Newbie & don't know where to begin

I don’t currently have Carer responsibilities.

My older sister (48) suffered a series of Brain Haemorrhages over a number of years, the most recent 7 years ago left her physically fine but unable to make her own decisions and our Mum took Lasting Power of Attorney over her affairs (Financial & Health). Her husband left her shortly before this last illness (they are now divorced) and whilst she was in hospital it became apparent she had not been looking after her financial affairs for some time, was in debt and had to go through an insolvency process leaving her with very little in the way of assets. In addition, she is very (verbally) aggressive and has alcohol dependency issues. She has no friends or other family.

She is currently living in a rented home near to my Mum. A care package is in place with a carer visiting most days of the week - unfortunately, due to her aggression, the carers now understandably refuse to enter her property so this is typically a doorstep visit. This leaves Mum (who will be 77 in March) to do the remainder of the caring for my sister - cooking, washing, cleaning, making sure she is clean etc., household bills, shopping, fixing things (my sister consistently breaks everything).

On top of this Mum also has carer responsibilities for my Dad. I’m worried about the toll all of this is taking on my Mum’s health and it’s clearly unsustainable over the coming years as she too is likely to need care herself (she has certainly earned it!).

Mum has never wanted me to be involved with the caring, I live 120 miles away with my husband and two small daughters (and she is trying to protect me from an older sister who resents me - this has always been the case even prior to her illness).

Has anyone had experience of where to turn when somebody needs to take a step back from being a carer? I’m helping Mum work through i) how to arrange a transfer of the PoA/to whom (?); and ii) a suitable long-term care package where Mum does not have to be part of this care package.

Many thanks in advance for any ideas you can provide.

Mum cannot reallocate the POA to someone else.
I would suggest talking to the Helpline about this.

With regard to your sisters attitude, perhaps her brain damage needs to be reviewed?
However as the NHS is so overwhelmed I don’t know if this is possible. Maybe you could write to your sister’s GP and express your deep concern?

It is not right that mum is left to care for her as well as dad.
She should ask Social Services for a Carers Assessment.
Just because she has POA doesn’t mean she has to do this.

Welcome to the forum!

There’s a problem here. I think it all needs the Helpline because it’s linked. A POA can’t be transferred once it’s active because the informed consent of the person concerned is required and this then requires a Deputyship, but I think in this case there’s more to it as your sister is effectively refusing care: it’s quite obvious she can’t be left alone to fend for herself and yet no one will go into the home, leaving your elderly Mum to do it. That’s a potential safeguarding situation that may call for the fairly drastic action of finding her a different caring environment - so your Mum needs to go to social services about this. Effectively the care package your sister is receiving has become a check to see that she’s alive and the rest is dumped on your Mum.

So actually whatever happens needs to address all of this together. It’s possible, for example, for a Deputyship to supersede a POA and for social services to be the Deputy. Taking all the circumstances into account that may be the best option. But it will need a lot of work and it will take a lot of time. So something needs to happen in the shorter term.

Obviously we can’t give detailed advice here - we don’t know the whole circumstances but what you’ve told us suggests mental health issues that may predate the brain injury, plus alcohol abuse and who knows what. I think the Helpline is your starting point - they can ask the questions that will tell them what they need to know to give you the right answers, or at least to get you started.

In fact, it might be really helpful for mum to keep the POA, at least until an alternative is found. It gives her the authority to make decisions on her behalf as your sister is incapable.
It does NOT mean she has to be sister’s slave!! Just administrator.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. We now have a Carer’s Assessment booked that I’m helping Mum to prepare for so hopefully a step in the right direction.

Hi - that’s great. But just to be clear, your Mum has a Needs Assessment, but the Carers Assessment is to look at what help your sister needs. Which means she needs to be very clear about what it is that she does for Mum, what she’s struggling with, and what would help her to cope better.