I'm afraid my cousin and his wife are going to kill my aunt. They aren't feeding her or giving her medicine and are taking her money but not paying her bills. What if he kills her with neglect?


My aunt is 85-years-old and lives in a long term care private home facility. She has Parkinson's but has been deemed to be of sound mind by the State of Delaware.

Her son has talked her into coming to live with him and his wife. They have both quit their jobs and are going back to school part time. They need my Aunt's money to live off of since they will not be working at all.

My cousin is horrible to his mother and has taken her for tens of thousands of dollars. He is being turned over to the Attorney General for investigation under the Laws of Infirmed Adults.

He is her only son and she can not say no to him. Our fear is that we know she won't be taken care of, they do not feed her or give her her medicine when they take her out for visits, this past weekend they just popped a Xanax in her mouth. He has taken over her checking acct but does not pay her bills. He has charged $22,000 in credit card bills without her knowledge but she won't turn him in.
All we can do is wait til he mistreats her and then call the state or the police, what if he kills her first with neglect?We don't leave in the region?

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Susan, this is one of the most horrible stories I've heard, but there are likely many other similar situations - we just don't hear about them.

Since the son is being investigated for the money issues, I would think Social Services adult protective section could intervene. It's awful that abuse as seemingly obvious as this has to be proven, since financial abuse has been reported and is being investigated. One would think that is enough.

I'd contact an Elder Law attorney in her area (you could try this Web site http://www.naela.org/ or check her location's phone book (most libraries can help with that - give your public library a call).

You are wonderful to be concerned about this horrible situation. Between Social Services and an elder law attorney, you hopefully will get some help.

Please check back in and let us know how you are doing.
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Does your aunt know her son is under investigation by the state for elder abuse? Do the investigators know of all this info you are telling us? If not, you should call them and let them know anything that you are sure is true.

You say your aunt is still living at the private facility? Can you talk to her directly and express your concerns about her safety, or talk to someone at the facility to make them aware of what's going on? Maybe someone there can convince her not to move in with her son.

If she does move in with her son, maybe you could get another relative or friend of hers in the area to go by and check on her frequently.

Other than making sure the local elder abuse authorities are aware of the son's financial abuse of her, there is not a lot you can do legally as long as your aunt is considered of sound mind and gives her son all the power.
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My cousin is under investigation for stealing money from my aunt, not for elder abuse (yet anyway). His case is being turned over to the attorney general.

The invesigators know what is going on and have been very helpful but unless she speaks up, they can't prosacute when the time comes.

Yes the lady that runs the home she is in knows what is going on but she is like us, we just have to wait until he either does not provide care or she gets injured.

I don't see how he can look in the mirror, 56 years old and still stealing from his mother. I can not fathom that.
He knows she doesn't have much longer, maybe a few years?, and wants her $3,500.00 a month for as long as he can get it.
He took her out for a few hours the other day, fed her a piece of pie for a meal, didn't give her her meds but did manage to find a Xanax to dope her out on.

Unfortunately we have no other friends or family anywhere near Delaware. I would fly up there but have zero funds to do that.

I want to call my cousin and tell him to watch his back because we will be watching it too. I am so furious I don't even know where to begin talking to him.

When he comes over to see my aunt, they go in her room for 2 hours and I know he is threatening her and scaring her into moving in with him.

I don't know how to help other than call the police or protective services after she moves and we can't reach her....he took her cell phone and has not paid the bill on it.
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In this country, what you say isn't as important as what you can prove. Keep advocating for her and see if this "lady" who runs the house puts it down in black and white in complete sentences. Also, find out exactly whom the so-called investigators are and insist they make random house visits. It's going to be hell, but well worth it.

-- ED
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Go to attorneygeneral.delaware.gov to see if you can revoke your cousin's POA or at least file a complaint.

AgingCare Staff:

This situation requires a personal touch. What can you do?
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Thanks Ed. Big help. The woman that runs the home where my aunt lives has taken good care of her and has all the documentation. I spoke with the investigator twice, he knows what is going on. The problem we have is that when she moves it will be a new set of people to work on her case. Different county/district I guess. I'll file all the complaints I can!
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For today God did intervene. The state paid a suprise visit and advised the woman running the home and my aunt that they have issued an order that my cousin can not be alone behind closed doors with my aunt. I think that is where he does his manipulating and tries to scare her.

Another nurse was going to come out and do another evaluation today.

So if you are a praying person, please pray for all of us and if you aren't, please keep your fingers crossed.

Thank you for your support, it means a lot to me!
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Well, my cousin just came and picked my aunt up to take her to live with him and his wife. My aunt did not take it well, crying.....

Please help me with one thing, the state sent a nurse out a couple of weeks ago and said she did not qualify for hospice.

My cousin had someone from Seasons Hospice (a private company) come out and evaluate her yesterday and said she does qualify for hospice.

She has Parkinson's but has not been told she is in the final months of her life.

Can someone explain hospice to me?
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How about getting in touch with APS where she lives they have to follow up on it and if the lady who owns the place is a nurse she is mandated to report this-I would go to an elder lawyer in your area and ask his advice there may very well be nothing you can do but getting advice for yourself will make you feel better-does she have other relatives -you may have answered that already.
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Hospice is usually for those with only days or at most a couple of weeks to live. They provide home visits, pain medications if needed, bathing, counseling, etc. You had expressed earlier that your aunt had Parkinson's but no other problems and possibly had a few years left to live.

One thing I'm not understanding is that the state issued an order 3 days ago that your cousin could not be alone with his mother, then apparently was allowed to take her from the home 2 days later. Wouldn't this go against the state's order that he could not be alone with her?

His insistence on hospice for her sounds very ominous. The whole thing stinks. I would be tempted to call Seasons Hospice to ask why they think she is ready for hospice when the state said she wasn't; ask them if they think she is dying.

You had mentioned earlier you didn't have the funds to fly out to check on her, so paying for an elder care lawyer probably would be too expensive, too. You could check to see if there are any pro bono legal advice organizations in your area or your aunt's area that could give you counsel for no cost.

I'd also keep hounding the state and ask the same question I posed earlier -- if he is under an order not to be alone with his mother, why was he allowed to take her out of the facility? And tell them about the hospice situation too -- that she was not "dying" when she left the nursing home, according to the state, but he has since had a private evaluation & qualified.
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