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Explosive family politics grinding me down

Emsquared

Registered User
Mar 21, 2017
16
Birthplace of apathy, Beds
I have been caring for Mum since February. My brother does not help with the care, says he cannot face it (fair enough) but we have an explosive relationship. He endlessly criticises everything I do and is focussed entirely on putting Mum directly into a care home. No doubt I come across as over defensive to him but, to me it always feels like being under attack.

He is convinced that the family agreed that no family member would burden care themselves. In all honesty our family was never close and we didn't talk so I genuinely have no recollection of this.

He regularly demands I ask for respite so he can get Mum's house ready for selling.

My brother and I can't even come to an agreement on applying for Lasting Power Of Attorney. Brother wants control of all money, to pick witnesses, choose the certificate provider with me doing nothing independently including buying food. Fair enough (he's a control freak. Hard to expect compromise) but I am finding his back seat sniping the most stressful aspect of caring for Mum.


He endlessly demands that i request more care help so I can visit him for 'meetings' where he will usually hector me for doing everything wrong and demand we put Mum into care. This does my head no good at all and I prefer to do everything in writing (he prefers 'meetings').This situation seems unsolvable unless I give in to all demands. I just feel endlessly bullied and it is wearing me down.

I dread his scant visits. The last one was the weekend where he launched into an angry as usual seemingly out of nowhere) tirade of past times I could not be trusted (in his eyes). It ended with a screaming match in the garden (I took it there because his outburst was happening directly in front of Mum). There seems to be a long running 'this family never cared about me' underlying his long running resentment of me. Talking always quickly descends to shouts and demands and endlessly going over past grievances. How can we become attorneys to a lasting power if attorney when we're like this? It's a living nightmare (or feels that way to me).

It feels like because my brother cannot help with care then none of us should. I feel this is an extension of what has always felt like a life of sibling jealousy in which I was always viewed (in his eyes) as the favoured one.
 

CarerForMum

Registered User
May 5, 2017
37
Hi Emsquared

Oh my goodness that sounds exactly like my brother - you've written what I couldn't. My brother wants to control everything, but rarely visits her and criticises.

I have enough on my plate without him interferring, he asked for mum's debit card (I explained you can only legally use it with mum present) and waited a day and then gave him a lovely shopping list - feminine things, bras, knickers etc.

Two days later he ased me to provide her measurements for a bra - I explained it doesn't work like that, one shop could be one size, in another shop a different size. A further two days the - card was given back to me - with the explanation I don't want to go shopping with mum. To explain, mum has lost some inhibitions, me being a lady I can go into changing rooms with mum and help choose the right size. The inhibitions, mum doesn't close the changing room doors, and even if closed will open the door to show me the bra - how does it fit etc... So easier now to go in with her.

He also went behind my back and made arrangements for mum to see the Memory Clinic. I didn't think much about it at the time, but in the end mum refused to go with 'just' him, wanted me to go too. On the day sent him a text message, what time are you arriving to take mum? Was told you take her, I'll meet you there. Ok. Well he didn't turn up.

48 hours later, the doctor mum had seen (with me), rang. Your brother rang me and wants your mother to go into a home. Ahhh this explains why he made the appointment and didn't want to go with me. Anyway under the Mental Capacity Act a person cannot be forced to go into care unless it is for their safety or safety of others.

It isn't fair and his unhelpful interference doesn't help. Some weeks he may see her for an hour on a Sunday - sometimes months go by. He's self employed and works from home in the same town as us.

Hugs sent your way.
 

SnowWhite

Registered User
Nov 18, 2016
699
Hi Emsquared

Oh my goodness that sounds exactly like my brother - you've written what I couldn't. My brother wants to control everything, but rarely visits her and criticises.

I have enough on my plate without him interferring, he asked for mum's debit card (I explained you can only legally use it with mum present) and waited a day and then gave him a lovely shopping list - feminine things, bras, knickers etc.

Two days later he ased me to provide her measurements for a bra - I explained it doesn't work like that, one shop could be one size, in another shop a different size. A further two days the - card was given back to me - with the explanation I don't want to go shopping with mum. To explain, mum has lost some inhibitions, me being a lady I can go into changing rooms with mum and help choose the right size. The inhibitions, mum doesn't close the changing room doors, and even if closed will open the door to show me the bra - how does it fit etc... So easier now to go in with her.

He also went behind my back and made arrangements for mum to see the Memory Clinic. I didn't think much about it at the time, but in the end mum refused to go with 'just' him, wanted me to go too. On the day sent him a text message, what time are you arriving to take mum? Was told you take her, I'll meet you there. Ok. Well he didn't turn up.

48 hours later, the doctor mum had seen (with me), rang. Your brother rang me and wants your mother to go into a home. Ahhh this explains why he made the appointment and didn't want to go with me. Anyway under the Mental Capacity Act a person cannot be forced to go into care unless it is for their safety or safety of others.

It isn't fair and his unhelpful interference doesn't help. Some weeks he may see her for an hour on a Sunday - sometimes months go by. He's self employed and works from home in the same town as us.

Hugs sent your way.
Sorry for both you and Emsquared. Same here and it's absolutely killing me! It's the other way round though. Brother wants mum to live at home and not sell her house when she's had countless falls, is anxious and doesn't like being home alone. She can't even stand up unaided to boil a kettle and can't make a meal anymore. For the last 10 years I did everything I could to keep mum in her own home including getting a wetroom, stairlift, various aids to help her move around, arranged a cleaner to go in once a week and a morning carer etc and he did absolutely nothing for her. He wouldn't even get a quote when I needed to get the wetroom sorted. We haven't spoken for years.

I am Mums POA (thank god we sorted that) but i found out recently that he took her to the bank four years ago and made himself Third Party to her Bank account. She can't remember that happening and he never told me or my other brother. We've now cancelled that.

He is now intimidating Mum and upsetting her by telling her she should be back in her own home and not selling it. She is now the lowest I've ever seen her thanks to him. He and his wife have money and items of Mums which they took from her house and will not return anything. The police can't do anything they tell me. It has been a nightmare and every day is terribly stressful.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,076
Victoria, Australia
Just a quick thought. If your mother has capacity it is up to her to decide the matter of attorneys and what they can do. If she doesn't have capacity, how can your brother get a power of attorney?
 

Fullticket

Registered User
Apr 19, 2016
475
Chard, Somerset
explosive family politics

And repeat and repeat... In this day of equality I don't want to pour oil on a smouldering fire but I seriously think it is a man thing (pause for a lot of male carers to aim sharp objects at me). Seriously, in my long and less than professional psychological analyst's life, to me men always need to be 'doing' something, where women usually tend to listen and consider before action. I know my other half is a doer (must solve this problem with immediate action, wanted or not), as is my brother when it comes to caring for mum (from a distance) - do something NOW and it will solve the whole problem. No it won't, mum continues to decline and it is not a one solution, one stop shop.
Additionally I think my brother still sees mum as that person he lived with when he was younger, not the needy and confused person she is now. He does none of the actual caring but will put up barriers at every turn, including resisting putting in hand rails and ramps (which cost nothing). Also I wonder if, because I am 8 years older than he is, we are still dealing with the big sister bossing me around feelings he had when he was younger. I don't think I did boss him but I may have done; long time ago and I left home aged 18 when he was only 10, so it may be a factor.
Fortunately it is me that has the bank account with mum so I don't have the problem of accounting for every penny as it is spent - although I do keep meticulous accounts for when he insists on a bank rec.
Don't have an immediate solution, as you may have gathered, but all I try to do is what is best for mum and for me - and legal.
xxx
 

Margi29

Registered User
Oct 31, 2016
1,224
Yorkshire
You could have been talking of my brother, emsquared and Snow White and Carefor mum.

Horrible situation, brother would bully mum and then attempted it with me and my sister.
That was NOT happening :mad: thank god me and my sister have each other or he may have got away with his antics :eek:

He too had total control over mums money, but we moved mum nearer to us and at first allowed him to continue with control, then realised it was not possible as we needed access and authority to sort various bills.

He was nearly apocalyptic when bank names were changed :D
He has no access whatsoever to any of mums money now.
We have since done some calculations ( only this past week ) and realised that over the past few years the money mum has had coming in and going out does not tally :mad:
We have calculated £20,000 has gone !!! No idea where ???
I'm miffed because mum has also given him a large lump sum from sale of house, little knowing he has happily been helping himself for bl**dy years !!!!

I am so glad this won't be ever happening again :)

He wanted mum to go into a ch , had no interest in care for mum etc...
Saw her as a burden who had passed her usefulness.

Mum has been a wonderful mum, kind loving generous to all her family.

She can ' try the patience of a saint ' but while we still have her we will continue to do our best for her.

Good luck all, and please don't allow bullying, do what you think is right for your loved one :)
 
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Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,576
Yorkshire
I don't have the sibling problems you have, but I do have an aggressive sister who, because she was feeling stressed about Mum's crisis, let me have it with both barrels verbally. With difficulty, I didn't retaliate and averted a breach, but I now try to have as little to do with her as possible, because it makes me feel ill.

When money and major decisions are concerned, it must be hellish to deal with someone overbearing and controlling who doesn't really know the situation.

Sympathy & best wishes to you all - and peace of mind, if possible, too. xx
 
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Margi29

Registered User
Oct 31, 2016
1,224
Yorkshire
And repeat and repeat... In this day of equality I don't want to pour oil on a smouldering fire but I seriously think it is a man thing (pause for a lot of male carers to aim sharp objects at me). Seriously, in my long and less than professional psychological analyst's life, to me men always need to be 'doing' something, where women usually tend to listen and consider before action. I know my other half is a doer (must solve this problem with immediate action, wanted or not), as is my brother when it comes to caring for mum (from a distance) - do something NOW and it will solve the whole problem. No it won't, mum continues to decline and it is not a one solution, one stop shop.
Additionally I think my brother still sees mum as that person he lived with when he was younger, not the needy and confused person she is now. He does none of the actual caring but will put up barriers at every turn, including resisting putting in hand rails and ramps (which cost nothing). Also I wonder if, because I am 8 years older than he is, we are still dealing with the big sister bossing me around feelings he had when he was younger. I don't think I did boss him but I may have done; long time ago and I left home aged 18 when he was only 10, so it may be a factor.
Fortunately it is me that has the bank account with mum so I don't have the problem of accounting for every penny as it is spent - although I do keep meticulous accounts for when he insists on a bank rec.
Don't have an immediate solution, as you may have gathered, but all I try to do is what is best for mum and for me - and legal.
xxx
I think your right, it's certain males ( not all male before every one of the males on here jump on me :) ) that want total control and can not allow their female member of family any say in the situation. In our case brother moaning all the time about mum when she lived near him, never wanted to do anything for her, never took her out.
He's not very tactile and would never ever give her her hug or a kiss, mum needs a lot of reassuring.

Now we have our names jointly with mum on her bank books ( not brother) I keep accounts for everything ( brother never showed us mums bank statements or bank books ) we have since discovered why :mad:

I do get a tiny bit of pleasure now, he doesn't see no statements at all, if he ever dares ask there will be fireworks.
 

Aitchbee

Registered User
Nov 3, 2013
87
Your situation sounds a nightmare. I think you could do with some professional advice such as the Admiral Nurse helpline. I have found them to be very helpful and knowledgable. They may also be able to tell you other agencies that you could contact for help. Their main role is to support carers. Best wishes
 

Emsquared

Registered User
Mar 21, 2017
16
Birthplace of apathy, Beds
Your situation sounds a nightmare. I think you could do with some professional advice such as the Admiral Nurse helpline. I have found them to be very helpful and knowledgable. They may also be able to tell you other agencies that you could contact for help. Their main role is to support carers. Best wishes
Thanks everyone, thanks Aitchbee. Just got off the phone to Admiral nurse helpline who basically said I should probably let Mum go into a home to save my own mental health. Must admit I don't believe that will entirely end me being to blame for everything and joint decisions will still need to be made etc but hey ho. Life eh. One long compromise. Best wishes all.
 

Dave66

Registered User
Sep 13, 2014
78
Hi, without throwing any sharp objects, I'd just like to say, it's not a male thing, it's a selfish, thoughtless, inconsiderate horrible person thing! :D

I have no time whatsoever for views, opinions or ideas from anyone in the family who is not involved on the ground every day. The cheek of people who think they know best when they spend little to no time with the PWD.

In a strange way, I find not answering phone calls, text messages or emails from these people enjoyable and when I'm unfortunate enough to come face to face, I just give a wry smile and thank them ever so much for sharing their opinion. :rolleyes:

All I can say to anyone who is having sibling/family problems from people who don't contribute in a positive, meaningful way to the care of the PWD, IGNORE them, do what you think is best as you're the one who has invested the time, love and pain.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,076
Victoria, Australia
Well said Dave!

I have a friend who has been talking to me over the last few months about his concern for his 92 year old mum. He has now moved her into his home with his wife's approval and is currently going through the process of diagnosis and assessment.

His sister visits occasionally and makes those comments that we all know about. She is fine, she should still be able to drive if she wants, why is she living with him etc - we have all heard them.

He is the one who is caring and being active in looking after his mum. Family history, culture and dynamics tend to dictate who the caring one is, not gender.

My older sister (no dementia) recently had a bad accident resulting in several weeks in hospital and it was her two sons who have stepped up and who have been wonderful. She is unable to return to her own home at the moment so is staying with one of her sons. Her daughter has been totally unable to cope with any of it even though she is single, no children and doesn't work so there is no practical reason why she can not help her mother.