Caring and financial difficulties and LPA

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Oh my, I don't know where to start. Mum was finally diagnosed with dementia 3 years ago, I noticed the first symptom a few days after she started on Clopidogrel and aspirin for a small clot, she couldn't remember what a windmill was called. Mum fluctuates between normality and having bad short term memory, but although the short term memory might be bad one day she still has the capacity to make judgements and hold a conversation. Dad died in 2012 and they always used to give my children pocket money every week and help me out due to an alcoholic husband who left me in 2013 for another woman, hooray! In 2014 I had a heart attack caused by stress. My brother took on looking after Mum's finances when Dad died but started to take over Mum's decisions. I started looking after Mum 6 days a week when Dad died, she was suddenly living on her own and I could see that she was lost. I have two financially dependent children and my husband being self employed showed no profit at the HMRC, strange how he could pay for holidays and drinking, so didn't have to pay me any maintenance at all despite the fact I had no income! My brother was helping out allowing my Mother to pay me £200 a week but I had to pay for all the food, and fuel travelling the 30 miles return journey and other expenses. At least it was something but my savings were being reduced, I am nearly 60, my home is on an interest only basis for another 7 years and I have no pension. In August my brother suddenly stopped the payment which started off financial problems, he started being very dictatorial and complaining about everything I was doing for Mum. I am struggling to keep two households going, looking after two teenagers which isn't easy and all the mental stress that comes with caring for Mum. It got so bad that Mum and I went to a solicitor used to dealing with elderly clients and I just sobbed my heart out, I showed him the texts which Mum didn't know about and all the financial pressures I was under. My Mum was on top form on that day and it was as though she had prepared herself for this visit. I had to leave the room while he spoke to Mum and it was decided to revoke my brother's enduring power of attorney. This had awful consequences and I didn't know but Mum hadn't been registered as being incapable, but now the doctor has become involved and the old solicitor and Mum is now being registered and my brother's POA is being reinstated as the doctor said Mum was incapable of making a decision. No-one has actually carried out a test on Mum, just spoken to her and Mum didn't remember going to the other solicitor and signing the document. It is all so confusing, but now her accounts have been frozen and I am having to pay for food etc for Mum, I am using my overdraft, I am 3 months behind on my mortgage, the stress of all this is tremendous, I am not sleeping, I have to turn the heating off all day my family are on baked beans, chips, and other cheap food. I can't get carers allowance for some reason and don't get any other financial help. I was being supported by someone but they have been taken off my case for other duties. Someone else is supposed to contact me but after 6 months not a sign of them. My child tax credits have been stopped, I ring them up and every time I am told something else, one minute they haven't put a payment plan in place and ring back in two weeks, then I ring back to find there is no payment plan anyway and I am not entitled to it, therefore I cannot apply for a bursary and free meals for my son. Its all so complicated and I don't have time for all this messing around. I am so scared of losing my home, I am trying to divorce my husband but don't have the money for the court costs as I paid out a lot of money for mediation and then he pulled out. If I don't go to Mums she won't eat or drink, last time she ended up in hospital dehydrated. Why can't Mum give me money, she wants to and says she hates to see me distressed, I had to tell everything at the doctors and solicitors and I couldn't hold in the tears. I don't tell Mum how bad my finances are, loans, credit cards, its a total mess and with no social life or holidays. The doctor asked my brother why we don't share the caring, he said that he works full time, the doctor asks if I work, yes looking after Mum for nothing, my brother doesn't even visit at weekends, just a couple of hours during the week. The doctor said I must have financial costs of looking after Mum, yes I do and yes I have the burden, because I care for Mum and love my Mum and see that she blossoms as soon as I arrive and by the time I leave she is so much better. I went away for 3 days a few weeks ago and when I came home she had gone right down, a quick carer visit, leaving a cup of tea, a few biscuits and small meal doesn't do much, its hello and goodbye. Mum wanted to give my daughter a necklace for her 18th birthday, her gran gave it to her on her 18th but my brother wouldn't let her, it upset Mum and my brother wrote out a cheque instead. I would rather have a cheap keepsake from my Mum that a £100 cheque any day. He said its got to be valued! It certainly wasn't the crown jewels and Mum isn't rolling in it. It all seems very frustrating. Sorry for wittering on, just letting it all out. So why can't my Mum make a decision, she has just decided she wants a pacemaker fitted and yet she isn't allowed to make a decision to make a gift to my daughter which was 2 years ago. My Mum and Dad gave me a lot of things, saying they can't take it with them but I left things at their home to keep it away from my husband who I am sure sold a lot of family items for his drinking habit. My brother has no children and my parents always told me they wanted to hand things down to their only two grandchildren. Why did the doctor say Mum was incapable of making the decision to rescind POA when she didn't do a test herself. Just because Mum couldn't remember at the doctor's going to the new solicitor she might remember today. It all seems to be very hit and miss, just because someone has short term memory problems and keeps repeating herself sometimes and other times Mum is fine with no repeats for the whole day and remembers everything.
Hello Lou
You can contact the office of public guardianship with concerns that your brother is not using your mum's funds appropriately. This I believe will at least be investigated. I'm no expert on these matters. However, I had to go down the Court of Protection route as my husband is deemed as not having the capacity to make decisions for himself. He has vascular dementia, now in a nursing home. Somedays he is as bright as a button,
( a very intelligent man). Others he has no idea on any thing. The nature of vascular dementia sadly in the middle stages.
I definitely would seek advice from the office of public guardianship. The situation you are in cannot continue.
I'm sure others will be along with good advice. I've read your post from June 2015. It's far too long to have all of this anxiety.
You are actually much better off with someone else being attorney, as attorneys cannot pay themselves anything. What you need is an attorney who is acting properly.
The money is still your mother's NOT YOUR BROTHER'S, and should only be spent properly on mum and her care. So he should be paying all the household bills AND PAYING YOU THE GOING RATE AS HER CARER (£10-£15 per hour). Now I suspect that he thought it was all his, so I'd start by asking the Public Guardian if they can call in recent bank statements, for a start. Then ask if they can arrange for you to be paid for the work you've done up until now.
Does mum have over £23,500 in savings - just Yes or No will be fine.
Presumably he's handling all her benefits too? Has he claimed Attendance Allowance? Exemption from Council Tax due to Severe Mental Impairment.
Are you claiming Carers Allowance (only payable if mum gets Attendance Allowance). If you get CA, and have modest savings, you can claim Employment Support Allowance under certain circumstances, but cannot be forced to work if you are claiming CA.
Please, please, ring the Carersuk helpline as soon as possible so they can go through all the financial things confidentially with you.
Hi Lou

Goodness me what a situation to be in, your brother sounds a nightmare.
Good advice from Pet, as for the necklace, I've never heard of anything so outrageous. As I understand it, if you hold POA, you must act in the person's best interests and carry our their wishes while they still have capacity and able to make decisions. OK if we were talking about the house, then the definition of capacity is slightly more important to define but with a necklace valued at £100 or less, I can't even see where he is coming from. It would not be counted in any probate calculation- I mean why would you? You can gift things to family anyway. It seems like a drop in the ocean if he is worried about inheritance tax. If the estate at any future date was to be worth that much - in excess of £300 K or possibly 600K + approx a £100 necklace rather pales into insignificance. What planet is he on? If you both end up in court paying solicitors, their fees will be well in excess of £100 for both of you .
If both of your families want it for sentimental reasons, surely it is your mum's call which she has clearly made already.
You need to look into Carers Allowance urgently- is mum claiming Attendance Allowance?
What does your brother think would happen to mum if you weren't caring for her? Remind him residential care cost £1000 per week and dementia care homes £1500 per week.
Unless you are personally happy to do it for less you should be paying yourself at the least the professional rate of a carer for each hour you are there- £19.00 in my neck of the woods. If you choose to do it for less- that is your decision but you should be charging brother for that IMHO as he is such a ----.
What is his reasoning for being so down right mean and selfish? You hold the trump card really because if you were to walk, he would be responsible for sorting and funding all future care. No doubt Jenny will be telling you that when she comes on next.
Hi Lou

You need a break really you do. Contact Social Services Crisis Team and ask for immediate respite care so you can sort everything out. Give them your brothers details as POA for finances if she has to pay. I know this is really harsh and you may not like to do it but if you speak to your doctor I am sure he will give you a sick note. This would enable your to claim ESA and also could forward you to food back in short term. Also if you have an Age UK they are great at sign posting and doing immediate referrals (they really helped me when I thought the world was crashing in). Do not pay any bills on behalf of your Mum let them go over drawn and post to brother. Also a really good charity to deal with debts etc is Stepchange and they can negotiate on your behalf. I also have two teenagers and I know how expensive they can be, when people ask me how life is I often say its a "generalisation sandwich" and I am the jam in the middle, crushed by the bread below and above. You have to put your need first, again SS can do a careers needs assessment on you. You could also call your brothers bluff and send him recorded delivery notice that you are no longer going to care for Mum and invoice for work so far. In terms of benefits it may be quicker and easier to sort if you register as self employed and declare the £200 that way you would get Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits (but not free meals etc). Even if you were to gain employment at a later stage you can be both employed and self employed. I have had to dance around the benefits a bit in my generational sandwich.
Please keep us updated and I hope things get sorted soon.
Our GP explained the lack of capacity he said my mothe inlaw can walk in the room understand what's said in the room soon as she out the door what was said she will ask,this is true because she does that the dr said while she is in the room understanding what's said she has capacity,if the poa is explained and she forgets she understood at the time,you can actually revoke the attorney without a solicitor involved office of public guardian they give you some legal wording and you put it all in writing your mum signs it and sends it off u need to speak to them and explain what's going on,we have done this and re done another form now
Just thought I'd post an update. I very very nearly lost my home in the summer of 2017. I contacted Stepchange who were very helpful and I had to go to court. Although Stepchange did an income and expenses for me the mortgage company said I couldn't afford future payments. They were given 28 days repossession. I went back to stepchange and they couldn't understand why as the figures added up that I would be able to. i was at my wits end, kept being told to put the house on the market, my home, my castle, my only bit of sanity in the whole wide world, I would lose everything and would never be able to buy again or even rent would be difficult. It turned out that the mortgage company had added on payments from the previous year that I was paying out when the children were at college, and I was supporting them. this year was different as they were working and giving me money. Luckily I spotted their error and I managed to hold onto the house with just a few days spare. The stress was unbearable and made me ill. The Judge said the figures didn't add up, they didn't correspond to my figures, how can this happen, surely the judge should at least have postponed it so the differences could be sorted out, she could see the differences but I didn't have their paperwork to check, they were in the wrong, makes me mad.
regarding my brother, well he has regained his POA despite it being revoked, I had to give in to him as I was advised it was a cheaper option than giving power to the COP and knowing how long it took to sort this out over a year it was easiest. I just keep away from him, don't rock the boat and keep my stress levels down, I have had too much stress, I need a reboot. Next is my divorce, so much for a quiet life! Thanks for all your guidance and support. x