I am the youngest of four children. I was named Power of Attorney by my parents in 2013. I assisted in caring for them in their home for many years. In 2019, my husband and I created an en-suite apartment for my parents in my home. I wanted to create a space to give them the opportunity to age-in-place with dignity and respect while providing the safety and assistance they required. My father had severe Dementia at this time and had bouts of aggression and rage. My mother also had the beginnings of dementia but it was not as advanced as my fathers. I employed two caregivers to help get some relief a few hours a day.
My father passed away in September of 2019 and my mother continued to live in the en-suite apartment. Around that time, she started showing signs that her Dementia was worsening. I decided to keep the caregivers on as my mother enjoyed their time and her safety needs were increasing.
Fast-forward to March of 2020 when the world shuts down and a caregivers burden is exponentially increased with the COVID-19 pandemic as there are no options for relief, no respite, no breaks, no assistance from anyone including family members. During this awful scary time we lost my mother in-law to COVID not long after the pandemic started and we were unable to have a proper funeral secondary to the situation at hand. This further expounded the grief and stress I had to experience. This is all in addition to my son who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain Avm in 2018 and underwent radiation treat My son was hospitalized twice during this time with severe brain swelling and he was experiencing grand mal seizures requiring my care as well.
Once the world started to open back up in the summer of 2020, I was desperate for respite and assistance. I had hoped my sister would start to assist in the care to give me a break, however I was refused assistance . I got into a fight with my sister where I stopped speaking to her. My niece my (sisters daughter) sent me a message that the burden of care lies on the person who took my parents in and that I should be grateful for any help I get. Before I agreed to move my parents in my sister promised she would help me. Needless to say we stopped speaking as well.
I continued caring for my mother with some assistance from her caregivers once it was safe for them to return. My brother and his wife came and helped as often as they could especially after my sister and I stopped speaking. My brother Randy Hayes came every Tuesday for 5 years and took my parents to dinner and stayed and visited after. I never barred anyone from communicating with or seeing my mother. Not only did I not bar them they had a key to my home.
On May 1st 2021, my niece came to my home while I was out of town visiting my ailing Aunt and took my mother to her home under the guise of her staying for just the night. My sister in-law was at my house with my mother and immediately called me and the police were called the next day when my mother was not returned. She refused to return my mother and had my mother sign a revocation of Power of Attorney for her bank that was found to be a falsified document. She notarized the document herself.
I am currently stuck in Probate Court battles as a Guardian-Ad-Litem determined that my niece was providing care that was “exemplary” for my mother, despite the fact that she runs an in-home daycare out of her home, is not vaccinated, and does not use any PPE for her or the children. My mother is also un-vaccinated.
My niece has barred everyone in the family from seeing my mother and has limited any phone conversations. I haven’t been able to speak to her in over 3 months. She has told my mother that we have all stolen her money and sold her house. Yes, I along with my 2 brothers and sister sold her home in 2020 as it was no longer safe for her to live alone and she had been living with me for over a year. The money from the sale of her home went into my mothers bank account.
The Guardian-Ad-Litem doesn’t seem to understand that isolation from us is damaging the relationship we have with my mother. My mother is being manipulated by my niece as she is told repeatedly how evil we all are and how we’ve stolen her money. There have been times that my kids have gotten through to my Mom on the phone and she is pleasant and wants to see us. As soon as we make plans, my niece will have my mother get upset and tell us she doesn’t want to see us. On one occasion, my niece called the police on my daughter claiming she was threatening her when she made plans to see my mother.
My niece listens in on the phone conversations they are able to have and manipulates those as well. On a conversation my daughter had with her, when she asked to see her for lunch, my mother said “they are shaking their head no.” The Guardian-Ad-Litem reports that my mother told her that she doesn’t want to see anyone aside from my son and his girlfriend, however that still has not been arranged. My niece is manipulating my mother to say these things as she reminds her every day of how “awful and evil” we are and how we’ve stolen her money.
The Guardian-Ad-Litem believes my mother should be able to decide that she doesn’t want to see anyone (despite her saying she does want to see us on numerous occasions when we do talk to her) and doesn’t believe that a person with Dementia could be manipulated like this.
This is further compounded by the Guardian-Ad-Litem believing my niece and accusing me of maleficence as I paid caregivers cash and did not use checks from my mothers account or a 1099. We are in the process of trying to prove this is inaccurate in court.
Health records show my mother has lost 20 pounds in a 2 month period which upon my research is warning sign for elder abuse and increases her risk for mortality. The Guardian-Ad-Litem claims that this weight loss is explained by her living a more active lifestyle.
My niece got personal protective orders against myself, my husband, and my sister in-law within days of taking her to Jackson County where PPO’s are easily obtained. They have since been lifted.
This whole process has been so incredibly awful, heartbreaking, and defeating. The only people who have seen my mother since May 1st are my nieces family. I, my brothers, my sister-in-laws, my husband, my sons, my daughter my 6 nieces and nephews, have all been unable to see her.
The Gal has not allowed me to call her or email her or show proof of all the expenses from my mothers account. Every time we go to court she goes on and on about all the cash withdrawals I took but will not let me say what any of them are for.
My niece even tried to have me arrested when I took my son to U of M hospital where he has been a patient since 2018 for his inoperable brain Avm. My niece happened to show up with my Mom who has never been a patient there and accused me of violating the PPO. I have not slept in 3 months this is beyond cruel and I need whatever help I can get to fight these evil monsters.
Is there any information you could share that we could use in court to communicate the caregiver burden and/or the ability for someone with Dementia to be manipulated in this manner?
At this point, I feel so hopeless. I do not know whether I will see my mother ever again as the courts move slowly and she continues to be isolated from us even more. I am absolutely heartbroken to be isolated from my mother and to be accused of such awful things after I have spent the last 10 years being the primary caregiver.
I have two brother Darrell and Randy Hayes and they are both in full support of all I have done and know my sister and niece are doing this to gain control of my mothers money.
If you read this, I appreciate you taking the time. If there is anything you can do, please let me know.
Betty Hayes HOLLY Part 1