Beware of seniors as victims

Stealing JoyStealing Joy: A True Story of Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse, and Fraud

By Dr. Glynnis Walker Anderson

New Horizon Press

276 pages, softcover

Dr. Glynnis Walker Anderson tells the horrific story of her other Rosalind Walker, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Separated by about 4,000 km, Dr. Anderson traveled to Victoria, B.C. to visit her 86-year-old mother when she discovered things were slightly amiss. She recognized the onset of early dementia in her mother through the changes in her demeanor and her surroundings.

However, she returned home after the visit, not knowing that Alzheimer’s would be the diagnosis. She was always very close to her mother with nightly phone calls and visits as often as she could.

When her mother went into hospital, she flew again to her mother’s side. It was then she met up with a neighbour who held an unusual curiosity for her mother’s wellbeing. Over time, this fraudulent neighbour would turn mother against daughter, get power of attorney, and have her mother sign over her complete estate.

This is a true cautionary story and offers insight into how easy it is to manipulate the ailing elderly. They come to know their targets through swift intervention, especially if they live alone with no family nearby. They are legal smart and ingratiate themselves in the life of their victim. Sometimes, the depth of their deceptiveness is unknown by family members until the reading of the will.

The author leaves out little detail of the tricks used during her experience, making this a very worthwhile read.

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