Elderly grandparent is living with his new wife who is now his caregiver. We suspect he might be being neglected or bullied and that she is using money from carer's allowance for herself. Since he has 'decided himself' to stay, what are the legal issues surrounding whether she is fit to care for him or not?

Does she hold POA, and if so, what determines whether he is fit or not to make decisions which are in his best interes?

It is possible that he is demented, however could simply be lack of stimulation caused by unfit carer.

What are the legal issues surrounding this dilemma?

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It was your grandfather's choice to re-marry with this woman. Curious how long had they been married as you said at one time no one heard from them for years.

Your grandfather could have dementia [this needs to be verified], and it would be good for you to study up on this disease as it can cause all sorts of symptoms, such as making up stories such as saying his wife wants him to throw away all the family photos.... that could be the disease talking. If you see no photos in the house, maybe the wife isn't the photo displaying type of person... I have hardly any photos displayed, either, come to think of it, neither does my parents. Nothing wrong with that.

As for losing his spirit... that again can be a symptom of dementia. You can't reverse this disease, only learn to deal with it. Your grandfather's wife is going to have her hands full caring for him.
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Ok. I posted this in a rush at work so didn't have time to fill in the details.

My Grandfather is 80.

Yes, she is mentally competent however has a history of mental illness such as bipolar/manic depression. She seems fine when in company or at family events but this is a once in a blue moon occasion.

At their house, she has basically taken all evidence that he lives there. No photos of our family, no old photos of him, nothing for him to basically call 'his own'. She also ordered him to throw away all his photos of his kids, my grand ma, old life etc. Surely he is not doing these things out of choice.

I do not have as much contact with him as I would like, simply because I feel like I would stir up a lot of things if I did. I think you guys are right in saying I need to visit myself and assess the situation to see if his affairs are in order - and stop relying on the hear say from my family about the situation. There are a few things I have started to type out on here and then stopped when I realised they were basically non-sequiturs.

If he is being bullied into staying with her and letting her treat him like this, then he's vulnerable and she's chipping away at his spirit. This is a man who was as strong as an oak when I was a kid. I understand he is getting older - and losing his spirit is maybe inevitable, but I do not want to see it happening in this way.

Basically, my question is - is there anything I can do to take him out of her care if he isn't being cared for properly. And secondly, how do I ascertain whether he is?

The situation is a little bit of a minefield because this woman is so convincing when I see her but small inconsistencies are making me wonder. On top of this, her son has also stated he thinks she is bullying him too.

This is the same son who had to tell us where they lived because they moved house, told us not to contact them and then went completely silent for years.

Any help would be seriously appreciated.
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Hugs Wombat but as garden artist says have something concrete first you cannot just suspect something be very sure!
My brother met and married a girl from thailand when she came she was living in mums house just before i arrived home within days i caught her stealing and i will say this its a horrible situation to be in i had to keep it to myself for months then shed wear mums clothes without asking THEN finally my sister noticed money missing and caught her taking it thankgod someone else saw it too. We asked here and my brother to leave to this day she has never come into this house again. Its an awful place to be torn between family and his partner!

I hope you get this sorted and soon!
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What is your role in Grampa's life? Do you see him daily? One a month? Before he remarried did you hang out together -- fishing, golfing, playing cards, anything? How much stimulation did he get before the marriage? What makes you think he gets less now? Are you providing stimulation and also giving his wife a break? If one of the reasons you question how fit she is to be his carer is you worry that he isn't getting enough stimulation, I suggest you step in and offer some.

You suspect he might be demented. What makes you suspect that?

You haven't filled out your profile so we don't know how your Grampa's health is. Why does he need a caregiver?

How old is "elderly" -- 69 or 93?

What is the "carer's allowance"? If it is money paid to the person taking care of him, and she is taking care of him, wouldn't it be appropriate for her to spend it as she chooses? Or are you thinking they should use it to hire someone else to do the caring because she is not doing it well enough? Again, it would help to know what GP's impairments are and why you think she isn't doing a good job.

It is admirable that you are concerned for Grandpa's welfare. We don't really have enough information about the situation to offer very specific advice.
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wombat, curious who is saying that your grandfather is being neglected? Is your grandfather saying that?

If all of this is hearsay, rumors and gossip, why not see if you can spend some time with your Grandfather, thus you can see the interaction between him and his new wife. Maybe she is just nagging him to do things around the house.

If your Grandfather likes his new wife caring for him, let it be.
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Yep, you need proof before you can do anything.

But if you have suspicions you can call the Dept. of Aging (or whatever it's called in your area). They'll come out and assess the situation. But don't take this step lightly. If you anger your grandfather's wife she may not allow you to come and see him at all.
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Grrr... my message posted before I finished. Sorry.

"could simply be lack of stimulation caused by unfit carer."

First, the legal issue is that you need proof, not suspicions. These kinds of allegations are serious and shouldn't be made lightly.

So, I ask, on what basis do you suspect neglect, bullying, and "lack of stimulation", and how would you define "lack of stimulation" and what actions or inactions are you aware of that allegedly contribute to these assumptions and suspicions?

Second, what is the "carer's allowance"? Who provides this allowance, how is it decided?

There are too many assumptions and not enough support to make any accusations or take any action at this point.
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"suspect" he "might be being neglected or bullied"?

Suspect the new wife "might be using money from carer's allowance..."?
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If there's a mentally competent wifey in the picture, in my opinion, you'd be entering a hornet's nest should you try to interfere unless you have concrete evidence of elder abuse. They are married; that she uses his money as her own can easily go with the territory.

You could ask the appropriate agency to do a home visit to assure he's being well taken care of -- and, I'd add, to see if there are any outside agencies that can help her care for your grandfather.

As to whether she holds his POA? That's anyone's guess. Next time you visit him, ask him if he has his "affairs in order" -- a healthcare power of attorney, a financial power of attorney, if his new wife knows where his personal papers are, etc. Or simply ask her in the midst of inquiring if she needs any help.

I gather you don't like his new wifey. That story's as old as time itself. Try working in concert with her in the best interests of your grandfather. It's your best bet. Anything else you decide to do will put you at odds with her. She's the one doing the heavy lifting right now. Support her.

It's really easy to second-guess a care giver, by the way.
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