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My MIL has an apartment in a retirement/assisted living facility. She is 92 years old, widowed a year ago. She has a studio apartment and they "show" her apartment to potential residents looking to move into the community. My husband visited her earlier this week and told me yesterday that management showed her apartment to a man who later called her and took her and another female resident out to lunch. My husband asked NO other questions about the man or the situation and has shown NO concern for what happened. My MIL is always falling for scams. We suspect she may have lost thousands of dollars on scams over the past years. She truly believes she will win the Publisher's Clearing House contest. My 67 year old husband is being evaluated for dementia. In June his neuro tested him and said he was "borderline" for dementia. MRI was unremarkable. He has to see the neuro every 6 months. We go again in December. We have been married 5 1/2 years. I cannot/will not take care of both him and his mother (who is a narcissist). My husband is already high maintenance. I am 59 years old. My husband's only sibling, a brother, died suddenly 5 years ago. He is solely responsible for his mother but, if he gets a diagnosis of dementia in December, I will not allow him to continue to be his Mom's POA and guardian. And I refuse to do it.


My husband does not at all understand that he should be finding out more about this man and what is going on. Would any of you be concerned with this situation with my MIL? Am I just worried about something that I should not be worried about? It just seems strange to me. My husband has 2 grown kids who live in the area but I will not talk with them about their Dad's medical issues and their grandmother until I have a firm diagnosis from the neuro as we have asked her to rule out other possible causes for his symptoms such as HF Autism and ADD. Obviously, if my MIL is falling for someone/something that is nefarious, that will affect me, too, in the end.

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Oh yeah, I agree with you needing more info about the new man at your MILs residence. I wud ask the staff who he is, & if they've had any experience with con men there. (If your husb doesn't care, then maybe u have limited options). Also, please see an elder attorney about protecting your future finances, with regards to hubby's medical dx, possible financial guardianship, or other financial protections for yourself too. Can't hurt to investigate!
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I would be more than concerned, not only about the man taking MIL to lunch but about the seriously invasive, irresponsible and intrusive practice of using MIL's home as a model to be shown to potential residents.

I've never heard of this practice and find it so offensive and inappropriate.    The management in charge of this practice is putting her at risk, jeopardizing her health, security and safety, and SHOULD be held accountable for any and all things that might happen.

How did this practice originate?   Is MIL the only one being manipulated like this?   I personally think this doesn't necessarily constitute elder abuse, but it certainly does warrant someone in an authority position (maybe a police officer, or a state rep) advising the community this is an unacceptable behavior, as well as reminding them of their liability if MIL or anyone being similarly abused is injured.  

No senior citizen paying rent or having purchased a unit in any community should be subject to "showings" of his/her private accommodations.   This REALLY makes me angry.

If I were in this position, I'd send the management a certified letter advising them that I hold them accountable financially, ethically, personally and legally for any event that occurs to me, my property, the apartment/unit, and especially for any criminal activity arising out of their using my apartment/home as a model.  
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lealonnie1 Oct 24, 2019
It's not uncommon in ALF settings to use an apartment as a 'model' if it's decorated well and kept in good/clean condition and if they do not have an empty unit to show. The executive director at my mother's place asked her permission, of course, and mother was more than happy to oblige. She felt proud they wanted to use her studio as a 'showplace'. The marketing director escorted the potential new resident through my mother's place each & every time, it should be noted. They'd also give her free meal tickets (for guests to use) as a small token of thanks when they took a prospective new resident through. In the OPs MIL's case, I'm not sure if they're handing out phone numbers of the residents or how they conduct the 'showings'; something doesn't sound quite right, does it?
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You know what? It's not a matter of whether your MIL is 'competent' to go out to lunch with someone or not......it's a matter of whether the person supposedly taking her out to lunch was LEGITIMATE or out to perhaps SCAM her. And you know what else? It IS your business because ultimately, ALL the nonsense these elders get involved in BECOMES our business in the end, one way or another! Let's face it.

So, when my mother lived in Assisted Living, a 'lovely young man' came to visit her one day. It just so happened that my husband and I pulled up to the building just as he was leaving. He waved to me; I asked at the front desk who the guy waving at me was? The receptionist looked confused; she said that the guy told them he was a FAMILY FRIEND and stopping by to see his old friend, my mother. I'd never laid eyes on this man in my life. He was obviously no 'family friend' at all. Mom was leaving her unit to meet us just as he was knocking, so he did not wind up visiting with her.

Turned out the dining room waitress was this guy's girlfriend. She had told him to go 'visit' my mother for some reason we are all still unaware of. Most likely a scam of some sort. The waitress didn't know my mother is a gigantic cheapskate first of all, and second of all, has no money of her 'own' because I handle all the finances personally (as the only child). Ha.

The Executive Director at the ALF had a fit; he wound up firing the waitress after questioning her privately.

The staff at the ALF also used my mother's studio apartment as a 'show unit' and brought potential residents through for a look-see. They did not, however, give out her phone number and nobody who'd seen her unit had ever shown up later on to take her to lunch.

Everything needs to be viewed with suspicious eyes these days, especially where elders are concerned. I'd call the ALF if I were you and ask them for details. Did the details of this lunch come from your MIL directly? If so, fact check........I have to do that with EVERYTHING my mother tells me, cuz half of it is bull and the other half is well, you know, poop. Secondly, check with the Exec. Director of the ALF about what their policy is about showing units. Are they giving out resident's phone numbers, for petesake? Did this man call the front desk to ask MIL out for lunch?? If they have lenient 'show' rules in place, I'd take MIL OFF the list, thank you very much. Let them show someone else's unit in the future.

Leave it to a MAN to get NO details about a suspicious situation! Ugh.

Hope everything works out okay and this was all above board.
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Monica19815 Oct 24, 2019
Thank you so much for your reply and for sharing your own experience. I guess this is why I am so suspicious. I live in a Filial Responsibility state and my MIL will only be able to afford her community for a limited number of years due to poor planning, living beyond her means and scams. If this man who took her to lunch is not legit, it affects me if it all goes south. Again...thank you!
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Did you confirm that your MIL actually went to lunch with this man? Her husband has dementia and what about his mom? Unfortunately you cannot automatically believe everything your husband says anymore.

If you have confirmed that MIL went to lunch then I think we can all understand your concern. You can always talk to her about it but at the end of the day, it’s her right to go to lunch.
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Monica19815 Oct 24, 2019
That is a very good question!!! My husband has not yet been diagnosed with dementia ...he is being monitored for it and, so far, has not been delusional or made up stories. However...my MIL??? That is a possibility. She makes things up all the time, I just never thought this could be one of those times. My SIL (dead brother in law's wife) and I..both of us not blood relations...often see signs of decline in our MIL but my husband never sees it and/or does not want to. It is possible that the lunch may have never happened...that MIL made it up. I do believe everything my husband says..but not my MIL. Thanks so much for putting this possibility out there. Sadly, nothing I can do about this. I AM the DIL but have been for only 5.5 years. It would not go over well if I asked questions, checked this out, etc.
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If ur MIL is competent your husband holding POA does not mean he can delve into her personnel life. Or can tell her how to spend her money unless POA is immediate. If POA is "springing" your husband has to prove incompetence on MILs part to take over. Also, having POA does not make ur husband guardian. Guardian overrides POA. Takes a lawyer and the court to award guardianship to someone and is expensive.

If husband is found in early stages of Dementia, then that would be grounds to revolk his POA. MIL would need to assign a new POA. That doesn't need to be you. I do think u may want to have husband assign u POA. Being his wife does not give you the right to make decisions for him.

You are not responsible for MILs care. You will have enough responsibility caring for DH.
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Monica19815 Oct 24, 2019
Thanks for your reply. We are blessed to have an amazing attorney that has put all our necessary paperwork in place...for me and my husband and for my MIL. I am POA, Executor, etc. for my husband legally. If my husband's neuro gives us a firm diagnosis, you are totally right...we will meet with our attorney ASAP to discuss "what next" regarding POA for his Mom and it will NOT be me. Maybe my husband's eldest daughter...but husband's kids have young kids of their own and have no time for anyone or anything else. I am confident our attorney will guide us to the right place. I just feel like I am in so much limbo right now. Hopefully after his neuro appt. I will see the way to proceed. Thanks again for your reply!
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This might sound a bit naive and simplistic to you, but have you asked MIL if she and her friend had a nice lunch?

It may be that the man wanted their opinion about the ALF in private, and this seemed like the best way of having a real conversation. Or it may be that he is indeed planning to move in and wanted to make an impression. I think leaping to the conclusion that he is a scam artist who will take your MIL for every cent and break her dear old heart into the bargain really is getting a bit ahead of yourself.
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anonymous828521 Oct 24, 2019
Vey true, agree with Countrymouse! 👍
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Monica,

It sounds like you have already made your decision for your reasons. It’s great that you are certain about how you feel. So many people go back and forth about what they should do. It can be confusing but you sound very confident in your decision. Are you looking for validation from the forum? It’s your decision and you’ve made it already and it truly doesn’t matter what others think but for the record, thumbs up 👍🏻 for not wanting to be involved with your MIL if it’s uncomfortable for you.

Can you ask the facility about the incident? I would merely tell them you are concerned about her. I wouldn’t be overly critical or even bring up the scams at this point. You will most likely get more information if you don’t come across as being overly critical of your MIL. Best wishes to you.

I hope the upcoming medical news about your husband is positive.


Glad,

I was thinking the same thing as you. You read my mind. I second everything you just said.
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Does husband handle his mom’s finances? Or is she still handling money?
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Monica19815 Oct 24, 2019
She still handles her own finances but she has very few bills. But he can view all her finances online....a must since she fell for a few significant scams in the past 6 years and since his Dad died last year. But he does not monitor them. Sigh. I have suggested he keep an eye in them since his Mom's "date" but I know he will not
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MIL, if competent, can go to lunch with whoever she wants. Where was the lunch? In the dining room at the facility is common practice. Gives the potential new resident an opportunity to start making friends and find out what others think about living there. Off site would be unusual, ask facility about it.
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Monica19815 Oct 24, 2019
He picked them up in his car and took them out some place for lunch! You are right....had it been within the community...no problem.
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