1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

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Family taking advantage of Alzheimer's snuffer's

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Remember_me, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Remember_me

    Remember_me Registered User

    Sep 28, 2006
    10
    London W9
    I am my mothers caterer. Mother was taken into hospital. When I brought Mother home I found that my sister had taken two top of the range sewing machines worth £2,000 from the house. This is because my sister says mother has asked here to look after them. Mother of course can't remember what she said and my sister says she won't bring them back. Has anyone else had a similar problem and what did they do about it?
     
  2. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    I am trying to be very cool about it but one of my kids is trying the same sort of game... It appears to be an illness that brings out the best and the worst of the family members...

    Very very odd and not very attractive.
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    I would suggest the Elder Abuse hot line - they could tell you what your legal options are. On the face of it, what has been done is theft, although obviously reporting it as such would cause problems that may be far in excess of the value of these machines.

    http://www.elderabuse.org.uk/Mainpages/Helpline.htm

    Jennifer
    PS Michael is right - dementia is all it's forms can bring out the good and bad in a lot of people.
     
  4. Remember_me

    Remember_me Registered User

    Sep 28, 2006
    10
    London W9
    Sun Tzu

    I think it was Sun Tzu in his book 'The Art of War' who said to 'crush your enemies completely'. So reporting it as a theft is the way to go but the collateral damage would be very high.

    I think I'll get Mother to write requesting the return of the machines and say that as I spend all my time with her my sister should OK anything with me or else it will be theft. I'll contact "Action on Elder Abuse" first but I'm still very interested in any other suggestions or solutions. Change the locks maybe?
     
  5. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Do you have an EPA in place? Has it been registered?

    As an attorney you can make decisions to give things away as well as the sufferer but once registered the power of "giving" will be taken away from the sufferer as they are deemed to no longer have the mental capacity.

    If the machines have been taken in these circumtances then I would think it is theft and therefore a letter saying so may be enough to rattle them a bit.

    It is difficult when you are worried about upsetting the apple cart but if they are hard faced enough to have taken advantage in the first place are they really going to be hurt?
     
  6. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    I cannot offer any solutions but can only say we faced a similar situation with my brother. It is devastating to find that someone could actually take advantage of a situation like this - and even harder to understand in a sibling or child of your own. I can only say you have my depest sympathy. I think a letter (perhaps written by a lawyer??) to say that removal amounts to theft when your mother is unable to verify her request might do the trick . . . .??? Many years ago I was involved in a situation with a shady work colleague and a solicitor's letter (requesting the person return the object or legal action would need to be taken) did the trick. I realise it is much more difficult when it invoves family - you may prefer to try less direct methods first. Best of luck. Nell
     
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Hmmmmmmm... a few different things here ..... sorry you're in this situation, Remember Me, but thanks for bringing this up .....

    That you have thought to change the locks suggests your relationship with your sister is not ideal ..... so this thinking may not be of any use ..... however, for what it's worth .... how about applauding her for being so thoughtful as to take care of certain valuables whilst your mother was in hospital? (presumably leaving the property unoccupied (?), which then allows you to raise the matter on a practical level like insurance issues .... specific high value items etc) ... and perhaps you ought to consider some kind of informal 'inventory' ... ????

    Perhaps sometimes the way to 'crush your enemy' is to refuse to fight - floors them completely!!!!!

    Kriss, thank you - I had never thought of EPA as extending to 'giving away' of anything other than 'cash' assets ..... I know I have already 'rescued' some items for safekeeping (like mum's wedding album I discovered just in time she was quite happy to donate to her bin!!!:eek: ) when I realised her generosity had lost all concept of boundaries .... (as too her lack of understanding of 'sentimental value' it seems).

    One other thought .... my mum has lots of 'knick-knacks' - most of them not particualrly valuable - but over the years she has always made it clear who gave them to her/who she would want to have them when she could no longer enjoy them ... a bit morbid in her thinking perhaps ... but it helps me now have a sense of 'doing right by her' whenever that time comes...... and I would be able to challenge anyone who saw otherwise - with conviction - on the grounds it is what my mother (rather than just me) would decide or want ......

    Good luck, Remember Me... hope some of that ramble helps ..... let us know how it goes...

    Love, Karen, x
     
  8. Remember_me

    Remember_me Registered User

    Sep 28, 2006
    10
    London W9
    Thank's for all your suggestions.

    Thank's for all your suggestions.

    I think the inventory is the way to go. A letter from my mother to my sister and my brother including a list of items (and values) we have 'in safe keeping' for mother will formalise the situation without making things worse.
     
  9. sein

    sein Registered User

    Jan 21, 2007
    2
    New Milton Hants
    Had a similar dilemna

    My pensioner parents lived in an extension attached to our house. My Mum has had AD for many years and we have been quite lucky in a way it hasn't taken hold as quickly as some. My Dad cared for my Mum for a long time and refused outside help.I told Dad I could not give up work to help with caring for Mum 24 hours a day but would always there if they really needed me. (Both of our children were in further education which we were supporting).One of my sisters who didn't work offered to be Carer for Mum so things were OK. Then Dad suffered a 3rd stroke which was very severe and was rushed into hospital. We were offered respite care for 6 weeks for Mum. At this point we had to disclose all their finances to see if they had to pay for Mums care. We could not find a bank book. To cut a long story short - my sisters husband had withdrawn all their savings(£5,500) over a period of time and had left them virtually penniless.
    We were in shock. We all were so close as a family. How could anyone do something like this to such vunerable people?
    I am one of four so after discussions with my brother and other sister we all decided that Dad should decide what should happen. Without his money he would not be able to get any aids to help him recover from this stroke. He was told the bank would return their money if he reported it to the Police. In the meantime my huband and my brother got joint POA for both of my parents.
    Dad decided the Police had to be informed and the whole process went ahead.
    Things do not always go as you get told they will.
    In the end my brother in law was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment. His reason for the theft was gambling addiction - my sister stayed with him which was up to her.
    Everything was ok until he came out on a tag after I think was 3 weeks. Things turned nasty and he held a grudge against my husband and me for getting him locked up.(Although everyone agreed with Dad this was the right thing to do).
    Mum continued in residential care and Dad unfortuneately had to go into nursing care. Most of my family do not bother to see either of them now.And apart from me, my husband, my kids and one other we are the only visitors they have each week.
    My family has been torn apart by this.
    Neither Mum or Dad did anything wrong!
    Would I change what we did?
    I dont think I would because I now see my family for who they really are.
     
  10. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Sein,
    Welcome to TP, and thank you for sharing your story - it is so sad how your family has been torn apart. How are your parents?
    Love Helen
     
  11. sein

    sein Registered User

    Jan 21, 2007
    2
    New Milton Hants
    Hi Helen
    Thanks for asking about my parents.
    Dad has his ups and downs. He gets very depressed and finds it very difficult to cope with his disabilities. He was very able bodied before this stroke and had had a hip replacement done about a year previous to all this.The stroke he suffered has left him completely paralysed down the left hand side.He has also loss some of his sight but he will not say how much. He has always believed he will get better and return home but he will not recover from this stroke. We have left him believing he might get better as a hope for his future. He doesn't understand why he doesn't get visitors, and I find it hard to explain,as I too do not understand how my family can ignore him like they do. How would they like to be confined to a bed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with hardly anyone to talk to?
    Mum is very content where she is. She lives in her happy world where everyone is nice. She has even less visits from her family. They have been telling people there is no point in visiting as she wouldn't know who they are anyway. They are so wrong.
    At Christmas our neigbour took her out in her car and they passed my sister. Mum said" Oh look! There's Linda".
    Mum still knows me, my husband and Kids very well and we make sure we see her and take her out at least once a week. The AD is taking hold and we can see the changes in her but she is still there deep inside.
    Something that I have realised from all that has happened is that life is short and you do need to do things that you really want to do before it is too late. I have told my family if I get AD that I do not want them to look after me at home but to put me in care and get on with their own lives. All I would want is the regular visits to say hello.
     

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