Heartbreaking Tale of Elderly Abuse Uncovered: A Tragic Journey of Neglect and Heartache
This is a truly distressing situation that shows not just the neglect that is happening in our hospitals, care homes and social services, but also how easy it is for relatives to abuse vulnerable family members which includes taking over their finances and draining their bank accounts. None of the systems that are in place are adequately protecting our loved ones. Hospitals and care homes are rapidly becoming no go areas, particularly for anyone 60+, vulnerable or disabled who are reportedly at risk of being placed on end-of-life treatment without requiring consent from the patient or family, even if they have Lasting Power of Attorney!
To follow is Gillian's harrowing story of what happened to her parents, and the ordeals she and her family endured, not just at the hands of the system, but also her step sister!
Both my elderly parents were vulnerable, in particular my dad who was suffering with Dementia. During covid lockdown my mother's eldest daughter changed my parent's locks and also their BT landline. She also got social services involved with false allegations towards myself the main carer and one of four siblings. As a result of her actions both my parents were hospitalised for a month within days of each other. My Dad was admitted with a head injury (possible stroke) and my mother with a badly fractured femur which required surgery.
I had no contact with my parents as social services claimed my mother didn't want anything to do with me or my son. This was heartbreaking, out of character and certainly unexpected! My mother was recovering from pneumonia and I didn't know it at the time, but she was also suffering with Delirium.
My step sister is the eldest sibling. She worked in an estate agency. Knowing I wasn't allowed to visit my parents due to her false allegations, she got her friend who owned a will writing company, to send a consultant to my parents' home where they made changes to their existing wills & Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA). They did this without carrying out a 'capacity assessment'. Both my parents were 84 years old at the time in 2020.
When I called the hospital, I was horrified to discover that passwords had been put in place against me - even though I had not had any contact for seven weeks. At this point I contacted a solicitor as I needed to help safeguard both my parents from domestic abuse. The solicitor instructed me to get as many witness statements as possible from anyone who knew both my parents and myself very well. That was easy and in no time at all, I had ten witnesses who could confirm how close and loving my relationship with my parents was. I doted on them both, took them on regular weekend breaks, overnight stays, theatre and shopping each weekend. I devoted my life to my mother who was also my best friend.
The heartache as a result of not seeing my parents nearly gave me a breakdown. The older step Sister and her family had very little contact with my elderly parents up to this point. It was only when she was furloughed by her company that she started staying every other night until my mother was well enough. I arranged for the carers, Careline, cleaners and also Meals on Wheels to help support them both. Over the next nine months, all these services were removed along with all my parent's savings and pensions which totalled £60k. I raised numerous Safeguarding Adults requests with local authorities. I later discovered that none were logged into the system and that we could not get help in terms of legal aid to help with safeguarding my parents from abuse.
It was clear the older step sister and her family were doing what they did for for monetary gain. I was told they built an extension on the back of their property which was less than a mile away from my parents recently refurbished bungalow. She apparently said she built the extension for my parents so they could live with her permanently. Knowing my parents as well as I did, I knew this would definitely not be what they wanted! My parent's bungalow was also in process of being gifted to my biological younger sister for £100k which was way below its market value of £250k.
I was back and forth to the solicitors, pulling together witness statements along with my ow. These were all sent to the Adult Social Services legal team in St Helen's Merseyside where they were acknowledged and signed for. Over the next three months I sent three letters to chase them up for updates to which I didn't receive a single response. I started to panic as I knew my step sister sent my parents back to their bungalow in the January having only spent three weeks in her newly re-furbished home. She had paid for this work using all my parent's savings and pensions, leaving them penniless.
On 31st March, 2021 I decided to visit my parents to check on their welfare along with my daughter in law as a witness. Thank God I did, my poor mother was in a dreadful state. She was so overjoyed to see me. She was crying and hugging me. My two wicked sisters had told my mother I was stealing from her and that I was putting both her and my dad in a care home, that I didn't want anything to do with her or my dad! I was horrified, they had effectively been groomed and psychologically manipulated for their money and property by their own family!
My mother had lost over a stone and half in weight. She was limping from botched up surgery, dehydrated, the home was filthy and both parents were unkempt. I reported this to the crisis line. Next, I took my mother straight to Lloyds bank to get both her and dad's bank statements where we also discovered their mail was being redirected to the older step sister's home.
My mother was shocked to discover that her bank account had been emptied! I immediately took her to the police station to report the theft. She then proceeded to have the locks changed on their bungalow and wanted nothing more to do with her two daughters and family who had totally abused her and dad.
I gave my main job up so I could care for them both full time as neither were well enough to do it on their own. Dad's dementia was getting worse and my mother's mobility was poor. My parents thrived, gained weight and were both much happier and peaceful.
My mother was still suffering from the botched surgery she had the previous year. I took her to hospital for two X-rays and a scan. We were told everything was fine. However, my mother was still limping and in extreme pain. I decided to pay private at one of the hospitals I use to work at. On entering the consultant's office, my mother's X-ray were already up on a screen. I didn't need to be a radiologist to see my mother's hip was broken. No wonder she was in so much pain!
I immediately rang for an ambulance to get my mother admitted for corrective surgery. The next day I contacted Social Services to get emergency respite for my dad as I couldn't look after him whilst my mother who is profoundly deaf and a lip reader was in hospital. It was same social worker who failed my parents the first-time round who I certainly didn't trust! They placed my dad in a care home next to the hospital my mother was in.
Dad was to be placed for a week initially. I wasn't allowed to visit as they said he needed time to settle. My mother's operation was cancelled, so I had no choice but to extend dad's respite for another week. On day nine I was able to visit my dad. He looked well but was unhappy (I took photos).
The very next evening my dad rang me on his mobile at 11pm. He was very distressed saying they had taken him in a lift and done something to him. What had they done? Then the carer took the mobile from him and told me he was ok and just confused. I was really worried about dad calling me so late after his bed time which was always normally around 10pm.
The next morning around 6:15am I received a call from this care home saying my dad was going to hospital as he was "wheezy". I said "he wasn't wheezy when he called me last night". I arrived at the hospital (where my mother was also admitted and awaiting hip surgery). I was shocked to find my Poor dad still in A&E with no glasses, hearing aids, dentures or regular medications. He was also clinically dehydrated with the skin peeling from his lips and face (I photographed him). He had been left with no IV fluids, oxygen, nebulisers or monitoring. By then he had no recollection of being in the care home, it was like his memory was wiped clean! I got dad bottled water straight away to hydrate him and collected his belongings from the care home. I also told them to pack his case as he would not be returning.
I spent most of the Saturday until early evening visiting both my parents at Whiston hospital. My mother's surgery was cancelled yet again. She was in a great deal of pain and they were hoisting her which was making my mother more even more distressed. Later that evening I rang the hospital to see which ward my dad would be admitted to ahead of tomorrow's visit. I was horrified to discover that he was still in A&E. By now he had been there 18 hours! I rang A&E but nobody answered. In the end I asked my son to drive me to the hospital to check on Dad as 18 hours is way too long to be left alone in his condition.
I arrived at 11:45pm and was informed by a nurse that dad was no longer in A&E. I asked where he was and she stormed off to find out for me. I decided to go check the cubicle where I had last seen dad. The door was shut. I peeped through in case another patient in there and was devastated to see my dad hanging out the bed which was laid flat. The bedside with his buzzer and fluids had been moved out of his reach. His regular medications and blister packs were untouched. My Dad started shouting "please God get me out of here, please".
I immediately grabbed a wheelchair and lifted my dad into it. I ran all the way out the hospital. Two nurses followed me out to the car park, shouting that they were contacting the police. I screamed back "go ahead as I will be reporting this hospital for wilful neglect!".
I took my poor shaken Dad straight home, made him warm drinks and tucked him up in his own bed. He was so happy and relieved. Again, I took photos. The following day my poor dad was unable to pass urine as he had been so dehydrated. The little he was able to pass was a treacle colour. I rang to get antibiotics for him as he was wheezy with fluid on his lungs. The following three days we were hounded by a number of services banging on my parent's door, all of which I captured on home cameras. It was awful and made us feel like criminals. We had two Police officers, two social workers, two doctors, two frailty nurses turn up. I wouldn't engage with any of them as I was trying to safeguard my dad. At that point I had no idea the NHS were trying to end his life!
The fluid on dad's lungs got worse. I realised I had no option but to take him to another hospital. I took my dad to Wigan Infirmary where they treated fairly and with dignity. In A&E they told me he was suffering aspiration pneumonia and would be treated as an inpatient. I trusted them. Little did I know a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) and safeguarding against myself was placed on my dad. He was bedridden for the next 10 weeks, unshaven, Nil by Mouth (NBM) and drugged up on Lorazepam.
I instructed a solicitor to help put a stop to what they were doing with my dad as it was effectively torture. The hospital had also lost his hearing aid and his dentures.
This time again the same corrupt social worker turned up at the 'best interest' meeting with nine people who knew nothing about my dad all singing from the same script, saying Dad had advanced dementia, that his needs have changed. They said he needed hoisting which requires two people. They also said he needed 24-hour care and that he was end-of-life.
Dad was transferred to a new care home. By now he had lost over two stone in weight and was weak. He was still strong in his head and was begging to come home to be with his wife of 65 years and myself (his oldest biological daughter). Surprisingly dad was up on his Zimmer frame and waking fine on his own. We thought that after a few weeks in the care home he would come home. We informed the care home manager that the Lasting Power of Attorney obtained by my step sister had been obtained fraudulently. Her response was "I am not interested in your family politics". My heart was heavy as knew only too well that this left my dad wide open to further abuse!
My dad was now being illegally detained against his wishes and that of his wife and my own substandard care home. They restricted us to appointment only half hour visits once a week, Friday and Saturday only. This isolation and separation were too much for my mother as she was recovering from her hip surgery and still dealing with the emotional turmoil that her two daughters financially abused and deceived her!
We applied for a court of protection to remove the Attorneys who were helping to detain my dad against mum's wishes. Also, to have the passwords removed that were put in place by the care home to prevent myself or my mother from obtaining information regarding my dad's care and wellbeing.
During the first twelve weeks of being illegally detained my dad had several falls, a bang to his head (despite apparently having two staff to transfer him using the hoist). Dad caught Covid-19 twice despite Draconian visiting bans. He was also hospitalised for 10 days with severe dehydration which resulted in a kidney injury.
We asked the hospital to transfer my dad back to his own home we're we felt he would be safer, but they refused.
My Mother contacted the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) on April 21 to revoke the LPAs due to financial abuse. She was assessed by the Code of Practice (COP) doctor to assess whether my mother had mental capacity, which she did.
The process of fighting to get my father (and her soul mate) home really took its toll on my mother. Her health deteriated as a result and I believe she died of a broken heart in June 22. She had no further contact with the daughters and grandchildren who played a part in the abuse. My mother's last wishes were carried out for none of them to attend her funeral which I arranged.
I contacted the care home to request my dad be released to attend his wife's funeral. I also said I was willing to pay for carers for the day. They flatly refused to release him and in a callous, cruel email from the care home manager, they claimed it was down to the LPA holder (my older step sister) who said my dad wasn't up to it. I had visited the previous night and he looked well and ok.
Four days after my mother's passing her LPAs were finally revoked by the useless OPG. This was 14 months on from the original request to have them withdrawn). Whilst waiting for my dad's COP which was taking for ever, my dad was being drugged up more frequently. He was also covered in a rash which itched profusely until he bled (it looked like scabies or bed bug bites). He had no hand wash for weeks and a small smelly towel in his tiny room. There was very little stimulus and every time we visited, he was begging for us to take him home. It was cruel, callous and totally heartbreaking to see dad in so much distress.
My next visit was in the September. It was late afternoon. Dad was put in a bed, drugged up, outside in the cold. I raised yet another a safeguarding request as the safety bumpers were not up on his bed and his head was banged up against the rails. He was in a position we're he was unable to straighten his legs without causing a great deal of pain. Back in his room, as well as being drugged up, there were no sign of any fluids.
Next day I received an email from the care home manager saying that the LPA holders had made the decision they no longer wish me to visit my dad. Yesterday was the last time I would see my dad, and the last image I would have of him as unbeknown to me, they placed dad on end-of-life. Five weeks later he passed away, ironically just three weeks before a court of protection hearing. My older step sister and the rest of his 'abusers' arranged his funeral which was held in secret and also went against his wishes that he wanted to be cremated.
I attend my dad's funeral as found out where it was being held. It was the worst thing ever to have to listen to the fake ceremony with see the even more fake crocodile tears.
Five weeks later the younger daughter passed away alone in A&E leaving the older step sister to contest my late mother's will. It is hoped my Dads Will is overturned as it was fraudulently made and against my dad's wishes. I pray each day for justice for my lovely, kind and very loving parents. Every one of the services including the OPG, COP, Merseyside police, NHS, St Helen's Social services, Care Quality Commission (CQC), Maddison Care Home did not provide adequate support and were ALL complicit in the continuing abuse against my parents that caused extreme heartbreak and destruction to all of us.
What is wrong with society, our Government, Healthcare and Law Enforcement that we can allow this blatant abuse to happen? Why are the elderly in particular being treated like this? Like they don't matter? Like animals? They paid into the system their entire lives and this is how they are rewarded? Their last months, weeks or days spent in isolation, with many suffering mental and/or physical abuse from the very organisations set up with tax payers' money to support and care for them in their times of need.
If you have been affected by this story, or had a similar experience and would like to share it, please get in touch and we would be happy to publish it.
You can also add your comments below. You can also join yoursay.social where you can find like-minded people along with support from others who have been or are currently going through the same.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.
I astounded that family can do this to their parents. It is terrifying that the system is easily manipulated and that the banks are so lax to let people basically drain bank accounts. There needs to be more checks in place and they should certainly reach out to other family members to double check this is what the parents have authorised. LPA needs a total overhaul. Shocking!
Then don't get me started on the services. Police are a waste of time, social workers don't seem to care and the hospitals and care homes don't care either, they just after the money the government pays them for every execition by Midazolam they authorise without patient or family consent! Furious that they are blatently getting away with this!!!