I like my cousin, but THIS????

This is a discussion on I like my cousin, but THIS???? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I live in Las Vegas, and my mother lives just north of Richmond Va. I see her every year, sometimes twice a year. She's 88, ...

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Thread: I like my cousin, but THIS????

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    I like my cousin, but THIS????

    I live in Las Vegas, and my mother lives just north of Richmond Va. I see her every year, sometimes twice a year. She's 88, with mild emphysema, an is a 9 year survivor of lung cancer, having had a lobe of each lung removed. Her memory has also been declining, but that's not interfered with her interaction with others, including me. My cousin for several years has been dropping by regularly to help her out- clearing snow from her steps, and
    stuff around the house. He's been doing a lot more recently, and he's by several times a day, cleaning, making her meals, and setting up her medications for a week at a time. This has been at his own instigation, he hasn't been asked to do it, but Mom does appreciate all of the help.

    I think that he is feeling overloaded now. Several months ago, he tried to get me to fly out to Richmond immediately, and put her in a nursing home. I refused for 2 reasons. First, I've been out of work the entire year of 2009, and money's tight. And the biggest reason is that my mother has told me several times that she would rather die on the floor of her home rather than go into a nursing home. I discussed it again after this occurred, and she said the same thing. However, I got a letter yesterday from my cousin,
    saying that she's gotten worse, and he had a meeting with social services, and they have put her in a nursing home. On top of that, he wants to get rid of her mole home, so he's giving me until the 15th to fly there, go through the house, pick out what I want, and arrange to have it shipped all by the 15th. I'm pissed. While I appreciate what he's done for Mom until this, for him to give me 2 weeks to come in and arrange a several thousand dollar move
    all in 2 weeks. And the underlying problem is that since I'm far away, my mother has given BOTH of us durable power of attorney, so he can get away with a lot of it. Yea, I have furniture, and I could let it go, but not only is there a lot of sentimental items, like the old goose neck rocker that I used as a child, all of this stuff was bought back in the 40's, is solid mahogany, and probably worth quite a bit. She has a china press that's much older, really an antique, real china, etc. I just don't want to give all of
    it away. So, with a great deal of difficulty, I'm heading back tomorrow. Amazingly I found a Delta flight direct to Richmond cheaper than Southwest to Baltimore. Of course, I'm taking red eyes, but what the hell, I'm not working, and I'm frequently don't go to sleep until 8AM eastern (5 am here). My wife is doing her best to help financially. But it will be a while before I can
    forgive my cousin for this. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Wyoming's Avatar
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    I would rant my way to an attorney. My wife and I took care of her parents for almost 10 years, so been there and done that. Even with a POA your cousin must act in the best interest of your mother. If you can prove he did not, then he is in deep doo doo. Courts usually do move fast in these cases.

    Good luck and God speed.
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    VIP Member Array Pikachu711's Avatar
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    I'll echo what Wyoming suggested. It's time to talk to an attorney regarding the way your cousin is acting as in his capacity as POA holder. If he's doing things that are not in the best interest of your Mom something isn't right with this picture.

    My Mom went thru this a number of years ago. One of her cousins went through the house of a relative. He took a lot of things that her Aunt had willed to other relatives. This was within days of her passing away. This idiot was REQUIRED to return everything he took on his own without legal authority to do so. This was a sore spot between my Mom & her cousin. He always looked for an opportunity to take advantage of his Aunt.

    It's time to talk to an attorney. If ever you want to just vent a bit feel free to send me a PM. I'm here in Vegas too.

    Good luck on dealing with you cousin.
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    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    what the others said


    if that doesn't work, beat the crap out of that dipwad, and put his but in adult care for the rest of his life.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have been given great advice already, so I'd just like to chime in with a hug and hope your flight is uneventful and everything goes smoothly during this whole thing.

    Also, your cousin is a big fat jerk.
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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    Sounds like you have been given great advice already, so I'd just like to chime in with a hug and hope your flight is uneventful and everything goes smoothly during this whole thing.

    Also, your cousin is a big fat jerk.
    What Bunny said! Well, minus the hug.

    Good luck, hope you can get it worked out without too many nore hurt feelings.

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    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    Sounds like you have been given great advice already, so I'd just like to chime in with a hug and hope your flight is uneventful and everything goes smoothly during this whole thing.

    Also, your cousin is a big fat jerk.
    I agree. But if I hug ya, it'll have to have the obligatory guy smack on the back that says "Yes, we are hugging but I'm also hitting you."

    Hang in there and try to use this trip as a means to see your Mom again. Then get a good lawyer in the area who knows the local laws.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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    Member Array Chiller2's Avatar
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    Well I am going to be the dissenting opinion.If you are not willing or able to take care of your mother then you lose the right to complain about how it is being done.If you don't like what he has done then either take over or shut up.He tried to get you involved you refused and now you complain about the decisions he made.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
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    Squawker, did you cousin ever discuss a happy medium with you and your mom before he decided to do this? You mentioned she would rather die in her own home than live in a facility. I suspect your mother has a great deal of pride and dignity (I mean this as a complement) and that's why. Plus, like you said, there are so many memories there.

    By happy medium, I mean what about an elder-care worker who could come in and do a lot of the stuff your cousin is doing? It would relieve a great deal of the burden he had decided to take upon his shoulders, and she would still have someone there to help out. I think most of the elder care folks are supposed to have at least a CNA degree or something and be certified in CPR and stuff.

    Another choice would have been, if available and you two could find a way to make it happen-- what about independent/assisted living? If it's financially not-do-able (I was not an English major, don't make fun) then there WOULD be the option to sell the house, but she could keep her stuff still, and she'd be moving into her own apartment. The upside is that she would still have her freedom and dignity and her own place, but it would be in an "apartment complex" that has all nurses and elder-care personnel running the place, instead of a typical apartment managerial staff. she can bring her car if she still drives, or most good places usually have a driver available. They have a dining hall in case she doesn't want to cook, but her apartment would also have a kitchen, stove, microwave, dishwasher, etc, if she did want to cook. Also, all the units have an emergency intercom so that if she DID need help, she could summon someone right away. Plus, the place would be other folks her age, so she would have friends. And they make sure to have a ton of recreational activites available so she wouldn't feel bored or isolated.

    It's like the best of both worlds. She still gets her independence and NOT living in a home, but she's supervised and has all the perks of a home, just in case she needs help or something. It's usually on a lease-basis, so she wouldn't have to buy the place as if it were a condo.

    My grandparents did that because they felt the same way as your mother feels. It worked out very nicely for them for the most part. And because it was "their" place, we could visit whenever, it didn't have that smell...you know what I'm talking about. And it was every bit like their condo they used to have in the city, just SAFER for them now that they were starting to need a little help.

    Maybe you and your cousin could find a way to make this happen for your mom, and it would help you two come to terms again. A Rift in the family is an awful thing.

    Here's the DSS link for her area, and then three places in her area to look at as well. It's not a fix-all, but maybe it's enough of a jumping off point that there will be something you find that all three of you will be happy with?

    http://www.dss.virginia.gov/facility/search/alf.cgi

    http://www.heartfieldsatrichmond.com...asp?CommID=158
    http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/c...do?commid=5800
    http://www.hermitage-vumh.com/independent-living.html
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  11. #10
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    Bunny, that's a good idea. When we looked into it for my father-in-law, it wasn't doable, for us. CNA's wanted $15-20+/hour here and a minimum number of hours per week, I'll bet it would be more on the east coast. We considered selling his house, but assisted-living centers here started at $3000/month, depending on the level of care required. For him it would have been more like $5000. Maybe it's an option for them.

    Squawker, I know it's tough, but maybe your cousin had to make a tough decision, right then. Maybe, social services took the decision out of his hands. It came very close to this with my father-in-law. His condition worsened very quickly. Social services were contacted by the doctors at the hospital. He would have gone into a long term care facility, except he was placed in hospice care and passed rather quickly.

    Give your cousin the benefit of the doubt, he has had to deal with the everyday stress of taking care of your mother and believe me that stress can be overwhelming at times. We moved our family into my father-in-laws house and cared for him for 2+ years, so I know what I'm talking about.

    I'm kinda in line with chiller... you are complaining about how your mother is being cared for, but you have haven't been willing to help... While you have been out of work for a year, and money is tight everywhere, why didn't you take some time to travel back east and stay with her awhile...Many of my wife's family complained about how we were doing things, but none of them was willing to lift a finger and help...It's easy to complain about the situation, but different to take on the responsibility.

    What would you have done if your cousin wasn't around? You would of either had to put your mother in a nursing home, pay somone to care for her, move back east to take care of her, or move her into your home and care for her there. I'm not trying to be the bad guy here, but trying to give you some things to think about on your trip home... Family is important, your cousin has done these things because he cares for your mom. It always seems that these things happen at the most inopportune times, but you will find a way to get thru it.

    Hang in there... I'll say a prayer for you, your cousin and your mom...
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    I know that this is very aggravating for you, but try to keep what your cousin has done in perspective. You said he has been helping your Mom out several times a day to help her out. He doesn't sound like a selffish person to me. It might be that a doctor called social services and your cousin had to go to the meeting because he has power of attorney. Also, your cousin sees your Mom every day. He might have a better understanding of her condition than you. When my grandmother was suffering from alzheimers, she could manage to fool people about her condition on the phone or in person for short periods of time, but when you around her for longer periods, she could not hide her condition. The goal is to get your Mom the help she needs while trying to maintain her independent lifestyle as much as possible. She needs you to control your emotions and make the right decesion for her. In the current situation you need your cousin's help, so try to get your anger under control and remember all that your cousin has done to help.

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    Member Array mutumbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiller2 View Post
    Well I am going to be the dissenting opinion.If you are not willing or able to take care of your mother then you lose the right to complain about how it is being done.If you don't like what he has done then either take over or shut up.He tried to get you involved you refused and now you complain about the decisions he made.
    i agree, in a way.


    let me get this straight, your cousin is overwhelmed and cant take care of your mom anymore, and you are too far away to do much, so the STATE stepped in and put her in a nursing home to get her the proper care she NEEDS and DESERVES, because she is deteriorating past the point of being able to take care of herself?

    yeah its a little fast, but it needs to be done either way. its not your moms fault her health is slipping, so she shouldnt have to suffer.

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    Member Array Riana's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but did your cousin indicate WHY he wanted to sell her home? Does SHE want it sold? Does it need to be sold to pay for her medical care? I'm curious about that one, myself. I'm always suspicious when anyone wants to conduct a large financial transaction in a hurry. You can bet he'll be surprised when you show up, too.

    Hopefully, you'll be able to at least get stuff into storage, if you can't get it shipped home. You might even contact an estate sale place, and see if they can run an estate sale on the items for you - they take a percentage of the sales, I think. Something to look into, if there are some higher ticket items there to sell.

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    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    First, thanks for the help gang. I've looked into having CNA's and even non medical people for housework, but financially it doesn't fly. As far as assisted living, her sister (m cousin's mother) was in one for a few years, but my mother vetoed that for her. As far as my cousin is concerned, I greatly appreciate what he has done for my mother. I know that she has appreciated it as well. I'm less upset about the nursing home. Until I see her and discuss the situation with her doc, I really can't say he's wrong, it's just that I know he's going against her wishes. I would be happy to have her here with me, but she doesn't want to leave the area, and I also would end up with my second divorce, as my wife has already said she can't come here with us.

    What pisses me off is this crap of giving me 2 weeks to be able to work out getting there, selecting what I want to save, and having a moving company come in for the estimate, and then having them take everything out. That is difficult to do in only 2 weeks. After making my reservations to go out there tonight, I suddenly remembered my appointment with my pain management doc on Tuesday. Since I would not have enough medication to last the duration of the trip (and without it, I'm basically relegated to lying on the bed and writhing). Fortunately, I was able to make the change without penalty, and the ticket price was actually lower. So, I leave Wednesday instead. As far as selling the mobile home, it's around 32 years old, and really shouldn't be moved off of the lot that it's on. So it's not really worth very much. My mother planned on donating it to her church when she dies, and if anything is going to be done with it, it should go to the church as she wanted. Well, I'll see her Thursday, and go from there. Once again, I appreciate the responses, even the more negative ones.

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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    These are really tough situations--as medical science allows us to live longer , and as our familes become so dispersed across the country/globe the issues of elder care become more and more complicated. As adult sons or daughters, we wish to treat our parents with respect and dignity, yet where do we begin to draw lines with making or allowing decisions that may go against their direct wishes?? At what point do we say: "Dad/mom, I know better than you now, so I am making decisions for your life (decisions that often will make US feel better/less guilty)??

    And yet, there are other objective realities here. The competing demands of longer lives, with greatly increased living/medical costs and limited financial resources make for some really complex and emotionally charged family situations. There are NO easy answers to these thorny problems and while we can greatly learn from each other, each family has to find their own unique way through this living quagmire.

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