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Old 08-26-2011, 04:16 AM   #1
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Question Legally Blind

Good Morning~

For those of you who have followed my struggles with the care for my DM and her husband, I write wondering what it is I can do legally to help her. Since she is married, I am not next of kin yet I worry about her well being. As I have stated, there have been several violent outbursts toward her from her husband, more recently verbally abusive.

I usually leave their home on a Friday and return on a Monday morning, mother seems to deteriorate over the weekend with very low spirits, quiet, pale. Upon talking with her and her husband in tiny increments, usually finding out something had gotten lost and he winds up tearing the place apart looking for trivial items (a clock key, her MTA card, a CD from a friend) which always send her into a "I'm so stupid" mode with crying spells. It is tearing me apart.

I've tried talking with the husband by reminding him that she will always lose things now, even hide things as well as the fact that she will get worse, never better. He became belligerent and basically told me to mind my own business. When I gently advised him to allow her her illness, to not react so nastily and to let her just be, he again claimed my advice was the most stupid he had heard, that when she keeps stepping on his toes, eventually he will lash out. He also simply refuses to look into care for her when the time comes claiming that "they will take him for all he has" and it's ridiculous that he even considers 2600 per month (I know it costs far more). His aging 92 year old mother is treated equally harsh, still in her own home but he refuses to allow her money to be spent on home care/assisted living. I remind you this man is very wealthy.

My question. Is there anything legally I can do? He will not grant POA (medical) of her to me and still continues to drive me from their home. It is a daily battle (mostly mind games as well as turning the A/C off, not allowing me to use laundry facilities, not allowing certain foods to be eaten, etc.)

Should I seek the advice of an attorney? And what is to become of the inheritance HER mother left her? (although mere pennies, it is still
HERS!)

Sincerely...

 
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:20 AM   #2
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Re: Legally Blind

I think if it were my mom I would consult an attorney or an elderly care advocate in your city or State that could help you with this situation. He thinks he is in complete control but we may be abusing her while you are gone and that is not right for her or for you. Maybe there is a way you can protect her from him. Best wishes.

 
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: Legally Blind

Oh My this does get complicated, doesn't it? I have been advised that perhaps I do not become her POA or guardian as then the financial responsibility falls on my assets which are greatly limited and that her husband would not be required to pay any costs.

I think I do need to seek legal advice.

 
Old 08-26-2011, 07:10 AM   #4
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Re: Legally Blind

Quote:
Originally Posted by RttlsnakeAnnie View Post
Oh My this does get complicated, doesn't it? I have been advised that perhaps I do not become her POA or guardian as then the financial responsibility falls on my assets which are greatly limited and that her husband would not be required to pay any costs.

I think I do need to seek legal advice.
Being a POA does not require that you use your money. A guardian maybe.
A POA helps her to deal with her money only. However, if the husband gets mad at this POA, he may withdraw his money and help. So it is difficult for you and you may not be able to do that.
However, if the social service or the attorney finds him abusive, you have every right to be her POA because you are her daughter. Blood family means a lot in terms of POA. You have the right after the husband.

It seems you cannot even show him any professional books regarding Alzheimer's caregiving as well. Try to show him the professional's advice if he does not listen to yours. In this case, this husband does have some issues about his violence. Maybe he has dementia too!? More likely he is selfish.

The problem is the husband now. So please do ask legal advice.

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 08-26-2011 at 07:14 AM.

 
Old 08-26-2011, 07:38 AM   #5
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Re: Legally Blind

Annie, you truly have two separate issues here. The POA is a legal document that gives you permission to handle her affairs. No, that does not make you financially responsible. It just allows you to act on her behalf. There is nothing that requires hubby to have a will which includes his wife (only effective after he dies). But there are some requirements to pay for necessary care if they have joint/marital assets. There are some men that think of it as "mine" when in fact it is "ours". In most states (without a prenup) Mom is entitled to half. All that is dependent on state law and you will need a good lawyer if he refuses to help Mom.

The other issue is the physical/emotional abuse and neglect of her. If you believe there is abuse of neglect, and you are not able to make a significant difference, they perhaps you need to report the situation to the proper authorities. In most states there is an elder omnibus or agency which takes such complaints, investigates, and acts on behalf of the person being mistreated. It is a big step to call in outside investigation but if her hubby doesn't give Mom what she needs then it is necessary. They do not act on what might be in the future but what is in the moment. The can not make him plan for your mom's future or deal with something tomorrow... but they can deal with what is going on in the house at the moment and what is best for your Mom at this time.

Since there are two separate issues here it is difficult to deal with so find out what Mom's rights are financially, what you part might be in all this, and what you can do to help your Mom. You also need to know what impact your options to have Mom's care investigated will have. More than the money you need to assure that Mom has the proper care. If the situation become physically abusive, Mom needs to be out of there and let the money situation work itself out.

Love, deb

 
Old 08-26-2011, 08:45 AM   #6
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Re: Legally Blind

I'm blushing at the thought that any would think I would ever allow my DM to continue in an environment which is dangerous for her.

There are a lot of facts to consider.

An example: I heard loud banging downstairs, just a few minutes ago. I went down and mother was angrily and frantically moving the sofa, vacuuming and dusting, all with a pitiful look on her face. I became angry. She claimed her husband said she never cleans good enough (her constant mantra that she is never good enough) so she started doing just that.

I truly believe what happened was: He probably mentioned it could be cleaned (it really is pretty clean, but he likes things a certain way) and she began engaging. She felt resentment because she wanted to play the guitar and then felt self pity, also tattling on him. She did just fine cleaning, was done in about 15 minutes and I think it was actually good for her.

This does not excuse his other outrageous behavior previous described. The other morning he slammed cabinets to ensure she woke up and then complained that she had kept him up all night.

I just don't know as many of these incidents occur out of my sight. I check her for bruising and well being each Monday I return, yet how accurate are her stories?

***Just got back from searching AGAIN. Seems she supposedly misplaced 200 dollars, well, after starting to tear the house apart AGAIN, FINALLY it was found, in her wallet, after an hour, safe and sound. To me, she should not be given any large sums of money but she insists on going to the bank (her account) with her husband and withdrawing at least a hundred dollars.***

This is just a crazy house. I think I need more assessing before I truly make any major moves but will still seek the advice of an attorney.

 
Old 08-26-2011, 08:58 AM   #7
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Re: Legally Blind

Quote:
Originally Posted by RttlsnakeAnnie View Post
I'm blushing at the thought that any would think I would ever allow my DM to continue in an environment which is dangerous for her.

There are a lot of facts to consider.

An example: I heard loud banging downstairs, just a few minutes ago. I went down and mother was angrily and frantically moving the sofa, vacuuming and dusting, all with a pitiful look on her face. I became angry. She claimed her husband said she never cleans good enough (her constant mantra that she is never good enough) so she started doing just that.

I truly believe what happened was: He probably mentioned it could be cleaned (it really is pretty clean, but he likes things a certain way) and she began engaging. She felt resentment because she wanted to play the guitar and then felt self pity, also tattling on him. She did just fine cleaning, was done in about 15 minutes and I think it was actually good for her.

This does not excuse his other outrageous behavior previous described. The other morning he slammed cabinets to ensure she woke up and then complained that she had kept him up all night.

I just don't know as many of these incidents occur out of my sight. I check her for bruising and well being each Monday I return, yet how accurate are her stories?

***Just got back from searching AGAIN. Seems she supposedly misplaced 200 dollars, well, after starting to tear the house apart AGAIN, FINALLY it was found, in her wallet, after an hour, safe and sound. To me, she should not be given any large sums of money but she insists on going to the bank (her account) with her husband and withdrawing at least a hundred dollars.***

This is just a crazy house. I think I need more assessing before I truly make any major moves but will still seek the advice of an attorney.
Annie,

Please don't feel bad about your situation. It is the husband's fault. It is hard for you so please don't feel guilty. We are just saying what you could do if you want to help her. I certainly understand it is difficult. The problem is you have no way of knowing what the husband could do. If he has some political power depending on his job, he may be able to override what the police or authority says to him.
You cannot force your Mom to separate from him, so the issue about dividing the money is not easy to come by either...
I think you really should find out how far he would go to keep your Mom as his wife and abuse her like that.

I don't think you need more evidence about how she was abused or not. The fact that he scared her with violence is bad enough. It only can make her decline with her dementia. I am amazed she can still vaccum so it sounds like early moderate stage. She just needs to be told to wash her hands and etc.

It is true the patient would lie or tell you some twisted stories, but you saw the violence the husband did.... It is scary for her. Even the things he did to you... Not normal and it is not nice...

I think you do have to help her to get out of this situation but try to find out what you can do to protect yourself and your Mom. Do you have other family members?

Take care,
Nina

 
Old 08-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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Re: Legally Blind

Unfortunately you are right smack dab in the middle of this disease. I do remember all you ae talking about well. It was frustrating and maddening.
My step dad was not abusive but he was beligerant if any of us (her kids) suggested another way of treating her. Though we loved him we were lucky he died so we could take over her care. I can't even imagine what it would have been like if he had lived. This is bad enough without dealing with know it alls who actually don't know it all!

If your step dad thinks this phase is bad ...just wait. He has a surprise coming his way.

You have no "rights' at the moment where she is concerned. So, at most, you can spend your time sheltering her the best you can. When she has outbursts do your best to help in any way possible...console her, agree with her...help her move the couch...tell her how valuable she is...reassure her. Compliment her. Hug her if she will allow it...love her. Maybe you can balance out his bluster with kindness.

He will not change. You will have to work around him.

Good luck. You will need it!!

Love, Meg

 
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:16 AM   #9
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Re: Legally Blind

Mother's sister, my Aunt, (6 years my senior) currently cares for her FIL with Stage 6 AD in her home. We did take them both (FIL and DM) to lunch one day which gave us all a wonderful reprieve.

My older brother has passed and my second oldest works 7 days a week with no real visiting nor care, so the answer is no, just me and her husband. Most of her friends have long moved on, occasional call (once per year perhaps) but visits have stopped.

And yes, she can vacuum, but can't make a salad. I think the vacuuming is more out of "routine" (something I was told which was very very important to AD patients) whereas she stopped cooking long ago preferring subs. Since I have been here I do all of the cooking daily. She also washes dishes but fails to shower, using furniture polish as hair spray and the such. It's all a bit of a jumble right now. Still thinks I am her step daughter and asks weekly whose house this is, etc. etc......

 
Old 08-26-2011, 09:26 AM   #10
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Re: Legally Blind

Quote:
Originally Posted by meg1230 View Post
Unfortunately you are right smack dab in the middle of this disease. I do remember all you ae talking about well. It was frustrating and maddening.
My step dad was not abusive but he was beligerant if any of us (her kids) suggested another way of treating her. Though we loved him we were lucky he died so we could take over her care. I can't even imagine what it would have been like if he had lived. This is bad enough without dealing with know it alls who actually don't know it all!

If your step dad thinks this phase is bad ...just wait. He has a surprise coming his way.

You have no "rights' at the moment where she is concerned. So, at most, you can spend your time sheltering her the best you can. When she has outbursts do your best to help in any way possible...console her, agree with her...help her move the couch...tell her how valuable she is...reassure her. Compliment her. Hug her if she will allow it...love her. Maybe you can balance out his bluster with kindness.

He will not change. You will have to work around him.

Good luck. You will need it!!

Love, Meg
This is exactly how I feel! After reading in here and following the advice from all of you about "making her world as pleasant as possible" it has changed ME. I tell her how smart she must have to be to work with the FBI versus saying, mother, you never did that. When she is upset, I allow her a pity party but always wind up making her laugh. Even when she sprayed her hair with furniture polish, we nearly fell on the floor laughing because "she didn't have her glasses on to read the can" instead of scolding her because she had no clue the difference. It also was a good way to get her into the shower. I also try to show compassion to the husband although he IS a know it all, always has been and no he will never change, so I figure if I ease his world a bit, less acting out on his part.

Thank you for understanding. BUT, she will be promptly removed if I find her frightened again.

Oh, and I certainly did help her move the couch and other furniture, we worked together and finished. I resent always getting caught up in his obsessiveness yet remember it is for my mom.

Last edited by travelgrl; 08-26-2011 at 10:02 AM.

 
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