Can parents be harmful to themselves - vent

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A little background, last year my sister (who had moved into my parent's house with her husband and children) was told to leave by the Adult Protect Services, at the behest of my parent's attorney. They were not happy with the care she was providing, especially in lieu of the $6000/month fee she was charging (plus free rent, utilities etc). She was given an ultimatum to leave, and APS with the lawyer made sure to remove her access to any of my parent's finances, and cancel the Power of Attorney she had. After she was out, my father felt at ease to open up to me in more detail about my sister's plans to take possession of my parent's house, and to increase the monthly fee.

Since then my parent's lawyer organized for a professional financial services firm to take on my parent's power of attorney and help them out. They helped my parents sell their house and move into an independent living arrangement.

So last night I was talking to my father, and he says, "You know it's almost been a year since your sister left, and we still haven't heard from her." I pointed out that it had actually been over a year.
He said that he had been talking to the staff person from the professional financial services firm about this. She told my father that maybe he had to be the adult and make the first move. So he went ahead and wrote my sister a note and prepared a banker's check for $1000 to show her that he had no hard feelings.
"What are you hoping to come out of this," I asked him.
"I'd like to have a normal relationship with your sister, like I have with you, one that's not based on money."
"But that's exactly what you're doing," I said, "you're trying to get back into her good side with money."
"Well its an investment," he said.
"No this is more of an experiment," I said.
He started to present a new interpretation of events that had lead up to my sister's forced departure, that she was trully interested in my parent's welfare and lawyers had forced my sister to take large fees for caregiving.

I called the professional financial services firm to let them know how my father had taken initiative to restore contact with my sister, and they were surprised and shocked.

I was shocked too, and just felt like "Well, here we go again."
Has anyone else seen parents taken advantage by children, then let them do it again?


I don't have any experience with sort of situation, but im wondrring if your father isn't starting to develop some dementia. He's rewriting history.

Of course, as parents, we all want to think the best of our children. We don't want to believe the bad things that others are telling us. We want to look for the best possible light in which to see our kids.

I think you've done the right thing. You've called in the professional forces and alerted them. You might think about a cognitive evaluation for your dad. Does someone have guardianshio at this point?
Hi Babalou
Thanks for your comment.

Yes as a matter of fact, in the same call that I had with my parents about reconnecting with my sister, my father also shared that this past week he had a sleepwalking episode. He related that he had gone to sleep in his bed, then later that evening the staff at the independent living facility found him wandering the halls apparently in his sleep. They brought him back to his apartment, and he didn't recall any of this. As a result of this, the firm that holds their PoA made a doctor's appointment for my father to have him checked out. The doctor concluded that the medication that my father was taking induced sleepwalking and suggested he take the dosage in the morning.

Over the last few years, my father did experience various dementia episodes followed by black-outs about the experience. I witnessed one when I visited them in Feb 2013. Upon my arrival, he had no recognition of me, and just talked about taking the dry clothes out of the dryer. Later that night, he slept-walked around the house and found a bed in another room to sleep in. He woke up in the other bed and had no recollection of how he got there.

I shared this episode with the professional firm as well, and they said that they weren't aware of any history of dementia.
Is your father being seen by a neurologist? Has he been diagnosed with any sort of seizure disorder?
Sleepless, your father loves your sister. She is his daughter. She is still his daughter even if she has taken advantage of him financially. How is it a surprise, let alone a shock, to anyone that he wishes to re-establish contact with her?

Why not suggest that he writes to her but doesn't include the money? He could tell her what he told you about the kind of relationship he would like to have with her, for example. He might be setting himself up for a fall, given that I wouldn't bet on her responding, but at the worst it could be a useful fact-finding mission for him.
By the way, I don't find it impossible to imagine that the slimier type of lawyer and/or accountant would advise your sister to squirrel away as much as possible of your parents' assets. Very bad advice, obviously, and it's a pity she hadn't more sense than to take it if that's what she was told; but far from unbelievable that it happened. Moreover, you can like money *and* care about your parents: these are not mutually exclusive emotions, they're just mutually exclusive priorities - which is why the law correctly takes a dim view of people who prioritise the money. QED.
Hi Babalou, yes he is seeing a neurologist. While he has experience one full seizure and was hospitalized, I am not aware of a diagnosis of a seizure disorder. What my father explained to me was that he was prone to blood clotting that brought on 'mini strokes' (seizure?).

Hi Countrymouse, thanks for your observations. Yes I agree with your suggestion "Why not suggest that he writes to her but doesn't include the money? " however when he told me about his intent, he had already been to the bank and to the post office, so that action had already happened. Maybe everything will work out for the best.
I hope so, sleepless. It's heartbreaking all round, but hoping for the best... that she learns something, that he gets some comfort from it... what more can you do?

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