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Our families have stolen our homes and left us struggling to survive

Two elderly residents each claim social assistance agencies have been unable to protect them from their own families.

In the first, an elderly man claims relatives deceived him into signing over his property.

“They have totally manipulated him,” his son told

The Royal Gazette.

The family, who are continuing to fight the matter in court, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Surrendering claim to his property to two grandchildren didn’t result in the trust arrangement the senior had expected, his son said.

“It’s about senior citizens being taken advantage of and their wishes not being fulfilled. They put trust in these people — but at no point did my father have legal representation of his own.”

In the aftermath, he said: “We went to Age concern and took our legal documents. As far as I understood it, they don’t have the legislative authority to do more than help people with Meals on Wheels and other assistance. They suggested John Payne [of NOSPC, the National Office for Seniors and the Physically Challenged]. I spoke with him between a year and 18 months ago. We left a lot of documents with him. I went back once or twice and got the impression that he was going to investigate, but I have heard nothing official. I haven’t heard anything from him in a long time.”

His father, meanwhile claims he’s unable to collect rent on what was once his own property.

“I put a roof over their heads and took care of them. I worked two jobs all my life,” he said of his younger relatives. “Without rent, I can’t pay my health insurance. I depend on friends to help with food.”

He said his government pension gives him $1,226 a month — roughly $650 of which is going into his private insurance. With a modest pension from his job, he’s left with $900 a month to survive.

Admitting he had made a mistake, the elderly man said his relatives had exploited his “lack of education, and my trust”.

The case came to light as another elderly resident contacted this newspaper to complain that her daughter forced her to live upstairs in her own home.

With limited mobility, she finds stairs impossible to negotiate.

“What I want to do is go back down there and stay, so even just to go out in the yard and get exercise,” she explained. “But it’s getting down the steps and getting back up — I can’t do it. I am blessed, because twice I almost fell.”

The woman said her daughter maintains the two-storey house is entirely her property.

“She will not talk about it. Every time I call her to talk about it, she says ‘I am busy’ and she has no time for me — but she is living in my house.”

The woman counted herself fortunate to have money saved for full-time carers.

One carer said he believed the woman’s daughter took advantage of her ageing mother’s dementia. The two carers have to carry the woman up and down the flight of stairs, which they consider a risk.

“She collapsed on the stairs just yesterday,” one said.

His fellow carer said the woman lived “like a prisoner in here” and was subject to intimidation by her younger relatives.

Asked if she had contacted NOSPC, the woman replied: “Been there, done that.”

She maintained that she had heard nothing back, adding: “I just feel like I have been stuffed away.”

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Published May 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm)

Our families have stolen our homes and left us struggling to survive

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