Follow
Share

I filed a police report on my aunt's caregivers who were taking out large cash withdrawals each week and helped her remove me as POA. Anyone else have this experience. I am pretty nervous about it though I had documentation of all the withdrawals.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Update and thank you for all the helpful suggestions. I just got my termination papers from my aunt's new attorney. I am disinherited but also no longer PA, MPA, or anything else. She named her CPA in my place. I am beyond thrilled and relieved. From what I know he is a stand up guy. (It was her new attorney's advice to use him as PA) He plans to put the caregiver on a salary and withhold taxes. That will stop the financial abuse in its tracks which was my primary concern. The alienation toward my sister and I we can attempt to repair and it will help not having to be in charge of her life and well being. I am going to get the details on conservatorship from an attorney ( already have appt before letter) and let Adult Social Services and police report play out. But I am FREE! This cpa is youngish, I don't think he quite knows what he is in store for with all the medical stuff but it is not my problem anymore. Repeat..not my problem! I haven't felt this good in years. Now I just have to take care of her sister who is always appreciative.

Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions. It saved me.
(3)
Report

Contact her bank -- they are "mandatory reporters" for financial abuse of elders. APS will not call you, you need to call them (maybe repeatedly). Write down the name of who you talk to. Nothing like own "name on the line" to make people pay attention.
Start a notebook now, write down ALL contact you have w/APS, bank, etc. Date, time, person you talked to, what you told them (in brief).
$3k - is this the caregiver's pay? Wouldn't be excessive for 2 wks care + food, but if she is already being paid...uh oh!
Credit card -- report potential identity theft/fraud TO THE CREDIT CARD CO-again, -- since they are the ones on the hook, they may at least give her a small limit. You may have to go the dementia route & "undue influence" charges against caregiver. Look up caregiver to see if similar charges already filed.
(1)
Report

I like the PI idea. My aunt's sister is in bad shape mentally. I don't think she could handle it. I have decided to go ahead and try for the conservatorship. I figure I have nothing to lose and hate to see these people use her like that. I have also laid lots of ground work with police report, Adult Soc Services.
(1)
Report

Hire a private investigator. Find out from bunco squad at your police department who is a reputable one. You've tried everything else!
(1)
Report

I'm sorry niceniece. It sounds like you definitely have your hands full with this aunt. It's obvious she's being taken advantage of, but as long as she's of "sound mind", there's not a lot you can do. It's her money, and she can spend or give it away any way she wants. If she runs out of money, she can always go on Medicaid, can't she? Not the best - but better than nothing. And if it comes to that - it's not your fault. She did it to herself. But if you're up to the challenge and your attorney thinks you can win, I'd go for guardianship. But understand this - unfortunately your aunt will DEFINITELY hate you after that. Have you tried having your aunt's sister talk to her to see if that could help? Just a thought. ((HUGS))
(0)
Report

I need some more input! Please.
After a day with the police and my aunt's attorney I found out that as long as she insists she is giving the money freely and we don't have a dementia diagnosis there is nothing to be done. I also found out that my aunt has created new legal documents. I assume I am removed from everything including medical POA. My lawyer has a conflict but I need to decide if I just want to let this go or pursue guardianship. Everyone agrees they are taking advantage of her but no one seems to be able to act. I am so exhausted just getting this far which is basically no where. She is happy with them and they are taking good physical care of her for now but I hate to think of what will happen when her money runs out.

My sister says if this is what she wants we should just back away. I think that she ( aunt) appointed me to look over things and this means following this through but boy am I tired of this. Just a reminder, I take care of her sister as well though she is long distance and very cooperative so not as big a deal. But it is still there.
(1)
Report

She has revoked my PA. And they are not paid caregivers. It is her handyman and his wife. They take her to the bank and she takes out $200-3000 in cash each week. They have had her open a credit card which is used far away from her. I have tried to freeze account, contacted ASS, police and her lawyer, an elder victim's agency, all her care providers, the caregivers themselves and my aunt. Gotten me no where. I appreciate everyone letting me vent in this column. I have one last try and that will be her accountant who she listens to. I am finding everyone is sympathetic but wants the other guy to actually do something. This week they took out only $1000 which is much less than usual so they must be cognizant I am taking some action. I dont' expect it to continue.
(2)
Report

niceniece, I don't blame you for being concerned about your aunt's money especially if, when she is strapped for money, you are going to have be responsible for her. I know you are frustrated watching this train wreck happen before your eyes. That is exactly how I felt when my mom, who didn't have dementia, started spending her money like a drunken sailor with the help of a less than stellar paid caregiver. I totally get your frustration. It's easy to say walk away but you can't. I truly hope you find a solution because i see you are really trying. Good does not always triumph over evil. All I can offer is my empathy and best wishes.
(0)
Report

If you have a valid POA, you have the authority to fire those Caregivers, and hire whomever YOU see fit. You have the power to put her in assisted living, etc. You just need to assert your authority. What I would suggest is that you freeze her bank account (power of attorney can do that) call the district attorney's office, and the local police - tell them that you have a valid POA, and that you have made other arrangements for your aunt, and that you want the present people removed immediately. I didn't realize you had POA. You can do ALOT to save your aunts financial security! You need to call the banks, local police, and district attorneys office, also the adult protective service people. Actually, what might be even more effective is to draft a letter to the district attorney, and copy all of the entities I mentioned. Let them know the situation, stick to the facts, and have a game plan. These people can have no authority...unless she has revoked your poa. Then, get a lawyer. I'm sorry you have to go through all this for just trying to do the right thing. Sucks.
(0)
Report

When I first moved here I was there often, sometimes mulitple times a day when she was having trouble. Her main issue has been her sight so I would go over and read her mail, help her with her paperwork, turn on the tv etc. It became clear that she needed some in home help in addition to my sister and I. All the professionals I talked to said we couldn't do anything until she is has some sort of crisis so I backed out to some degree hoping she would see that she needed more than my sister and I could give her. She took herself out of respite care against medical advice and I was unwilling to move in with her to administer her meds (eye drops) around the clock for weeks when we had made better arrangements that she had agreed to before the surgery.

And yes right now my only concern is her money. She is going to need to move to some assisted living facily sooner rather than later. She is almost blind and has dementia. When she makes the move she has the money to get into a decent place that should last her until she dies. That is why she has saved so diligently for so many years. She made me power of attorney to keep an eye on these sorts of issues and that is what I am doing. It is her money, not mine or these people who are taking advantage of her. And I know when all her money is gone, these people will be too and she will be my responsibility to house and take care of.

I don't apologize for differentiating between her and my mother. In this case my mom and this sister hated each other and I still get earfulls about my deceased mother from this one. As I said early on , I have no first cousins and 3 elderly aunts that have made me their POAs ( finances are my strength). I do the best I can by them but I am unwilling to put my independence on hold so they can maintain the illusion of their independence. . These people are breaking the law in our state, it is a police matter and not my job to physically keep them away by camping out at her house.
(2)
Report

Hmmm...this is a tough one. I think that you may want to consider putting yourself geographically closer to her so, that you can better assess the situation. If the social worker has evaluated the situation, and feels that everything is ok, I don't understand why you have no confidence in her opinion. If you are very worried that the caregivers are taking financial advantage of her, and no one seems to see it that way but you, then I think you should make the commitment to go there yourself, and take control of the situation. Complaining about something that you are not directly involved in lacks momentum. If it was your mother you would be there but, if it's your mothers sister, you won't? If you are taking such a neutral position in her actual day-to-day care, then she probably won't be able to turn to you in the future to take the responsibility of her care. I'm not trying to be unsupportive or a person who doesn't understand your frustration. But, it seems from an outside, neutral party, like myself, that you are only concerned about her money. I'm sure that's not the case. But, from someone who has not been a caregiver, it may seem that way. This could be a reason why you may not be getting the support you want. I'm sorry. It's not easy to find balance sometimes.
(0)
Report

I have talked to her caregivers husband who denies they are getting any money. The social worker talked to her and pronounced her fine. Not sure how long he was there. That she insists it is her money to give away as she wants. Nobody seems to hear me when I say it is the amount of money changing hands that is the problem( and now a taxable amount). She has given them $30,000 in 3.5 months. This is not an amount any rational person would deliver for these services, nor can she afford this for much longer. My sister who is broke has been taking her to the grocery and running errands every Saturday for 8 years and she has given her about $5000 over the years. My aunt cancelled her lawn service because $25 was too much. She is tight and cheap so she is getting some pressure from them to withdrawal these large sums of cash.
Not going to go live with her or babysit her. I have a life and am trying to find a job. I already put the job search on hold for months when she had her previous eye surgery and her sister's husband died and I had to handle those matters. Now it has been almost a year since I moved and I haven't really gotten my life going because of these Aunt issues. It is a lot of emotional work as most of you know with no thanks. I am trying to do the right thing by her but not at my own expense.Though it is a good idea and if it were my mother I would do it in a heartbeat. This is a distant aunt who I hardly saw until about 10 years ago when she moved closer to my sister.
(0)
Report

Wow...have you tried talking with the caregiver alone...away from your aunt. Are they cooperative? Do they understand you are concerned about her health? Do they understand that you are family, and you're not going to just "go away"? If I were you, I would start camping out at aunties house, and maybe moving into a guest room, and spending as much time as you can hanging around with her.
(0)
Report

It is a good idea but with my aunt's blindness it is hard for her to live somewhere else and I have 2 dogs that can't be at her house for any period of time ( she trips over them). I am trying to drop in more often to see if I can start to break the hold they have on her. Today she asked the cg for permission to let me get an estimate on a home repair. Unbelievable. They clearly wanted me gone.
(0)
Report

Nice niece, can you stay with your aunt or bring her to your house for a few days...until the cops swoop down, and start putting people in jail?
(0)
Report

I have no first cousins so it is just my sister and I. I have POA and handle caregivers for another aunt so I have a pretty good sense of what care should cost. I have paid for round the clock care for the other aunt at one time and all variations of in house care for her. For this aunt, at first they were coming all the time, now they come once a week and take out 3 times as much money. At first they were taking her out to dinner which was great for her and I didn't mind at all that she paid for all 3 of them but that has stopped as well. I talked to the police today and it sounds they are taking it seriously. Still nothing from adult social services.
(0)
Report

Nice niece, one other thought they you may not have considered. Private Caregivers charge at least $10.00 per hour in California. Depending on how many hours the Caregiver is actually on the clock, it can be quite expensive. I work a total of 96 hors a week. I make two different rates per hour. One rate for hours awake, and a considerably lower rate while my boss is sleeping. I'm on call, in the guest bedroom the entire 96 hour shift. Do the math on that, and you can see it really adds to a lot of money if you're paying out of pocket. Fortunately, my boss can afford it, and took legal action to arrange that she remain in her home at any cost. This was her decision. Some people don't think that Caregivers should be paid while sleeping. Rationalizing that the Caregiver has to sleep anyway. Why charge? The answer should be obvious...yes, I would be sleeping anyway. In MY OWN home, with my own family, and the comforts of sleeping in my own bed. I'm giving all of that up if my boss wants me here, at her home. Would anyone agree to sleep in their office or store or where ever they work, and be not be expected to be compensated for it. My point is, maybe the Caregiver is there a lot of hours, and your aunt is paying legitimate charges. I would do more investigating. Also, does your aunt have children? Are they concerned like you? Good luck
(0)
Report

Being concerned about the money of an elder is a legitimate concern. When someone is exploiting an elder for their money even though they are giving good care it is still abuse. If you are after someone's money, you're going to treat them well until the money is gone, it's all about gaining the trust of the elder. However, there are relatives who pinch pennies on the elder's care just so have it for the inheritance. Sometimes this is what the elder wants because it is more important to them to leave an inheritance. I believe I already received my inheritance...on a whole different level than monetary inheritance. As far as the memory test goes, any dr. who only asks 2 questions and decides on those answers is incompetent. That is the problem with diagnoses from a PCP because most have no knowledge or real experience with dementia and they will side on the elder's side. A geriatric dr. or neurologist is the best way to go.We have been lucky because my mom's PCP and mine as well, was the resident dr. at a nursing home until his private practice became developed enough that he had to stop. He knows what he is dealing with as far as dementia is concerned. We still had to go to a neurologist to get the diagnosis of mental incapacity to spring our DPOA. My mom did not know who the president was, what year, but she did know what city, county and state we were in. She did not know her SS#, her birth date, could not count backwards by 7's from 100 (after 86, I would have to use my fingers cuz I suck at math), she could not spell world backwards but she could fold a piece of paper in half and set it down where they told her to.While my mother is considered mentally incapacitated, she can still live somewhat independently because she can dress herself, bath herself, is not incontinent, can feed herself. We are working within the independence to help keep her that way as long as possible.
(1)
Report

I asked my dad who the president was and he answered correctly. Later that same week he told me that the staff were carrying guns and knives.

It's a stupid test in my opinion.
(4)
Report

I am not hesistant to have my aunt tested. She hasn't been to a Dr for 5 years after the last one hinted about her mental ability. SHe refuses to go to a Dr. since she is healthy.
I also didn't hire these caregivers. This is her handyman who has dropped in and out of her life as he needs money. Now is wife hangs out at my Aunt's since she lost her job. She takes her to the bank and withdraws money . There doesn't seem to be a pattern or I would try and be there. We offered to pay them at first as they are taking good physical care of my aunt but she can't afford to lose this much money so quickly as eventually she will need to go somewhere.

Spent day at police, bank and doctors. Everyone keeps directing me to someone else.
(1)
Report

I believe every situation is different and unique. The best solution that my employers lawyer came up with....since she doesn't trust her family members, is a neutral third party Co-trustee. His signature has to also be on all of her checks. He doesn't like the fact that she chooses to stay at home. But, she is adamant about it, and it IS her money. If she chooses to pay paid Caregivers to employe, that's really her decision. You need to get more people involved in this problem. It's going to get down to what your mom wants. At least until a medical professional says she is incapacitated. Is she?
(1)
Report

Have another person or family member also call Adult Protective Services. When you call them again, ask to speak to a Field Supervisor. Tell them it's urgent! Call the Obudsmans local office, pull a Police Officer off the street, if necessary, I say call 911 and ask for a welfare check. Maybe the police presence will scare her. I don't know. The APS is dropping the ball.
Just curious...how do you know about the credit card and 3,000.00? Do you have access to her account information? Call the bank, and explain the situation to them if you have account access. Maybe they will freeze her accounts for 24 hours. Are you concerned about your mothers well-being or isthemoney the main concern? Good luck.
(1)
Report

i am a professional caregiver & certified
i am also caring for family members in virginia while residing in california

anytime money is invloved it is very difficult to detach emotionally we are more attached to money than to the contentedness, security & well-being of elders

how do i know? i live these delimmas also
(0)
Report

If your mother is on speaking terms with you , try to get her in to see a neuropsychologist to be tested for dementia and then you can petition the court to act as her guardian . You can also request her current physician to examine her and petition the court if he feels she is incompetent to make decisions. It is likely the caregiver has poisoned her against you and any other family member who could be influential and expose the truth about the caregiver. You are hesitant to have your aunt tested for competency, however this is the only way you can be sure she has done these actions without undue influence by the care giver. In Illinois this is considered financial exploitation and while it is difficult to prove it can be done. Guardianship if she is incompetent is the only way to protect her and her money to provide and pay for her current and future care needs. A guardian at litem, will be appointed to represent her while the investigation is in progress. You do not need to become legal guardian if you choose not too, the court can appoint a financial person/ attorney to handle her money and they can hire a geriatric care manager to monitor in home caregivers and her medical care.
Never hire a private caregiver who has not been background checked, and
Nd employed by a licensed reputable agency. Preferable a member of the NPDA.
Again a GCM can assist you with finding appropriate caregiver agencies. Contacting the states attorney may also expedite the process of investigation.

I agree with nanny cams, and all protective devices that can be instituted. Always chech in on loved ones often, be suspicious if you are being told they aren't available for you to come by and see them.
, and never allow caregivers to handle checkbook or money. They are not competent or allowed to do that. Provide grocery cash cards for purchase of groceries, toiletries, etc. Exocet receipts with change and take all financial information, jewelry , an pd valuables to a lock box in her financial institution. Monitor her credit rating for charge cards opened against her will, change address to a pub for her bills, Medicare, insurance, bank, and other important information. Direct deposit her social security or pensions into her bank account. Good luck to you and God bless you both.
(1)
Report

It has been a week and I still can't find who in the police department has the case. No calls from Adult Social Services and another $3000 gone and a credit card opened. Today I am going in person to all the above places and making some noise.
(0)
Report

If it was not for a couple elderly ladies...one a former co-worker of my mom, the other an insurance volunteer who my mom was having balance her checkbook for her,both ladies encouraged my mother to trust me and my sister. Mom has a personality disorder and Alzheimer's, she was telling people we were stealing from her which we weren't. My mom finally started to let us help her pay her bills etc. I scares me to think what could have happened if some scammer got my mom on the phone and talked her into something. I would alert parents attorney's about any potential fraud. Possibly take a parent with dementia to a neurologist for evaluation, if you suspect fraud call APS, go to your parents home when caregiver is there with a hidden recorder, better yet, before caregiver is hired, install nanny cams. Do everything you can to protect your parent prior to them hiring a caregiver even if you have to lie to your parent, take them out of the house while nanny cams are being installed. My mom told bank personnel we were stealing or trying to steal her money. They never did anything and if they did, there would have been no evidence because we weren't. My mom would trust everyone outside the family even if she didn't know them well. As an adult child of a parent like this, you need to be very vigilant to protect them as best you can. I know it can't always be stopped and it is a heartbreaking situation when it happens. There was a poster on this site about a year ago who had her mother in a nursing home and a night time employee told her mother she would take care of her in her home (not dementia), the mother went for it, the employee had her change herself as POA and she withdrew all the woman's money, wouldn't let family visit her and when the money was gone, she abandoned her. The woman died in her home alone, family was notified by authorities. Yes, it was all legal. Even the NH claimed no liability because they said they had no policy stopping their employees from moonlighting.The only recourse I can suggest is a guardianship/conservatorship.
(1)
Report

In California the law is very specific: if an individual leaves any money or real property to a paid Caregiver, that inheritance will be voided by ANY objection from any family member. Even if they are a distant relative. And, if an individual is adamant about leaving/or gifting a Caregiver anything in a will or their current assists, two lawyers or a qualified and neutral third party must evaluate if the decision to gift a Caregiver is valid, and has not been manipulated or coerced by the Caregiver. It's not impossible to make a Caregiver and heir in California, but it's damn near! I am a paid Caregiver, and I have been on both sides of this issue. I have stated in other posts that many times family members want to blame the Caregivers when something like this happens. Your Mother had issues with you in the first place. The Caregiver may have or may have not fueled the fire. The bottom line is no paid Caregiver should influence the parent or family member one way or another. We are to remain neutral if we are honest, and forthright people. My boss wanted to "will" me her 450,000.00 house. I told her that was ridiculous, and promptly steered her back to her family getting what she has. I also called her lawyer, and told her. Her lawyer explained to her the law, and also discouraged her from doing anything if the sort. The elderly are vulnerable. I believe that blood is thicker than water, and would never accept something of this magnitude never matter how tempting or how bad the family dynamics are. It's just wrong. I would call a lawyer, and see what the options are. I doubt a Caregiver would have the leverage a son would over objections to a will. Good luck!
(2)
Report

There are people who love money so much that they'll sell their souls for a nickel... which is about what their souls are worth.
(2)
Report

I know. It's heartbreaking. As long as I live I will never understand how anyone can take advantage of the elderly. Even if they act stupidly, they do not deserve to be robbed of their money. No conscience I guess.
Please let us know if you get results. You'll be providing useful information for the next person with this situation.
(2)
Report

Thanks, you are saying what I am expecting to happen, nothing. I think the only possibility of action is the fact she has such limited sight that she will sign anything put in front of her. SUper easy to take advantage of her in this way. Depending on the day she could pass a basic competency test so I don't want to go that route. It makes me sad that she is going to end up in a poor facilty after they have taken everything when she would be comfortable if her savings were left alone.
(1)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.