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How do I keep brother from sabotaging Mom's move to memory care?

We sold Mom's house when it became too much for her to maintain and the plan was she would live with my brother. But she developed dementia has been needing more and more care, and he was always begging for help. My sister and I, and other family members, came over to help, and we hired companions as well. He quickly emotionally burned out anyway and refused to take her back home when she was discharged from rehab after a fall. I reluctantly brought her to my house where she has been for six months and I am likewise sick of her, despite getting daytime help. I think she, (and all of us), would benefit from Assisted Living, have a better quality of life. The doctors agree, but friends and family are uncertain. Now my brother has recuperated and says he wants her back, but refuses to address the problems that existed before, getting angry and emotional. He seems to care more about his hurt feelings than what is best for Mom. He calls her crying that he misses her and that I am trying to force her into an institution. He tells her horror stories about them. I have made arrangements for her to try Assisted Living and he is actively sabotaging it, making it harder for everyone, especially her.
Although she can afford it, we are a family of cheapskates and I know if she finds out how much it costs she will not want to move there. He will tell her. I know he loves her but he also might be after her money, as he was being well compensated for her care and hopes to inherit someday.
Status: Open    Apr 06, 2016 - 07:58 AM


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Apr 06, 2016 - 08:34 AM

This seems like a very difficult situation you are all in, and one that is all too common. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to ferret out everyone's personal agendas and what is actually the best thing for the senior. But that is what is important. What is the best solution for HER.

You may want to consider bringing in a social worker or geriatric care manager to help guide your family to a workable solution. That way none of you are "in control" of the other and you can rely on an expert, third-party voice.

My concern is that both your brother and you have already experienced anger, burnout, and emotional difficulty being primary caregivers. This can easily tip to family member elder abuse and neglect - even though you love her. There are issues within senior living communities as well. However, you can help offset potential problems by looking into monitoring/oversight products and services. For example, some states allow video cameras in seniors' apartments. You and your other family members could take turns visiting her to make sure she is getting all the care and services to which she is entitled.


Apr 12, 2016 - 08:10 AM

This is a difficult situation. One approach you may consider taking with your mother to counteract the horror stories your brother is telling her is to use positive story-telling to encourage your mother regarding assisted living. Humans respond really well to stories. For example, you may tell your mother that your friend Jane’s mom just moved into an assisted living community and loves it. She has new friends, activities and has all of her needs provided for her.

Assuming you have talked with your brother and tried to get him to “see the light,” depending on his behavior, you may need to file for a guardianship over your mother. Guardianship proceedings can be expensive and difficult, particularly where there is in-fighting amongst siblings, but if your brother is actively impeding your efforts to do what you know is best for your mother – particularly if you suspect selfish motives – a guardianship may be necessary for you to best care for your mother.


May 01, 2016 - 07:09 AM

At least some assisted living facilities allow a trial peroid. You can stay, in a furnished room, for a week or month to see what it is like.
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