Follow
Share

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?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
1 2 3 4
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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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..
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Margarets, are you or have you been in therapy? I would strongly encourage you to find someone really really good. And don't see someone for six months without results without switching to someone else - it's easy to waste years with an ineffective therapist. Still when you come from families as messed up as yours and mine there is no way to even begin to untangle it all without help. Ultimately until you manage to disconnect your reactions from their actions you are a puppet on a string getting jerked around constantly. That's how I've lived a lot of my life, so please know I don't say that from a position of superiority. Once you grandmother passes, you will have some serious challenges coming with your mother's old age - if I were you I'd start planning now on how you want to handle it. I wish you well, it is a deeply unfair situation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

its common for dementia patients to fret about being taken advantage of just for the sake of attention and an outlet. my aunt is always going on about how her daughter wont care for her and swindles her money but the reality doesnt coincide. aunts daughter is closer to death than aunt edna is and most of the allegations are just a sense of loss and an attention ploy by aunt edna.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks all. It wasn't any more or less toxic a visit than usual, but it was EXHAUSTING. My grandmother's dementia has advanced since I last saw her. I over-estimated how much activity she (and I) could handle. There were some awkward moments, like when she came into the living room with no clothes on the bottom half of her body. The ALF is a very nice place, so I have no worries on that score.

There was plenty of evidence of my mother's bare-minimum care-taking, and that vexed me, but mostly I'm just really tired. I'm having a very lazy day today.

I feel for anyone who does full-time caregiving.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I hope your visit went well...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

margaret - it ISN'T becomING, it has ALREADY BECOME! You poor dear. You have been going through this torture for months. And it's difficult to extricate yourself because of the triangulation between your grandmother and your mom constantly dragging you into it.

I normally prefer to approach everything on a positive basis. However, on your visitation tomorrow (today), just expect the absolute WORST and anything better than that will be uplifting.

Just keep thinking of all the {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}} you'll have waiting for you from the forum tomorrow. Keep your chin up, kiddo!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Good luck tomorrow, Margaret.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Augghghghhhh!

Just got off the phone with my grandmother. I only called to confirm everything about my visit tomorrow, but my gma was upset because she has lost her wedding rings. She think she left them behind at the ALF she stayed at temporarily but left in October.

Apparently, according to my gma, when my mother moved her from that ALF to her current one, she didn't do a final check of my grandmother's room. My grandmother did her own packing and it was all brought down to the front door when my mother picked her up. Hello - the woman has dementia! It's entirely possible she left all kinds of valuables in that room! So it's all on the honesty of the staff to turn anything in, and since it was a few months ago, there is basically no chance of getting anything back. Great.

But who knows what really happened. I certainly wouldn't put it past my mother to be so careless; she's already shown she will do the bare minimum. On the other hand, maybe my grandmother simply put them in a drawer in her current place and has forgotten.

Though the drama over PoA theft from a 3-4 months ago has calmed down, it seems like every time I call my grandmother there is more lousy news. She is a SITTING DUCK for rip-offs of all kinds. Just in the last few weeks I've heard about her missing crystal glasses, her missing TV, now her missing wedding rings.

I have to brace myself for whatever I might find when I actually see her ALF tomorrow. I have no doubt that it's a nice place, I'm more worried about what ELSE has gone missing, stuff I know she would have wanted to bring but is mysteriously not with her now.

It's wearing me out. And as horrible as this sounds, my feelings about my grandmother (and my grandfather) just get worse. They were both very, very stupid about how they arranged their affairs, and I resent hearing about what a train wreck it's becoming. Ugh.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Glad, you raise a good point. I'm not very handy and so probably shouldn't go drilling into the ALF walls, but I *can* take photographs so at least there is some documentation in case anything goes missing. UGH.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Doubt it. That's what her now-gone TV was. And if that were the case I think she would have said so, and held onto to her old TV until she got the new one. She has no idea about technology so it's unlikely she wants all the new bells & whistles.

She mentioned some other stuff missing, like some crystal glasses. And of course there is all the financial drama from a few months ago already detailed on this thread.

It's just really frustrating watching all this dodgy stuff going on, and knowing that pretty much any contact I have with my grandmother will involve dysfunction.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Make sure that the new flat screen is mounted to the wall, or something so mom cannot take off with it too. Flat Screens are easy to walk off with. Or bolt it to a stand, something to make its removal very, very difficult. Maybe the ALF has a security system that if it is unplugged an alarm goes off? Or Radio Shack probably sells a device that would do that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Maybe she just wants a nice new flatscreen. They take up much less room
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

So, I'm due to visit my grandmother this Friday. She mentioned wanting to buy a TV for her suite at the ALF, which is fine, I can take her shopping for that. But here's the thing: she has a TV. It was at her house, from which a bunch of furniture was moved to her new place a few months ago. A full bedroom suite and dining room suite were moved, in addition to her clothes and other items, so there is no reason why the TV couldn't have come along in the move.

I asked my grandmother what happened to the other TV and she said "I don't know" but honestly I think she just doesn't want to say "your mother must have taken it", even though that is the only explanation.

Ugh. Even with my grandmother somewhat reined in, the dysfunction continues. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. My grandfather has only been dead 7 months, for crying out loud. God only knows what I'll be hearing a year from now.

The kicker is, my grandmother's TV isn't even all that great, big-ish but poor quality. So for my mother to take it is just SO tacky, especially since it's left my grandmother with no TV at all. I mean really.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

margaret - it is very heartening that you share and that we can experience your growth of empowerment over the last nearly six months since you first posted! Good on you, kiddo!! Happy, happy holidays...

Carol
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Welp, talked to grandma last night. She seems OK with being at the ALF at Christmas because she has made a friend there who will also be there over the holidays, as her family are going to the Caribbean. I'll see my grandma the first weekend in Jan. I think offering an alternate date for a visit helped smooth it over.

But it's not a call to grandma without a litte toxicity. She started in again on not being sure if she trusts my mother as PoA and wishing she could change it and yadda, but I headed if off, and I think she senses that she has worn out that topic with me. That's not the really toxic bit though. She said - I swear this is true - "your grandfather left me so much money I don't know what I'm going to do with it". So I suggested, again, that she help out her great-grandchildren who are currently at university. And she hemmed and hawed, AGAIN. It
REALLY turns me off her.

The reason she is reluctant to give them money is because they are my scapegoat sister's offspring, so essentially scapegoats themselves, and therefore have been written off, not acknowledged as members of the family. It's really dysfunctional and frankly disgusting.

On this January visit I may just sit her down and spell out a few home truths to her. I.e. that if she can give my mother $50K for home renovations she can d--- well give her great-grandchildren something for their educations so they can have a decent shot at good jobs etc. And if not, she is never to speak to me about her money again. She can do what she likes with her money, but I don't have to hear about it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks all. Actually my plan was just to rest over Christmas. I've just finished a semester of part-time grad school and full-time work, and I'm zonked. Plus I genuinely can't get to my grandmother's place at Christmastime. I live downtown in a big city and have no car, most rental cars are booked, and there is no bus to her town at Christmas. So, I guess I can use all that as a way to get out of it.

But oh the guilt trip that is coming my way! Even during the brief call she was starting up with "you're all I have left". Actually, she has another granddaughter and seven grandchildren that she has pretty much ignored all their lives (my sister is in the family scapegoat role). So there's a definite "you reap what you sow" situation going on here.

On the plus side, she hasn't mentioned any money dramas for a while. I'm sure there still are some, but I'm fine with not hearing about them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In the beginning you wanted to save your GM from your Mom. Now she is asking you to do just that. Are you prepared to find massive irregularities with GM's finances ie she is destitute and you will have to take on that burden.
There is no way your mother will not be held responsible and face legal proceedings if you try to apply for any kind of public assistance. If you are the current POA Mom and probably GM will try and pass the blame to you. You run the risk of having to invest substantial amounts of money defending yourself not to mention the time and stress, You know the pair of them will team up and fabricate all kinds of lies about you. I would say my bottom line is do not do it. If you feel compelled do not do it without legal assistance.
This is like taking sides in a divorce between two friends. the result is they get back together and both turn on you, You know both Mom and GM are equally toxic and I go further too and say they are evil or at least seriously mentally ill.
Visiting GM at Christmas is a totally different decision. Do not change any plans you have already made - go on another day. Only take a small gift such as candies or a plant and don't feel bad if she produces something very expensive - it is a bribe. The sweet reasonable GM you see on Christmas Day is a total fake don't be fooled, she has had years and years of practice. Go if you really want to but if it is out of guilt go volunteer at a soup kitchen instead. My guess is Mom has fled the coup and so has the money. May your Christmas be peaceful
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

MS,
what are your plans, otherwise? If you really feel like you should visit do. But it does not need to interfere with your plans, keep them its tell grandma you will visit on another day, have lunch with her, or not. One thing that I think about is if I don't do something will I feel guilty for not having done it were she to die tomorrow? That is my barometer when there is something I really do not care to do to help guide my decisions. With my situation, there will not be any guilt since I am mom's 24/7 caregiver.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Another call from toxic grandma! This time it's because she wants me to come and see her at Christmas at her ALF. I guess my mother is ditching her (probably to travel with a rich friend of hers who lives in Florida) and I'm the fallback option. I told my grandmother I'd think about it. The fact that I didn't give her an immediate "yes" started her on the most pathetic whining and pleading. It's grotesque and frankly, it makes me want to smack her.

The truth is, I don't want to go. But ugh, the guilt. Also, the rage! I mean, HELLO, you've given your daughter tens of thousands of dollars and she's ditching you at Christmas? GET A CLUE. Give HER the whining and pleading. SHE owes you, not me.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thanks all. There's really nothing to be said or done. I was just briefly stunned by the craziness of that message. Now I know to be prepared for more crazy messages, since this thing is obviously never going to stop as long as my grandmother can dial a phone.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well Margarets I guess it helps you to be getting all this off your chest and that is fine.
Your mother and grandmother have significant personality flaws. They thrive on drama and manipulation. GM has dementia ? diagnosed . You have the power to stop letting either of them continue to abuse you. Stop fussing about the money, not one cent of it is going anywhere but Mom's pocket so, wrong as it may be, does it really matter when that happens. The important part of this is that there is sufficient money available to properly take care of GM. Is that happening? Does she have a regular income to cover her needs that mom can not divert?. You can certainly talk to the supervisor at her ALF and make sure the bills are being paid and she has adequate groceries and supplies. If GM wants you to visit she can send you $100 to rent a car and gas. you are a student and I assume have a limited income although you have never mentioned that. you can still call her and I would do it regularily so she can expect it. You just don't need to buy into the drama. Play your messages as soon as you receive them and then decide when and if you will respond. If she starts on about your mother's supposed thievery just sweetly tell her you had nothing to do with the POA it was entrusted to your mother and you do can not become involved. There is nothing that comes out of either of their mouths that can be believed. Your whole life has been a time when they have perfected the art of pushing your buttons. The only way you can protect yourself is by keeping your distance. Concentrate on your studies and join activities on campus. there should be free or inexpensive counciling through student health. Now is the time to take advantage of new opportunities and make contacts that will help you in your future career. Spring clean your life. Many people on this site are truly trapped until their loved one passes on but you still have the freedom to make your own decisions
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3 4
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.