I think my mum is being coerced into moving
October 28, 2016 at 9:28 am #8276
Can anyone advise me as after looking after my mum all my life I had a mental health episode which made it impossible to carry on. My sister and brother took over the care role, long distance mainly but cut me out after I’d been accused of taking advantage of her financially and an unpleasant scene when my other half went and told them what damage they were causing me with this unfounded accusation. It’s taken 2 years for me to recover but during that time I’ve visited as have all my grown up children and always remained on call for emergencies.
This weekend I received a call from mum saying she was selling up and moving to a 2 bed apartment close to my brother. Even in shock I told her that would be lovely and so long as her decision was founded in hope not fear I would be fully supportive of this move. I gave her a day to think it through then visited to find her in tears as she didn’t want to move, she couldn’t leave my dad (he’s been dead for 53 years). I calmed her down and explained the advantages of being closer to other family members and having somewhere safer and smaller to live But also said it had to be her decision and reiterated the hope not fear message. She is 93 years old and has lived in her house for 56 years. I reassured her that whatever her decision we would support her.
My son went round on Monday as usual and was greeted by my sisters partner telling him they needed to clear the garage which they would do if we didn’t. Mum got very upset but as she’d also been given wine she managed to tell SP that it was all the kids home including my sisters. No mention was made of the move.
My DIL called round with her children on the Tuesday and during her visit an estate agent turned up to value, mum was worried and asked what was going on, my sister told her she had agreed to this. As the children are under 3 she didn’t want to push the situation and nor do I expect her to.
Mum has now been taken away to look at the new place and is spending 10 days with the 2 families. I am not sure whether I have the mental strength to confront them but I cannot allow this to happen, they have spent the last 2 years “doing up” mums house, re flooring without underlay so making it more dangerous for her but prettier to sell. Please help me help my mum.
Sorry this is so long but context is important in these things.
October 28, 2016 at 9:33 am #8435
Action on Elder AbuseKeymaster
Thank you for your message, we are really sorry to hear about your concerns.
From the information you have given us, we can only assume that your mother has full mental capacity- the ability to make decisions in their own best interests- (despite seeming at times some what confused regarding this move). This being the case, decisions over her living arrangements are entirely up to her. Coercion unfortunately is very difficult to prove without evidence. We would suggest you are taking appropriate action by giving your mum as much support as possible to make an informed decision, based on her needs and the circumstances for your family.
This matter is likely to be best resolved informally, coming to an agreement as a family and empowering your mother to make her own decision. We suggest that you try to arrange a family meeting, where you can raise your concerns and discuss the issue together. Should this fail to alleviate your concerns, there may be further options.
If there are concerns however that your mother doesn’t retain full mental capacity you may want to consider raising an adult safeguarding alert if you wish to do so. This is the term used by Social Services when concerns are raised about an elderly adult who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. The Adult Safeguarding Team have a duty to protect vulnerable adults. You can find the details for the Adult Safeguarding Department in the Local Authority’s website where your mother currently resides.
Safeguarding alerts can be raised anonymously so you do not have to give any of your own personal details.
We would be very happy to talk through the situation with you, if you would find this helpful? You are welcome to ring our helpline (0808 808 8141) during office hours, please feel free to keep us updated with the situation.