How to get rid of bad caretakers that are neglecting and financially abusing my Mother?

Follow
Share

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.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
23

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
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!!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

MsMadge,
There are not many people who have discernment.
You have it.
Red flags e v e r y w h e r e.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

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