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Hi, my father recently had a stroke. He has a wife who has been leeching off him and society for years. She is a drug addict most recently crack who is asking him in inpatient rehab to give her money on an almost daily basis. I'm concerned for his well being and have already taken over his financial accounts but I'm worried he is going to return to their apartment which is a state away from me once he is released. He said he wanted to move closers to my sisters and I and has since changed his mind. Has anyone ever received conservatorship over a parent or been through a similar situation. Any help is appreciated. Thank you, Melissa

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Perhaps it would help to know that obviously the asker knows something for she never would have turned to us for help. We don't know that she didn't actually see for herself what's going on, question itself is enough to indicate that she obviously knows something and has apparently seen something worth it acting upon. Just take over someone else's financial affairs unless it's a serious enough matter that requires it. Taking over someone's financial matters when they've been enabling a drug abuser is a smart move in the stopping the enablement. Another smart move would be to guard against property theft. Perhaps staying at the house or having a house sitter would be a very smart move. That way, nothing can be stolen from this man while he's recovering in the facility. Putting myself in his shoes, I would hate to come home to find some of my property missing, especially some of my most expensive and even important stuff. This is why I think having a house sitter during this time is a very smart move.
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Is she legally his wife? If so, it could be quite the challenge to get legal control of anything. The law doesn't protect us from poor decision making unless someone is deemed legally incompetent, which is quite the process. Additionally, you said that your dad has been allowing her to "leech" off him for years, so this isn't new behavior on his part caused by the stroke.

As for telling the police, if he hasn't been proven legally incompetent, than there's been no crime committed in a wife getting money from her spouse. As for her drug use, have you observed it personally? If not, it would be unlikely the police would be able to intervene.

As for a bank manager or supervisor of the facility where he's at.....again....unless he's been legally proven incompetent....they would be unable to act as much as they might want to. They can't act on "hearsay", which is all you have right now.
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I agree with all above. The wife may be "asking" for money but when she cant get what she needs by "asking" the stealing will start. The wife does not have to be on the account for her to find a way to get money out of it. If she can ger her hands on checks she can forge them. Debit/Credit/ATM cards can all be used. Contact the Bank ASAP.
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Their Oscar winning performances are only good for a season until they overdose.
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Eddie: Addiction is a crutch controlling one's life. It controlled mine until I sought help at Reformers Unanimous website
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1 dime-bag is too little and 100 is not enough. I'm pretty sure he's in denial about her drug use. And she'll keep coming as long as he gives her something just to make her go away for a while. He's an enabler. You've taken over his finances, but I'm wondering how long that's going to last. While he recovers, ask the police for advice and see if you can block or reduce her visits. Addicts, however, are very smart and many can put on Oscar-worthy performances. Don't be surprised when she rants and raves about her "right" to see the husband she loves so much. Sooner or later a candid chat with your Dad about her addiction(s) will be needed. If, afterwards, he decides to go ahead and self-destruct along with her at least you'll have the peace of mind of knowing you did the best you could. In my experience as an ex-substance abuse counselor, I've come across people who dig themselves into a hole and instead of picking themselves up they just keep on digging. A few have dropped dead in my office. I've also seen their loved ones make stupid choices with their eyes wide open out of love for the addicted individual. Only when they've suffered enough do they realize the error of their ways. Usually by then they're flat broke and tired of the addict's emotional blackmail and physical violence. This is why your Dad needs to be spoken to in a gentle yet firm way about his wife's escalating drug use. Soon. He has a big decision to make.
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The drug addict needs to use the site Reform. It is a bible-based addiction support group, where weekly Friday night meetings are held at churches worldwide. This person needs HELP BADLY BC SHE'S DESTROYING HER LIFE AND ANYONE WHO COMES IN CONTACT WITH THIS PERSON!!!!!!!!!
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Try to get your mother or stepmother into a drug rehab program, even if you have to involve the police.

And find an apartment closer to you and your sister, one which can accommodate your mother/stepmother if she successfully completes a drug rehab program. If she doesn't, it is better than she stay away from your father, even if you have to take him to the courthouse to get a PPO.

Is your father cognizant enough to grant you and/or your sister or both jointly authority under a DPOA? If so, that would be advisable so you can handle his financial and legal affairs. And given the stroke, an Advanced Directive or Living Will would be advisable as well.
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I would say, you and your sisters go to him with a warm smile and feeling, welcome him to a new place where things are in order and peaceful. Say little or nothing about the addict other than ask the hospital were a rehab is.
My guess is a stroke may have woken you dad in time for a better life.
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I strongly agree with The idea of speaking with an attorney and getting guardianship, because this is definitely what will most likely be needed in this type of case. Where you can start now is making a police report with law-enforcement. The goal is to report the drug offender and remove them from the picture to get her out-of-the-way so you have room for your next move. As his daughter, you should be able to take some immediate action to stop him from sending money out the door with a drug abuser. There's no reason why he should be allowed to let someone to take advantage of him, especially after alife threatening stroke. This is why it's now up to you to stop the drug abuser from taking advantage of him. Here's what I would do in your situation:

What I would do is find some clever way to put your dad's wallet in safekeeping for the time being, or at very least get a hold of the cash and go put it back into his bank account. To stop him from taking any money back out to support the drug abuser, you'll definitely want to get a hold of his ATM card/s and put all of his cards into a safe, or even a safety deposit box at the bank. The only way you can get a hold of his wallet is when he happens to have his pants laying somewhere with the wallet in the pocket. If you can catch him out of his room or even showering, you may very well be able to make this smart move. For instance, if you can find out what time he happens to shower at the facility, you may be able to get a hold of his pants where his wallet is most likely kept in his pocket while he's showering. This would be the first step toward stopping him from giving the drug abuser another dime as fast as right now. Your next move on the way to the bank to put the money back in account would be a call to law-enforcement. You can make the report when you meet up with a police officer assigned to take the report. If it will take a few minutes for the assigned officer to get to you, at least let dispatch know you will be at a specific spot within however many minutes. What you want to do at the bank is to speak with a banker, even the bank manager about what's going on. You may see if the bank manager can call or the head branch to see about putting a temporary freeze on your dad's account, and maybe even putting you on as a trustee while you're in the process of pursuing guardianship over him.

* when you're on your way to your dad's room or even on your way out, what you need to do is to speak to the head supervisor on duty and alert them to what's going on. Tell them that there is a specific person coming in regularly to see your dad, and they happen to be a drug abuser exploiting him financially. Explain that this has been going on for quite a while, and that you just found out about it. Explain that your dad simply cannot afford to support someone's drug habit, and that you're in the process of taking legal action to stop it.

* If you happen to see this person at the facility at the same time you are, definitely tell the police department to immediately dispatch an officer to that facility. You can then tell the officer about the situation if this happens to be that the drug abuser is on their way in or out of the building.

* You have a far better chance of having an officer stop her if she's just going into the building because the officer can follow her into the room and catch her in the act and arrest her.

* when you visit the bank, you can explain that your dad just had a stroke and that a specific drug abuser is constantly abusing him financially in the facility during his recovery. That should be enough to put a stop on your dad's account until further notice.

If this has been going on for quite a while while he's been in the facility since the stroke, you should definitely act now, and act very fast before the drug abuser has a chance to get another dime from him. This specific situation is enough to get the bank to take this situation very seriously and act on behalf of you and your dad. The bank manager is actually your friend in this specific situation, because they don't want their own customers being defrauded, and this situation you're describing is definitely one of those situations.

* When you're making a police report, definitely give as much information as absolutely possible about the drug abuser, especially where she lives and what she's driving (if she has a car). give as many details as absolutely possible so the officer has something to go on. Definitely press charges and tell the attorney you will later contact that you're going for all of the money that the drug abuser has taken from your dad while he was in the care facility. You can also go for more if you know how much she has taken over a period of time. If you know how much money your dad has been giving this drug abuser and for how long, you can go for full financial restitution.

Final note:

* Stopping financial abuse starts with you since you know about it, and you now have a legal obligation. Knowing something is wrong and doing nothing makes you just as bad as the person doing wrong. Allowing this to go on puts you and your dad at risk of being in serious legal problems later if law-enforcement happens to stumble upon the problem without prior knowledge of it. What if someone else who doesn't even know you or your dad happens to make a police report, and you all are involved in a sting? You don't know that you may not be home sometime, only to have a sudden unexpected raid on your home, especially in the middle of the night. You don't want a drug raid happening in the middle of the night, especially if you happen to be having a nightmare or even some other medical emergency that may prevent you from complying with law-enforcement during the raid. It's really not worth risking your life, because officers are definitely armed during a drug raid. If you've ever watched how a drug raid is performed on TV, you'll notice how those officers act during a drug raid. When they bust in, everyone's guilty until they find the innocent. Since your dad just had a stroke, put him in the situation of being home, especially if he happens to be paralyzed from that stroke. You really wouldn't want him caught in the middle of a drug raid and being physically unable to comply due to paralysis from the stroke, should a drug bust suddenly happen and he happens to be at that house. Don't risk his life by doing nothing. I personally know someone who had a stroke, and strokes really do cause paralysis, which can make someone physically unable to do certain things, depending on the severity of the paralysis and how widespread it is in the body. This is why you really need to do your legal duty to stop what's going on with him being financially abused by a drug abuser. Don't let the situation go on until there's physical danger later.

If you really love your dad, you must prevent anything bad from happening to him. Don't allow him to be exploited any further than he already has, and definitely don't allow him to be in a situation where he himself could later be in danger. Preventing this is up to you, you are now responsible. I strongly encourage you to please consider everything I said and do the right thing before it's too late. Please do the right thing while you still can and while there's still time.
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I'm so sorry about this awful situation. Your father's mental health would indicate whether or not you can get conservatorship. Likely, you can prove his wife unfit, but if he still is mentally competent, he will be allowed to make his own decision - most likely. You may want to talk with an elder law attorney about this. What his wife is doing is obviously illegal. She, too, has a disease, but she shouldn't be allowed to destroy your father. My suggestion here would be to see an attorney.

My heart goes out to you - this is a really horrible situation to be in. Please check back with us so we know how you are doing.
Carol
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