Parents are being stubborn and are leaving me with little to no other option.....

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Part 1-My dad is 77 and a retired person in medical field. My mom is 67 and worked as homemaker and at his office for his entire career. Dad has now been retired around 15 years, mom the same. Whatever he does, she does....... Very enmeshed, codependent marriage. My dad; the successful, educated, older man who met a young, beautiful, non educated, impressionable girl. A recipe for disaster. My father has always controlled my mom and me, frankly, with money and threats. Threats to take it away and in recent years to leave her with nothing in a divorce and cut us both out of a will - a will he just recently made in the form of just pen and paper in his current mental state (more on that below). This behavior has been going on my entire life, unfortunately I didn't understand it growing up. Now that I'm older I see that this kind of abuse, control, holding onto money as a way to control someone else's ( mom and I) behavior has been a problem all along. And at the core of it all is addiction. Alcohol and pain pill addiction that has plagued mom and dad their entire life. He with liquor and pain pills and her with Soma and Valium. Something they were great at hiding, but due to other problems in recent years such as dementia, financial exploitation and inability to self care, failing health, etc. they cannot fool people as easily as they used to, especially me!! So they have been living as hermits last few years. Only the cleaning lady knowing their daily activity and me knowing what they tell me. I live two hours away and work (job has me working some weekends) so I cant get to them to check on them. Not to mention my mom and I have a very strained relationship, that cleaning lady as taken full advantage of. You see, mom is so bitter and angry at my dad for his years of bullying and control, but is too scared to say anything, so I get the duty of being her whipping post (takes all that hurt out on me) and bc I'm now sticking up for myself, telling her like it is, she tells me to not come around so I haven't. So this is where we are - they've been financially exploited (see next paragraph) their mental and physical health is failing and due to me allowing my mother and I fighting and her telling me to not come around, I've allowed things to get this far out of hand.

This all started last week when my mother looked at a bank statement, from a bank my parents don't even use anymore but still have money in, and she saw quite a few withdrawals of money taken out of that account that was not made by her or my father or me for that matter. After a little more digging into things, and I'm just going on what she has told me, she found out that this woman has been taking money out of their bank account and using it to pay credit card bills utility bills and the like. She found this out on Wednesday, it is now Sunday and she and my father have yet to do anything about it!!!!! And mom told me on Thursday that Friday morning was when they were suppose to arrest her. Late Friday morning, something told me to call the sheriff office and so I did. And guess what?? They knew nothing about this situation. Called the bank and they said they too knew nothing. All they did with my mom via phone the day before was change her account number, saying mom never told them why she wanted it changed!!!!

My dad doesn't know what flipping month it is, neither of them bathe for weeks at a time, mom just informed me she has fallen approx 15 times in the past year, sometimes when I talk on the phone with them they are so out of it they don't know they are even on the phone. They have so much around the house they don't even know what they have. It is a thief's paradise. I tried to give them resources to help them clean up their house because it is a hoarders den, I've given them dates when I could come up and plans of which we could use to sort out all of the stuff room by room get rid of things throw stuff away things that they would need to keep etc. etc. and yet they still deny it and say that they don't need help. They are like "we're fine we don't need any help we are OK everything's fine". No everything is not fine!!!! It is far from it!! This situation with the cleaning lady taking money out of their bank account and using it to pay her bills her credit card bills for utility bills this has been the straw that has broken the camels back for me because I am done I cannot allow them to continue doing this. My dad thinks it is completely normal for him to not know what month it is because "hey I'm retired I don't have to know those things anymore or what do I need to take a shower for I'm not going to be seeing anyone today." Does that sound like a good excuse to you!!??? I just feel like my parents have now backed me into a corner and they leave me no other option but to start filing some kind of paperwork for a conservatorship or a guardianship of some sort. (cont on part 2 in answers section to this question) and thanks for reading


Part 2:
I, of course, will remove myself from even being the person who could be chosen as that because of course they're going to make it seem as though that all I care about is money and controlling them, when all I care about is their well-being. I don't want anybody taking advantage of them financially or otherwise. God only knows who has taken advantage of them prior to this and God only knows what else that woman has taken from them!! They sure can't bc how could they, when their Health is failing and they are high 99% of the time!!!

A couple of years ago I started recording all of our phone conversations. I have all of these recordings, every last one of them, which shows at times wacky drug like behavior, crazy comments, paranoid delusions, you name it I've got it on These recordings show the decline in their mental state. My parents have two other houses that are in the same area that I live in which is two hours away from where they are full-time, and on numerous occasions I have had to go over to these homes when utilities have come over to turn the utility back on because my mother had forgotten to pay bills on other occasions I've just found out that my mother had not pay property taxes on two of their homes and till just recently. On one of those homes that she had not paid property taxes on she had not paid them for 2 1/2 years. I feel like I have more than enough information that would be something I could use to show the courts that there is a problem here and that they can no longer care for themselves.

I have no other options other than turning this over to the courts, right? I've asked them to allow me to help or turn things over to me to help them and they won't even hear of it!!! Say that if I ever take it upon myself to put my nose where it doesn't belong, they will never speak to me again and they say they will sue me!!!! WTF???
Anyone deal with parents this out of their minds, stubborn and paranoid to boot? Do I have any other recourse I haven't thought of???? I'm at my wits end. Thanks for reading.
I think what you want to do is call Adult Protective Services and report that they are vulnerable adults who are being financially exploited.

Others may have different solutions.
More than enough information to file for guardianship... are you sure you have? How much of this have you got down on paper?

I'd want advice from two people - APS about how to get an assessment of their living situation, and a good specialist lawyer about next steps to take.

Do you ever speak to the cleaner yourself? Have you ever been on friendly terms with her?
I have pics of their home condition, there is city records of late (as in 2.5 yrs late on property taxes on main and a third house and water being shut off at the second and third house bc they forgot to pay the bill). My mother was aware she hadn't paid the property taxes October of 2016 bc she called me all frantic, but just paid it the other day (a year and two months of her first discovery of it) when she made the discovery of the cleaning lady stealing. And, no, I've never had a relationship with this woman, cleaning lady. Why? Bc she is an ex drug addict who has worked my parents and been everything they have needed bc I haven't been there. She took full advantage of that, exploited it and has known my concerns bc I did send her numerous texts to please let me know how they are doing (back in the spring once I got her full name and cell number) and she never told them I was checking on them thru her nor did she ever return my 14 texts over 3 months or answer or return my 6 calls I made to her during that time. Why should she?? She has her meal ticket and revealing anything to them or me could and would disturb that. Of course, last week as revealed my hunch has been on the money this entire time. Im not going to let this slide. Im going to make sure she is prosecuted fully for this, financial exploitation.

My parents are well off, but are going to lose everything if they don't let someone step in and guide them in the right direction. How many people do you know, elderly people, upsize their way of living as they age?? My parents have their home (the one I grew up in/their main house which is on a huge piece of land and the house is 2000sq ft) and a second house they have had since 1996 (its in the town im in 3 hours away and is about 2800 sq ft). And they just bought in February of 2013 a million dollar farm that is 8000 sq ft not 20 miles from house number two!!!!! These people never have company, both are severely arthritic and complain they can't care for the house they live in full time!!! Who, in that shape, buys a 8000sq ft house, making all these elaborate plans about "when we feel a little better we will get these first two sold and then just move everything into the new big house". The fantasyland thinking drives me crazy. I try and tell them, lets think one thing at a time but they just pop a Valium or three and then there is no talking to them. By the time I get up the nerve (or have calmed down from anger) to call them again, some new issue has come up. I'm just at my wits end. Thanks for reading and for your input.
Mn. In particular, before you start levelling accusations at anyone carefully evaluate the information you have.

Late taxes and so on, fine, you've got the demands to prove it. But how do you know what you know about a woman you've had virtually no direct contact with? For the cleaner to have paid her own credit card and utilities bills from your parents' bank account, "someone" must have given her access to it and authorised the payments - unless you're alleging identity theft/fraud/forgery as well. I'm not saying it's impossible - sadly, perhaps it's not even unlikely - that financial exploitation has gone on, but be careful what you allege in public until you have independently verifiable evidence.

I can only imagine the frustration and anger you must feel. Perhaps the best plan is the one you first thought of, to make an application for guardianship to be awarded to an independent court appointee. But do get legal advice, and do think carefully about a) what you're afraid of happening; b) what you would like to happen; and c) what you think your parents would like to happen. It's a heck of a can of worms you've got, there.

Also. I'm not sure that even getting it in hand would heal all the anger, would it? Still. Got to start somewhere.
How do you know the housekeeper paid her credit card bill and utilities? That’s pretty specific information regarding someone whom you have no contact with.

I’m not doubting you - at all - so please don’t think that. What I’m wondering instead- is if your parents “willingly” gave her the money. 

It wouldn’t be the the first time a compromised senior was conned out of money - by someone they have become dependent on in order for them to continue to live their delusions of being “independent”.

From what you’ve described it sounds like the housekeeper outed your concerns in a way that made you the enemy and she the protective ally.

Does this make your parents incompetent in the eyes of the law - along with the other errors your parents have made in paying bills on time - or does it just make them unorganized and forgetful - along with being guilty of making very poor choices? In our society, when it comes to mental health and constitutionally protects rights of personal freedom- one plus one does not always equal two.

So - what now? Sitting back and letting the chit hit the fan doesn’t seem to be a good idea nor one you’re willing to do, anyhow. So, again - now what?

Getting involved is gonna piss off the folks - you know that already. So it seems to boil down to just how far you’re willing to piss them off. Especially, when it comes to addicts - they can get really nasty if their little habit becomes threatened.

Calling APS seems to be a good first step. But what if they conclude the only problem is your parents are making poor choices? And btw - your parents will know you’re the whistle blower.

Next stop? An attorney specializing in elder care and guardianship? Know that your parents will likely fight you on this - making the process very - very, drawn out in time and very - very, expensive. Do know that if you do succeed you can be reimbursed from your parents funds. If you fail - you’re gonna be out a crap-load of money. I did want to add that your recordings of the phone conversations will probably be inadmissible in court. It is illegal to record conversations without the other party’s knowledge.

So - there are no easy answers. But it seems there never are when it comes to trying to do what’s best for resisting elders struggling with dementia, failing physical health and - addiction.

I wish you the best of luck - and as author Stephen Covey says “Begin with the end in mind”. It is a mantra that will serve you well.

Well the credit cards are ones my parents don't use (meaning they don't have cards from those banks) and just so happens the motel she has been living at for last six months (she had told my mom the name of it when she first started living there) is owned by our old neighbor from when I was very small child. She (mom and I called to confirm) called him and got him to tell her bank name of her (cleaning lady) credit card. It matches the credit card name taking funds out of their account. And utilities aren't from their (parents or my) home(s).  How did cleaning lady get the acct info? She got the account information when my mom stupidly gave her a check to take to bank to deposit into that account over a year ago. She used deposit slip to get info. She never thought this girl would take down the account number and routing number and the correct writing of name and address etc..  When you pay cc bill online, most cc co. only ask for acct and routing number. Utilities do the same. I'm sure she makes cash advances on those cards too. 

After I posted first messages this morning, mom called thinking she may have had a stroke. I am three hours away so I called 911. After they ran tests all day, according to call I just got from doc, mom has had a stroke and she may have clot in brain. I stayed here thinking they would for sure transport her to where I am bc this is closest "city" and they live in rural small town. Now I have to wait till morning to go back there. I don't see well at night, the road is a country road and dangerous most of the way and I've spoken to her and she says she feels better now that she is "out of that filthy house". I just hope this situation will help get me the right resources and help me get the right people to help me get her to listen to reason. I wish the circumstances were different, but I pray she can see now the severity of things and will let us get the care for her she needs!!! My dad is another story.

If you pray, say one for our family. I appreciate all the advice on here. It's nice to have a place to vent. I've been holding all this in for so long..... can't be good for my health either:((
And my state is a one party state when it comes to recording calls. I have two good friends from college who are attorneys. They don't deal in elder care but they do know that piece of info regarding calls. And the only reason I record them is bc they claim I'm always lying when I say they told me this or that info during other conversations. I keep as proof for that and for my own sanity - feeling gaslit (is that a word?)/gaslighting.

I've been researching all this for a long time, I have just dreaded doing the obvious. Unfortunately and somewhat fortunately my mother having this stroke has forced them out of their cocoon and seems like the nurses and doctor are seeing what I've been saying all along. When my parents go to their doctor appointments, they are prepared and can put on an act. Today, there was no time to prep so they got to see mom and dad how I see them everyday. Please don't think I'm being insensitive to this. I just knew the only way I was going to get things moving would be when someone ended up in the ER. I read that in another post in here somewhere over the weekend.
At; Yes, many folks are waiting for a disaster to happen to their parents that forces change. It's not like one says "hip hip hooray" or anything. It just means that professional forces get involved.

Can you drive to where mom is tomorrow? You need to talk to the discharge planning folks (don't let anyone tell you "oh, it's too soon to talk about that". Tell them that you are there for ONE DAY ONLY and have THE TALK. Tell them EVERYTHING about your parents' living conditions and mental state. Tell them that sending mom home to be cared for by dad is an "unsafe discharge". Repeat that phrase often.

Is dad home alone? Is he okay by himself? Think about calling for a wellness check for him.
Thank you for that info, for both of them. Yes, I'm going there tomorrow, but have dear friend from high school days who is SW and she is getting this all going before I get there as well as dad check at home tonight. He'll be mad he is being checked in on, but the great thing about this short term memory loss is he usually isn't mad for long! 😜 Gotta laugh when I can.
Thanks again

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