There are some issues that I deal with on a regular basis on my caseload that get easier each time they come up. I understand the process better, the attending paper work is more familiar, and the questions the clients and families ask - while worded differently - are essentially the same. Overtime I develop 'short-cuts', I find a connection on the 'inside' of those bureaucratic government systems and can make 1 phone call instead of my clients having to make 15 to get the same information. To my clients, these are small acts of kindness, or efficiencies at the very least, that translate into small victories on what seems for many a relentless and vast battlefield.
But yesterday, suspicions were confirmed that a daughter of a client, who is also POA had been taking a large sum of money out of her mom's account weekly for at least 2 years. She felt entitled as POA to something, to some form of compensation. As a daughter, she felt she had a right to borrow against her future inheritance. She said there was a 'verbal' agreement between herself and her significantly demented mother; surely that must make it legitimate. I am constantly surprised by these stories - even though, I hear them all the time.
Adult abuse and neglect seem almost always crimes of opportunity (at least financial abuse). Blatant, premeditated, and intentional in action, vulnerability is identified and then exploited by those motivated by desperation, greed, and often a sense of entitlement. Now it may seem harsh to say its all intentional and premeditated, but these situations do not equal a kid finding a quarter on the counter and deciding to take it to go buy candy. These situations are involved - from the planning, to the crafting of alibi's and stories of justification, to the execution of the plan itself. I am amazed at the level of surprise that accompanies someone getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Most signficantly, I am amazed that these situations even occur. It just never seems to settle.