Follow
Share

This may not be the appropriate place to ask this question but if not, maybe someone can point me in the right direction.


My former wife of over 25 years suffered a brain aneurysm and required two surgeries to correct the condition. During the second surgery she suffered a stroke in the area of the brain affecting memory and motor skills. After weeks of therapy she is about 80% functional (physically) but still has some memory loss especially in the recent several years. She is cognizant, can speak and carry on conversations, etc. She is being cared for by her new husband of 2 years. All is generally ok.


The support and answer I am seeking is this. Her spouse caregiver has denied access to all former friends and family, including her children and grandchildren. Phone calls are rare and tightly monitored. The stoke victim herself is moderately wealthy with two properties. There is concern among family members that her new spouse does not have her (or family) best interests in mind. What recourse, if any, does a family (son/daughter) have if their mother is being denied access to them and her wealth and properties may be at risk. Note that there is no evidence of any physical abuse or neglect.

Find Care & Housing
I was "this person - spouse caregiver, in a sense, though it was my mother." I was living out of state caring for her when then she had a stroke. I had people calling me, texting me - one cousin whom I hadn't heard from in 5 decades wanting information! Good grief - I had all I could do to eat a meal - I never really did - just grabbed a bite here and there. So look at the other side of things, then you will understand the hardships of caregiving of a stroke victim.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

Is he allowing her to talk to the kids, or does he keep them updated? Have they asked why he’s not allowing visits? Have they told him how they feel? I can see both sides. Good luck getting this resolved with no feelings hurt; it sounds like it’s still possible.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Rafaela
Report

While I can well imagine and understand the visit limiting of friends and maybe extended family, my mom for instance was very self cautious about her speech issues (aphasia) after her stroke and it took quite a bit of time and coxing to get her to talk to her sister on the phone never mind friends. Her children however are another thing and if I were her children and had attempted a supportive and inclusive approach with the husband first I too would be concerned. Is this just since she's come home, where they present and included during the hospital and rehab stay? I mean did they exhibit their concern and involvement and were they welcomed or "allowed" there? Has there been any indication that their mom doesn't want them around or the reverse is feeling the loss or weren't they connected often prior to this medical event too? I would be collecting any legal documents that indicate her wishes tward them, did they ever have a POA or MPOA, will prior to and since marrage, that sort of thing and go see either a family attorney that knows her and or them or one that specializes in family elder care issues. If their concerns are strictly about finances and lets face it inheritance I might say husband may have a point but that's not what it sounds like here and I would think being driven by concern for her and her care gives them firm footing on pushing this. I do want to be clear though that exhausting the options for approaching him first, nicely on his side they want to help, then wanting to be there for their mom spend time with her and have grands do the same, then perhaps gentle threats about feeling shut out and uncomfortable with that, are important. It's never good to start with legalities and threats when trying to interact with family, especially under these trying medical circumstances. It may very well be that the husband thinks he is doing what she wants or what is best for her or perhaps he is scared (warranted or not) or ill himself and not thinking clearly. It is important to try and consider possibilities from his perspective but I wouldn't let that go too long if there doesn't seem to be an explanation or meeting of the minds there. Good luck to your kids, I can't imagine how tough this is though it's a fear my brothers and I have had about my dad's wife too we just haven't had to come to face to face with it yet and have been working hard at preventing...we shall see. Anyway how lucky they are to have you caring enough about them and your ex-wife still to try and help from your distance.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Lymie61
Report

Other side of coin. Current spouse has hands full as caregiver to debilitated wife. Entertaining others even for a short time probably is too much. When there are memory problems - like after a stroke - seeing those from the past or those who she didn't see that much can cause great agitation. If you havent' seen her you may not realize how much she is affected. And unless you are willing to do all caregiving - maybe keep in touch by e-mail or letter is best until she recovers. As for access to her wealth - good lesson - get your plans in order in case something happens that your wishes will be followed. Estate planning is essential. A trust is best as successor trustee takes place without court intervention and without getting tied up in litigation from potential opposing parties.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to desert192
Report

CM has a good point--

When my DH had a liver transplant and subsequent horrible infection--he was just so very, very sick...for months.

The VERY LAST THING I wanted or needed was people calling, visiting, hassling me. (I called it hassling but I know they cared). I guess you can say I DID deny access to him, for about 4 months.

I was stressed out of my mind. He was sick and half the time so out of it, he didn't know what was going on. I finally had to block calls and put a sign on the front door that basically told people "we appreciate your love and concern, but cannot handle visits at this time."

I heard, years later, that a lot of people were offended by that. Well--he was supremely immunosuppressed an a bad cold could have killed him. Plus we had rotten nights and I often napped during the day b/c I was would be up all night.

You do have the concern of his "circling the wagons" as per money, assets, and that is troubling, to an extent. He is the current spouse, kids don't really have a right to "expect" an inheritance. At this point in time they should simply be supporting this gentleman in his efforts to care for their mom.

You know this man, but if you are unsure about motives, yes, I guess getting "legal" on him may assuage your worries.

IMHO, a man who takes loving care of a sick spouse wins a special award. It's really fairly unusual.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Midkid58
Report
Lymie61 Apr 17, 2019
I agree 100% with visits and questions from well meaning concerned feinds and extended family being too much to handle for paitent and or caregiver sometimes but her kids? Unless there is a very strained relationship there or hasn't been a relationship and they are behaving as "visitors" expecting to be entertained I think her children are diffrent. In fact hopefuly they might be able to help and aleviate some of that pressure in an open welcoming situation.
(1)
Report
It depends on who is listed as beneficiaries and the will. Anything with a beneficiary listed goes straight to them, anything without goes into the estate and the spouse gets a % of that( in Ohio, I think it’s 40%, we just did my stepfather ‘s ) . If she changed her will , obviously that could be a problem if she wrote them out of it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Jannner
Report

This is very difficult.

Put yourself for a moment in the devil's advocate's shoes.

You are the husband of a stroke victim. You fear that her children will take this opportunity to asset-strip her. Becoming increasingly anxious about it, you attempt to control their access to her and ensure that all their interactions with her are monitored.

You see the other side of the coin? And we on the forum have no way of knowing which is the flip side.

Your concern about the husband's isolating the lady might be something you can work on; but there again it depends what you mean exactly by "has denied access." Having been a 24/7 caregiver for a stroke patient, I can testify that it's a busy old schedule he'll have on his hands. Denied, or hasn't got his act together to arrange, access? It's a big difference.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

I think you’re right to sense there are red flags you’re noticing. And I agree with the others call APS, and find the current will. Who is the POA? If he is being on the up and up he would not mind someone else knowing all the details of what is going on, asking for input, coordinating with others to work it out that’s one thing. if he’s not forthcoming with being open then I think that’s a sign somethings going wrong. And moving her? That’s the worst thing you can do for somebody with mental cognitive disabilities but If he cannot handle being the caregiver and he thinks moving her to a facility is best for himself and for her care that is a consideration. I saw a couple go through their entire life savings and reverse mortgage to keep themselves in their own home because of the caregiver expenses where a facility would’ve been much less.

OK I think the rule of thumb here is if he is open about everything and works with family members in the decision making process then it could all be on the up and up. Maybe he needs support he doesn’t know what to do so he’s closing down himself. Maybe he’s too distraught with all his own stress about it. Offer to help Or help him get support. But if he’s closed down and doesn’t want any interaction and wants to control everything without anyone else’s input then I too would be very worried. Protect her.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Lizhappens
Report
Takincare Apr 20, 2019
Biggest red flag other than isolation of LO, is moving her 90 mins away from all friends and family to other family home, not AL. Here fishy, fishy, fishy......
(0)
Report
Maybe he just thinks she needs some "quiet" time away from all people including family until she is feeling stronger. If you feel she has reached that point and is ready to see family then suggest children either just turn up to see her, and if he won't let them in - assuming they cannot find a time when he is out - then they should seek legal advice. As an ex I doubt you have any rights in the matter but that will depend on any legal arrangements for post divorce that you drew up at the time.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to TaylorUK
Report
lablover64 Apr 17, 2019
That's exactly what I was going to suggest. Have the kids just "stop in" to see her and see how the husband handles it. If he refuses to let them in, I'd be willing to bet he's up to no good. When my ex's mother went to live with his sister, the sister cut off all friends and relatives who wanted to visit or call. Then she ended up stealing mom's credit cards and maxing them all out, My ex, who was the executor for his mother when she passed, ended up having to get the local district attorney involved.
(1)
Report
In most states premarital assets and inheritances are NOT considered marital property. He is "new" husband of two years? During your marriage did the two of you draw up wills, poas,etc.? If so who was named poa and do you think she changed it? How old are children and are they mature enough to get guardianship of their mother? I'm sorry for the situation they find themselves in but they had best start addressing this now. Something really smells fishy to me because he is isolating her from not just friends but her CHILDREN. I would be finding an elder care lawyer asap who has dealt with guardianship. Who knows what kind of care she is actually receiving from him. Was money tied up in a trust I hope? What a mess. Sorry if I'm jumping to conclusions, things are not adding up. Elder lawyer and aps are the best bets. Technically it could also be a case of financial abuse and/or fraud if he does not have poa and siphons off her money. I would have kids call aps, go to lawyer appointment (if needed for support, you attend meeting too), that way it can not be misconstrued that you are disgruntled ex causing problems for new spouse.
https://statelaws.findlaw.com/ohio-law/ohio-marital-property-laws.html
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Takincare
Report

Call APS or have kids call APS. See if they can recommend something to be done about her spouse.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to mmcmahon12000
Report

Mediation might be a way to encourage your former wife's new spouse to come to some agreement to allow your wife's family to visit her.  Here is a Mediation Center in Central Ohio.  If they are not near your location, maybe they can give you the name of some organization closer to you and your former wife.
 
Community Mediation services of Central Ohio

Elder Care: We help families develop care-taking disposition arrangements for an aging or otherwise disabled love one.


https://communitymediation.com/mediation/mediation-for-individuals/mediation_for_individuals.html
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to DeeAnna
Report

Call APS. Tell them her children are not being allowed access and see what they say.

Hopefully your ex was wise and put her money in trusts. Does new husband have POA? If not, anyone. If its you, then you may be able to override new husband if ex can't handle her finances then u do, not the husband.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
bruceohio Apr 15, 2019
The newer husband of 2 years has been close friend forever but his actions now dictate something more strange. Indeed he is her FT caregiver so credit him for that but denying all visitations and controlling her every move is puzzling. He has also mentioned moving her to another "family" home about 90 minutes away from everyone. Because of her mental condition, she will not be aware or even recall $$$$$ and a home in Florida she inherited 2 years ago so who knows how (or if) he has bad intentions there. APS may be the best bet for the children and family thanks.
(4)
Report
Well...if you are willing to spend the money...hire an attorney and attempt to have a court appointed guardian. Expensive, and might not get you the result you desire.

he is her husband. He will likely be her inheritor. Maybe he is concerned that it is the rest of her family that this working to cut him out of the picture?

Try just talking to him without her. See if he can come to understand that her children really just want to be able to see their Mom. Maybe offer supervised visits? Try to settle his mind down concerning the motives of her children.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Katiekate
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter