Follow
Share

I could really use some help dealing with two toxic family members... my aunt and my uncle.

Because of the way my aunt and uncle treated both my grandfather and my late grandmother over the past 4 years (The more ill and help they needed, the further they moved away and almost stopped coming to see them all together. They even went so far as to get themselves put into a position of POA so that they could put my grandparents forcefully into a home) there have been several changes made to my grandfathers will, trust and POA paperwork essentially giving my mother and I the power we need to take care of them and essentially giving both my mother and I all of their assets including their home upon their death for all the help we have given them these past 4 years (and until my grandfather passes which is going to be many more years to come).

My grandmother was not even buried for a hour and the questions started... they wanted to start rummaging through the house for things they wanted. But both my grandfather and mother said no... it will be done when we are ready. And that was the end of that.

Or we thought.

Now my aunt is sending out emails to family saying how my mother tricked them into making the changes or made the changes herself. They have even gone so far as to wait for my grandfather to leave for breakfast, show up to the house and demand access to the house to get things. When my mother refused saying that my grandfather should be there as well, my uncle literally went face to face with my mother, called her every dirty name under the sun and was quite close to hitting her. If I had not walked in, picked up the phone and told him to leave or I will dial 911 I am not quite sure what would have happened ( was not too polite either, but nobody messes with my family).

Now, Christmas came and went, everything was fine till my aunt called. Spent 60 seconds saying "Merry Christmas" to my grandfather and then started bad mouthing my mother and trying to convince him of changes that were made without his knowledge for over 20 minutes.

I honestly don't know what to do. My grandfather is 89, doesn't pay much attention to most things anyway, so his memory is not all that great. To top it off he won't even tell my aunt to back off or to simply stop talking like that on the phone. He just lets her keep going and puts up with it getting more and more confused.

My poor mother then has to go and find papers showing him the truth to constantly prove she didn't do anything he's not aware of. It tears her up inside when my aunt or uncle tries to twist my grandfather around to get him to believe that she tricked him or to get other family members to believe that we tricked them into the changes they made.

The harassment could all be ended if my grandfather would just tell my aunt and uncle "That's it, no more" but he's simply buried his head in the sand.

My mother and I simply don't know what to do. Even Hospice counselors and his lawyer have told him he needs to put an end to it for his sake, but he simply will not confront her.

Other then supporting him, what can we do to end this?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
If it were not for your grandmother's going back through the papers and reading them carefully… Do you really mean to say that she did this ***after*** the POA documents had been signed? That, seriously, it was not until afterwards that anyone thought to "read them carefully"? Well, for heaven's sake. If your grandfather signed over POA without reading carefully what he was signing, that is not a sign of distrust - it's a sign of either incapacity or wilful naivety. Neither of which is your aunt and uncle's doing. And, by the way, if his failure to understand what he was signing over, in detail, was attributable at that stage to lack of capacity, then not only was the first POA invalid but so also is your mother's.

Let's not open that can of worms. The real question is: what now?

It worries me that you seem to regard his plans for his will as a sort of retrospective payment for your mother's and your support. There are more substantial questions to deal with. Who is managing the money? Who is making the decisions? What kind of account of your grandfather's finances will your mother be able to show if the authorities take an interest in this matter? You say, for example, that his house is becoming dilapidated: the point of having POA is that your mother has accepted responsibility for ensuring that it doesn't. If your grandfather is found at any point to be living in squalid conditions, she will be held responsible for that. Not fair? - because your grandfather won't let her spend money on upkeep? It's the rules: the whole point of POA is to support people who are no longer capable of sound decision-making on their own account. It makes life very difficult while you are in that grey area where an older person is acting unwisely but has not obviously lost capacity; and I'm sorry for it; but nobody ever said it would be simple and if your mother doesn't like it… well, again I'm sorry, but she should have thought of that before.

To spell it out, your mother has accepted responsibility for your grandfather's welfare. Since she has not only accepted but actively sought POA, in spite of opposition, she not only can but likely will be held to account for everything that happens to him. His needs are going to increase: that's a given. Believe me, this is not criticism of what your mother has done, this is a warning. She really, really needs to get a firm grip on this situation by looking at the care plans, looking at the assets, incomes, outgoings and all: or your aunt will call down the wrath of God on her if anything goes wrong - and apparently she has the money to do it, too.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

No Countrymouse, I don't expect him to tell her never to come back again. He just needs to tell her "Look, if you want to talk to me, talk to me. Just don't run your sister and your nephew down after all they have done for both me and your mother. I asked them to come." I mean on Christmas day she spent less then 60 seconds talking to him on the phone before she started just ripping everything apart. He does not need to listen to that, but he needs to take a stand and simply tell my aunt "no".

And yes... they did get themselves put into a position of being POA's. They used their lawyer friend, took advantage of my grandparents general distrust and all of our ignorance. They made it sound as if it would be both myself and my uncle as shared POA's for both financial and health as well as their overall care. If it were not for my grandmother going back through the papers and reading them carefully we would have never have found out that it was only my uncle as #1 and my aunt as #2 and then myself and my mother as 3rd and 4th. Good thing it got changed too... shortly after it got fixed by a different lawyer my uncle said he was coming back to town (my aunt and uncle live in Connecticut and us in Illinois) to "put them both in a home before he went back to Connecticut".

And yes Panstegman, everything that was my grandmothers is now my grandfathers. There is no issue with that.

And rovana, You know family does not get along all the time. And yes he might not listen to anyone. But that's no reason to just not trust him and abandon him. If that's how we treated the elderly (or every day people for that matter) nobody would trust or help anyone. And the way he treats my mother and I is different from the way he treats my aunt, uncle and my cousin. As far as paying us... he is in a way. He's leaving us everything except a small amount of cash he is giving my aunt/uncle.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have a lot of sympathy for aunt and uncle - grandpa seems to be an emotional abuser, a trampler and cheapskate. What he wants matters, no one else's welfare matters at all. I can understand your aunt and uncle keeping distance - why bother when he won't listen to anyone and thinks the world has to dance to his tune? You would be wise to look ahead for yourselves and refuse to trust this man. He will do what he wants to do regardless and will have a list of excuses why you are hurt by his decisions. You should expect to pay family to care for you, if you possibly can. After all they have a future to provide for.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Right now only Grandma's Will comes into play. If it says she left everything to Grandpa, then it is all his. If not, do what the Will says.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

JT, what struck me reading through your posts is this. When you look at the conflict between your mother and your aunt + uncle, that's your grandfather's warring children you're talking about. I can imagine how frustrating and hurtful it is when he 'buries his head in the sand' as you say; but from his point of view it's that he won't take sides. They're both his children. You can see why he'd rather pretend it isn't happening. And how are you expecting him to resolve the situation, exactly? - tell his child that s/he must never darken his door again? How could he possibly be happy to do that? He is simply not going to feel the same way about this person as you and your mother do.

I'd find it helpful if you could put some time frames around this. You and your mother have been living with? your grandparents, now just your grandfather (and I'm sorry for your grandmother's passing), for how long? And the original POA appointing your aunt and uncle was drawn up when? And the new POA cancelling that one and appointing your mother in their place was made when? And when did your grandmother pass away?

You see, I think what is missing here is perspective. If this sequence of events has galloped along, with all kinds of stresses and changes colliding, what you're dealing with is a family under pressure. Emotions run high, skin gets thin - it's a recipe for misunderstanding, suspicion, accusation and conflict.

Which is your mother's actual sibling, the aunt or the uncle? Just wondering. Were your mother and this sibling close previously?

A point of order, and at the same time a good example of how things get slanted: your aunt and uncle cannot have "got themselves put into a position of POA." Nobody can have himself made POA. POA has to be freely given by competent, consenting adults to another person they trust. If they were given POA by your grandparents, that was your grandparents' choice. When your grandparents then changed their arrangements, it was a firm rejection of the sibling and spouse they had originally chosen; presumably done without your aunt and uncle's knowledge; and that is quite possibly where their more toxic behaviours stem from. They are deeply suspicious about what has gone on; and if you were in their position you wouldn't just let it go, either.

But as you also say, the real question is how to deal with it now. The first thing I'd suggest is that you step back and have a clear look at the whole picture. Then think how you, your mother, and most importantly of all your grandfather, would like things to be with your family. Then the hard bit: working out how to get from A to B. Mediation might be a good idea, because it can be incredibly difficult to turn relationships around once they've gone awry without skilled intervention. What you all, every one of you, must keep uppermost in your minds is your grandfather's peace of mind. Whatever he wanted for his last years, it wasn't this.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

As far as going into a assisted living facility killing him... it's just a guess. To be honest things would really be no different if he did go into an assisted living facility except for the expense.

Granted we would be no longer responsible for his care, but he does not like being around people his own age. He refuses to go to the senior center because only "old" people hang out there. He does not socialize, he does not get involved in activities, nothing. And things were like this before my grandmother died. To be honest he would probably do just the opposite... either get everyone he talked to mad and they would ignore him or if he went in a home he would sit in his room all day and watch tv.

Both my mother and I have tried for several years to get him to go out and do things ( when my grandmother was alive we did the same with her) but the two of them refused to go out and do anything anymore. Even the things he loved he refused to do. We will see if things change this coming year when the weather changes though. Being that my grandmother is no longer with us he might actually start getting out.

As far as both my mother and I are concerned... not a day goes by that we both don't think of those things. Not a week goes by that we don't think of leaving and putting him in a assisted living facility. Neither of us can bring ourselves to do it. we fought hard to keep my grandmother home as long as she was because we knew as soon as she went in the home, that would be it. Even if they are getting good care, good food and maybe even socializing, it's never the same as being able to wake up, go downstairs and say good morning to them face to face or being able to sit at a table with them every evening and have a meal with them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with Babalou, something has to change. No one is happy in this situation. Both you and your Mom have no life to speak of... and please note that 1 out of every 3 Caregiver dies leaving behind the person they were carrying. Then what? Your back injury will probably never go away... you have no job that will continue to finance YOUR own retirement.... and was this worth losing your fiancé?

You said that putting your Grandfather into a continuing care home would kill him. Is that what he says, or is that what you and your Mom assume would happen? What is so wrong with Grandpa being around people of his own generation? Having activities he would enjoy? Eating with other people? And having 24 hour care by professionally trained personnel?

To help pay for a continuing care community, the house could be sold, along with furniture not needed.... and any personal sentimental items that your Grandfather doesn't want could then be distributed. That would finally quiet your Aunt and Uncle.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

What kind of answer is that? Granted, the situation is bad, but you just don't abandon family. What my aunt and uncle have done is one thing, but walking away from him is wrong. I may dislike the situation with a passion and regret alot of the things that have gone on here, but putting him in a home like that would just kill him.

But in all honesty, you are not the first person to say that. Even dr's and shrinks have told us to walk away. But I can't bring myself to do it. For me, it's better to endure the hell then to watch him fade away in a assisted living home.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The only person you can change is you. Beyond your Aunt and uncle being toxic people, this sounds like a toxic situation that you should walk away from. Call APS and report that you will no longer be available to care for him after such and such a date. Let the state take over.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

As far as the confusion, he's always been like this. He has had Psyc and memory testing to make sure everything is working fine and it is. He simply does not pay attention. He's never paid attention to the dr's, to my grandmother, to his own body (the man played 8 holes of golf with a ruptured appendix) or to anyone/anything else for that matter... that's just him.

As far as us getting salary, you have got to be kidding (not trying to be rude). We brought that up one time and we were unanimously shot down by both my grandparents. In fact we pay them rent to use their small house in the back to house our stuff and work out of when we can.

And yes, the house is being left to us unless things change between now and my grandfathers death. As far as keeping up with it... the place is nearly 100 years old and has been neglected for some time. It needs allot of updating and fixes to become 100% functional.

No, it is not my uncle's childhood home... it's my aunts. She already owns 4 houses and spends nearly 10k a month on new clothes. So she does not need the home. Not to mention she essentially abandoned them when they needed help the most and have on several occasions threatened to "throw them in a home, sell their assets and walk away". And nothing was promised at any time.

As far as care, both my mother and I dropped everything for them. It's been over 4 years, we have no friends, no social outlets or go anywhere for that matter that isn't a prescription pickup or a run to the grocery store. I sacrificed my fiance, my business and my physical health (due to injuries from lifting I now have to walk with a cane). We were not even allowed to go to church.

And even though there was help available, we were not allowed to use it. There was always trust issues with both my grandparents as well as the absolute filth and garbage my grandfather talks. He would literally make any help either so embarrased or so angry they refused to return. As far as family, forget it. They would not come help unless they were offered payment and even then it's iffy.

As far as having a third party help out, it would be useless. My grandfather would not stand up for himself nor would he stand up for us. He would just let my aunt and uncle ramble. The thing is that he is the only one that can put a stop to their harassment, but he refuses to confront them. And if my mother and I were to try and help him get his words across, it would be looked at as if we were coaching him or putting words in his mouth.

He needs to stand up to them and put a stop to it, but I doubt he ever will.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When the will and trust were changed, was grandpa already "confused"? You certainly leave yourself open to charges of undue influence.

Assets should be used for the owner's care. If you and your mom are his caregivers, you should have an agreement drawn up and a salary paid to you. Relying on the house being left seems risky. Will you be able to afford to maintain it?

So, is this your uncle's childhood home? Are there things he'd like to have? Perhaps some jewelry that grandma promised his wife? Can you perhaps see this from his lens?

Not every adult child is cut out to be a caregiver. Yes, some of us move away and lead our own self-supporting lives. And yes, some of us think that our elders receive better care and have more opportunities to socialize in care centers. I'd hate to think that because I have a job, a family, a home of my own and think that my mother receives far better care than I could give her at home, that I would be judged somehow lacking and deprived of some share of family memorabilia and my high school yearbook.

Perhaps if you all can sit down with a neutral third party, this can be mediated and grandpa can be relieved of the awful stress this must be causing him.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.