My grandfather and " the step family."

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My grandfather remarried several years ago, he and she are now in their 90's and live in florida (where her family is). He wants to "come home", and we all want him close to us, but her family tells him he is home. He gets very confused at times, and they seem to be controlling him. Red flags keep going up every time we talk to her family. I guess my question is, what are their rights and our rights as far as guardianship, or taking care of him vs. whatever they have manipulated him into doing?


The absolute first priority here should be keeping him with his wife. This is the person he consciously chose to share his life with, "forsaking all others." The "rights" to be concerned about are the rights of Grandfather and step-Grandmother to be together. You don't mention SGM's health. Is she able to care for him, with some support?

Guardianship would be determined by a court, presumably in Florida, since that is where they live. It isn't about who has a "right" to look after him, but what is in his best interests.

Grandfather remarried several years ago and is living with his wife. He is home. In what way do you think his wife's family is "manipulating" him?
My suggestion is to get a Power of Attorney while you still can. This doesn't mean you will separate him from his wife - although dementia and Alzheimer's does that all on its own - but you will be able to see to his well fare both healthwise and financially. You want the best for him, I'm sure, and just want to be sure that is done by anyone involved. Get the legal end of it taken care of and a lot of the rest will fall into place automatically because of it. If her family is indeed manipulating him as you fear, the POA will stop that legally. The rest is to make sure he is well cared for and loved. Good luck with your journey ahead.
I think it's time to take a trip to Florida and see for yourself what's going on.
If your GF has dementia, that could explain the going home confusion, as that is a very typical symptom. One of the things that could be most helpful would be for both families to learn all they can about dementia. More visits from out of town family, and regular brief phone calls would benefit your family and GF. Her family, with more education about the illness, could learn why he says that, and the best ways to respond. I hope you will keep reading and posting here-there is so much help and support, glad you are here.
If his financials are in order and no body is trying to take advantage of him, he should stay put. Do you have any reason to believe these are bad people who in any way want to hurt him? Or are they just trying to reassure him that he needs to stay 'home'? I like what NancyH says - make a trip there and see for yourself.
Good advise from everyone. Of course, insuring his welfare is #1 priority but it may be time to speak to an elderlaw attorney about his financial situation. POA is essential, but, depending on his assets, it may be wise toput his money into a trust to avoid probate when the time comes. This would also be helpful in terms of medicaid eligibiltiy should nursing home placement or medicaid services in the home become necessary, the trust could be very helpful, but do so w/the advise of a good elderlaw attorney who is familiar w/ Florida law. Does your grandfather have a will? If not, check, but everything may go to his wife when the time comes. Someone from the family, who is trustworthy, w/no agenda of his/her own should be familiar w/his finances to make sure he is not being taken advantage of. Best of luck. It's not easy. I have thi in reverse w/ my FIL & his 2nd wife who has dementia.
One comment about a will. If the home is sold and no real property is left really, a will is worthless. Money may be in a 'JTRS' bank account (as is the case with my MIL, and her two sons, which include my husband and his brother, who lives minutes from her while we live 2000 miles away). If so, any person on that account can draw it down or close it out at any time. A trust account can be set up so that any funds have to go for her care but NaomiR is correct, you will need an attorney. My MIL does not understand that her will now really is useless because her property is all gone. She thinks that even though the account is 'vulnerable' to any of the three signers, the will makes sure everything will be split between the two brothers, after she is gone. NOT SO. And the brother has demonstrated that he would take it and say after all, he is the one who took care of her. (Another issue). We have just accepted that this is going to happen because she refuses to upset him and change anything. But this stuff causes family problems.

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