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Old August 16th, 2013, 08:54 AM
Kirsi1 Kirsi1 is offline
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My brother is taking advantage of my father (and me)

Hi all, this is the first time I've posted. I'm looking for advice on a situation between my adult brother Bruce (age 43) myself (age 37) and my dad (age 78). My brother expects my Dad to support him to some extent - he chose an artistic profession and barely makes ends meet, lives in a group house and occasionally needs to borrow money from dad. Now Dad wants to start buying Bruce's health insurance, since Bruce can't afford it. There is some talk of Bruce "working it off" by doing jobs around the house, but Bruce never seems to have time to actually do the work, other than helping to mow the lawn while Dad was sick this summer. Meanwhile, I have a corporate job, which I like okay, but mainly I do it so I can be self-supporting and not rely on Dad. My Dad thinks he's a lot richer than he is. He inherited some money from his mother about 25 years ago and retired very young with an early retirement pension from his job. The pension doesnt' quite cover his expenses - he has to withdraw from his investments a few times a year, and he has depleted about half of his money over his 25 year retirement living this way. He still thinks he's "rich" because he does not understand money. My Mom always handled the finances and bills, and although Dad is pretty frugal now that she is gone, he also has what I think is the early stages of Alzheimers - definite cognitive impairment, and when I try to explain to him that he is going to deplete his money if he keeps supporting Bruce and refusing to move to a cheaper place, he thinks I'm being selfish and I'm just worried about "the inheritance." I can't say, "No, I'm worried about YOU ending up in a bad Medicaid nursing home someday because you spent all your money," because we're all still officially "in denial" about his cognitive impairment. There is still more to the story - when my Mom got sick with a terminal disease a few years ago, I uprooted my life and moved back to the area from across the country, leaving my house and career, to help take care of Mom. Bruce was very little help - he visited about every two weeks and couldn't wait to get out of here each time - he wouldn't even kiss her when he left, he was so disgusted, distraught by her condition, or... something. I know it's going to be the same with Dad if/when the Alzheimer's progresses. I'm going to be stuck with all of the burden of care, and Bruce will just stop by once a month to make sure the gravy train that is partially supporting him in his artsy-fartsy life is still flowing. I'm trying hard to love and forgive my brother, but it's really difficult when I feel like he is taking advantage of Dad AND me... what can I do about this? I don't want to hate my brother, but I'm starting to.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: My brother is taking advantage of my father (and me)

Are there any resources for care of the elderly in your area? (State agencies or whatnot, I mean.) Not that your dad qualifies for state care - I'd just be curious if they could advise you. Look around the Alzheimer Foundation website... maybe you can get useful info there? http://www.alzfdn.org/?gclid=COiOgs_fgrkCFYKi4Aoduj8A8A

I don't think you can do much until the official Alzheimer's diagnosis comes, but I'd have figured out who to talk to between now and then. Are there any elder law attorneys in your area? It might not be a bad idea to suggest a third party (financial adviser, accountant) look over your dad's assets so he can be told the situation by someone independent. Whatever you do, don't let your brother be put in charge of your dad's finances!

Oh, and about your brother not being available to help when the time comes... that's just something it's best to accept. You can't force him to care. The only person you have control over is yourself. Do what you are willing to do and do not resent your brother not doing "his fair share." Some people flat out aren't capable of caring for sick people. Just know that you won't be living with regrets down the road.
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