Sunday, December 13, 2015

Elder Abuse

 ... My Mother                                         2015
In 2008 I went to my Mothers house on one of my many visits to make sure she was okay and to help out a bit with things around the house and on exiting the car I heard the smoke detector going and she had opened her front door. On entering the house I found that she had left the kettle on the stove and the water had burned out. House had smoke in it and she was mad that the stupid smoke detector was making so much noise and her dog was barking about it and running around. Pretty dangerous. She had previously had a couple of falls one that was really quite bad were she had hit her head on the bathtub. Several hospital admissions with a couple of life threatening problems that she overcame. A couple of which may have contributed to her falling etc.
Over the last few years since my dad had died she has slowly deteriorated in her abilities to be able to function properly. She was fairly safe up to the point that she had fallen. This bit with the stove was pretty dangerous.
My sister who lived just up the road was looking after her on a more regular basis that myself. I would go over and cut her grass and do other things maybe once or twice sometimes three times a week or when she called me. My sister dropped in nearly every day.
Until 2004 I had a key to the house after that the locks had been changed due to an issue with a contractor and I had no key to the house and my sister continually forgot to get one. Not a total hard issue as Mom would let me in. I never really thought anything of it but it was annoying.
My sister came to the house a couple of times and while sitting there one time in 2010 mom was making some toast before going out to do some shopping. The toast did not come all the way out and she got really mad and grabbed a knife and was trying to pull the toast out but had not unplugged the toaster.  Totally out of character. My sister jumped up and unplugged it and I guess they had a heated argument and mom refused to go with her kicking her out of the house. After that Mom would not answer the door for her sometimes. This I thought to be a bit weird but probably due to some issues medically, which she had including a uterine cancer that was caught. We had a few other episodes that we had caught including a fall in the garden caught by her neighbors that was pretty bad. On several visits since 2008 she had said to me that she was so annoyed as everyone was always taking her money, had so many bills and she had lost so much money in her stocks. I was not privy to more information as she said my sister had it under control and was fixing it with her financial adviser.
The warning signs were all there, my trust overshadowed what I had heard.
From Merriam Webster:
belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.
an arrangement in which someone's property or money is legally held or managed by someone else or by an organization (such as a bank) for usually a set period of time: an organization that results from the creation of a trust
Yes, "irregardless" is a word.
No, that doesn't mean you should use it. »
Full Definition of TRUST
1a :  assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
b :  one in which confidence is placed
2a :  dependence on something future or contingent :  hope
b :  reliance on future payment for property (as merchandise) delivered :  credit
3a :  a property interest held by one person for the benefit of another
4archaic :  trustworthiness
5a (1) :  a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship (2) :  something committed or entrusted to one to be used or cared for in the interest of another
b :  responsible charge or office
c :  care, custody
— in trust
:  in the care or possession of a trustee
Further to the actual definition of Trust, I put my trust in my sister and her family to look after Mom. We discussed her paying rent and stuff, out of her monthly pension monies, which was okay. We discussed her care, which she had at this point some pretty good dementia, which appeared to have been coming on since my Dad had died but it was not in my mind an urgent issue, and also had some mobility issues.  I would help out as needed and everything seemed to be working out. She then moved to my sisters house. At the time I had no issues with that. My Mom was being taken care of.
As time went on there was a marked decline in my Moms health. There was also a marked decline in my ability to see my mom. They were seemingly always busy with school, dance and other things with the kids. I did not really think too much of it because we all have busy lives. The visits went from once to three times a week to about every three months on my own, though I tried for a lot more, and several times of helping my sister with problems while her husband was out of province working. We made sure we went to Boxing Day dinners at my sisters. Over the last year of my sisters life I was basically unable to visit hardly at all.
During this time my sister had trouble with her Van which I had to fix a couple of times and rescue her once while broken down on the highway. I was a little surprised to see her get a brand new expensive SUV and my Brother In Law had also bought a new truck prior to that. The kids all had the newest phones, ATVs, gaming consoles etc. I still put this off to just my Brother In Law being able to afford it with his work in the oil fields and mom paying rent and my sisters babysitting business. (Which I very seldom saw kids there.) I just figured they were doing okay.
In 2011 my mom sold her house. She was clear with $235,000 in the bank. As she also had money from her investments (so I thought) from my dad and her savings, I figured she would do okay and be able to have some good care when it came time to make that decision. The house money when I talked to my sister was to go in the Moms saving account and placed into her investments. As she had a financial adviser I figured this would be great for her later in life as she needed care.
I guess it had already started after my Dad died. I recently found out that when anyone asked about me to my sister I was made out to be uncaring and never around. These comments had continued especially at functions like weddings or whatever that I was unable to attend due to work or bad injury that had me unable to do anything for a couple of years. Despite that I had made sure I visited mom and my sister on a regular basis.
Interestingly enough when her husband was out of town working which he is a lot or off fishing and something happened like a flat or car did not start or house floods, other commitments she had and could not ferry around mother to doctors, etc. I was always called to step in and did.
I am not making a case to justify myself here, just the point that in their minds they could justify to themselves their own entitlement.
That brings up another word "Entitlement".
I will leave this here for the time and put up another Blog on this starting with Entitlement issues.

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