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My mother has two caretakers in which they are not qualified to care for her at all. Let's call them Mary and Steve. So Mary and Steve have been working for my Mother for 10 years just taking care of various things such as her pets or some things around the house. But it was not until the past 2 years she needed self care. She cannot see, can barley hear, has a very hard time moving around.....so basically she is not independent anymore. So now Steve and Mary drive her, take her blood sugar, give her eye drops, and Mary gives her showers. These people have not been trained in anyway to care for the elderly. They were not hired through any service so not really sure how about getting rid of them and getting a real nurse or someone who is qualified to give my Mother the care she really needs. I have been keeping a close eye on them and my Mother and it is very obvious her needs have been neglected and they are taking care of her financially. Sometimes I will go to my Mother's house after work and none of the caretakers are there. Then she will tell me she last ate at 9:00am and I get there at 3:00pm.....which is very unsafe for a diabetic to go that long without food. I will go to grab her some food and she has no food in her house at all. I'll ask her why there is no food and she says she didn't want to bother Mary or Steve to buy groceries. And when no one has been there all day her dogs have pooped and peed all over the house....along with my Mother soiling her diaper because she cannot make it to the bathroom on her own. So I will ask my Mother where Steve and Mary are and she will say they had some personal things to take care of. These people do not have any other jobs.....and they take time off whenever they please. Leaving my Mother not cared for. My Mother is constantly paying for Mary and Steve to go on cruises with her and will pay them to go with her. She invites my family and I but I have my personal health issues which makes it difficult for me to travel. But two summers ago I decided to go on the cruise without telling my Mother. My daughter and I surprised her on the boat and we were shocked to see the condition she was in. My Mother was completely out of it.....she had a nasty rash all over her body, coughing a ton, was very pale, her clothes were filthy and had clearly not been showered for a week. I took her to the infirmary right away. The doctor was surprised she was even let on the boat because the condition she was in. It was clear Steve and Mary neglected her. The whole cruise I spent nursing my Mother back to health while Steve was nowhere to be seen the entire cruise even though he was being paid the whole time to be there. Now it's time to go over the financial abuse. My Mother pays Steve $900 a week and Mary $700 a week....Steve is at the house more but Mary has been complaining about not getting equal pay. I have multiple accounts combined with my Mother and I have been getting calls from the bank that my Mother has been taking out large amounts of money everyday. I have POA so I decided to check her bank accounts....come to find out she had some accounts combined with Steve and Mary. The amount of money in these accounts are enough to buy two middle class houses. So it is very concerning to me that Steve and Mary's names are attached to the accounts. My mother can be a very generous person but this is too generous. She has bought Mary and Steve brand new cars, Steve a brand new motorcycle, possibly a bunch of other items I don't know of. Recently Steve said he wanted to go to Disney World with his family and asked my Mother for money for the trip. My Mother actually told him no and that did not go over well with Steve....so my Mother caved and gave him money for the trip. I don't know if my Mother doesn't care about her wealth or if she is being pressured to spend loads of her money. But I have seen her tell Mary or Steve to go in her purse to grab money which is very inappropriate...you don't know how much they are taking. The most eye opening thing for me is that she changed her will. During the will meeting she was falling asleep and not paying attention....in the end of the meeting she decides to leave Mary and Steve over $300,000 each. This is very concerning to me.... they do not deserve that amount of money at all the way they take care of her and treat her. If anyone has advice on how I can make sure my Mother is no longer taken advantage of please help. I am currently at a loss. I don't know what to do. My Mother does not have dementia or alzheimer's so I cannot say she is not with it mentally but someday's she does repeat herself or is very forgetful. So I don't know if she understands what's going on with Steve and Mary. Her eyes need to be opened that Steve and Mary are not good people.

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I sometimes wonder if people ‘prank post’ but it’s difficult to really tell because my parents have done some astounding things I never thought in my wildest dreams would ever happen!!!
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MsMadge,
There are not many people who have discernment.
You have it.
Red flags e v e r y w h e r e.
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I don't mean to criticize but something about this post is troubling me

The OP claims to be concerned and keeps a close eye on mom but then states mom was in a diabetic coma last year and didn't know about it for months after ???

This after the cruise ship incident two years prior?
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How long has your son been l I v I n g with your mother?
What does he say?
What is his role?
Does he work, is he employed?

Cwillie has a good idea. With the free flow of money outgoing, a private investigator is a good investment.

After the ship's doctor had to treat your Mom who was obviously neglected (you surprised her with a visit on the cruise), how has this gone on?

Your concern seems justified. Failure to take action is also neglect.
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It sounds to me like your mom is being emotionally abused by these people, if not worse. It sounds like she is afraid of them, which is not a good thing for a caregiver/patient relationship. They should NOT be asking her for money to go on vacation.

As her POA, I would go straight down to the bank and transfer everything but $1 out of the accounts set up with Mary and Steve. You cannot close them out, but you can take almost all the money without the other party being there... I learned this the hard way when my brother took all the money out of a joint account I had with my mom.

Once the money is safe, I would call APS and let them check into the situation.
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To the OP, This may be going overboard but I wonder if hiring a private investigator might be useful in this case, if any dirt or wrong doing can be documented it will make your case to APS much stronger.
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POA NEVER overrides the person who granted the authority unless there is documented mental incompetence, I don't know where you got that idea Susannah. Some types of POA do not come into force unless there is a proven need such as physical or mental incapacity, but some are able to be used as soon as the ink is dry... I did my mom's banking and filled out forms as her POA for years after she became visually impaired but at that point she was certainly able to override my decisions or even change her POA if she had chosen to do so.
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POA over-rides the mother - she has handed over all her affairs to her only daughter. I don't see that sound mind comes into it now - the handover of decisions etc. has already been done.

Unless we haven't been told the whole story and it's only partial POA - which can also happen. Something's not adding up... and immediate action is required.
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Steve and Mary have been employed by your mother for ten years, essentially as general helpers.

Do they live in your mother's home?

Is your mother of sound mind?

As you have found on several occasions that your mother is being physically neglected at least, you certainly can report that physical neglect to APS in any case. Your mother is a diabetic: it is essential that her eating and medication habits follow a routine. She is elderly and declining: it is essential that she has adequate support with personal and household hygiene. She is not getting these things. That equals neglect, that's all APS needs to carry out an investigation.

You need to be there when they do. APS are not stupid, but if your mother does not insist on speaking to them alone, without Mary and Steve taking part, there is nothing APS can do about it. So be there, and make sure that your mother is not under pressure when she is interviewed.

The financial abuse will be difficult to challenge unless you can demonstrate that your mother is not of sound mind - that she does not have "mental capacity." Unless you or APS can prove that your mother did not know what she was doing when she gave Steve and Mary money and gifts, what they did may have been a moral abuse of trust but it was not theft and it was not illegal.

Ten years is a long time to let things carry on. How did your mother come to meet these people? And what is your everyday relationship with them like? - are you on speaking terms, usually?
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Since you have POA, why aren't you paying her bills AND their wages? You should be checking her bank statements, bills etc monthly. This is what POA is for.
As I understand it, POA means you are your mother, in effect. You are her representative acting as her and on her behalf. So POA is incredibly powerful. Why aren't you using that power?
If they were put on the accounts when you had POA and you did not authorise it, this is wrong - maybe even fraud.
And if you are not checking on your mother daily or weekly, you have only yourself to blame for this situation, because you had the power all along to stop it. If you want to appoint different carers, you have POA, so you just do it.
Do they have a contract? Give them notice. Or dismiss them for gross misconduct - stealing money and taking gifts (cars, cruises, motorbikes) that were nor declared as earnings. Report them to the IRS. I bet those gifts were not declared! And since this is a working arrangement - not a friendship matter - they are earnings. When they make a fuss - and they will - let them know that you *may* not press charges if they go quietly. Then press charges anyway.
Bring your mother home with you while you decide on the next steps for her care. This is your mother and if she was not abusive to you in your childhood, she deserves your undivided attention in the short term while you get this resolved.
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The situation with your mother needs to be thoroughly investigated. The couple has worked for your mom and since you say you’re POA, working for you. I’m not understanding how things could get to the level of neglect and financial abuse that you’ve described without you being aware of it and acting earlier.

Best case scenario is this couple began working for your mom as caretakers, odd jobs around the house and doing what needs to be done. It worked well for approximately 7 years and your mom started showing signs of mild dementia. Now the couple are falling short because more medical type care is needed and this couple aren’t nurses or even sitters (is that term used any more?). So whether these two realize it or not, their NEGLECT of your mom is having consequences.

Worse case scenario is they are sociopaths and are scamming you and your mom big time. This is a serious felony and the police would be interested in what’s going on....
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The simplest - but not easiest - solution would be to move your mom into a facility where Steve and Mary are no longer needed. For many years all your mom needed was companionship and light caregiving duties and that probably worked out well for everyone, but now her needs are more extensive and may be more than they - or family - are willing or able to provide.
I can see where adding them to a chequing account might have made it easier for them to pay bills or go shopping or even draw their pay since neither has POA, that could be legitimate... it will take a detailed examination of withdrawals to be sure.
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You are the P O A.
You said: I have POA so I decided to check her bank accounts....come to find out she had some accounts combined with Steve and Mary.

If you are POA, how can this still be happening?  If you need to report anonymously, maybe you are afraid of them too?

Check your Mom for bruises.
She may be given drugs=falls asleep at attorney's office.

Red flags everywhere, but for ten years?

I would make a call to the district attorney, ask how to open an investigation quietly.
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Lots of people act as caregivers to elderly (or other people in need of care) and don't have formal training of any kind. To me, that's a non issue. But Mary & Steve don't keep family informed of any major medical issues and I would worry about that, too, in your shoes. I don't want my mom to be ill and I don't know about it.  And it would seem the level of care provided isn't sufficient. 

Would your mother be upset if you try to "get rid" of Mary & Steve? Is your mother emotionally attached to having them around? You say you want your mom to be happy, and this is something you have to consider, that she wants them there and she is comfortable with them being in her house daily.

You can report them anonymously to APS.  If you suspect there is financial abuse or physical neglect then you can tell that to a caseworker. In my experience, these anonymous reports have a way of being obvious who made them, though, so you might create an acrimonious situation between yourself and Mary & Steve, although that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. If they ARE neglecting her care, if they ARE abusing her financially, they'll likely straighten up if they know there is an investigation. And given what you've said, I think it would be good if APS takes a look at everything going on here for your mother's sake.
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freqflyer, the caretakers my age. I guess what get's me most upset is these people do not communicate with me. For example, my Mother was in a diabetic coma last year and I did not find out about it till months later. I guess I would rather have someone who is qualified to take care of her because she has so many issues and these people don't pay attention to her health. I just want my mother to be healthy, happy and have a comfortable life.
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LovemyMom22, it could possibly be that your Mom has some dementia, and with dementia it is not unusual to make up stories to get attention. By the way, how old are the caretakers? Mom could have eaten but had forgotten. This is something you need to figure out. Hopefully the caregivers aren't forgetting to help Mom during the day.

As for the bank accounts, those should have been converted with your Mom name and your name. See if you can change the accounts, and have all the bills and statements forward to your own home so that you can keep the bills under control.

Salary for Mary and Steve for around the clock care, that comes up to around $6,400 a month. When I used professional caregivers for my Dad, the cost was $20k per month.

As for the Will, one has to remember that Mary and Steve had been helping Mom for over a decade and had been helping with her care at the beginning. The gift amount in the Will should not be in $$ amount, it should be a percentage amount, in case your Mom needs to go into a self-paid nursing facility which would drain her savings. If Mom has times where she is clear minded, set up an appointment with an Elder Law Attorney and have a new Will drawn up, Medical Directive, etc.

As to whether the caretakers were doing things right in the later years, not all of us are knowledgeable about elder care. I know I didn't have a clue about hands-on care, so I paid professional caregivers to handle that phase, while I keep charge of the finances.

Come to think of it, hardly any of the grown children or grown grand-children who are now caregivers for their parent(s) or Grandparent(s) had any formal caregiving training. We just learned as we go, which isn't easy, especially if the client doesn't want any help.

Keep us up to date on what is happening. We learned from each other here.
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Is it possible to report Mary and Steve anonymously to APS?
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Can I still report Steve and Mary even if my Mother is the one who hired them? My son has been living with my Mother trying to take care of things but Mary and Steve still come and get paid for doing nothing.
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First of all Steve and Mary need to be reported to Adult Protective Services for neglect and financial abuse.
You need to hire caregivers yourself. Interview them, background checks and references where the pets are included in the care.
You need to check on your mother more frequently. It is your responsibility that she is well taken care and not neglected and taken advantage.
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POA=Power of Attorney
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I am an only child. But my family cares for her more than the "supposed caretakers". She doesn't mind when we take care of her daily needs. But anytime I'll ask her why she hadn't gotten her meds or eaten she will respond with "I didn't want to bother them." I don't know if she is scared of them. I have tried to approach her on this situation and when I bring it up she goes quiet or changes the subject. It is very odd. She did have 2 different nurses last year for awhile to give her showers and check her blood sugar. My Mother did not want the nurses though because she said Steve and Mary would take care of her....So I respected her wishes and stopped having the nurses come.
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You are P O A ?
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Are you an only child?

I don't quite understand how this situation has gone on for two years without intervention- if mom doesn't want you or your siblings, if any, involved in her care and finances then perhaps you can reach out to APS

Otherwise move mom to an assisted living facility where she'll have the help she needs with her daily activities or hire new caregivers but frankly not sure that the situation including multiple pets can be handled by hired helpers
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