Aunt stealing from Grandmother (Need Advice)

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by grandson, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. grandson

    grandson New Member

    I almost couldn't figure how to start.

    I found this forum minutes ago while searching for legal help involving my Aunt (48) stealing everything from my Grandmother (65). They live together.

    My Aunt has been doing this for almost two years now, ever since my Grandfather passed away, and I've only just realized my Grandmother won't do anything about it. She has stolen her federal tax return. She steals all of her pills by harassing her own mother until she gives them up. My Grandmother gives up her bank card on the premise that she is to receive basic needs and her daughter instead uses it frivolously, only sometimes providing what was asked for. When that doesn't happen, the usual form of harassment does, until her card is given up.

    My Aunt spent $845 in one day at dozens of stores with no food to show for it.

    My Grandmother won't fight anymore. Worse yet, her daughter has somehow got her convinced that I am responsible for all of the bad things in her life. All the theft, all her pain, all of her problems. I can't contact her because I am no longer permitted to go to their house, and my Grandmother will not pick up the phone. I'm worried that if I call the police, they will both say I'm responsible or at least say that her daughter has done nothing wrong. I'm also very worried that all of the stress my Aunt has been causing her is starting to make my Grandmother very sick.

    I called social services but they said they won't do anything unless she can't walk or talk. They were going to send someone out but then they called back like they were trying to get out of it. I just don't understand.

    I'm calling the IRS and my Aunt's pain management doctor tomorrow but I'm not sure if that will do enough good fast enough.

    Anyone that has legal experience with this type of situation, I really need your advice.

    Thank you to those who came up with and maintain this forum, and thank you to all that have anything good, kind, and/or helpful to say.
  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, grandson.

    Try Adult Protective Services or The Department of Aging and Disability Services.

    Good luck.

    Let us know how it goes.
  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Who has power of attorney? A similar situation happened when my grandma was in a nursing home. We had to get lawyers involved and my ugly side came out.
  4. grandson

    grandson New Member

    Adult Protective Services said they won't do anything unless she can't walk or talk.

    There is no power of attorney.

    I'm going to see if she can get some legal assistance through The Department of Aging but that won't do us any good if she won't cooperate.

    If this goes on, she'll probably end up in a nursing home.
  5. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Aging and Disability has to investigate every allegation that they receive, so I was told when we had to deal with them.

    They also will provide lawyers on behalf of the elderly person if they think they are being taken advantage of, whether the elderly person wants it or not.

    Are there any other family members who would back you?
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is true for children, too, who are involved in the system. My son was 22 months when he became my foster adopt child. He had an attorney who visited my home, to get a sense of who I was and whether it was in his best interest that I adopt him.

    My son who could barely talk, could hardly give consent. Either that he have an attorney or a mother. Although he did very much want a mother.

    I would guess there would be some sort of assessment made of your grandmother's capacity to make decisions in her best interest. And they will go from there. This is a delicate process because people have the right to be dependent, or to be fools, and to allow themselves to be taken advantage of--unless they are mentally impaired by illness or age.
  7. grandson

    grandson New Member

    My father knows what has been going on and we have been working together to figure something out. My sister would back me but she isn't fully aware of the extent of the issues.

    Government is closed on the weekends so I have to call again on Monday.

    It appears the Department of Aging has a community outreach program that will send someone for an in-home evaluation.

    Given the unhealthy state of my grandmother's room, is it possible at all that they would take her dog from her?
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    That's hard to know. I will put it this way:

    Hypothetically, there could be health concerns. Or there could be concerns about the animal's welfare, caused by neglect.

    I think the decision to call and make a complaint needs to be made taking into account your grandmother's overall welfare, which would include her financial welfare, protecting her interests overall and her health and emotional well-being.

    And of course, there would be the question of alternatives. Where would she live and with who? But, I don't think this question has to be answered now. The question now is whether your grandmother's circumstances, rise to the level of abuse and neglect and what kinds of support she needs to live in safety and dignity. There are professional people that help families figure out care plans and to implement them.

    If your grandmother is living in squalor, and if she is being preyed upon, if she is being pressured to give up her prescribed medication, to a point where she is determined to be unsafe, it could be that she needs to be helped to reverse this. I have not been involved in this exact situation. But I would think that other family members could be called upon to care for your grandmother and/or her dog, on a temporary basis, until alternative housing and care situations were to be found.

    You and your father need to decide whether you think the situation has reached the level where the disruption to your grandmother's life would be better than are her present living circumstances; recognizing that this could well get much worse.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  9. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Is it just your grandmother’s room that is in an unhealthy state, or the whole house that is in that state?

    You need to sit down tomorrow and outline the main points that you want the authorities to know.

    Grandma is being pressured to give up her prescription medications (list any conditions she has/medications she takes to the best of your knowledge, as well as which scrips you think your aunt is taking)

    Grandma’s living conditions are substandard (list what exactly you are concerned about)

    Money is being taken from her (tax return, bank card, cash, etc) Are the bills being paid? Is she in danger of losing her house, car, etc?

    Anything else that might be important.
  10. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I am sorry this is happening to your granmother. It sounds as if you are a caring grandson. I hope you are able to resolve this in time. You have been given good advise here.
    Perhaps an elder abuse attorney
    Older Americans Act of 2006 defines elder financial abuse, or financial exploitation, as “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or .
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  11. JMom

    JMom Active Member


    Thank you for working so diligently to help your grandmother. Could you talk with grandmother to see if she wants intervention?

    If she does, you've been given some great resources! If she doesn't, however, your efforts will be denied. It's sad to see someone taking advantage of the elderly.

    I kinda want to meet your aunt. I kind of want to take the debit card. I am not suggesting this for you, but when my mom was very I'll, I took her debit card so that my brother would leave her alone. He asked me to buy his cigarettes. She didn't like it at first, but came out of the hospital NOT broke.

    I hate that you are having to watch this unfold. It sounds like you care very much for your grandmother.

    Is it possible for you and your dad to visit grandmother while the Aunt is out on a spending spree? She may be more forthcoming if she feels safe to express her true feelings.

    Good luck, please keep posting. We would love an update and a chance to support you!