Sunday, 13 March 2011

March 13th 1925

On March 13th 1925, my mother was born
Today is her eighty sixth birthday.
I’m sure she didn’t expect to live that long – her parents died at 69 and 73, and her three younger brothers are all dead. She also didn’t expect to lose her mind.
My father went that way too, which means if dementia is genetic, I’m more or less stuffed so I’ll have to try not to think about that too much. .
It’s been a rough weekend so far. When she gave me Enduring power of attorney, I didn’t imagine this scenario. I thought I’d still be living in Devon and that it would be relatively easy to take care of the paperwork.
Things have changed. I’m now in Leeds, but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is Denis, her full time live in carer. I don’t even know what the relationship between them is. And he hates me. To him I’m a no good daughter who only wants to get her hands on Mum’s money.
Why does he think this? Because Mum let him. She’s not a nice woman. For as long as I can remember, she’s been totally self obsessed. When I was a child, she never offered me any encouragement and I don’t remember any hugs or signs of affection. I could write a book. Suffice to say that Denis won’t even talk to me, let alone help me sort things out. I can’t bear confrontation. It stresses me to the extent that it makes me physically ill.
At the moment I don’t know what to do. I’m morally obliged to register the EPA but at the same time, if Social Services want to step in I’m half inclined to let them get on with it.
The thing that drives me completely mad is this. Last August, when Denis was still speaking to me, I went to see Mum and was shocked at the change in her. When her own mother died, we found hundreds of pounds stashed away in drawers. Mum swore she’d never do that, so when I found thousands in a bureau, I was shocked. I mentioned it to Denis. He said he knew about it and there was three thousand pounds in total. That afternoon, they went to the hospital. While I was alone, I checked. There was a lot more than three thousand, possibly seven, maybe more.
When they came back I spoke to them. I said I wasn’t happy about so much money lying about the house and that I wanted Mum to pay it into one of her building society accounts. I begged Denis to help me. He wouldn’t. I reminded him that I had power of attorney, but he simply wouldn’t help me. In the end I took a purse full of the cash and left the house. Outside, I immediately called the social worker, but there was no reply so I left an urgent message. I waited for them to call. They didn’t. I tried again, still nothing. I had hoped they would help me remove the cash for safe keeping as I knew Mum was due a visit the next morning.
I went home the next day and opened a  special account for Mum’s money. Three days later, the social services finally got back to me. According to them, Mum was still perfectly capable of taking care of her finances and no, they weren’t worried about two old people having so much cash just lying about.
Now they’ve changed their tune.
I knew things were bad the moment I saw Mum, but nobody would listen to me.
Denis doesn’t seem to be able to figure out that if I WAS after mum’s money I would have registered the EPA as soon as there was any sign of her losing her mind.
Right now, I don’t know what to do. I’ve asked Mum’s solicitor for advice and they’re getting back to me in a day or two. Then I’ll have to make up my mind.

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