for, raised, and paid for THEIR college educations (Something he never got) would be so self centered and thoughtless, that they couldn't and didn't even show him some love, appreciation and respect before he died. It took me a long time to get over this. But I don't make excuses for them, or their behavior. They are who they are, and it does me no good to put on rose colored glass and pretend. Because honestly and wisely, what else could I expect from my siblings?
It's the niece that actually started all of the trouble!
Bob, that's really too bad your sister would feel that way. It's really sad when people can't get beyond their baggage, to actually see what time with your mother would mean. She won't be here forever.
Miss Her OH SHOOT! Wow, she's a real winner. LOL
I am the youngest of three daughters. Live 200 miles away but had to take a leave from work to take care of my parents. Mom in late stage VD and Dad not far behind. Other numerous serious health issues.
Other two sisters are always fighting over which one does more. One contributes 15 hours a week and lives 5 miles away. The other gives that amount of time and more if she can. But on her own terms. But neither one will change a light bulb if it burns out much less make sure there are others in the house. Kitchen faucet, throw rugs by the door, boot tray to catch snow and dirt, taxes, bill paying, you name it - it is left for me. Scheduling and supervising any support staff. Completing a commnity Medicaid application, scheduling and attending med appts, PT, specialists, etc. Out of sight out of mind.
To me what bothers me the most is the hurt that this causes my parents. Of course, I am there on holidays. No no called my folks on Thanksgiving. Christmas in 2016 and all previous years was hosted by my parents. But this year, no one stopped over and no one even called. Of course, I make excuses for bad behavior from the daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren. But it makes me so angry. Before my dad went to bed - he said that this is the first Christmas we didn't spend it with the kids. Of course, I helped make sure every daughter, grandchild, great greatchild, mail person, aide had a card and gift under the tree It was a great activity with my parents but set us up for disappointment and heartache. I try to distract and lessen the pain for them, but it hurts my feelings too. My parents lived their entire lives for their family. Now that they cannot take 26 people out for holidays meals and entertain like they did for 70 years, they are forgotten on the most important days of the year. I have a hard time letting go of my anger and hurt from these times.
Fair with my siblings is a joke. But of course, they feel like they are martyrs. Tell others how much they do for their parents (Not).
Pioneer Woman, I know exactly how you feel. That's what I meant when I said I spent two years being angry and hurt on my father's behalf. He didn't need or deserve this desertion. I actually wrote a chapter in my book titled: Am I Enough
I know that must have broken your heart to make excuses for your family on the holiday. As a caregiver, you hate to see your parent with a broken heart. Feeling, at the end of life, that they honestly don't matter.
My siblings have been completely (zero contact) MIA for about seven years. Sometimes I think they checked out bc they subconsciously knew they could not handle my parents decline and eventual death. There was a lot of love there before they checked out. When I think about what I have had to deal with in the past seven years, I don't think they would not have had the emotional strength to deal with it all. Caregiving and Alzheimer's are not for the faint of heart.
I am sole caregiver but thankful bc in our case, sibling involvement would mean lots of drama, criticism and back seat driving from thousands of miles away without helping. Caregiving is hard enough without drama.
I grieve family life with my husband and kids. I miss vacations and trips. We also had to alternate bw my husband and I to take trips but now that mom has declined I am always home.
I love what Deanna said about things sorting themselves out. I believe that too. I do think those of us who are called to this task receive abundant blessings. Yes, my kids have had to deal with some stress and sadness but isn't that a part of life? There is no escaping it, sometimes bad things happen. So why not teach them how to handle it when someone we love has a terminal disease. I know that we will never be the same in a good way. We take care of each other, we are more compassionate, we have learned to tell ourselves no or not right now to things that we want. We know that eventually we can say yes to ourselves and appreciate it all the more.
I would not wish to be in my siblings shoes bc although they have seemingly carefree lives with vacations and fun, the truth of what they have done is inescapable and I think it will haunt them. I really do not want that for them.
I have read all the comments on this thread and it breaks my heart what all of you are having to deal with. You are right Miss Her, it's not fair (always appreciate your very honest posts btw).
At least we have a place where we can just vent it out and know that we are not alone. I'm thankful for that