My 80yr old mom (blind) brought a guy home from the VA bar to live in her home as a companion. He is clearly verbally abusive to her, and, being the one to read her mail, has tried to involve himself in her finances - even having her set up a bank account w/ only her name and his on it. When he does anything requiring money, he presents himself as her 'caregiver' but mom says he's her roommate not a caregiver. While there is no direct financial compensation or even a contract, he is living there for free, she's buying his food (actually he takes her money and brings her McDonalds), paying for his car insurance (over $300/mo), he doesn't cook, clean, or do anything one would associate with caregiving. As far as we can tell, he has not physically abused her but he is clearly isolating her from family. He also appears to have a drinking problem.

The problem is my mom will downplay his verbal abuse to her and even lie to defend him, primarily out of fear of being alone but also part of her low self-esteem related to mental illness. One sister has POA and is supposed to oversee all my mom's financials as well as the trust set up to take care of her. Up to this point, it seems she may have been just putting money into mom's account and roommate would use ATM to access it.

Any suggestions? I would like to demand an accounting by roommate/mom for all money spent on a monthly basis, with receipts. BTW - the bills are paid by the POA, including an $800 cable bill one month. I'm also new on the scene as I am adopted and just found my birth family (this situation) and I'm flabbergasted that this has been allowed to happen and continue.

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You may want to contact an elder care attorney - discuss this issue - and ask them for recommendations.

Possible thoughts: Have her evaluated for mental competency, dementia, etc. Is she capable and competent to make decisions?

Begin eviction proceedings for this leach who has moved in to take advantage of your mother.

Unfortunately many women fall prey to these kinds of situations because they are lonely, etc. They want simple companionship, a friend, a helper, etc. However, the man who's doing this may have done it before and knows an easy target when he sees one. He's an opportunist and I'd use every means available to me to get rid of him. I like the detective idea! Get a background check ASAP and find out if he's done this kind of thing before.

I have a friend who gave a man 'friend' her entire retirement savings account. She was duped with promises of friendship and potential romance. Problem was this was all over an email exchange - she NEVER even met the guy! At the end of it all - there was nothing she could do - she GAVE him the money willingly because she fell for his lies. Hate to say it but many people are gullible and naive. Please step in and step up...if the attorney says nothing can be done, APS can be contacted again - explain the situation - but if she's competent and only foolish/gullible...then there's not much you can do except try to talk to her and convince her to ask the man to leave her home. He sounds like he's setting her of luck to you!
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Lostboy Jul 2018
Thank you for your response. Being 1000 miles from where this is all happening as well as being new on the scene (just found my family via DNA) makes this a challenge for sure. My sister mentions mom has early signs of dementia but I'm pretty sure she's making that case from personal observations about memory not an actual medical diagnoses. I agree that she clearly can't recall what she's said or done the day prior but she still knows who I am and can call me of her own volition. So not completely out of it yet.

It has been about a month since I located my birth family and while better off financially than I was or am, I'm beginning to regret finding them already. I have never seen this level of dysfunction. It's hard to know who to believe as they all seem to be living in an alternate reality and it would be easy to just walk away, not respond to calls and pretend it didn't happen but the guy taking advantage of my mom's condition and compassion really peeves me. That takes a real low life to do that to lonely desperate people nearing the end of their lives.
Thanks for the answers. Mom has been in and out of mental health facilities over the years so she does have a history. She's also a hoarder etc. Sadly, none of those things sound like enough to clearly demonstrate incompetence and file for guardianship. Rest of the family has let this go too long w/o much action and poor followup on book keeping in some respect out of fear of causing mom to have another serious mental health episode. I think none are willing to testify to her inability to make (good) decisions for herself. One sister did call APS but the room mate met them out in the yard and convinced them it was a misunderstanding. They never went inside the house (a disaster) to investigate more than that. Local PD did a similar thing ....... drive by. Visit in the yard. Say no signs of physical violence so it's all good.

As I said, being new to the situation, I listened to both sisters as well as my aunt (mom's older sister) who all claimed the guy was ripping her off and verbally abusive etc but was still not sure how common it might be until I heard him cuss her out while she was talking to me.

My father left her a substantial amount in her trust (7 figures) and I fear this loser VA barfly knows it.

IMO ----- the getting documentation of his spending of her money, presenting it to her before he can explain it away would be the first step into convincing her he's no good. Also requiring him to sign some sort of caretaker agreement outlining his responsibilities and limitations would put him on the spot. I doubt he'd be willing to sign a contract that could leave him exposed to termination for not fulfilling his duties. As it is now, there are no specific duties on his part. He could also be responsible for reporting compensation on his income taxes.
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Can you hire a private detective to look into this guy? I know that sounds extreme but there are lots of red flags.
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If this were my situation I’d be in contact with Adult Protective Services NOW, to make an anonymous complaint.
The very idea that this person is isolating her from interested family would be giving me fits, and at the very least, her finances should be directly managed and controlled by her POA, and the current arrangement is possibly illegal.
She is vulnerable to mistreatment based on her age and the status of her vision with NO QUESTION, just for starters.
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It sounds like an abusive boyfriend relationship. If she's competent and you can't talk her out of it, then there are not a lot of choices. If she has dementia, you can file for guardianship and call family social services.
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