I'm really wondering if describing all I have learned through my experience would help others?

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I have been asked to consider writing a book. Over the past 5 yrs. I have learned the hard way how best to pursue a resolution to the financial exploitation of my parents (both with Alzheimer's) by my brother, their POA. Would the dozens of things I learned help others


What did you learn? I am in the eleventh month of estrangement from my 93 year old parents due to the 'relationship poisoning' by my brother and his wife of my parents in order to facilitate 'the diverting of their assets by making Will changes", and further exploiting them to extract a large sum of money from them, and, inexplicably, all this was done behind my back two years before the truth came out! Lovely!

11 months on, and a nervous breakdown behind me, I am still 'smarting' from the betrayal; the backstabbing; the lies from my own father as he sought to fob me off with gibberish about the reason they were no longer leaving me their house in their Wills (after 20 years of this being in their Wills). The humiliation and ridicule as they handed over control of their house, assets and their lives to my brother and his evil wife, and didn't even see fit to make me an executor of their Wills!

I would love to know the outcome of your experience, because, my saga continues! My parents have been isolated from half their family (me, husband and daughter) and they are old, and frail, and suffering, but......do nothing, other than try to buy my husband and their granddaughter with birthday cheques.

I say they have dementia, but apparently, my aunt thinks they are full compos mentis! I say, that if that is the case, how many other 'normal' people out there try to incite their own offspring to commit violence against each other by such insane actions as they have carried out? How many other 'normal' people in their 90's try to 'get rid' of their only daughter at the very end stages of their lives? The mind boggles!

As I say, I am still smarting, but wisely walked away rather than return for more abuse and humiliation! However, I still feel for my poor mother...........???
I would say yes. But make sure that whatever you write, that no one can use against you in a court of law. Maybe make it as a biography. I'd research on how to protect yourself. Other than that, don't use actual names (so that they can't sue you). One never knows how relatives would react.
Yes, yes, yes.
Any experience and how you coped with difficult situations is helpful to others..
Book's advice is also essential to follow. Sis & BIL will stop at nothing if it has dollar signs attached.
W2T, How were you contacted about writing the book? Do you know who made the offer? Just be careful, it should not cost you anything to write the book. And if it is an above board proposition, it should not cost you anything to publish either.

I am sure it is very exciting, just be careful.
Fortunately, my husband has published several books (with 2 different publishers). His last book was nonfiction and a historical account of a wrongful incarceration in our community. I did the first proofing before it went to the editor so am very conscious of being legally vigilant. The editor of his last book is the one who asked me to consider writing about all the things that, when first faced with the realization that a parent (or parents )are being financially exploited the family member who has made the discovery can do to both move toward resolving the crisis and protecting their parents from further loss. Because the person exploiting our parents was my brother, it took almost an entire, frustrating year to convince anyone in a position to help that this was not sibling rivalry.....even with documented evidence. I live in a state where the statutes addressing elder financial abuse would not be considered a deterrent to a POA or an individual with access to their assets who decide to use their position and the illness of the elders to profit personally. Both the Financial Crimes Division of the local police department as well as the district attorney were very quick to inform me that this was a family, civil matter. The sad fact is that when this crime is committed by a family member it is not treated as a crime in my state. If anyone outside the family commits fraud, exploits the lack of ability of an elder to understand their finances can be arrested and the criminal justice and judicial system begin the process of proving and prosecuting the crime. So.....for five years I kept every document I could find, documented all conversations, kept all emails, was able to convince their attorney to request a full accounting, etc. My brother did not comply with a single request even when the attorney threatened to turn it over to the Clerk of Court. So through trial and error, hundreds of sleepless nights, two occasions of my computer being 'hacked' and the information and emails between my parents attorney cut and pasted to create a word document that was faxed to me at 3:00 one morning......because it was taking place within our immediate family it was never considered "worthy" of being investigated by local detectives or seriously pursued even by the attorneys involved. Both parents have Alzheimer's; my mother is approaching the last stage and has been incompetent for years. The bottom line was I could NOT SIT BY and watch this happen---/watch the savings and investments that she had worked so hard for turn into funds for remodeling my brothers house, buying expensive jewelry for his wife, etc. And, as anyone who has experienced this in any way, I was trying to navigate my way toward some kind of justice for my mother during the same period of time that I was already grieving the loss of my mentor, my greatest supporter and confidante. In one typical day I would find myself experiencing dozens of emotions and could feel, physically and emotionally the personal effects of something I still, to this day can't wrap my head around......fleecing one's own parents of their life savings. I am grateful now that I kept a journal and made some entry in that journal everyday. It was reading back over my journals and the continuous research I did during that 5 yr period that I realized how frequently this situation and others like it occur.......often never even challenged. If I had had a reference , a handbook/biography when I had no idea what to do or exactly where I could have turned, I would like to think that my parents could have been spared such significant loss. I discovered also that during the years that they were discussing the appointment of their POA, and we had
several family discussions about their wishes
there were so many significant signs of my brothers intent even though they were of course never part of those discussions. I found that there were things I could have done at that time that could possibly diverted the final catastrophe. It was the lowest point in my life- I finally had to give up a job I loved to devote the time necessary to bring an end to this, I was a newlywed and while my husband was encouraging and supportive I could never lose that little voice in the back of my head that he didn't sign on for this kind of 24hr/7 days a week turmoil. As Alzheimer's and relate diseases causing dementia reach epidemic proportions so does the exploitation. Ultimately if i can use what was such a very painful,confusing, expensive, hurtful, frightening time as well as a time of discovery and learning to help even one person facing the same sense of overwhelming helplessness,then out of the circumstances of a disease so egregious it can suck the air from whatever space it consumes, then SOMETHING positive may eventually occur as the result of well informed, well prepared and confidant loved ones saying through their actions... "NO MORE".
This is so needed and would help so many people. Would they read it? That I don't know. This kind of caregiver abuse, family and non family occurrs so frequently it should be required reading for every social worker.
I can not encourage you enough, but are you prepared to devote several years of your life to this project with the possibility of little financial return. Do you need the kind of closure to your personal pain that seeing this in print will bring to you personally? Would it just reopen personal deep wounds? I realize it is your "story" but would it be more objective if your husband is the author? He clearly has a great interest in unfair matters from his own research.
Should this be documented? Yes
Will it help others? Yes
Do you have the skills? Yes
Is a publisher interested? Yes.
Will your target audience know about it? Who knows.
Can you withstand the psychological pressures of reliving the trauma? Don't know.

Have you discussed this undertaking with an experienced, skilled psychologist who knows you well?
The information needs to be readily available for those facing similar challenges but only you know if you have the strength and determination to complete the taske.
Have you considered writing a very generalized article for a psychologial magazine or maybe a simple piece for somewhere like Aging Care. Just kind of testing your own personal endurance. There is no doubt that you are a very strong woman and could do it. Re reading your last post I think there are possibly several books to be gleaned from your experiences, plus those of others especially on this site who would be prepared to contribute their experiences. I look forward to hearing how you go forward. Blessings and encouragement.
I too have been there, and still in the midst of it. There are so many greedy siblings in this world. I have thought about writing a book about this experience while I care for my mom 24/7, and siblings do next to nothing. There is so much of this going on out there, it boggles my mind. My siblings even called in a report on me of financial exploitation, which was the furthest thing from the truth, downright vindictive, and may very well effect my ability to ever find employment again. Every job I have ever had required a background check and credit report. Sibs have absolutely destroyed me and right after I completed a Master's degree on student loans. It has been an absolute nightmare! I can definitely identify with many sleepless nights.
Gladimhere.... I am so sorry to hear of your similar experience with siblings. I have done so much reading (how I spent those lonely sleepless nights when your mind can feel like it is on someone else's side!) and I still have to stop and try to even imagine for a moment what it must be like to be a member of one of the thousands and thousands of families who navigate the aging and often devastating illnesses like Alzheimer's as a loving, respectful , cohesive unit with only the welfare and best interest of their parents in mind. I still have to remind myself that families like that absolutely do exist and are in the majority ....... and should be commended for doing what should actually be the natural process.
For me there has been a lot of grief involved (although it pales in comparison to the anger and resentment I carried with me like some internal organ!) in realizing that my only sibling ..... The only other person in the world who ever knew all the functional and dysfunctional parts of my family .....was not at all the person I thought he was. It likely sounds very odd to anyone who hasn't been where we have at some point, but the sense of betrayal, the disappointment at a gut level and even the initial numbness I experienced the moment I knew without question that he was stealing from my parents were more intense than some if those same emotional reactions to my first husband's infidelity. My sibling was someone who I related to differently than I would to another living soul for the rest of life. He would be beside me as we faced the death of our parents and we would support and lean on one another through the hard times. Now, as I am guessing is the case with your siblings, we are completely estranged. We have not communicated in any way other than through our attorneys since the day he was told that I knew what had been taking place and had enough documented evidence to turn his life upside down. He has never, even once taken an approach that wasn't aggressive (how could I do this now to my parents in their last years and embarrass them and him out of jealousy? **I still have not discovered what it was I had been jealous about) That is how he explained it to our extended family and embellished it with very cruel lies that he had prepared......imaginary nasty details and all.
I may may never stop wondering what happened to my 'little' brother or reach a point when I feel no sadness at the very real loss of that relationship. I think I began learning to let go of all the horror and sorrow of my parents disease and victimization when I found this website and knew I wasn't alone. The hardest message to overcome for me was that by moving forward to try to protect my parents I was an inconsiderate troublemaker and why on earth couldn't I just be a good (57 yr old) girl and leave it alone, not rock the boat, cause tension, upset my parents- or rather my father who is still has 'competent periods' - by even suggesting that they had a child who would do such a heinous thing? Imagine my surprise when I learned that most exploitation by an adult child is never addressed and 87% of the perpetrators are sons. Apparently a lot of daughters are 'nicer girls' than I am.
So do whatever you can to remind yourself of who you really are . It is so easy to forget in the chaos of a sibling creating an age of you in order to feel less guilty or to rationalize their own behavior. Surround yourself when you can ( I know this now isolating this feels) with people who respect you, know and appreciate you. Hang on!!
Where2turn~I think your experience would make a great book. I too have an experience that if I had any writing ability, would love to get off my chest and into a book. The short but accurate version is that my sister "D" and I looked after our father when he began having health issues in 1995. Our mother passed away suddenly a few years prior. Angioplasty, quadruple heart bypass, spinal stenosis, diabetes, prostate cancer. We made sure that one of us went to every, and there were many, doctor appointments. We stayed with him in his home after each procedure/surgery, until he was able to again be on his own. As part of our visits each week, we would house clean and have a nice lunch with dad. There was not a holiday that he would spend by himself. As he got older, we brought every holiday to his home, which he enjoyed most. I am one of six. Adding in spouses and many grandchildren, there was always a full house. As our father aged he became less active, he became more of a news junky, watching a lot of politics on the television. His hearing had gotten worse so the volume was always cranked up as was the temperature of the heat in his home. He became more vocal with his opinions and to be quite honest~ he could be difficult at times. If he got angry, he would sometimes stop speaking to someone for a while. His way or the highway! He was used to calling the shots, in his home anyway. It was never important to me to change his way of thinking at his age so I remained a dutiful daughter and tried to keep the peace. Unconditional love. In my opinion, my eldest sibling saw his age as an opportunity to set him straight. They didn't mesh too well. Funny, she is a lot like him. Fast forward to 2010. Hospitalized for a serious infection ( he hated hospitals) and after we brought him home. He needed 2 people to stand, urinate in his urinal, transfer and shower. He had a picc-line in and picked up C. Diff. This infection was a bugger to treat and we had countless accidents to clean up. Keeping everything clean and laundry was never ending. Showers up to 6 times a day. We had to set alarms for meds every 4 hours and bathroom trips in-between. This was just the beginning of the next couple of years. For a while it was a hospitalization every few months requiring both "D" and myself to work together and get him back on his feet. We asked and pleaded for help from siblings. We were exhausted. They came a few times but that got old fast. Our father said that he felt like a burden. Silly arguments between siblings started and that became their excuse to walk away. Our dad's wish was to stay in his home until his death. "D" and I put our families, friends and work on hold. We made many sacrifices and it was WORK. Caring for our dad, his home, inside and out, not to mention the attention needed in sorting out all the medical bills that never made it to the secondary insurance company. At about the time dad was getting around pretty well and we "D" and I started taking turns staying with him so that we could catch time with our families, our father got into a serious car accident. He spent a month in the hospital. This time bringing him home was scary to me despite my background in physical rehabilitation. In his mid 80's and all those broken ribs and bones made transferring a challenge. Through his determination and spirit, we got through it and our dad walked again with the aid of a walker. He even got to the point that he could go without it around the house. Things were quiet for a while until he had a heart attack and that's when hospice was brought in. Not ever having to go back into the hospital gave him great peace. During the hardest times in his last few years here, he only saw our siblings a few times. He was hurt. He had his mind. He changed his will. That is where my pain (and my sister "D" also) begins... We were accused of everything under the sun. Elder financial abuse, undue duress, every hurtful thing. Accused of everything but being good daughters who honored their father's wishes and kept him where he wanted to live and die. At home. We were sued by our siblings and testifying on our behalf was our dad's doctor, hospice nurse, lawyer and close friend. We won....I guess you could say. The lawsuit pretty much tore us apart. The truth was apparent in court. We've been slandered on Facebook (I don't have one) openly. Slandered to relatives and mutual friends. Sent cruel text and harassed to the point of calling the police. As far as my reputation, I've decided that those who know me...know me. Interestingly, one of our other siblings remained in our father's will even though he didn't see our dad much more than the others. Why? Because it was my father's will. He had his mind. Our brother did not receive the backlash that we did. He was also not a caregiver. I understood the hurt my siblings felt being left out of our father's will. I truly did. I hurt for them. I also understood the hurt my father felt. His hurt was for relationships lost. Their hurt was over money. Even though there were many unbelievably difficult days caring for our father we also spent many good times. We managed to give him the best quality of life possible. With love, kindness, patience, respect and dignity. We had time to laugh, cry and say goodbye.
...I think I just wrote a book...:)

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