Can my half-brother keep me from seeing my mother, who is in a nursing home?

41 answers | Last updated: Sep 13, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

I just found out my mother has Alzheimer's and is living in a nursing home. Because of family problems, I haven't seen her.  And now my half-brother is taking over and won't let me visit her. What can I do?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

I'm assuming you've already had the hard conversation -- very tightly focused on what's best for your mother -- with the half-brother who is hell-bent on blocking your access to her. If not, try it. You may be able to find out specifics about his concerns that will help you all be able to pull together rather than be torn farther apart during this difficult time.

But you have lived your life with the ins and outs of your particular family members. If that urging just seems too Pollyannaish or futile, your best bet may be to do an end run around your half-brother and contact the administrator at your mother's nursing home. He or she may work with you in finding a solution, which may be as simple as setting up a staggered visiting schedule for you and your half-brother.

Many nursing homes also have family councils or dispute resolution panels that help resolve conflicts that involve their residents.

If your heart tells you it's time to try to make amends with your mother, then persevere, no matter how difficult it may seem. You won't always have the chance.

Community Answers

Kaenlm answered...

Your half-brother to me sounds like he is up to no-GOOD? Is he the executor of your mothers will? You have every right to visit your mother--unless you are a danger to her (like threatened her, harrassed her, etc)... Contacting the head adminstrator at the nursing home sounds like a good idea to try and work this issue out-- you might have to hire an attorney at some stage of this--if it gets worse. Good luck!

A fellow caregiver answered...

I work in a long-term care facility. We have several families that have issues going on and requests that certain family members be banned or refused entrance to see a parent. In our facility, this does not happen. If your Mother is in a facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid, it is an open facility. This means that there are no guards at the door enforcing petty family issues. Signing in to see a patient is the only requirement. Please pardon the bluntness and allow me to explain. We deal with patients who are at a point in life they can no longer be care for at home. Regardless of who is in charge and the issues presented, we are not security guards, nor will we allow family members to make us so. It takes all our energy to care for the patients we have, and dealing with family violence is not something we do if we can help it. I have personally stood vigil at a patient's door so that any attitudes aimed among family members, that may disrupt my patients' well-being can be stopped immediately. My patient's do not like violence or loud voices and I will protect them from such as after family members leave, I am left with a patient that is upset, distraught, and extremely confused. I state this upfront to family members who make demands of me in this way and make it understood to a point that several family members have taken it to my supervisor. They quickly find, as a facility, we do not tolerate family issues that interfere with patient well-being or care. I have had threats of personal lawsuits if I allow a family member to see a parent and once was thrown up against a wall by a son who demanded we keep all three sisters out of the facility. He went to jail then he lost the ability to make decisions for his mother with a very quick trip to the local courthouse by the three sisters while he was dealing with the arrest and charges of assault. The tables turned and while he was still allowed to see his mother, he was no longer in control of her life. His visits were limited to four hours a week by the judge. His overwhelming desire to become a problem for his sisters found a new outlet costing him everything he was fighting for in all the wrong ways. While you might find an administrator that will request you keep all confrontations outside the facility you will probably not find one who will agree to police a patient. They will not deny you a visit unless court ordered. Unless you hear of a problem straight from an administrator's mouth, do not become part of the problem and go see your Mother. If your brother becomes a problem, go to your local courthouse and ask to see a judge for an emergency hearing to settle the problem. I promise he/she will solve the problem fairly. Remember she is your mother too.If she is in a facility, time is short. If your brother will not put aside these differences long enough to do the right thing, go around him. You will regrett not seeing your Mom for the rest of your life, I promise. Brother can be moved legally if you have too, but I have also seen situations where a face to face backs them down to civility when the miles are removed!

A fellow caregiver answered...

Would I be correct in presuming that the main reasons behind family members trying to restrict access by other family members, - is all based on money and inheritances? I experienced something similar when my husband was in a 2 week coma and later recovering. Family members posted a 24 hr private nurse and I was never allowed to be alone with my husband (then fiance). There was always an additional family member present. I was prevented from having him sign Power of Attorney and Hospital personnel were warned about me. We shared a household and I needed to keep bills paid and deal with legal issues. They thought he would die and mistakenly thought the mother and sisters were his heirs. The bitter feelings from those days have never healed.

A fellow caregiver answered...

There may be a logical reason for the brother not wanting this person to see the mother. My sister is sick and her entire life she was the one that she felt only was allowed to be around our mother. She would constantly interfere when my mother and I would have a day together etc. She knew in advance if we had a day to be together and she would make sure she would somehow muzzle in. As my mother aged and I began to see changes in her I wanted to get her help (eval. etc.) my sister tried to block it and told my mother I was out to get her. My mother believed her and it hurt so bad. I was always the one in the family that said I would never if it could be avoided put my parents in a nursing home & that I would take care of them ( my father is gone but I take care of my mother 24/7). My mother has nothing so I don't take care of her in hopes of getting anything. I actually worry month to month about the finances. My sister told the police a bunch of lie's about me to get me away from my mother so she could take over total control, put my mother in a nursing home and take control of her townhouse. She actually thought that social security would pay for the nursing home and she would get the townhouse. I worked in the health field and deal with my mothers doctors, meds, etc. Her drs. tell me if it wasn't for me my mother would of past away along time ago. My sister could not be trusted to be around my mother anymore without causing her distress and confusion. My sister has tried to ruin my reputation and I am in the process of a lawsuit with the town because of it. The town knows they did 100% wrong after checking things out but they want to save face and deny fault even though the social worker involved was fired for what she did. My mother dropped levels since the incident due to the wrong doing of several people involved. My sister has dropped out of the picture for the last 2 1/2 yrs since causing all the trouble. My mother is worthless to her now in her mind. So don't be so quick to judge to decided whats best in your mind regarding the family problem. It's best to stay out of it or else more harm could be inflicted on the patient and the caregiver involved. I live each day doing the best I could for my mother and constantly having on my mind what this town did to me by listening to a sick relative.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I contributed a comment yesterday saying that the major motivator for family conflicts in such cases - is money or concerns about inheritances.

I should have also added that:

1- even a PERCEPTION that the very ill person may have money/assets can generate just as much conflict and harm. Most family members are ignorant about the relative's true finances. Also ignorant about bills owed. My husband and I ran our business together before his injury, so I alone new the true scope of it's assets vs debts. My husband put on a brave face at family gatherings prior to the accident, so relatives thought there were significant assets. In reality, there wasn't enough to pay his medical bills and I still am at risk of loosing our home.

2- I would also add that it is surprising how argumentative family members can be over amounts that most of us would consider not worth a fight. I learned the hard way, - never underestimate how many people will sell their family unity for a few paltry "pieces of silver". If you think family members won't start a fight because the ill relative has few assets - think again.

3- Finally, I'd like to add that most people are incredibly ignorant about probate statutes and their State's inheritance laws. Relatives start family feuds even when they have no legal chance of inheriting anything. My husband's mother (then fiance') thought that because he was Intestate (no written will), that she was her son's heir. She was 85, (and not in financial need) but still feisty enough to initiate ugly Court battles. She refused to believe I was telling the truth when I told her that under Probate statutes, she ceased to be an heir in even a small way - once my husband's children were born. Most States have Probate/Intestate statutes that send inheritances 'downward' to the younger generations.

4- This is a bit of advice. If your ill relative does have some assets, never never presume that the rest of the family will be glad to learn that there is money to pay for the relative's care, upkeep, or bills. They will presume that the money somehow belongs to them and often will resent it being spent on the maintainance of it's owner.

Ignorance of the law, and greed sums up this comment. Never underestimate either. Will the relatives eventually recognize they were wrong and apologize - especially if the ill relative doesn't die? Not likely.

Galowa answered...

Dear Friends,

Unfortunately I was in a similar situation with my mother. She was in a memory care facility in NY State for a seven month stay - undergoing medication management (trial and error to find the right "combo" so she could live in a family setting without harming herself or others.) She had early to mid-stage Alzheimer's at the time.

I had been given durable power of attorney for finances, health and what-all for my mother. I am the oldest, live in California, and had long been estranged from my parents, but BOTH my parents had asked me to fulfill this role in their lives, and when my father died suddenly, my mother held to the same decision for herself. This ENRAGED my sister, who had been emotionally dependent on my mother her whole life, as well as financially dependent (unfortunately, NOT out of honest need, but out of greed, mismanagement and self-indulgence.) My sister lives in Florida.

My mother, already confused and easily swayed, was also dealing with shock and grief over my father's accidental death and believed anything anyone told her. To the extent that I was responsible for her, I needed to earn and keep her TRUST, so she would feel safe and secure.

My sister did EVERYTHING she could think of to undermine my position of responsibility with my mother. I did NOT bar her from visiting, calling, writing etc., but DID bar her from taking my mother out of the facility. Her contacts with my mother made my mom agitated, angry at me, demanding, and paranoid. My sister kept pushing my mom to request a competency test (which she would NOT have passed at the time,) something I also wanted to do for her, but not until she was stronger, properly medicated and healthy etc. ( When I finally did take my mother in for testing, she actually passed...)

My sister concocted stories for my mother, telling her "you don't belong in there" and that she was hiring a lawyer to "get her out of there" etc. Of course, my sister had no money, so there was no lawyer, but that did not prevent her from sending DAILY REPORTS of the case "progress" and all MY efforts to quash it! Since much of her contact was from a distance it came in the form of cards and letters, which my mother was able to read and re-read, again and again. It was AWFUL. At one point, my sister even called the facility, pretended to be ME, and tried to get my mother transferred to one of their sister-facilities in Florida, where my sister lives. I discovered this plan by a "fluke," after which I needed to take SERIOUS action against my sister - with the help of an attorney.

I love my sister, but she made an extremely difficult job even harder. In addition, her "antics" cost my mother over $20,000 in legal fees, as I needed to hire an elder-law attorney to assist me with handling both my sister AND the memory care facility to make sure my mother was adequately protected.

Was this about money? From my sister's perspective, probably. But from my perspective it was about interfering with MY MOTHER'S AUTHORITY, which by my mother's own choice, she had vested in ME. It was also about my mother's mental health, which was already compromised by her grief and the Alzheimer's Disease.

Hope this helps someone.

Take care,



A fellow caregiver answered...

Galowa contributed a very thoughtful comment. I'm adding this comment to my 2 earlier above. Galowa mentioned alienation of the ill loved one by other relatives. This is particularly cruel when the ill person is suffering from Alzheimer's, a brain injury or some other mental problem which makes it impossible for them to evaluate the truth for themselves. It's unbelievably cruel for the patient. Galowa's point about the sister's letters being re-read over and over and their repeated harm is excellent. In my case, my husband's family told him verbally that I planned to leave him and take all his money with me. This stressed him and our relationship terribly and harmed his ability to focus on his recovery from a brain injury.

I'm also still shouldering the financial burden of a Guardianship which my husband's relatives initiated while he was in a coma. Once again, "ignorance of the law", and "greed" caused unneeded harm. The relatives initiated the Guardianship and then later learned that they could not qualify under our State's laws because none of them lived in State. Once initiated the proceedings had to grind through to their end. The Court was required to appoint a Guardian, or make the State the Guardian (and my husband then a Ward of the State). Reluctantly, I accepted because the alternative would have been to awful. Now I labor under the costs for annual accountings, annual bonds, annual Court costs. I can't even sell our home without Court approval and every petition to the Guardianship Court requires hiring an attorney experienced in Guardianship law. Worse, there is no State standard for what standards must be met to undo a Legal Incompetency/Guardianship. It requires 'doctor shopping' testing and tutoring to pass tests. All this costs additional funds. All wasted. Again - relatives ignorant of the Law causing lots of harm and no benefits for anyone.

A fellow caregiver answered...

First I want to thank you all for your replies to this question. I'm dealing with something very similar. I am my mother's Durable Power of Attorney. I took care of her for two years (the beginning of her Alzheimer's), until her doctor told me that I needed to get her into a home due to her being a danger to herself and my children. I tried to call the nursing facility yesterday and they refused to let me talk to her. I told them that this was her daughter and that I was her Power of Attorney. The administrator told me that I was no longer her POA, that my brother and my aunt had gone in there and "revoked" my POA. They also told them to NEVER allow me to speak to or see her again. I was never informed of anything. Further more my mother has NO assets. She lost her home and had to move in with me and my family. She totaled her car after the disease started to set in. I took over her bills (she is over $18,000 in debt) There is NOTHING to fight over. And I personally do not care who is power of attorney. I just want what's best for my mother and I want to be able to speak with her and for my children to speak to her. Is anything they did legal??

A fellow caregiver answered...

I would like to comment on the above. You did not mention what State you live in, so I can only comment on my experiences being DPOA for my mom We live in Michigan.

When mom was of sound mind, she made "both myself and my brother" DPOA. Same document, signed the same day, he has his, I have mine. For about 2 years now, mom has multi-infract dementia, which continues to get worse. Mom lives in her own home. My brother lives with her, has always lived with her, "free and clear". He says he is entitled and has "established residence, and now will not me visit with mom, but that's another story. However, mom's banking accounts had been set up "jointly" with mom and myself long before mom became sick. My brother depends on me to make sure the bills are paid. Note... some banks honor joint accounts others don't. Some banks honor POA's, others don't. Another nightmare.

However, when it comes to my visiting mom, (I am married, have my own family and home and just recently my husband had a stroke) so I have a responsiblity to my husband as well, my brother has jerked me around.
You ask if there is anything you can do, perhaps, pick your battles. Take advantage of free legal consultations. Many lawyers offer this. Retain notes, retain emails, documents anything from your family for evidence.

I'm no lawyer, and again don't know what State you are in. However, if your POA was revoked, it seems Family Court should have notified you. As far as revoking POA, the next step would be either conservator or guardianship. And again Family Court would be involved and you would have been notified. It's not up to the nursing facility to inform you of your POA being revoked and I would ask for their written documents regarding this matter. Take the copies to your Legal consultation. And again, this depends on the type of POA, you have...... Good Luck

A fellow caregiver answered...

I had the same problem with my brother except my mother was at home with caregivers. Unfortunately she passed before I resolved it. I lived out of state and he blocked calls, told lies about me to caregivers, etc. Instructed no one to call me when her condition worsened. I called another relative and learned she was in the hospital. He stood at the hospital door at her room and would not allow me to see her the night she died. I called hospital security but they told me it was a civil matter and would get involved. I left and she died alone a few hours later. He sat there to spite me but did not stay through the night so she died alone. I would see your mother no matter what. Remember she may not be here and you may never have that opportunity again. I would contact the administrators at the nursing home and ask for intervention. I would contact an attorney and seek a guardianship. If you don't have the funds to do this, I would contact probate court, who in most jurisdictions hears these matters. I would ask the court what do I need to file to see my mother. I suspect there is some jeolousy going on and most likely this is an attempt to take over your mother's assets. I had a good relationship with my mother and was blocked by my brother. This is probably not about a poor relationship with your mother but money. My mother wanted to see me. I believe your mother, as with most mothers, love their children and want to see them. Do not give up!! You only have one mother, and do everything you can to see her!! I regret I did not fight more to see my mother. Do EVERYTHING you can to see your mother and see her as often as you can!!!

Lauriehrh answered...

Contact the Ombudsman for your state. They where able to resole the same issue in my family.

A fellow caregiver answered...

To Galowa: Thank you for being so upfront with your situation. I am going through a similar situation right now. My mother is in California and I live in AZ. My brother has always been the dependent one in many ways you have also mentioned. My other chose me several years ago to help her with her finances, healthcare etc. but completing POA's with me being named. My brother thought that my mother saying he could speak for her meant everything and he is now learning the truth. He has gone through life intimidating and threatening people and now I had to get a Restraining Order against him. He nailed the door shut by calling the Deputy here and leaving one of his many threatening messages on her recorder. She turned it over to a Criminal Detective and then to the State District Attorney and now he has charges files. In the meantime, my sister and I (she lives in Mom's town) have obtained a co-conservatorship, albeit temporary because he has made charges that we are abusing our mother by over medicating her. What actually is happening is that at 85 years old, she is finally being treated for her Schizo Affective Mood Disorder and Bi-polar (she has been evicted from evrey place I could find and is finally in a locked dementia care facility). IT is very hard to treat someone that has dementia, has had her husband removed from her and taken away, had a stroke recently and now is having psychotic episodes wanting to find her husband of 18 years. My brother doesn't think my mother needs medications and thinks it is her personality having been this way her entire life. I believe my mother not being treated her entire life for her mood disorder a main issue here band she taught her son to be so dependent on her that he is having trouble accepting her decline.

Watching your mother decline rapidly because of her emotional and mental issues is very hard for any child but then to have to fight for her when she really doesn't even know what is best for her any longer, is horrible. It has physically made me sick to the point that I have been hospitalized three times now. My sister and I have applied for co-conservatorship so that I can manage from afar everything that I know about from the past and my sister can do the leg work since she lives there. My brother resents this. He has allowed my mother's delusional thoughts and discussions to sway him to the point that he thought we didn't have contact with our mother and now he thinks he is making us pay for that. If he only knew what she used to say about him. But we don't use it as he does against us.

I hate to see my mother go downhill but she is 85 years old. I have always been the one she trusted and now that she is no longer competent by the direction of many different Psychiatrist and the Courts, she should trust me but he hates that I am in AZ and says that I "deserve zero" what ever that mean. He needs as much help as she does but I will struggle to do my best with the help of my sister and fight him, even if it comes to the point that I have to have him no longer visit my mother because he agitates her because he cannot acknowledge that she no longer can think and process things as she did when she was younger.

Thanks for telling your family problems. It helps to know that we are not the only one.

Galowa answered...

To "Anonymous" in Arizona...

I can't send you a "hug" and talk to you privately, because you are anonymous. If you send me a hug with your email address, I will contact you directly. You may need to register to do so, if you have not already...

I DO understand. Still mired in it myself...




Galowa answered...


I need to say that I cannot help but notice that (beside the "expert"), with the exception of my own comments and that of one other contributor, ALL comments on this thread are "anonymous."

Those of us struggling with "family conflicts" are very often dealing with family dysfunction rooted in one or more family members' mental illness. Such is definitely the case in my family.

In my opinion, it is past time for those of us who ARE dealing with mentally ill family members to "come out of the closet." If we do we will no longer need to be anonymous .

And WHEN we do, I firmly believe it will be nearly ALL of US...




Mlf 72 answered...

I am the "anonymous" that has the mother that is [in $18,000 in debt and my POA was "revoked" by my brother and aunt. Someone tried to respond to me but couldn't because I was posting as anonymous. I still have not been able to see my mother. I've spoken "to" her only about 6 times this last year. It depends on who answers the phone at the nursing home. I live in NV and she is in a home in her home state of MT. My brother also lives in NV but my aunt lives in MT. I am convinced that they forged the "revoke" and the new POA naming my brother. When I was taking care of my mother in my own home, she was unable to even tell you what her name was, much less WRITE it! And the person who notarized this new POA is the Grand-daughter of my deceased Uncle. Sooo... given that, I know it was forged. I don't have the money to fight them and I have chosen my battles. I miss my mom. She is unable to speak any longer, so I just call her and tell her all about her grandkids. This truly is the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed. And my brother and aunt have not only disowned me but they have gotten the entire family on their side. I am the "black sheep" of a very dysfunctional family... black sheep in the sense that I'm the only "normal" one. I've have to disconnect and try to move on with my husband and three children and forget the evil that I come from. I agree with Galowa. It's time we come out of the "closet". You need to FEEL in order to HEAL. Stand up to them, even if that just means not letting them get the best of you!!! Hugs to each and every one of you!!!!

Galowa answered...

Dear Mif72 in Nevada,

Thank you or standing up and being counted!

"Dysfunction" runs in families right along with the mental illness that causes it. It is NOT UNCOMMON for there to be ONE healthy (strong) member in a family. In particular, when mental illness has been multi-generational, it spawns a "family culture" that is illness-based.

It is ok to "miss" your mother... Grieve for her, but remember that life IS for YOU, the living. And KNOW that there are some forces which, collectively, are so powerful we can overcome them ONLY by ESCAPE. Which is what you have done...

In my own family, most of the dysfunctional (read: shameful) things that went on were referred to as "family business" and were NOT to be disclosed to anyone. Thus, a fairly healthy individual, such as myself, was isolated in this sick family situation and unable to ask anyone "outside" for help.

Frankly, I believe that the stresses of being married to my father, (an abusive bipolar personality and a "managing alcoholic") coupled with the lifelong stress of dealing with my sister (a drug-addicted psychopath who bled my parents financially and emotionally her whole life) were THE major contributing factors in my mother's Alzheimer's Disease. It is documented that stress plays a major role in that disease process...

So, there should be a lot of us here - the children of dysfunction and mental illness who have somehow emerged "near-normal" - struggling to care for the sires and dams of that illness while also struggling against the forces of "family." A noble, but sometimes losing battle.

WE must make physical and mental HEALTH our priority - for ourselves and for the generations we are raising up...

Thank you - for having the courage to "come out!" You are NOT alone.



Sister-in-Spirit xox


Mlf 72 answered...

WOW Galowa!!!! I was going to ask if you were sure we weren't sisters!!! You basically just told my story! Except it was my drug addict brother that bled our family dry. My father was/is a "functioning" alcoholic as well. There was sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional/psychological abuse going on 24/7 behind our closed doors. There was incest. Cheating. My mother knew of most of the sexual abuse and she was the physical abuser. (Taking her anger out on us kids, I believe.) When I was 9, I was held down by my sister (while my brother looked on) and raped by a 12 year old. And my psycho brother laced my drink with the date rape drug when I was 22 and he and his friends had their way. Some how, I managed to never do drugs, and I'm not an alcoholic. Instead, I strive to face my life. Face my fears. Heal. And if my story can help ONE person, then my job on earth is done.

I have always told my husband that I believed what my mother went through with my father and sister and brother..... she ran away into her own mind. I believe that her Alzheimer's was induced by all the trauma and secrets that her mind had to hold onto for so long. She was only 64 when her brain was gripped with Dementia and and within 8 months she was diagnosed with Severe Alzheimer's. She went fast. She could no longer carry the pain. So she ran from it. I feel some what angry about that. One more thing for me to work through.

In the past year, I've had to face so many truths about my family. But in the end.. all I need to do is look into my three beautiful children's eyes and see that they are happy, healthy, confident, wonderful little humans. THIS makes it all worth it. (my pain.) (**I think I'm babbling now.. mainly because I'm so happy to have a new friend who really REALLY understands what I've been through and what I still struggle through today.) xoxox

Galowa answered...

DEAREST mlf_72 ,

We ARE sisters! But what makes us sisters is not the past we share, but the future in which we both believe.

Haven't you heard?

It's not "where you come from..." It's "where you're going" that counts!

mlf_72, so much of your past dredges up memories of my own, but I REVEL in being that black sheep who NEVER FIT IN! I am, in fact, GRATEFUL that my sister is who she is - because it means IDON'T HAVE TO BE HER!!! (Is that a gift, or what?)

Performance artist Laurie Anderson wrote these lyrics: (Call it my theme song!)

"I'm lying in the shade - of my family tree. "I'm a branch that broke off... "What will become of me?"

GUESS WHAT! I don't care what becomes of me!!!! ALL that matters is that I "broke off." ;- )


Galowa xox

p.s. If you ever want private contact, feel free to send me a hug with your email.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I live in Michigan and recently responded remaining anonymous. Although, the comment about dysfuntional and/ or mental illness running in families is often true, I remained anonymous for fear other family members may stumble across these comments. I am fearful of these family members and wish I could move on, cut my ties from them. Unfortuntely, mother has made me Executrix, which only then I will be able to handle family issues without them hiding behind mom. What I had once brought up to believe in the support of family is no longer true. It just sickens me. It is very supportive to read experiences and to know I am not alone. Thank you

Galowa answered...

Dearest "Anonymous" in Michigan,

You are SO not alone... xox ;- )

AND you are WISE - because the fear you describe is not just imaginary. It is REAL FEAR rooted in both your experience of, and your instinct of, REAL DANGER. So please do stay anonymous if it is best for you.

Every single one of "US" understands "THE FEAR."

Personally, I am just sick to death of living with it - especially because the potential sources are SO MANY!

WHEN YOU FINALLY FEEL TRULY SAFE, you will stand up and raise your voice to let your truth be heard. Until then, try to feel safe and by all means do everything you can to BE safe!

Beware the trap of feeling or believing that any power you have been given as executrix will protect you. Make sure the will clearly states that you cannot be personally sued by anyone in connection with the will, and that anyone who contests the will becomes automatically disinherited...

I've learned a lot these past seven years. As the oldest, (and my parents' least favorite child,) "I" ended up being named Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Executrix, because in spite of how much they "loved" their other children, even my sick, abusive parents knew that I was the only one who could actually be trusted.

For what it's worth - all the "power" actually began to feel like "punishment" once I finally realized that - yet again - I had allowed myself to be USED.

Well - this is my last gig! And boy, oh boy - it can't end soon enough.

In solidarity...Always!



A fellow caregiver answered...

Dear Galowa. This is Michigan again. In response to your comments on Executrix. Mom's Will states if family cannot agree on the division of property then the Executrix makes the final decision.
Although, when this document was arranged, mom was fully of sound mind. However, family members are no doubt trying to figure out how to change this. I feel time will run it's course.
Mom has dementia and no doubt at the stage she is in, she probably doesn't not remember me or her grandson. I recall my last visit with her. She hugged me, told me not to worry and everything will be okay. I hang out to that memory. She hasn't a clue what these family members have done. I have not attempted to visit nor to contact these family members, (they live in her home with her and are now legal guardian of her) I refuse to play their game of manipulation. In speculation, they probably will not even notify me when she passes away.
Again, I appreciate your comments... thank you

Mlf 72 answered...

Dearest Anonymous,

I SO understand the fear and I'm so sorry that you have to live in it. My brother threatened to kill my husband and I and leave my three children without parents. He is psycho enough to follow through and this scares the hell out of me! In all honesty though.... I lived in fear my entire life and the day I decided to start asking questions, and telling the truth, I was made the "black sheep." They (meaning my family... brother, aunt, etc.) hated me for it. I exposed all the dirty little secrets and am in the process of writing a tell all book. My sister (who is also my cousin due to my father and aunt having an affair) is the only one in my family who has remained true to me and who is also "escaping" the tragedy of our disfunction.

I wish you all the protection from angels in the word Anonymous. Sending you hugs and like Galowa said, You are not along here. xoxo

P.S. I wanted to state here also, that there is NO estate or money involved. This hatred comes from me opening my mouth and exposing the truth. Amazing what secrets and lies can do to people.

A fellow caregiver answered...

If your loved one seems t o be overmdicated, and you havea funny feeling, comb t his or her hair and share with somebody who can chekc the hair for medcine level old& new.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I'm a nurse. I'm shocked at the attitudes of some of you caregivers.

Somehow, you think you have the right to keep loved ones from seeing their relative. That's wrong and you can't give me a good reason why they should not see them, unless they are a danger to that person - a physical danger.

If you family is dysfunctional, I don't care. I care about the patient. I don't care about you and your petty family squabbles. If a patient wants to see a family member, then it will be allowed. I'm not a security guard and not here to do your bidding. I'm here to care for someone who needs it. I am not your personal servant.

I hope that clears a lot of this up. Some of you people are just evil.
If you don't allow your relatives to see the person you have "power of attorney" over, you are despicable. As a nurse, there is no way I'm backing you up and no physician in her/his right mind would, either.

If the facility takes Medicare, you can see them.
If you work with the Administration, you can see them.
If all of that fails, go to court.
Don't let anyone stop you from seeing a loved one. It helps them heal when they know they are loved. If they are terminal, why on earth would you want to keep someone from seeing them? That's truly evil.

Howcouldthishappen answered...

I am at a total loss. I saw my mum for 12 years nearly every day, and cared for her living with her for the last 12 months. I did it without getting any financial support and cashed in my superannuation. My brother assaulted me. Police took out an interim order against him to stop him coming near me. He is a Guardian. Police are preparing to lay charges for assault which occurred just before he took her out of her home. They havn't yet done so. He said to the Board that deals with Guardianship matters where I live that he doesn't want me to see her ever again. I cared for her 24/7. He is saying that I was not a fit carer. He is saying I am mentally ill. He has since breached the Interim Order against him and is being investigated for breaches. My sister who is also a Guardian puts on a facade to the public, being religious, but laughs and is sarcastic to me. She said that I blackened my own eye to frame my brother. It is like a bad dream. She took out an Interim Order the day after Police took one out against my brother and changed the locks, locking my elderly cat inside my mum's house without her medication or access to food. The cat was hospitalised and died. They were not treating my mother with dignity or caring for her properly in the first place, hence the reason for me stepping in and helping her. My sister now has an Interim Order stopping me from visiting my mother. The Court dealing with the Interim Orders ordered mediation, but the mediator said it was not appropriate given that there had been and still was family violence occurring. I had sustained a big bruise to my eye from the punch my brother delivered to my eye. On 29 February this year, my mum was uprooted from the familiar surroundings of her house, on my siblings' word because of me not being a suitable carer. They tricked her into leaving by saying they were taking her out shopping. I don't know where she is, as they have moved her from respite facility to respite facility. I bought an application to the board that deals with guardianship as to whether they are fit and proper guardians. The board ordered an investigation into this, but before the investigation could be completed, my siblings used their financial enduring power of attorney to sell my mother's house. I brought the matter back urgently to the Board, but the Board just accepted my siblings' word that my mother who was diagnosed as "low care" last December was now high care and should be put into a home, her worst fear. Meanwhile I have only been able to see her for 2.5 hours and I taped each visitation my sister allowed in the presence of persons nominated by her. She has only allowed visitation, pursuant to her visitation clause in her Intervention Order, for 2.5 hours over a period of three months. It is now mother's day and this is like a bad dream. The office that is supposed to investigate persons who have disabilities from abuse and exploitation went out to the facility where mum was and talked to her for twenty minutes and the residential care manager who said she thought my mum had advanced dementia. There is no proper geriatrician report however and the tapes and transcripts of the visitations suggests my mother knows exactly what is happening. She asks me, begs me to contact her and to take her home. She asks me why I can't contact her or she contact me, and asks me whether I have murdered someone. ("What could you have possibly done to not be allowed to see me?"). She has issues with short term memory but she has had to be physically restrained every time I have seen her, three times in total as she wants to come home with me or see me and not go with my siblings or extended family. My sister tells the court that I have upset her and therefore breached the order, but it is obvious from the transcript, that my mum is upset because she doesn't know why her home is being sold and why she isn't allowed to see her daughter ("nobody should be allowed to stop anyone from seeing their daughter, not even if they had murdered someone and you havn't, I know that. How would she like it if I did something like that to her and her daughters? Please I want to see you etc etc etc") The Board that deals with Guardianship matters decided to remove my brother and sister's powers of visitation from their guardianship powers but still allowed them to be guardians, something I cannot believe. They also allowed them to sell my mother's house without her permission or consent by accepting the residential care manager's word, who isn't medically trained and the investigator who saw my mum for twenty minutes, to the effect that mum is now advanced in her dementia. I don't believe it. You can tell from her responses that she is still "low care", but I cannot do anything about it. My sister is refusing now to let me see my mother at all and I have to wait until her Intervention Order is dealt with by the courts. I havn't seen mum for more than 2.5 hours for over two months and it is killing me. I cannot understand how this can happen. I don't have the chance to contest the interim order until months after it was made. It is based on false allegations which are very vague, namely that I was undermining my sister's guardianship. The assertions are all false. Even when my brother assaulted me, and they took her out of her home I told the Police that I didn't want to stop my sister or brother from seeing my mother. I wouldn't do that no matter what they did to me. Perhaps I should have.

Maryanndodge answered...

Wow. Each of you has a story and I wanted to respond to each but there was no reply button. it appears i have to wait until the end of the this time of course, I have forgotten all the details i wanted to respond to. So I ask, is this the only way i get to respond? Also @suzanne, i don't understand your email address....Hugs to all of you.

A fellow caregiver answered...

After reading these posts, I feel like I have a huge family out there. I moved away from the dysfunction to save myself. It is a road to healing. I chose to raise my family well away from the dysfunction. I am sure I am the blacksheep as well. From my point of view, who ended up better off? Those siblings fighting for money or me. Me! I have piece of mind. Here is what I choose to focus on; Black and blacksheep; Black can be a color of elegance or class (such as a black-tie only event, and black evening gowns.) Black can also represent ideas such as power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, wealth, mystery, depth, style. Black, is the color of mystery ,the color of the night. Black expresses the depths of the unknown, and encourages the imagination of a different world from that of daylight realities. Black sheep; would just mean that someone is unique, or very individualistic. Peace

De shore answered...

I can't believe how many of you are suffering with the same issues as my mom, it's breaking my heart what my stepsister is doing to my mom! It's my stepdad that is ill in the nursing home with dementia, lung cancer, copd, and diminished kidney function. It's all about control. She is not on the list who the staff can discuss his meds, etc, with for a reason despite her being an RN (that's right). What I would like to understand is why she has always been fixated on the meds...and there are 3 occasions in the last 2 yrs where she has told mom that it is ok to give him certain meds strictly in violation of doctor orders,,,,mom didn't do it.

A fellow caregiver answered...

It is my understanding Power of Attorney or Health Care Surrogate cannot just be revoked like that. If the person lacks capacity it cannot be changed without going to court. Also, let's not be too judgemental. There may be a reason one family member is hesitant about another family member visiting. In my family a sibling got my mother kicked out of the facility because he kept making frivolous complaints and finally made a legal threat. Do you know how hard it is to move someone with Dementia and what that does to them? Then, everyone goes away until the next holiday while the Power of Attorney or Healthcare Surrogate has to clean up the mess.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Really, people! Not trying to judge here, but from personal experience, it's not always about money or the inheritance! Ever think about the fact that a lot of senior abuse that goes on these days is because of a loved one with a substance abuse issue??? I know, we are living it. Prior to my husband taking power - of - attorney, our loved one was at my mother-in - law's house everyday. Her finances were a mess, because she kept giving money. " I JUST WANT THEM TO GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE! " The police were constantly being called by the neighbours over the fighting there. We witnessed bruises. My mother - in - law was diagnosed with Parkinson's related dementia. Oh,the social worker from elder abuse was targeted by them and investigate for over abusing her position. Charges dismissed. Addicts don't like hearing the word NO. If the nursing home lets them in, then they can deal with the ruckus! So tired !!! Wish she hadn't had a power - of- attorney and a public guardian and trustee had been appointed by the province!

A fellow caregiver answered...

It's amazing to me that everyone assumes that the child that is being prevented from see their parent is the victim or the caring sibling. Me and my sister is going through something similar with our older sister. She has a history of mistreating my mother as a child and through out her adult life. She often directed profanity at my mother and would tell my mother she hates her and wish she was dead. Well now my mother has dementia, and she tells everyone how much she loves my mother and want to take care of my mother{ . My mother always made me and my other sister promise we would not allow her to take care of her or to have anything to do with making decision for her if she was unable.( I forgot to mention that she has been trying to kill my mother by giving her medicine that is not prescribe to her {a cocktail of pain pills, sleeping pill, anti-depressants, and muscle relaxers, and was caught trying to give my mother an insulin injection when my mother does not take insulin. Yes we went to court and tried to get a restraining order but they just want to mediate. Everyone always assume that a child should have rights to see their parents, and assume that the one that is being banned in a victim. We are only trying to protect my mother .IT IS NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY. If anyone knows what we can do legally to keep her away let me know.

Maryanndodge answered...

Wow. All of you shared so much so there is little I need to say except that in America the parent chooses who she wants to visit...denying access to your mom is elder abuse/isolation. I would speak to the social worker if there is one, not a social services desginee. A MSW BSW who is trained in these matter sof elder abuse etc. Based on federal codes/regulations you have access to your mom 24/7 CFR 483.10 (federal reg number)---federal codes trump any state codes....unless your brother brings charges against about harming your mother should fight with all your might to be with your mom. One does not lose their rights just because they are living in a facility (visitation rights). Most of the time the banned person is the victim---if brother attempts to get restraining order do attend the hearing to defend yourself!

A fellow caregiver answered...

I am suffering I am afraid, of similar circumstances. My over 100 yr old grandmother was staying in a nursing ALF facility in the town where I live. This was 2 yrs ago.. I went to only visit her a couple of times during the year she had stayed there. During her stay, at some point over that time, her apartment room had become infested with insects, the types of insects found common in places like this and hotels, airports, etc.

Well I had had a brief stint dealing with the same infestation for a few months when I first moved here but the problem was eliminated, or so I thought. Next thing I know my family is telling me Grandmas room was infested and they believed it was me!!!! It likely wasn't, as I take great precautions and great great pains to protect myself and others from further growth of these annoying critters.

She was forced to throw out her clothing and furniture, and go back to her home to live with my aunt and uncle. They had run out of financial means to care for her at home, so sent her back to town to ANOTHER facility. She is right up the street from the previous facility. Long story short, my family says she is here, but CANNOT LET ME SEE HER, FOR THEIR FEAR OF REINFESTATION!!!! WTH??

Not only this, but all the new staff and admins now know who I am and can force me to leave if I ever attempt to approach or enter the building. No matter what precautions I may gravely take--- NO MATTER WHAT I TELL THE STAFF OR MY FAMILY---they won't believe a word I say and will forbid me to visit until the problem goes away.

The CLINCHER----they have even attempted to contact authorities on me and have someone snoop around my home to have my landlord reported for "not properly treating the property" for insect infestation(after several tried but failed attempts--said individual sent over some pro-grade sprays and bombs but they didn't work as planned. The next step would be to call Pest Control and spend several thousand dollars to properly treat the home, which neither I or said landlord can do). If they bring in the landlord into this so-called legal stink, the landlord could evict me and everyone else in my home!!!! We are faithful renters....and don't wish to face homelessness....I need answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have to say that I am going through this right now. We are at this time not telling my brother exactly where my mother is. He is physically and verbally abusive. Has been through three marriages were he beat his wives, he is violent with a long record and currently has a destruction of property case outstanding.

He has systematically financially abused my mother for decades, (we have proof), left her penniless, without the basic necessities needed to survive. We fear that he will try to get her out of the NH she is in so he can continue to take advantage of her. We have told him once everything is set we will let him know where she is. We just want to make sure that he can not interfere with her care.

He is a problem, always has been and always will be. I believe he is a sociopath with a drug problem. I take offense that everyone thinks it's about money. It isn't my mother has no money as he has seen to that, and honestly we could careless about the money. Once in a NH the state takes it all anyway, so oddly enough he did us a favor. We only want to make sure that she gets the medical attention she needs and lives out her last days with as much dignity as she can.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have a very sad story...Living with a broken my heart. My mother and I were best friends and very close... In the end to make this short my sister and brother become the conservative-ship over my mother and her estate. They changed my mothers will and cut me out completely My mother drew up her original will by an estate attorney dividing everything in to thirds.. Three blood children each getting a third... When my mother decided to change her will giving everything to me she did this with an attorney... I advised her not to. I wasn't present but my ex husband took her to change her will as this was her money she said for all off her reasons she had regarding my brother and sister she cut them out of her will.

My mother passed January 30, 2013... My mother became a prisoner in her own house with caretakers with very little supervision window blacked out in her bedroom & no ramp to take her out to her exquisite back yard... & yes she had the money... My brother lives several hundred miles and my sister lives 60 miles from where my mother lived in Ventura California...

I have never been in jail or have been a threat to my mother we we the best of friends... Lots of jealousy as I was the favorite child and mother made this quite clear & the siblings made it quite clear how little they cared about my mother... My brother going as far as calling my mother by her first name knowing how deeply he was hurting her... With the help of my attorney and several letters back and forth between attorneys... I was Given 2 hours of visiting rights TO SEE MY OWN MOTHER with supervision of my sister and the caretaker... MY EVIL £ NASTY SISTER SAID I LOST MY RIGHT...

My mother was not around Loved ones while I got thrown out of the picture and the only caregiver that I hired Loved my mother and cared for her as if she were family taking mother to church every Sunday on her day off with her family... Well she gets laid off because she knew me and she also saw how things were going under my sister and brother in charge so they brought in a caretaker who lived in the extra room for free room and board in exchange for her care for my mother which was very poor and very little supervision... I called my mother 3 times a day forever and spend every weekend with her till my Life Got ROCKED and I became a victim of family abuse and so did my amazing mother may she RIP... She broke my mothers heart and mine is still broken... Everyday I suffer in dire pain...

Yes money was involved in this story and My X Husband and I were being accused of steeling my mothers money which got thrown out of the DA's office and case was closed.

Anyway I have a lot to say... I still have my mother ashes I haven't spread... this was easy to get... My sister and brother only wanted the money... No respect at all for my mother... Soooo sooo sad The girl with a Broken Heart...

Birdlynn answered...

A memory care facility injured my mother three times. (3 incidents) She was hospitalized twice. My brother who has power of attorney and guardianship has agreed with my sister to resubmit her back into the same facility. I reported the incidents to AFP, and my sister has down talked me from the beginning. Now the facility has put a months restriction on my visitation rights to only two visits a week and they have to be timed and called in before hand. They are reacting as being threatened by me. My brother has written up a letter in agreement to this, and he hasn't even called me or given me the letter. I am trying to find out if it is even legal for them to do this? Do I have to comply with facilities wishes?

A fellow caregiver answered...

Not always about the money or being mean. My sister kept going to try to get Mom to sign papers to get loans against her home. Already had made her sign for two others before going to this home. We blocked there and then transferred her to my home and still tries to get to her. Says she misses her, and wants to take her home. Mom iwas a hoarder so she calls and tells her she can clean up the place if she signs paperwork for a loan to get her back into her home so she can die there. but APS is now involved. Home is empty and boarded up until mom dies, then whatever Mom wants will be done. So no it's not always about the money people! and this kind of response is what I get when she tells people this same story! If people don't know the facts they should call and find out not spree rumors!

A fellow caregiver answered...

And befor anyone comments that I make typos it is a disability I have not just typos. Thx.

Chaos1964 answered...

Galowa Your story seems so one sided. There are many siblings who hate another sibling and use aging parent to get back at sibling and the parent. The only person it hurts is the aging parent. Courts side on those with money, lots of money will buy anything in a court of law and who loses? The aging parent. I see people walk in and lie with NO evidence and get away with it.

Scmom answered...

I'm from Ohio, my aunt lost her husband three months ago. She is grieving since it happened suddenly, he had cardiac arrest while eating at a restaurant. My aunt is in her early 80's and has slight memory loss. Her daughters have been complaining a week after their dad died that they had to drive less then 3 hours to come take care of her. My mom, myself and some neighbors were also helping out. My aunt has lived in the area for 50+ years, had no intentions of moving out of her house yet. Her daughters were pushing her to move; one daughter was handling medical issues, other daughter finances. They were telling people how angry their mom was toward them but we never saw that side of her. The last time my mom spoke to her sister, she told my mom she was spending Easter with her one daughter. Well after Easter we didn't hear from anyone. My mom went over to check on her sister's house, some furniture was missing and my mom was mad, someone moved her sister without telling anyone. Finally the one daughter called my mom, daughter said her mom was put in a facility near her that has a memory unit in it. Nothing else was said. A few days later my mom's other sister calls her, the other daughter had called and said her mom is in a facility for memory loss and till she excepts the fact that she is staying there forever and makes some friends she is not allowed to have any visitors, phone or write to anyone. My aunt was forced to go there; the daughters admitted she is not happy about the situation and doesn't want to live there. I cannot believe my cousins would be so mean and cruel to their mom. My mom and I are upset, I feel this has torn our family apart, I cannot trust my cousins again. They lied to their mom and us. We probably won't see my aunt again. I can't understand why some people don't understand the grieving process, especially when its a sudden death. I have a feeling they want her gone soon to get the money. My aunt is not out going, shy around strangers so I don't think she will make any friends unless the staff is mean to her. What kind of place does this to a person and/or goes along with the family on this type of rule. It sounds like a jail sentence. How does this seem like a friendly, caring place when family is not allowed to visit. My mom doesn't want to cause waves so she is not going to argue with the daughters. I'm loosing sleep over this, just imagining my aunt miserable, loaded up with medicine to keep her calm and just sitting there like a zombie.