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Old 05-29-2012, 06:54 AM   #1
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Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

To refresh all of you, my sister was supposed to care of mom, in mom's home, but BIL wanted mom to stay with them. It was going as fine as could be expected, when I blew my top when my sister said she had just bought mom a bed and mattress(with mom's money). She said mom didn't care what kind of mattress, not realizing mom has dementia and doesn't understand that she could try them out, and choose the most comfortable. My sister had also been buying mom clothes that mom said she didn't want or need. In the end, mom did choose her mattress and is very happy with it. But, this incident opened a can of worms where my sister said she was going to take POA from me. I had to get mom's Dr. to write a letter, so now the both of us sisters are trustees. I am hoping my sister doesn't try to take money out. I have the checkbook and pay the bills, and take care of filling prescriptions, as sister lost the checkbook (it was in her car) and would let the prescriptions run out. And, my sister said I was not allowed in her home to see mom if they weren't there. Luckily, she had given me lots of keys over the years, so I was able to keep one (or I would have had one made). Her husband agreed it would be dangerous for me to not be able to get in their house, in an emergency. My sister's anger has consumed her and she is oblivious and not thinking rationally. I know it was not her idea for mom to stay with them and I'm sure she has a lot of repressed anger, that I am bearing the brunt of, and mom, too. Mom doesn't understand the change in seasons and dresses herself in inappropriate clothing. My sister was very nasty to her when when mom asked her why she let her wear a sweater in 90 degree weather. I don't think my sister understands what dementia is. She thinks it's just short term memory. And, now, I can't even talk to her to explain things. She exhibits bipolar behavior, but has only been diagnosed with anxiety disorder. She has done some irrational things, like bringing me all of mom's medical cards (with the checkbook), then accusing me of taking them. Not normal behavior.... She also didn't remember that I gave her half of what I sold my car for a year ago, when I took over mom's car. My BIL seems to think everything is just fine and said he would talk to my sister about getting over her anger at me. Hasn't happened yet!

 
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

I do hope that you keep the conversation going with the BIL. If your sister is having emotional problems then caring for someone with dementia is not a good thing. Dementia is stress and stress is not good for emotional problems. It is not an excuse but a reality.

My best advice to you is to keep records of everything. Keep a copy of the check you gave her for the car. Keep everything. Keep doing what you can for Mom and stay in touch with BIL. It is a good thing you have a key and glad BIL agreed. Watch the situation closely and if necessary find alternate placement for Mom.

You shake your head and wonder how that is possible? I did it. My sister was so overwhelmed by caring for Mom and Dad that it was not a good situation yet she didn't want to let go. I found a facility for Mom and Dad here. I was patient and when the opportunity presented itself I moved them. I even called my sister and ask her prior to the move if it was ok. She "agreed" but only because she didn't think I could or would do it. The day of the actually move she didn't even show up and has since accused me of "kidnapping" my parents. Yes, I have had nastiness throw in my direction but it is ok I can take it! What I know three years out is that it was for the best. Mom is much calmer, family chaos is much less, and even though I am have Mom and the checkbook, the work is less stressful than the previous situation. Just keep that in the back of your mind as you proceed. Not all of us are cut out to be caregivers

Love, deb

 
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Thanks for your response, Deb. I DO have it in the back of my mind to find an alternative. I told Mom not to worry, she didn't have to stay at my sister's if she is unhappy. My sister/BIL have a financial incentive to make this work.....she quit her job and I pay her $1900/mo.(Mom's money) I am very greatful I have my BIL---he is level headed and a calming influence on my sister. I am a little nervous because he left this morning for 5 days of golf. (Just remembered that I have his cell number, which makes me feel a little better.) I am taking mom to lunch today and hate facing my sister.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 08:30 AM   #4
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Hang in there and know you have Mom's best interest at heart whatever you do. I remember feeling the same way you do about your sister. Then I would think of Mom and Dad, what was best for them, and stand tall. There is no fight I won't fight for them. I let go of the fear, resentment, and anger I had towards her. I made the assumption that she was doing the best she could. I also realized that what she did or said was absolutely no reflection on me, what I did, or what I said. I am only responsible for what I do!! I did what was right for Mom and just kept going with little conversation. I kept the emotional out of it and stuck to the facts. And just like with Mom and Dad... I didn't argue or try to defend my position. I just focused on what needed to be done rather than her emotional turmoil... and it was a bit easier

Good luck with sister.... and Mom today!!!

Love, deb

 
Old 05-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
Hang in there and know you have Mom's best interest at heart whatever you do. I remember feeling the same way you do about your sister. Then I would think of Mom and Dad, what was best for them, and stand tall. There is no fight I won't fight for them. I let go of the fear, resentment, and anger I had towards her. I made the assumption that she was doing the best she could. I also realized that what she did or said was absolutely no reflection on me, what I did, or what I said. I am only responsible for what I do!! I did what was right for Mom and just kept going with little conversation. I kept the emotional out of it and stuck to the facts. And just like with Mom and Dad... I didn't argue or try to defend my position. I just focused on what needed to be done rather than her emotional turmoil... and it was a bit easier

Good luck with sister.... and Mom today!!!

Love, deb
That is great advice. The problem with my sister, is that she will twist the facts. You can't have a back and forth conversation with her. She will bring things up that are totally irrelevant! Mom said she was embarassed that my sister did not put her wallet in her purse, so Mom had no money today. I do keep an envelope of mom's money with me, but my sister doesn't know that.
She also gave me the $2000 bill for the bed today. I am very grateful for mom having a place to stay, but that bed is not a gift to my sister. When we divide up mom's furniture, that will be $2000 less of stuff that SHE gets. She already told me everything SHE wants---with no mention of dividing things fairly, or having a lottery or drawing numbers.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

I get it Linda... and if you can not have a conversation with sister than don't. If she wants to twist the facts then state how it will be and then let it go. I know about the irrelevant topics as well.... and things that happened ages ago that have no place in the conversation. It's their way of diverting to get the upper hand. That is when I stick to what will be and the facts... then shut my mouth and walk away. Your sister sounds like a bully ... the best way to deal with a bully is not to let them bully. My favorite statement... "I am sorry YOU feel that way!". With that statement I am taking none of the responsibility for their emotional well being... just sorry they feel the way they do!

STUFF!!! As my Dad used to say.... The only fair is in the fall! State fair, county fair... There are some that are just out for what they can get and others that truly don't care and will give up what they deserve for the sake of peace. Money is easy to divide equally... but stuff is another subject all together.

What I did (having 3 sisters and 6 nieces) was to ask each to list what they want in the order of priority. The one item they HAVE to have is number 1.. right on down the list. Perhaps I was lucky but items 1 and 2 were not repeated on any of the 10 list. So everybody got their first 2 items. The rest I did try to give each what they wanted and it come out fair in the end.

In my Dad's family they tagged everything with dollar amounts. They added it all up to come up with a total. Each of the 9 children got one ninth of the total in the "bank". As they claimed an item it was taken off their total untill every item was gone. If they went over their total then they paid into the bank and if they were under their total they claimed cash from the bank.

You have to love her telling you what she wanted! I have had that situation a few times. A few times I gave in but lately I have been standing my ground. I just hope my days of dealing with stuff are about done! One thing you can do is start putting a dollar value on the "stuff. That way you will know what it is worth and who has how much.

love, deb

 
Old 05-30-2012, 06:21 AM   #7
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

This is good advice and I add the following, which the elder care consultant gave me in case we found ourselves in that situation of needing an opportunity to present itself.

Some places offer "respite care" which is intended to be short term for when caregivers are going on vacation or need a break for a few days.

She said you can always position it that way as a method to 'get them out of the environment' and then... make it permanent. She said sometimes the overwhelmed care givers are usually not in a position to fight it.

I think your sister does not understand dementia and what is require - if she is making issues about out of season sweaters then she has no idea what she may be in for. Maybe has an old fashioned negative view of nursing homes and I hate to say so, but I would not be surprised if she tried to take money out. I saw it in my family too. Sometimes it is pure greed, but other times not necessarily pure greed but based on a non-understanding of dementia and preconceived notions of "putting them away" that makes it seem foolish to them to spend all that money, or at the very least trying to take some out before it all 'gets wasted' without realizing the requirements of the Medicaid application.If she is a trustee, then yeah I suspect she is going to take money out.

I would consult that attorney about the POA concerns. I do not think it is that simple to "take it away". When this happened to me (my cousin approached my aunt about changing it and I got wind of it), the attorney said no change would ever hold up and that no legitimate attorney would touch it with a 10 foot pole. He said a do it yourself version would undoubtedly be declared invalid. He said only a lengthy and expensive legal battle for gaurdianship or conservatorship might change things. I made sure my cousin knew this and he backed way off.

I do not want to be negative but ... were I you I would be looking in placements right now and be ready to make a move, which seems somewhat inevitable to me. And I would brace myself for a lot of family tension.

Sorry to be negative but forewarned can at least be forearmed.

You have big, dark storm clouds on the horizon and you have to get more expert advice and your ducks all in a tidy row before it is game time.

Good luck to you!

Last edited by hb-mod; 05-30-2012 at 10:39 AM.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 06:24 AM   #8
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

OK now that read this, that there is a big financial incentive involved, I must double the intensity of my concerns. You may have a hurricane headed your way. Get all the legal advice you need now and start looking for places. I am soooo sorry to say it but... from what I have read, I have a very bad feeling that this arrangement is not going to work out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda1652 View Post
Thanks for your response, Deb. I DO have it in the back of my mind to find an alternative. I told Mom not to worry, she didn't have to stay at my sister's if she is unhappy. My sister/BIL have a financial incentive to make this work.....she quit her job and I pay her $1900/mo.(Mom's money) I am very greatful I have my BIL---he is level headed and a calming influence on my sister. I am a little nervous because he left this morning for 5 days of golf. (Just remembered that I have his cell number, which makes me feel a little better.) I am taking mom to lunch today and hate facing my sister.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 06:41 AM   #9
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Relevant to my other post about money, make sure any cash payments you keep every receipt for!

The fact she is already talking about divvying up "stuff" - clearly money is a priority with her.

"STUFF" is a big problem when someone moves or even when they pass. Sometimes people become vultures over stuff.

Two suggestions:

Records, records, records. Keep records of everything!

If there comes a point when things have to be divvied up, it is good to let everyone express their preferences about what "they want" first --- but then be sure to call in several independent appraisers to assign a dollar amount to things, even if they do not appear to be of significant value. You pick an appraiser, she picks an appraiser and then you either pick one together or have the attorney recommend one, then take the average of all three (you will find they are quite close anyway). Some pieces might be more valuable than others.

Even if they have little or no value, people can become vultures, but if there is no value then it is easier to just even out the number of items.

You can all agree on a method such as preference (as long as not everyone wants the same things), round robin (I pick one, then you pick one, etc) or a lottery for the order of who picks.

Just make sure no one can get in the house and just take what they want without anyone else knowing. The appraisal is a way to be able to even things out even after the fact if they walk off wit hit.

When my aunt moved, my sisters and cousins were starting to become vultures. This was ridiculous because they all have lovely homes full of lovely furniture and my aunt had nothing but old junk that wasn't worth a darn (three appraisals so I am sure). Plus,l when my grandmother passed, one cousin made a big deal about wanting certain things... as if she were going to use them... and then sold them!!

So this time I did not even give anyone the chance to take any of the big old junk. I just had it all appraised and anything of any actual value, I stored, along with things of obvious sentimental value or items that she might feasibly want herself. Everything else I sold and put the money in her bank account in case she needs it. Any
'sentimental" items they will have to wait until she gives it to them or passes away, she is not dead yet, so I did not give her stuff away as if she were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda1652 View Post
That is great advice. The problem with my sister, is that she will twist the facts. You can't have a back and forth conversation with her. She will bring things up that are totally irrelevant! Mom said she was embarassed that my sister did not put her wallet in her purse, so Mom had no money today. I do keep an envelope of mom's money with me, but my sister doesn't know that.

She also gave me the $2000 bill for the bed today. I am very grateful for mom having a place to stay, but that bed is not a gift to my sister. When we divide up mom's furniture, that will be $2000 less of stuff that SHE gets. She already told me everything SHE wants---with no mention of dividing things fairly, or having a lottery or drawing numbers.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 07:27 AM   #10
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

I have tried to impress on my sister that it is STILL mom's money. We cannot abuse it;that it is for her care. I will sue her for abusing mom's money in a heartbeat. And, I told her she would have to pay back (so far $3800) to medicare( the checks written to her,) before medicare would take over.

I know a hurricane is coming, especially when we have to break down mom's house. She wanted furniture BEFORE the house was sold...I had to explain it looks better with furniture in it. Remember, I DO have a BIL who is the voice of reason. I would be very shocked to learn that he wasn't a good person. When he gets home on Sunday, he will calm her down. Mom says he has a calming influence on my sister. And, Mom CAN go back to the nursing home she was at for her rehab. It's like 3-4 min. from my house. I know it costs more, but she can't even use a TV remote. In an assisted living, they would probably charge every time they would have to come and fix it for her!

 
Old 05-30-2012, 07:30 AM   #11
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Just a thought: please don't take it personal: Is Mom closer to you or the sister? Sometimes if Mom is closer to the sister or shares some basic values, they may be closer to each other and Mom may listen to her. It is always 2 kids for her and Mom may feel pulled between the 2 kids. However if she likes the sister better or does things with her more before she got sick, it might be hard to get sister off.

Also, you sure the sister is that greedy? Maybe she just needs help. In any case, just wait and see. But ask her to put that check from medicare to Mom's account.

We always keep my FIL's account intact. It is his money.
My FIL has only one son in North America so we are more flexible in taking care of him.

I have 4 sisters and 2 sisters of mine are really closer to my parents depending on the issues. So these 2 sisters take big care of my parents who are just in old ages. Sometimes if they are closer to one another, they would accept their way of caregiving better. It has to do with how they were brought up because my Mom entrusted them a lot with the family issues.

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 05-30-2012 at 07:48 AM.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 07:49 AM   #12
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Mom has always said my sister is a ditzbrain (even yesteday). Mom worried that her bills weren't getting paid (when my sister had the checkbook) and was upset when her pills ran out. I was afraid of my sister's temper, so I let her keep doing those jobs, until she lost mom's checkbook--and the fighting began. We both have different relationships with mom. Last week, Mom was so lucid and talked about issues with my sister.(I actually wrote down what she said, so I would remember someday!) Although, my sister is able to brainwash her (about me) at times. You can't count on mom's thinking to be rational at times, but I try not to take it personally. I was just thrilled to have that lucid conversation with her about what is going on with my sister. Mom does appreciate that she gets bathed and her hair done by my sister. Since mom has been declared financially incompetent by her doctor, she cannot give my sister "gifts", so I am protected there. The bank has the letter on file.

Last edited by hb-mod; 05-30-2012 at 10:39 AM.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 08:16 AM   #13
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

It may also be an accounting issue. Can BIL separate their own bills and Mom's bills?
It is important to see what is accounted for. If they share groceries/power/water, that may be split, but if it is only Mom's stuff, the bills should be clear. So what goes where has to be clarified. So if it is Mom's expense, it should come from Mom's, if it is Mom's money, it goes to Mom's.

We never mixes up my FIL's and ours although my FIL did ask to mix it up... We paid our own flight tickets and etc. to see my FIL... Sometimes I think a trustee needs some salary... But family trustee does not. Only an outsider gets paid if he/she is a trustee.
We or my sisters tend to pay for my parents' bills as gifts, but they have their own money.

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 05-30-2012 at 08:21 AM.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 08:24 AM   #14
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Linda... One point I would like to make is that there is no reason to be scared of your sister's temper. That is a control power play for her. She blows up and you back down to avoid the conflict. I have been that way myself until one day I decided it was worth the fight. Sister blows up and I just let her, then state what needs to be done and do it. Just like the confused statement that Mom makes when sister has manipulated her... you have to consider the source when sister is throwing her hissy fits as well.

Part of our conflict at these times comes from our desire for validation and cooperation. In that perfect world sisters and Mom would have our backs and be with us. The world is not perfect... and dementia makes it even worse. Think outside of what we wish for to what is. Sister is a ditzbrain and Mom has dementia. It is obvious from your post that you have an understand, compassion, and intelligence. You are the one that is taking the responsibility. You are doing good things to circumvent the ditzy dementia laced behavior of them both. Have no fear for you will prevail. Just like Mom who has to express her frustration and anxiety... sister is doing the same thing. It is obvious that she is unable to handle the situation with composure. Yes, the money is important to her and may be the reason she has Mom with her. But for the moment she does have Mom. Know there are times you will just have to let her blow up. As with Mom's rants please do not take it personally. It's not about something you have done but something she can not deal with.

If the situation become detrimental to Mom then you will need to find alternative arrangements for Mom's care. That is the focus here not your sister and her antics. What is best for Mom. Just keep your eyes open to what is and stay in touch with your BIL

I am thrilled you had a good afternoon with you Mom in a moment of lucidity that gave you confirmation and validation. You know your Mom, in moments of lucidity, trust you and your ability to do what is best for her. Hold on to that.

Love, deb

 
Old 05-30-2012, 08:48 AM   #15
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Re: Mom's at sister's, who is going off deep end...

Thank you Deb...you are truly an angel at the time that I need one. I have started going to healing services on Weds afternoons. Last week it helped me tremendously. I look forward to going this afternoon. I stopped reading my sister's venemous emails (she was upset when I asked her to make sure mom had her wallet when she goes to lunch--mom said she was embarrased. )Of course my sister took that as criticism and went totally crazy. I have at least 20 toxic emails from her. And, a couple of incoherent phone calls. Told mom to call me and wait for me to hear her message and I will pick up, or call her right back. I just hope she remembers!

Last edited by hb-mod; 05-30-2012 at 10:39 AM.

 
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