For the past 10 years he's been taking care of first his Mother, and then his Aunt. He's done so without any help at all from his sisters. Both of them are living in another state. The Aunt is co-owner of the home they all live in BUT, there is a mortgage, paid by him. Remodeling the home to provide additional living space for himself and his wife required money that no one had sitting around in a bank someplace.
The client was able to purchase this home years ago when she moved here at the insistence of her sister. She'd lived in Florida in a modest home that she bought. She sold it and used the proceeds to purchase another modest home in a nice neighborhood here in Central New York. She had fallen, breaking her hip. Since she lived alone, there was no one to call an ambulance. It took her 12 hours to make her way to a phone to call for help. This wasn't acceptable to the sister living here and so she convinced her to move here so she could have someone to help her.
The house was purchased and the two of them lived there until the sister's health deteriorated enough to require someone else to help. There were more falls that broke more bones. And the nephew's Mother developed a heart condition which created more problems. This was when the home was remodeled so that the nephew and his wife could stay and take care of the two ladies. When his Mom was alive the caretaking mostly consisted of making sure they hadn't dropped a lit cigarette someplace where a fire started, and of course, putting out the fires that did start. One bedroom floor required replacing because of that.
In 2007, his Mother died following a heart attack. He promised her he'd take care of his aunt, and that's exactly what he's done. His Aunt, being who she is, has taken full advantage of that. She does nothing for herself that she can get someone else to do for her. Some of that is because of dementia, some of it is just her being willful. She's like a child who doesn't want to do anything except what she likes to do.
She doesn't like eating in a manner that would assist her diabetes to remain under control. She doesn't like taking all those medications for her various illnesses, like colitis, like high blood pressure, like emphysema and renal failure. Had it not been for her nephew's rather firm insistence, she wouldn't do anything except spend her days in front of the TV eating hamburgers and chocolate cake, pie, cookies, ice cream etc. She squirrels her meds in her cheek to be spit out at a later time, IF he'd let her get away with it. He insists that she open her mouth so he can check. She's the only person I know that can drink an entire bottle of water and not swallow a pill.
She developed a UTI. She tends to say she feels fine when she doesn't so, although we had a feeling something wasn't right, there were no symptoms he could call a doctor for. Until she became quite sick, requiring IV antibiotics. Unfortunately, left to her own devices, as hospitals have to do under state regulations, she refused to cooperate with the physical therapist and became so weak that she's in danger from any little infection. The doctor said she's in such bad shape a cold could do her in. So, despite her strenuous objections and those of her nephew, she's in a nursing home for rehabilitation.
One of her nieces spent a day here with her last year. The other one hasn't visited since their Mom died. However, now that Auntie is in a nursing home, even on a temporary basis, they are up in arms. They have informed their brother that they plan to sue him for "custody" of their Aunt. They don't seem to understand that their Aunt requires much more than they will be willing to do for her. They also don't know that Auntie gets care paid for by the state Medicaid system, which she gets because of that mortgage, which has placed her nephew's name on the deed for the house. There is no money in the bank, there is no house for them to sell. This was arranged by my client when she was still in possession of her mental faculties some 7 or 8 years ago.
The nephew has durable power of attorney and is her healthcare proxy. It was not his decision to place her, it was her doctor's decision. They refuse to listen to that, having it in their heads that they might miss out on an inheritance? I can't say that for sure, but from what I've seen, my client thought so. Which is why she made the decision to do what she did.
I've been in that home when he's asked her if she wants to spend some time with either of her nieces. Her answer has always been NO! She never says why because she isn't someone who will say less than flattering things about people. Her only response to his question has been to say that they won't take care of her. I can understand her reluctance because neither of them would take care of their own Mother when she needed help.
They left all the work to their brother, and seem to prefer to meddle in business that they aren't the least bit informed about. That isn't his decision either, since he ASKED them for help when he himself became overly stressed. They allowed her to spend 3 weeks in a nursing home for respite last year. They didn't bother about her then, even though that was a stay not ordered by her doctor. People just annoy me. If it weren't for my knowledge that having those two women take care of my client wouldn't be in her best interest, I'd say let them have her. This is, after all, the client I have that takes the phrase "having a shitty day" to a whole other level. I can't think of a nicer couple of women to wish that on.
In the meantime, I am on vacation. Which will last until the end of next week and then I'm back to working a whole 10 hours a week. I can't take new cases until we know where my client will end up since she's unwilling to be cared for by anyone else. Except her nephew, and he really does need help with her. I can pick up extra hours taking care of other aides clients while they're on vacation so I won't be entirely out of pocket. And it has been a long hot summer so far so the less I have to do, the better I like it.