Elder Abuse

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Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2011
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I hope this topic might help someone else out there going through a similar situation. Elder abuse is all too common , and rarley talked about . If you have a family member taking care of an elderly person , or a parent in the care of a facility , maybe you want to read this post .

My husbands mother suffered a stroke a year ago , once she was able to leave the hospital , a " sister" offered to care for her . This sister had been a recluse from the family for many years , sneaking in to the family home , and taking food , locking herself in her room , and verbally attacking her mother. Hubbys mom wanted despratly to be living at home , but needed care, this funny sister offered to care for her , we thought it was her way of comming back to the family and being productive ....helping ... so she moved in . thats when the nightmare began...

soon after she moved into the mothers house her car broke down , and she was borrowing our car. We suggested that she buy a little used car and if she needed money she could borrow it from the mother ... she did a lot of research but never got around to buying a car, eventually we had to take my car back , as we needed it for our work. This upset her and she decided at this point with the other sister to take the mothers phone away from her so my husband could not contact her. Once the phone was taken we could no longer evaluate her mental condition , so we arranged for a nurse to come by the house 3 times a week and check her out , see how she is doing , help bathe her etc. She reported elder abuse to the nurse , and she reported this to the family doctor . He in turn requested government assistance with financing , and overseeing her care , the mother signed a form against any help . Nothing more could be done. We were aware that the mother was afraid of the her daughter, she told us on several occasions that she was afraid of her when she got angry, and we know one time the sister straped her to a chair to keep her in place ; (

over the last 9 months was have been seeking help from the government via our lawyer... every time something is done that involves a third party to overlook her care or finances , the paperwork is denied by the mother. We have tried many times to visit my husbands mother but she is never at home , the sister is moving her from one house to another , maybe to the other sisters house, we dont know . When we call , they hang up on us , when we use another phone and they hear our voice they set the phone down until we hang up and leave it off the hook .

The doctor would never tell us how she is doing , and when we tried to get her to come live with us , she would say yes, then later at her home with the sisters she would change her mind . We know that the sisters have been to an estate lawyer , and probably have had the will changed ...oh well

My husbands mother died yesterday . here is the funny thing ... my husband called the police immediatly to investigate , because we were never notified that her health was failing , the doctor also arrived and checked her for assult , and found nothing , then classified this case as death of natural causes . 1 hour later , after he went back to his office and called the pathologist at the hospital , he called the police and requested an autopsy .

I guess my point is this ... if you have an elderly , or sick family member , please find a doctor that is willing to communicate with the entire family , about the care , and the health status of the pacient. There were a million red flags pointing towards elder abuse , we told doctors , lawyers , and tried everything possible to see that she had a nuetural party evaluating her mental , and emotional health as well as physical health ... the system failed us , and now we sit here waiting for a call that possibly the sisters will be arrested . If someone you love is in the care of someone you dont trust watch carefully , and MAKE your voice herd, scream if you have to !!! The funeral is monday , and naturally the sisters told us we have to pay for it , cater it , and do the work for it , over 200 people , ( we have a hotel and restaurant ) ... I am not sure how I can compose myself if one of the sisters dares to come near me . Everyone seems to be intimidated by these 2 women , but i sure as he// am NOT . I thought of having a small squirt bottle , and if they come near me I can just say "back off " and squirt them with water , it is very effective for keeping people away without having to say anything or harming them .
The hipaa laws prevent info from being released to anyone that is not listed on the paperwork at the doctors offices. Even after the paperwork is filled out, it can be changed, is often revisited at a later date and refilled and can be changed by their legal POA.

There are plenty of bitter feelings I harbor towards my aunt that stem from my parents and my husband and myself taking care of my grandmother. She needed 24/7 care and I was already home with the kids, so very much of it fell on me. Much the opposite of your situation, we would have welcomed my aunt to sit with or spend time with my grandmother. She lives 200 yards away, had to beg her to give us a break ( this was her mother). I wish she had a clue how many sponge baths, depends changes, and spoon feedings we gave her. Four and a half years, the hardest part, making sure our frustration with my aunt was never projected onto my grandmother.

I am sorry for your loss, I hope things are resolved, and for your husband's mother's sake, I hope that her COD was natural.
How sad to spend the last days of your life reliant on someone who you feel afraid of (even if only occasionally no one should be afraid for their own safety). My heart goes out to you and your husband in this painful time. I think abuse by caregivers is far more common that many people realize and regardless of the age of the person needing care or the relationship of the caregiver to that person, the stress is so great and respite is so important. I too hope that your husband's mother died naturally and peacefully.
update ...she died of pnumonia .... she was denied medical care by her 2 daughters ... we know that in her last days she begged for medical treatment , and for someone to call her son, my husband to take her to the hospital ...their reply was NO ... a 90 year old woman was there and witnessed everything , but nothing could be done... no charges will be made . Elder abuse was reported 8 months prior, the doctor knew the unusual situation between the sisters and my husband ... she dies sick , lonely , and missing her son. We know now where she has been all these months , the sister has been riding on the bus with her all day long all over the area, and walking her in her wheelchair through towns in sub zero tempratures , it has been -7 degreese this winter season even in the afternoon in the sun : (

at least her suffering is over. Because no one wants to face the truth , more then 80% of the family has chosen to not speak to us , or talk about what happened. I wish is that people would have spoken up . or gotten involved . We worked with lawyers for months to gain the right to visit with her , mostly so we could make sure she was happy in her final days. Please if you know of a possible elder abuse situation report it ... no one should have to die sick , alone and missing a family member .
I am sooo sorry to read this.....this is just terribly sad....

We had the reverse happen to us. My Mother was looking after her mother, father and mother's sister. Her mother lived here for 3 years before the other 2 moved in. It was quite the eye opener (as I live here as well). Grandma was NOT happy living with them before, and we found out a lot of awful stuff that no one ever wants to know about their parents/grandparents. Sadly, Grandpa and the Aunt went and closed out Grandma & Grandpa's JOINT bank account, without Grandma even knowing (and yes, Grandma was VERY 'with it', but had macular degeneration and was pretty much blind). This was the beginning of a lot of very odd things happening. We learned that Grandma wanted to leave 30 years ago, but didn't think she had the support of her family
It was very sad to learn all of this....

Grandpa and the Aunt moved out after a few years, because other family members had talked them into it (even though they had things better than they could anywhere else). Those family members never came to talk to Grandma to see how she felt about everything, and they are the ones throwing around the gossip about my mother (none of which has truth to it).

It is just sad to learn these things when they get as old as they do....Grandma passed 2 years ago this May at 88, and Grandpa passed last September at 90. More frustrating that the other family members never once contacted us, or Grandma to see what was going on.
And my Mother feels very guilty that Grandma didn't feel she could do something about things earlier, and lived a very unhappy life for 30 + years.....

I am soo sorry for you and your husband.....

Norah, I am so sorry for you and your husband. It is hard to know that someone you cared about was hurting in any way and you could do nothing. You are right, her suffering is over and she is at peace now. I am a firm believer in the old saying "what goes around comes around" or "you reap what you sew". The seeds they have planted will bear them bitter fruit and they will face consequences. It is sad that they are going to make so many people eat those fruits with them but the other members of the family who are closing their eyes to the truth will one day know they made a poor choice. Try to forgive yourselves for loosing that war and be happy. I am sure it is what your husband's mother would want (her son's happiness above all) and besides that moving on and being happy is great revenge against people who can never be happy because of the choices they make.

Anoki, my heart goes out to your mother too. Here in Canada it is possible (so I'm told) to divorce your family members. Sometimes that would be a wonderful option IMO

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