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Sister visit for 1st time in 20 months
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 10:45 AM
Joined: 10/23/2017
Posts: 5

 Background: Dad died in Feb. 2016 3 weeks after official Alz diagnosis for Mom. There are 3 daughters. I am oldest. Middle daughter told Mom in receiving line after funeral that she never wanted to have anything to do with her again. This was in earshot of friends and family. Youngest daughter (54yo) declared that she was going to retire and take care of Mom bc that is what Dad would have wanted. I am the trustee for the estate and live out of state.

Moved Mom to MC in city where youngest daughter lives. Gave my sister a debit card to pay for supplies, snacks, hair, nails, etc. I also paid her a salary so she would have something more to live on than pension. She started using Mom's money for herself and daughter, like vet bills for her dogs, trip to Cabo, liquor store, etc. Told her she was getting a limit on the debit card to put an end to helping herself to Mom's funds. She became very angry and told me that she wouldn't take care of Mom anymore.

In just 10 days I arranged to move Mom to my town 8 hours away. I am also a small biz owner and had to hire a new employee in the same amount of time. That was 19 months ago. Neither sister nor niece have visited her.

Mom has done better than I expected in AL. Now she is on the cusp of moving to Memory Care. It is day-to-day whether it is time.

Last night sister emailed me that she is coming to visit Mom. The dates correspond to a business trip I have to take.

Visit will be very disruptive although I think that she might not realize who they are. If she does recognize them, she will beg them to take her back to her home state. I will be left dealing with the negative residue of their visit.

Should I move Mom to Memory Care before the visit? This is a complicated story and a tough decision. Any input would be appreciated.

King Boo
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 10:57 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3027

If it is day to day, it IS time to move her to MC regardless.  Hanging on by her fingertips in AL is not doing her any good, possibly places her at risk.

Do you have proxy for your Mom?  That is, does AL recognize that YOU are her legal decision maker, not Mom herself?  Because if not, they may not have any recourse if Mom decides to leave with them.  THAT, is the key pivotal question.

Can the business trip be postponed?  Hate to be a downer, but 20 months without access to Mom's money has probably whetted sister's appetite for $$ again.  You really should be there to supervise the visit.

If you have MC lined up - then move her there now. Could be instrumental in deferring sister's possible intentions if she sees this higher level of care.  By virtue of being MC, they have higher responsibility levels than an AL for the patients' coming and going.  

If you haven't done so, run Mom's credit reports for free online from all 3 credit reporting agencies to make sure a credit card or loan was not taken out in her name if swindling sister had access to Mom.  Then, place an online credit freeze for Mom, also with all 3 reporting agencies.  

Lesson for others?  If a non-proxy family member is given access to funds with a debit card, make it a restricted account, not one with endless funds. It is too tempting.   Ballpark your LO's expenses,  get receipts - as POA, you are still responsible for the spending outcomes of assets.  

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 11:36 AM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 676

Great tips from King Boo.  I would also make arrangements to be present for any visit sibling has with mother. (Reschedule your work trip. Inconvenient, I know. ) And, I'd want to know from the facility if sibling returns for another visit without your knowledge. I'd be wary of anything that sibling may be up to.  You hear all kinds of bizarre things, like sibling bringing in a new POA or new Last Will and Testament.  Hopefully, it's all fine, but, I wouldn't chance it.  It's too complicated to get things like that straightened out.  Easier to prevent them.
D in law
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 11:58 AM
Joined: 4/24/2017
Posts: 564

Do you have proxy for your Mom?  That is, does AL recognize that YOU are her legal decision maker, not Mom herself?  Because if not, they may not have any recourse if Mom decides to leave with them.  THAT, is the key pivotal question

I agree with this.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You know your sister best, but worth posting this thought:  Why would she announce her visit if she is up to something underhanded?  

Whether in AL or MC I would put some ground rules in place prior to the visit if you aren't there and need to be away on your trip. Could you hire a private caregiver to be with your Mom during these days?  I know you fear disruption and I really hope nothing negative occurs.  Best Wishes to you!

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 11:59 AM
Joined: 9/7/2017
Posts: 796

Or try "that week isn't a good week, we are busy" and tell her she needs to reschedule.
Mimi S.
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 12:12 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7036

Welcome to our world MLGood. I'm so glad you found our site.  You have received some excellent advice. I'd also contact the ALF or MC supervisor before the visit about the history, even if you are able to be there.
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 12:53 PM
Joined: 10/23/2017
Posts: 5

I control the purse strings and medical decisions so I am not worried about that. The legal structure cannot be undone. I think that they love Mom and want to see her. But, the visit will cause emotional distress for Mom and then they will leave me to deal with it. My goal is to protect and care for Mom both physically and emotionally without completely wrecking my own well-being.

Business trip is for an event that can't be rescheduled. I don't want to see sister and niece in any case.

Moving Mom to MC as soon as I can is probably the best solution. It can be done by the end of next week.

Asking them to postpone visit just gets into more scheduling conflicts unless they wait until August.

Thanks for all of the input and suggestions.



Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 1:55 PM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 837

ML Good, 

Your sister and niece sound awful, but even the most loving visitors can cause upset.   My mom used to have melt-downs for weeks after visiting with one of my sisters, in spite of the fact that my sister is 100% loving and honest.  I think her visits just wore my LO out, and also reminded Mom of how she wanted her life to be different. 

You are obviously preparing for the visit as best you can.  Good luck to you and your mom.


King Boo
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 1:58 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3027

OK, then great.  Hope for the best (and plan for the worst, just in case!).

If there is any staff that you can forge a bond with, to be your eyes and ears in case, that would be good.

If move to MC is new, a very low key conversation with the social worker would be a good idea.  "My sister is seeing my Mom for the first time in a 20 months, she probably doesn't have a good handle on Mom's current function.  We are in different places with this.   If you are around to peak in and see how Mom is doing that would be great, I am away."

You can and should also stipulate that the visit should be conducted on premises, no going out for ice cream, etc which could upset Mom.

If there is anything that can be communicated to sis that "The best answer is the one that brings the most comfort", that would be helpful.  Perhaps you can both be united in keeping Mom peaceful if nothing else, at least for now.

Good luck.

caregiving daughter
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 2:53 PM
Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 2066

So hard. I went through some of this. I think your mom's level of care should be determined by her needs vs. others' visit schedule. Good that the legal is taken care of. Be careful that mc or assisting living is not caught up in drama. King Boo's idea is a good one in terms of casual mention. Anything along the lines of worried about taking money, sister not responsible, etc. to me is just not a match at this time. You want the facility staff to be super responsive to your mom's needs so pick and choose where you want their extra efforts. I knew my sibs cared for my mom a great deal. In much of the antics, I really think they thought they were doing the right thing and did not understand the illness (of course she is fine to live by herself). This is a very long illness. You need to support yourself, your family, and your livelihood. Do not beat yourself up that you have to travel. I always felt a mom should be able to see her children. I didn't get in the way of that.
His Daughter
Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 9:52 AM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2272

MLGood, I just read your story and all I can say is WOW.  

I'm glad you have all the legals and finances tied up.  That is more than necessary.  20 months? A trip to Cabo? Vet bills?  Where the heck do these people come from, and how do they look at themselves in a mirror? 

I'm sure you are worried about possibly upsetting your mom.  I also had people like this in my dad's life.  What I can offer is that they soon forget they even had a visitor.  So generally it isn't lasting damage.  And it's more than possible without seeing her for 20 months, your mom very well may not know who your sister is.  That's on your sister.  

Hope it all works out ok.  Please write back and let us know how it went.  

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 11:08 AM
Joined: 10/23/2017
Posts: 5

Upcoming visit by sister and niece has Mom agitated. Niece sent a card announcing college graduation with a note that she is coming to visit in May. Mom can still read well enough to understand. Now she is fixated.

I am moving her to MC on Thursday because she needs more care than AL facility can provide. The move will be disruptive enough without the ensuing visit 10 days later.

I am feeling extra resentful and angry that sister and niece will come to see Mom for the first time in 20 months and leave me to pick to pick up the pieces. Mom will be devastated when they leave. She will ask me over and over to take her to them. I have learned to say no but it always leads to a twinge of guilt and another paper cut to my soul. After so many paper cuts, it sometimes feels like I will never heal.

D in law
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 12:07 PM
Joined: 4/24/2017
Posts: 564

I hope the visit goes well and doesn't cause too much disruption.  If it doesn't, I hope your Mom will forget it quickly.  Best wishes with that.

My sister in law tried telling her sister that she was not needed and that Mom didn't want her  spending one night per week with her.  I intervened and suggested they try it and see how it goes.  It went well.

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