Suspected Mental Abuse of Elderly Parent

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Action on Elder Abuse 10 months ago.

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  • #8629 Reply


    I’m really concerned after overhearing a phone call my mother received from my sisters. It appears that they are accusing her of talking about them and being cruel then the next time they talk to her denying they said it.

    They are trying to convince her she has altzheimers, which my wife has experienced with her family, and she has none of the symptoms. She is a bit forgetful and sometimes gets confused but I am beginning to think it is because she is being told one thing then being told something different by my sisters.

    I’m not sure what to do to deal with this as when I ask my sisters about it they just deny it, but they were not aware that I was in the house and heard one of the calls that they later denied.

    Any advise would be welcomed as I am very concerned about my mum.

  • #8652 Reply

    Thank you for getting in contact, we are sorry to hear about your concerns.

    Just because a person is forgetful or confused, doesn’t mean they have dementia. It may be a good idea to talk to your mother’s GP and get an independent assessment of her capacity and needs. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, any medical needs can be recognised or diagnosed as soon as possible, and care and treatment can be given quickly. Secondly. you will be able to have confidence in your mother’s medical condition, and will have leverage to rebut any false information being given by other people.

    Social services are usually reticent in becoming involved in family disputes but, if you believe your sisters’ behaviour constitutes emotional abuse or harassment, we recommend making contact with the Adult Safeguarding team operating within your mother’s local authority. It is the responsibility of adult safeguarding to protect vulnerable adults, and they have authority to intervene where appropriate.

    We hope you find the information given to be helpful. Please feel free to contact our helpline (0808 808 8141) during office hours for further information or advice.

  • #8836 Reply


    I am also having a problem with my sister abusing our mother, years ago she manipulated mum into giving her POA and denying it to me, now mum has early stage dementia my sister has turned into such a control freak that my doctor sent me for counselling with a carer charity because I was suffering from so much stress and anxiety caused by abusive emails and text messages from my sister accusing me of everything from bullying mum to neglecting her, she uses the POA as a club to beat me over the head. I know this was pure projection and recorded her at mums on the day she is alone with her and it makes dire listening, shouting “look at me when I’m talking to you” among other things. I took this to social services and the first social worker agreed it was verbal abuse and went to her boss with it, they felt it wasn’t enough to go to the police. I kept recording and some of them would make you weep they way she speaks to mum and uses gaslighting as Mark describes his sisters of doing to his mother, a couple of months after first contacting them the head of social work in my area phoned me and basically accused me of deliberately antagonising my sister into abusing mum because I refuse to allow her to bully me and my wife, I was accused of recording anyone and everyone who visited mums when I only put the device in when my sister was going to be there and any incidental recordings of carers were deleted, in the end I was told as far as he was concerned this is a family dispute between siblings and they were having nothing more to do with it.

    I have no idea if my recordings are legal or admissible in court, I really don’t want to go to the police without knowing what my rights are regarding this but a lawyer will cost me £300 an hour, I’m not poor enough to get legal aid so it will hit me hard if I just get blamed for all this just because I am protecting my wife and I from my sisters toxic personality.

    sorry for the rant…

    • #8929 Reply

      We are sorry to hear about the situation you describe, it is understandably distressing. We assume, from the information you have given, that the recording device is not on your own property. We strongly suggest seeking legal advice to evaluate your position before presenting evidence or making further recordings, as recording usually requires the consent of the property owner and may affect the rights of others. You may find interesting information from the CQC on recording devices ( There is an organisation called Solicitors for the Elderly (0845 567 6173) who may be able to find appropriate legal advice, and usually offer 30 minutes preliminary advice for free.

      When it comes to your mother’s wellbeing, we recommend going back to safeguarding with any concerns you have as it is their responsibility to protect vulnerable adults. If you believe abuse is taking place, it is appropriate to contact the police. With regard to your sister’s conduct as an attorney, you may wish to contact the Office of the Public Guardian to raise concerns. The OPG has power to investigate the conduct of an attorney to ensure they are acting in accordance with their responsibilities.

      We hope the information above is helpful. You are welcome to call our helpline (0808 808 8141) during office hours if you would like to discuss this further.

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