Back in 2011 I had been contacted by my step dad JO of 82 who lives in New Mexico several times within a few weeks asking me the same questions about contacting my dad. This was not idd to me as I was very fortunate to have a dad and step dad who got along and liked each other. They enjoyed cars very much and that was the initial bond. I became concerned as this was not in his character. At the time I really was not close with his youngest daughter SH but had a prior relationship with the oldest daughter CC. However we had been out of contact for a few years due to trying to keep out of the drama of their family issues. About the same time I was then contacted by his neighbor in New Mexico as she was concerned as he had received a water shut off notice and it showed his bill being about $1,500. He did not have a pool and I could not imagine why it was so high. The neighbor did not want her to conact the other daughters just me.
I called the water department who stated she had been in conact with the SH who had made arrangements to make payments a few months earlier but nothing had been posted on his behalf. With all of this in concern I decided to go out there ( live in California). I was able to contact SH and let he know my intentions. She claimed she had a POA on her dad but could not afford to go over there. I paid the ticket for her to go with me (flight miles but still they were mine). We got there and things were worse than I originally thought. He house was a wreck and his memory was really bad. I suspected Dimentia, but I am not a doctor. After being there for a few days I convinced him to go back to CA as he no longer had family there in NM. I told SH that I would pay for his airfare back on a one way ticket with the agreement that he not go back there to live on his own. He needs additional care. While there I seemed to be taking care of most of the legal issues, banks, Expired DL, cars, all the while she was on the phone with her kids with consistent drama.
We got back to CA and aftetr 6 weeks there, she took him back to NM with her oldest daughter and left him. Un beknownced to me he had the POA she had on him abonished after pressure from his oldest daughter CC. Again so much drama in the family I could not get involved with. SH was I found to be very sneaky and vindictive. Blocking CC from his cell phone, changing his phone number and consistently bad mouthing CC to the father. I backed out, at the time I still thought she had control and the POA.
About a year later I was called by CC's husband out of concern, JO was not doing well and teh neighbor had contacted he and me. She had tried contacting SH but SH would not come out. she had tried letting SH know for months that he was ill and needed attention. My name was on the bank account as well as SH and CC just wanted to make sure she infact was managing his affairs correctly. I stated I would look into the matter and so I did. What I found was alarming. Check,s withdrawls, transfers between accounts. None made sense. No direction to many of the incremental withdrawls. I starting sorting through the information and making sense of who these other accounts belonged to. They were hers. After the analysis of the accounts she was approached. She started getting very defensive and would not answser the questions directly and made excuses for money missing. Health with JO took a turn for the worse, then Adult Protective services were called. They had been in contact with SH however SH was not taking the matters seriously. CC was also ill and so I opted to go out there, as APS stated if his matters were not taken serioulsy he would become a ward of the state and SH was not returning their calls.
When I arrived I decided with assistance of CC to take control. He was lving in squaler. Plumbing a mess with water dripping on back entrance (the one he uses) that was turning to ice, comode not flushing, pet and humane fecis on the floor, old spoiled food, he was feeding the dog more than he was feeding hismself, he had not had a shower in about 3 months (evident with lack of dirty clothes and a broken waqshing machine), a water leak in his front apartment that had been leaking for 6 months. His porperty taxes $10,000 in arrears, a car loan for a non running car, an interest only mortgage that still had the full balance owed of over $99,000. His water bill was two months past due with over $636 owed again. He had a total of 12 cars in his driveway, which of only 1 barely ran. The house was in disrepair and needed over $180,000 in repairs and borught up to code. She had never taken hom to the VA as promised and had him evaluated.
I took him to the VA the next morning after arriving there to the ER. He was enemic, dehydrated, this blood cell count was low and he could not stand on his own. He thought it was the 1980's and did not know any current events. They ran a CT Scan and blood work and did some memory tests. They said he needed further evaluation but Dimentia was obvious.
I brought him back to CA and started putting things in motion to get him healthy and financially sound. I had him further evaluated with a diagnosis of Dimentia, sold 10 of the 12 cars, sold the house and paid off all of his bills. With the remaining assets we moved him into a senior living community with memory care. Even though he has dimentia he still has his witts about him. His health improved. CC was very happy with what I was doing and SH stayed away.... After much more research of 13 years of mail and documents I found over $40,000 was given to SH even when he could not pay his bills, $10,000 of which she had taken on her own by taking money from his account. Even to pay her own property taxes while his remained unpaid and buy christmas gifts for her grown kids and grandkids.
Now that we have JO settled and financially sound, SH is starting to come around, spouting accusations of us not letting her visit him. When in fact the only statement that is true is that she allowed to visit but not alone in his apartment and not to remove him from the premises. for fear she will try and convince him to sign new papers. Eventhough there is what I hope to be protective language in the POA that states no other POA can supercede this existing POA unless in a court of law by order of a judge. She can be very manipulative. Since his short term memory tends to fluctuate, she may be able to convince him that she is in control and no one else is around.
She came to the community yesterday where he lives and snuck him out without asking or signing him out. We called the police, even with his dimentia, the police said he can leave of his own free will with whome he wants. Because there is no guardianship or conservetorship. He also told me if we go through trying to get the conservatorship and she refuses to let myself or her sister have that authority then he will be come a ward of the state and no one will have that authority.
At the end of the day, it is always about what is best for JO, not myself, not CC and not SH, but purely JO. I have not at all begun to tell you more of what has lead up to his situation. But is os quite involved and lengthy. No a lot of funds left for him, except to pay for final expenses should that arise. And just a clear fact, had I not stepped in and cleared up his finances and he had passed, there would have been nothing for final expenses. JO did not have life insurance. We know some decisions need to be made, just not sure where to go and the costs involved.