Neglect and suspected financial abuse
May 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm #15131
My grandad has five children including my mother. For approximately ten years my grandad lived with my Aunt in her home in England. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia and alzheimer’s a few years ago and she decided about six months ago she wanted him to go into a care home. While she suggested she wanted the siblings to broach this subject with him together and decide on the location, one day my mother was notified via text he had moved into a home. The aunt had done this without consent/advice of all the siblings. It seemed she’d done it rashly as it was the first home who agreed to take him. The other siblings don’t like the home that much. Upon reviewing the inspection report, in their last review they had failed in all areas. Understandably, the others in the family are quite baffled why she chose this. When challenged that he could afford somewhere better, my aunts thoughts seem to be “why should it be that he gets to stay somewhere better just because he has money”.
My grandad has settled into the home now but has become increasingly worried about his money. As the aunt refused to answer questions about his money, the other siblings arranged a solicitor to meet my grandad to assess whether a power of attorney could be applied for. The care home told the aunt that the solicitor was coming so she turned up and caused trouble, confusing and upsetting my grandad. He did not meet with the solicitor and there is still no power of attorney.
Since then the aunt seemed to cool slightly and informed another siblings she would leave money for my grandad so he is able to buy things as and when he wants them. Seems like it was a false promise as my grandad needs new pyjamas and has also asked to buy shaving cream and other things. When the aunt is contacted she is very dismissive and will say things such as “oh… he doesn’t need that”. She also has previously encouraged us to avoid discussing finance when my grandad asks about his money and consistently assures us “it’s all in hand”. She barely visits him in the new home and has insisted to one of the siblings she has “nothing to feel guilty about”.
There seem to be some typical family politics at play with the aunt not wanting the other siblings to know anything about my grandads money. I suspect she sees that as her right for having him live with her for ten years. Interestingly though, we have noticed my grandad has been a different person while at the care home. He seems more lively and sociable. When he was living with her he was becoming increasingly agitated and she would give him a hard time about repeating things. It seemed that he had become so accustomed to being yelled at he chose to barely talk and spend time alone in his bedroom. This was all while living at my aunt’s home.
As detailed in the description, one could perceive my aunts refusal to give my grandad money to buy things he has asked for as a form of neglect. We also suspect financial abuse due to her avoidance of sharing any information relating to this with the other siblings.
The application for power of attorney has been put on hold for now after the last debacle but it is thought my grandad may be too far gone in his dementia now to be able to sign that right over anyway.
The aunt is very difficult to deal with and can have a very aggressive nature. She has all my grandads ID’s and also his disabled badge. She has been asked a few times for the disabled badge and implied she doesn’t have time to find it and that the care team have more important things to worry about. I think the family is beyond communicating with her at this point so I’d really appreciate advice on how to proceed.
May 26, 2017 at 2:13 pm #15267
Action on Elder AbuseKeymaster
Firstly, it is essential to understand that decisions about your Grandad’s money are for him to make (as long as he maintains the capacity to make them). Any obstruction to this, or misuse of your Grandad’s finances, may constitute financial abuse.
As long as no Lasting Power of Attorney is currently registered, it is your Grandad’s right to hold all of his documentation and belongings. Your Aunt is obliged to surrender these, when asked. It is also your Grandad’s right to determine how his money is used, including decisions about his living arrangements.
If you suspect that financial abuse is taking place, it is appropriate to refer to adult safeguarding in his local authority. The adult safeguarding unit is responsible for protecting vulnerable adults from abuse, and have authority to intervene where appropriate. Contact details are usually found easily online (e.g. Search: Kent Adult Safeguarding). If your Grandad is assessed as lacking mental capacity, the safeguarding team could help to appoint a deputy to administer your Grandad’s affairs via the Court of Protection.
It may also be a good idea to discuss this with your Grandad’s care team at his current residence, they may be able to refer to safeguarding on his behalf or suggest further information which would be helpful.
You are welcome to call our free helpline (0800 808 8141) where I, or one of my colleagues, can discuss this with you in greater detail and offer further advice and guidance.