Can a caregiver legally isolate an elderly parent from the rest of the family?

My uncle in Fort Lauderdale has been the prime caretaker of my elderly grandmother (age 81) for the last few years by his choice. He has spent all of her money, sold her car and rents out her house. He will not let any of her family see her or talk to her for reasons unknown. My mother and her other brothers would like to be able to visit her, and would like an account of where all of her money went. What legal action can be taken?

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Does he have POA?
I would assume so. He hasn't let any of her other children, grandchildren or any other family be involved in her life at all. She was fine, living on her own in a retirement community and very active and kept in touch with all of us who visited her often. Then he had her move in with him (her health is declining) without any of us being notified first and he's had complete control over her and her assets without having to account to anybody for it. Its so sad. I really don't care about the money, I just want to see my grandmother before she's gone. Other family members want him to be held accountable if he's spent all of her money on himself.
Also, she has aphasia, which makes her unable to speak. I'm afraid that because she can't speak up for herself, things may be happening against her will.
Top Answer
I am in a similar situation. My husband's grandfather is being cared for my his estranged aunt, who refuses to let us in to see him. From what I've learned, you can have a social worker to a well check by searching out a Senior Advocacy group in your grandmother's area. They will check on her, but unfortunately may not be able to report back to you. If you suspect abuse, you can report it through the same network or the police department. If you fear for her safety, I "believe" you can ask for a police escort to your uncle's home to check on her. With our situation, we had to get the estranged aunt to admit on record (recorded conversation) that she would stop us from trying to see our grandfather. With that, we could then threaten her with legal action for criminal isolation, since he wants to see family members and she was refusing his wishes. The Senior Advocacy group in your area (or your grandmother's area) should be able to provide you with more information. Best of luck!
Call Adult Protective Sevices and find out what can be done. If you suspect that he is doing things against her will, they will investigate.
If he is her legal guardian and POA it would of been done through probate court.When you become guardian you are assigned a case manager by probate court.You may want to contact the local probate court and discuss the matter with the case manager.You also have the option of contacting your local long term care ombudsman program director for some assistance.
I have the POA for finance for my parents, my sister has POA for health, we have been able to manage all legalities and we were never assigned by a probate court case manager. Probate is usually done if guardianship needs to be filed. The POA was done with a lawyer prior to the need for one. Not sure if you'll find answers there, but if there isn't a guardianship which sounds unlikely, it might be helpful to know who your Grandmother used as an attorney. A funeral home that may have been used for previous family members (Grandfather) might have that information.
Dear Wisconsin,
Yes,every situation and state are different when it comes to elder care.In my case (Ohio) my parents were under the care of my sister who decided she needed to exit the situation because of personal 'problems' and my brother never wanted anything to do with it.In other words both chose to decline any responsibility in their care.They were adamant they wanted nothing to do with it despite both parents were middle/late stage dementia.I needed to go it alone and the first place I went was to a elder law attorney who has been in practice many years.She wanted to protect both my parents foremost and me from mistakes that down the road could effect Medicaid benefits or litigation with the siblings especially if our parents passed away before the money ran out.She told me flat out 90% of the time money is the issue not the care level with detached siblings.Our parents had no will or directives.She filed everything with the county probate court and I was assigned a case manager to oversee everything I was doing in regards to my folks total care.More filings went to social security where I had a case manager too.My father did not live long after I became guardian but my mother lived long past after their assets ran out.I did this for a total of seven years.My mom passed away this January and I'm still dealing with many issues with the attorney.It was a very difficult and slippery road but I felt our parents received the best care possible considering the sorry situation.I tried to keep both of them at home as long as possible but both ended up in a nursing home in the end.That was when the real headaches and heartaches began and I'm glad I had a attorney to help me through the nonstop distress.Medicaid and nursing homes are a nightmare.They were in a "five star" one and it was still hell on earth.I never denied anyone visitation or to oversee what I was doing in regards to their care.They rarely came so it became a moot point (visitation).I saw a lot of this in the nursing home and it broke my heart for my folks and a lot of the other residents.I usually spent 40 - 60 hours a week with them and hired private caregivers to be with them when I was working.In the end all their money was gone and so was most of my retirement fund.My siblings got away scott free.We live in a strange society where if you dump your child you end up in jail but if you dump your parents there is no penalty.I have no regrets because they were fantastic parents.I met quite a few devoted legal guardians during those seven years and most had a tale to tell that was quite similar to mine.There are still a lot of wonderful people out there who are doing the right thing despite a system that puts up a battle every step of the way.A good reason to hire a very experienced elder law attorney from the get go.
Yes Guardianship IS the answer if there is no power of attorney.
You need to contact and eldercare attorney, you may have to take this to court.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support