How to respond to older family sibling behaviour?

  1. seek legal advice

    0 vote(s)
  2. pursue multiagency advice

    0 vote(s)
  3. send reminder letters to older siblings

    0 vote(s)
  4. do nothing

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Corriegal

    Corriegal Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
    #1 Corriegal, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    I'm very new to forum's, so I'd welcome some help, advice and support regarding:-

    I was granted LPA's in all aspects of my Mum's care & support nearly 4 years ago.(Mum's choice).She is quite settled in her own home and continues to thrive despite the continuing deterioration in her Vascular Dementia. In the last 18months, Mum's Dementia has meant that she no longer copes with more than a few visitors (mainly family)visiting her at any time, or in any large social events. Celebrating Christmas Festivities was spread over a number of weeks for Mum to gain the maximum enjoyment.
    Last year I became very aware, that following visits from older sibling family members, Mum became quite agitated, distressed and financially vulnerable. After seeking various professional's advice, I had cctv installed and was advised, that in view of Mum's deteriorating condition, that planned visits would be more appropriate, creating a relaxed and enjoyable visit/s. I wrote to the older sibling family members explaining the situation and requesting they ring me to arrange a suitable time for visits, especially as these days, Mum attends quite a few clinic/medical appointments. I received back a number of letters. A female older family sibling member principally wrote about her thoughts and feelings, not identifying with Mum's needs. I counter responded by reiterating the need to prioritise Mum's health and wellbeing. Her visits are approximately every 4-6 weeks, occasionally in the company of her husband, (who then endeavours to carry out non qualified medical dementia tests). Visits are made without contact to myself and at times when the care package team are attending @ meal times (which causes problems as Mum will not eat in front of visitors) The older male family sibling member has chosen not to visit at all, indicating in greeting cards, not only to Mum* that initially "others" would not allow their visits, meaning myself. *Extended family members are not only puzzled by these comments, but offended, as they truly appreciate every bit of Care and support Mum receives. A 2014 Xmas greeting card actually states my name as the reason for the older male sibling family members not visiting Mum! At the moment I've left matters in abeyance.

    I'd welcome some feedback, as getting the message across to these family members is of upmost importance to Mum's health & well being, as well trying to avoid any potential legal costs!
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    #2 jenniferpa, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    Firstly, welcome to Talking Point.

    I'm not sure what legal costs you are referring to. You have your mother's LPA, you are acting in her best interests as far as I can see - don't worry about legal issues.

    If you are asking if you are doing the right thing - offering guidance about the best times to visit then I would say you are. I have to say, I'm a trifle concerned about the cctv issue - is your mother aware it is there and does it record video and voice, just video and where is it located?

    Edit. Oh and I just wanted to mention. You have posted a poll. I know the option exists but if you want real feedback I don't think such things are helpful. You get a "click and run" approach and I assume that's not what you are looking for. By all means leave it, and it's fine that you have offered the option, but it is rarely used in this forum (it's an artifact of the forum software that we use).
  3. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    #3 Jessbow, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    On the face of it, your attitude does seem a little 'controlling'.

    How many siblings do you have?
    What give you cause to feel the need to install CCTV? you must have a reason?

    There is clearly animosity between you and the visitors- is there reason for that?

    You say that you have been advised that planned visits would be more appropriate. For whom? So you can be there? Maybe that isn't always appropriate , given the animosity that appears to exist.

    ......... as getting the message across to these family members is of upmost importance to Mum's health & well being, as well trying to avoid any potential legal costs!

    The message being that they don't visit a) without your permission and b) not at specified times of the day.

    My Bottom line is I dont think you have much of a chance ! She's their mother/relative too, and to be honest, someone who turns up every 4-6 weeks and bumps into mealtime probably isnt the end of the world
  4. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I'm afraid if my visits to my mother were being recorded on cctv by a sibling, I wouldn't be visiting either.
  5. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    I don't know the sort of relationships you have with your family members and these things can be very complicated. I'm sure that everything you have done has been done with good intentions.
    The issues as I see it is that your mum lives at home independently so for her safety you have installed CCTV. Is you mum happy with this? Is it mainly there to check she hasn't fallen? If your sister pops round at meal times could she be kindly persuaded to bring a meal with her for them to all share? That way no missed meal. As for family visiting when carers or other health care professionals are about then why is that a bad thing? Are you there too at that time.
    Dementia is a lonely place and if some light can be shone via a visit from a loved one who will in turn help out hopefully when things deteriorate then maybe this should be encouraged.
    I'm sure there is much more to this than what has been said previously. Just don't bite the hand that will help you later is my advice x
  6. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    Does your sister and brother know you have installed CCTV? If they do, I think it is understandable that they would not visit often, if at all. I think it is understandable that they would want your/their mum to know why they are not visiting.

    It would be different if you were all working together and checking on the actions of others (if you think that is necessary), or checking on mother's falls, but it seems that you mean that you are checking on their visits. You have said that after their visits your mum is financially vulnerable?

    I can certainly agree that spreading visits is a good idea rather that all crowding in at the same time but there is much more than this involved I think.
  7. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    When I first read your post I thought you were referring to your Mum's generation, who did not want to be told what to do by a younger person. Now, having seen other posts to you, I realise that you must be referring to your own sister and brother? "A female older sibling family member" is a very, very detached way to say "My sister".

    I'm sorry that you don't get on with them, although I am sure you have your reasons.

    Are your sister and brother aware of the CCTV? Did you expect them only to have supervised visits? If I were them, I would feel uncomfortable with you either being physically present or watching the video. I can understand your brother choosing to stay away, and your sister arriving unannounced with her husband for backup.

    I may have this totally wrong. You hint at possible financial abuse. You suggest that these people don't really understand your Mum's condition and are ignoring her needs, e.g. the mealtime issue. If they really are obstructive, insensitive and potentially abusive, then I don't think writing letters is going to make them 'understand' your POV any better.

    Could I suggest that, having your Mum's best interests at heart, you ask yourself honestly what needs to happen to improve communication between you all? It's not more of the same, i.e. 'position statement' letters and cards. Doesn't your Mum need to see all her children regularly? Is there anyone you all trust, perhaps a family friend, who could get you all together in neutral surroundings. It seems to me that as a family you don't talk face to face and, perhaps, don't know how to?
  8. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    I'm afraid that, on the information you have given, I am very much in agreement with other posters here.
    Having LPA for someone means that you act in their best interests either legally and financially or where her health and welfare are concerned - or both and I suppose when visitors can visit your mother might, very loosely, come under welfare.
    However, I cannot see that visitors are at present affecting your mother's welfare that much at present and indeed, seeing how isolated many people can become with dementia, it's probably good that her relatives want to visit her. Could the meal not be placed in the fridge for you to heat up for your mother later?

    To me, what having LPA doesn't mean is controlling every aspect of a person's life to the exclusion of discussing things with others regarding wellbeing and quality of life. I feel your mother is the ultimate loser when your siblings decide that rather than obeying orders regarding visiting, they would abstain from doing so. That is so very sad as I assume your mother loves her other children too.

    I think there must be far more to this than you have said but taking it at face value, I think a conciliatory visit or phone call would help to build bridges then perhaps you can all meet up and discuss the best way of moving forward - for your mother. Good luck.
  9. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Hi Corriegal-I'm a bit confused here:eek: I wonder if you could clarify a few points.:)
    I take it that you arranged the Xmas festivities as you say they were spread over several weeks and your Mum enjoyed them. So has the trouble started since then? You mentioned that you were not happy with some of the comments in the Xmas cards. You also mention that you have an LPA so what happened to make her financially vulnerable? Did she hand over cash to relatives? Who were the professionals who advised you to install the CCTV? Who advised that planned visits were the best way forward?

    I agree that unqualified Dementia tests are not helpful- was that picked up on the CCTV? However, could the extended family, who appear to support you, help with stopping all this stress and friction. Could there be a family meeting as other posters have suggested.

    Lyn T
  10. Corriegal

    Corriegal Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
    Hello Jennifer

    Your reply is very welcome. I had updated cctv installed after Mum was subjected to abuse by two different care companies & family members, including meds overdose/mental abuse by staff,financial abuse by my brother and emotional/mental abuse by my sister. Mum became very outta sorts in her thinking following their visits. Thankfully I took the time to listen to her and my decision to have it updated was not taken lightly or quickly. Mum is comfortable with the cctv in and around her home which acknowledges all legal aspects, especially as she some already installed pre Dementia. More recently when she took a tumble, medical care was called for more immediately as she hadn't remembered to press her emergency alarm system. Every one entering Mums home is aware of the cctv and are usually comfortable with it. Mum's cctv gives me peace of mind when I am working or have a few days holiday.
  11. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    That's what I meant by taking your post at face value.
    That does shed more light and makes your actions more understandable.
    I hope you manage some sort of understanding with your siblings.
    Good luck.
  12. Corriegal

    Corriegal Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
    Hi Jessbow, Well to be honest I was one of 4 and Mum implemented the LPA process long before my late, younger brother suddenly passed away. As Mum still had capacity, she chose to go ahead with the LPA, to which I honour today.

    The cctv has been really beneficial for Mum, helping her overcome delays in getting emergency help, stopping safeguarding issues by carers and as a barrier to stop cold calling salespeople, who previously encouraged Mum to sign up to expensive goods & services. I never thought it would happen to Mum, but it did, and with family members who also signed mum up to such deals.

    My older brother and sister don't seem to want to understand the real need for cctv and use it as an excuse. if they are uncomfortable with planned visits, they could always take Mum out locally for a visit to her favourite garden centres, museums, afternoon tea or other places of interest locally. However they don't bother. Yep, mum will need use of a wheelchair,(hers or the place being visited). I have previously suggested that other family members are present when they visit, but once again my suggestions have been ignored.Other family members are more than comfortable to visit Mum in her own home or enjoy a visit out locally - weather permitting, irrespective of cctv!

    Yes, your right in thinking, there is animosity with my older brother and sister, created by themselves! This is on file at Mum's solicitors. In this day and age the pecking order within a family does not mean it is always in the best interests of the person being cared for is appropriate!
  13. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Whose name is the LPA in?
    Yours or your younger brother?
    Is it Health & Welfare, or Financial?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, your posts are quite vague, to answer fully.

  14. Caroleca

    Caroleca Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    Ontario canada
    It really sounds to me thAt your mother would be better off in a CH. Sorry for being so presumptuous but the friction between the family does not sound like it will get any better. It would be interesting to know how far along your mom is with her dementia. It is very sad that you already have one sibling passed on and you are all at odds, I don't imagine that is very helpful to mom in any way. Please consider finding a place for your mother that is safe and where everyone can opportunity to see their mom as they wish. This whole situation sounds absolutely dreadful! Surely they must be a way to resolve ...assuming everyone is an adult. I feel very sad for all involved.
  15. Caroleca

    Caroleca Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    Ontario canada
    And you are right it is not necessarily the pecking order of siblings for POA. My youngest sister has POA and is not necessarily the best one for it. However, we may not like the idea but we will NOT (I pray) fight or fall out over it. We have already enough to fall out over:)
  16. Corriegal

    Corriegal Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
  17. notsogooddtr

    notsogooddtr Registered User

    Jul 2, 2011
    Can I ask what form this abuse took?Was it reported to the police?I'm saddened by the number of stories I read about families at loggerheads when a parent has dementia and would think that the best thing for your Mum would be if you could sort out your differences,maybe through mediation.As main carer for my parents I often had issues with what my brother and sister did or didn't do when visiting,it took me a long time to realise that it wasn't my place to impose my views on them.Not that there was ever any abuse involved
  18. Corriegal

    Corriegal Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
    #18 Corriegal, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
    Hello notsogoogdtr,

    1) Financial abuse by my older brother by borrowing a total amounting to a five figure sum of money during a 5/6 year period, via cash dispensers/personal visit(s) to the bank with Mum.The paper trail was minimal & difficult to prove, especially as my late younger brother spoke of his concerns shortly before he passed away. I then carried out an audit of Mum's financial affairs, identifying the cash withdrawals. My older brother also took financial advantage of our grieving sister in law at a later date. I spoke about my concerns with a legal representative, who advised me that as it was mainly cash withdrawals it would be difficult to prove how the money had been spent. This information is recorded on a legal file.
    2) My sister supposedly took Mum out for a little run out in the car,turning it into a shopping spree for herself, by leaving mum in the car for over an hour on a cold autumn day. Mum was very unwell the following the outing and thankfully made a full recovery 2 weeks later.Trusting my sister once again, to take mum for her weekly food shopping, they returned with only enough food for a couple of days! More recently my sister informed Mum that she already repeated the information a number of times and telling her "I've just told you... can't you remember?" a number of times. This is surely not an appropriate way to address a person suffering from Dementia? I am aware that my sister is very controlled in her actions, when accompanied on a visit to Mum's with her husband, however she becomes quite erratic in her behaviour when on a solo visit.

    I am aware that both family members work/visit areas/nursing homes were cctv has been present. and it has never been a problem to them, until now!

    Family disharmony is a very sad matter. In 2002 I reunited my elder brother back into the family,despite some serious opposition and concerns. The estrangement was linked to his lifestyle/money problems. All was well for a while, but then began the start of the financial abuse, but this time to my elderly mum.I don't think in the circumstances mediation would achieve harmony as only this weekend my sister slammed the phone down, when I attempted to speak with her.
  19. Pottingshed50

    Pottingshed50 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2012
    #19 Pottingshed50, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
    I read the above posts with interest. Patients with AD do get to a stage where they get totally confused when visitors arrive, whoever they may be. My Mum doesnt recognise me at all now and when hubby and I visit , she dismisses us immediately. I do think you are worrying and getting yourself into a right 'chip eight' over this. They are good enough to want to come and visit their Mum, my god there are loads that dont bother, including my sister , but thats another story. She is just as much their Mum as yours.

    You say that yours sister is impatient with your Mum and is less than understanding that people with AD do ask over and over and over again the same question, but some of us are cut out to cope with all of this and some of us are not.

    You are in charge of the finances so they cannot touch Mum's money. I trust she does not keep money in the house. Any money take with you. I would let them visit knowing this and go out for the day and enjoy yourself doing something else.

    This is just my opinion and I know how difficult it is when you are involved in a situation and very close to that person but remember life is short and precious.

    Chin up.
  20. notsogooddtr

    notsogooddtr Registered User

    Jul 2, 2011
    Did your Mum have dementia when she 'loaned' money to your brother?If not it was her decision to make.As for your sister,it is obviously not ideal to lose patience with your Mum but how many people can say they've never done the same?I know I have and have regretted it afterwards.I don't think their problem is the circ but your attitude.As I said in previous post I was the same,it was my way or no way.It took me a long time to realise that everyone deals with this situation differently and it is not my place to impose my views on others.As for mediation it is there to help people like yourselves to have difficulties communicating.Like your Mum I have 4 children it would break my heart not to see any of them and to see them tearing each other apart.Someone needs to try to resolve this.

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