Preventing false accusations of elder abuse.

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My sister who I am caring for is in a nursing home. She has MS and has suffered 3 strokes. Her reality is skewed. She is on Medicaid and is only entitled to $50/month, $8 of which pays for her telephone at the nursing home. For the past year I have been an paying an additional $14.50/day for her to be in a private room. She is young for a nursing home (66) and I was trying to help her with the transition from independent living. Bottom line, there is no money left over. I have been providing her with the needs she has that the nursing home care does not include like clothing, denture adhesive, craft materials and kits, and snacks. Yet she continued to demand her $50. This past week she called the police and accused me of withholding her money. After about 10 days and some serious bullying by the police officer that took her statement, he finally told me that he was not pursuing the charges.

As a result of this, I am no longer her POA or the emergency contact. I do have some boxes of her personal belongings that I was storing for her. She has asked for them back. I want to return them, but am afraid when they do not contain what she thinks they should, I will be back in the same legal situation.

I would like to have her sign a statement releasing me from obligation to her for possessions or money as well as stating she will not press further charges. I do not know any other way to protect myself.

Any suggestions would be so greatly appreciated.

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This is a sad situation indeed. You haven't done anything wrong and others know it. Trying to convince your sister would probably not work. Did the strokes give her some dementia? I've heard that MS can cause a rigidity of thinking very often, but this sounds more like dementia to me. I feel so bad for both of you. She is so young and I can tell you care much for her.

Sometimes things heal between people. I hope that occurs fast so you can be close again. Until that time, I think that Maggie's advice was excellent. Do you have anyone -- maybe a family member -- who could go with you to be your witness?
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Well, asking her to sign what you have in mind isn't a good idea in my opinion. Look, you're not doing anything wrong. I'm assuming sis is on Medicaid, so money isn't an issue. You're no longer her POA or her emergency contact so what could you be doing wrong??

"Dear Sis, Since you asked for everything back that I was holding for you, I thought it might be easier if I included an inventory for you. The following two sheets of paper list everything I had. I hope this list makes it easier for you to sort through the things you gave me for safe keeping. Love you, Your Sis"

Then carefully list everything. Give it to her in a neat and orderly way along with boxes or whatever that she can keep them in. Maybe have her sign the sheets listing her things, but I just wouldn't worry about it.

I can't understand why the investigation took any time at all. Under Medicaid rules, she's not really allowed any money...and the nursing home must have had a pretty good idea that you were using that small amount to buy her a few extras...
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