How do you handle slander, abuse, and ridiculous accusations by crazy relatives?

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Mom has Alzheimer's. Her crazy family has been accusing us of stealing money, etc., whatever they could make up for the 3 years since mom's diagnosis. We have mom in a beautiful memory care facility with the best, most loving staff, and have seen a huge improvement in her health. Her care costs over $5,000/month. I don't handle the finances, am not on any accounts, and don't want anything of moms (I have enough junk of my own). My sibling that handles the accounts, I would trust with my life, is extremely careful with mom's money. We need that money to last a very long time to keep her in this care facility. We haven't so much as gone out to lunch on my mom's dime! The "Psychos" filed a complaint with Adult Protective Services, stating that we took the money from her reverse mortgage and were spending it on ourselves! I'd sure like to know where "I" spent it because I don't have anything new, nor have I travelled.... In fact, I'm still here, trying to raise my kids! One child has special needs and his issues are a daily struggle. The APS determined there was no grounds whatsoever to the complaint. How can I legally, if need be, get these creeps out of my life for good?!

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Every now and then a co-worker says something negative about me. In a joking manner, I usually respond with "Stop hating. ... I know you want some of this, but you're gonna have to get your own."

In your case, they probably want access to that money.

-- Ed
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Why do you have to have any contact with them? They've tried to harm you (or maybe, to give the benefit of the doubt, they were trying to protect your mom) and that didn't work.

I guess if they are your mom's family they are related to you. (Uncle? Cousin once removed?) That doesn't mean they have to be a part of your life. If they accept the APS investigation results and apologize to you, hey maybe you could maintain a distant connection. But if their attitude doesn't change, why would you accept calls from them, answer their emails or letters, etc?

Can you just drop them from your life and move on?
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EX1 - Not that this helps with the mendacity filled skanks you have to deal with but your comment red flagged my brain.....be careful with the reverse mortgage. Under FHA backed RM, if the owner moves from the house, the reverse mortgage is out of compliance on the agreement. Please go over the agreement to see what your mom's policy reads and what her options are. Just in case.

When you do a FHA backed RM there are 4 things that can be a problem:
FAILURE TO PAY - property taxes, homeowners/flood/wind insurance
MOVING TO A NEW PRIMARY RESIDENCE- if reverse mortgage property stops being your primary, you are required to pay your loan
BEING OUT OF THE HOME FOR MORE THAN 1 Yr - the loan will come due.
ALLOWING THE PROPERTY TO DETERIORATE - being away for a while, like that trip to Provence the skanks will say you took, is allowed but if the property gets run down while you are away, the loan could be called in. After Katrina, some homeowners who had RM, got letters w/detailed questionnaire as to the status of the home, how it was being secured, status of repairs, utility information - this was all about calling in loans that looked like they were in areas with uncertainty. And that was in 2005 before the real estate market tanked.

Two of the big reverse mortgage players, Bank of America & Wells Fargo, got out of the new reverse business this year. They were like 50% of the market too - they still service & honor the old loans but do not write any new ones. They did it because alot of the homes with RM now are negative-equity so they were taking losses on those RM's done in the go-go real estate years of the 1990's - 2005.

Whatever you do, DO NOT contact them to tell them mom has moved. Go and see a financial advisor or elder law attorney to come up with a game plan on how to deal with this so that she can either protect her assets or come up with a plan to negotiate the pay-back terms or string out the equity on the house if the RM folks make it go to sale so that she can qualify for benefits.

About the skanks, I'd go to the NH to make notes of how often they visit and for how long. Most NH have a sign in sheet with time in/out. If there is a pattern, I'd go right before them and be doing an activity with your mom and stay through their visit. Keep a detailed log of what is said and by whom. It may come in handy if you have to get an attorney to do a restraining order in the future. Good luck.
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Whacko. They hijacked another Aunt's funeral a month ago and "roasted" (in a cruel, not in a funny way) all of the families, except theirs of course. They claimed all of one Uncles' kids were waiting for him to die to inherit his coin collection. My Mom told me this sister has always been jealous, apparently so are her kids.
They told my mother we were going to sell her house out from under her and throw her in a nursing home for the 3 years Mom was at home with 24/7 caregivers. Now, Mom goes nuts whenever any of us come to visit, threatening to kill herself.... We told them for 3 years that this was elder abuse and they had to stop. They promised to stop, but, never really stopped. Now, of course Mom thinks she's in the type of place they referred to! Which she isn't.
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Can you send out a family letter (or email) announcing the findings of the APS investigation, just as a matter-of-fact piece of family information? Don't get defensive, and don't accuse anyone. Just pass on information. Would this be useful for those in the large family who have heard the accusations but are not making them?

Unfortunately, I don't know of a way of getting an injunction against people telling lies. Maybe a lawyer could write a stern letter about libel and slander.

Do you have any idea what their motivation is? Are these people who have any financial interest in your mother's estate? (Expect to inherit, etc.) Is there bad blood somewhere in the picture -- they never liked who your mother married, or have some grudge against you kids? Or they are just whacko?

I guess it doesn't matter why, the question is just how to stop them. I hope you have some success.

How is this impacting your mother?
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Ugh! Families!
Wow ... and all I complain about is a judgmental brother. I cannot do anything right according to him (accusations/lies) and at one time my mom did believe him but since caring for her for this year since my dad died, she sees my heart and knows that I have only her best interest at heart. Thank God for that change of heart.
I agree with setting boundaries both with the facility and visiting and also with yourself. With my brother's recent visit I didn't engage in conversation nor participate in activities he and my mom did (well he and his girlfriend and my mom). I caught ridicule for that from him (via a family member) but my mom understood that with caring for her and my education, I am tired and took the time they were out to rest. Thank God for her understanding me needing rest and also that I do invest time caring for her.
I also agree with speaking with legal counsel about slander/libel. A letter from such a professional should curb their appetite to gossip about you. I agree with writing and email (generic/general) as well. I am also the type of person that would copy/scan that report/ the findings and mail/email it to everyone, and I mean EVERYONE in the family...but then that's just me.
But I accept that every situation is different and sometimes it is best to vent here and get it out and leave everyone else alone for a while. This site is the the best for that! Venting! All topics, every topic, any topic. This site has provided a great forum for comraderie, that's for sure!
The impact this has on your mother is the most important thing to focus on. Your reputation isn't tainted unless the "gossip" is true (not saying it is; rest assured you are doing the best you can under the circumstances and that's good enough for me). Your mom, no matter who is saying what, should have quality of life and enjoy it!
Peg in San Diego
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I had a relative that acted like this when I placed my grandmother in a memory care unit - he called protective services and told them I was stealing her money (she had very little and I was actually paying for part of her care) and I was holding her hostage at the facility. APS investigated and of course completely agreed with what I was doing and complemented me on the care grandma was receiving. And luckily since I was POA and the facility was also getting tired of him calling and getting grandma upset I was able to tell the facility to stop letting him talk to grandma (luckily he was out of state & he couldn't visit). And any mail she received they have to me - so when he sent her a letter that was nasty and full of lies about me - she didn't see it (I got it instead). So maybe if you're POA you can just have the toxic relatives banned.
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If you are confident that the connection is Mom and if their behavior is making your mom anxious, I would consider anything from talking to them about the potential damage they can cause to mom by alienating her from her primary caregivers to getting a restraining order to prevent them from seeing your mom alone (I would supervise their visits or have visits supervised). You do have to consider what your mom gets out of the relationship with them, if they are good company for her, if they bring her joy. Her time is limited and you wouldn't want to deny her access to them if they were a good thing in her life. However, if they are alienating your mom from her primary caregivers and making her fearful, then your mom's welfare comes first. Think about it carefully. It's kind of like a divorced noncustodial parent situation. Even when the noncustodial parent isn't paying child support, it's still in the best interests of the child to know their parent. If the noncustodial parent has issues that limit trust, than supervised visits are recommended. If it's placing a child in danger, then visitation is denied. Where are these relatives on that scale? Talk to her doctor about the potential impact on your mom from them trying to alienate your mom from you guys and then decide on a course. Of course what they've done to you is horrendous but let what is best for your mom be your guide in deciding how to respond. I am sorry for your pain and I know personally that caregiver stress can be overshadowed by the stress of critical, judgemental relatives who are clueless. Just keep doing what's right, that's all you can do.
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Thanks all. Well, it went from bad to horrible. They planted the Adult Protective Services idea in her mind and her anxiety is so bad, the care givers had to call her doctor for additional anxiety meds to calm her down. Mom has been so upset that she was mistreating the caregivers, another resident in defense of the caregivers, stepped in to chastise Mom for treating them that way, and they got in an argument! The APS case worker suggested we get a restraining order against them. Three years of telling them to quit upsetting her with the lie that we were going to sell her house and "throw" her in a nursing home, she would cry, lose sleep and not be able to eat! We told them to stop, even changed her phone number, twice. To which, they promised to stop, and we gave them the phone number. We never wanted to stop the visits, because she's lost so much family. Unbelievable!
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Some of what you posted I can kind of relate to and suggest maybe like some of the other members said to just know that you are doing the right thing for your mother and try to ignore these folks that are just clueless. Perhaps it makes these weirdos feel better to say something ugly about somebody else because they are ugly themselves and don't have anything better to do with their time. Just try to relax and not stress out over it too much. I am sorry you have a special needs child you care for as well, which probably makes a little more stressful. I hope you are taking care of yourself and maybe seek professional help if you need it. It is just not necessary at all for other people to say harmful things about you and try your best not to let it get to you. You and family are more important and life is too short to give these people the power to bring you down. They are not you and don't really have the right to complain anyway. Try to keep your chin up and do some things for you and sake of your own health so you are better able to take care of your family as well. ;-)
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