Dear Annie: My sister, “Elaine,” has terminal cancer. Yesterday, I got a call from someone named “Laura” telling me Elaine had made arrangements to move in with a family from her church. I offered to let her come here and even said she could bring her elderly dog so they could spend her final months together. I did this even though I am allergic to dogs. However, I was told she only wanted me to take the dog.
This morning, I visited Elaine, who did not appear to be as bad as I had been led to believe. Laura, a member of my sister’s church, was with her. I repeated my offer to take both Elaine and the dog, but was told emphatically that she was staying with a church family.
I am concerned that the “church” has an ulterior motive. I asked for information from hospice about Elaine’s care, but no one has gotten back to me and it’s been nearly a week. What should I do? Elaine is an adult and competent. – Sister in Waiting
Dear Sister: Even if Laura’s motives are to get Elaine’s money for the church, there’s not much you can do if your sister is competent to make these decisions. Can you talk to Elaine directly? If not and if she is under hospice care, someone from that organization should be visiting regularly, and you can direct your questions to them in person. If Laura is the only one caring for your sister, contact your local Area Agency on Aging or the Eldercare Locator (www.eldercare.gov) at (800) 677-1116 and ask for assistance.