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Open Discussions About Abuse of the Elderly.


Postby NorasMom » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:53 am

At the start of what became an ugly divorce, my kids and I moved in with my grandmother at our relatives' request. She couldn't live alone, wasn't ready for a nursing home, and they refused to hire a stranger to live with her.

They promised us every financial incentive you can think of, short of paying us, along with the guarantee that all physical and financial needs would be met for keeping my grandmother's house running as well as help getting back on our feet and moving out (at which point my grandmother would go straight to a nursing home).

Unfortunately, they've robbed us all blind. They have POA over my grandmother and control her money to the point that she gets $100/month for groceries, just enough in the bank to cover basic utilities, and nothing for repairs or upkeep on her old house. My income is extremely limited, and it's been a struggle just to buy food for everybody. They visit when my grandmother is home alone and walk off with anything that catches their eye. I had to eventually put key locks on our bedroom doors because of their continuous theft. They've even taken food out of the refrigerator!

In spite of spending thousands of unnecessary dollars on clothes and other necessities that they've taken, we're saving money to get a place of our own. But what happens to my grandmother then?

They turn her furnace down when they walk in the house and have convinced her that she can't afford to buy heating oil. They left her sitting in the unheated house for 6 hours one day, telling me afterwards that "it didn't hurt her because she keeps the house too warm anyway." They've told her that the electric will be shut off it's paid one day late and that she's going to lose her phone service because they're disputing one call. They complain about how much she buys at the grocery store. We were without water for a week because they wouldn't fix the pump on the well until they found out that insurance would cover most of it.

My grandfather left a small fortune when he died. Before we moved in, they'd assured us that my grandmother had enough to support everyone if we chose to live off her. We never had that chance, because they took everything. Her monthly income is greater than what my ex and I made together, but they have her convinced that there's barely enough to cover basic utilities.

She was showing signs of dementia for several years before my grandfather died. She is, naturally, getting worse, but the relatives egg her on to do whatever she wants. Complicating matters is that she and at least 3 of her daughters are Narcissists. This means that when I caution her about being outside at midnight, in January, in 6" of snow and single-digit temperatures, they then scream at me that it's none of my business and she can do whatever she wants. Did I mention that she's 87 and has had balance and coordination problems for 30 years?

Anyway, it's an ugly living situation, we can't get out yet, and it's become obvious from their actions that they're trying hard to keep us here so they can scoop up more of her money. If we move out, her income will go to a home and they'll lose their inheritance. I'm appalled by their laughter when I say that she's setting off the smoke detector 3 times per meal or having near-misses with cars on the road because she insists on checking the mailbox several times but can't see or hear the cars coming. What's going to happen to her?

I've contacted attorneys, but until she revokes the POA, there's nothing anyone can do. I don't have the money to hire one on her behalf. The local Office of Aging has told me there's nothing they can do for her because her income's too great(?).
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Postby SmallTalkRed » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:21 pm


Sometimes to save yourself respect, you have to step away from those that you love. It is called survival and no sometimes it isn't pretty.
I wish you the best.
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Re: grandmother

Postby Jim in Texas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:41 pm

If your relatives are making more money by your providing her with elderly care services than they would make without your being there. you would seem to have an advantage you could use to get a re-negotiation of your agreement with them. You might consider writing up a list of terms for them to agree with if they don't want to pay for her to be in a nursing home without your services. In any case you should definitely look ahead to finding something else to do in your future because she is not going to live forever after all. There are probably a lot of senior citizens in your area who would value having you and kids stay with them someday you should be making contact with, the elderly people among your grandmother's friends for example.
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