1. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Am going to try to keep this as short and concise as I can. Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers 5 yrs ago, she was living in her own home 300 miles away from me (daughter) Brother and his wife lived half hour away from mum. For the 1st 3 yrs mum managed well but as time progressed the signs of deterioation in both her mental and physical health were noticed. Mum was also having frequent falls, I was visiting as often as I could and contacted a private care company to come and see mum for a chat while I was there to organise some befriending visits for mum. I wanted a professional pair of eyes on mum as my brother would only say when I phoned that mum was ok and didn't need help! Brother never attended this visit although asked. This should've been my first alarm bell but I naievely ignored it.
    The last visit to mums was terrible, she was in a right state and so was the house. I decided then that enough was enough and that mum should come to live with me, which she did and has been with me now for 10 months. Before mum moved in I was working full time as a carer for Alzheimers in the community, a job I've done for the last 37yrs.
    My brother brought her down to me (1st visit to see his sister in 16yrs) and she looked like a homeless person, hair long and greasy, clothes hanging off her due to loss of weight etc.
    Another brain scan revealed Multi-infarct dementia brought on by TIA's (her falls) also diagnosed with fluid on her right lung (which explained the congealed spit and sputum in her bathroom sink at home) Mum is now on the right medication to help both problems and she hasn't had a 'fall' in 10 months, although still spits up fluid from her lung, she's gone back up 2 dress sizes and is looking well, although does now suffer with 'post stroke headaches' which can be severe and have to send her to bed, (meaning ringing in sick from work as mum extremely confused when she wakes up from these afternoon sleeps and I must be in the house)
    Mums mental state has deterioated over time and have found myself having to reduce my working hours to help mum at home. Spoke to my brother (We both have POA) as now need some help from SS or private. Brother hit the roof, and said he didn't want SS involved because he didn't want SS getting their hands on mums house, (which is still sitting there 300 miles away deterioating)
    Stupidly, struggled on! Mentioned Day Centres to him so I can have a day off (not had one in 10 months) another hit of roof saying a waste of mums money and I didn't need a break!!
    Long story short, I've got myself into a financial pickle, hours now reduced to 14 a week, no help and for the last 6 wks have had to use some of mums pension to pay bills. Hate doing it and feel like a thief. Another hit of roof from brother! Brother is also a Magistrate and felt like I was in the dock!!
    It's coming to crunch time where mum is going to have to live with my brother and his wife but have major concerns about her well-being. Brother runs 2 business's, wife is a Director of a company full time, takes 2/3 holidays a year and has an active social life, has no patience with mum, plus doesn't 'see' what's going on with mum and worried that he won't pick up on the tiniest change which can be acted on to stop it becoming a major problem, i.e. sending her to bed to sleep off the headaches the minute you see her hold her head in her hand. (Medication doesn't help but sleeping does)
    Don't know what to do. I know in black and white it's the right thing to do financially, (I know my brother will look after her financial affairs well, as he said to me on the phone the other night that he saw mum coming down to me as a business arrangement!) but not as far as mums well being is concerned and am really worried.
    If mum does go to brothers can I put something in place with SS that he has to care for her needs, not just what HE thinks she needs but what she really needs.
    Is there anything I can do to protect her??? Any and all advice gratefully appreciated.
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Have you claimed attendance allowance for your mum & if yes have you claimed carers allowance now you've reduced your hours at work?
  3. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Hi, Have sent for Attendance Allowance forms, which I understand you have to have before applying for Carers allowance. :) It's a waiting game now.
  4. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    I'm shocked at your heartless brother saying that he doesnt want the SS to get their hands on your Mum's house and that looking after her is a "business" arrangement! Its made all the more shocking because he is a magistrate. Didnt he notice how neglected and underweight she looked when he brought her to you? Also if he lives only half an hour from your Mum's house, and he has POA, why isnt he making sure it is maintained?

    It sounds as if your Mum goes to live with him, she will be neglected, as if both him and his wife are working, they wont be there to see to her needs, and will have to get help of some kind to look after her, but if he is denying you that, I'm sure he wouldn't get it if she lived with him, as he seems very anti spending any money to help her. Also in my opinion you have done nothing wrong in using some of her pension to pay her bills, as she would have bills to pay if she was in her own home. I am sure she would be better off with you when you can claim the financial and practical help you are entitled to.

    Also, I'm surprised you didn't know to claim attendance allowance for your Mum as soon as she started living with you. Probably you could have claimed it while she was still living in her house. The SS or Age UK will help you fill the forms in to get the maximum benefit. You have to put the worst scenario that can happen with her, even if it only happens infrequently. I wonder if you can backdate it. From posts on here, I think you are also entitled to a certain amount of free sitting services - I didn't know that before I joined this forum.

    I would think the best thing you can do to protect your mother is to continue to look after her yourself with all the help you can get, and if you have real concerns about your brothers ability to look after her if she goes to him, inform the OPG or Adult Social Care in his area. If your mother has money as well as her house, she should be allowed to spend it on the care she needs, and it is the duty of the people with POA to make sure that happens.

    Sending you my best wishes and I hope I haven't said anything out of turn, but I was so angry at your brothers attitude.
  5. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Your brother thinks it's a business arrangement? Does that mean he thinks he should be paid ??

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  6. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Thanks Tigerlady, You haven't said anything out of turn. My problem has been I think is that I've listened to my brother for far too long with regards to Attendance Allowance etc. He told me that claiming anything opens doors to SS and I stupidly listened to him rather than people more in the know. (Just trying to keep the peace I suppose, but it's bitten me on the bum now)
    Have just got off the phone to Age UK who told me there is nothing I can do to ensure mum isn't neglected if lives with brother and basically have to wait for something to happen (stable doors and horses) but I will never find out as he doesn't 'see' things anyway or buries head in sand or whatever he's doing.
    All my friends/family are horrified also at brothers attitude but they're being very black and white and that's not easy when you live with someone vulnerable everyday, care isn't black and white is it!
    Anyway, am awaiting forms now, then go from there. :)
  7. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Hi, 2jays, Confusing isn't it. I've never in my life heard anyone say that looking after a parent and vulnerable adult is a business arrangement. He is very good with money but sadly he lives and breathes it.
  8. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    He could be accused of not carrying out his duty as a POA by not claiming attendance allowance for her and not allowing you to either. Attendance allowance is not means tested - a millionaire could get it - and you dont have to disclose your finances. If he had any interest in your mum's welfare he would have found that out - and I am surprised that if all he cares about is money, he hasn't looked into it.

    I'm trying not to be nasty, but if he does find out that it isn't means tested, and that you don't have to disclose finances, he will be extra keen to have your mum as a means of increasing his income!
  9. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Yep, totally agree with you. I mentioned it on the last phone call from him and he's 'allowing' me to apply for it but wants me to ring him when the forms come through, which I'm not!
    I'm also aware that he deems himself above the POA and should be working towards the best interests for mum. He clearly hasn't read the Mental Capacity Act.
    Anyway, there are a lot of factors where he falls down as POA. Leaving the house to sit there for 10 months or more now and only now getting financial advice to see where he can hide the money. He had POA when he brought her down to me in that state which makes me shudder to think at what point would he have stepped in if I hadn't. I don't get it, how someone can look at a family member and think it's ok.
    Even out of embarrassment I would've whisked her off to the hairdressers to wash her hair before arriving if he didn't want to do it himself.
    Mum had a cat and she was covered in infected flea bites where she'd scratched, she had sore and infected areas around her pubic area, broken teeth from her falls.
    My daughter lived an hour away and she would pop round every Sunday to cook her the only hot meal of the week and empty her fridge of things that had gone out of date, do some cleaning also. If it wasn't for my Daughter I would never have had a true picture of what was happening. I owe her a lot bless her.
    Am rambling now. :)
  10. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Maybe a couple of weeks of having your mother with him 24 hrs a day will open his eyes. You dont have to do what he says. Tell him you need 2 weeks respite and start making calls for when your mother comes back to you. Its not unreasonable fir your mum to pay for her living expenses, especially when you are reducing your earnings to look after her. Look at the bills and work out what it should be for heat, light and food, toiletries at the very least. Keep records and you will be above reproach. I hope you get help soon.
  11. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Gosh, this is difficult. Your brother is certainly falling short of his attorney duties but if you complain about him to the OPG I don't think they could just remove him and leave you - the whole POA might be declared invalid. I think you have to stand up more to your brother. Don't allow him to take your mother from your home. Don't ask for permission to do things like involve SS. You're POA too and have to act in her best interests, plus you have a right enshrined in law to a carers assessment. Your mother's money is her own, not his, and you have every right to use it on day centres, sitters, carers and respite.
  12. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    WOW! I am even more alarmed now that you say he is trying to hide her money. But Beate is correct saying that if you confront him with this, and report him, the POA could be taken away from both of you. Best thing you can do is keep your mum at home with all the financial and practical help you can get - certainly attendance allowance for your mum and a carers allowance for you. Keep records regarding the spending from her pension and you will be ok - you should be using that for half the food bills and for her clothes and toiletries anyway, and its perfectly reasonable for her to contribute to the utility bills. I don't think you have to account for attendance allowance - it can be spent anyway for the benefit of the person however vague ie. a meal out with petrol expenses, a trip to the theatre or cinema, fees for day centre care or a sitter etc

    Also have you considered letting her house out? As she does not need to go into a home, it does not have to be sold, but as she will never return there, it could be making income for her to provide more money for her needs.

    If the time comes when she does have to go to a home, there is still no need to inform the SS as she would not have to be financially assessed as she would be a self funder, but if your brother hides her money and assets away to avoid that, they will find out, and the consequences could be very serious.
  13. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi Sandvikgabs
    I wasn't going to respond as you've had lots of thoughtful and thorough replies
    I just wondered, though, about the LPAs for your mum - are you and your brother joint attorneys ie you have to act together OR are you joint and several ie each of you can act individually
    I appreciate that you are warn out with caring for your mum and in financial difficulties
    I just agree with you and others that your brother so far does not seem to have acted in your mum's best interests - it's one thing to be prudent with her finances; it's another to not use her own money to pay for suitable and necessary care - and I can't see that changing if she goes to live with him. How will she cope in an unfamiliar house alone at times?
    Sorry. I'm not trying to make things worse for you - I'm trying to think what I would want to do AND wondering what, in earlier days, your mum would have said; what were her thoughts about her finances and welfare?
    I agree with tigerlady, your mum may be living in your house but you have every right to have her pay her way - you are effectively at the moment acting as her care home and you are paying for her (very good business deal for brother - if he is treating her finances as a business arrangement, she should be paying full fees!) So work out a fair weekly or monthly amount taking everything into account (I really bet your mum would want to pay her way and not see you out of pocket at all). Personally, given how much you have given up, I believe you are justified in taking back payments to the time she moved in. This is all assuming she has monies to pay her 'bills' - you say you've taken some money recently (and no, you are not stealing in any way, shape or form) so I guess you have access to her accounts.
    I do not get the impression that you WANT your mum to live with your brother - in fact you seem extremely worried about this - so I guess you'd rather have her with you if this were possible
    And SS SHOULD be involved - you need help to support your mum - put in place a full care package, including day care and respite - so that you can function, get back to work and have some time to yourself
    May I gently say that actually from much of what you've said, it may be time to consider a care home placement for your mum.
    I'm glad you've contacted Age UK, maybe also talk to your local Alzheimer's Society and get some back-up, maybe even an advocate to help you deal with your brother. You mention family, especially your daughter, and friends - from what you say they are supporting you - I agree nothing is black and white, but whatever they are saying, they have your welfare at heart, maybe it's time to listen
    I've maybe said far too much - apologies - I appreciate that dealing with a sibling with a vastly different view of life is stressful, to say the least; and you have the added pressure of your own situation; however your mum deserves to be settled and comfortable
    Ignore any of this that isn't helpful
    best wishes
  14. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Thank you all so very much for your brilliant support and advice. I am so stupid as try my best not to upset others then end up upsetting myself!
    We both have joint POA but brother has joint and several (surprise surprise) Brother did all the forms and wasn't aware of the several until all came back, he didn't want me as a POA in the first place but knew he couldn't refuse. Yes we both have access to internet banking, although I have her cheque book/card safe here.
    You made a good point Shedrech when you say what would your mum do? I know exactly where she would want to live, here with me and that she would want to 'pay her way' also as she was a very proud lady. (I remember brother hitting the roof when mum made her will because she'd left £100 to her Niece, her favourite sister's daughter who passed away) I spent many years picking up mums emotional pieces after having arguments with my brother over the years and his wife can hardly bring herself to look at her only because mum isn't and never has been very 'worldywise' and has always struggled to hold a conversation with someone about current affairs/politics etc. she was never that interested in that side of life.
    Just want to say that I do feel stronger thanks to all of you and am going to take this day by day, applying for what I can. Am also going to override brothers views on not contacting SS as do need a break and definetly need an increase in wages or we'll both be homeless!
    Thanks again to everyone, if someone thinks of something else please do say, will keep you posted and will try not to have a meltdown. Lol. X
    p.s. Does anyone know if mums pension is taken into account if I apply for housing/council benefit?
  15. mancmum

    mancmum Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
    Payments from a person with dementia living in your home

    Please don't feel bad about your mum paying her fair share to live in your home. I too felt bad about money coming from my Dad initially. Although he was very well off once his house had been sold initially I only took an amount equivalent to the basic pension to contribute towards household expenses council tax mortgage heating repairs and renovations (new washing machine) newly decorated bedroom. However we are lucky and live quite a good lifestyle ..because I shop for MIL who does live on a pension it became obvious that actually we were subsidising my father (and of course I would do that) but I had lot my full time income.

    I now receive #150.00 per week from father's funds for expenses of living and the attendance allowance on top which is spent on attending lunch clubs, memory cafes, art classes cinema trips etc. My Dad enjoys it. I am sure if he was in a home he would be a slumped sleeping wreck. If he was in a home the government was bandying about the figure of 12,000 per year being costs that were 'hotel costs' meaning these were the costs that every individual had to spend just to be able to eat and live.

    There are people who probably think I shouldn't receive anything Carer's allowance for what I do because my Dad is well off. I contrast his lack of involvement with the health service with MIL who in the past month has had one unnecessary callout from emergency ambulance, separate incident spending 5 hours in casualty, about three GPs appts. I think I am probably reasonable value for money and so would you be if you received that sort of amount.

    Its quite useful to peg the amount of money you receive from mum's funds a figure like the basic pension and then it is harder for your brother to argue that you should not receive that. How does it work ...does he expect your mum to spend less than her pension on living? Even if she only got the basic pension and she had no or very little savings she would get additional money to meet housing costs. Your mum isn't a cash cow she is someone with needs which it sounds like you have had a good go at meeting.
  16. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    I'm afraid I cant help you regarding housing/council tax benefit but I am bumping this up in case someone else can answer.
    I do know that if someone living with you is severely mentally impaired you get a reduction in your council tax - cant remember what percentage - and I don't think its means tested -not sure though.

    Let us know how you get on with the the forms - someone from Age UK or the SS can help you fill them in to get the best deal
  17. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Hi Tigerlady, Many thanks.....again x. Just got off the phone to county council where mums old house is. She's been paying full council tax on this property (there must be a reason I don't know about why brother hasn't done what I've done today, very possibly money related but tough now)
    I've stopped council tax payments on the property and she's going to get a full rebate for the last 10 months too. Expecting massive fall out from brother soon.
    Checked with my council re. council tax and I will qualify for single persons allowance with mum here, they need to see AA confirmation which is understandable. Will let you know about other benefits as I find out for others too who may be in my position. X
  18. Sandvikgabs

    Sandvikgabs Registered User

    Nov 3, 2012
    Thank you so much mancmum for your response. This has really lifted my spirits. You're so right with everything you say and I've now stopped beating myself up and from reading everyone elses responses too am now making sure mum stays with me as I know she's so much better off here where I can look after her properly. Expecting a very bumpy ride ahead with brother but it can't be avoided sadly.
    Thanks again. X
  19. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    Cant believe your brother, who is supposed to be good with money, did not stop the council tax on your mother's empty house!

    Well done on getting things organised and dont let your brother intimidate you - remind him that you are doing your duties as PoA and which means that you have to do all that is in your mothers best interests. If he is unsure what those duties are, get him the booklet about it from the OPG.
  20. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    I feel for you. Its bad enough with all the stress of having to look after a loved one with dementia, but to have a brother who just seems interested in your mother's money is just depressing! Just shows you the type of people being appointed as magistrates! Could I suggest you keep a record of the conversations you have had with him, and any future ones, regarding the care of your mum (incl finances). And particularly the state of your mum when she first came to live with you. He clearly was either not telling the truth or not facing reality when he told you she was fine. I would also keep a close eye on her bank accounts in case he tries to move some of her money. And in no case should your mother go to live with him, though I think you've already decided that.

    I really wish you all the best for you and your mum.

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