How can I get mom to come stay with me so I can manage her care properly?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 02, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother has moderate dementia. She currently lives at home with my younger, unemployed brother, who is in his 40's. I live in a neighboring state. We were supposed to share the responsiblity. She would stay with me for two weeks and remain at home for two weeks. The problem is that the money was being mismanaged when she was at home. She would take out hundreds of dollars at a time and not remember what happened to the money. My brother saw nothing wrong with this since the bills are being paid. I pay the bills from my end because it confused her to pay the bills. Now I can't get her to agree to come to my home for a visit. I am in the process of getting an POA. Every month she runs out of money for food,and she receives a good retirement check from my deceased father. How can I ever get her to come stay with me if my brother keeps telling her that he can handle her care. Which he does not. She does not eat right, or takes her meds properly.

Expert Answers

Brenda Avadian, brings knowledge, hope, and joy to family caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia. She cared for her father with Alzheimer's and helps families one-on-one and in groups. She is the author of eight books, including the pioneering memoir "Where's my shoes?" My Father's Walk through Alzheimer's and the Finding the JOY in Alzheimer's series. She presents vivid, compelling, and funny keynotes to both professional and family caregiving audiences.

It will take patience.

First, it is unclear from what you share why your mother stopped visiting you. Some possibilities:

  • When your mother runs out of funds before the end of the month, she blames you (the bill payer) for spending her funds. Your unemployed brother (the beneficiary of the $100s?) doesn't take time to correct her perception.

  • She feels safer in her own home among her things and near her friends in familiar surroundings

  • She feels safer with her son (a bond between mother and son).

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  • Your mother may feel there's much she has to do at home before she can get away.

Since these are guesses, you might set aside some time to spend with your mother (and brother) in her home. This may help you to rebuild the trust that fades with distance in the mind of a person with dementia. These are the challenges of managing care for a person with dementia and my heart reaches out to you. Depending on how she responds, regular phone calls afterward will help to cement the bond you create during your visit.

While visiting her, you'll learn more about what she feels and why. You will also see what's happening to the $100s she "loses." And you can comfort her by helping her with whatever concerns her. While you're doing this, if she is competent enough to answer basic questions, get a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) for her finances and health care. Click on Durable Power of Attorney articles at to scan the titles for more information.

Bottom Line: This will take your time, effort, and patience.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...


I may comment as what is your relationship with your brother? My brother also lives w/ mom, 62 yrs old and unemployed.
The "golden boy". Does your mom have any joint savings with him?

Both my brother and I have DPOA, same document, but sepearte papers.
He has his, I have mine. Signed the same day. Thou, mom's savings has been joint with me, my brother has withdrawn money, using his DPOA. You don't mention what State you live in or your mom. Instead of doing a DPOA, get conservator/ guardianship of your mom. This will nip any problems with your brother in the future.

If your mom has already been diagnoised with dementia, whose the doctor? He will support your efforts. You then have legal authority to force your brother to pay rent, help with bills, etc, but until you do that, "the golden boy" will continue to sponge off your mom. He will continue to feed her with all the manipulation he can as you are a threat to his "gravy train". I wish I should have, could have, done that a few years ago. Now my brother won't even let me see mom, has jerked me around even though, I still have my DPOA. It's a long story, and at this late date, why get the lawyers involved? Mom loves her "golden boy"....

A final note is that the courts may or may not grant you authority. Because of your brother's "established residency with your mom". Keep monthly documented files of everything in writing, to back up your claims. It may come down to a "he said, she said, and the court may just take mom as a 3rd party ward.
You take that chance Most elderlaw lawyers provide free consultations, find one that you feel comfortable with... for further help. Prayers are with you

Carol814 answered...

Stop trying to urge her because it only makes her angry and everytime she sees you she only feels like you want her to leave her home and she loves living on her own.

I say this because my mother was forced to leave her home by my sister because my husband could no longer do her yard and she never ever was the same she was always sad.

I don't think you want her to be sad even if she might be losing memory that memory will stay with her as you can see but she will realize you are right and will come around.

It's like the old saying: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.