I'm living a nightmare watching a woman 50 years younger than my 80-year-old father coerce him into marriage, manipulate him and taking his money all in the name of "love". The relationship started as Ghanian romance scam (usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/romance-scams/) and after we uncovered it was a male in Ghana pretending to be an American woman, it eventually led to a Ghanian woman residing in Cuba, showing up at my father's doorstep and coercing him into marriage two weeks later. The story is long, complex, and out of this world so I won't go into it here. We've tried it all: FBI, USICE/immigration, State Dept., AARP, private investigators, the District Attorney, police, adult protective services, elder abuse attorney's and filing for conservatorship.
The harsh reality I'm learning is though the crime is so blantently obvious to everyone, I'm told over and over by the authorities that individuals have the right to abuse themselves. My father is showing serious signs of dementia but his executive functioning is still intact and we cannot get him to see a neuropsychologist without a long and painful court battle.
To the outside world, he comes accross as just fine, but my normally mild-mannered, extremely rational and brilliant father has had explosive and violent episodes, personality changes, impulsive behavior, and has been induly influenced and taken advantage of over an over again. He cannot see that people are lying to him even though the lies are later revealed to him. I've had a huge reality check just how powerful civil liberties to make bad decisions are in the USA along with the financial rights that coexist in marriage, no matter how corrupt.
I'm not writing for advice since I know in my heart my father is not well and is no longer the father I know and love. What I want to know is if anyone else has experienced elder financial abuse in their family, and romance scams or partner abuse in particular. I want to hear your story. I am appaled that though financial elder abuse is rampant throughout the USA, and internet romance scams are only on the rise, there seems to be no major initiatives or policies to protect our vulnerable elders.