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    • CommentAuthorDebby
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2018
     
    I am spiraling down so fast. My husband has lost the ability to follow simple commands.

    Let me backup. My name is Debby. Bill and I have been devotedly married for 32 years. He was diagnosed a little over 3 years ago. He was in the early stages. He has declined so quickly. It has me so scared. He has started wandering.

    Two scary incidents happened lately. He had two pistols that he loved. He kept them locked up. I thought I had the key to the safe. Well we went to Walmart and before he gets out, he pulls the gun out of his pocket. I take it and put it in the glove box. A couple of weeks later, we were in the store and he pulled the gun out of his pocket. I took the gun and put it in my pocket book and we left. I checked all his pockets. There were no more keys.

    He kept threatening to take a screwdriver and opening up the safe. He was worried that someone had gotten his gun.

    A couple of weeks ago, I bought a dryer and the man who delivered it was talking to me outside for a few minutes before he left. Someone was shooting and I would jump every time. He asked me why I was so jumpy and I told him.

    I told him I was going to sell them. I had looked up the value of the guns and I was going to sell them. He asked me how much! He pulled his wallet out and handed me exactly what I wanted. I was so thrilled to have them gone.

    Well, my husband’s daughter got furious with me. First she thought I was lying about it. Then, she wanted the guys number to see if he would sell them to her son who desperately wanted one of his papaws guns. Chris has Aspburgers syndrome. He doesn’t need a gun.

    Well, yesterday she started calling and saying mean things to me. Last night they show up and ask again about the guns. I am tired of hearing about the guns. It just upsets my husband every time.

    Well today she has been threatening the man I sold the guns to that if he doesn’t sell the guns to them, they are going to report the guns as stolen.

    So I called the police and they came to my home. I asked them did I break the law selling the guns? He said no! I said well technically they were my husband’s. He said because my husband was not capable and I had POA, I had every right and if they did anything, they could be charged with filing a false report.

    Now, she has texted me with 3 messages saying that she is calling the elder abuse line telling them that I am not taking care of Bill and that I am letting him drive.

    It is hard enough being the ONLY caregiver without being threatened and harassed.

    I am scared about someone coming here and taking the love of my life away.
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      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2018
     
    (((hugs)))

    You did the right thing in getting rid of the guns. If he shot someone they would not care that he has dementia. You have to think about your own safety and others. As for you daughter, I would block her number if she keeps calling. You are in charge, you have his best interest not her. She is only thinking of herself - not you nor her father.

    Good that you contacted the police so you are solid with them. As for calling elder abuse, I don't see anything you are doing that can be considered abuse. It would be abusive for her to give a functioning gun to her son.

    Have you contacted Aging and Long Term Care or similar to get some respite?
    Is he a veteran?

    Stay with us - we are here for you.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2018
     
    Welcome Debbie. Experience here over many years is that friends and family can act very badly around dementia. It's often the children from the former marriage that seem to have the worst reactions. I'm sorry you're going through this.
    • CommentAuthorDebby
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2018
     
    Thank you all so much! It is hard having step children close to my age because they think that gives them the right to bully me. They won’t help me, mind you, but they will tell me what to do.

    Now she is going to report me to elder abuse and say I spend all the money. She hasn’t a clue about our finances.

    She says she has proof that ihave been letting her dad drive, nothing is further from the truth. I can’t porove it.

    My house is a little cluttered. It’s clean. Could be tidier. But, I have been in such a downer that I don’t have the energy. When he takes a nap, I do. When he goes to bed I do.

    I had been having such terrible headaches, stress, I guess.

    I changed my phone number so that she can’t threaten me anymore. I will give her time to cool down. Maybe a year or two.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    Debby,

    Several months ago we had a relative who called the police to do a wellness check because I didn't call them back right away. Then this relative showed up unexpectedly at our house from half a day's drive away--to "check on us". (There were no offers of help when he was here, but he did say he would be willing to help DH get together some tools DH had talked about giving him.) I was terrified that his next step would be to call adult protective services.

    I discussed this with a counselor I was seeing at the time, and also with our council on aging case manager. They said that a lot of people knew that I was taking good care of DH, and that adult protective services had actual abuse cases that they were having to work on, and any "investigation" of us would be short and sweet.

    You have done everything right! You got rid of the guns. You talked to the police yourself. You don't let your husband drive. You are taking good care of your husband. The only other thing I could think of is to no longer answer this person's calls or open the door when they knock. And you have POA. It's none of their business what your finances are.

    Sorry if this seems grumpy, but some days "family" is a four letter word around our house. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all this aggravation on top of being a caregiver.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    Well said Jan.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    Good morning Debbie, my heart breaks for you. The facts are the facts and we have to deal with them as we can -- but the heartache of watching the man you love disappear right in front of you is hard enough. As bad as it is, the stress you are experiencing isn't unusual, adult children can sometimes be cruel. I've not yet found the answer, but some days just writing it out on the list helps. There is a lot of information here, a lot of been there-done that, so nothing you say will shock anyone :)

    Many, many years ago we went to a marriage counselor a few times. The best advice I got from it was, when times were bad write a long letter to your spouse, detailing every thing that was wrong, what you thought of him, and how it made you feel. Read it over -- then burn it. This list serves a similar purpose, sometimes just getting the words out of your head and down on paper is calming.
    • CommentAuthorDebby
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    Oakridge that sounds like such sage advice.
    • CommentAuthorDebby
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    Jan, can protective services make me show our personal banking stuff. I got to telling Patty that we we in the minus because she was always “borrowing” but never paying back.

    I don’t think it is anyone’s business what our finances are. Our bills are paid. We may not have much, but she isn’t getting another nickel. I was tired of funding her.

    I expect she will be beating my door down tonight. But if she keeps it up, I will call the police!

    Is that terrible? She can’t call me anymore. I am sorry that she won’t know anything about her dad, but she won’t give me her address where I could mail her something if she needed to know anything.

    I am not going to be bullied anymore! My goal is to take care Of beautiful man, I fell in love with 34 years ago.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    Debby, I'm sorry that you are being harassed by your stepdaughter. It sounds to me like she is the one committing elder abuse. May I suggest that you stop sharing any information with her? It's clear that she uses whatever you tell her (info about your finances and about the guns) against you. So don't give her any more ammunition. I found that taking care of my husband was the most stressful job I ever had and I don't think I could have done it if someone had been constantly trying to sabotage me. Charlotte has very good advice - see if you can get someone to help you in the house. Does your state or county have an elder services office?
    • CommentAuthorDebby
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    The woman from the agency for aging and disability came. She is going to see about getting me some housework help.
    • CommentAuthorDebby
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    I changed my phone number. I called the people across the road and told them I was going to the court tomorrow and filing for a show cause hearing for them to prove their allegations that they had seen my husband driving. I said that Patty had said that Larry had said that they had seen him driving. Larry’s mother said I haven’t seen him driving. I said well Patty’s worlds were that Larry said all of you had seen him driving.

    I said I have a diary of all my trips out. I keep a record of when and where we go. So, the dates and times that someone from your house has seen him driving should match up.

    Was that bad! I am at the end of my rope with worry over this.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018 edited
     
    I suggest that you look for ways to protect yourself. Do you have power of attorney? Are you his health care representive? Put everything in your name, for eample a joint bank account Others will remember other precautions. I ran into similar problems with my stepchildren. Thank goodness the details are fading wih time, but the general rule is not to engage with them and to protect yourself from any imagined attack because it can happen. And I echo Myrtle, the less said [to vultures] the better.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    ON the banking - you probably can't close the account or take his name off the one his SS or any pension goes into, but you can open one just in your name and transfer the money as soon as the checks come in to an account with just your name on it. Hopefully you have changed everything into your name - cars, house, etc.

    There are some real horror stories in these forums regarding the problems with step children. I know one woman whose step daughter bought a ticket for her dad to where she lived (a different state), got guardianship of him then got him to file for divorce even though he had AD leaving her with in debt and little money.
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2018
     
    So difficult Debby we have the hardest job every taking care of our partners then to add this on top makes it almost unbearable. I know I had family issues and it consumed me I let it consume me. Even though we know we are doing the right thing we still let this get to us. I found my time and energy was spent worring about them when it needed to be spent on taking care of my wife. WE have nothing to answer for we do the best we can. It All just adds more stress when what we need is relief from the stress.

    Bottom line they don’t have a leg to stand on but really that does not matter to them my fear is that you buckle under the stress. IF you do then who will take care of your husband? I am great here at giving advice but know how hard it is to follow, even though I knew I Had nothing to feel guilty about I still did still felt I had to justify myself. So you are doing the right things believe in yourself you have all the experts here saying you are doing the right thing, and yes these are the experts the people who take care of their alz partners the people who live it the people who understand it your step children have no idea.

    So we are behind you but try not to worry about it they don’t know what they are doing and please take care of yourself try to put this in a box and put it on a shelf and concentrate on what is important, your spouse and your health. These people are not important they are an annoyance.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2018
     
    You have done everything properly. Dementia and guns do not mix.

    Unfortunately your step-daughter has gone off the rails. it is as she is taking out her grief about her father's dementia on you. You are right in protecting yourself. It sounds like the neighbors will provide evidence that your step daughter was lying about the driving. It sounds like the step-daughter is going to end up in no case and possibly be prosecuted for making a false allegation.

    If you think it will help protect your money you can contact Social Security about your husband's condition and be made his Representative Payee. You would then have to set up a bank account just for his Social Security checks, the account would be in his name but you would be custodian, the requirement is that he not be able to access the bank account. The only reason for doing this is if you believe you need additional protection against someone else (your step daughter) taking him to the bank to withdraw money. This year Social Security removed the reporting requirements for Representative Payees filling an annual report (which was a very simple report but nice having one less piece of paper to fill out). If you have other ways of making it impossible for him to withdraw money from an account that would be better.

    Do you have a Durable POA for your husband. If not get one ASAP while he is legally competent. And then have him declared legally incompetent. As long as a a judge can find him capable (I don't know the basis for the police saying he isn't capable and if it has legal standing in your case) your step-daughter can write a new POA, take your husband to a notary and then take over his affairs.
  1.  
    @ Debby, I'm a stepmother too and I feel your pain. First, let me offer kudos for how well you are handling a VERY difficult and potentially dangerous situation. Your instincts to protect your DH from his guns were right on. Secondly, confronting the neighbors regarding seeing your husband driving was also smart. Everyone is now on notice. On the Stepdaughter, drawing appropriate boundaries for yourself and changing your phone number to escape the harassment is an act of self-care. You can't be a patient and kind caregiver while being abused via text messages. She is robbing you and your DH of the positive energy you need to get through a difficult experience.
    I've had some similar experiences with my Stepdaughter and money. While she is 50, she has an adolescent attitude about money and believes that her parents owe her and her children cars, vacations, camps etc. Stepdaughter had a very good friend of the family who knew Stepdaughter as child, ask me for our financial statement so that the friend's husband could ensure we were invested properly. I told the "friend" we have an excellent accountant and don't need any help."Friend" asked me five times and every time I gave the same response. She even approached DH in his hospital bed two days after two major strokes to find out if he really liked the accountant. That's when this "friend" got a letter from me telling her she was being intrusive and we didn't need any help with our finances. Told her we need friends, don't try to replace our accountant. Our finances are simply no one else's business.
    Stepdaughter is very hostile to me and can't even be civil when she calls. Shes not much nicer to her father but tries to fake it. She is known for her toxic personality but thinks the world is fooled. The only good news is that she lives in the Caribbean and only comes home annually.
    Hang in there Debby. You married your DH because you loved HIM, not his daughter.