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Mum needs help and my hands are tied.

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
Hello there

i have had some excellent advice from this forum over the years - since 2015.

I visited my 96 year old Mum a couple of weeks ago. She lives alone with no care - which she refuses. I live about an hour away and my brother 2 hours. He looks after her finances and, since I moved (I used to live next door) my brother has assumed the role of de decision maker in mum’s affairs.

it’s getting worse to be honest. Mum is reluctant to ask for her son’s help for some reason and just seems grateful for anything he’s prepared to do.

mum was smelly, unkempt and the place untidy. She’s okay - if a little sad and low. I messaged my brother to say that I was going to arrange some home help for Mum - with Mum’s agreement. With 24 hours he had driven from his home - 100 miles away - to visit her and then told me she doesn’t want help. I contacted Social Care who rang Mum and told that she said she doesn’t want help. They contacted my brother who told them that he was going to arrange home help. Nothing has been arranged and Mum is all alone

I had an email from my brother saying that, whilst he understood how I felt , our Mum doesn’t want help and things would stay the same - Mum doesnt want help and that we should draw up a rota and share Mum;s housework between us.

Mum has a bad sore on her face and her GP has arranged an appointment and I’m taking Mum this Wednesday for a hospital appointment. Mum can’t walk very far and, with some reluctance Mum has agreed for me to get a wheel chair so I can wheel her from the car park. the cost of a wheel chair is £189.00. I emailed my brother who wasn’t supportive and thought a wheel chair unnecessary.

mum has poor memory and cant Remember anything.

i had hoped to take mum to the seaside - she’s not been out of her house for 3 years but- without a wheelchair - I can’t do it.

I saw Mum on Sunday and she was hoovering but had to stop as she was too tired. I took over but the hoover was broken. It’s been like that since May. my brother visits every 6 weeks (he calls it -being on site) and does the bare minimum.

is there anything I can do? I just feel so helpless and Mum is letting her son run her life completely.
 

Yorkshire Boy

Registered User
Oct 31, 2021
14
0
I'm new to all this but surely the Adult Safeguarding Team could get involved on the basis of 'self-neglect' couldn't they?
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
Hi Yorkshire Boy - I did contact social and told them I’m very concerned. The first time they advised that I speak to my brother - who tun’s mum;s affairs - tell him that I was going to see Mum to persuade her to have some help and, if she agreed - I’d arrange and send him the bill. Within w4 hours my brother had driven to see. Mum and I was to;d that she didnt want help and that if I was worried then we should share Mum;s housework between us. I can’t do much as I live on my own and work in the v]evenings. I contact social care again after that and social called Mum who told them that she didn’t want help.

I feel so sad for Mum.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
411
0
I’m afraid that my initial reaction is to be suspicious about your brother’s motives. He seems to be completely opposed to spending any money on your mother apart from the absolute minimum eg food and utility bills. It’s completely unreasonable that your brother won’t pay to have things fixed or replaced or to agree to buy things (eg the wheelchair) that would make your mother’s final years more enjoyable.

You both live too far away to provide day to day care / support and so your mother needs paid care. People can be resistant to having carers but this can be overcome if family members persist.

Your mother’s appearance is a cause for concern. She’s clearly not able to manage her personal care.

I think that you might have to stay with your mother for a few days to see how she is managing and investigate the state of the house and it’s contents.

Who has / have Powers of Attorney? I think that you’re going to have to challenge your brother’s management of your mother’s finances.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,920
0
Hi @Alora,
I think when you take your mother to her hospital appointments next week you should find a way to flag up your concerns, as it sounds like your mother's wishes need to be over ridden so that she can get the help she needs. Social services are so stretched that if your mother says she is OK they'll take her at her word unless there is strong evidence otherwise.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,906
0
Hi @Alora I remember you posting before about this. Your brother is behaving unreasonably and putting your mums health at risk.

Does your mum have a friendly neighbour and if she does would they agree to reporting your mum to the social services as a vulnerable adult living alone in an unkempt state and to say they are concerned that she is unable to fend for herself. If they lay it on thick enough then perhaps they will pay your mum a visit.

Also do as @Sarasa says, and when you take her to see the GP take her as you find her, don't put clean clothes on her or make her look tidy, make sure that you present her to the GP in her smelly unkempt state and tell the GP what you have told us. In fact email the surgery before the appointment and tell them what you have told us and explain why you are bringing her as she is, that way you have an electronic trail that they can't ignore.

I hope that you get somewhere with this. Your brothers attitude is beyond belief.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
my brother and me are both lpas since 2014. It was agreed that my brother run her affairs as I had family to look after as a single parent, in 2020 I asked my brother if I could take over mum;s finances so I could arrange help for mum. We had a family meeting and mum accused me of wanting to steal her money and my brother threatening to call a solicitor to have me removed as lpa. For the sake of mum I pulled back. I did contact the court of protection and they suggested family mediation which I would have to pay for. It was around this time mum had a toI letting accident. My brother agreed for me to contact mum’s gp and social care and a senior social worker was allcoated. Mum refused to answer the phone. I was moving away and nothing was resolved. Mum has enough money for care but I cannot have any access as it’s not what mum wants So I’m an lpa in name only. I’m allowed to do the manual jobs but anything to do with mum’s home or finances I’m out of. One thing I did learn from the social worker and her exact word were - ‘your brother is the aggressor ‘. When social care told my brother that mum’s care or help would need to be paid for by mum he said ‘I’m not spending mum’s money on care’
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
i meant to say that social care could not get to speak to mum in 2020 and they couldn’t visit until they’d made an appointment - so they gave up.

mum spends weeks on her own, doesn’t use the washing machine, doesn’t shower much, old clothes, bent double, walking very slow. It’s like a living death. Seither sleeps or watches tv all day.

mum Has no neighbours and lives in a remote area. She is totally reliant on my brother whose in his 70’s . She is housebound.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
I can’t stay with my mum as I work in the evenings, I have two cats and I live an hour away.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
my relationship with my mum revolves negotiation tbh. I can’t tell her what to wear or what to do I’m afraid. it works better with gentle persuation and flattery. Sad but true.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
I guess it’s hopeless? I will speak someone when I go with Mum on Wednesday to the skin clinic at the hospital and I’m going to buy the wheelchair with my own money. I ‘m not allowed to go in with mum when she sees the skin specialist. She likes me to wait outside. My job is to drive her there and back to her home.
 

JanBWiltshire

Registered User
Jun 23, 2020
96
0
I feel for you as it is difficult when you know your Mum needs help but resists it. Do you suspect she has dementia? I find “no” is always the response to anything you suggest and that is so frustrating.

It does sound as though you are battling with your brother and it is disgraceful he won’t get the help needed. This just cause you endless worry and social services are clearly not any help (that is my experience, too).

I can’t offer any real help or advice except to say my heart goes out to you.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
Thank you everyone. You are so kind.
mum has a diagnosis of dementia but that was a while ago. She has refused memory tests, befriending serviced ect… according to my brother.

if my brother was more supportive of help it would be so much easier but I think he’s either in denial or doesnt want to spend money.

he was very surprised when I suggested a wheelchair….so he’s out of touch or in denial.
 

Yorkshire Boy

Registered User
Oct 31, 2021
14
0
I'd be tempted to write to the Director of Social Services or Chief Exec at your mother's council and outline your concerns about her self-neglect. They will always be scared of being exposed as having not done what is appropriate and responsible if they know that there is something in black and white on file that shows that they were alerted to it.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
411
0
Is your brother formally acting under the LPA ie has he actioned it by going into the bank and getting his name put onto your mother’s accounts? Or is he just using her bank card(s) on her behalf? Has your brother shown you any bank statements? If you both hold LPAs for Finance and Property then you are entitled to see them. I really don’t think that your brother can be in a state of denial about your mother’s ability to look after herself as she looks unkempt and smells and the house is untidy. I suspect that he is only interested in his inheritance. Alternatively, he might have taken her money leaving very little for her, which would account for his reluctance to pay for care.

From what you have said I think that there must be doubt about your mother’s legal capacity in relation to the decision to have care. This is something that SS should be looking at but they seem to be remarkably sanguine about her situation. if you take her to her appointment smelly and unkempt there’s a good chance that the doctor will raise a safeguarding concern with SS as she’s 96 and has a diagnosis of dementia.

It really comes down to whether you feel that you can achieve more by keeping your brother ‘onside’ to an extent given the fact that you seem to have a difficult relationship with your mother, who seems to defer to your brother, or whether you are prepared to make a massive fuss to SS and challenge your brother over his management of your mother’s finances by going to the bank and reporting him to the OPG.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
I’m moving next month nearer to mum and I’m thinking of asking her to move in with me. She’ll probably turn my offer down.

im not the sort to stir up trouble as I have no partner or friends for support.

at least I’ve done everything I can and my conscience is clear.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,287
0
Family mediation might be a good idea if you can make it happen.

I would definitely start to exercise your rights as LPA and find out about her finances, starting with the bank statements. Just in case there is something seriously wrong with things. Tell your brother you will want to be fully involved in management of her money from now on.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
159
0
Hi Martin

thank you for that. I had said in an earlier post that I had challenged my brother about it and he spoke to mum who thought I wanted to steal her money. I said I’d get legal advice if he didn’t reveal mum’s finances to me so he threatened to get a solicitor to get my lpa taken away. It all ended on a sour note with mum being very cross with me and my brother playing the mediator. In the end mum agreed that I could see her finances once a year. My brother sent me details of all her accounts in April and tells me of things he’s paid for - new dishwasher, fencing, repairs and so on.

i do think mum does lack capacity tbh and in her mind my brother has become my late father who handled all finances in the old fashioned way. im the younger sister who is perceived to be a bit stupid (I’ve run my own business!).

I think my mum and my brother are alike and like things the way they are. It’s me who doesn’t like to see mum the way she is.

I’m not strong enough to make a big fuss about this situation because I think I will be the causality In the fight. The pain of losing what relationship I have with my mum and brother would be too much to lose. It only works with my family if I don’t make waves.

My biggest mistake was agreeing to my brother running mum;s finances. I trusted him to do the right thing and he hasn’t.
 

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