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View Full Version : Anyone Dealt with Elder Abuse? Suggestions?



Beentheredonethat
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:12 PM
This really sucks. When do you really force the situation? When it's so bad it's a huge mess, or try to stop it sooner?

We have a family member that is draining the parents dry, at 73 and 90. She has never worked, and at 30, they've always supported her in her lavish lifestyle. This has been years of trying to find the truth, but what should be a comfortable old age with a house that was paid off and three rentals as well as pensions and SS, seems to be they have no money to do basic care of the house and their requirements, and are about at the limit of borrowing on everything. The sister is a sociopath and master manipulator that has them wrapped around her finger and everyone else is the bad guy. We've been just trying to find the truth, but I'm not sure when to step in, or of we can. My mom has massive bruising all over her face from "tripping," but that's not the first thing everyone else in the family thought.

She may have just tripped, but the fact that we think it might be otherwise makes the guilt tremendous. Do we force it and try to get someone who deals with elder abuse involved to stop the leech, or is there nothing we can do until it is really bad?

Alagirl
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:15 PM
:no: Hop to it.
Talk to the police, get a lawyer.

There are bruises from falling and there are the other kind.

It's a dirty little secret and you already know, when you have to ask the question as to what the most likely answer is.

It will be incredible ugly. I promise.

But please do not delay in getting the ball rolling.

Beentheredonethat
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:28 PM
Well, I know the abuse is financial and emotional. I don't think it's physical, but even having the thought is scary. There are a lot of family members involved, though some refuse to have anything to do with the parents, and others will not do anything, though may talk to them in some circumstances. I don't think the police would help at all because the parents were there and both confirm it as a fall. And I can't imagine what would happen if they show up at the door.

You're right about doing something now, though. I need to find the right people to call. It doesn't matter that I'm the "bad one" and "trouble maker" anymore.

Alagirl
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:33 PM
Oh good lord, the family is turning their collective backs on the situation?!

Maybe try DHR. They might have pointers for you.

You will definitely be the the bad guy for rocking the boat! :no:

My mom went through that several years ago with family and a distant aunt...

Beentheredonethat
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:39 PM
My step-father alienated most of the family so long ago they won't speak to him except in very controlled situations, or not at all. No one wants to deal with it except me, my sister, my brother to some degree, and a half brother, to some degree. I honestly doubt anyone else (five more) would do anything. The attitude is we can't do anything, let it all rot. My sister and I do most of the talking, and she's still of the opinion we don't have anything legally we can do.

What is DHR?

I am already the bad guy and have been for a long time. I actually dared to try to keep the half siblings in school instead of letting them drop out.

Alagirl
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:50 PM
department of human resources...
I might have the wrong agency though, I thankfully had no need for the lot over here (yet)

I can understand that the siblings don't want to touch that one with a ten foot pole, but seriously, I don't think any person deserves to live like that. Even when they have been less than nice in their younger years.

I think maybe your siblings might come around when you remind them that they could possibly be held financially responsible should said elder person(s) be put in a care facility....

ManyDogs
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:56 PM
Look up Adult Protective Services-a state agency-I think it would be under Social Services, but not sure.

RedMare01
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:04 AM
Yes, Adult Protective Services. Although some states are better than others. Good luck. :(

fooler
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:38 AM
First off cyber hugs for you. This ia a messy situation.

Another thought is to take your Mom to her/a DR, even a short hospital stay to review meds and give her a once over. They may be able to determine if the bruises are due to violence or she is in fact unstable on her feet. While she is being checked medically, speak to a lawyer about options. It is time to look into power of attorney for financial and medical. You can't undo what has been done, but you may be able to allow them have some peace for their final years. FYI, you can have limited power of attorney. My 89 yo Mom is giving me PoA for one situation only, she is responsible for everything else in life.

Good luck

Beentheredonethat
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:58 AM
I've got the number for elder abuse for social services. There's also a lawyer on the radio here who does a lot of this.

My mom is very mild mannered and easy to manipulate, but no way would she let me go to the doctor with her. I tried to talk to her yesterday and she was very angry I suggested abuse, physical or mental, and pretty much took off. I have to "catch" her at home, and when I try to talk, she always has an appointment to get to and she has to leave, probably psycho-sister. If I try to set a time to meet her, she's never available.

We've been talking about power of attorney, but since they both generally act competent and will not agree to let anyone know what is going on, let alone take over, I don't think it's possible. It's taken three years to discover than my childhood home, which was paid off many years ago and was supposed to be in our name and is used as a rental, has been borrowed from. First it was 10k, then about 60K, then "more." I found the paperwork on the table--it's 90k now. I believe the home they live in, which used to be a nice Victorian paid off in the 60's, worth a lot and is starting to fall apart, has about 250k borrowed from it.

The only way I could get the house cleaned up and somewhat clean inside and out was to show up even though she told me not to and start scrubbed and doing the yardwork myself. I can't do the rotting roof myself, nor pay the $20k it will cost.

Thanks for the thoughts, and just listening.

Slewdledo
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:05 AM
Document and REPORT.

Get someone to look at the checks written, loan paperwork, etc. Are you on any bank accounts with either or both people? Talk to the bank. I work for a bank and we are required to report any suspicion of elder abuse. Had a guy take a lady with Alzheimer's for $150k (she estimated it at $10k she had "loaned" to him.) He came in the bank to cash a check she'd written, we (as previously instructed) called the police. They came in and talked with him, but let him go. Until he was arrested a week later.

File a police report.

Alagirl
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:09 AM
I've got the number for elder abuse for social services. There's also a lawyer on the radio here who does a lot of this.

My mom is very mild mannered and easy to manipulate, but no way would she let me go to the doctor with her. I tried to talk to her yesterday and she was very angry I suggested abuse, physical or mental, and pretty much took off. I have to "catch" her at home, and when I try to talk, she always has an appointment to get to and she has to leave, probably psycho-sister. If I try to set a time to meet her, she's never available.

We've been talking about power of attorney, but since they both generally act competent and will not agree to let anyone know what is going on, let alone take over, I don't think it's possible. It's taken three years to discover than my childhood home, which was paid off many years ago and was supposed to be in our name and is used as a rental, has been borrowed from. First it was 10k, then about 60K, then "more." I found the paperwork on the table--it's 90k now. I believe the home they live in, which used to be a nice Victorian paid off in the 60's, worth a lot and is starting to fall apart, has about 250k borrowed from it.

The only way I could get the house cleaned up and somewhat clean inside and out was to show up even though she told me not to and start scrubbed and doing the yardwork myself. I can't do the rotting roof myself, nor pay the $20k it will cost.

Thanks for the thoughts, and just listening.


many hugs.

People don't want to admit that they get old and dependent.
It's a hard pill to swallow.
Keep digging at it!

Linda
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:26 AM
Just went through a similar situation with my parents. We hired aides to help my aging mother get dressed, deal with her daily lfie and get my father out of the house for brief trips to town. Our accountant was following their expenses each month and paying bills for them. He noticed an uptick in the amount spent on credit cards and withdrawels of cash at the bank. So he notified us.

We found that the aide was using my fathers credit card for purchases at target, sending money to an inmate and buying pornography online. Talk about a major shock....

When questioned, the bank (who had videos of all teller transactions) said that my fathers "grandson" was bringing him to the bank each day to withdraw money. The amount withdrawn was way way way more than he would normally take out. So they told him no more until one of the children said ok. Of course the so called grandson was not a grandson at all. He was one of the aides.

We called the police. It took a few weeks but they found him, did an investigation and arrested him. When he went to the preliminary trial, we had the videos from target and from the bank teller window showing he had been the one doing the transactions.

Its a felony. He was 21. His life is forever changed - for which I am grateful. I went to the sentencing hearing and made a plea for the max sentence. Since it was his first conviction, he got 6 months. Not enough for me -but well thats what we got.He has a felony on his record now. What an experience. I didnt want to go there. But at the same time, I sure didnt want this guy to get away with this.
So call the police. They will do an investigation. In our case, the police had a specific unit that only dealt with elder abuse. They were responsive and were able to stop the theft.

Beentheredonethat
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:44 AM
I don't know if I can get any access to any accounts. We discovered how bad the problem was getting when the one house was in our name, and my mom needed to borrow from it because she didn't have any money. (They should be bringing in about 7k a month in rent, ss, pensions.) Then she transfered it out of our name for "tax reasons." She swore my step-father's name wasn't on it--public records on the internet call him a trustee. I keep trying to get her to tell me all of the finances, but she won't.

They are both willingly giving the leech all of their money--they refuse to stop. Calling the police or the bank about them willingly giving a child their money is probably not going to work. I'm trying to document. I have a copy of the loan on the house. When we were cleaning the house, my sister took records of the massive credit card bills. My half-brother is going to print up the text message where the leech threatened to get him if he didn't stop telling her to stop taking all of their money.

Slewdledo
Mar. 19, 2012, 02:48 AM
They are both willingly giving the leech all of their money--they refuse to stop. Calling the police or the bank about them willingly giving a child their money is probably not going to work.

It might not stop things IMMEDIATELY, but it WILL get an unbiased party to take a look at what's going on. Even if they're doing it willingly, it's still wrong if they're not fully competent. Which few elderly people are.

Another case from my area just this week, in which some services WERE actually rendered.
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/mar/11/elderly-woman-in-bremerton-allegedly-bilked-of/

fooler
Mar. 19, 2012, 03:37 AM
It might not stop things IMMEDIATELY, but it WILL get an unbiased party to take a look at what's going on. Even if they're doing it willingly, it's still wrong if they're not fully competent. Which few elderly people are.

Another case from my area just this week, in which some services WERE actually rendered.
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/mar/11/elderly-woman-in-bremerton-allegedly-bilked-of/

Actually I know many "elderly" people who are fully competent and often mentally quicker than those around them.

However parents, of any age, can be blind to their offspring's faults or be so disparate to protect or save a child that they will forfeit their own well being. Have seen it in my family.

BTDT talk to adult protective services for some direction. Check with the bank, since you are not on the account they willbe unable to share much with you. However your inquiry should initiate internal research on their account. Also check with a lawyer to learn what rights you do or don't have now plus what debt you and your siblings may be
responsible after your parents' death.

JanM
Mar. 19, 2012, 08:10 AM
I doubt that anything but the estates will be responsible for the parents debts, after they're gone. And unless they are declared incompetent they can spend their money however they want to. I don't know how the transfer was done on the house, unless it wasn't legally filed in the property records-that is a question for a lawyer. It sounds like an awful situation, and I don't know that you or the rest of the family can legally do anything. Plus, after they're gone the executor will have a horrible time straightening this all out, and it looks like there won't be anything left but debts. It's sad that people are willing to manipulate and cheat people out of everything they earned.

Trakehner
Mar. 19, 2012, 08:18 AM
Nothing like a very late baby (your mom was 43 and your dad 60 when they had the OP's sister)...and didn't she take advantage of them.

But, they did raise her to be this way.

My middle brother never left home, hardly ever held a real job...he was "kept" by our father. When my father died, it turned out darling brother had stolen the house, lots of other property, big savings account etc. We all suspected elder abuse, but father always said, "No".

fooler
Mar. 19, 2012, 10:39 AM
JanM, we are getting a crash course in estates, PoA, and how people act around money since my step father's death. The law is not as clear as we would like, so I encourage folks to write and review their own wills and for adult children to work with their parents, as much as possible, to make certain they are safe and have their wills in order.
One of my SIL's just received a settlement from her late father's estate that was taken over by a Dr. That suit took close to ten years.

lwd
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:17 AM
Can you get to the mail???? If they owe this much and are spending as fast as they can. The mail will have answers to the questions you are asking. The trash may have the discarded bills. Sometimes you have to go in the back way to help. Do they have an accountant? Who is working the bank account?? Have a talk with the banker and let them know whats going on. It sounds as if your mom is just a passenger and will go along with what they say. They will be mad as hell at you but it sounds like it wont be long till the mortgage company comes knocking looking for their money. I so sorry!!!

JanM
Mar. 19, 2012, 03:15 PM
Some people also have revocable trusts that are supposed to protect assets like the house and money, but apparently they can be dismantled easily by the trust owners. It's sad to see someone take advantage of people the way the sister is, but it happens all of the time, and with the willing participation of the older ones too. It must be very hard to admit that your own child is taking you for everything they can get. I don't know how people live with themselves after taking advantage of someone like that.

Bicoastal
Mar. 19, 2012, 03:43 PM
We have a family member that is draining the parents dry, at 73 and 90. She has never worked, and at 30, they've always supported her in her lavish lifestyle. This has been years of trying to find the truth,...The sister is a sociopath and master manipulator that has them wrapped around her finger and everyone else is the bad guy.

Hugs from a child of 'sister.' I am so, so sorry. Your parents are probably 1) helping [code for enabling] sister as best they can, while they can 2) feel guilty for sister's problems 3) feel embarrassed by sister's problems and their resulting problems.

Someone must get power of attorney to halt sister's open access. She could very likely have an addiction that, with decades of parents' support, has been kept under wraps (many with personality/mental disorders self-medicate with drugs and alcohol).

RedMare01
Mar. 19, 2012, 10:48 PM
So sorry.

Just thinking out loud here, but isn't there a limit on how much money can be gifted to a person each year before taxes must be paid and everything claimed to the IRS? For some reason I'm thinking $11K a year?

Beentheredonethat
Mar. 19, 2012, 10:59 PM
Yeah, the parents are 100% responsible for making this monster. Had she been handled correctly, she would probably be a normal person. My mom is guilty and bows to who pressures her the most. The psycho does, and my step-father is such an arrogant egomaniac who just wants what he wants and screw everyone else, if you challenge him he starts yelling. My mom only recently admitted she's afraid of his yelling. My mom is guilty and embarrassed. My step-father is an arrogant prick. (This is the guy who left his (3 and 5 year old) children with the maid and the older sisters when his wife died to have fun carousing and dating.)

RedMare--Thanks. I don't think gifting applies here. They are giving her money, but they are paying for her condo in a very expensive area, her car, her insurance, her credit card bills, and everything else. So, technically, not gifting. Supposedly she has manic-depression, but I'm sure she's into a lot of things by now because episodes of "I took too many pills and feel funny" calling my mom when we get her away on holidays always conveniently happen to get the attention back to her.

Trakhener--We have a lot in common I have found. Yes, late baby. My mom was in her late 40's. My step father was almost 70 and had already failed six other kids.

Huntertwo
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:04 PM
Hugs from a child of 'sister.' I am so, so sorry. Your parents are probably 1) helping [code for enabling] sister as best they can, while they can 2) feel guilty for sister's problems 3) feel embarrassed by sister's problems and their resulting problems.

Someone must get power of attorney to halt sister's open access. She could very likely have an addiction that, with decades of parents' support, has been kept under wraps (many with personality/mental disorders self-medicate with drugs and alcohol).

But wouldn't the parent's of the OP have to give consent to set up a POA or whom is POA?

The sister could very well manipulate the parents to make her Power of Attorney.

I'd suggest bringing the parents to a Mental Health Clinic or bring an Assessor to the home.
Trained professionals can ask questions in the *right* way and hopefully find out exactly what and why this is happening.

With professional help, the parents may just open up, even unknowingly or in an indirect way, where they wouldn't with family.

We had an Hospital assessor on Aging come to my mom's apartment last week and through general questioning, he knew exactly that she needed more interaction.

Beentheredonethat
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:14 PM
Huntertwo--Ah, we do have common ground. Yes, we would have to get consent for POA, and I don't think that's going to happen. I don't think the psycho would get POA, but that's a possibility.

I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell of getting my mom, let alone step-father, into a mental health clinic. The only way I can see is bringing someone in like intervention. That will be bad, really bad. It would be bad enough with just my mom. With my step-father, unless someone tricked him, it would be a lot of uncomfortable. I hate the tricking part, but I think that's the only possibility.

Huntertwo
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:39 PM
Huntertwo--Ah, we do have common ground. Yes, we would have to get consent for POA, and I don't think that's going to happen. I don't think the psycho would get POA, but that's a possibility.

I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell of getting my mom, let alone step-father, into a mental health clinic. The only way I can see is bringing someone in like intervention. That will be bad, really bad. It would be bad enough with just my mom. With my step-father, unless someone tricked him, it would be a lot of uncomfortable. I hate the tricking part, but I think that's the only possibility.

Common ground indeed. It really is heartbreaking when the day comes and we have to become caregivers to our elderly parents. I guess most people never think about their parent's getting older until the day it hits.

Well, if tricking them is the only way to find out if there is physical abuse or mental abuse through manipulation, it is for their own good.

I knew my mom wouldn't easily go for an assessment, so my sister scheduled an appointment for him to come to her apartment. We didn't tell her until right before, so she didn't have a chance to make excuses or simply refuse to talk to him.

Again, being a professional and just through gentle general questioning, he was able to determine what her general needs were.

If he can determine if your mom has been physically abused by your sister - I'm not sure if it is a state by state law, or country wide. But I believe it is a felony to abuse anyone over the age of 65 or 70? Not sure of the exact age.

That alone would get rid of her for awhile or forbid her from being in their presence. Good luck....It's not going to be easy.