They're Robbing My Grandfather Blind

My grandfather has Alzheimer’s. That is the least of his problems.

My aunt and uncle—I’ll call them Jane and Bob—have insisted that my grandfather live with them; whenever someone brings up the idea of allowing him to go to an assisted-living facility, they get all up in arms and there’s a big family row and we all back down.

Jane and Bob live in a three bedroom house with two huge long-haired dogs, a cat and a bird. The cat no longer uses the litter box to take care of business; she uses the dining room carpet. The dogs, who could easily be mistaken for small ponies, roam the house at will. The less said about the bird, the better.

My grandfather’s room is the cleanest in the house. This is because my aunt and uncle only go in there to wake him up and change his sheets. Every other flat surface in the house is coated in dust and layered with ten jillion figurines or other useless clutter. Bob is building on an extra room with a bathroom that my grandfather will move into—provided he doesn’t die first (Bob has been building this room for eight months, even though he has no other job).

My Aunt Jane is a teacher. She teaches at the same elementary school she’s taught at for almost ten years. She regularly stays at school until 10:00 at night, and when she gets home, she heats up a microwave dinner for my grandfather to eat. If he doesn’t want to eat it, he gets a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

My grandfather is awake for approximately 30 minutes a day. He gets up, goes to the bathroom, eats, and goes back to bed. In my opinion, he stays in bed all day in order to avoid Bob and Jane; I would too. Theirs is not a happy home.

My grandfather’s care—if you can call it that—is a serious issue for me. I want him to have the best support system possible, and Bob and Jane are definitely NOT IT.

But what do they care? As long as my grandfather is with them, his money comes to them instead of going to someone else who might actually give half a crap about his health and well-being. Because, you see, to me it looks as though Bob and Jane are after my grandfather’s stuff, and his physical condition is a secondary issue.

Because of my grandfather’s mental condition, my father, as executor of his estate, has power of attorney to pay bills and make important decisions on his behalf. Recently, my grandfather’s house was sold after being on the market for almost a year. In those nine months, Bob and Jane had been systematically stealing things from my grandfather’s house. Oh, they don’t call it that, of course; they are just taking things from the house that will make it easier to take care of him—things like my grandmother’s antique dining room furniture, a bedroom suite, a new computer and printer, an antique chest of drawers, a hope chest, a refrigerator, and a washer and dryer set. So far, these things are in storage, so I can certainly see how they are benefiting my grandfather’s situation.

Months before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and just as he began exhibiting symptoms, my grandfather agreed go in on a piece of property with Bob and Jane; apparently they would buy the land and build a house on it and they would all live there happily ever after. My grandfather used his life savings to buy the land, while Bob and Jane have yet to spend a cent. The deed has all their names, plus Bob and Jane’s daughter’s name, on it. Bob and Jane have right of survivorship, so in the event of my grandfather’s death, his share will pass to them and they will have spent nothing and gained a fairly expensive new property.

Two years ago, before my grandfather began exhibiting signs of a deteriorating mental condition, he wanted to buy a new car and offered to sell Bob and Jane his truck, which had less than 10,000 miles on it. They never have any money, so they offered him this deal: in return for the truck, they would clean his house every week. Sweet, yes? So they got the truck FOR FREE, gave it to their crackwhore daughter, and cleaned his house MAYBE once every two months.

My grandfather’s new car? My Uncle Bob—A DEACON IN OUR CHURCH—convinced my grandfather, who is clearly in no position to make such a decision, to sign it over to him two months ago. This is after my father had told Uncle Bob that he would be selling the car and adding the assets to my grandfather’s estate. My father, flabbergasted at the audacity of such an action, asked Uncle Bob if he thought that was really an ethical thing to do; Uncle Bob replied, “Yes, I certainly do.”

The conservative estimate places all of Bob and Jane’s new assets at around $40,000; this is just the stuff we know about.

It’s not that I think I deserve just as much as Bob and Jane got; I would PAY that amount if my grandfather could only be healthy and alert, instead of the zombie he is now. I just think that the whole situation smacks of devious behavior and underhandedness, and I am angry that Bob and Jane think they have EARNED everything they’ve gotten. I have no doubt that when my grandfather does die, Bob and Jane will expect to be given their share of whatever he leaves behind (that they haven’t already stolen), as if they haven’t already taken the bulk of their inheritance AND my Uncle Alan’s AND my father’s.

Their righteous indignation at being questioned makes me want to punch them both in the mouth, which is something they DO deserve, and which I would gladly give them for free.

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