Who is responsible for paying mom's electricity the bill?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 01, 2016
Doror69 asked...

How do I get my 84 yr. old mother's Con Ed to be turned back on. I'm a caregiver for my Mom whose lights has been turned off for almost three weeks now. I'm 47, and the youngest of my three sibblings who all own their own homes and business. They're responsible for my mother's finances, and her Con Ed hasn't been paid since November of last year. She owns her own home. I moved out last July, and returned this March. I still returned everyday to feed and take care of her. I get no physical help from my siblings. My oldest brother's 1st son lives her also with his girlfriend. He works she doesn't. My brother expects his son to have been paying the light bills. Now their pointing fingers as to who's responsible, and still my mom remains with out light. What can be done to restore her light. Who's responsible for paying. I can't go out and work because my mom needs constant supervision. She wonders out of the house due to her dementia and slow loosing of her memory. What can I do?


Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

You say that your Mom's electricity has been turned off for 3 weeks, yet you and your nephew live in her house rent free. How are you all living in the dark? Where is Mom's income going? Your siblings may not be responsible for your Mom's utilities, but certainly anyone living there is. You are her caregiver, so you are providing services in exchange for your rent. Depending on the cash available, you can contact the utility company to find out if there are any special programs for low income seniors. You can also contact your local county to see if they have any programs. If you are committed to keeping Mom at home and she cannot find funds anywhere else, she can take out a reverse mortgage, assuming one of the siblings has power of attorney and can sign for her. Otherwise, you can consider moving Mom to a facility where she can get the care she needs. She can sell her house and use the proceeds for her care. When the money runs out, she should be eligible for Medicaid.