Grandma w/dementia drops hints about finances, but I have no power! Not sure if I should engage with it or not?

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Background: My grandfather died a month ago, my mother (only child) is the sole executor of his estate and trustee of the trust he set up for my grandmother's care. Grandma has dementia. My mother is not a trustworthy person in general and DEFINITELY not when it comes to money. (So why did my grandpa pick her as executor and trustee? Denial, and a victim mentality - he let family members screw him over financially all his life.) I am in touch with my grandmother but estranged from my mother.

Current situation: My mother is wasting no time in calling the shots for my grandma. Whenever I talk to my grandmother, she says various things about her finances without any prompting from me. Some of it is worrying, but I have no idea what bits are true or what the complete story is. Even if I weren't estranged from my mother, I couldn't rely on her to tell me the truth, so asking her won't do any good.

I *could* possibly get a lawyer and start asking serious questions, but that is the nuclear option, and it's only been a month. So I don't feel I can go there quite yet.

Ugghhhhh.... it feels horrible. I'm torn between saving my sanity by just ignoring my grandmother's comments and letting the chips fall where they may, or doing the right thing by paying attention and looking out for my grandmother's interests. Plus, I'll admit that I have some resentment that my grandfather evidently did not even mention me in his will. I've pretty much been shut out. Yet during some of my last conversations with him, he did express concern about how my mother would treat my grandmother. He even commented that he was worried that my mother would "eliminate" my grandmother. (I think he meant something along the lines of "not really take care of grandma properly".)

So it's a mess. And I'm doing the typical thing for a child of a dysfunctional family - trying to be its conscience. Help? Do I tune it all out? Or keep emotionally engaging with it?

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I think Veronica is just trying to say, either don't watch it happen or don't torture yourself over what is happening if you really have no power to stop it. I think what is bothering you is that you MIGHT be able to step in and stop it if you had unlimited time, energy, fortitude, and legal help. But if you don't you don't.

I hate to say it, but you know what, Mother's Day in our circumstances can kind of suck.
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Margarets I am sorry if you found my post insensitive but I stand by my comments. They may sound harsh. Nowhere did I say you only visited for an inheritance. I also acknowledges the fact that your mother would take whatever she wanted from grandma. You wanted to visit today as it is mothers day that is a perfectly legitimate reason so you did it. It was unfortunate that you were treated to the never ending tirade from your grandmother.
Leaving old people to their fate is not my philosophy quite the oposite which is why I spend a lot oftime on this site sharing my professional experience and expertise.
This forum rpovides support for caregivers in crisis and loving frienship. No one can solve other peoples problems but we can express our opinions, offer advice and if necessary give stern warnings about the course others are considering. Do you read what is going on with other people or just come on when you have interactions with your family? if you observe a train about to wreck you will be killed if you step infront of it and put up your hands to stop it. You are better occupied calling for help and assisting where you can. You have had a bad day so rest and relax .Do whatever brings you peace and prepare for tomorrow. Blessings
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Veronica, your response is rather insensitive. 1) I didn't say anything about expecting an inheritance. 2) I'm not trying to do anything about my grandmother's finances, I've been trying to detach for MONTHS, but I get an earful about it whenever I have contact with her whether I like it or not. 3) I've already said in earlier posts that my mother is quite capable of ripping off my grandmother so all of this is not necessarily a lie. 4) Where did you get the idea that I only call or visit my grandmother because I am "fascinated" by her and my mother's activities? It's MOTHER'S DAY today. THAT is why I called.

Are you suggesting that I just stop contacting my grandmother altogether? Or somehow just stop having feelings about her possibly getting ripped off? I thought this was a support forum. I'm seeking support for being on the sidelines of this trainwreck and not being able to do anything about it. If just leaving old people to their fate is the recommended course of action, why have this forum at all?
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FYI that propane could be legit if it is a big house and the heat is on all the time. i just paid $570 for one month.
Margarets there is absolutely nothing you can do about your mother and grandmother.Iif all her money disappears paying her bills and taking care of her is not on your head. All these probable lies and misconception are all part of her disease. your mother is in charge of controling her affairs. If you are expecting an inheritance forget it. your mother has already taken care of all the money. visit or call only if you want to not because you are fascinated with her and mother's activities. Keep out of it for your own sanity. Watch out for the first signs of demential in Mom too you don't want to get tricked into being reponsible for her.
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Welp, just talked to my grandmother, because it's Mother's Day. I also visited her a couple of weeks ago. EVERY time I talk to her she mentions money, bills, etc and EVERY time there are red flags. With her dementia and total ignorance about money, she is a sitting duck to get ripped off by almost anyone.

E.g. She was just telling me she has to find a big envelope to send $800 by mail to pay the propane bill!!! And there is no reason for the bill to be so high since no one was living at her house during the winter, so the house only needed to be heated enough to keep the pipes from freezing. So something is not right there.

E.g. last visit she told me that she took money out of the bank (she seems to constantly have stories about going to the bank when she really has little need for cash these days), my mother looked in her wallet and said she'd taken out too much, that the ALF staff might help themselves to it, so my mother took out some of the money. My grandmother asked me "Do you think she will give it back?" What the heck am I supposed to say to that?

I've asked her repeatedly NOT to talk to me about her money but it's no use. I'm not sure if she doesn't remember or she uses it as an attention-getting thing, to get a rise out of me. The whole thing is a stinking mess and even detaching as much as I have (visits once every few months and calls about once a month) doesn't solve much.

I hate my dysfunctional train wreck of a family.
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Save your sanity. I stepped in for my father w/dementia and now Im the bad daughter that took everything away. He treats strangers better than his own family. I wouldnt do it over again if I knew then what I know now.
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I'm so sorry, Margaret. Families aren't supposed to be like this. They are supposed to be a sanctuary against the cruel outside world. Instead, many of us have to flee our families to find sanity.

Props to my Mom. Not that we weren't dysfunctional, but she made it a family value that (after all the petty squabbles and triangles and gossip) we are family, part of a team. We all wish each other well, and try pretty hard not to hurt one another. There was no fighting at all over the will! One thing that worked was her making it clear that we were treated equally. Also, I think we each thought that we were the favorite. That's tough but not impossible to pull off.

She died suddenly at age 80. I feel cheated that I never "had to" take care of her. but glad for her that she didn't have to endure a long decline..
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Welp, I'm going to have turn off my phone again, to keep Grandma at arm's length.

She called last night to throw a guilt trip on me about a comment I made. Long story short, she lied to me. No doubt she has lied to me on many other occasions, but this one was bald-faced. She was trying to cover up some family triangulation that's been going on. It REALLY bothers me that dementia or no, she is capable of perpetuating toxic family dynamics, and picking targets for toxic dumping (me).

Debralee, you pointed out that my grandmother is honing in on me as her saviour. Boy, is she ever going about it the wrong way! I feel more like "at least all this drama will end when she dies".

(The comment she was guilt-tripping me about? I mentioned that if the family cottage is sold before the summer [as my mother has planned], it would be possible to rent a cottage, so that my sister's kids could still have a cottage vacation. My grandmother does not want to sell the cottage yet [and apparently does not understand what my mother intends], so she was upset with me for speaking as if it might happen. I know - it's nuts.)
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mararets, I have read all of the postings since your initial post. I am glad you are coming here to vent all your frustrations and keeping us updated. It is a healthy outlet to what you are going through. I don't know why you have not walked away from your grandmother's situation totally, but that is something only you can decide. Hope this doesn't interfer with your graduate schooling. Your grandmother's dementia will worsen and for some reason she is honing in on you as her only savior. The worse she gets the more she will turn to you. For some reason, dementia causes a person to become totally fixated on something and are relentless to let go. Don't allow yourself to become your grandmother's obsession. Take care of yourself first and foremost. Good luck!
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Bermuda, for a lot of very well-founded reasons that are way beyond the scope of this site, I do not believe in therapy.

I won't have any issues re: my mother's old age. She has ingratiated herself with her second husband's family, has always treated them better than her own kids or grandkids, and they've always lapped it up. So they can bloody well take care of her. Solved!
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