I have a feeling I’m going to be here a lot!
89 year old Dad, with Parkinson’s and associated dementia, currently moderate but clearly in decline.
He is quite well off, and currently pays for private care in his own home. We found an amazing care company who actually employed one lady just to work with him, and she is the most lovely, caring lady I think I’ve ever met! He lives alone, as Mum died in 2003 and, up until this week, had spent the time between meals/meds on his own (mostly). Sadly he fell out of bed a couple of weeks ago and broke a small shoulder bone, so we have temporary 24 hours care, until we know how he is going. Incredibly, he’s very strong and resilient and is without a sling already, and not using pain killers! My sister and I make up sooner of the care he has, so he’s not always with paid people.
I’ve much to ask, but I guess as this is an introduction I’ll tell you about the set up. My sister and I have an EPA in place for his finances, but the big, huge problem there is that we absolutely don’t get on. In fact, not exaggerating to say she loathes me. Whatever I do is wrong, and it is destroying me. (I have mental health issues myself, no self esteem at all and depression) I have a husband whom I adore, and two amazing adult children. I have no issues at all with my family, just with the bullying.
So life is hard a lot of the time. I imagine it is for all of us, in so many ways.
Looking forward to talking and sharing.
Welcome to the forum. Come back as much as you like.
It sounds like your sister, not your dad, is the biggest problem?! No, she IS the biggest problem.
Part of the solution is for you to get counselling. I always thought this was a waste of time and money until I was on the verge of a breakdown, i was disabled, newly widowed, with two carees vying for my attention. For me, counselling was life changing. Ask your GP to refer you to a private counsellor. Mine costs £30 a session, worth it’s weight in gold.
Here are a few brief questions to help us give best advice.
Dad is nearing the end of his life. His money is his, to be spent on his care, until he dies.
Is he getting Attendance Allowance?
Is he claiming the exemption from Council Tax on the grounds of “severe mental impairment” from the day the dementia was diagnosed?
What do you want to happen to dad from now on?
What does your sister want?
Do you both have access to his bank account details etc.?
What does your sister say you are doing wrong?
What does your husband say about all this?
Welcome to the forum, Sarah.
You did well to recruit such a fabulous care agency.
Come in here as often as you like.
More suggestions will follow, after you have answered some of BB’s questions!
It’s not surprising you have low self esteem and depression if someone is constantly telling you you are wrong and bullying you. It sounds to me like you are doing a good job with Dad so I would suspect that sis is actually jealous of you. She probably sees you as the preferred one, the more capable one and this bullying us her only way of keeping you down and under.
So yes, counselling will help you with these issues. You can self refer for some CBT, just Google CBT and your area and it should come up. Telephone or online is quicker to access than face to fee, but like others on here I have found private face to face invaluable.
At the end of the day with bullies you either face up to them, ignore them or run away . You can either say to her “Ok here’S dad, you do it all” or, as you know you are doing good job you learn to stand up to her
Btw , legally you can withdraw from being an attorney, but I don’t think you should, Dad wanted you
What I liked most about counselling that it was all about ME.
What I enjoyed doing as a person, what I felt about being a carer (son was brain damaged at birth, changed my life forever), and how I should feel proud of all I was doing (far too much) and not always guilty about what I couldn’t. (This especially applied to my disabled housebound mum, the more jobs I did, the faster I did them, the more she invented!!)
The counsellor realised that I still behaved like an obedient little girl, never saying “No” to mum, as then I was a bad girl.
Counselling gave me ways to say “No” without using the actual word!
This was all life changing, especially realising that I would never change mum or son, but I could, and should, change the way I thought.
Are you very familiar with the terms of that Power of Attorney? I think you must mean Lasting PA (LPA) rather than Enduring PA (EPA) as EPA was replaced by LPA years ago.
If you and your sister are both Dad’s attorneys then there are words like ‘jointly’ and ‘severally’. Jointly means you have to agree and do everything together, Even cash a cheque at the bank. Severally means you can each act independently. But MUST always act in Dad’s best interests in either case. ‘Jointly and severally’ means there will be restrictions of what each of you can do alone and some decisions must be together. It should all be written down on the LPA. Has it been activated or is it still in reserve for when the time comes?
Did Dad appoint ‘back up’ attorneys? For example I was my Mum’s sole attorney but if anything happened to me she had appointed my son to take over.
If an attorney no longer wants to act as such, they can withdraw. However I think I remember reading (and don’t take my word for it, check for yourself) that if one ‘joint’ attorney withdraws that automatically means the other ‘joint’ attorney is excluded too and the position defaults to the back up.
Also, if an attorney is suspected of acting against the person’s best interests, they can be investigated and taken to court over any ‘fraud’.
There’s loads of info about it on the .gov site. If you and your sister cannot agree then you need to know where you stand concerning all decisions. I seem to remember reading that if joint attorneys cannot agree on a financial action, then it just doesn’t happen. So, for an extreme example, if Dad’s house needed to be sold and you couldn’t agree on the price, then the sale just couldn’t go ahead.
I’m reminding you of all that and suggesting you check that LPA because if your sister tries to insist on any action you don’t agree with, then you have the law on your side. Also, if that joint responsibility is the reason you have to be in close contact with your sister and you trust any back up attorney, then you could withdraw and remove that need to be in contact with her.
An LPA is a serious legal document. The rules MUST be complied with. Having signed one, you should be certain you understand those rules and how they apply to your situation.
If Dad has been diagnosed with dementia, he will not be able to instigate a new one. You will no doubt want to carry out his wishes.
Have you and your sister always been at loggerheads or has something changed your relationship?
EPA’s are still valid, it’s just that later ones are slightly different.