CAN MY SISTER PUT MY MOM IN A NURSING HOME?
Dear Willie D:
My sister is making plans to put my mother in a nursing facility. She lives with my mother in Phoenix, and I live nearby, about ten minutes away with my husband and three sons. My mother is 63 years old and has dementia, which causes her to forget things. But other than that, she is fine.
I told my sister that she has no legal right to put my mother in a nursing home because my mother hasn’t signed a power of attorney for her to act on her behalf. I have told her I would rather mother live with me, but she accused me of doing it to be in charge of my mother’s money. But that is not the case.
I love my mother and don’t see why if she has two able-bodied daughters she could live with, she has to live in a place with strangers. My sister thinks because she is older than me, she is the boss of the family. Does she have the authority to put my mother in a nursing home?
Unless your sister has a signed POA [power of attorney], she has no legal right to put your mom in a nursing home. Have a family meeting between you and your sister, and talk to each other without being accusatory. A compromise would be to let your mother live with you and have your sister pay the bills associated with your mom’s care, or you could appoint a trustee to distribute funds.
When you straighten out your family matters, give my son a call. He has already told me if the time ever comes, he’s going to put me in an old folks' home. Thank God for daughters!
MY MOM JUST DIED AND MY DAD IS PLANNING TO MARRY HIS MISTRESS
Dear Willie D:
We just laid my mother to rest one month ago, and my dad is already planning to remarry! I went by his house (the one he shared with my mother for 42 years), and his new woman answered the door. She told me he wasn’t there. I have known about this woman for years, but had never met her. She introduced herself as his fiancée. I told her who I was and pushed past her, inviting myself in.
I wanted to look around, and let her know she wasn’t welcome in my mother’s house. She acknowledged that she knew my mom had recently died, and when I asked her how long she had been engaged to my dad, she said for a month. I was speechless. So my mom dies and my dad gets engaged to his mistress, probably on the same day?
I know that people die and life goes on. I didn’t expect my dad to never marry again, but shouldn’t there be some sort of extended bereavement before starting a new life after your spouse dies?
I’m with you. I would expect there to be some sort of extended bereavement. But everybody isn’t built like you and I. Even if your dad had moved on emotionally before your mom died, he could have shown a little class and kept his mistress out of the house he shared with your mother for at least a year or so. It’s not like she was going anywhere.
I MASK MY PAIN WITH SEX
Dear Willie D:
I spent most of my childhood in foster care. My second foster home dad molested me when I was 14. I met my drug addict mother once, and my biological dad is said to be deceased.
I have never really felt wanted. I have spent many years in depression therapy talking to counselors and psychologists. I’m finally over it. I’ve come to realize that I’m really not depressed, I’m sad. But I still have one issue: I have sex with men that I have no emotional connection to. I do this to feel wanted and appreciated.
If I’m having sex with men to feel needed, why am I still bummed out after it’s over?
You’re bummed out because although you may be having sex to feel needed, what you desire most is love, and love and sex are two different things. You know those men don’t love you, and that revelation makes you sad. It’s time to tell yourself that you deserve better. Learn to be happy independent of others.
Find a hobby, or get involved with a charitable organization and become a volunteer. When you’re truly happy, it doesn’t matter if you’re having sex or at home eating popcorn while watching a movie alone; you won’t have a problem smiling.
I THINK MY NEIGHBORS ARE ABUSING THEIR CHILD
Dear Willie D:
My next-door neighbors have a small boy who looks to be about three years old, and he cries a lot. I live in an attached townhouse with paper-thin walls, so it’s not hard to hear what’s going on. Almost every day they can be heard screaming at the child, and he can be heard crying.
I’ve seen the mother jerk him out of the car once, but that’s the extent of anything physical I’ve witnessed personally. But I think they’re abusing the little boy. Every time I see him, he looks so unhappy. I want to hug him and tell him it’ll be all right. I want to call CPS to check things out, but I don’t want his parents coming at me with drama.
Am I right to get involved or should I leave it alone?
Not only would you be right to get involved, I would consider you a hero. When kids don’t get the help they need early on in life, it could have a negative impact on the rest of their life, and the anger they experience may someday be unleased on society at large.
Maybe the jerking you witnessed was a one-time event. Maybe the kid has mental issues that the parents are ill-equipped to deal with. At any rate, I wouldn’t want the blood of a child on my hands. If I were you, I would call CPS and make the report. Even if you give your name, you could tell them that you want to remain anonymous. Of course if it ends up in court, their lawyer might request your name, but if it was me, I wouldn’t care. I have a deep disdain for people who mistreat kids.
Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.