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At my wits end(1)
Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2019 12:55 PM
Joined: 8/27/2018
Posts: 5

I am really struggling right now with my mom. The house that she lives in is paid off and she has lived there for over 50 years. My brother lives with her, but he's kind of useless. 
on a recent visit to see her I noticed evidence of termites. When I spoke to my brother he just said yeah so.... like whatever. 

He never cleans and mom doesn't regularly clean. Every week I'm over there cleaning as much as I can, even though mom does not like me to clean because she says that she does it. 

I have to go through the fridge and pull out anything expired or questionable to make sure mom doesn't eat something bad, nothing my brother who lives there does. 

I would love her to move in with me but she refuses to leave the house she has lived in most of her life. 

She is still aware enough that she would not agree to move into ALF or MC. But I'm not 100% sure how often she is showering, etc. My brother just ignores it because he is in denial that there is even anything wrong with her. She has been officially diagnosed with both Alz and Vascular Dementia. 

I work full time and only live 10 minutes away but I don't have the energy to visit every day, and I feel guilty about this. I love my mom, I want the best for her, but every phone call, every visit I have to put on the happy face nod and smile and agree as she tells me the same thing for the 50th time, or makes things up that never happened..... 

I just don't know what to do, I 've tried talking to my brother but he won't listen and gets mad. 

I'm truly at my wits end here. 

Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2019 1:42 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2543

Such a difficult situation.  Many folks have written similar tales.  The bottom line is who has power of attorney, and is your mother's dementia enough advanced to warrant using POA?  Even then, you have to decide if you want to provoke a family war by pushing the issue.  If not, you just keep on helping out and doing what you can, hoping that no serious safety situations occur.  And a lot of self-talk:  Remind yourself that the timing isn't right yet to push the issues, your brother's bad behavior is out of your control and you're doing good work for your Mom.



Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2019 8:53 PM
Joined: 4/19/2018
Posts: 73

A good friend of mine once told me if you want to do something or help someone do it because you want to not because you have to if you want to help your mom do it because you want to other wise you are going to be miserable don't resent your mom she doesn't know she is repeating everything do as much as you can and don't expect anything from your brother take care of yourself
Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2019 10:10 PM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 859


Sorry to read about this very difficult situation with your mother.  I hate to say it but I think you need to assume that your mother and brother will not agree to any changes.  Trying to convince either of them to recognize and fix problems will be a waste of energy.  You alone will have to force changes without much help from them.

You will need to establish some control.  Do you have POA?  Can you convince your mother to give you POA so you can help with her taxes, bills, and house maintenance?   Depending on how far along your mother's AD has progressed it may be too late for her to sign a new POA.  IMO you should consult a CELA certified elder law attorney for legal advice.  You may even need to petition the court for guardianship as a last resort. 

More background info about your Mom's situation would help us give helpful ideas.


Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 2:51 AM
Joined: 5/12/2018
Posts: 83

Key thing is your mother is still calling you. I wish i could say just jump in and fight, now. Do it. It's a hard thing to do but if you don't who will?  I know its tiring and trying. but what do you want for your mom?   In my own experience, I waited. I let my siblings decide.  They just waited too. Then took mom from her large home and sold  all her belongings to their pleasure, stuck her in a room and had her do nothing for near two years and then said Well  let's place her now because she isn't active anymore.  I stopped that, said NOH, she's not active because yr not allowing it.  We made a big change.  Though it's been hard, she's thrived.  

Cody made a great comment.  But, I say jump in now, she's still calling on you. 

xx D


Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 5:10 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2156

It's a difficult situation.

Why does your brother live there? Is he helping to fund the household? Does he do exterior maintenance? Does he cook or drive your mom places? 

Has your mom seen a CELA to draw up her POAs for health and financial decisions? This is critical. My concern is that your brother is laying the groundwork to have the house exempted from Medicaid pay-back by "providing 2 years of care" in her home and coming to him on mom's passing.
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