Youngest Child, Medical Professional but not Parent's Power Of Attorney
My sister who is the middle child has the 100% responsibility for the care of our aging and declining mother. Her responsibility began when she and her husband purchased a home for our mother to move to without our mother being involved in the decision or at least that is our mother's version. So, mother left the community where we had all been for 13 years where mother had been involved in church, family and her own personal pursuits since the death of our father.
Now, we are 13 additional years down the road and my sister is now widowed for 2 years with multiple financial stressors including paying for the 2nd house mortgage without her husband's income. Mother pays her payment to my sister but now her health is deteriorating rapidly and has become a hoarder who refuses to leave the independent living idea behind and accept she needs much more care now.
My sister is only 61 years old and still needs to work. The battle has been that my brother and I live in different parts of the country and while we have made trips home to help, to talk, to brainstorm, nothing changed until my sister made some significant actions happen recently.
Mother's house was in great need of repair so my sister can sell it. My sister took action with her insurance, got mom all packed out and the repairs done with mother staying in a nice hotel suite.
We thought the sunlight was coming back until mother became more ill, spent a night in the hospital, and my sister now is running to the hotel at least 4 times a day to provide food and care for our mother.
Mother tells each of us separately her message about demanding her independence, accepting the need to be in a nursing facility or staying very standoffish, not wanting to talk about it.
Our dad extracted a promise from our sister to always care for her mother. This emotional commitment has really brought both pleasure and nightmare to my sister and her husband when he was still here.
My brother and I have all but given up having
any positive influence in the situation as we were prepared to go to our family in May to help our sister and mother make the transition to the appropriate care setting.
Everything blew up in our face and my brother and I just couldn't understand what had happened. Our sister turned on us and we became the problem rather than all 3 of us showing up to help mom cope with the truth at hand rather than trying to do this over phone or text or email.
The family relationships are odd, stilted and confusing but I am in medicine but as my relationship with my mother has been dying, I have no legal involvement for the needed decisions. My brother and sister are her Power Of Attorneys for separate needs.
It is a terrible, lonely and awful end to a family when your parent takes you down into the abyss with them out of their fear, their seeing their lives wind down, their health decline and their powerlessness to stop the decline. It is equally the same feelings that my brother, sister and I have from our positions.
The emptiness is tremendous; the loss of joy, the loss of planning for family reunions, the celebration of our mother, the loss of who we knew her to be in our lives and the loss of celebrating her pursuit her own life ambitions.
I appreciate having the opportunity for the first time to put voice to where I am in this life process for there is no room for honest sharing in our family anymore.
My sister wakes to meet the day, the demands, the exhaustion and the depression. I wake with guilt, sorrow, anger that I cannot effect any positive input and have lost the mother I knew and need. I do not know what my brother wakes with; he is very closed to sharing his emotions as the oldest.
I pray that other families find a better way to cope with the loss of their loved ones than my family has fared. The journey through the loss is long, aching and unpredictable. Blessings to all who are on a journey of their own.