Dad up and died and left me to deal with my mom's Alzheimer's. I need so much advice

IANAL, obviously, but I don’t think keeping an estranged son from hounding a parent with dementia is elder abuse. You can’t have him upsetting your mom. It won’t hurt anything to cut him off for a few days until you see your attorney.

If this is an attorney you’ve already worked with, you might try calling her and asking your most pressing questions over the phone, but even though your brother is in with the cops, they’re not going to haul your mother away from you on his say-so alone. She has dementia, and YOU have the POA, so they’d be in a world of hurt for even trying. And I don’t think they’d want to get mixed up in this.

If you can get your fiancee to stay with your mom, I suggest you get yourself to a doctor for some anxiety meds, pronto. Your vomiting all the time isn’t going to help you or your mom. Your thoughts seem to be racing into a lot of What-Ifs, and they’re exacerbating your anxiety.

Keep reminding yourself that you can and will handle whatever comes up. You are not powerless against your brother and other relatives. In fact, no matter what your brother does or tries to do, you’re the one with all the power. I suspect that and greed are what’s driving all his antagonism.

You’ve got this. Take care of yourself.


And: this is going to sound weird, maybe. But some of the mental state that you’re in? may well be grief for your father. Grief takes people in odd ways and at odd and erratic times.

Yeah my frame of mind has been a bit frazzled the last two days. I’ve been having little sad jags. I have to dip out and make sure she doesn’t see.

I keep saying “you’re a pillar! I’m…a puddle.” She’s so emotionally strong. But yeah, nah, I’ve not gotten to grieve. I’ve been saying I’m just going to try to figure out how to enjoy the wedding, running me down like a train quickly. I hope after tomorrow I can have a bit more peace.

My BP is out of whack. Has been sky-high for two days (I treat and monitor it and have reported as such to my doctor). That’s another exacerbating factor, but I think I’ll normalize soon.

I did start Lexapro just before my dad passed, so I think it will take a bit more time to kick in. We did up my dose recently because I felt depression settling in.

I’ll be back on track by tomorrow. Tonight was a good night and we’re SHUT DOWN for visits or calls. Not having anything ruin another night.

The fiancée is struggling w the wedding complications (so much to keep straight and so many rules due to the venue) so I think mom and I can do a lot to try to help her. Plus we have wedding-women crafts to finish in time.

Here’s to a better tomorrow…

thank you all as usual.

Oh one last “excuse”–I’ve been teetering on a lot of near-terrible situations and every one of them tipped off the awful ledge. So every time I go “yeah but that’s not going to happen” this other voice goes “Sure, idiot.” I’m in a very bad “expect the worse” frame of mind, which I think is easy to understand.


Social workers are angels. We met outside to not disturb my mom. They had awesome resources and are inserted into the family feud.

I suspect it was brother who called mom in as an at-risk individual to DHS, but I’m assuming based on the agent going “so…what’s the deal with brother? I got a long email from him…”

So I explained the situation. It took about 3 minutes for them to see what it was. “I’ll have a talk with brother. We’ll get that shut down.”

I made it clear he was welcome to all access legally granted but that he has not asked to see her. She assured me any visitations should be monitored and in public.

Personally, if I had my druthers, it would be something like this:

  1. I’m legally done with brother.
  2. Brother has all legal access to mom duly granted by law
  3. All phone calls and schedulalling should go through me.
  4. See #1.
  5. If brother still wants to proceed, I would like it stipulated he attend family counseling.
    ^not sure about this, but the point is moot–once the dust settles on who has control of the estate, he’s not going to pursue a relationship with her. He hasn’t for years, and hasn’t since dad died, so…
  6. I’d like every time I have to deal with him to cost him money. <–sounds far-fetched but he IS wasting my time…

Anyway the agents assured me I was not just doing a great job but that I’m doing everything right. I knew that, but hearing it so emphatically from two pros who got my back really goes a long way. And they made sure I knew and felt like they have my back. In fact, one of them said “I can hear the emotion in your voice, I can sense your anxiety, you’re trembling because you obviously care so much.” I told her how sick I was yesterday. She made me promise I would relax a little because they are with me all the way.

WHEW. Big sigh.

Best part?

Little dog was going nuts because she could hear us talking, so mom eventually came out and we all four spoke. And they made sure she was safe and taken care of and happy and we all had some jokes and it was great.

I know what my next steps are so for right now, I feel a lot better.

Excellent news. I’m so glad you have DFS in your corner. Your brother may have convinced himself he’d get you in trouble, but if so, it backfired. I hope you’re eating and not puking now.

Let us know how things go on Monday.

I’m not the same person I was when this thread started…

You’re an example of adversity making someone stronger, better. I admire what you’ve done.


I feel better but I don’t feel as good as I was anticipating.

For the most part, all the documents look good and are binding and correct. Only one issue they were worried about–and we’re not even sure if it IS an “issue” or not, they just wanted to confer with a specialist before she said anything–are easily corrected and cannot really be altered, so I mostly feel better.

She is very risk-averse and warned me any incivility and provocation with brother might bring me otherwise undue grief. And they DO have a history of being litigious. She said anyone can sue for anything if they have the money to waste, so we should try to avoid that.

So, my plan is to email him explaining as rudimentary as I can that my plan forward is to take care of mom forever, or at least as long as is humanly possible. I’m going to tell him how much she’s improving getting mental aerobic exercise and my plan to improve her health and keep her alive longer. I will explain the problems with the phone situation and tell him the truth just as I did my sister: “mom fumbles with the settings, gets into all kind of stuff, loses it, etc–we stream gospel music through it and keeps it plugged in all the time because she’d rather have the music. If you want to keep trying to call that way, I can’t control if she answers or not. (his last call, he called with the phone right next to her and she simply didn’t pick up). But I can make sure she can talk and I can remind her who she is talking to if you want to call through me.”

I’m going to explain we have to have rules–like no more calling drunk after 9. No more calling after 8 unless it’s an emergency. No certain steering of conversation.

Last night he texted her that her last living brother died–HE DIED OF ALZ. I am in the know, I am in touch with our cousin. But mom can’t just have shit like that blasted at her face out of the clear blue–SHE HAS BARELY STARTING TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE FACT SHE HAS ALZ, WE CANNOT JUST BOMB HER WITH “YOUR BROTHER DIED OF IT.” Good lord she requires such a delicate touch. I’ll ease her into understanding, and I’ll take her to the funeral, but handle it delicately!

The best part of all this today is that mom was assessed and questioned individually so the lawyer could confirm mom’s wishes. She documented everything mom said, including my mom ripping into what she thinks and feels about the siblings. She’s ready to cut them off forever and is willing to get a VPO. But I’m going to try this civility thing one last time. I hope when I explain she was assessed and signed documents confirming this to an eldercare lawyer WHO HAD ME LEAVE THE ROOM–she’s 100% where she wants to be and is happy and we made sure of all of it, that she is happy with me, that she was assessed by APS, and that every professional is backing my play, I HOPE he realizes maybe he jumped to a few conclusions.

I’m going to help him to understand mom’s emotional memory isn’t going to die all that fast, and all this shit that riles her up sticks more than the rest.

I am going to IMPLORE him to please not rock mom’s boat with anger and fighting or bad news or controversial topics. We have a very clear and positive path forward, all we need is for people to not make that harder.

What he does after that isn’t my problem. Like I said, mom’s ready to write them off LEGALLY but I’m holding off for now.

Oh and the lawyer confirmed 100% that it’s too late to start shuffling things around to trusts and this and that–we 5 years too late.

So like I said–we have a really clear and positive path forward, I just need the rest of the family to stay out of the way.

Lawyer drafted some new, even MORE durable PoAs, a living will, and we got them all signed and notarized today. THAT part makes me feel better, especially the fact she was able to do it on the spot. I really didn’t know how much more powerful PoA’s could get. I’m impressed. I think she might be a pretty good lawyer.

So I don’t know. I wish I felt more at ease, but I realized today I’m like 90% ready to have good days for the whole day–no one else is causing grief. If I could just resolve this one dude I might be able to be a little happy.

Anyway if anyone wants to offer to field my draft email before I sent it to him, measure my language and such, I’m open to volunteer editors.

Just shoot me a PM.

Once again thank you all and I love you :smiley:

That’s really a great update! I’m glad things have been clarified for you.

Again, I’m sorry your brother is being such a jerk. I’m guessing his emotional IQ is pretty low. In addition to your mom’s diagnosis, she’s undoubtedly still struggling with losing her husband, yet he still told her about her sibling’s death with no delicacy. SMH. He may well try to sue you, but I think if you’re prepared for that eventuality, it won’t throw you so much.

@Dr.Colossus, I’m a latecomer to this thread, and have only been following it for a few days. But, I my family has the Alz history going back a couple of generations. You are doing a fabulous job despite those who are trying to upset you. You’ve been getting great advice here and from your legal folks. I’m not religious, but I’ll say a prayer that your family don’t try to muck things up and that you have a wonderful wedding and your mom can accept the changes in her life.

I hope you all know these words of encouragement really go a long way. First of all, it’s my love language. Second of all, I have SO MUCH doubt about every little thing.

Tonight I had one of the best conversations with mom. She initiated. She is locked in to our plan and not just excited but feels like it’s best for her.

It was very emotional to finally break through the “I just feel guilty” wall where she is now bragging about “how good we make her feel and she feels like a queen” and is enjoying getting to go and do things.

I’m emotionally exhausted and I need to spend some downtime with my gal now that mom’s in bed reading magazines.

BTW I am making her read as much as she’ll tolerate. Dunno if it helps but I’m a school marm now.

Goodnight and I hope to have a good report tomorrow.

Everything’s going to be ok…eventually. I know it.

Can you block your brother’s number so that he can’t text your mom on her phone? Of course, let him text you, but if you can spare your mom any emotional shocks, then blocking your brother’s number on her phone should give you both peace of mind.

If he’s the determinedly malevolent person he seems to be, he’ll either borrow someone else’s phone or get a burner. Not to say he shouldn’t be blocked, but doing so may not be as effective as one would wish.

What about Call Forwarding? If the OP can forward calls from his mom’s phone to his own, it’d make life easier for him and his mom.

I think some SMS clients can use an allowlist, where you have add a number a certain list (sometimes, in your contacts) to receive texts from that number on your phone.

This could cut down on unwanted brother texts considerably.


Everything with mom is going extra-special well. I’ll circle back.

I got pretty annoyed today…I called mom’s APS agent to update her that we have new documents I need to scan and get to her (our new and improved Durable POA with financial authority) as well as the Living Will and other medical POA documents. I just got the portfolio of new documents late yesterday afternoon.

The agent said I need to scan all of it, including my dad’s will and send it all to them, as my brother has shown her the email I sent him (with civility and several rounds of edits thanks to a few of you Dope Angels) and she needs to confirm what I am saying is true.

She’s mostly been my advocate but I’m getting very annoying because all this is is more work for me. To what end? To appease some jackass? She said he has made zero accusations of any specificity but also wants all these documents to make sure I’m not lying.

I don’t feel any obligation to defend myself on any front, but whatever…I told her I was advised NOT to show brother the will, but she swore she was just passing the documents to the DA so they know what’s what–that Brother would have to hire a lawyer and subpoena records to see anything.

Anyway I got everything scanned because I needed to anyway (58 pages!) but I’m holding off on sending anything for the night.

For good measure I did a little interview with my mom where she said she’s ready to kick him to the curb (I asked “how do you want to handle communications with BROTHER?” Real quote: “I want to go kick him in the B-U-T-T.” She spelled it out! God I love her.) She clearly states she wants no part of him. She said if he calls she’ll run outside so I can say she’s not home and it won’t be a lie.

I digress. Onward to the good stuff!

First of all, yesterday she made me laugh harder than I have in ages. And yesterday was my first full good day start-to-end since August 7th (I log my days in an app).

I was sitting at mom’s craft table while she was hand sewing a toy dog. She mentioned something about the “one good [last name].” I said “which one of the [last name] is the the good one?” she didn’t look up from sewing, but missed no beat and said “the bald one.”

I made a sound and asked “what did you just say?” ‘THE BALD ONE’ without looking up again. I laughed so hard I snorted, then the snorting made me laugh harder, THEN she said “if you like that, come back for more.” That made me laugh EVEN HARDER and I was worried I might pass out. I was crying. It went on for minutes.

Today we ran errands. Had to cancel their cable. There was a pretty young gal that mom was just obsessed with. “Her figure is amazing!” Yes, yes, mom-- “you’re not going to look, are you?” I said ‘MOM. Wedding in two weeks?’ She was like “but just LOOK.” Yes, she’s very pretty. Finally my mom yells at her “YOU’RE SO PRETTY!” everyone laughed because they could hear the entire thing anyway.

So we wrap up and go to leave, and I’m almost out the door, when she runs back and goes ‘I have to know–do you have a boyfriend?’ And the gal goes “NOPE. I’m single like a Pringle.” My mom said 'ok but I really think my son is a good guy, I’m just sayin…" And everyone in the store said “TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING?!” and they are all laughing so hard, and mom pushes me out the door saying “GO! GO! GO!”

Good lord I was dying.

Then we go to the grocery store and as we are walking she asked “Do you think anyone else thinks we are married?” I laughed and said “what?!” She said “do you ever think about weird stuff like that?” YES I THINK ABOUT WEIRD STUFF ALL THE TIME BUT I HAVE NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT.

She stops the next lady we pass and said “excuse me, do you think we could be a couple?” and the amazing lady stops and says ‘…I thought you WERE a couple!’ and mom says “NO!!! He’s my SON!!!” and we all laughed. I was embarrassed and proud.

She’s a damn comedian.

She’s really doing SO well. She’s turned the page from “my uncertain future is terrifying” to “if I get to keep feeling like this, let’s do it!” She’s turned the page on the old house. “I just don’t think we’ll all fit there well.”

She’s bringing up conversations from the night before, on her own, out of nowhere.

We’ve turned from making mom dinner to making dinner with mom. She’s excited to lose some weight. She loves all this extroversion she needed and hadn’t been getting. Everything is going great.

I just need the others to stay out of my way and let me take care of her.

The “bald one” is a throwback joke from a whiteboard drawing I did last week. We’ve been doing daily whiteboard messages so she knows the day and date and a silly drawing and quote.

I signed one “Love, your bald son” and did a really rudimentary drawing of myself.

I just feel like she’s really perking up brain-wise.

Yes. Or more accurately, to keep said jackass from having a leg to stand on if he wants to go to court. Think of sending APS the scans as adding more bricks to the wall that keeps your brother out. It may be a pain now, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

So glad to hear your mom is doing so well. I’m sure you’re savoring these times, as well you should.

So wonderful to hear all of the funny times!!

Am I to understand that your brother called social services, claiming Mom is being neglected / abused???

Couple questions because I don’t recognize acronyms: APS? DA? (I think of that as meaning District Attorney). VPO?

APS=adult protective services the adult version of a kids social worker

Vpo is victim protective order seems to be in a few states fancy way of saying "restraining order "