I received a letter from the Department of Family Services saying that we "abused, neglected and abandoned" my elderly mother and they want to talk to us. What do I do now?

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We brought my 90 year old mother to live with us 2 years ago. She was abusive toward my children, pets, threatened to burn down the house if we didn't do everything she said and threatened that she'd "get us back" if we ever put her into a nursing home. After she threatened to hit me, her daughter with her fist, and threw her walker at me, we got her into a nursing home in the Alzheimers ward. The stress and strain of caring for an angry, bitter, vindictive old woman was too much for me and my family. Today I received a letter from the Department of Family Services that we "abused, neglected and abandoned her" and they want to talk to us. What do I do now?

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I also was faced with this problem with the DFS., and It was all about the children worrying about money they are trying to get,,I just had witnesses to the situation ,and keeped all my paper work that what she spent,,I was very stressfull but in the end no charges were filed and the case was dismissed,,they don;t tell you how does the reporting ,I now once again after taking care of a friend 6yrs ,she had a fall and is in rehab ,now the children who have not even seen her and don't live in the same state ,which the daughter visited and her mom fell the day she left ,are trying to send the dcfsc after me,all they want is the check books and important papers ,also requested me from visiting her all they want is thier mom to pass away so they get the few $ she has left ,,this has made me very depressed all she knows is me and I can't even be their her last days,,so I feel you're pain,, Just be calm and you will be ok,,,,p
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195Austin, Thanks for that info, the article I read didn't have the part about the Diner not allowing them anymore, and I'm very glad to hear that the outcome of the murder trail was 'Not Guilty'. I only hope the whole sad thing has brought some attention to the need for caregiver support.
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The case where the man was taking care of his parents happened in my state and the diner where he was leaving them while he worked for a few hrs, would not let him continue to leave them there ao he left them in the car and his Mom got out of the car but his father was found dead and it went to trail and he was found not guilty-our senior center has a very low cost day care program the only thing they do choose who can use it one lady was told not to come back because she had cats and her clothes smeled it is very sad caregivers aren't give a little more help. APS does not have much power it only takes a report of someone who does not know the facts to make a report-nothing came of the report made on me and I met a man running for office who had worked with social service in my county and he made a report on the troublemaker-but the caseworker did scar me until I checked with someone in social service in another county and she tolf me they really had no power.
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I'm praying for you in this situation, as I've been through similar false accusations. Someone called DPS, but it didn't go anywhere from there. My parent has serious Personality Disorders, and it's hard to take. She does have her "hero allies," though, which is worse, and adds gasoline to her fire. The old cronies believe her, and discredit her diagnosis. Lord, help us all!
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I agree that you should handle this aggressively, It's a matter of self-defense.
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get evidence that she is mentally ill and that she menaced you with lie about u abused her if you put her into a nursing home. go to the police and made a police report staying that. get a lawyer or legal aid close to you.don't be scared/nor nervous when you go to see them. take witness with you that can back u p your statements/
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Also see who wrote a caseworker came to my house and pretended she was a social worker she was called by a home care nurse from a medicare agency to provide help after a hospital stay by my husband-in our state APS has no power and noyhing came of it and later on I was able to report the actions of the nurse and the caseworker. I would get in touch with an elder lawyer and do not give them the credit of scaring you-let a lawyer handle it-he or she would have information about this being done to other families-at the time my daughter worked for social services in another county in our state and people in my church were willing to write letters for me.
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Not to blow this out of proportion, But I'm reminded of the news account of the single young man whose life was devoted to caregiving for his two 90 year old parents. In order to run his errands, he would leave his parents at the local diner where they were all well known and kept watch over by the owner and staff. Unfortunately, one day dad wandered off and mom went back to the hot car alone. I believe it was dad who died that day, and the son was arrested for his murder by authorities not up to speed on the difficulties and complexities of what we do everyday.
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I think I know what is going on. It's called "cover your butt." Some attendant at the nursing home noticed some bruising, and HAD to report that in. The nursing home then HAD to report that to the appropriate Agency. The Agency HAD to follow up. It's like a tax audit, scary but not really a big deal once both sides meet and exchange info.

It will be tough to get anybody to "vouch" for you, ie. physicians. So call up FPS and ask them what they need to clear up the misunderstanding.

Keep us posted, we can all learn from your situation.
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Stay calm, but take this very seriously. If it isn't handled correctly it can (and has before) become a serious mess for you, your family, and your mom.
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