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Family Matters.


Registered User
Nov 3, 2012
I'm wondering whether anyone else is struggling with a sibling that refuses to understand that I as a carer need a break now and again?
Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers 4 yrs ago where she managed to live on her own in her own house 300 miles away from me for approx 3 yrs. My brother who lived an hour away looked in on her 3 times a week but didn't seem to see that mum was starting to neglect herself and her home. I would stay with mum twice a year and was horrified to see the neglect that she was inflicting upon herself. To cut a long story short I decided that it would be best for mum to come and live with me.
Mum was in a right state when she got here, she looked like a homeless person!! She had infected cat flea bites all over her body other infected areas on her body from lack of personal hygeine, very thin and her hair long and stuck to her head with grease.
I bit my tongue, scooped her up and have spent the last 6 months sorting out her medical problems. Mum has had another brain scan and has now shown Multi-infarct Dementia brought on by mini strokes (which would explain the 'falls' she was having at home) Mum also suffers from severe post stroke headaches, we're waiting for discussion with the doctor now chest x-ray results are back so mum is now both physically and mentally unwell.
Mum has left her house for my brother to deal with, he is wanting to buy it from her, do it up and sell it. My brother is very money orientated and when I suggested that I am applying for day centre and respite he hit the roof! He basically doesn't want anyone to know that mum has capital so that his inheritance is going to disappear and quote, "What do you need a break for? She's not that bad?"
The mental health team here are obviously concerned that I should get a break to recharge my batteries etc. but my question is:- Where do I stand when one sibling disagrees with another with regard to allowing SS to know that mum has capital and is this legal if I don't declare the house on the forms? We both have full POA.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Well the short answer is that you have to declare all your mother's assets. It would be fraud not to. So no matter what your brother wants, if you want respite (and I totally agree you should have it) you're going to have disclose this. Having said that, if your mother has property to sell and any kind of other assets, it's entirely likely that you (or rather she) won't be entitled to any funding for respite. So you might be disclosing for nothing.

I think this is going to come down to you telling your brother that respite is something you need and (assuming what I said above is true and your mother would have to pay for respite anyway) some of your mother's assets are going to have to be used to pay for it (or he can take her for a week).


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
You must tell the truth about your mothers property. Your brother neglected her and so his opinion is worth nothing. Get SS involved and find out her entitlement and organise a break.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Something else to look into: some LAs have online financial calculators where you can (anonymously) plug in the numbers to see what would be forthcoming. Have a look at your own LAs site to see if there is something similar.


Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
I hope you don't mind me suggesting this but have you applied for any finance help? Attendance allowance she would probably qualify for and isn't means tested, council tax discount due to her diagnosis, you may be able to claim carers allowance for yourself. May I suggest you make contact with your local citizens advice online as they would help you. Or try Age UK as they also help with form filling etc.

At least this finance once sorted may help towards the respite you are in need of. Shame your brother is more money orientated and not more supportive but maybe he is in denial rather than facing the truth as some people have to.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
Your brother needs to remember that your mother's property, assets and money are just that, HERS for her lifetime
and as an Attorney for her finances he is under a legal obligation to manage her affairs in HER best interest
if there is anything left on her death, then and only then does it become an inheritance.

Fancy wanting to buy her out to make a fast buck for himself! Now if he wanted to do it up to increase the value for your mother, that would be being a good Attorney and son. And, of course, he can then invest the proceeds wisely to give her a decent return. Maybe he could even do it up for her and rent it out to give her an income and still have the property to sell should she need actual cash. (Well that might see to the inheritance issue too).
Seriously, if he does want to buy her house he MUST pay full market value - an Attorney cannot themselves benefit from being an Attorney.

If you are 'joint and several' attorneys you can act individually - certainly for something such as respite, keeping careful accounts (but selling the house would take the 2 of you to agree).

And Mrsbusy is right - look into any income streams your mother is entitled to.

You have every right to seek respite to support YOU as the main carer - if it so happens that your mother's finances are assessed along the way, well, that's just one of those things that you have no control over (isn't it!).

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