Relative preying on parent.

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Have a case where an older cousin of mine is preying off my mother.

My mom is a severe alchoholic. She goes in waves, sometimes is semi-coherent, but more often than not it's as bad as it can possibly get. Mixed in, or perhaps subsequent to the drinking, there is also signs of dementia -- repeating herself four times in a three minute conversation, getting lost and winding up forty miles in the wrong direction in a house we haven't lived in over ten year. Of late it's been getting weird where she left a message on the machine telling my wife that she just met my wife's sister and how pleasant she was. My wife has no sister. When asked about it my mom got flustered and kept repeating, "her sister" and then reprimanded me for questioning her memory. I've been told by the hospital, a rehab clinic, and a nursing home she stayed at for a briefly that she has no judgement.

Right now my mom is living by herself, and after talking to the County Social Services numerous times, her doctor, and a few other agencies over the years there appears that there is no changing that anytime soon, though if you ask me the siutation was out of hand years ago.

To make matters worse, I have a cousin who's preying on my mother...though I don't know exactly how or to what extent. The odd thing was that my mom and this cousin passionately loathed one another. When my mother got remarried five years ago, I overheard him go into this five minute rant calling her names I can't write here and how much he hated her ever since he was a kid. Last year while I there for Mother's Day he called to wish her a Happy Mother's Day.

For a while I thought that I was being paranoid, but then a no nonsense uncle of mine took me aside and said the same thing. This cousin is suddenly constantly over at my mom's house. Few times a week. Drinking. He does odd jobs for her and has the key to her house. It's common knowledge in my family that this cousin of mine has suddenly befriended another aging relative and managed to weasel himself into their will. I don't know if that's what he's after, or what. My guess is that's he looking and waiting for some kind of massive payout. I do know that she went to "see his lawyer" a couple years ago, but when I asked her about what she didn't remember seeing his lawyer.

And that's the part that's disturbing. Most times she has no long-term memory. I'll tell her straight out that my cousin is somehow preying off her, that's he's not her friend. Eventually, I'll feel like I got throgh. Unfortunatley, it's only good for that day. The next day she'll tell me how my cousin was over and wants to buy her car, and we start all over again.

I have absolutley no idea what to do about this siutation, or is there's anything that can be done. Calling him up and asking to stop probaby won't be effective.

6 Comments

I would contact a lawyer, and I would get something from a doctor stating she is not able to make good judgments. I would get someone trusted put in as DPoA. A lawyer that is educated in elderly care issues would be the best choice, as they know the scenarios. I can relate. I have a family member that resents me living here in my parents house, as he thinks of it as "his house!" although he has no tie to it at all!! Most likely the house will need to be sold anyway... I hope you get your answers. :)
My brother took our mom to his attorney. She signed over the deed to the house to him. Mom found out when she wanted to sell her house. Is seems that nothing can be done about this. So, I would go see the attorney your mom visited with your cousin, or at least pull the deed to the house at the county courthouse. I am so sorry that this is happening to you.
Yes, see a lawyer as soon as you can. It is so unfortunate that our elder relatives can be so easily manipulated if coached long enough. You must act fast, before it is too late.
My mother developed dementia over the past 10 years, but it's not Alzheimers. You need to get your mom evaluated and tested by a top-notch neurological psychologist. I did it for my mom twice, one year apart. I received a thick report both times. Be specific with him/her about what you want from the evaluation... I said I needed to know if my mother was legally competent (different from our typical definition) so that when she signed her house over to me it would hold up in court. Make sure you have a very good lawyer to set up your own Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy for your mother. This will give you the authority to watch out for your mother's interests. Best of luck to you!
Okay, thanks. Looks like I need to see a lawyer.
Yes you do need a good lawyer. Find one, explain the situation to them. Have papers drawn up for a living will, a will and power of attorney. Then on a day when your Mother is in an amiable mood explain to her you are concerned that if she became ill or disabled you would not be able to care for her legally and she needs to go the lawyer with you and sign the papers saying you can say what is best for her. Otherwise she will be a ward of the state and have no say in her care. This may or may not work but it is worth a try. You also need to get your name on her bank account if she has one so you can see what is going on with the attentive relative. He isn't hanging around out of the goodness of his heart.
I know what I'm talking about. We have a relative that Mother would give her last dime to if he acted like he needed it. She can't without my help and it isn't going to happen

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